24 vs. 48 Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

14 Jan
24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

I’ve been slowly learning the best methods and temperatures to cook meat via the sous vide method. For those of you not familiar with this, I’ll give you a cheat link over to Wikipidia: Sous Vide Cooking.

So about three weeks ago I decided to cook a piece of chuck roast for 48 hours at 149 F, but about halfway through the cooking time my foodie friend and sous vide guru Stefan gave me the sage advice that I would achieve the results my hubby desired in said chunk of meat by cooking it only 24 hours at a higher temperature. Horrors, what was I to do? So I threw caution to the wind and bumped it up to 165 F for the last 24 hours. It came out out fall apart tender and my husband said it was the best chuck roast he had ever tasted.

I had only used half of the chuck roast, so two weeks later I decided to try only 24 hours at 165 F for the second half. It was very tender, but both of us thought the first one had the perfect texture. Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely delicious, the first one was just amazingly absolutely delicious. Was this a controlled experiment? Heck no. I had too many differences with what I did. Was the first chuck roast the better half of the roast? (It was a 6-pound roast initially.) The first one I only seasoned it then seared in a hot cast iron skillet. For the second one I seasoned it then dusted it heavily with flour before searing, as I wanted a thicker gravy than the first one. Did the flour have anything to do with the texture of the meat? I have no idea. But I did get a thicker gravy!

Anyhoot, since I bothered to take the pictures, I’ll go ahead and step you through the process I did for the second roast. Who knows? Maybe it will prompt you to pick up a sous vide circulator and try it out!

24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast with Gravy

1 3-pound chuck roast
Seasoning spice mix of choice
Ground black pepper and salt
Flour
1 tablespoon high heat oil, such as grapeseed oil
1/2 cup homemade beef stock

First, fill a large pot with water, insert the sous vide circulator, and set the heat at 165 degrees F.

Seasoned Beef

Seasoned Beef

Season the beef liberally with a spice seasoning mix of choice. I used Santorini Sunset seasoning (available from Kouzouna’s Kitchen). Grind a bunch of black pepper over it, and lightly salt if your seasoning mix does not contain salt. Pat the roast all around with flour until it is thoroughly coated.

Coated with Flour

Coated with Flour

Heat a cast iron skillet to high heat and add the tablespoon of oil. Sear the roast on all sides until it is browned and crusty.

Seared Chuck Roast

Seared Chuck Roast

Place the roast in a gallon zip-top freezer bag, then remove all the air by zipping it almost shut and slowly immersing it into the pot of water until all the air is sucked out of the bag, then finish sealing the bag.

Ready to Cook for 24 Hours

Ready to Cook for 24 Hours

Cover the pot with cling-wrap to prevent evaporation. Now go find something to do for the next 24 hours, like eat your dinner, watch a movie, sleep, get up and do laundry, or whatever you find yourself doing for the next day.

Cooked Roast and Juices

Cooked Roast and Juices

About 20 minutes before you want to eat the roast, turn off the sous vide, remove the bag from the pot, and remove the roast from the bag, saving the juices in the bag. Set the roast aside on a plate and cover with foil while you make the gravy.

Showing off my Poppa's Hook

Showing off my Poppa’s Hook ~ I love my meat hook!

Pour the juices from the bag into a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the 1/2 cup beef stock to it. Bring the sauce up to a simmer, and whisk constantly while keeping a simmer until the gravy has reduced and thickened.

Making the Gravy

Making the Gravy

To finish the gravy, add a half tablespoon of very cold butter and stir it in until just melted. Strain the gravy through a sieve (I also line it with mesh or cheesecloth) into a serving bowl.

Smooth Beef Gravy

Smooth Beef Gravy

Serve the fall-apart tender meat with the gravy and sides of vegetables. We had rosemary buttered baby potatoes with green beans.

24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

24-Hour Sous Vide Chuck Roast

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup (Albondigas de Camerones)

8 Jan
Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup

The snow will just not stop where I live! We are buried, I tell ya’! So of course I made more soup (spicy too!) to ward off the snow demons and hopefully melt them.

