Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chicken Cheep!

I had a couple chicken carcasses left from eating roast chicken this week, so I put them on to make stock on Thursday.  All that was left was the meat left after carving, and the wings from two carcasses, and I ended up with five extra quarts of stock for my freezer, and this wonderful supper for last night. 
If you have not tried the Gnocchi hermetically sealed in packages and found in the pasta isle, you really should.  This is a wonderful product, fluffy light pillows of potato dumpling goodness!  They only take a second to make, so can be a ten minute meal when you drop them in some boiling stock, or as a great side dish cooked in boiling water just until they float, and then toasted with butter and sage in a frying pan. 
Life is what happens when you are making other plans, and Thursday I had the chance to go with my Don to Thermopolis last minute.  Well, as last minute as you can be with two babies, and the need to get supper going in the crockpot! 
I quickly put my chicken and vegetables in the crockpot, and grabbed fruit and yogurt and sandwich supplies, and we headed out the door.  We had a wonderful picnic in Hot Springs State Park, and got to visit with our good friends at The White Horse Country Store.  The kids had great fun sliding and climbing in the park.

Chicken and Gnocchi
1 C cooked chicken, shredded
1 yellow onion diced
1 C celery diced including leaves
4 large carrots peeled and diced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
2 bay leaves
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 quarts/boxes of chicken stock
Place all ingredients into a cold crock pot,  then make the gravy.
Chicken Gravy:
2 T butter melted
2 T flour
2 tsp chicken and tomato soup base
2 T garlic
cook butter, flour, garlic and soup base in a skillet until it smells nutty and foam subsides.  Add slowly while whisking: about 1 quart of chicken or beef stock, or until a thick pudding like consistency is achieved.  Add 1 C milk, whisk and remove from heat.  Stir gravy into crockpot, and cook on low 10-12 hours.  Add gnocchi during last 1/2 hour of cooking, and right before serving top with chopped parsley. 

Our leftover beef for sandwiches will make a great hot lunch today!

Hot Beef Sandwiches
6-8 slices leftover roast beef
2 T butter and flour browned in a skillet
1 quart/box of beef broth
Toasted Day Old Bread

In a large skillet, brown the butter and flour until they smell nutty.  With a whisk, add the broth a little at a time until a medium gravy is achieved.  Slide the beef into the gravy and heat on medium high until warmed through.  Toast bread, and top with beef and gravy.  I will serve this with steamed green beans, and sliced vine ripe tomatoes with balsamic and oil on them.  A ten minute lunch, and my husband gets his favorite food- GRAVY!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Potato Tomato and Bacon Salad, Some Homemade Dressings, Homemade Custard and a Hamburger Potato Casserole

We got home late last evening from a wonderful weekend away.  I had figured that we might be home late, and knew we would be too tired to really cook, so I had ready a package of minute sirlion steaks, and had my son bake a bunch of potatoes in the oven earlier in the week.  It took no time to grill the steak, and put together this tasty salad.  I used feta cheese, but I think it would be delicious with gorganzola or some other kind of bleu cheese also.

Baked Potato, Tomato and Bacon Salad
4 slices cooked bacon (I used turkey bacon left over) diced in small squares
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
4-5 potatoes that have been scrubbed, greased with Crisco and baked in foil for 1 hour.  Cool and dice
4 fresh tomatoes cut in wedges
1/4 C feta cheese crumbled
In a large bowl place salad ingredients.  Top with dressing and toss.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Mustard Viniagrette
2 T Mustard
1/3 C red wine vinegar
3 T olive oil
2 tsp grill seasoning
1 tsp dried basil
Whisk together until emulsified, and pour over above ingredients.

I am totally out of dressing for salads, so that is my restocking task today.  Often I make a quick oil and vinegar based dressing right before the meal, but I do like to put salad in Don's lunch, and so I need to have something on hand for that.  If you put the salad dressing in the bottom of the tupperware, a salad stored for lunch will stay fairly crisp, instead of putting the dressing on the top, and having the lettuce wilt. 

