Stuffed Buns (Pirozhki)

November 15, 2016

img_5116

Look what I’ve got here…little yeast buns stuffed with ground beef, leeks and cheddar! YUM! Comfort food at its best! Known as Pirozhki in their native Russia, which actually means “small pie”, these savory, individual sized pies will soon be found in high rotation in your meal plans.

img_5134

We fell head over heels for them straight away. I mean what’s not to love? There’s a soft pillowy dough which encircles a savory blend of meat and cheese – Oh yes! Count me in.

img_5131

Exceedingly portable, these buns are not only delicious hot from the oven, but are also fabulous at room temperature and may have single-handedly saved us on a particularly rainy camping weekend. They are very versatile, so if ground beef and cheddar isn’t your thing, you could try a meatless option with sautéed onions, cabbage and chopped hardboiled eggs. And don’t forget, Thanksgiving is coming up soon. That means leftovers. A post-holiday Pirozhki with chopped turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce is very likely to make an appearance in my house. I’ll let you know how it goes, but in the meantime, give these Stuffed Buns a try!

img_5123

Stuffed Buns (Pirozhki)

  • Servings: 16 Buns
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 4 cups (17 oz /482 grams) All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz./28 grams) Vermont Cheese Powder (don’t have cheese powder? you can substitute grated parmesan or leave it out altogether.)
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./113grams) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 2 oz./57grams) soft unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./113grams) warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (7/8 oz./25grams) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

For the Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 small peeled onion or shallot, finely diced; about 3/4 cup (3 1/2 oz./14 grams) (loving leeks as we do, I went with leeks)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) ground beef
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chopped parsley, fresh or dried, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz./170grams) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, to brush on dough

Directions:

To make the dough: Combine all the dough ingredients and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until a soft, smooth dough forms.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow to rest for about 90 minutes, until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk.

To make the filling: Heat the oil in a sauté pan set over medium heat. 

Add the onion and cook until translucent. 

Add the garlic and ground beef and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, breaking the meat up as it browns, until it’s cooked through. 

Season the filling with salt, pepper, and parsley, remove it from the heat, and cool to room temperature. 

Stir in the cheese. The filling can be made ahead of time, then wrapped and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces; if you have a scale they’ll weigh about 2 ounces each. 

Shape the pieces into balls, and place them on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about an inch between them. 

Cover the dough balls, and allow them to rest for about 15 minutes.

Shape each ball into a flattened round about 5″ in diameter, brush the surface with some of the egg/water wash, and place 2 tablespoons of filling onto the center of each round. 

Pull the dough over the filling, pinching two opposite edges together tightly, to seal in the filling; it should look like a dumpling. 

Place the buns on two lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover the buns, and allow them to rise for 1 hour, or until puffy.

Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 400°F.

Brush the buns with the remaining egg wash. Bake the buns for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. It’s OK if some of the seams have come undone and the filling is visible; they can be prettier that way!

Remove the buns from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Store any leftover buns in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Pirozhki brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Stuffed Buns (Pirozhki):

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

6 Quart Dough Rising Bucket

Norpro 2 Tablespoon Cookie Scoop

SAF Instant Yeast

Vermont Cheese Powder

 

Advertisements

Pretzel Dogs!

August 6, 2015

IMG_9891

I’mmmmmmmmm back! Good Lord above, I can not believe that I haven’t written one tiny little thing on this blog since April 3rd!  And that post was written after I had taken a sizeable break after my St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-thon. Yup…back then I said I’d be getting right back into the kitchen. I don’t know what got into me. Wellll….I kinda do. You see I’ve been busy planning a big bathroom renovation. I’m not sure if I mentioned it or not, but about 1 1/2 years ago we had a bathroom fire that was started by a faulty bathroom exhaust fan. (Here’s a tip for all you readers out there…Do NOT leave your exhaust fan running over night. The motor in our’s heated up and because our bathroom had last been renovated sometime in the 70’s, the fan did not have a thermal fuse, so it just kept getting hotter and hotter until it caught the insulation in the ceiling on fire. We were very lucky that the bathroom was all that burned up.) So yeah, you did read that right…the fire happened all that time ago and we are just now getting around to doing something about it. How pathetic is that? Seriously, we just sealed that bathroom off with plywood, moved to the guest bathroom down the hall and have been doing our best to ignore it. But I’m happy to report that we’ve finally got our act together and have hired a contractor and have nearly finished the design. Construction is nigh I tell you!