I made this earlier in the year from a recipe at Cooking on the Ranch, but the hubs said there was too much seasoning in the shrimp meatballs and he couldn’t taste the shrimp. So I made a notation on the recipe to make it again but with noted adjustments. I did, and the meatballs came out so much better this time! We really enjoyed it so I hope you do too!

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup
Adapted from Cooking on the Ranch

For the meatballs:

1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after peeling)
1 thick slice onion, quartered
1 tablespoon tomato paste
A pinch of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 heaping tablespoons flour
1 egg yolk
A pinch of salt

For the soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 roasted Hatch chiles, peeled, seeded and chopped (can sub 1 4-ounce can mild green chopped chiles)
3 to 4 cups shrimp, fish, or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish

Shrimp Meatball Mixture

Shrimp Meatball Mixture

Add the shrimp, onion, tomato paste, spices and herbs, flour, egg yolk and salt to a food processor. Pulse until well combined. Cover and chill in refrigerator for a half hour.

Meanwhile, start making the soup. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven and saute the onion until translucent and soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the tomatoes and chiles and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Simmering the Soup Base

Simmering the Soup Base

Add the stock, bay leaves, and pepper and salt, to taste. Bring up to a simmer again, then simmer on low heat while you make the meatballs.

Get a bowl of water ready and add parchment paper to a large cookie sheet. Dip your hands in the bowl of water, and using a spoon, scoop out a large teaspoon of the shrimp mixture, and roll into a ball and place on the cookie sheet.

Shrimp Meatballs

Shrimp Meatballs

Dip hands in water as needed, it prevents the shrimp mixture from sticking to your hands. Repeat until shrimp is gone. Drop the meatballs carefully into the soup, then bring to a simmer again heat the meatballs until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Simmering the Shrimp Meatballs

Simmering the Shrimp Meatballs

Remove bay leaves, and serve soup in bowls garnished with chopped cilantro.

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Quick and Easy Posole

1 Jan
Quick and Easy Posole

Quick and Easy Posole

Happy New Year my friends! I thought about freshening up my good ol’ black-eye pea recipe for today, but instead decided to give you a quick and easy posole recipe that can make good use of any leftover meat you may have hanging around from the holidays. This includes pork, chicken, turkey, or beef!

I delivered this meal to a friend as a pre-packaged “make it yourself meal” when she said she wished she had some easy dinners to cook for her family. All the ingredients were packaged up in a box along with pre-printed step-by-step instructions. She said it was a huge hit with her family so I thought I’d better try it out myself. (Yes, I sent her a blind, untested recipe.)

This posole is huge on flavor and does not even skimp in the filling factor. Plus it’s very versatile, too! Thumbs up all the way around!

Posole Ingredients

Posole Ingredients

Quick and Easy Posole

2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon flour
Posole Seasoning Mix (divided, recipe below)
3 ounces tomato paste
1 cup water
4 cups chicken stock (can also use turkey, pork, or beef)
4-ounce can chopped green chiles
15.5-ounce can hominy (gold or white, drained)
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (can also use turkey, pork, or beef)
1 fresh lime
Fresh cilantro
Crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, Mexican sour cream, for garnish (any or all optional)

Posole Seasoning Mix
Hint: Make a double or triple batch to store for future use!

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon New Mexico Red Chile powder (or sub with regular chili powder)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Finely dice the onion, then add it to a soup pot or Dutch oven along with the oil. Sauté the onion in the oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until tender and transparent. Add the flour and a tablespoon of the seasoning mix and continue to sauté for two minutes more.

Posole Soup Base

Posole Soup Base

Add 1 cup water, tomato paste, and the rest of the seasoning mix to the pot. Whisk the ingredients together until the tomato paste is dissolved. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, at which point it will thicken.

Big Ladle of Posole

Big Ladle of Posole

Finally, add the stock, shredded meat, diced chiles, and hominy. Stir to combine and then heat through for about 10 minutes.

