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One Pan Beef Stroganoff

I suppose it’s no coincidence that my blog has been filled with comfort type dishes as of late…the January blues and blahs tend to hit really hard for some reason…even living here in the Canaries where it’s sunny more often than not.  I’ve always thought that my seasonal surge of depression was due to the cold grey days of Minnesota winter, but once again I am proven wrong…even though the days can be bright, here, my mood has not been.  Whenever this shadow shows it’s ugly self, I find that I dive into comfort food mode, and probably a comfy robe and slippers, too.  So, it’s no surprise that today’s post is about one of the quintessential winter comfort dishes…Beef Stroganoff. Being the busy (and too lazy to do dishes) mom that I am, I try to cut time corners whenever possible.  Beef Stroganoff traditionally makes a big mess and lots of dishes, but not this one.  I promise you every bit of the delicious flavor of Stroganoff with only one deep pan.  Well, and the pasta pot, too.  It’s quick, easy and hella soothing on a rough day.  (so much so that I hid the leftovers from the kids so I could have them myself!  Bad mommy! lol)

beef stroganoff

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, minced
3 cups chopped mushrooms
1 1/2 pounds steak of choice, cut into thin strips (or ground beef)
2-3 tablespoons flour (or cornstarch for gluten free)
3 cups beef consomme (or beef broth)
a splash of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup tomato puree
1 bay leaf
a few sprigs of thyme (or thyme leaves to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sour cream (or Quark cheese or Greek yogurt)
chopped parsley to garnish
1 pound (400 grams) egg noodle pasta, prepared according to package directions

Preparation:

Using a deep saute pan, melt butter.
Saute garlic first, just until golden, then add onions and stir until translucent.
Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown just a little.
Add steak (or ground beef) and toss around, browning a bit.
Add flour and give it a good stir.
Now add consomme, Worcestershire, tomato puree, bay and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
Stir to combine, then cover and cook over low heat about 20-30 minutes.
(Now is a good time to make your pasta)
Add sour cream and stir through.
Remove from heat and serve over pasta, garnished with freshly chopped parsley.

Buttery, Fluffy, Flakey Melt in your Mouth Biscuits!

Oh my Gawd.  Seriously.  This week has been a week of copycatting…first I made Mallow‘s chocolate pudding, then Kevin‘s sesame chicken, and now, Elly‘s delicious–scratch that–DELICIOUS! biscuits

biscuits 

As you already know, some things that are so very commonplace in the US are virtually non-existent here.  Biscuits are yet another example of this phenomena.  Ok, ok…it’s not exactly a “phenomena,” I was just being cheeky. lol  However, I do find it strange that there are McD’s and BK’s all over the place, and yet, they do not serve breakfast.  No breakfast?!  That should be illegal, since the best thing from McD’s is their breakkie menu, at least as far as we’re concerned.  English muffins?  Nowhere to be found.  Pancakes or french toast and syrup?  Nope.  Biscuits?  Not a chance. 

So, I’m left to my own devices to try and come up with great recipes for all of these things that are hopelessly unattainable.  Unless someone else comes up with one first.  Then all I have to do is copy what they’ve done.  LMAO  As in this case.  Why on Earth would I even bother to make up a new recipe, when Elly has so conveniently already posted one?  I must confess that I did alter her recipe a teensy little bit, but man, if you are looking for an awesomely delicious biscuit recipe, look no further.  These biscuits were gone so quickly, they didn’t even have the chance to cool down!  My kids were waiting in line at the counter, plates in hands, just waiting for the second tray to come out of the oven.  My hubs couldn’t stop saying how awesome and delicious they were.  And me?  OMG, I was in some biscuit induced state of nirvana, and don’t remember much except for the buttery, fluffy melt in your mouth awesomeness that I experienced while eating these.  And, as a special bonus?  They were done in under 30 minutes, start to finish (that includes “devouring” time)!  So, friends, here you have them…Elly’s most fabulous biscuits:

biscuits

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 cup self rising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter (1/4 pound, 100 grams)
3/4 cup milk

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450ºF/225ºC.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Add dry ingredients to your food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine.
Add butter and pulse until mealy.
Add milk and pulse until the dough comes together in a sticky ball.
Turn dough out into a bowl (you may need a rubber spatula to get it all out–they’re sticky!).
Flour your hands and gently form 12 balls.
Arrange 6 each on baking sheets and gently pat down just a little bit.
Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden.