Ruby Dressing
1/4 C sugar or splenda
1/4 C cider vinegar
3 T catsup
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
1 medium onion
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
Chunk up the onion, and in a blender or with an immersion blender, combine the above ingredients.  Stream in 1/2 C oil and blend until smooth. 
This dressing is bold enough to serve with a steak salad.  It is also good served over spinach topped with hard boiled eggs and crumbled bacon. This also makes a good dipping sauce for kebabs. 

Orange Avocado Dressing
1/4 C red wine vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
juice from one lemon
juice from one medium orange
1 whole avocado chunked
1/4 C plain yogurt
1/8 tsp dry mustard
pinch of salt and ground pepper
In the blender, or a quart jar with an immersion blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.  Store covered in the refrigerator with a tight lid.  You can substitute mayo for the yogurt, and if you don't have, or like avocado, you could use zucchini, spinach or even cucumber. 

Tequila Lime Dressing for Fruit Salad
2 T good Tequila
juice from 2 limes and their zest
1 C fresh mint leaves chopped
1/4 C fresh basil (optional)
1/4 C agave nectar, or honey

Mix together dressing and top a salad of watermelon, honeydew melon, or cantaloupe.  You can make it with watermelon, and jicama peeled and cut into small dice.

I need to make snacks for Don's lunch and for the babies during the week.  This is one of my snacks for this week's lunches:

Vanilla Custard
1/4 C sugar or splenda
2 T cornstarch
1/4 T salt
1 raw egg
Mix together in a double boiler.  If you don't have one, place a glass or stainless steel bowl over your saucepan that you have 1 inch of water simmering in.    Gradually stir in 2 C of whole or 2 % milk with a whisk.  Cook over medium heat until mixture boils.  Let it boil 1 minute, and then add 1 T butter, and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and remove from the heat.  Let cool and cover top with a piece of saran right on the custard.  This keeps it from developing a pudding skin.

I lack any real motivation to cook today, as I am tired from my trip.  I love this easy casserole.  I have leftover mushroom gravy, so I will use that, but you could use a can of store bought mushroom soup instead.  I love that you don't have to brown the meat ahead of time in this casserole!

Hamburger Potato Casserole 
1 pound ground meat
1 large onion sliced
1 can/pint of green beans drained of their liquid
2 large potatoes scrubbed and sliced in thin slices
1 1/2 C gravy (I have mushroom) or 1 can cream of mushroom soup
salt and pepper to taste.

In the bottom of a 9x13 pan, or covered casserole, crumble raw burger and season with salt and pepper. Layer green beans, sliced potatoes and onion slices over the beef.  Top with mushroom gravy, and cover.  Bake at 375*F for one hour.   
You could make this with diced butternut squash, sliced eggplant, frozen peas and carrots, or a can of drained stewed tomatoes in place of the green beans. 


Saturday, March 12, 2011

More of the Week's Menu at a Glance: Caldo y' Pollo, BBQ Lamb Meatballs, Bisquick Pizza, Lamb Dardanella, Chicken Wings

Here are the rest of this week's recipes.  The main lamb dishes, a soup, and my version of chicken wings with less fat, and not fried. 
It has been a great week, as we are down to one ewe left to lamb, and she isn't going to do that for a while yet.  It has been really warm, so it was a trick to get the hay delivered to the pen, as it was soft and muddy from all the snow melt.  I was happy to go get hay, as it meant a rare meal out at the Bull Steakhouse.  They have an awesome prime rib sandwich!
As kids, we all loved it when we had pizza.  Now, I'm not talking about Pizza Hut, or Dominoes.  We didn't have such things here then.  I mean thick crusted hamburger pizza made with bisquick.  We missed having this for eating out, but here is the recipe:

Bisquick Pizza
2 1/4 C bisquick baking mix
1/4 C cornmeal
2/3 C milk
Mix together, and press into a baking sheet  that is coated with oil. Dock, or use your fingers to dent the dough and bake at 450*F for 8 minutes, or until it starts to brown.  Take it out of the oven, and top with tomato sauce sprinkled with a tsp of dried basil, a pinch of red pepper, and coarse salt and pepper. Add your favorite toppings.  Traditionally, we ate this with browned hamburger, onions and mozzarella cheese. Put it back in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

BBQ Lamb Meatballs

3 pounds ground lamb
1 C buttermilk
1 C dry oatmeal
1 C cracker crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 onion grated
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients lightly.  Form into small meatballs, walnut size, and place in a large roaster, or casserole that has been greased.  Cover with sauce.
2 C catsup
1/2 C brown sugar, I use splenda brown sugar
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 T minced garlic
1/2 onion grated
1 chipotle chili in adobo finely chopped
In a saucepan, combine above ingredients for sauce, and bring to a boil.  Pour over lamb, and bake at   350*F for one hour.  Great leftover for a meatball sandwich!  Yes, you can substitute beef or ground turkey for lamb. 