Cut the lime into wedges and roughly chop the cilantro. Top each bowl with chopped cilantro, crumbled tortilla chips and cheese and a wedge of lime to squeeze over top.

Quick and Easy Posole

Quick and Easy Posole

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Thank You!

31 Dec
Happy 5th Anniversary

Happy 5th Anniversary

My blogiversary nearly slipped by me, but the WordPress monkeys were kind enough to remind me that yesterday I published my first post in 2011. So I am now starting out on my sixth year of blogging and sharing recipes. I can’t say 2016 was the best of years for me physically, but in the cooking department I expanded my horizons and bought a sous vide circulator and have had good success with this new method of cooking. I hope to begin sharing some of those recipes this new year after I’m satisfied they are up to standard for public consumption.

With that, a huge Thank You to all my friends and followers for your support, and Happy Cooking/Blogging in the New Year!

Braised Chicken Wings in Garlic and Sherry

24 Dec
Braised Chicken Wings in Garlic and Sherry

Braised Chicken Wings in Garlic and Sherry

‘Tis the season to be jolly! I scored big on some extra-large chicken wings in the half-price bin, and set out on a mission to find a method to cook them that did not involve Frank’s or BBQ sauce. Much to my delight, I stumbled upon a recipe made by a fellow foodie blogger I follow! Lea Ann over at Cooking on the Ranch shared her recipe for this earlier in the year, which was adapted from Saveur magazine. The back story behind this chicken is a delight to read, so click on over if you are so inclined —> Delores’s Broken-Hearted Chicken.

This chicken and sauce is no-lie finger-licking good! The hubs and I devoured this along with some rice pilaf and baby brussels sprouts, and sopped up the juices with some crusty garlic bread. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you may celebrate this time of year, and a delightful Festivus for the rest of us!

Braised Chicken Wings in Garlic and Sherry
Adapted from Saveur

2 pounds extra-large chicken wings, or small chicken cut into pieces
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup flour put in bowl or on plate
2 slices thick-cut bacon, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
1⁄2 cup dry sherry
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄4″ cubes
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley, optional, for garnish
Crusty bread, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and dredge in flour; set aside. Cook the chopped bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until the fat renders, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.

Browning the Chicken Wings

Browning the Chicken Wings

Add oil to skillet with the bacon grease, and working in 2 batches, add chicken, and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Cooking the Garlic

Cooking the Garlic

Add garlic to the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn! Add stock and sherry, deglazing the pan with a wooden spoon to scrape up the crispy bits. Place chicken skin-side down in a roasting pan and pour the skillet juices over the chicken.

Roasted Chicken Ready to Finish Off

Roasted Chicken Ready to Finish Off

Place chicken in oven, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip chicken with tongs to skin-side up, then sprinkle with reserved bacon and dot with butter. Baste the chicken a couple of times until cooked through and skin is crispy, about 20 more minutes. Serve with crusty bread for sopping up the delicious juices.

Braised Chicken Wings in Garlic and Sherry

Braised Chicken Wings in Garlic and Sherry

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Holiday Cheese Bites

17 Dec
Holiday Cheese Bites

Holiday Cheese Bites

I saw these fun little crackers posted on Food52, and they seemed easy enough for me to attempt to make. Of course the big warning sign not to make them should have been the words “flour” and “roll the dough.” I can just look at a canister of flour and get it all over my clothes. And with my hand injury? Who was I kidding that I could roll out a hard, frigid piece of clay?

Chilled Cracker Dough

Chilled Cracker Dough

Nonetheless, I attempted to make these little cheese bites, endearingly called “coins” in the recipe. I opted to use some fancy-schmancy mini-cutters, in the hopes that the cute shapes would distract from the final results.

