Monday, May 27, 2013

Homemade Beef Stock

We had a little dinner party at our house a while back, and we tried a lot of new things. The first of which, was making our own beef stock. If you have the time, it's definitely the way to go. You can control the salt content and it's really not that difficult.

Here's what you need:
3 lb. beef bones
3 carrots, cut into 3" pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into 3" pieces
1 large onion, quartered
10 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/2 bunch parsley
12 cups water

Here's what you do:
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Put your beef bones, carrots, celery and onion in a roasting pan.

Roast the bones for about 30 minutes. You'll know you're ready when they look like this:

Put all of that into a large dutch oven.

Pour about 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of the hot roasting pan. 

Scrape off all the good bits of flavor from the bottom.

Pour that yummy goodness into the stock pot.

Add the parsley, bay leaf and pepper corns. You could also add some fresh thyme if you'd like.

Now cover with the rest of the water.

Bring that to a boil.

Let the stock boil for about 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Leave the lid slightly off to allow some of the steam to escape. 

Let that simmer for at least two hours. Skim the fat off of the top of the stock every half hour or so. You're never going to be able to get all of the fat off, just get what you can. You can cool it down in the fridge and scoop the rest off later. Don't stir the stock though! Just let it simmer away.

Scoop out all of the large pieces from the stock until you just have the liquid. You can season the stock at this point with salt. Or, you can wait until you use the stock later to season. It's really up to you.

Strain the stock into containers for storage. You'll get a few little bits that you'll just want to discard.

At this point, we apparently got distracted and forgot the final picture. We don't have a good excuse.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Cheesy Venison Tacos


Ok, so this is by no means a traditional taco. It could also work as an enchilada. In fact, we used enchilada sauce in the filling. Well, whatever you call this, it tasted really great. You could use beef or turkey instead of venison if you want.

Here's what you need:
1 lb ground venison, beef or turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno
1 jar enchilada sauce (we actually made our own using tomato sauce, spices and chipotle in adobo)
4 cups cheddar jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup sour cream

Chopped cilantro
Diced tomato
Sliced scallions
Sour cream

Here's what you do:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Start by browning your ground meat with the garlic.

Meanwhile, dice up your jalapeno.

Add the jalapeno and 3 cups of the shredded cheese to a large bowl.

Once your meat is browned, add that to the bowl as well.

Pour in the enchilada sauce.

Add the sour cream.

Stir the mixture together to combine everything.

Pour in a casserole dish and top with the last cup of cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes while the cheese melts thoroughly.

Serve on soft tortillas and garnish with cilantro, scallion, tomato and sour cream.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Hi All! It's Michelle flying solo again on this post. Before I get started on the baking, let me start out by saying Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there.

As I've said before, Zack's not much of a baker, so he didn't really have much to do with this pie besides eating it. I made a trip to the farmer's market and both the strawberries and rhubarb were too good to pass up.

 As it turns out Strawberry Rhubarb pie is Zack's favorite fruit pie, which I didn't know before I decided to make it. It's funny how we're still learning things about each other after 5+ years. 

Here's what you need:
1 basket strawberries (about 3 cups)
4 cups rhubarb
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup Tapioca
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 pre-made pie crusts

Here's what you do:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Start by dicing up your rhubarb and slicing up the strawberries. Put them in a large bowl.

Add the tapioca.

Next, add the sugar.

And finally, squeeze in the lemon juice.

Give that all a good stir to combine everything.

Lay one of the pie crusts in your pie plate and place on top of a cookie sheet. The cookie sheet is simply there in case the filling boils over the side.

Pour in the filling.

Cut the butter up into 6 pieces and dot the top of the filling with it.

Cover with the top crust, pinching together with the bottom crust. Slit the top of the pie.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then drop the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 35 minutes. If the edges start to brown too much, cover with foil.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ground Turkey & Broccoli with Orzo


If you tune in with any regularity, you know that we enjoy using Asian flavors in our cooking endeavors. With this recipe, we wanted to create something healthy, but put a twist on our usual go-to ingredients. We started with this recipe and put our own Amateur Foodies mark on it.

 Here's what you need:
1 lb. ground turkey
1 bag of frozen steamer broccoli
1 lb orzo
2 large cloves of garlic
1 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp red pepper flake
2 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt (for your pasta water)
4 quarts water
1/2 Tbsp-ish black sesame seeds
A few shakes of low sodium soy sauce

Here's what you do:
Mince  the garlic.

Start your pasta water boiling. You want 4 quarts for every pound of orzo.

Drizzle the olive oil in a 12" skillet and heat over medium high heat. Break the ground turkey up with a wooden spoon or mix 'n chop.

Add the fennel and red pepper.

 And, add the garlic.

Let that brown completely, then add the broccoli.

At some point during the above, your water should start boiling. Salt the water and drop the orzo into the pot. Cook for 8-10 minutes.

Let the turkey and broccoli mixture simmer while your orzo cooks. Add the sesame seeds as well.

Once your orzo is cooked to al dente, drain the pasta and return to the same pot.

Scoop in the turkey and broccoli. Stir to combine everything.

Finish off with a few dashes of low-sodium soy sauce.