Boeuf Bourguignon

Like so many food bloggers, I watched Julie and Julia. I will admit, as a child, I hated when my mom watched Julia Child. I couldn’t understand a word she was saying, and heck, there was Nickelodeon to watch!

After watching this movie, I was inspired and knew I had to make this dish. I’ve been making it for a while now, but one of my blogger friends asked me to make this and show it step-by-step. Please realize that there is NO natural light in my kitchen, just in the dining area, so I did my best on the step-by step pictures!

I used a version found on Joelen’s Culinary Adventures, because it was done in steps, which made it way easier! Thanks Joelen!

Oh, and yes, this stuff is amazing. If you have time and a devoted dish washer (yes, this uses a LOT of dishes), definitely make this!

Boeuf Bourguignon
Source: found on Joelen’s Culinary Adventures, originally by Julia Child, mildly adapted by me

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces bacon
  • 3 pounds lean stewing beef , cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 sliced large onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 cups full-bodied, young red wine , such as a Chianti (used Merlot)
  • 2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • Bay leaf
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

For onions:

  • 18 to 24 small white onions (white pearl onions)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup wine (same type used in beef)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. parsley

For mushrooms:

  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Sauté the bacon in a dutch oven (no oil) over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. (The bacon will render and give off enough fat to cook with.) Remove the bacon from the pot and place in a bowl; set aside.

Dry the stewing beef in paper towels – it will not brown if it is damp. Add the beef, a few pieces at a time, to the dutch oven to cook in the rendered bacon fat. Sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot and add it to the bacon in the bowl; set aside.


If the bacon fat has been absorbed by sauteing the beef at this point, feel free to add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. In the pot, brown the carrots and onions.

Return the beef and bacon to the pot and toss with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle on the flour over the meat in the pot and toss everything in the pot to coat the beef lightly with the flour. On the stovetop, heat the pot for about 2-3 minutes to lightly cook off some of the flour.

To the pot, stir in the wine along with the stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to simmer on top of the stove.

Then cover the pot and set in lower third of preheated oven. Allow the pot to braise very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

I decided to stop here for the evening and let the beef cool for an hour or so out of the oven and then refrigerate overnight. It’s a good stopping point and you can resume with the onions or mushrooms. OR, if you are ambitious, do these vegetables while the beef is in the oven. :)
For the onions – place the peeled onions in a skillet with the butter and sear them until they start to brown, move to a medium saucepan, adding the wine, water and herbs. Saute on low for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For the mushrooms –  place butter in the same skillet used to prepare the onions. Saute the mushrooms in the butter until they start to brown. Remove from the skillet and set them aside to cool.

After the meat is braised in the oven or brought back up to temperature on a stovetop, remove and strain the beef and vegetables from the pot with a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl; set aside. With the remaining sauce left in the pot, allow it to simmer. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down rapidly to reduce and thicken. If it’s too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning.

At this point, return the beef and vegetables to the thickened sauce, along with the caramelized pearl onions and mushrooms. Gently heat everything over a medium low heat and then serve with egg noodles, rice or potatoes. Garnish with chopped parsley.

PW’s Beef Brisket

Sorry, this picture sucks. Taken on the iPhone since we just got our pup and well, finding the camera was not a necessity at the time!

I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for quite some time. You see, we don’t have really good BBQ out here in Baton Rouge, in my opinion. I miss Luther’s BBQ, which was in NOLA before Katrina hit. That stuff was the bomb-diggity, and sadly, I haven’t found a place in Baton Rouge that is anywhere close to it! Plus, BBQ out here is ridiculously overpriced for what you get…ugh!

So, when I saw this on Pioneer Woman’s blog, I thought that I had to try it! My biggest problem was finding a slab of brisket that was less than 10 lbs. It seems like Baton Rouge has some SERIOUS brisket lovers! I finally found this 3 lb. piece at one of the grocery stores out here, and knew what I’d make with it!

Let me tell you, this brisket is AMAZING!! It kicks our local BBQ’s butt in my opinion! I’m definitely making it again sometime soon. :)

PW’s Beef Brisket
Source: Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans Beef Consomme
  • ½ cups Lemon Juice
  • 1-½ cup Soy Sauce
  • 5 cloves Chopped Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke
  • 10 pounds Beef Brisket (we used 3 lbs. and this worked just fine!)

Directions:

  1. Combine first five ingredients in large roasting pan (a disposable is just fine). Place brisket in the marinade, fat side up. Cover tightly with foil. Marinate in refrigerator for 24-48 hours. When ready to cook, place pan covered in foil into a 300-degree oven. Cook brisket for approximately 40 minutes per pound.
  2. When fork-tender, transfer whole brisket to a cutting board. Slice against the grain and place slices back into the cooking liquid. Serve immediately, spooning juice over the slices. Barbeque sauce may be used, if preferred.
  3. You may store pan in fridge for up to two days or freeze for use at a later date. If fat collects and hardens at the top, remove and discard.