Cheese Bites Ready to Bake

Cheese Bites Ready to Bake

I don’t have a proper food processor, so instead of “slowly adding the milk in a stream with the food processor running,” I kept having to turn off my Ninja, take the top off, add a little milk, whir it again, then repeat. Sketchy at best, huh? Then when it came to rolling the dough out, I found my injured hand and wrist didn’t have enough strength to wrestle the dough into submission, so enlisted the help of my daughter. I ended up with some really uneven thicknesses, which resulted in a: burnt crackers and b: really puffy under-cooked crackers. I had enough of option c: perfectly done crackers to fill a small bowl for your enjoyment.

Holiday Cheese Bites

Holiday Cheese Bites

For those of you who would like the recipe, please head over to Food52 to read it here: Spicy Cheese + Smoked Paprika Coins

p.s. The flavor of these are really good! The dough has smoked paprika, sage, and cayenne pepper along with the cheese. If you are a skilled baker, please try this recipe out and let me know how they turned out!

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

10 Dec
Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

This soup has keeper written all over it! (Plus my hubby told me so.) I made this soup a couple of weeks ago, and the only photo I took while making it was from my iPhone, so sorry for the lack of prep photos. But who needs them when this is so quick and easy to make? You can easily have this on the table in less than 30 minutes. This soup is full of flavor, and hearty and filling enough to satisfy even the hungriest of eaters.

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package smoked sausage, cut into slices
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
4 cups turkey or chicken stock
1 9-ounce package fresh cheese tortellini
Ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups spinach, roughly chopped
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook the smoked sausage and onion until sausages have slightly browned and onions are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic in the last minute.

Stir in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, turkey or chicken stock, tortellini, and pepper and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes, then stir in spinach and cook until wilted. Serve with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Soup/Stew Recipes for the Winter!

5 Dec

I know, I know, I missed a weekend post. I went back to work full-time on Thursday after my 4-week physical therapy stint, then wanted to get Christmas up over the weekend! So my house is fully-decorated now, and got to enjoy setting it up with snow-flurries on the outside and Christmas music on my iPhone to put me in the mood.

Another thing that puts me in the winter/holiday mood is lots of big bowls of steaming, comforting soup or stew. Following is a compilation of some of those over the years. Click on the link above the photo for the recipe and a handy dandy printable PDF! Enjoy!

Classic French Onion Soup

Classic French Onion Soup

Classic French Onion Soup

Turkey, Lentil, and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

Turkey Lentil and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

Turkey Lentil and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

White Bean and Sausage Crock Pot Soup

White Bean and Sausage Crock Pot Soup

White Bean and Sausage Crock Pot Soup

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Crab

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Crab

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Crab

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

Turkey Posole

Turkey Chipotle Posole

Turkey Chipotle Posole

Chicken Fideo Soup (Mexican Chicken Noodle Soup)

Chicken Fideo Soup

Chicken Fideo Soup

Potato, Leek, and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

 

Sous Vide (Sorta) Beef Bourguignon

26 Nov
Sous Vide Beef Bourguignon

Sous Vide Beef Bourguignon

I say “sorta” because I only cooked about half the ingredients via the sous vide method, as I was concerned my gallon zip-lock baggie would not hold it all. This also turned out to be an accidental birthday dinner for my husband, as when I started the process 24-hours earlier it hadn’t dawned on me I’d be serving it the night before his birthday.

Don’t have a sous vide machine? No worries, you can make this on the stove top in a Dutch oven. Simply cover and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours until beef is tender.

This made an elegant dinner, with beautiful rich flavors and fork-tender beef. I served this over a cauliflower puree, but it can also be served over mashed potatoes or noodles.

Sous Vide Beef Bourguignon

1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil, plus more if needed
4 slices thick-cut bacon (reserve 1 tablespoon grease)
1 1/4 pounds stew meat (chuck beef) cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons flour, divided
2 carrots
2 thick slices from a large sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 bottle of good dry red wine, such as Burgundy or Pinot Noir
1 cup beef broth, homemade or low sodium
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
8 ounces baby bella (or cremini) mushrooms, sliced if large
8 ounces thawed frozen pearl onions
4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided

The Main Players

The Main Players

Set your sous vide in a large pot of water to 149 degrees F (65 C).

