Archive | March, 2013

corned beef, cabbage and pumpkin bolognese random cooking day

29 Mar

photo 5This last Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to make one of my FAVORITE meals, corned beef and cabbage. I love St. Patrick’s Day! Green EVERYTHING. Green beer, green clothes, whiskey, people out having fun, it’s a really great holiday! It’s particularly fun in Chicago. On St. Patrick’s Day here, EVERYTHING and it’s mother is green. AMAZING. Seriously amazing….except the green beer, which if you’re like me and gluten and food coloring bother you, you end up puking on the side of a dumpster in the middle of the day….whoopsies!

I also, then decided to clean out my fridge and pantry, in some ways, and made pumpkin bolognese. For some god awful reason I bought a ridiculous amount of ground beef when it was on sale sometime ago and froze it. Like an ENTIRE freezer of ground beef. I don’t even like ground beef that much haha! So I had to find a way to use it! So….we have Irish and Italian here, best of both yummy worlds if you ask me.

FYI – If more of you lovely readers could spread my blog around (the earlier ones are WAY funnier), that would be great! I’m hoping to become rich and famous off of it so I can quit grad school. HAHA!

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

Ingredients:

  • 1 giant slab of corned beef, you can use your discretion here on how big you want it
  • 2 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 or more stalks of celery
  • 12 whole carrots (or whatever comes in 2 bags of carrots, you can also use a large bag of baby carrots)
  • 1 bag of red skinned potatoes
  • lovely whole grain mustard
  • 1 handful of while peppercorns
  • 1 stick of butter
  • kosher or sea salt and pepper

In a giant stockpot, put your celery stalks, 4 potatoes from your bag, cut into quarters, and about a handful or two of carrots, or if you are using wholephoto 1 carrots, cut them into 4 inch chunks; then add your corned beef in on top of your veg. Add your pepper corns, and one tablespoon of the whole grain mustard and cover with the 2 quarts of stock. Bring to a boil. Once at a rolling boil, turn the heat down to low. Cook for 4.5 hours. Once the meat feels tender and almost fork-pull-apartable (YES, that is a valid term, thank you very much), quarter the rest of your potatoes, cut the rest of your carrots, and quarter your head of cabbage. Add all those amazing veggies in and cover with water (the stock won’t be enough to cover all of these veggies). Cook for another hour to an hour and a half.

Next. Heat your oven broiler to high. Pull everything out and put it on a sheet pan. Yea, this is where the good part happens. Take all those veggies and the corned beef out and place on the sheet pan. Cut pats of butter and put them on the veggies, then put a nice, thick slathering of the whole grain mustard on the top of it. Put the veggies and corned beef under the broiler. The butter will melt into the veggies and the mustard will crust and seal into the beef. This doesn’t take long so watch it. Pull the sheet pan out, dust the veggies with sea salt and pepper. SERVE UP and enjoy the yumminess!

PUMPKIN BOLOGNESE

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • one large white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of organic pumpkin puree, or make your own
  • 1 large large large, or 2 small, cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato puree, or puree your own tomatoes in your food processor!
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • salt to taste
  • a large bunch of fresh basil, chiffonade that stuff!

photo 3NOTE: If you do not know how to chiffonade herbs, I have a video on my first blog post back in August. But, also, below, at the bottom,  is a lovely blog post by The Pioneer Woman, she knows what’s up! WATCH it! East peasy, lemon squeezy.

Take your lovely large stock pot and heat it up. Add the tablespoon of olive oil. Heat that up. Add your onions and cook until translucent. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Next, add your garlic, cook it down a d bit and add the ground beef. Cook the ground beef and continuously scrape down your pan to get all of those lovely brown bits on the bottom.

Next, add your pumpkin and tomatoes, a pinch of salt, black pepper, chili flakes and oregano. photo 4Let this cook down together for about 15 minutes. While this cooks, chiffonade your basil. Add your basil and mix in thoroughly. Let this cook down again for ten minutes. Next, taste it and add salt and more pepper to taste. Let it cook about 10 more minutes.

Serve over your favorite gluten free pasta, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash and ENJOY! Also….you could chop zucchini and add that to this sauce too, that would be lovely! So would spinach!

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/09/how-tochiffonade-basil/

sweet potatoes and the sweet life

13 Mar

72311_508145305898207_447231074_n I need to be better about this blog writing! Thank goodness I am back to cooking again. I semi-fell off  the wagon, but dude, grad school is literally killing me this semester. AND NOW – I have people to cook for! New roommate, new friends, lots of new and lovely things that just add sparkle to my life like my old friends do. Its crazy how things change in a matter of months. Life is funny that way, and amazing.

I really should have put this on the food blog…so many people are asking. I also made it the other day and added bacon, SO MUCH BETTER with bacon! You can make this for one person, I do it all the time lately. Just use less kale and like 1-2 slices bacon and less goat cheese…clearly.

ROASTED SWEET POTATO WITH KALE, BACON, GRAPES AND GOAT CHEVRE
Ingredients:
  • one large bunch kale, rib stems removed
  • 6 slices (per potato) of bacon
  • 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • one bunch red grapes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle sweet potatoes and rub the oil in. Prick them with a fork. Wrap them in tin foil and place n the oven. They should bake for about an hour until soft and bubbly. You also could cut that time and use the microwave for 7 minutes for each sweet potato, but you can judge by how soft they are. You want them nice and soft. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, wash your grapes and drizzle them with olive oil, and salt. Coat them all evenly and spread on a cookie sheet. Roast the grapes until they burst and ooze, they will turn a little brown as well. Take the grapes out and let them cool; it takes about 20 minutes for them to roast. OH, and for the bacon….there is some amazing bacon out there. At Whole Foods, the SUPER thick, smoked, pepper, applewood smoked bacon with no nitrates is seriously to die for. I mean any bacon super thick cut that is applewood smoked basically is. Try it! It’s so meaty, it’s delicious. Next, chop your bacon into cubes. Add to a hot pan and cook thoroughly until all that lovely fat comes out. Add your kale, a little pepper, and your balsamic
554869_510464205666317_792789098_nvinegar. Sautee until the kale is just bright green, cooked and still has some bite. Now, take your sweet potatoes and remove the skin. Mash them in a bowl with a little pepper. Plate them with goat cheese on top, then the kale and bacon and then the grapes. DELICIOUS! The bacon adds a lovely saltiness to the sweet and gives you some good protein! This also would be good with Greek yogurt instead of goat cheese. The tang really adds something! Enjoy!
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