Beef Stew

It’s winter so it’s like law of the land that us humans must consume beef stew.  Plus it’s actually cold here in Austin, it’s kind of freaky.  The Cayenne pepper and the brown sugar here make it sweetly spicy and awesomeeee.  You could also add turnips orrrr mushrooms ’cause that’d be dandy.

Beef Stew (fo four)

  • 1 lb stewing beef
  • olive oil (at least 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp all-spice
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper (or less if you don’t like it a little spicy)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • some red potatoes
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into a dice
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water

Smother your beef with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Then add the butter and once it’s melted (careful not to brown it) start browning the beef in batches.

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Keep going…

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Spicy Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

I’ve never made any Cajun or Creole food, so I figured it was about time to experiment.  This is a Cajun-style recipe because the base of the gumbo is a dark roux and the aromatics are the trinity of onion, green pepper and celery.  This recipe is based off the “Spicy Seafood Gumbo” from Emily Ansara Baines’s “The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook,” although I added sausage, forgot to buy celery and the store didn’t have any okra.  Okra is an awesome vegetable, you should add some if you have it.  But anyways, this is a pretty easy and turned out pretty delicious. DSC_0298 Spicy Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 2 tbsp seafood seasoning, I used some crab/shrimp/crawfish boil seasoning I found at the grocery store
  • 2 tbsp Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you want less spice)
  • 2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 sausage of your choosing, I used boudin sausage made of pork and pork liver
  • 1 box of rice, I used Zatarain’s brand Dirty Rice Mix

Start by boiling water for the rice and prepare per the box directions. Heat the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Take a wild guess at what I used… DSC_0284 THE DUTCH OVEN DUH. When the butter is melted, add the flour and stir with a fork or whisk.  I have this super nifty flat whisk and it rules at making a roux.  It’ll initially foam up a bunch like this: DSC_0285 So the tricky part about making a roux is that it’s so easy to burn it’s insane.  When you’re doing this part, make SURE you’re constantly stirring and watching it.  I stopped for 10 seconds to take a picture and ruined my first attempt; had the whole house smelling like burnt popcorn and you DON’T want that in your food, it’ll taste naaaasty. Just keep stirring.  Slowly it’ll start to get golden. DSC_0288 And it’ll get a little brownish… DSC_0290 Keep stirring constantly, you want your roux to be as dark as possible without having any burnt bits. DSC_0291 Keep going until it’s EVEN MORE brown.  DO NOT STOP STIRRING seriously it’s not fun to stir that long and burn it. DSC_0293 Continue reading

Spicy Beer and Lime Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas for dinner, because who doesn’t love them?!  Based on THIS recipe:  http://www.howsweeteats.com/2013/12/spicy-beer-braised-lime-chicken-enchiladas/

Spicy Beer and Lime Chicken Enchiladas

  • 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • the zest of one lime
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz of beer (I used Corona)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • the juice of one lime
  • 8 oz monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • flour tortillas (I used 9, but depends on the size of them, I suppose)

Let’s start with the rub.  Zest the shit outta a lime into a bowl:

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Add the sugar, cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

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Heat a skillet or something (I used my Dutch oven because duh its the greatest most versatile thing in the kitchen) with the olive oil over medium high heat.  While that’s heating up, mix together your rub and smother those chicken breasts.  I mean, COVER them with the entirety of the contents of the bowl.  Add to the skillet.

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Brown them on both sides, a few minutes per side.

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Crockpot Cheesechicken!

Turns out when you have a pretty much full time job, there’s not much time to cook during the week.  But there are these amazing revolutionary man-made machines called slowcookers and they are wonderful, especially if you’re feeling lazy but want slow cooked goodness.  So prepare yourself for the easiest recipe yet:  Crockpot CHEESECHICKEN!  Let’s DO THIS thing.  And prepare for hardly any prep time then doing other things for 6-8 hours!  Amazing.

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