Cut the bacon into lardons and cook in the oil in a Dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon to paper towels to cool. Reserve one tablespoon of grease and refrigerate it.

Browning the Beef

Browning the Beef

Dry the beef with paper towels and season with salt and pepper and toss with 2 tablespoons of flour to coat. In the same pot with the remaining hot bacon grease, cook the beef in batches until browned on all sides. Add the beef and bacon to a 1-gallon zip-lock bag.

Peel the carrots and cut into cross-wise slices and slice the thick onion slices in half. Cook in the remaining oil in the pot (add more if needed) for about 10 minutes, then add the minced garlic and cook for about a minute more. Add the vegetables to the bag.

Veggies and Beef in Bag

Veggies and Beef in Bag

Deglaze the pot with the red wine, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add the beef broth and tomato paste, stir to combine, then reduce heat and simmer until reduced a quarter in volume, about 15 minutes.

Add the wine mixture, the thyme sprigs, and bay leaf to the bag. Seal using the water immersion technique, add to the sous vide pot and clip it to the side. Cover the water bath with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation. Sous vide for 24 hours.

Sous Vide

Sous Vide!!

After 24 hours, melt 2 tablespoons of butter plus the one tablespoon of reserved bacon grease to a Dutch oven. Saute the mushrooms until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the thawed pearl onions and cook for an additional five minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Baby Bellas and Pearl Onions

Baby Bellas and Pearl Onions

Melt two or more tablespoons of butter and add 2 tablespoons flour and whisk until it forms a paste. Remove bag from sous vide pot and carefully pour the liquid from the bag into the pot. Bring the sauce to a simmer, whisking constantly until sauce is thickened.

Beef Bourguignon Ready to Serve

Beef Bourguignon Ready to Serve

Add the mushrooms and onions and the rest of the contents of the bag to the pot and stir to combine. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Serve over cauliflower puree, mashed potatoes, or noodles. Bon Appétit!

Sous Vide Beef Bourguignon

Sous Vide Beef Bourguignon

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Goulash ~ an Old Stand-by in a New (Old) Dish

19 Nov
Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash in Vintage Enamel-Ware

This is not a new recipe but it gave me a chance to use one of my new (old) casserole dishes I picked up at a garage sale a few months ago. It is vintage enamel-ware from the 1980s made by Lincoware, in the Lauria design. It came in a nesting set of three for only $1 each. How cool is that?

Some nights just call for your stand-by comfort casserole, and last night was no exception. This is one of my daughter’s favorite meals I make, and she actually happened to be home for a Friday night, of all things. I had a half-pound of ground beef left in the freezer needing used up, so halved the recipe and in doing so the vintage casserole dish became a perfect vessel for cooking the smaller portion.

However, I do have a new recipe I’m working on using the sous-vide technique, and will take a whopping 24-hours to cook! And no, I’ll not be slaving over it that entire time, I’ll be off doing my usual housework and PT exercises (and sleeping for a portion of that) while the cooking device does the work for me!

I’m also copying the goulash recipe below for any newcomers hesitant to click on a linky to get it. This takes less than an hour to make, which is always a winner in my book! Enjoy!

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup chopped onion
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup dry elbow macaroni pasta
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (or 2 8-0unce cans)
1 jar homemade canned tomatoes diced, or 1 can low-sodium diced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the burger and chopped onions, then grind a bunch of black pepper over it. Cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent. In the last minute or so, add the minced garlic. Drain any grease, if needed.

When the water is boiling for the pasta, add the macaroni and cook until just before al dente, then drain and set aside. It will cook more in the oven. Meanwhile, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar, and herbs to the ground beef and stir to incorporate.

Next add the cheddar and mix until cheese is melted. Stir in the cooked macaroni until combined. Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish sprayed with oil. Top with the Mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Let rest about 5 minutes, then serve with buttered bread, and a salad if you want.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

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