Tag Archives: Celery

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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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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