IMG_1340 - Version 2

Big gaping hole which we unbelievably ignored for over 1 year!!!

And then we just purchased a condo down in Richmond Virginia. Yes….I did say “down”. That is because Richmond is even further south in Virginia than we currently are now. I’m sure you all know how I loathe summer weather in Virginia and what did we do? Went further south! Must be stone cold crazeeee! So that has taken a bit of doing. The good news is as it turns out, Richmond is quite the hidden foodie destination. So I’m looking forward to telling you about some of our future dining exploits. But here is a sneak preview pic:

IMG_2931

Green Eggs & Lamb & Non-Huevos Rancheros with Griddled Jalapeno Grits, Black Bean Chili & Carnitas at Black Sheep brunch! #RVA#BlackSheepRVA

And last but not least, we just returned from a completely fantastic holiday in Iceland. Yup, we’ve been there before, three times now counting this visit and I am completely smitten! I’ve got a post coming up about a delicious Icelandic doughnut I sampled there.

IMG_2554 - Version 2

Icelandic Doughnut or ástarpungar from the Geirabakarí in Borgarnes…stay tuned for the recipe!

So anyhoo…..I should probably make you some sort of assurances that I’ll settle down again and blog faithfully, but I’m not sure it would be prudent to make such pledges. I do have good intentions….but I am the person that walked around with a boarded up bathroom for almost two years. So there you have it. I can be a bit negligent. But I beg your forgiveness and will try to be better. I’m going to start out fresh today with a great recipe for Pretzel Dogs!

IMG_9850

At this point, I don’t know if I even need to say one other word, their name says it all. Who doesn’t love those big soft chewy salty pretzels? And hot dogs? We loooove hot dogs in this house. I’ve posted quite a few hot dog blogs in the past, like how ’bout those Bacon Wrapped Dogs,

IMG_8314

or those tasty little Mini Corn Dogs?

IMG_6772

Yup, we’re big fans. I just told you we were recently off visiting Iceland. Well, as it turns out Icelanders love hot dogs too. There is this famous hot dog stand, Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, in downtown Reykjavik and the husband and I made it a point to stop there every single day for one of their hot dogs with everything (“eina með öllu.” – they have a whole bunch of delicious toppings like mustard, raw onions, crispy onions and some sort of special hot dog remoulade).

IMG_2836

Day one….

IMG_2837

Day two….

And I can truly say the husband and I have never met a pretzel we didn’t like. Usually we nibble on the hard and crunchy store-bought variety, but certainly do love the big soft and chewy ones. So when I came across a recipe for  Pretzel Dogs, I knew without a doubt I would be giving it a whirl. Basically you just make up a yeast dough, similar to what you would do for bread. The thing that magically transforms it into a pretzel is the alkaline bath that it is dipped into prior to baking. That magical soak is crucial for both the texture as well as the color of pretzels. Once that yeast dough is introduced to this bath, the outside of the dough is gelatinized which prevents the usual “springing” of the dough which occurs during baking, giving you the chewy texture, distinct pretzel-y flavour and lovely brown colour. Once upon a time, pretzels were a noticeably darker brown color. This was achieved with a dip in a lye bath – albeit a food grade lye ( sodium hydroxide) bath. Now that stuff, “food grade” or not, is actually quite the hazardous chemical. I’m serious….you can still use it but you’re going to have to go all “Breakin Bad” and wear big rubber gloves and safety goggles when you’re doing your cooking. Personally, I don’t think I need to be that authentic. I’m happy to go with the old tried and true baking soda as a substitute. Everyone has a box of that lingering on their shelves at home. It will definitely give you that lovely soft and chewy brown pretzel crust that you’re longing for without any hazardous chemical concerns.