Lamb Dardanella
1 large eggplant peeled, diced, salted, and drained
1 large onion diced
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped
1 pint/can of stewed tomatoes
2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 C feta cheese
Heat oven to 350*F.  The original recipe called for American Cheese.  If you like it, go ahead and substitute it for the feta.  After salting, and draining the eggplant, dry it with a paper towel.  This removes any bitter flavor, and keeps it from becoming slimy and too wet in the cooking process.  Brown the eggplant and onion in the oil.  Remove to a casserole, and drain off the oil.  Mix lamb with salt and pepper and rosemary, and form into six patties.  Brown in the skillet, and remove to the casserole.  Top with tomatoes and parsley, and sprinkle cheese over all.  Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.  Serve with flat bread, or potatoes. 

My version of Chicken Wings uses boneless breast and thigh meat instead of the wings.  It is more of a poaching method, and results in very moist morsels without all that fat from frying!

Chicken Wings
2 pounds boneless, skinless breast or thigh meat from chicken
1 C Frank's hotsauce
2 T butter or chicken broth
In a casserole dish with a lid, place chicken meat that you've cut into bite size pieces.  Melt butter in the microwave and mix with hotsauce.  Pour over chicken meat, and season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 400*F for thirty minutes.  You can uncover this, and keep them hot on a low burner on the stove, if your casserole dish is safe for that.  Otherwise, keep uncovered in the oven on low.

Caldo Y Pollo
This soup can be made quickly from leftover cooked chicken.  You could poach the chicken, and shred it to make it from raw chicken also. This is my favorite soup when we go to Sheridan, and eat at Los Agaves.  Here is my version:

2 C shredded  cooked chicken
1 box/quart of chicken stock
1/4 of a yellow onion finely diced
2 tomatoes finely diced
juice of a fresh lime
1 C fresh cilantro leaves
2 Avocados cut in thin wedges

In a stockpot, combine the stock, chicken and vegetables.  Simmer, and adjust for seasoning by adding salt and pepper.  Just before serving, top soup with cilantro, and squeeze  the lime juice.  Add Avocado slices to everyone's bowl. 


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Week at a Glance: Orange and Beet Salad, Carrot Cheese Raisin Slaw, Asian Coleslaw with Pickled Ginger, 1000 Island Dressing

 My week at a glance, fresh salads and dressing recipes. 
Orange and beet salad is one of my favorites, it is a pretty arranged salad.

Orange and Beet Salad
1 can of drained whole beets, sliced
2 Oranges
1/2 Red onion sliced thinly
1/4 C Red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
Arrange sliced drained beets on serving plate.  Mix together vinegar, oil and basil.  Pour most of it on the beets, and then salt and pepper.  Cut both ends off of unpeeled oranges, and standing them on the flat end, peel off the peel and pith with a small knife.  Cut into rounds and arrange on top of the beets.  Sprinkle with onion, and drizzle on the rest of the dressing.

Raisin Cheese and Carrot Slaw 
3 C grated carrots 
1 large can pineapple chunks, drained (reserve juice in a quart jar), cut into smaller pieces 
1 C dark or golden raisins
1 C shredded white cheese 
1 C real mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip) 
1/2 C plain yogurt 
1/2 C Splenda or sugar
In a quart jar, place reserved pineapple juice, mayo, yogurt and splenda or sugar. Screw on lid and shake until well combined. In a large bowl, put the carrots, pineapple, raisins and cheese.  Top with the dressing, and toss well to combine.  Cover and refrigerate before serving.  Better if made a day ahead. 

