Tag Archives: Carrots

Beef Bourguignon

This is one of our favorite recipes. It’s time-consuming to prepare, but absolutely delicious. The ingredients:

  • Beef, 3 pounds, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Bacon, thick-cut, 6-8 slices
  • Red wine, 2 cups, divided
  • Onions, 2 medium, thinly sliced
  • Carrots, 4 medium, diced
  • Celery, 3 stalks, diced
  • Mushrooms, 1 pound, quartered
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
  • Tomato paste, 1 tablespoon (or more, if you don’t want to waste the rest)
  • Chicken broth, 1-2 cups
  • Thyme, 3-4 sprigs, fresh
  • Bay leaf, 1

You may also want to serve with paste, or a baguette, or with chopped parsley to garnish.

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The ingredients.

The first step is to chop up the bacon, and fry it, like so:

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Bacon in a pan.

Remove the bacon from the pan – you’ll add it later. And remove most of the bacon grease as well; leave just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

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Bacon outside a pan.

Prepare your beef with as much salt and pepper as you prefer.

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Peppered beef!

Then begin to sear the cubes in batches. Don’t crowd the meat, and be sure to let it char a bit before you dislodge it. You’re not actually trying to cook it thoroughly; instead, you’re simply searing it in the bacon fat.

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Deliciousness.

Once you’re done with a batch, put the cubes in your slow cooker.

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In the slow cooker.

Add a bit of the wine to the pan, a quarter cup each time, to dislodge and scrape off whatever bits of meat may remain, pour/scrape those into the slow cooker, as well. Continue until all the beef is prepared.

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Cleaning the pan with wine.

Next, prepare your carrots, celery, and onion.

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Veggies, sweet veggies.

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Oh, and onions too.

Fry the onion in some more of the bacon grease until it’s browned, and then add in the carrots and the celery; cook until soft.

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Now they’re golden.

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Cooked in bacon grease.

Then add in a few more ingredients – the garlic and the tomato paste. Cook until fragrant, and then add the whole mixture to the slow cooker.

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With garlic and tomato paste.

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Then into the slow cooker.

Make sure the pan is clean, and then add more of the bacon grease; add the mushrooms when it’s warm, along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt (to help release the liquid from the mushrooms). Cook until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Then set the mushrooms aside – you’ll add them later, just like the bacon.

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Before.

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And after.

As for the stuff in the slow cooker, you slow cook it. Covered, on low, for 8 hours or so. Before you do, add in a teaspoon of salt, the bay leaf, and the sprigs of thyme. Also pour in the rest of the wine and the chicken broth; the liquid should come about three-quarters of the way to the top of the ingredients.

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Slow cooking.

Then, in 6-8 hours, mix in the mushrooms and the bacon, and enjoy (perhaps with pasta or good bread). It’s delicious!

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Kung Pao Chicken

This dish quickly became one of our favorites. The ingredients are:

The Marinade

  • Cornstarch, 3 teaspoons
  • Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Sake, 4 teaspoons

The Sauce

  • Ground Sichuan pepper, 1 teaspoon
  • Cornstarch, 2 teaspoons
  • Sugar, 4 teaspoons
  • Black vinegar, 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 2 teaspoons
  • Hoisin sauce, 2 teaspoons
  • Sesame oil, 2 teaspoons

Everything Else

  • Carrots, sliced
  • Bell pepper, chopped
  • Celery, sliced
  • Scallions, sliced
  • Chicken breasts or thighs, 2 lbs, cut into cubes
  • Unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, 1/2 cup
  • Dried red chilis, 8-10
  • Garlic, 4 cloves, minced
  • Ginger, 2 teaspoons, minced or grated
  • Peanut or vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

Some of the ingredients are a little obscure. For instance, ground sichuan pepper isn’t something you can find anywhere; I had to specially order mine.

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Sichuan pepper.

Also, black vinegar(on the left) which you may also have to specially order.

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Black vinegar.

The first step is to marinate the chicken: mix the cornstarch, sake, and soy sauce together until the former is dissolved. Then add the chicken and coat it as completely as you can. Let it marinate for about 10 minutes at room temperature.

