Sesame Beef Lo Mein

Sesame Beef Lo Mein

I’ve been using Blue Apron on and off for a few years and always love their recipes, fresh ingredients and simple-to-follow-directions.

Last week, our favorite of three meals was the Sesame Beef Lo Mein with its big flavors and slightly chewy, fabulous noodles.

Blue Apron’s allowing me to publish this recipe that I can’t wait to try again.

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces ground beef
  • ½ pound fresh lo mein noodles
  • 3 ounces fresh shishito peppers, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • ½ pound baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 tsp. each chopped fresh cilantro and fresh mint
  • 2 Tbsp. sushi sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Sambal Oelek

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  2. Heat a small pot of salted water to boiling on high.
  3. Roast the peppers: Place the peppers on a sheet pan; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer. Roast 7 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened. Remove from the oven. Set aside in a warm place.
  4. Start the beef: While the peppers roast, in a medium pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Add the garlic and bok choy to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened and fragrant. Add ⅓ cup of water and as much of the sambal oelek as you’d like (I used the full amount), depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until saucy. Turn off the heat. Stir in the juice of 2 lime wedges. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cook the noodles: While the bok choy cooks, add the noodles to the pot of boiling water (carefully separating with your hands before adding). Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Reserving ½ cup of the noodle cooking water, drain thoroughly.
  6. Finish the noodles & plate your dish: To the pan of cooked bok choy and beef, add the cooked noodles, roasted peppers, sesame oil, sushi sauce, and half the reserved noodle cooking water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium high, stirring vigorously, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining noodle cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Divide the finished noodles between 2 dishes. Garnish with the cilantro and mint (tearing the mint leaves just before adding). Serve with the remaining lime wedges on the side.

Makes 2 servings.

Easy Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy)

Easy Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy)

Beef Burgundy on Polenta

Warm weather’s on its way and with that, the end of slowly simmered or roasted dishes at our home. In anticipation of warmer days, I decided to make one of my favorite cold weather dishes: Boeuf Bourguignon or just beef cooked in Burgundy wine (I actually like a heavier wine for this dish, don’t judge).

If you haven’t invested in a heavy duty cast iron Dutch oven, just do it. You’ll use it all the time. If you want to, you could make the recipe through step 4 and throw everything in a slow cooker to cook for 8 hours. Up to you….I just love the long, slow simmered cook and the periodic stirring of the pot.

For you purists, this isn’t a very traditional recipe, just go along, it’s tasty. I served this dish over my Easy Creamy Polenta.

Ingredients:

  • 9 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 1 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 3 pounds beef chuck, cubed into large bite size pieces (you can find this already done in your grocery store)
  • 4 slices slab bacon, diced
  • 1 large Spanish onion, medium diced
  • 2 carrots, medium diced
  • 3 celery ribs, medium diced
  • 1 pound Cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 cups Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry full-bodied red wine
  • 32 ounces beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme

Directions:

  1. Warm 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat.
  2. Add the salt and pepper to the flour then sprinkle over the beef. Toss to coat then shake beef pieces to remove excess flour.
  3. Sear half the beef in the hot oil until browned, about 4 minutes total and then remove to a platter. Repeat with the second half of the beef and 3 more tablespoons of oil and transfer to the first batch of beef on the platter and set aside.
  4. Lower the heat to medium-high, add the bacon and cook stirring occasionally until a little browned, 4 minutes. Add the onions, the carrots and the celery to the bacon and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute. Add the wine and broth and scrape all the brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Add the beef back to the pot with the bay leaves and the thyme.
  5. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover tightly and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to low and cook for another 2 hours, covered.
  6. At this point, you can serve the beef or cool the pot completely and refrigerate overnight. To reheat the next day, an hour prior to serving, take the pot out of the fridge and preheat oven to 275 degrees. Warm the beef in the oven for about an hour, basting the meat with the sauce every 15 minutes.

Makes 6 hearty servings.

