Sunday, October 24, 2010

Comfort food!

Here's the product of owning just two pieces of modern kitchen equipment - The Magic Bullet and a Slow Cooker. The former means that you can make smoothies without all the elbow-grease, and the latter that you can good food slowly without having to have an open fire going for about three days!

[Today's Smoothie]
We needed to clear out bananas, so I split four, each halved, between two cups. Apple "cider" (american name - no alcohol, so really just unfiltered apple juice) to about two-thirds full, two or three teaspoons of syrup, two tablespoons of vanilla ice cream, and top off with milk. Wizz! Wizz again!! Open, drink, and let the world envy you!

[Beef Stew]
  • Slice an onion and chop another; fry them gently with three heaped teaspoons of chopped garlic (BJ's, of course) until they are getting translucent. Add parsley (a big pinch), sage (another big pinch), rosemary (a teaspoon), thyme (a teaspoon), and bay (two leaves), stir well in with some salt and pepper and let fry some more. The mixture will start to dry out as the herbs absorb the fat: after a few minutes put the mixture into a bowl.
  • Slice up and fry (in butter) about a dozen button mushrooms; once done, these go into the slow cooker.
  • Chop up about a dozen baby carrots and put them into the cooker, along with a good helping of peas (fresh or frozen).
  • Cut up about a pound and a half of chuck into cubes about 2 cm (3/4 inch) on a side. I cooked the meat in thirds - it depends how big our frying pan is! Fry it in some oil for a minute or so, stirring to get it browned all over, and then add in a portion of the onion and herb mix. Fry on for another 3 or 4 minutes and then add to the crock-pot.
  • Repeat the last step for the remaining portions of meat and herbs.
  • Add a bottle of red wine (Not too expensive, but try not to use the cheapest plonk!) to the crock-pot, put it on High until it starts to boil, and then set on low and leave for three days or so. Remember to stir every few hours and to turn off when you go out!
  • When getting ready to serve, take two teaspoons of Bisto powder (buy at Wegmans or any English Store), put into a small bowl or large cup, and add about a cup of cold water. Mix until smooth. Then add lots of juice spooned from the crock-pot, mix well again, and return the whole to the pot. Bring to the boil and the liquid will start to thicken.
  • Serve when thick enough with mashed potatoes and more veggies like peas, broad beans, carrots, and the like.

1 comment:

Tola said...

i think the smoothie secret is the real maple syrup. it just adds the most wonderful flavor.