IMG_9883

And now that we’ve covered the pretzel bit, lets not forget that oh so important dog that it is wrapped around. So everyone has their favourite brand, and far be it from me to tell you what you should buy. However I will say, I like a dog that has a bit of flavour and a little snap when you bite into it. Usually we buy Hebrew Nationals, Nathan’s or Boar’s Head brands, but I’ll leave that choice up to you. As far as I’m concerned, you really can’t go wrong with these. Straightforward and easy to make….not to mention so delish! Comfort food extraordinaire! With a little side dish of good ole yellow mustard for dipping, you’re totally set. Don’t even get me started thinking about the spicy nacho cheese dip possibilities. So don’t be a proscrastinator – like yours truly – jump right on this and make up a batch of these comfort food gems today!

IMG_9885

 

Pretzel Dogs

  • Servings: 8 pretzel dogs
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Bake with Christina

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups warm (110 to 115° F) water
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
  • 4½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pans
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 8 hot dogs (we love Hebrew National, Nathans and Boars Head)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Kosher salt, for sprinkling

Directions:

Combine the water, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to foam. In the meantime, lightly oil a large bowl and set aside.

Using a dough hook, add the flour and melted butter to the yeast mixture on low-speed until well combined. Increase speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl (about 4 to 5 minutes).

Place the dough in the lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm area for an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Pour 10 cups of water in an 8 quart pot which has deep sides. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Carefully add the baking soda. The mixture will foam up quite a bit, hence the deep sided pot recommendation. Stir until the soda has dissolved and then lower the heat to medium and keep the solution simmering.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a rope that’s about 24-inches long. Starting at one end, wrap the dough around the hot dog, pinching each end together so that it’s sealed and stays in place. Take care to make sure you have a good seal or your pretzel dogs will begin to unravel in the baking soda bath. Place onto the baking sheets and repeat with the remaining dough and hot dogs.

Lower the pretzel dogs into the boiling water two at a time and boil for 30 seconds. Using a large flat slotted spatula, remove them from the water and place on the baking sheets. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with the coarse kosher salt. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Pretzel Dogs brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 


Pan Haggerty

March 6, 2015

IMG_1284

Winter just won’t let go. We’ve had freezing rain, sleet, an ice storm and 8″of snow this week, not to mention that I have heard that the temperature is going to plunge down to 11° F (-12°C) tonight. I don’t know about you, but I think that seems a tad chilly for March. I guess there’s nothing to be done. Winter won’t leave until it is good and ready. So in the meantime I guess I’ll have to keep those ‘warm you up” recipes coming. I’ve got a great one for you today. Pan Haggerty. This dish, cooked and served in the same pan, is made up of potatoes, sauteed onions, bacon and cheese. Sounds great huh?

IMG_1285

Now there does seem to be some controversy whether it is an Irish dish or a British dish which hails from Northumberland. Seems everyone has a claim to it. I even read that sure it is associated with Northumberland, but that it was brought there by the Irish when they came to work in the mines. I don’t think it’ll ever be proven one way or another. But what I can tell you for certain is this rich, buttery, cheesy dish is definitely a winner! Served as a main dish or as a side, it is comfort food at its finest. And I think we could all use a bit of that right about now!

IMG_1292

Pan Haggerty

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Seasons and Suppers

Ingredients:

  • 3 – 4 sliced bacon, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced or diced
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • 5-6 potatoes, thinly sliced into rounds (White potatoes or Yukon Gold – not Russets)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups grated Dubliner cheese (or substitute in your favourite)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375° F.

In an oven-proof skillet, I prefer cast iron, over medium heat, heat a small amount  butter. Add the onions and a pinch of white sugar. Cook, stirring often, until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Remove onions from pan and place in a small bowl. In the same pan, fry the bacon until browned and slightly crisp. Remove from the pan and combine in the bowl with the reserved onion and fresh thyme leaves.

In the same pan used to cook the bacon, arrange a layer of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the onion/bacon mixture. Add another layer of potatoes and another 1/3 of the bacon/onion mixture. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add another layer of potatoes and the final 1/3 of the onion/bacon mixture. Top with a final layer of potatoes.

Cover the pan with a lid or a piece of tin foil and reduce the heat to a low. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the bottom layer of potatoes are golden.

Uncover the pan and place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and top with grated cheese.

Return pan to the broiler and heat until cheese is melted and and edges of potatoes are crisped, about 5 minutes more. To serve, cut wedges from the pan.

Enjoy!