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The marinade.

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Marinading.

Secondly, prepare the sauce by combining the black vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, and Sichuan pepper together in another bowl. Again, mix until everything is dissolved, and then set aside.

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The sauce.

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Prep the veggies.

Next, heat a wok, add the peanut oil, and then add the chilis, stir-frying for about 30 seconds. You’ll notice that the chilis start to blacken, and smoke in a way that may make you wheeze.

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Chili-frying.

Then add the chicken mixture and cook until the chicken is no longer pink.

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Chicken-frying.

This is the part of the story where you add everything else. First, the garlic and ginger, frying them for 30 seconds or so. Then, the sauce mixture.

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Chili-chicken-sauce frying.

Then add the veggies, peanuts, and everything else.

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Just fry everything.

I think you’ll find it’s delicious – nearly as good as what you’d get from a restaurant!

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Square Thai Omelets

These were yummy, but I couldn’t get them to be square – they ended up as more of a scramble. Sorry. The ingredients are:

  • Pork, 4 oz, ground
  • Shrimp, 4 oz, ground
  • Eggs, 6, beaten
  • Garlic, 1 clove, minced
  • Tomato, 1, chopped
  • Onion, 1, chopped
  • Carrots, 1/8 cup, chopped
  • Sugar peas, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Maggi seasoning, 1 tablespoon
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • White pepper, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil, 3 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

The first step was preparing a few of the ingredients. I could but the pork ground, but I had to mince the shrimp myself. A knife was a relatively crude tool, but it worked well enough.

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Mincing meat.

I sliced the peas along with the other veggies, and I liked it that way. But you do you.

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Slicing veggies.

The next step starts with frying the garlic in a tablespoon of the oil.

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Garlic in a pan.

Then add the meat.

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Meat in a pan.

Then add the sugar, pepper, fish sauce, and Maggi seasoning.

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More stuff in a pan.

Then add the veggies, and cook until your desired level of tenderness.

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Still more stuff in a pan.

The rest is simple. In another pan, you’ll make four omelets. Add oil and about a quarter of the eggs.

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Eggs in a pan.

Then add some of the goodness from the other pan.

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The omelet in process.

You can try to make a square omelet, like I did, but you may end up with a scramble, like I did. Regardless, it’s good. Repeat until you’ve made everything, and enjoy.

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Good stuff.

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Sushi!

I love sushi. It’s so delicious, but I rarely have it because (a) I rarely go out to eat, and (b) sushi is often so expensive that I rarely get it, even when I do go out.

So why not make it myself? I’d always wanted to.

So I gave it a try. The ingredients for the rice are:

  • Sushi rice (1 cup)
  • Water (2 cups)
  • Rice wine vinegar (3 Tbsp)
  • Sugar (2 Tbsp)
  • Salt (1/2 tsp)

And for the spicy sauce:

  • Mayonnaise (1 tbsp)
  • Sriracha (1 tsp)
  • Lemon juice (1 tsp)
  • Sesame oil (1/2 tsp)

And for the rest:

  • Nori (dried seaweed)
  • Chopped veggies of your choice (I used carrot, cucumber, and avocado)
  • Meat of your choice (I used smoked salmon and tuna)
  • Accessories of your choosing (I used soy sauce and pickled ginger)
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The ingredients.

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The “accessories.”

Let’s start with the rice. You don’t want to use just any kind of rice. Instead, you’ll find rice that’s grown on the moon especially for use in sushi. Like so:

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The shipping costs are exorbitant.

First, as with any rice, you’ll want to rinse it or wash it.

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This method works.

Then add the rice and the water and bring to a boil. At that point, reduce the heat to low, cover your pot, and cook until the water is absorbed by the rice (as rice is wont to do) – about 15 minutes or so.

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Rice is expansionist.

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Don’t forget to cover your pot.

This is when you’ll want to mix a few ingredients in another pan, over heat. Specifically the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir over medium heat until the white granules are dissolved, then cool in the fridge until your rice is ready.