Avocado Tomato and Onion Salad
3 Avocados, cut in wedges
3 large fresh tomatoes, cut in wedges
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
Cumin Vinaigrette:
Juice from 1 lime
2 T cider vinegar
2 tsp splenda or sugar
2 tsp cumin seeds
3 T canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
Make vinaigrette earlier in the day, and let it sit at room temp. to combine flavors.  Toss with vegetables right before serving.  

1000 Island Dressing

1/3 C mayonnaise
1/3 C catsup
1 hard boiled egg grated
1/2 yellow onion grated
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp steak seasoning, or seasoning blend of your choice, we like Montreal Steak
In a quart jar, place above ingredients, and add enough buttermilk to fill the jar.  Cover and shake to combine.  Better if made a day ahead, and refrigerated. 

Asian Style Coleslaw
 In a large bowl combine:
1 head of Napa cabbage thinly shredded
2 carrots, grated
2 T chopped pickled ginger
Just before serving, top with dressing and toss.
Asian Dressing:
1 T pickled ginger liquid
2 T rice wine vinegar
3 T low salt soy sauce
1 T sugar or splenda
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 T canola oil
1 clove minced garlic, or 1 T garlic powder

Greek Salad with Olive and Feta

1 bag mixed greens
1/2 C chopped greek olives
1/2 C crumbled feta cheese
3 chopped scallions
1 C Cherry tomatoes sliced thinly
1/4 C wine vinegar
3 T olive oil
juice from one lemon
1/2 tsp oregano crush in your palm to release the oils
1/2 tsp marjoram
coarse salt and pepper to taste

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Week at a Glance: Breakfast- Angel Biscuits, Marshmallow Balloons, Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins, Sourdough Hotcakes

This is my week's menu.  I will post the recipes for the items highlighted with an * as the week goes on.
I do a whole week at a time, but to start with, you can just do supper for a week, or just main dishes.   Whatever seems manageable to you. Today I am sharing the breakfast recipes. 
When I learned how to plan menus, we lived far enough from town that we only shopped once or twice a month.  I had to plunge in head first, and it was overwhelming at times.  I got a system down, and already had experience with keeping a well stocked pantry, thanks to my mother.  We were lucky enough to have chickens where we lived, and a milk cow, so I had ready access to milk, eggs, and the ability to make cheeses and butter.  In the summer, I had a big garden, and I canned as much of our produce as I could for the winter.  We lived very well, and very cheaply then.  It became a habit to live this way, and I found once I was organized and confident about what I was doing, I really saved a lot of time in the long run.
 Here are some of the breakfast recipes:

Angel Biscuits
5 C flour (I use prairie gold wheat)
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Cut in 1 C shortening or lard
2 1/2 tsp yeast that has been dissolved in 1/4 C lukewarm water
2 C buttermilk
Mix well, and keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.  To use, pat out a batch amount on a floured board, cut with a cutter, and bake at 400*F for fifteen minutes.  You can let these rise for fifteen to thirty minutes also.  For best results, bake on a pizza stone. I have included these biscuits in several meals.  It is so nice to have these on hand, and they are very much superior in flavor and tenderness to store bought cans of biscuits. 

Marshmallow Balloons
Pat out angel biscuits, and cut with a standard size cutter.  Brush with melted butter and cinnamon and sugar on one size, and place a large soft marshmallow in the middle.  Pinch dough around the marshmallow, and bake in a muffin pan at 400*F for fifteen minutes.  The marshmallow will dissappear, leaving a wonderful spicy filling inside.  We are having these for a snack, but they are good at breakfast.

Baked Grits and Eggs
Boil grits according to the package directions, but substitute the amount of milk or water with chicken stock.  Add a T of dried parsley at the end of cooking, and stir in 1/c C cream cheese, salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into a greased baking dish, and top with raw eggs.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and bake in a 400*F preheated oven until eggs are just set.

Pumpkin Apple Struesel Muffins
2 1/2 C flour
2 C sugar
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
a grate of fresh nutmeg
2 eggs
1 C canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 C oil
2 C finely chopped tart apples
Combine wet ingredients except apple.  Sift together dry ingredients, and add to wet.  Fold in apples, and spoon into muffin tins lined with paper.  Top with streusel topping.  Bake in preheated 350*F oven for 35 to 40 minutes. 
Struesel Topping:
2 T flour
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp cold butter
cut in butter to other ingredients and top muffins before baking.

