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Beef Stew for 2 (and a half)

With the cold at its pinnacle here in Hong Kong I’ve began my gauntlet of winter foods. Hopefully I can satisfy a years worth of cravings into a month….maybe two if we’re lucky. Beef stew is one of the healthier options on my cold weather favorites list and as it’s the start of a new year I figured I would start with that with everyone’s resolutions still intact. This recipe was made with my one year old in mind so ingredients are all cut into bite size pieces BEFORE cooking as to reduce cooking time as well as fussy time at the table. If your kid is anything like mine, once he sees the food he needs it in his stomach immediately, you’ll appreciate this. Otherwise I’d suggest having chunkier beef & veggies and doubling the oven time to get a fuller flavor.

Beef Stew

10oz Beef Butt (Rump) cut into 1/4in cubes
1 medium onion cut into 1/4in cubes
1/2 pack baby carrots cut into 1/4in cubes
2 baby red bliss potatoes cut into 1/4in cubes
10 cherry tomatoes quartered
1 clove garlic sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
Vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and flour as needed

1. Pour yourself a glass of wine and take a sip.  You should always cook with wine you’re willing to drink and cooking should be fun so let’s loosen up a bit!

2. Heat the oil in an oven safe pot. Place the beef cubes in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Toss the seasoned beef in as little flour as it takes to just dust the beef.

3. Add the beef to the hot oil and cook until nicely browned.

4. Remove the beef and toss in the onions.  As the onions release their water make sure to use it to loosen up the beefy goodness stuck to the pan before it burns on the bottom.

5. Add the garlic and cook until the onions are just soft. 

6. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf.  Stir just until combined.

7. Deglaze the pan with the red wine.

8. Add everything else to the pot and bring to a simmer.

9. Once simmering cover the pot and pop it into a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.  Check it at 30 minutes.  If dry add just enough beef stock to loosen it up but not too wet!

Enjoy!

I like to let it cool, pop it in the fridge overnight and heat it back up on the stove SLOWLY for dinner the next day.

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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Baby, Dinner, food, Recipe

 

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Hot Buttered Rum

Somehow this post that was supposed to be posted immediately went into my drafts and I’m just noticing now..
Happy very belated Hot Buttered Rum Day!

 

January 17th is hot buttered rum day.  Unfortunately I had to work the night shift yesterday so was unable to participate until the wee hours this morning and soon there after passed out.

Having learned from my previous experience with ordering obscure beverages at restaurants I decided it was worth the wait to make it myself.  Also, having done so I can supply you with the recipe:

55g Butter
100g Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4tsp ground nutmeg
1 dash ground clove
Rum of choice

Cream the ingredients together and return to the fridge until ready to serve.

Serving:  Take one heaping tablespoon off the butter/sugar mix and plop it into a coffee mug.  Add 1 and 1/2 ounces rum (my rum of choice was Captain Morgan’s).  Fill the mug the rest of the way with boiling water.  Stir until all the sugar has dissolved and enjoy.

Simple as that my friends and it was quite delicious if I do say so myself, and of course I do say so myself.

Happy hot buttered rum day!

 

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Mulled wine

Every time I think of mulled wine it instantly brings me back to that first year living in Germany.  My first day of school was a field trip to a local market where I got to sample many sweets and even got to bring a few home.  Mom also got to have her first sip of Gluhwein….which I believe in the coming months/years we drank enough to supply a whole village.

Gluhwein is probably exactly the same thing as mulled wine but I can’t say for sure as I was a bit too young to consume it then and have created a recipe that I know as mulled wine but the taste is quite similar to what I remember.

Mulled Wine

1 bottle red wine (whatever you were going to drink next is fine…unless you’ve got expensive tastes…then save that one for later and go pick up a decent bottle of pinot noir or merlot)

1 large orange
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4cup (60ml) brandy
1/2cup sugar (100gms)

Get 6 good size pieces of orange rind off the orange by using the tip of your knife to just cut the skin into 6 equal sections and pulling them off in strips.  Juice the meat of the orange and set aside.  Remove all of the white part (pith) from the orange skin and pierce with a clove.

