Pot Roast w/Root Veggies

When the weather turns cold, it’s time to put on a pot roast! It’s comfort food, plain and simple. Brown up your meat (I like to use Chuck Roast), then slow cook it in liquid in a covered dish. Slow cooking tenderizes the fibers of the meat, and the liquid exchanges its flavor with that of the beef. The result is fork tender, succulent meat surrounded by a rich gravy. Can we say YUM?
I’ve tried lots of different recipes over the years, and while they are all good, my family agreed that this one stands out as one of the best we’ve had!  A whole head of garlic (not just a clove, but the WHOLE head) gets browned up along with veggies and tomato paste (don’t skip the rutabaga and parsnips…they add a wonderful sweetness). Then the meat is added along with red wine, broth and herbs. Simmered together, they create an infused gravy that is worthy of a big loaf of french bread to soak it all up! Stay warm, and eat well everyone!
Pot Roast w/Root Veggies

Pot Roast w/Root Veggies

Pot Roast w/Root Veggies

First, get a good sear on your meat… I like to use Chuck Roast!

 

Pot Roast w/Root Veggies

Veggies and gravy are ready for the meat!

 

Pot Roast w/Root Veggies

Adapted from the New York Times

Ingredients:

  • 3 pound boneless beef chuck roast
  •  Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 red onions, quartered
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 12 to 16 pieces, about a pound
  • 8 cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 WHOLE head of garlic, top cut off to expose cloves
  • ¾ cup tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 ½ cups red wine, preferably cabernet
  • 4 cups beef broth

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Season meat generously with salt & pepper. On stove top, heat oil in a large Dutch oven, or other heavy roasting pan with a lid, over medium-high heat. Sear the meat until a dark crust forms, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove meat to a plate, reduce the heat to medium, and add butter to the pan. Melt the butter, add the whole head of garlic along with vegetables, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pot until the vegetables start to color, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until it darkens slightly, about 5 minutes. Add bay leaves & rosemary along with the wine, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a thick gravy consistency, 5 to 7 minutes. Return meat to the pot, add the broth, then cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook until meat is fork tender, checking after about 2 and a half hours. Discard bay leaves and rosemary stems. Squeeze any garlic cloves remaining in their skins into the stew and discard the skins.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • When cooked the full length of time, the veggies do become soft.  If you prefer them not so soft, you can brown them them up and add them later in the cooking process, maybe an hour or so before it’s ready.
  • This can also be cooked in a slow cooker. On the stove top, sear meat in pan. Transfer to the slow cooker, and using the same pan, follow all instructions through reducing the gravy.  Add back into slow cooker with the meat and cook on low setting for 5-6 hours or until fork tender.
  • As an alternative to the stove top, the meat can also be browned in a 450° oven for about 7 minutes each side.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

Chocolate Truffle Tart with Kahlúa Whipped Cream

If there’s one dessert that’s most often requested from me, it’s this one.  A simple crust of chocolate wafers filled with a creamy dark chocolate ganache then glazed with a layer of more chocolate and Kahlúa makes for a showstopper of a dessert!   I like to top it with Kahlúa whipped cream, but it could also be served with fresh berries or even a white chocolate cream sauce.  This is a chocolate lover’s HEAVEN!  Think DARK, RICH VELVET-Y CHOCOLATE!  Your guests will be amazed.  🙂

 

Chocolate Truffle Tart with Kahlúa Whipped Cream

Chocolate Truffle Tart with Kahlúa Whipped Cream

Chocolate Truffle Tart with Kahlúa Whipped Cream

Crust:

  • 32 chocolate Nabisco wafers, finely ground
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 9 ounces (1 1/2 cups) bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I use Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet baking bars)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 13/4 ounces (1/3 cup) bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Kahlúa

Garnish:

  • Kahlúa Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
  • Chocolate-covered coffee beans

For Crust: Heat oven to 350°. In medium bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, butter and sugar until moistened. Press evenly onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Place tart pan on baking sheet and bake until firm, about 10 minutes. Cool on rack for 15-20 minutes.