Recipe brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 


Beer Sausage Gravy

October 10, 2014

IMG_9496

So did you ever have one of those weeks? You know the thing. That day where you wake up late and then the Starbucks dude gets your order really wrong leaving you with a cup of really expensive yet undrinkable liquid that you just stare at whilst you sit in the biggest traffic jam since cars were invented as the needle on your gas gauges sinks ever lower past E. Yup one of those days…times 5!!! I swear without going into detail, or calling specific folks out (I’m ever so tempted…), every day of that week kept getting slightly more irritating than the previous for both the husband and myself. Yup, it wasn’t just one of us who was suffering a misalignment of the stars, both of us were. So I knew that once the weekend arrived (and boy did it ever take its sweet time showing up) I would have to start it off with some seriously delicious comfort food to give us both a much-needed attitude adjustment. For those of you who have been following me, you know I just told you about some Maple Bacon Biscuits which could stop you dead in your tracks. Those were actually just the first part in operation “forget the past week ever existed”. This week was soo annoying that biscuits, not even those little treasures, couldn’t perk us up all on their own. So what was a girl to do? Well, I reached for the booze of course. A big old bottle of beer to be specific. And the bit I didn’t chug right away (I sure did…morning time be damned. It had to be after 5 some where…), I poured into the unbelievable creamy spicy batch of Sausage Gravy that I was cooking up to grace those lovely biscuits. Biscuits & Gravy.

IMG_9490

Wait….Maple Bacon Biscuits & Beer Sausage Gravy! Yup…that was the kind of dreadful week we had, only a combo of pork products, biscuits, gravy & beer could take its sting away. And you know…it pretty much worked. At least we cared less about it all during the time it took us to savour every delicious bite. I think we may have even licked our plates clean! So if you’re ever in need of some serious stick to your ribs, down home style comfort food, look no further. You’ll be feeling right in no time with a big old plate of Biscuits with Beer Sausage Gravy.

IMG_9502

Beer Sausage Gravy

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: The Owl with the Goblet

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound country-style sausage
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 3 1/2 cups milk ( at least 2% or whole)
  • 1 teaspoon “extra special sausage gravy seasoning”  (recipe listed below)
  • 3 -4 sprigs of fresh thyme (leaves only)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch red  pepper flakes

For Serving:

  • 8 -9 Biscuits of your choice  ( I seriously recommend those Maple Bacon Biscuits I just told you about)

Directions:

Place a large frying pan on the stove over medium high heat.  Add sausage and cook until browned. With a slotted spoon, remove sausage from the pan and set aside.  Keep grease in the pan and add the butter and allow it to melts. Slowly add the flour, stirring the whole time until a smooth paste forms. Increase heat to high, add beer slowly, whisking continuously.  Continue whisking and add milk.  Keep stirring until all lumps are gone.  Continue cooking over high heat and bring gravy to a boil. This will thicken it up a bit.

Reduce heat to low and add fresh thyme, seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if desired for a kick).  Taste gravy and season with more salt or pepper if needed. Add sausage back to pan and stir until well incorporated. Keep warm over low heat and serve over or on the side of the biscuits.

Extra-Special Gravy Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon roasted garlic powder

Directions:

Mix all of the spices together. Store excess spice for use the next time you need a little biscuits and gravy comfort!

Enjoy!

Beer Sausage Gravy brought to you by: Runcible Eats (https://leaandjay.com)

 


Tater Tot Casserole

February 10, 2014

IMG_4979

I’m sure you know by now, that dang critter saw his shadow. Yup…SIX, count ’em…six more weeks of this bizarro Winter! Boo!!! I kind of had a feeling it wasn’t done with us yet. So looks like we’ll have to hunker down for just a bit longer. This Tater Tot Casserole is the perfect comfort food to help you get through it.

IMG_4935

I’m not even going to try to pretend this casserole is healthy or good for you in any way. I’m quite sure it is not. But let me tell you…it is oh so good. Gooey, creamy, savoury, cheesey, tater-tot-y bliss! Just the thing to warm you up and soothe those nerves on one of these frigid winter nights.

