Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pot Roast Leftovers....

What to do, what to do?

I know this looks like a hot mess but...
I know Brenda is getting a little tired of my enchilada nights but I still crave something cheesy and luscious so I made a little enchilada sauce from the new Bon Appetit but it proved a bit much and my lovely bride revealed she is not a huge fan of red sauce.  So, on to plan B.

I  finished making the sauce anyway and then moved on to making some spectacular enchiladas. I have a package of low carb tortillas burning a hole in my pantry and a lot of cheese including fresh mozzarella. 

The sauce as I mentioned came from this months issue of Bon Appetit and it's pretty easy to make if you have all the stuff lying around and I happen to have 2 older bags of dried chilies. I went for it but he first taste was really off putting. I checked the recipe but left nothing out. It was just awful to the point I didn't want to taste it again but taste I did. Hmmm...sugar? A spoonful of sugar to offset the bitterness.  It still lacked sauce? anchovies? beef bullion?  Racking my brain, I opted for bullion, just a teaspoon and the flavor corrected itself. Maybe it was the salt I don't know but it made the difference. Did I tell you that it is hot? It is hot.

Brenda did share that she is a fan of the Chipotle Cream sauce I made for the enchiladas last week. Ok, I can do that again but I am eyeing my red sauce.

I dipped tortillas in the red sauce and coated them well, filled them with shredded roast beef and a thick slice of fresh mozzarella then rolled them up. I only make 4 to keep us from overeating. I placed them in a pre-sprayed casserole, spooned a bit more red sauce, then topped everything with the Chipotle Cream and cheese. Baked until bubbly at 350. Great flavor and the combined sauces were a perfect match.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

On a Cold Winter's Night...Pot Roast

Nothing beats a pot roast and when they are on sale, watch out. I am all over that. Super easy to prepare and always tender and melting. I used the crock pot of course and stopped on the way home for Denich 'potatoes' known in you country as turnips. Low carb and high fiber potato subs in our home I would serve them to guests. Anything prepared with a splash of cream and knob of butter can't be all bad.

My mom occasionally served a pot roast with a Yorkshire pudding but I opt for its glamorous step child, the Popover. Rarely do I get them to turn out this spectacular even though I have a real pan for them. The secret is making sure everything is room temp or warmer.

Ok. The recipe for Popovers
Preheat oven to 450. Prepare pan with cooking spray

1 1/2 c flour
 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 Cup milk, room temp
4 eggs room temp ( place in warm water out the fridge to hurry them along.)

3 tbs drippings or butter

Mix wet ingredients thoroughly including butter. Mix flour and salt them combine all and mix till frothy.

Pour batter into cups 2/3 to 3/4 full

Place pan in oven on lower rack and set timer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes turn down oven to 350 and bake another 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven and make a small slit in each to allow steam to escape. Serve immediately.

I placed the leftovers in the fridge and had one this morning after I microwaved it for 20 secs. It was great.

Pot Roast

Everyone has a favorite method, this is mine.

I prepped the crock pot with a layer of sliced onions, a few cloves of crushed garlic, thyme and a bay leaf. Since my roast was frozen solid the night before...I placed it on top of the onions and left it overnight, covered in the crock pot. The next a.m. I placed 1 can of broth, a few carrots and let it go on low for 8-10 hours.

I strained the drippings, setting aside the fat for the popovers. I browned 8 ounces of mushrooms in a saute pan then added the fat free broth I skimmed. I used some of the fat to mix with equal parts flour and added that to the gravy to thicken. 

For the turnips, I peeled about 4 large ones. Diced them and put them in a pot with salted water. When tender after about 15 minutes, I drained them well. I used my immersion blender and a knob of butter and a few tablespoons of cream and pureed them. Salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Grinding Garam....

This week one of the fellows came back from India and, as promised, brought me spices. Some of the east Indian fellows are impressed that I attempt to cook Indian foods and am the proud owner of a masala daba or spice box. 
 So the raw materials look a lot like potpourri. Cinnamon bark, star anise, cardamom, pepper, mace, nutmegs, cumin and assorted unidentified bits.
It took a few grindings and screenings to get a fine spice powder and I will probably grind it once more before use but the house is redolent with smells of cinnamon and cloves and heady peppery spice. After this, the coffee grinder is now for spices only. 
I can't wait for and nice butter chicken or tiki masala. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A New Year and some healthy eating...maybe

Haven't posted in a bit but cooking is hit and miss these days with both our work schedule and not having to have anything special at home because we are empty nesters.

The fridge broke so we had to clean it out to get it fixed and threw almost everything away. We now have a sparse fridge and ice again! Yay.

We made a special treat for New Year's as we had no plans and were entertained out. Brenda stopped by and picked up a huge lobster tail a little over a pound.  I cooked it by steaming first but it was so thick and  little under done down deep so I split it and broiled it the rest of the way. The sirloin I made was just so so. I put it in the sous vide way too late and it takes a good while to cook a steak in the sous vide. About 8 hours so...

I had a bag of frozen artichokes so we had that as a veggie and it was really quite good sauteed with some bread crumbs on top and then finished under the broiler. 

The next day at work afforded me some great left overs with a bunch of raw squash and zucchini to use as a side. Delish!. 



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