For Filling: In small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Place the chocolate in medium-sized bowl and pour hot cream over chocolate; let stand for 5 minutes. Gently stir mixture until smooth. In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, espresso powder and salt. Stir egg mixture into chocolate mixture.

Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until filling is set about 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly, about 20-25 minutes. (The filling will continue to set as it cools). Cool completely in the pan on a rack for at least 1 hour.

For Glaze: In small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Add chocolate and stir until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and Kahlúa.

Pour glaze onto cooled tart, tilting and rotating so glaze evenly coats the top. Allow tart to stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour.

For Garnish: Garnish with rosettes of Kahlúa Whipped Cream and chocolate-covered coffee beans if desired.

Kahlúa Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Kahlúa

Chill mixing bowl and beaters. Add cream to chilled bowl and whip with powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Add Kahlúa and combine.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • Tart can be chilled up to 3 days. Cover loosely after tart is completely chilled (covering before may cause condensation).
  • Crust, without filling, can be made 1 day ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.
  • If you like a really dark bitter chocolate, then use a higher percentage chocolate.  I’ve used up to 72% with success, but I’ve found the 60% bars to be the most widely available and to most chocolate lovers’ liking.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

Tuscan Stuffed Beef Tenderloin

 

The holidays are a special time of year, and, for me, it’s a time to pull out all the stops and splurge on a nice beef tenderloin.  I love this particular recipe, because the “red and green” filling is just perfect for a beautiful Christmas presentation!   I’ve always roasted mine in the oven and it’s turned out perfect, but this year, we decided to try it out in our Traeger smoker.  It was fabulous!  Either way, you’ll want to have a good meat thermometer to make sure you don’t overcook it.  Medium rare is 145°.  I served it with scalloped potatoes and a Fresh Pear and Candied Walnut Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette. Happy Holidays, everyone!  🙂

 

Tuscan filling

Tuscan filling…sauteed onion, spinach, sundried tomatoes and parmesan cheese

 

Tuscan stuffed tenderloin

Stuffed, tied and ready to cook!

 

Tuscan Stuffed Beef Tenderloin

Tuscan Stuffed Beef Tenderloin

Tuscan Stuffed Beef Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 1  onion, diced
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1/2  pound  fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3  cup  shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup drained and chopped sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 1  (4-pound) beef tenderloin, trimmed

Preparation

Sauté onion in oil in a large skillet over medium heat until translucent. Add spinach, salt & pepper, and sauté 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese and sundried tomatoes.

Cut tenderloin lengthwise down center, cutting to, BUT NOT THROUGH, bottom. Lay flat, and spoon spinach mixture down center of tenderloin. Fold tenderloin over mixture, and tie with string at 1-inch intervals. (Tenderloin won’t completely close.) Chill 2 hours, if desired. Place, cut side up, on a rack in a roasting pan, and cover exposed filling with a strip of aluminum foil.

Bake at 425° for 50 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of tenderloin registers 145° (medium-rare). Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Alternatively, if you have a smoker, it gives it a wonderful flavor. My Marlborough Man smoked ours at 375° for about 45 minutes, then turned up the heat to high for the last 15 minutes.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

Steak and Tomato Salad

 

With temperatures soaring into 3 digits over much of the country, who wants to heat up the kitchen by turning on the oven?  Not me, that’s for sure! It’s time to fire up the grill, and throw on a hunk of meat!  We have some wonderful grass-fed beef in our freezer (thank you, Becky!), and the other night, I was craving a good steak.  I had the pleasure of enjoying this salad years ago at Morton’s Steakhouse and thought the presentation was just beautiful.  Use the best tomatoes you can find for this showstopper “main meal” salad! It’s a great way to use leftover steak as well!  DELISH!