IMG_4974

And one of the truly awesome things about this casserole is that it freezes fantastically well. So once you are going to all the trouble to make it (uh…it is really not very much trouble…) you can make an extra pan of it and just pop it in the freezer. You will be so happy that you did because the next time you have one of those days…you know the kind…made even worse by the icy roads, frozen pipes and kids being home from school for the second week straight…all you’ll have to do is pull that bad boy out of the freezer and place directly in the oven. There you have it…comfort food therapy on the way! And while the family thinks you’re busy “preparing” dinner, you can have a moment or two to yourself. All alone…Well, alone except for that glass (or should I say bottle) of wine… Just kidding! I know you wouldn’t do that. I’m sure it is obvious to everyone that a tall, frosty beer (or say six…one for every extra week of Winter) would be a much better pairing with this dish! Hope everyone enjoys their extended weeks of Winter!

IMG_4977

Tater Tot Casserole

recipe adapted from: craving comfort

yield: 4 servings

ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato puree
  • handful fresh thyme leaves
  • 10 ounce can of condensed cream of chicken or mushroom soup
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 16 oz. package of frozen tater tots
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Brown ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper. Remove beef from pan, leaving as much of grease in pan as possible and set aside.

Saute chopped onion and garlic in reserved grease. Cook until tender. Add ground beef back to pan and add Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree. Stir until combined. Add thyme leaves to mixture.

In large bowl, combine sour cream and cream of chicken soup. Add beef mixture and stir to combine.

Place soup/beef mixture in 8×8″ pan. Top with tater tots.

Bake uncovered for 30 – 40 minutes until bubbly and tater tots are golden brown.

Sprinkle one cup of cheese over tater tots and return to oven until cheese in melted.

Enjoy!

This casserole freezes well. Put it together and freeze until ready to bake. If you would like to feed a crowd, consider doubling it and baking in a 9×13″ pan.


Chicken & Dumplings

April 8, 2013

IMG_2394

“Chicken & Dumplings” I heard my husband say the other supposedly Spring day as we were walking our dog through a chilling rain/snowy sleet shower. “I’d really like to have some Chicken & Dumplings sometime soon.” I’m sure it was the lovely weather at the time that inspired him to think of that comforting down-home, southern dish. However, I know he would eat a big old bowl of Chicken & Dumplings any time of the year, regardless of the temperature. In fact, I may have even seen him set the car up on two wheels in an effort to make a quick turn into the parking lot of a country church or Fire Hall which was sporting a sign offering up a fund-raising Chicken & Dumpling dinner. He is that much of a fan and the more rustic the Chicken & Dumplings are the better.

IMG_2380

Now I’ve tried quite a few recipes for this classic dish in the past. Some old-fashioned, “just like your momma made it” and some new fangled and “quick for the working woman” varieties. I even made a very tasty TexMex Chicken & Dumplings last year that packed quite a spicy punch. But what he wanted this time was just plain and simple, creamy and comforting Chicken & Dumplings. Luckily I had just seen a recipe from Crumbs and Tales for Chicken & Dumplings that I was excited to try out. The fun thing about this particular recipe is that it used leeks rather than the usual celery. I’ve already told you how much my husband loves leeks, so I knew this ingredient twist would be warmly welcomed. Other than the addition of leeks, this recipe is pretty straight forward old-fashioned and yields up a wonderfully creamy, hearty and comforting version, right down to its fluffy cornmeal dumplings. One bite and my husband said “Mmm…this is really good darlin” and I think I may have even seen the glint of a few tears of joy in his eyes as he went back for seconds. No doubt we will be seeing quite a bit of this particular version of Chicken & Dumplings in the future. Make some for yourself today!

IMG_2385

Chicken & Dumplings

recipe from: Crumbs and Tales

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

For the Chicken Stew:

  • 3 lbs  bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (thighs and legs are the most tender)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2  leeks (light green and white parts only)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 5 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups (1250 ml) unsalted chicken broth (or water)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (or 2%)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas

For the Dumplings:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced

Directions:

Prepare the chicken stew:  Slice the leeks length-wise and then dice into pieces. Dice the onions and carrots. Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wide pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken pieces and par-fry the chicken until golden and crisp on both sides (about 4 minutes on each side). Transfer the chicken to a plate and remove the crisped skin. Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pot and crisp the remaining pieces of chicken and set aside.

