Belgian Carbonnade

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I’m getting this dish submitted at the last minute for Formula 1 Foods hosted by Caroline Makes. This food challenge is following the Formula 1 Grand Prix, but in food. I don’t watch racing, but I do eat food, so I can participate.

This round was in Belgium, so we had at it and made food from that part of the world. Googling told me about carbonnade, essentially beef stew. Clearly, this did not photograph incredibly well, but it did taste good. Per what I read online, I served it with bread and applesauce. I think it would have been great with some roasted potatoes.

F1 Foods 1

Belgian Carbonnade
(source)

Ingredients
1 lb beef chuck, cut into bite size pieces
2 cups flour
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 slices bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 onions, sliced
1 cup dark beer
1/2 cup beef stock
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs tarragon
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Place the beef in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the flour.
  2. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a dutch oven. Brown the beef in the butter, cooking about 8 minutes. Remove the beef from the dutch oven and set aside.
  3. Add the bacon and cook for 8 minutes.
  4. Once the fat is rendered off the bacon, add the garlic and onion. Caramelize the onions. This takes about a half hour. Stir every 5 minutes or so.
  5. Add half of the beer and reduce. Scrape the bottom of the dutch oven.
  6. Add the remaining beer, browned beef, beef broth, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, thyme, parsley, tarragon, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then cover. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Fish out the herbs. Serve with applesauce and bread.
    * serves 4
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Biscuits and Bratwurst Gravy

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Food ‘n Flix this month introduced me to a movie that is now on my list of favorites. Hosted over at Eliot’s Eats, this month we watched August: Osage County. This was a movie on my to-watch list, that for some reason I never got around to. Julia Roberts is one of my favorite actresses, but beyond that, this was a very deep movie. I usually find that foodie movies don’t have the most depth, but this was the exception. I don’t know if I would particularly call this movie a foodie movie, but there were definitely many food references and images.

This movie involved so many relationships – dramatic, dark family relationships.

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This movie depicts a very troubled family, family that has each of their own desires, motivations, and wills. And while, like I said, not really a food movie, a lot of their conversations, revelations, and arguments happen at the table, surrounded by food.

At one point in the movie, Violet (as played by Meryl Streep – the mother) says to her daughter Barbara (as played by Julia Roberts,) that the last time she saw her husband, “the Indian girl” made biscuits and gravy.

Well… I love biscuits and gravy, so that was that. Now, let’s explain this dish, shall we?

I was sort of lazy, hence the Pillsbury biscuits. But the gravy? I made that. And gravy is super easy to make. So, really, this was a super easy meal. We had breakfast for dinner when we had this dish. Earlier in the day we were at the cell phone store getting a new phone and somehow biscuits and gravy were brought us. The sales guy suggested making the gravy with bratwurst. So, I did! And it was delicious.

Luckily, we didn’t have any fights around our table. Actually, I think we ate on our laps on the couch watching TV, so perhaps that’s dysfunctional too.

FoodnFlix

Biscuits and Bratwurst Gravy

Ingredients
1 can of Pillsbury biscuits, baked according to the directions on the package
6 bratwurst links, chopped into pieces
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
plenty of pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the bratwurst over medium heat, until browned on all sides.
  2. Add the butter to the pan. Once melted, sprinkle in the flour and cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk in half of the milk.
  4. Add the remaining milk and whisk together, until thickened.
  5. Tear your biscuits up and serve with gravy on top.

Chocolate Spiced Rum Cupcakes Stuffed With Strawberries

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One of my all-time favorite challenges to participate in each  month is We Should Cocoa. This month we were left to our own devices – essentially go out and make something chocolate! But without the usual conditions (either to cook a certain type of chocolate food, to cook with a certain ingredient, etc.) This month I was allowed to do whatever I wanted! So I decided to make cupcakes.

Now, to be honest about this situation though, these cupcakes came about because I have a bottle of Kraken Spiced Rum. I bought this bottle of rum because I like the bottle and because I want to make a lamp out of it. But obviously I need to drink the rum out of it first, yes? To help me with that I made these delicious cupcakes. They are denser than I really would have preferred, because I somehow was out of baking soda and substituted with a combination of cream of tartar and baking powder. While I still got some rise from the cakes, the texture was definitely altered from this substitution. But still! I love them. I stuffed them with strawberries that had been cooked down in the rum. And while Matt initially whined that there wasn’t any frosting, these cupcakes do not need frosting.

