Monthly Archives: March 2015

Sunday Oven Pot Roast

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I picked up an Eye of Round roast on sale this week and was looking for a good way to cook it so that it would be moist and tender. This cut of meat is from the hind quarter of the cow (as is a London Broil) and, as a result, it is very lean and muscular. This recipe takes a fairly tough piece of meat and make it tender and delicious. I added to it everything but the kitchen sink – celery, shallot, garlic cloves, baby potatoes, carrots, mushrooms.  Pot roast is such a great way to incorporate all of the vegetables that you have in your pantry into one delicious mouthful.


SUNDAY OVEN POT ROAST (Serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck pot roast
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 T. olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 5 cups assorted vegetables, such as peeled Yukon gold or sweet potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks; parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks; whole shallots or garlic bulbs, halved horizontally; and/or small carrots, peeled and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3 T. all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Trim fat from meat. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven brown roast on all sides in hot oil over medium heat. Carefully drain fat from pan; discard. Add beef broth, onion, and celery to pan.
  2. Roast, covered, for 1-1/4 hours. Remove celery with slotted spoon; discard. Add desired vegetables around roast. Roast, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes more or until meat and vegetables are tender, spooning juices twice during roasting.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat and vegetables to a serving platter. For gravy, measure pan juices; skim off any fat. Discard enough pan juice or add enough water to equal 1-1/2 cups. In a medium saucepan whisk together the cold water and the flour until well combined; add the 1-1/2 cups pan juices. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper. Pass gravy with meat and vegetables.

~from Better Homes & Gardens

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Italian Sausage Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potatoes and Squash

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A cold March wind blew in and provided the perfect excuse to make a stick-to-your bones Shepherd’s Pie. This recipe is phenomenal!! A couple of packages of ground Italian sausage mixed with corn, peas, onions, garlic (and a couple of other magic ingredients) topped with a creamy layer of sweet potatoes and butternut squash. The combination of the curry and coriander make for a wonderfully savory treat that will fill your house with an aroma that will surely whet your appetite. Bon appetit!


ITALIAN SAUSAGE SHEPHERD’S PIE WITH SWEET POTATOES & SQUASH (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds tan-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  •  1-1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 6 drops hot pepper sauce

Directions

  1. Cook sweet potatoes, squash and russet potato in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain. Return all potatoes and squash to same saucepan and mash. Stir over medium heat until excess moisture evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add butter and syrup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mash mixture until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 8 x 8 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Cook sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage is brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to large bowl; reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings in skillet. Add onions and garlic to skillet and sauté over medium-high heat until onions are tender and golden, about 7 minutes. Add onion mixture to sausage. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool. Mix in peas, corn, cream, egg, curry powder, coriander and hot sauce.
  3. Transfer sausage mixture to prepared baking dish. Spoon mashed potato mixture over; smooth top. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Bake until heated through and potatoes begin to brown around edges, about 45 minutes (or about 1 hour for casserole that has been refrigerated). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

~from Epicurious

Shrimp Salad

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I had some Marinated Grilled Shrimp left over and decided to shush it up a bit. I reduced this recipe and was able to come up with a terrific lunch for RJ. I wasn’t very precise in estimating the amount of dressing needed for the number of shrimp that I was working with, but the extra dressing ended up making a perfect spread. As a result, I went with Plan B — a Shrimp Salad Sandwich!


SHRIMP SALAD (Serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. cooked shrimp
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups celery, minced

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper and dill. Combine with the shrimp.
  2. Add the red onion and celery and check the seasonings.
  3. Serve or cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

Slow Cooked Corned Beef and Cabbage

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This may very well be the best way that I have found to cook Corned Beef & Cabbage. Chop up veggies and layer the potatoes, onions and carrots in the bottom of a crock pot and cover with 4 cups of water. Place your meat on top and pour 6 ounces of beer over it. Sprinkle the meat with spices, turn on high and walk away for seven hours. The cabbage is added to the mixture and cooked along with the rest for another hour. Tender, moist and flavorful — this recipe produces a perfect St. Paddy’s Day feast.


SLOW COOKED CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE (Serves 8)

Ingredients

  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
  • 10 baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 (4 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet
  • 6 ounces beer
  • 1/2 head cabbage, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Place the carrots, potatoes, and onion into the bottom of a slow cooker, pour in the water, and place the brisket on top of the vegetables. Pour the beer over the brisket. Sprinkle on the spices from the packet, cover, and set the cooker on High.
  2. Cook the brisket for about 8 hours. An hour before serving, stir in the cabbage and cook for 1 more hour.

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

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revised122I picked up a pound of shelled and deveined Argentinian Pink Shrimp on sale recently and used them in this fabulous recipe. These shrimp are wild caught in the Western South Atlantic area and are sweeter than regular shrimp — almost like lobster. This recipe is really very easy to make — mix together all ingredients, combine with the shrimp in a bowl or large Baggie and marinate for an hour. I threaded the shrimp onto some Fire Wire Flexible Skewers creating a couple of loops and tossed them on the grill for just a few minutes. Beautiful and delicious!


MARINATED GRILLED SHRIMP (Serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
    skewers

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, and red wine vinegar. Season with basil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once or twice.
  2. Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.
  3. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

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REVISED121Well, here they are again . . . Brussels Sprouts! This time they are prepared as a gratin. One of the easiest recipes I have tried in a while — chop up some cooked sprouts, season, add some cream, top with cheese and then bread crumbs and butter. Make sure to cook until the cream thickens so that your dish has some cohesiveness. This would be lovely prepared in ramekins for individual servings.


BRUSSELS SPROUTS GRATIN (Serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the dish
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts,outer leaves and stems removed
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and butter a 2-quart baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the Brussels sprouts and coarsely chop. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and toss with the red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste, then spread out evenly. Pour the cream on top, sprinkle with the cheese and breadcrumbs and dot with the butter pieces.
  3. Bake the gratin until bubbly and golden brown, about 15 – 20 minutes.