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Not dissolved.

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Dissolved.

When your rice is done, add the vinegar mixture and stir. But not too much – you don’t want to overmix and turn everything to mush. Your rice may appear wet, but don’t worry – as you stir, you’ll release some of the steam, and the rice will become drier and, as you may have anticipated, sticky.

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It may be good…

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…but now it’s better.

With that out of the way, let’s focus on the spicy sauce next. It’s quite simple to make. Add all the spicy sauce ingredients together, and mix.

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Soon to be…

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…mixed!

Then, mix the sauce with whatever you want to make spicy. For instance smoked salmon, or chunks of tuna.

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Salmon.

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Spicy tuna!

The next step is preparing the rest of your ingredients. In particular, you may benefit from this avocado-slicing tip: slice it first, and then, using a spoon, dig it out of the shell.

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Cut it first.

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Then spoon it out.

If you made my veggie choices, you’ll end up with a set of ingredients like so:

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Yum yum.

Now, the nori is key. If you don’t have an Asian market nearby (or don’t have access to the internet) this may be hard to find. They’re basically seaweed wraps, and delicious all on their own.

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The nori.

If you have a sushi mat, bully for you – you may find the assembly process a lot easier than I did. If not, then you can do what I did – which, in the end, was to use the assistance of a plastic wrap.

In any case, the first step is to tear the sheet of nori in half. Make sure you beak the longer side. If yours doesn’t break easily or cleanly, you may end up doing what I did: simply using scissors.

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Preparing the nori.

Then, with the assistance of a bowl of warm water, you can begin spreading the sticky rice on the nori. Why the water? You’ll see. It’s not called sticky rice for nothin’.

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Spreading the rice.

Now, to be fair, there are different ways of spreading the rice. I put mine on the outside of the roll; in some ways that’s harder. I spread it on the rougher side of the nori, leaving the smoother surface for the ingredients inside. Here, you can see the spicy tuna roll (with carrot, cucumber, and tuna) and the salmon roll (with salmon, avocado, and carrot). But one of the nice things about doing it yourself is that you can add in whatever you like.

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The tuna roll.

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The salmon roll.

Then, simply slice – first in half, and then in either three or four pieces for each half, depending on your preference – and enjoy.

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So much sushi!

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Ryan’s Chicken Soup

My chicken soup – perhaps like yours – often varies, but this is what it was like the last time I made it:

  • Chicken stock (2-3 boxes)
  • Rice (2 cups)
  • Chicken
  • Carrots (8-10)
  • Celery
  • Onion (1-2)
  • Garlic (whole head)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

You can use bouillon if you prefer, but I like using actual chicken stock. And I’ll use chicken stock from the store when need be, but this stock happens to come from the carcass of a chicken. I’m not privy to the process – my partner did that part – but the essence is basic: you put the carcass and veggies in a crockpot and let it do its thing. How much you use is again up to you – when I use boxes, I usually add two or three.

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The broth.

Sometimes I make my chicken soup with potatoes, or with egg noodles, but recently I’ve enjoyed using rice. First you make the rice – I have a rice cooker for that – and then you add it to the pot. I made about two cups.

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The rice.

These are the rest of the ingredients. The chicken comes from the remains of the roast chicken, just scraps removed from the carcass before it went in the crockpot.

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The ingredients.

I like to use a good number of carrots- say 8-10 – and they should go in first because they’ll take longer to soften up.

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The carrots.

Then the chopped onion and celery. Together, the three are called mirepoix, and you can buy them pre-chopped at the grocery store. But I never have, both because it’s more expensive and because it tastes better when you chop them up yourself.

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The onion.

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The celery.

Dump stuff in as you chop it. The rice you should add when it’s cooked, and the chicken you can add whenever you like, because it’s already been roasted. If you’re making this with raw chicken, you should obviously add it first, so it has time to cook.

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The black pepper.

Then the salt and pepper. You can see the pepper I added here, floating on the top. I like to add a good bit of pepper to give the soup a kick, but the salt and pepper you add should be to taste.

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Yum.

And the final result – enjoy!

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