In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Mince the garlic, add to the pot and toast lightly for a few seconds. Add the diced carrot, leeks and onion, thyme and 1 teaspoon salt. Sweat the vegetables for about 5 minutes until they are softened. Stir in the flour until the vegetables are coated. Add 1/2 a cup of the chicken stock to create a thick mixture. Add the remaining 4 1/2 cups of stock to the pot along with the milk.  Arrange the chicken pieces in the bottom of the pot. Cover and simmer for about 40-50 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.

Remove the chicken from the pot and place on a cutting board. Remove the meat from the bones and shred the chicken. Discard the bones. Return the shredded chicken to the pot.

Prepare the dumplings: Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add the butter (the mixture will be crumbly). Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture until incorporated. Mix in the parsley. Set aside for a few minutes — the baking powder will begin to activate the batter causing it to puff up.

Return the stew to a simmer and stir in the peas. Drop the dumpling dough by tablespoons on top of the stew. You should get about 16 dumplings in total. Leave a little bit of room around each dumpling to allow the dumplings to puff up and expand as they steam.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook the dumplings for about 15 minutes until the dumplings have doubled in size. Serve immediately as the dumplings will begin to sop up the juices of the stew. To save time, the stew can be made ahead of time and refrigerated but make the dumpling batter right before you intend to use it and bring the mixture up to a simmer before dropping the dumplings in. For leftovers: If, after refrigerating the stew, the dumplings have absorbed most of the moisture, simply add a little water (and salt if necessary) to the mixture to loosen it up before re-heating.

Enjoy!


Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes

January 31, 2013

IMG_9009

Good ole Sloppy Joes. I’m sure all of the Americans reading this have fond childhood memories of this dish. For those of you unfamiliar with this American kid-friendly classic, it was originally invented by a cook named Joe in a Sioux City Iowa cafe. It is essentially a “loose meat” sandwich which consists of browned ground beef (mince) onions, spices and tomato sauce served on a hamburger bun. I swear, my elementary school cafeteria served them every single week. Unfortunately, I do not have fond memories of Sloppy Joes since some cook in my school thought it would be great to put beans into the mix. Beans?! Bleck! At least that is what 6-year-old me would have said. It totally ruined the whole Sloppy Joe experience for me. There was no picking around the beans. I mean, I ask you, who in the world would want to put beans in a Sloppy Joe! At that point, it became a peanut butter & jelly day without a doubt! The good news is that I think my discovery of these Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes has taken some of the tarnish off of my childhood Sloppy Joe trauma. Rather than the regular ground beef, these Joes use ground pork and have really kicked up the spice factor with the addition of  chipotle chilis, chorizo sausage, green chilis and cilantro into the mix. I served the spicy meat mixture up on my home-made Jalapeño Cheddar Rolls and topped it with a big old dollop of guacamole, crumbled mexican cheese and freshly chopped cilantro. Notice there is not a bean in sight! Comfort food perfection! I have completely revised my opinion of Sloppy Joes at this point. They can be utterly delicious! Revamp your childhood memories and serve up a batch of these bad boys up soon!

IMG_9039

Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes

Recipe Adapted from: Smells like Home

Yield: 15-16 servings (depending on the size of hamburger bun you serve)

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 chipotle chiles en adobo (or 1/4 tsp chipotle powder)
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb. chorizo sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz beer, such as a light ale or lager
  • 1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chili’s
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • hamburger buns, guacamole, chopped cilantro, mexican cheese, diced red onions to serve

Directions:

Brown ground pork and chorizo sausage in large skillet. Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of the fat. Set meat aside.

Saute the onion and garlic in reserved fat until onions are tender. Set aside.

Place tomato sauce, chipotle chilis, spices, and Worcestershire sauce in food processor and pulse until smooth.

Put browned meats, onion and garlic mixture, and tomato sauce mixture in slow cooker. Add beer, chopped green chilis, cilantro and lime juice. Stir to combine. (if you don’t have  slow cooker, just keep in on the stove top)

Cook in slow cooker set on medium high for 25 minutes and then keep warm until ready to serve.

Just prior to serving add salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve on hamburger buns (see my recipe for Jalapeño Cheddar rolls), with guacamole, cheese and more cilantro for toppings.

Enjoy!


%d bloggers like this: