While the title of this recipe might lead you to believe that only Guinness will do, I have found that just about any hearty stout does the trick and even add a few extra subtle flavor notes. This stew delivers, again and again. Slow Cooked Guiness Beef Stew By Holly Rodricks Feeds 6-8 (Depending on how hungry) Ingredients: 2 lbs. Stew Beef (or venison for all you hunters out there) 2 tbsp. Flour (Optional, but it really helps to sear in the flavor) 1 tbsp. Oil 1 tsp. Salt, plus more to taste 1/2 tsp. Pepper 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper 3-4 tbsp. Bacon Grease 1 can/cup Tomato Sauce or pureed Whole Canned Tomatoes 2 Onions, chopped into large chunks 4-6 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped 1 1/2 cups Guinness or other Stout Beer 7 medium Carrots, sliced into thick rounds 5 medium Potatoes, cut into large chunks 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce 1 tsp. dried Thyme or 3-4 sprigs Fresh Thyme 2 Bay Leaves pinch of All Spice or Ground Cloves Instructions: In a small bowl, mix Flour, Salt, Pepper, and Cayenne. Toss Stew Meat in large bowl with Oil. Sprinkle Flour mixture over meat and mix with hands until evenly coated. In a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat, melt Bacon Grease and brown Meat on all side, approximately 1-2 minutes per side. Add Onions, Garlic, and Tomato Sauce/Puree. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Transfer Meat mixture into dutch oven or crock pot. Return skillet to stove and increase heat to high. Pour approximately 1/4 – 1/2 cup Beer into pan and swirl around until caramelized Meat juices lift off from bottom of pan. Pour Beer drippings into pot. Add remaining Beer, Carrots, Potatoes, Worcestershire Sauce, Thyme, Bay Leaves, and Allspice/Cloves and mix. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until meat falls apart when pierced with a fork. Serve hot with fresh bread.
White Bean and Sausage Pasta Bake By Holly Rodricks Makes 4-6 servings. Ingredients: 1/2 lb. Flour City Pasta Tomato Basil Pappardelle 1 bag Baby Spinach, stems removed and leaves finely chopped (approximately 1 cup) 1 1/2 cups cooked Great Northern or Cannellini Beans (or 1 15-oz. can, drained) 1 (15 oz.) can whole Tomatoes, drained and broken up into chunks 3 cloves Garlic, finely minced 1 tbsp. Whole Grain Dijon Mustard 3 tbsp. Olive Oil, 1 tbsp. reserved 1/4 tsp. ground Cayenne 1/4 tsp. Pepper pinch of Salt 1/4 cup Heavy Cream 1/4 cup White Wine (Optional) 1/2 lb. Hot Sausage 1 cup shredded Mozzarella or fresh Ciliegine Mozzarella (The small cherry size) Instructions: Preheat oven to 400º. Bring water to boil and cook Pasta according to package instructions. While Pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk Garlic, Mustard, 2 tbsp. Olive Oil, Cayenne, Pepper, and Salt. In a large bowl, place chopped Spinach, Beans, and Tomatoes. Mix together with hands until evenly combined. Drizzle dressing over spinach mixture and mix by hand again until all ingredient are evenly coated. Drain Pasta and toss with remaining 1 tbsp. Olive Oil. Pour Pasta into 9×13″ casserole dish, forming an even bottom layer. Add Spinach mixture on top, spreading evenly. Drizzle Heavy Cream and White Wine over Spinach mixture. Snip end of Sausage and squeeze meat out to form little meatballs. Nestle these evenly throughout Spinach mixture. If using Ciliegine Mozzarella, nestle throughout Spinach mixture, similar to meat. Bake for 30 minutes. If using shredded Mozzarella, bake for 15 minutes. Then removed and sprinkle shredded cheese across top and bake for additional 15 minutes. Allow dish to set for 10 minutes, then serve hot!