Bacon does make everything better..

Happy New Years everyone! I hope you had a great 2009, and here’s to a truly awesome new year and decade!

After looking through the archives, I’ve found the primary reason for my weight gain since the wedding in May: this blog doesn’t have much “skinny” food anymore! So, I’m really going to strive to bring back the “skinny” recipes to this blog, since this blog’s title, after all, is Skinny Food by Amy. While I’m gonna miss the cheesecake and candy, I think I need to go back to the reason that I started this blog: to lose weight and still enjoy food. I hope you all enjoy the journey! :)

Now, here comes a not-so-skinny recipe…sorry folks!

My husband and I have enjoyed the Cooking Light recipe for pot roast for a while now. I was curious to see what else is out there, though. So, I found this pot roast recipe on Epicurious that involves the ever-so-famous bacon! I was pretty excited to get away from turkey bacon for a day, so I bought some thick cut smoked bacon at the store  for this recipe. I totally forgot how much grease is in real bacon…whoa. Needless to say, this recipe won’t be a regular in our diets, but it was a yummy indulgence. Bacon really does make everything better, trust me!

Pot Roast
Source: adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 3-pound boneless rump roast
  • 6 ounces thick cut bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 12 small shallots, peeled
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 large carrots (about 1 pound), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix first 6 ingredients in small bowl. Rub spice blend all over beef. Cut 6 slits in beef and insert a clove of garlic in each slit.
  2. Cook bacon in a dutch oven over medium heat until browned and lightly crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from pot. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes total. Transfer beef to plate. Add red wine to pot; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bacon. Place beef atop bacon. Scatter onions, shallots, remainder of garlic, and bay leaves around beef.
  3. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and roast 1 hour. Turn beef over; stir onions. Cover and roast 1 hour longer, adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if dry. Transfer beef to plate. Add carrots and potatoes to pot; stir to coat. Place beef atop vegetables, cover, and roast until beef and vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes longer. Transfer beef to platter. Spoon off fat from surface of sauce and remove bay leaves. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over beef and serve.

Mom’s Cornbread Dressing

Since we were hosting Thanksgiving, I knew I was going to make my mom’s fabulous cornbread dressing. It’s so flavorful, moist and just delicious! I was afraid it wouldn’t be as good as mom’s, because the recipe she gave me was a lot of ingredients “to taste”. So, I was surprised to see that people actually gobbled (hehe..pun) it up!

I wrote ingredients down as I did it, and so this is my version of my mom’s dressing!

Mom’s Cornbread Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bunches of green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 9×13 pan of prepared and cooled cornbread (I did this using 6 packs of Jiffy cornbread mix.)
  • 1 lb. lean ground meat
  • 1 roll of Jimmy Dean reduced fat sausage
  • 2 cans of beef broth
  • Cajun spice, paprika, salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t measure these…sorry!)

Directions:

  1. Saute onions, green onions, bell pepper and celery in a dutch oven until transparent. Add garlic.
  2. Brown sausage and beef in another pot until fully cooked and drain fat.
  3. Add meat mixture to the onion mixture in the dutch oven.
  4. Cut up and crumble cornbread by hand and add it to the pot.
  5. Add beef broth about a half can at a time, until the mixture is moist.
  6. Add spices to taste.
  7. Refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to meld. The next day, place the dutch oven (covered) in the oven at 350 degrees until the dressing is warm. Serve.

Pot Roast, Again!

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The temperatures dipped into the 40s out here. It’s absolutely nuts that the week before, we were experiencing nasty, summer weather. However, this new weather was a welcomed change. I told my husband I had to make pot roast for us. It just screams cold weather food!

So, I made pot roast using the same recipe as last time. Diet friendly pot roast, in fact.  I highly recommend this simple, delicious recipe to anyone looking to make their first pot roast!

Sloppy Joes

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My husband and I are always trying to find new ideas for dinner, especially with ground meat. My husband has mentioned how much he loves sloppy joes, so I thought, let’s try this! Easy peasy dinner, right?

My husband told me he was going to make them while I went on an errand, and wow! My husband can totally cook! This was delicious!

Sloppy Joes
inspired from Allrecipes

Ingredients

  • 1.25 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 0.5 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon honey dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • cajun seasoning to taste (Tony Chachere’s is what we used)

Directions

  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onion, green pepper and garlic powder; drain off liquids.
  2. Stir in the mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar; mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

The Skinny – per serving, serves 6 (not including bread calories)

Calories 291.1
Fat 19.8g
Fiber 0.6g

Pot Roast

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On our honeymoon, my fabulous DH brought me to the outlets in Orlando, where there was a Le Creuset outlet. I was overwhelmed by the beautiful cookware there, but I was on a mission – to get a 5 quart dutch oven in a pretty, fun color!