Steak and Tomato Salad

Steak and Tomato Salad

Steak and Tomato Salad

Steak and Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

  • steak, grilled to your liking
  • onion (I use red), thickly sliced and grilled alongside the steak
  • tomato, thickly sliced
  • lettuce leaves
  • blue cheese, crumbled
  • dressing, your choice

Preparation:

Place two large lettuce leaves on a plate, stack the sliced onion, steak and tomato. Sprinkle cheese around the plate and dress with your choice of dressing.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • I prefer a light red wine vinaigrette to dress this salad.  Whisk together ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon sugar and salt & pepper to taste.  Slowly whisk in the oil in a steady stream until thickened.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

Summer Savory Pie

Nothing speaks to a cook like a bounty from the garden, so suffice it to say that I was more than excited when my friend, Annette, asked if I’d like to “pick the garden” during a recent visit to her and her husband’s beautiful hill country home.  I came home with some of the prettiest tomatoes I’ve seen since visiting Italy.  Not only were they picture perfect, but the flavor was outstanding.  Nothing like the cardboard texture and flavor we tend to get with so many of the grocery store tomatoes these days!

We enjoyed some delicious meals all week long centered around our homegrown tomatoes, and as I got down to the last of the bounty, I decided to make this dish.  The recipe is from my friend, Kathy Wilson, and she calls it her Summer Savory Pie.  I remember her making it for a shower we did together years ago for our girls, and it was a hit!  You can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner…or all three!

Summer Savory Pie

Summer Savory Pie

Summer Savory Pie

Courtesy of Kathy Wilson

Ingredients:

1/2 15 oz package of refrigerated pie crusts
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 purple onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 large eggs
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups (8 ounces ) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425°.

Fit piecrust into a 9 inch deep-dish pie pan pricking bottom and sides with a fork.  Bake 10 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside to cool.

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté bell pepper, onion and garlic 5 minutes or until tender.  Stir in basil and set aside.

Whisk together eggs, half & half, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Stir in sautéed vegetables and cheese, then pour into cooled crust.  Top with thinly sliced tomato, and bake at 375° for 45 to 50 min or until set, shielding edges with strips of aluminum foil after 30 min to prevent excessive browning.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup

I try LOTS of different recipes, and I find them in all kinds of places…magazines, cookbooks, friends and all over the internet.  Today, I’d like to share a soup I found over on  “The Cozy Apron“.   Not only is it delicious, but beautiful, too!  I think you’ll enjoy the blog.  I sure do!

Just click on the link above, and it will take you right to the recipe! Enjoy! 🙂

lemony chicken and spring veggie soup

Photo by:  “The Cozy Apron

Chocolate Drizzled Cappuccino Macaroons

I’m a huge fan of both coffee and coconut, so when I saw these Cappuccino Macaroons in my Fine Cooking Magazine, I knew they’d be on my kitchen counter soon!

Not to be confused with the French Macarons (pronounced mah-kah-ROHNS), the delicate meringue sandwich-like cookies made with egg whites and almond flour, these macaroons (pronounced mah-kah-ROONS) are a southern coconut cookie made with egg whites and shredded coconut (NO flour).  They have a soft pillowy center with a golden crisp outside, and they’re very easy to make in comparison to the French Macaron which takes far more finese on the part of the baker.  I decided to make them a little more decadent and drizzled them with dark chocolate. They were a HIT! 🙂

Chocolate Drizzled Cappuccino Macaroons

Chocolate Drizzled Cappuccino Macaroons

Chocolate Drizzled Cappuccino Macaroons

Chocolate Drizzled Cappuccino Macaroons

Fine Cooking Magazine

makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk (a little less than the whole can)
  • 1-½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4-½ cups (14 oz) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

 Preparation:

Place oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°.  Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper.

Combine the condensed milk, espresso powder, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the coconut and stir with a large silicone spatula until thoroughly mixed.

Beat egg whites and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Using the spatula, fold the whites into the coconut mixture pushing it together into a mound.

With wet hands or two wet spoons, gently form rounded tablespoonfuls of batter into balls about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Arrange 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.

Bake, rotating and swapping the positions of the pans halfway through, until the macaroons are golden brown in spots and their undersides are lightly browned, 20-25 minutes.

Cool briefly on the baking sheets, then transfer the macaroons directly to the racks to cool completely.

Liz’s Tidbits:

The macaroons will keep, uncovered at room temperature, for up to 3 days, or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. They can also be frozen for up to 6 months.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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