I have made this Boeuf Bourguignon recipe on a number of occasions over the years and it is sublime. It’s easy and much faster than the original French recipe. However, it is still dark, rich, and wine based with a slow cook style. Slow cooking is very important, a simmer for three to four hours is key. Continue reading
Early on I made a chicken stock for you, as winter had arrived and well, lets face it, there is nothing like homemade soup- for which you need a good stock. So today we’ll make beef stock and oh I see beef stew in my future. Actually, French Onion Soup sounds really wonderful with melted cheese… and a glass of wine, too. Doesn’t it sound perfect?
There are many occasions where a recipe calls for either chicken or beef stock and what is called stock in our grocery store is so watered down it no longer resembles a stock with the appropriate adjectives such as rich, deep flavor, mouth watering, and soul satisfying. Your stock is the essence of the dish; if it’s not the very best the dish will not be your best creation. You can make a good stock and freeze it and for the occasion when you just need a few tablespoons it’s a great idea to freeze them in ice cube trays then pop out what you need. Great for soups, stews and sauces.
In classic French cuisine stocks are so important that they are known as the “fond du cuisine”
or the foundation of cooking. Stocks are not intimidating by any mean but rather easy and economical and taste wonderful. Save all your bones, freeze them and they will be there when you have time to cook them up and make your stock. Here we go.
In a large stock pot add all your bones, vegetables, spices and water. Bring it to a boil then lower heat to medium and continue simmering for 2-3 hours. Check it often and adjust the temp if necessary. I usually aim for 3 hours as it has time to render the marrow and make it richer. Remove bones and vegetables to a strainer and drain broth thru strainer right into a bowl, pressing any liquid out of vegetables with the back of a large spoon. Discard any solids and drain remaining stock if any in the same strainer catching any spices or pieces. Again, press liquid out with the back of a large spoon, and discard the solids. If you can drain everything all at once, great! I tend to do batches- it’s just easier and I don’t have a large enough strainer. Remember you want a smooth, silky broth.
Refrigerate stock so fat rises to the top, you can now skim off and discard the fat. Freeze in ice cube trays or freezer bags. Now you’re ready for the next time you prepare a soup, stew or sauce. You’ll taste the difference and never purchase at the grocery store again. I promise.
- 4 pounds meaty beef neck bones or beef soup bones
- 12 cups water
- 1 large onion
- 2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into pieces
- 2 large celery stalks with leaves cut into pieces
- 1 large leek, cleaned and cut into pieces
- 1 heaping Tablespoon parsley
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- Add all ingredients to a large stock pot.
- Bring to boil.
- Lower heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours.
- Remove bones and vegetables.
- Strain liquid into a container.
- Refrigerate until fat solidifies at top.
- Remove fat.
Allons Manger! (Let’s Eat!)
I grew up about a twenty minute drive from the Gulf of Mexico, in a little Texas town so far southeast that it was practically southwestern Louisiana. Cajun influences abounded. The best parts of my childhood involved salty gulf waters where we caught blue crabs with string and chicken necks, played on the beach, and fished and fished and fished.
A Cajun uncle owned a shrimp boat, so seafood was plentiful and I grew up with an appreciation and strong opinion of what constituted a proper seafood gumbo. About three years ago I filmed a chef buddy of mine making his version of seafood gumbo, and although it was a little different than what I grew up with, it was and is incredibly delicious.
If you’re unfamiliar with gumbo you should know that although there is no definitive recipe (there are as many as there are Cajuns) there are authentic recipes (also as many as there are Cajuns) and this is as authentic as they come. I have since made my friend’s seafood gumbo at least ten or twelve times, and invite you to give it a try.
What’s Out There Wednesday
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Pretty much the only complaint we’ve ever heard anyone make about eating organic is the expense. Yes, it costs more, but it still isn’t as expensive as you think. This is the third dish we’ve gotten out of one organic chicken. First we made homemade stock for soup, and then we used some of the meat to make two other dishes; egg rolls to accompany a stir fry dish or appetizers and lastly, Will’s favorite of the three. This chicken salad is wonderful on a croissant or just on a bed of lettuce with a few slices of avocado.
This is so easy and everyone alway raves about it. If you don’t care for dried cranberries you can substitute grapes and do the same for the nuts, add your favorite. I like walnuts as they are so good for you and nuts always have that great crunch, the texture gives us a more satisfied feeling, I think. This recipe is easily doubled or even tripled for larger groups.
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces
- ½ cup celery, split and chopped
- ¼ cup walnuts or pecans are good, chopped
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries, I purchase the ones with half the sugar or substitute sliced grapes
- ½ tsp. lemon juice
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- ½ cup mayo
- ¼ cup sour cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine and chill until ready to serve. Serve on a croissant with sliced avocado or on a bed of lettuce.
Today one basic preparation is going to be the base for three different recipes. I’m making homemade organic chicken stock with a whole organic chicken and from that I will have the major ingredients to make homemade chicken soup, chicken salad with cranberries and walnuts, and homemade egg rolls.
This stock is amazing. If you buy chicken stock at the store and compare it to this beautiful creation you’ll never go back to store bought. They don’t add spices and vegetable to theirs Continue reading