Sourdough Hotcakes
1 1/4 C flour (white or wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 T sugar
1 egg
1 C Sourdough Starter
1 T oil
The recipe calls for 1 1/2 C buttermilk, but due to varying thickness of sourdough starters, I use it as a guidline, and usually add more than it calls for to make a good batter.
This is a quick version of sourdough omitting the need to make a sponge the night before, and then add part of the sponge back into your starter.  I don't like having to make the sponge, so I use this batter.  It is delicious!  I think the perfect combination for eating sourdoughs is with real butter, and chokecherry syrup.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Catch Up Day: Porcupine Meatballs, Lamb Curry, Strata and Spotted Pup

I didn't cook yesterday, so today I am playing catch up.  It wasn't a big deal that I didn't cook, as I had leftover Ballymaloe and my husband treated us to take out pizza for supper.  Those extra meals that I have tucked away in the freezer could have been pulled out and heated up also, instead of eating out.  I wasn't complaining, though. It's nice to eat someone else's cooking once in a while.
When we cook and eat at home, and make homemade lunches for Don, we can have a lot more room in the budget to eat out. We usually we go someplace nice, like our favorite steakhouse, or Chinese or Mexican restaurant rather than eating several times at a fast food place, and eating junk.  
Tonight, we are having breakfast for supper.  I have a whole dozen sourdough rolls that went hard before we could use them, so I needed a recipe that included breadcrumbs or stale bread.  I chose strata, as I had thawed out some turkey sausage to make soup, and it will be delicious with the bread and eggs and vegetables.  
You can use whatever vegetables you like for strata.  Today we will use mushrooms, onions, and roasted red peppers.  
I had hamburger and lamb burger that didn't get used yesterday, so I will make some porcupine meatballs with the beef, and a quick lamb curry for lunch today while I am cooking. 
I am also making some spotted pup.  Spotted pup, or some people call it cowboy pudding, is rice pudding with raisins.  It is a favorite lunch item for my husband to take with him, and the babies love it.  
I make mine with the addition of canned coconut milk, and this time instead of all raisins, I'll be adding in some snipped dried apricots left over from holiday baking. 
It is a good idea when you are turbo cooking many meals at once to pick recipes that have similar ingredients.  For instance today, the spotted pup, the porcupine meatballs and the lamb curry all have rice.  
Often my meals will come from a master recipe.  Like my meat gravy.  I will make a huge batch, and then divide it, and season it differently to make three or four recipes.  I'll make bolognese sauce, sloppy joe filling, taco filling, chili topping for hot dogs, etc...All taste very differently, but have similar ingredients, just different spicing.  Once I've seasoned, I can serve one meal, and freeze the rest in zip lock bags, flat on a cookie sheet, and then store them like books in my freezer.  I can brown three pounds of hamburger , open three cans/quarts of tomatoes, and chop three onions just as easy as one, and so I have saved time in the long run.

Here is my Porcupine balls recipe.  I loved these as a kid, because they come out of the oven with the rice sticking out in all directions, just like a porcupine.  These have a sauce based on grape jelly, and tomatoes.  You can omit the jelly, or in my case, use sugar free.  I might sound weird, mixing catsup and jelly, but you won't be disappointed if you try it! 
Porcupine Meatballs
1-2 pounds ground meat
1/2 C uncooked rice
1/2 yellow onion diced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
2 T Worcestershire Sauce
1 egg
12-14 crackers crushed (or 1/2 C breadcrumbs, or 1/2 C oatmeal)
Mix together all ingredients.  Form into balls, and place in a 9x13 baking dish that has been greased.  
Top with sauce:
1 C catsup
1 jar grape jelly
add enough hot water to make a thin sauce
Mix with a whisk until well combined and pour over meatballs.  Cover with foil, and bake at 350 F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  You can also do this in the crock pot on low for eight hours. 