What can I say? The white bean craze continues! This meal hits all those hearty seasonal spots, with its delicious, vegetarian goodness. Mushroom and White Bean Stuffed Squash By Holly Rodricks Makes 4 servings. Ingredients: 2 Acorn Squash, halved and seeded (Other, similarly-sized squash such as Carnival or Sweet Dumpling can be substituted.) Olive Oil 1-2 tbsp. Salted Butter 1/4 cup Red Onion, diced 1 clove Garlic, finely minced 1/2 lb. Baby Bella Mushrooms 1 cup White Beans, rinsed and drained 1 tsp. Whole Grain Mustard 1/8 tsp. White Pepper 1/2 Parmesan Cheese, grated Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: Preheat oven to 375º. Lightly coat interior and exterior of all 4 Squash halves in olive oil. Sprinkle all over with Salt and Pepper. Set aside. In a frying pan, over medium heat, melt Butter. Add Onions and cook gently until partially translucent. Add Garlic and sauté until aromatic, 1-2 minutes. Add Mushrooms, White Beans, Mustard, White Pepper, and Salt to taste. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Lay Squash, hollow-side up on rimmed baking sheet. Stuff with sautéed mixture and sprinkle generously with grated Parmesan. Bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until Squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Serve hot, with a side of roasted winter vegetables!
I think I fall into that unusual category of people who are crazy about Brussels sprouts. You could put a giant bowl of them in front of me and every last one would be gone within minutes. I hear that this is not the norm, though. If you find yourself with some Brussels sprouts on your hands and aren’t quite sure what to do with them, here are a few tips to help you through the preparation process: Storage: If you’re in possession of a stalk or 2 of Brussels sprouts but know you won’t be cooking them for a little while, leave them on the stalk and refrigerate them. If space is an issue, trim them off the stalk and store them, uncovered, in a bowl in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them. The outer layer will shrivel, and you’ll need to peel it off and discard it before preparing the sprouts, but they will still be crisp and yummy! Sprouts keep in the fridge for several weeks, if handled properly. Preparation: Trim Brussels sprouts off stalk, and cut off stem flush at base of each sprout. Before going any further, soak Brussels sprouts in warm water for 10 minutes. This will release any dirt and little unwanted critters that might be lurking around the top layers. Once soaking is complete, drain and rinse as usual. Discard any withered layers and trim off damaged areas before cooking. If cooking Brussels sprouts whole, cut a small X in the top (not the stem side). This will help the sprouts to cook through more evenly. Alternatively, cut sprouts in half, or in quarters if larger, to allow for quicker cooking while still keeping the layers of the sprout intact. Recipe Inspiration: My favorite way to cook Brussels Sprouts is actually to shred them by slicing them thinly with a knife. I caramelize some minced Shallots in a skillet with Bacon Grease, add the shredded Sprouts, a splash of Apple Cider to round out the flavor, and Salt and Pepper to taste. Sauté until they’re just wilted and voila! Simple, flavorful, and delicious! *Image courtesy of: http://www.taylorfarms.com/products/classic-vegetables/brussels-sprouts/.
Leeks are often known as the “soup onion” because of their mildness. They provide a perfect for complement to the more complex flavors of many dishes, such as soups, quiches, and gratins, without being overpowering. If you’ve never prepared leeks before, we have a few suggestions to make the process fast and easy. Because leeks, by nature, are layered vegetables that grows in the ground, they tend to collect dirt and grit that needs to be removed before being consumed. Here are a few tips to get them squeaky clean and ready to be cooked: Begin by chopping off the darker green leaves of the leek. While these sections can be used to flavor stocks, they are too tough to eat. Set the white and pale green portions aside. If using a recipe that only calls for the leeks to be halved, slice them in half lengthwise and hold each half under cold running water. Use your fingers to move the layers around a bit, allowing the water to move through them and flush out any grit. If using a recipe that calls for chopped leeks, halve them lengthwise, and then slice them up. Dunk them in a large bowl of cold water and use your hands to agitate them in the water so that any grit is dislodged. Pour into a strainer or colander to drain, and then rinse once more under cold running water to flush out any last bits of grit. Cook according to your recipe of choice and enjoy! *Image courtesy of: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_clean_leeks/.