Sesame Chicken

Not long ago while making my blog “rounds” I was struck by a post by Kevin at Closet Cooking.  As you may recall, I have been trying to come up with a recipe similar to my old boss’, but to no avail.  The sesame chicken dishes I’ve made are good, but not Cam’s.  With Kevin’s help, I think I’m getting a little closer!  WOOHOO!  Kevin added pineapple juice and honey to his recipe…and that is what was missing from my other attempts, I think.  I didn’t follow his recipe exactly, but this recipe was definitely inspired by his. :)   And while it’s still not quite there yet?  I’m one step closer to cracking that sesame chicken code, baby. ;)

sesame chicken

Ingredients:

1/2 cup light soy sauce (for gf, be sure to check the bottle to be sure it’s certified gf!)
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons ginger (grated)
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
cayenne pepper to taste
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus a little more for garnish
3 tablespoons ketchup (yes, I did go there lmao)
a few drops of sesame oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 pounds (1 kilo) chicken breast, diced fairly small
1 tablespoon sunflower oil

Preparation:

Whisk all marinade ingredients in a bowl, and toss in chicken.
Stir to coat all chicken and marinate for 15 minutes.
Heat oil in a very hot wok (or large saute pan).
Carefully add in chicken, and stir and flip constantly to avoid sticking.
Cook chicken about 15 minutes, until sauce begins to thicken.
Serve over a bed of white rice, garnished with sesame seeds. (I would have garnished with green onion as well, but the veggie vendor didn’t have them that day, so we had to go without.)

Hearty Lentil Stew with Chorizo and Bacon

So, it’s definitely winter here in Canaryville…you might laugh at me for my idea of winter after having lived in the Minnesota tundra, but even so…winter it is…short grey days, blustery winds and rain.  The temps aren’t overly chilly, but it *feels* freezing…partly because of the humidity, partly because of the structural elements of the house…marble floors and concrete walls don’t lend well to warmth. lol  Here in the city of Las Palmas especially, it’s rare that people have central heating installed, so chilly days really are chilly…even inside!  I generally provide improvisational heat by baking, and making bubbly things on the stove.  I think it’s almost like aromatherapy heat…psychologically, comforting smells warm the soul and therefore, the body. :)  

lentil stew

Lentils have to be one of my favorite things ever.  I like them in just about anything, but in soup or stew they really appeal to my soup/stew addicted senses.  Rich in iron, protein, B vitamins, potassium and calcium, lentils really pack a nutritional punch too.  Spanish chorizo (from Asturias) really deepens the flavor of this stew.  It, along with the bacon add a wonderful smokiness that makes this one of my winter favorites. (Don’t be alarmed at the long list of ingredients, the recipe is actually very easy, just chop and throw everything into the pot.)

Ingredients:

2 pounds (1 kilo) dried lentils (I use the tiny dark brown ones)
1 large onion, minced
1 yam, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
3 zucchini, diced
1 piece of pumpkin, peeled..I used about 2 cups worth of diced
4 Spanish chorizos, sliced
1/2 pound bacon (200 grams), cut into bite sized pieces
beef broth or water and bouillon to cover vegetables completely, and to allow lentils to absorb water.
2/3 cup tomato sauce or tomato puree
thyme to taste
2 bay leaves
garlic powder to taste (I actually prefer garlic powder to fresh in this recipe) fresh garlic tends to lose it’s flavor when it’s boiled, while the powder adds a toasted garlic flavor that really adds to this.  Alternatively, you could brown some garlic in a bit of olive oil in the stockpot before adding the other ingredients)
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Wash and sort lentils.
Place all ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat to low.
Simmer, covered for 2 hours, or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
Remove cover and simmer until desired thickness of stew is achieved (I usually leave it another hour or so), stirring occasionally.
Serve with cracked black pepper.
** This stew is even better the next day.

