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Posts Tagged ‘french bread’

This dish is a simple riff on the classic Beef and Barley Stew. As cheap as stew beef is, ground beef is even cheaper. So, this is a great way to save some cash while still making a delicious and healthy dish.

For the stew I used a handful of parsley chopped, 2 tomatoes chopped, 1/2 onion diced, 1 large shallot diced, 3 cloves of garlic minced, 1 carrot diced, 9 asparagus stalks chopped, 4 cups of beef broth, 2/3 cup of hulled barley, 4 ounces of mixed mushrooms sliced, and a big sprig of thyme.

I heated up a pot and poured in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and added the garlic. About a minute later I added the onion, carrot, and shallot. I let them sweat down for about 5 minutes and then tossed in the asparagus. I just wanted the asparagus to get nicely coated with the olive oil, so I only let it go for a minute or two before adding the barley. I let the barley sort of toast in the hot oil for a few minutes.

After that I poured in the stock and added the tomatoes and mushrooms as soon as it came up to a slow simmer. Then I dropped the thyme in, covered the pot, turned the heat to med-low, and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

While the barley was stewing I made my meatballs. In a glass bowl I beat 1 egg. To that I added about 2 tablespoons of fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh bread crumbs from 2 pieces of bread, 3 cloves of garlic minced, and 2/3 pound of ground beef. I mixed it all together and then formed walnut-sized meatballs.

I threw the meatballs into the stew, brought it back up to a simmer, then covered it again for about 10 more minutes until the meatballs were cooked through. Then I turned off the heat, added the parsley, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I served it up with slices of french bread.

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I was really looking for some ground chicken thigh, but the store didn’t have any. So, I settled for some ground turkey thigh. No big deal as they taste similar.

My ingredient list for 4 portions included 3 oz cremini mushrooms sliced, 20 asparagus spears, one carrot chopped, 1 strip of bacon (I show 2 in the photo but only used 1), 4 garlic cloves minced, 3 oz baby arugula, half an onion diced, 1 dry pint of mixed cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup of sherry, 8 fl oz of heavy cream, and 3/4 lb of ground turkey thigh. Not shown in the picture I also picked some basil from my back porch, had some dry angel hair pasta, and toasted some french bread.

For the pasta sauce I started by pouring about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in my large hot pan. I cooked the bacon down till most of the fat was rendered, about 3 minutes or so. Then I added the onion and carrot and let those cook down for about 5 minutes. Then I added the garlic, and about 1 minute later threw in the cremini. About 4 minutes later, when the cremini was partially cooked, I added the turkey and seasoned with some salt and pepper. I broke the turkey meat up while it cooked until it was in small pieces. That took about 3 or 4 minutes. Then I poured in the sherry and let it boil down. Once the sherry was almost completely boiled off I poured in the cream and let it reduce for about 1 minute.

While that was going on I cooked the pasta according to package instructions. Once it was al dente, I drained it and then tossed it into the pasta sauce once the cream had reduced for a minute. I stirred it around to make sure the noodles were completely coated and then turned off the heat to serve.

Also, while making the pasta I put the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzled it with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I also took the cherry tomatoes and wrapped them in foil with a tablespoon of olive oil making sure the foil was completely sealed. I put them in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes. The bread was toasted while making the pasta as well. I timed it so that everything was finished at the same time.

Once the bread was toasted I rubbed it with garlic and then topped it with some of the roasted tomatoes. The rest of the tomatoes are going to be used in tonight’s dinner. Everything was garnished with the basil.

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