Put the wine, brandy, sugar, and orange juice in a pot over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is completely combined.  Add the orange peel and cinnamon stick, lower the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain out all the chunks, fill up a mug and enjoy.  To save for later simply allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, put in a container with a lid and refrigerate.  You can keep it this way for up to a week.  Simply fill a mug and pop it in the microwave for about 2 minutes and enjoy!

Happy mulled wine day!

 
 

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Fettuccine Alfredo

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Happy fettuccine alfredo day!

Alfredo sauce:

1Tbsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, minced
3 small garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups heavy cream/whipping cream
1/4 cup milk
100g (4oz) parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and herbs, saute until onions become translucent.

Add white wine and reduce by 1/3.

Lower the heat to medium-low, add cream and milk. Stirring slowly, but constantly until it just starts to simmer. Add the parmesan at this point, stirring until the cheese is melted through the whole sauce.

Serve immediately with fettuccine and topped with your favorite protien. (grilled chicken is an excellent option.)

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Dinner, food, My Meals, Photography, Recipe

 

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Happy Cream Puff Day!

In honor of cream puff day I decided to whip up a quick batch of my own this evening.  Once you’ve got choux paste mastered they are really quite easy.

Cream Puffs

Choux Paste:

55g        Butter
120mL   Water
1/8tsp    Sugar
1/8tsp    Salt
1 splash Vanilla extract
60gms    All purpose flour
2            Eggs

1. Boil butter, water, sugar, and vanilla
2. Stir in salt & flour, remove from heat and continue to stir until the dough is warm to the touch.
3. Add eggs and stir vigorously until a smooth, sticky paste forms.

Scoop by heaping tablespoon fulls onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan, pop into a pre-heated 210C oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven immediately, pierce the choux paste shells with a toothpick, and allow to cool completely. (about 20 minutes)

Fill with your favorite whipped cream/custard/chocolate/jam or combination and enjoy!  We sure did tonight!

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Dessert, food, My Meals, Photography, Recipe

 

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Home-made Tau Fu Fah

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It doesn’t look exactly appealing but tau fu fah (bean curd pudding, aka tofu pudding) with its incredibly smooth, creamy texture and refreshing touch of ginger is perfect for a light dessert after a big meal.  You can even have it for breakfast like I did today!

It’s actually quite simple to make.  All you need is:

1 liter of soy milk
1 Tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp gypsum powder
1/4 cup cold water

Simply bring the soy milk to a boil over high heat.  While waiting for the boil stir together the water and two powders.

When the soy milk comes to a boil remove it from the heat and pour the two liquids simultaneously into another pot, give it a quick stir then cover and don’t even think about it for the next 30 minutes.

Once set this dish is enjoyed by scooping out thin layers with a spoon into a small bowl and then covered with as much yellow sugar as your taste buds demand.

If you don’t happen to have any yellow sugar (like me this time!) Adding a few tablespoons of the following sugar syrup will be an acceptable (and I think tastier alternative.

1/4 cup water
3.5 Tbsp sugar
5-10 thin slices of ginger

Put it all in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionaly.

Enjoy hot or cold!

 

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Chorizo & Chickpea Stew

Maybe not the best of lookers…but it sure was tasty!

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Ingredients1 can Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 onion (medium diced)
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 pcs cinnamon stick
3 Tbsp Olive oil
3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
250gms chorizo picante (sliced)
400gms plum tomatoes (medium diced)
200gms baby spinach
Salt & Pepper to taste
White wine to deglaze. (If you don’t enjoy cooking with alcohol you may substitute chicken stock or water.)

Method

 

  1. In a large Saute the onion in the olive oil 1-2min, add garlic and chorizo and continue to cook until onions become translucent and the chorizo just starts to color.
  2. Deglazed with white wine and add tomatoes, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, thyme, chickpeas, and 600mL water or chicken stock.  Cook slowly for 30-35 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone.
  3. Add spinach, remove from heat and toss until spinach has wilted.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
 
 

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