Hey Puddin’! Want some Puddin’?

Cho-co-late Pudding….man o man is this stuff good.  I have been craving chocolate pudding for weeks and weeks, and the other day finally did a search for recipes.  Would you believe I had never made pudding from scratch before?  Sure, I’ve made the packaged cook and eat kind, but never made pudding from the bare bones ingredients.  It’s kind of funny, I think I’ve made just about every other type of chocolate concoction known to man, and never this one…creamy, silky smooth deliciousness ready to transport you back to your childhood in an instant. :)   Mallow over at PieTown posted this recipe originally, and I heeded her advice to add less sugar.  Since I copied the recipe pretty much word for word, I’ll just note that I reduced the sugar to 2/3 cup, and for gluten free, to be sure to check the cocoa powder label to make sure it’s certified gf.  Enjoy! :D

chocolate pudding

Shredded Pork Enchiladas

One of the foods I miss most living here in the Canary Islands is Mexican and Tex-Mex foods.  Sure, we have a couple of restaurants, but the food is nowhere near that which I’m used to having lived in the States.  While the Canaries are very diverse ethnically, there aren’t very many Mexican immigrants.  The majority of Spanish speaking immigrants are Cuban, Colombian, Argentinian and Venezuelan.  Basically, the demand for Mexican and Tex-Mex foods is very low, so ingredients are difficult to find or very expensive.  That’s beginning to change now, but still, the variety is minimal, so I have to make do with what’s available.  The other day I almost starting jumping up and down in the grocery when I stumbled upon corn tortillas.  Corn tortillas!  OMG!  Flour tortillas are fairly common, corn chips are fairly common, but the ever elusive corn tortilla is a rare treat.  I immediately bought them and planned an enchilada meal.  As luck would have it, I had 1 remaining can of tomatillo salsa (salsa verde) in the pantry, and pork roasts were on sale as well.  Good deal!  Enchiladas were in our future. *insert happy dancing here*

shredded pork enchiladas

Ingredients:

1-2 lb (1/2-1 kilo) pork roast
Tex-Mex rub:

1/4 cup chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin

12 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons flour (or cornstarch for gf)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 small can tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 cups grated cheese (I used Dutch Gouda, but Cheddar, Monterrey Jack or other cheese would work, too)
salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to taste
sour cream and chopped cilantro to garnish

Preparation:

Combine rub ingredients in a bowl, and rub all over pork roast.
Place roast in a large zip-lock bag and then in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
Now put the roast in a baking dish, cover and bake at least 5 hours at 325ºF/160ºC (or until meat begins to fall apart when poked with a fork).
Drain most of the juice from baking dish, and using a potato masher, shred pork.
Keep warm in the oven.
Wrap corn tortillas in foil and place in oven to warm as well.
Make sauce:
Heat oil over medium heat, then whisk in flour (or cornstarch) to make a roux.
Cook at least one minute, stirring constantly.
Add broth and milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
Cook over medium heat about 15 minutes, or until thickened.
Add tomatillo salsa, sour cream and cilantro.
Stir well and remove from heat.
Coat the bottom of a 9×13″ baking dish with a bit of the sauce.
Remove tortillas from oven, and fill with shredded pork and a bit of cheese, then roll up and place in baking dish.
Repeat with all tortillas.
Pour sauce over enchiladas, and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake in a 400ºF/200ºC oven about 20 minutes, or until bubbly.
Serve garnished with sour cream and chopped cilantro.

canarygirl




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