And did I? Yes, yes I did! I bought a dijon colored one for just over $100, because I purchased a “second quality” oven and also had a 40% off coupon given to me by the lady working there. Second quality still has the lifetime warranty, and it’s called second quality because of purely just cosmetic flaws. I don’t personally see flaws, so I was super stoked to buy it!

I promised DH I would break this bad boy in with a pot roast, and I found the perfect recipe on Cooking Light online. This recipe did not disappoint at all.

I made a few adaptations, which are noted in red.

Classic Pot Roast
Source: Cooking Light

Ingredients:

  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • 1  (3-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed (We used rump roast..it was on sale!)
  • 1  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  cups  coarsely chopped onion
  • 1  cup  dry red wine
  • 4  thyme sprigs
  • 3  garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 4  large carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 2  pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound whole mushrooms, cleaned
  • Fresh thyme leaves (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chuck roast with salt and pepper. Cut small slits in the roast and put cloves of garlic in for flavor. Add roast to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove roast from pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender.
  2. Return browned roast to pan. Add the red wine, thyme sprigs, chopped garlic, beef broth, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover pan and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours or until the roast is almost tender.
  3. Add carrots, mushrooms and potatoes to pan. Cover and bake an additional 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf from pan; discard. Shred meat with 2 forks. Serve roast with vegetable mixture and cooking liquid. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

Baked Pizza Casserole

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I like to peruse The Nest a lot. I read forums about cooking (of course), gardening, financial matters and fitness. I found this blog on the health & fitness forum and I’m SO glad I did. Amanda of Random Ramblings posted this great recipe that I just had to try. It’s W/W friendly and involves PIZZA. I’m there!

Baked Pizza Casserole
Source: adapted from Random Ramblings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean beef
  • 1 can chunky italian tomato sauce
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese  (We used 1 1/2 cups…I love cheese!)
  • 1 refrigerated roll of pizza dough
  • 1/2 tsp. each of oregano, marjoram and basil
  • 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Brown meat in a pot and add spices during the cooking time. Add tomato sauce and stir together.
  2. Put meat mixture into pan. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Add cheese and cook another 5 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Spray a 9×13 pan (or use parchment like I did) and spread dough onto bottom. Make sure it goes up the side a little to catch the toppings when you put them in the pan.

 

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Serves: 6   POINTS* value: 8 (since I added extra cheese!)

Salisbury Steak

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Again, here is a recipe I made way back when in the planning days. We had some ground beef thawing in the fridge, and we weren’t in the mood for burgers. So, I came across this recipe and decided that we should give it a try.

These were very juicy and flavorful salisbury steaks. I would definitely make these again!

Salisbury Steaks
Source: Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French onion soup
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together 1/3 cup condensed French onion soup with ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt and black pepper. Shape into 6 oval patties.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties. Pour off excess fat.
  3. In a small bowl, blend flour and remaining soup until smooth. Mix in ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder. Pour over meat in skillet. Cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Throwdown Meatloaf

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I LOVE watching Throwdown. I really enjoy watching family based businesses flourish, and enjoy when they take on Bobby Flay (and most of the time, win!!!).

So, Joey and I have a love for meatloaf. We decided to try the Colluci Bros. recipe featured on Throwdown, and we were NOT disappointed!! We made homemade mashed yukon gold potatoes as well, and this made for a great addition to the meatloaf!

Meatloaf
Source: Food Network, courtesy of Colluci Bros.

Ingredients:

  • Salad oil
  • 1 carrot, small to medium dice
  • 2 stalks celery, small to medium dice
  • 1 medium onion, small to medium dice
  • 2 pounds ground beef (we used 1 lb. beef, 1 lb. turkey)
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash hot sauce (We used Louisiana loved Tabasco)
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 slices bread (we used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
  • Ketchup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven at 375 degrees F.
  2. In a medium-sized saute pan, put 2 dribbles of salad oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onions and saute, about 5 minutes. Put aside and let cool.
  3. In large bowl put the carrot mixture, ground beef and remaining ingredients, except for the bread, the bread crumbs and ketchup. Soak the bread in cold water, then squeeze water out (like a sponge) and drain it. Add to the ground beef and mix. (A stand mixer is may help make it easier). Add the bread crumbs and mix.
  4. Roll into firm loaf, spread ketchup over the top, and place into preheated oven for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, or until cooked through. Take out and serve hot.