This is my quick curry recipe.  It starts by making a masala of fresh ingredients, blended together in a food processor.  They are then added to browned ground meat.   I am using lamb, but you could use turkey, beef or even cooked fish.  
The stems of fresh cilantro are edible, and extremely flavorful.  They get blended in the masala in this dish, but you could also tie them in a bundle with butcher's string, and add them to soups and stews.  You can also lay them on the cooler side of the outdoor grill when you are cooking meat or vegetables, and let them smoke and add flavor that way. 
Lamb Curry in a Hurry
1 pound ground meat browned
2 tomatoes
1 yellow onion
the stems from a bunch of cilantro
1 T or two cloves garlic
1 T garam masala
a pinch of red pepper
1/3 C drained jalapeno chiles
1 tsp curry paste or dried curry
Add all the masala ingredients to a food processor or blender, once it is processed, add it and 1/2 C dried fruit, we used cherries, to the lamb.  Keep on the burner until it is just heated through. Serve this over boiled white rice or for an even quicker version, you can make Couscous with beef broth and a tsp of cumin. 
If you don't have Garam Masala, here is my homemade version: 
Garam Masala
2 T black pepper
4 tsp cumin seeds
1 T coriander seed ground
2 tsp cloves
1  tsp cardamom pods
1 tsp cinnamon
Toast all the spices in a hot dry skillet, and then grind them, or place them in a plastic zip lock when they cool, and smash them with the rolling pin, or a heavy bottomed pan. 

My rock hard sourdough rolls are soaking in a C of buttermilk.  I will crumble them and use them to make my strata.  As long as bread hasn't become moldy, you can certainly use it this way, or bash it into breadcrumbs and store it in the freezer.  
Strata is a great weekend breakfast or brunch, as you can assemble it the night before, and then pull it out of the refrigerator and bake the next morning.  
1 dozen stale rolls, or enough bread to cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan
soaked in 1 C buttermilk, and crumbled reserving milk
1 pound breakfast sausage browned with
1 pkg sliced mushrooms and
1 diced onion
Add meat mixture to the baking dish and top with
8 eggs scrambled with reserved buttermilk from soaking the bread
Salt and pepper to taste and
Roasted red peppers.
1 tsp dried basil
Bake at 350 covered for one hour. 
I serve this with a hot cheese sauce, a chopped fruit salad and hot fresh coffee. 

Spotted Pup
1 C sugar or splenda
2 C uncooked rice
2 cans coconut milk plus enough regular or canned milk to make 3 quarts
1 pound of raisins 
1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix all ingredients
I make this in my slow cooker with a plastic liner that I have sprayed with cooking spray.  It needs to cook on low for eight hours.  If would not recommend making it on the stove, as the high sugar content and starch plus milk make for the perfect conditions to scorch.  
You can pour it into a greased 9x13 baking dish, or covered  corning ware casserole, and bake it at 325 F for one hour.  You should put the casserole or covered 9x13 pan in a larger pan and add about an inch or so of  hot water to the larger pan to keep the pudding from scorching.  This is called a Ban Marie.  If you have an oblong crock pot, a roasting rack, and a casserole that will fit in the crock pot, you can add water to the bottom, and cook it in the crock pot Ban Marie style.  Either way, make sure to tightly cover the pudding with foil, or a lid.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ballymaloe or Irish Lamb Stew

I never know what to do with lamb blade chops.  They have that bone down the middle, and are awkward to eat.  So the other day, I roasted six of them in the oven on 350 F for about twenty minutes, flipping them over midway.  These chops were heavily seasoned with steak seasoning.  I pulled what meat I could off the bones, diced it, and put it and the bones into my big stock pot.  I added water to the pan I roasted in, and scraped all the browned bits up to add into the stock pot with the meat and bones.  I added a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary, and filled the pot two thirds of the way full of water, knowing that I would reduce this volume by at least half before I was done. A big handful of barley went in to help thicken the broth (old Irish trick), and it vigorously boiled for about an hour.  I then fished the bones out of the stock with some tongs, and used the lamb stock and meat to make Ballymaloe.  Here is the recipe:

5-6 red potatoes scrubbed and diced
1 whole onion diced
1 C celery diced
4-5 carrots peeled and diced
1 tsp thyme
3 T Worcestershire Sauce
Add these ingredients to the meat and broth above.  Cook on meduim heat uncovered until the carrots and potatoes test done (slip easily from a fork).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
You can also add a small can of tomato paste, or a good cup of red wine if you like, or both.