Boeuf Bourguignon – Beef Burgundy

boeuf bourguignon beef burgandy stew
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Now that it is officially fall, and the weather has turned “cold” in California, it’s time to have stew. Last week I made Coq Au Vin, and I still had some wine left, so I thought I should continue with my French comfort food and make this lovely Beef Burgundy, Boeuf Bourguignon.

Similarly to Coq Au Vin, Boeuf Bourguingnon is also one of those dishes that does well with tough meat, wine and long cooking time. The wine and long cooking time break down the meat so it is nice and tender. It also allows all the flavors to meld together nicely. Be prepared for this to simmer about two hours.

It is important with both dishes to get a decent red wine, not a sweet one! A nice Burgundy, Shiraz or Cabernet would do perfectly. You don’t need much, so there should be a nice glass or two for the cook, too.

Boeuf Bourguignon – Beef Burgundy YouTube Video


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Franks with Apples and Onions

Recipes in this PostFranks with Apple and Onions

Don’t you just love moving into a new house, and going to the store trying to figure out what to have for dinner? Yes, I am being facetious, but that is what I was facing tonight – a new house with a lot of stuff still in storage, a limited budget, a hungry child, and tired from working all day. At first I suggested burgers, but the child wanted hot dogs.

Our new house comes with a neighbor who has apple trees with plenty of fruit that he gladly shares. No GMO’s here, thank you! I thought that they would be wonderful sautéed with the big beef Kosher franks I had bought at the store.

Spane was a little surprised when he found out what was on the franks, but really liked it. Try it, it’s easy, and good for you!

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Fry Baby, Fry! Beer Battered Fried Fish and Onion Rings, Avocado Fries

Recipes in this PostRice Flour Beer Batter Fried Fish, Onion Rings, Avocado Fries and Stuffed Wontons

I don’t eat a lot of fried food, but sometimes, you have to fry. I wanted to make Avocado Fries, and considering that there was already going to be a pan of hot oil, why not throw some other things in as well?

My friend, Amber Lewis, chief cook and bottle washer, and event planner extraordinaire at Cool Dreams, makes these wonderful Bacon Wrapped Dates and Artichoke Stuffed Wontons. She suggested we make fried onions to go with our other appetizers, and I said we should make beer battered fish to go with it.

Amber’s son, Zeik, helped make sauces, including Chipotle Lime Sauce, for the onions rings and avocado fries.

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Chimichurri Flap Steak Tacos

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Meat grilled and ready for chopping

Meat grilled and ready for chopping

The word Chimichurri reminds me so much of Chim-Chim Cher-ee that I can’t help but get the song stuck in my head. I would change the words a bit though, “Good luck will rub off when I barbecue you, or blow me a kiss (smoke), and that’s lucky, too.” Chimichurri is a sauce for grilled meats that originated in Argentina. It is made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red vinegar. It also makes a fine marinade for flap steak on the grill. Here’s the real words:

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-oo!
Good luck will rub off when

I shake ‘ands with you
Or blow me a kiss
And that’s lucky too

Chim-Chim Cher-ee from “Mary Poppins”, composed by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman

The best meat for this is flap steak, because it is thin, meaty and marinades beautifully. It should be cooked on the grill on high heat, directly over the coals. Let it rest for a few minutes before chopping it up. Flap steak is available in most supermarkets.

Usually, I heat tortillas on the stove top, and I thought to myself, why not just put them on the grill? You know what, they were nice and soft, and fantastic!

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Oxen Shvantz Suppe – Braised Oxtails

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Ox-tail served over noodles

When I was a little girl growing up in Germany, when we had Oxen Shvantz Suppe it was always a real treat. Braised with wine for hours they are tender and juicy. They are wonderful on a cold, rainy winter day.

What are ox tails, you ask? Well, they are the tail of an ox or steer which is cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces. They are very meaty and make a nice gravy, all on their own. How do you eat ox tails? You get most of the meat out with your fork, then you pick the piece up and suck all the goodness out of the bone. A bone bowl is a good thing to have on the table when you are serving ox tails.

When you go to buy ox tails, be sure and get them from a reputable butcher. The bony part should be bright white, the sinew pink, and the meat should be nice and red. I was lucky, my butcher brought out a tail and cut it there in front of me with his incredibly sharp knife. You can’t get any fresher than that.

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Easy Meaty Chili

Easy Meaty Chili

Chili with fixin's

Sometimes, on a cold day that looks like it might rain, you have to have chili. Usually, I make a big pot of it, and it cooks a long time to let the beans get nice and soft. Sometimes, you just don’t have that kind of time, but you don’t want something that came out of a can.

I don’t buy the Chili mix in the bag. I make my own, and you should, too. It’s very simple, and better because you can control the heat and you know what’s in it. Basically, it’s a mixture of chilies, cumin and a little salt.

If you live in California, you probably have access to fresh Anaheim chilies, if you live in New Mexico, you have the New Mexico chili which is a bit hotter than the Anaheim. Both chilies have thick skin, so they should be charred before use. When making my chili, I charred two nice big red bells peppers as well.

How to Char Chilies

Charring chilies is very simple. You need four things, the chilies themselves, a gas stove top, long tongs and a plastic bag (the one the chilies came in is fine). Put the gas flame up as high as it will go, and just lay the chili on the burner. Use the tongs to turn the chilies as they char. When most of the skin has been charred, put the chili in the plastic bag, close it, and let the chili steam in the bag. When the chili is cool enough to handle, remove the charred skin under running water. Not only is this a great way to skin a chili pepper, it also give the chili a nice roasted flavor. Of course, if you want really smoky flavor, do it on the Weber!

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