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I haven’t been doing a whole lot of baking lately. But perhaps if I do more of these food challenges, I can get back in the groove? These cupcakes are also going to be submitted to Tea Time Treats – this month’s theme being Summer Baking.

TeaTimeTreats

Chocolate Spiced Rum Cupcakes Stuffed With Strawberries

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup spiced rum, divided
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
8 oz strawberries, chopped into 1 inch pieces

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a mixer bowl, beat together 1 cup of sugar and the butter. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beating in until fully combined. Beat in the vanilla extract and 3/4 cup of the spiced rum. Beat together for 2 minutes.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking powder, and salt. Mix together until combined.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat until well combined.
  4. Prepare a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes, or until cooked. Let cool.
  6. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the center filling. In a small saucepan combine the strawberries, 1/4 cup of the spiced rum, and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until half reduced and slightly thickened.
  7. Using an apple corer (or something similar,) remove a portion of the center of each cooled cupcake. Fill with the strawberry filling.

* makes 12 cupcakes
* This recipe was also shared with Flour Me With Love.

Szilvas Pite (Plum Cake)

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Well… Looks like something got into this cake before I could take a picture of it. I can’t blame anyone, because imagine this. Plum cake topped with vanilla ice cream? It’s too hard to resist. I wish I had more left actually, because my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

The downsides of this? I clearly didn’t sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture on top of it very evenly. I actually had forgot. And then tried to do it while the cake was in the oven. That wasn’t my best baking moment.

This cake, or szilvas pite, is a Hungarian desert. I got the recipe from Saveur, which also included an article from 2013 by Carolyn Banfalvi, about Hungarian cuisine.

“I was getting full, but, wait, there was dessert: szilvás pite, a sheet cake dotted with fresh plums that we chased with strong black coffee . . . I make szilvás pite, reveling in the way the tart, juicy ripe plums from the market meld with the tender sheet cake.”

My plums sunk, perhaps I should have used a bigger baking dish to make it less thick? But I really liked the density of the cake. Despite the sunk plums, the taste was so perfect. Not too sweet, but the taste of the plums made it divine. And my plums were fresh from the farmers’ market. Even better.

F1 Foods 1

I made this recipe for Caroline from Caroline Makes . . . fun food challenge called Formula 1 Foods, following the Formula 1 Grand Prix foodie style.

Szilvas Pite

Ingredients
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp sugar separated
1 egg
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp almond extract
4 ripe plums, halved and pitted
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375. Grease a round cake tin and set aside.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl whisk together 1 cup of sugar and the egg. Then mix in the yogurt, vegetable oil, and almond extract.
  4. Slowly combine the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon, making sure that the batter is thoroughly mixed.
  5. Pour the batter into your tin. Arrange the plums, cut side down, over the cake batter.
  6. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the cake batter.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.

Baked Zucchini with Parsley and Oregano

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This felt like such a long week. Being my first full week back to work after vacation, I had a hard time getting myself moving. I was still on vacation time. The first few days I was back I couldn’t bring myself to cook, because I was just so tired. But with the week back to work, I also made a point to cook dinner every night. On Monday this week I made chicken and this baked zucchini for dinner.

There is so much zucchini at the farmers’ market right now, so I figured it would be a good be a good entry for this month’s AlphaBakes – the letter being Z! I know in some parts of the world, zucchinis have a different name: courgette. Courgette sounds so much fancier than zucchini.AlphaBakes Logo
The zucchini was so tender. The herbs I used were so mild, so the taste of the zucchini really shined through. It was also a really easy dish to make. I loved it! It’s perfect for my submission to this month’s Eat Your Greens.

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Baked Zucchini with Parsley and Oregano

Ingredients
1 lb zucchini
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tbsp oregano, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
6 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Sprinkle salt on the cut side of the halves and place cut side down on a wood cutting board , allowing some of the liquid to drain away.
  2. Heat the oven to 350. Put the parsley, oregano, garlic, and breadcrumbs together in a bowl and mix together. Add half of the oil gradually and beat together with a fork. Season with pepper.
  3. Oil a baking dish and place the zucchini halves in it, cut side up. Spoon the herb mixture over the zucchini and drizzle 1 tbsp of the olive oil over the zucchini.
  4. Cover the dish in foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil and bake for 10 to 20 more minutes, until the zucchini is tender.
  6. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil.

* serves 4
* Besides Alphabakes and Eat Your Greens, this dish is also being shared with Weekend Cooking