Easy Beef Burgundy (Boeuf Bourguignon)
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Ingredients
  1. • 9 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  2. • 6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, for dredging
  3. • 1 tsp. each salt and pepper
  4. • 3 pounds beef chuck, cubed into large bite size pieces (you can find this already done in your grocery store)
  5. • 4 slices slab bacon, diced
  6. • 1 large Spanish onion, medium diced
  7. • 2 carrots, medium diced
  8. • 3 celery ribs, medium diced
  9. • 1 pound Cremini mushrooms, chopped
  10. • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  11. • 3 cups Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry full-bodied red wine
  12. • 32 ounces beef broth
  13. • 2 bay leaves
  14. • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
Instructions
  1. 1. Warm 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat.
  2. 2. Add the salt and pepper to the flour then sprinkle over the beef. Toss to coat then shake beef pieces to remove excess flour.
  3. 3. Sear half the beef in the hot oil until browned, about 4 minutes total and then remove to a platter. Repeat with the second half of the beef and 3 more tablespoons of oil and transfer to the first batch of beef on the platter and set aside.
  4. 4. Lower the heat to medium-high, add the bacon and cook stirring occasionally until a little browned, 4 minutes. Add the onions, the carrots and the celery to the bacon and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute. Add the wine and broth and scrape all the brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Add the beef back to the pot with the bay leaves and the thyme.
  5. 5. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover tightly and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to low and cook for another 2 hours, covered.
  6. 6. At this point, you can serve the beef or cool the pot completely and refrigerate overnight. To reheat the next day, an hour prior to serving, take the pot out of the fridge and preheat oven to 275 degrees. Warm the beef in the oven for about an hour, basting the meat with the sauce every 15 minutes.
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The Absolute Best Texas Style Beef Chili

The Absolute Best Texas Style Beef Chili

Texas Style Beef ChiliI’ve been using my “Beef Chili for a Crowd” recipe for as long as I can remember. It’s flavorful, a bit spicy and feeds an army. I never saw a reason to use a different recipe until I judged a chili competition when this elderly gentleman made the absolutely best Texas-style chili I’ve ever had. For those not familiar with Texas-style chili – it contains no beans (blasphemy) and it typically featured hand-chopped beef instead of the common ground beef style that’s so popular here in the northeast.

This chili is hearty, rich, and earthy with just the right level of spice. I won’t lie – cubing the beef into small pieces pretty much sucks, but the final product is so worth it.

While many grocery stores now carry dried chiles, I visited my local Mexican grocer to find the requisite guajillo chiles.

I know it’s a multi-step recipe, but it freezes beautifully for a month, so make it, have a bowl and freeze the rest!   

I serve this chili with tortilla chips for dipping, guacamole, cheddar and sour cream. Use whatever garnishes you enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 8 dried chiles, either New Mexico or guajillo
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 – 2½ pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup dark beer
  • 3 Tbsp. yellow cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • Sour cream, for garnish (optional)
  • Sharp Cheddar cheese, grated, for garnish (optional)
  • Diced avocado, for garnish (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Lay out dried chiles on a baking sheet lined with foil and roast in the oven for 8 minutes, until fragrant. Add the roasted chiles to a bowl, cover them with hot water and allow to soak for 30 minutes. I use a bowl to weight down the chiles in the water – SEE IMAGE OF THIS TRICK.
  3. Drain the chiles (reserve the soaking water), cut off stems, remove seeds and roughly chop them. Add the chopped chiles to a blender along with the cumin, the salt, the pepper, 1/2 cup of the reserved chile soaking liquid and blend until the mixture is very smooth, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season beef cubes with big pinches of salt and pepper. Add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and brown beef in 2 batches until browned on all sides, 8-10 minutes per batch. Remove beef and set aside.
  5. Lower the heat to medium, add the remaining 3 tablespoons vegetable oil to the pot and add onions – cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  6. Add the beef stock, 1 cup of the reserved chile soaking liquid and the beer to the onions and garlic and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the beef back to pot with any cooking juices along with the pureed chile paste and the cornmeal. Turn the heat to low and simmer the chili, covered, for 90 minutes. Uncover the chili and cook for 15 more minutes.
  7. Add the vinegar and the brown sugar to the pot, remove from heat, and let sit for 30 minutes for the chili to thicken. The chili can be made a day ahead of serving, up until this point. Simply cool, cover and refrigerate.
  8. When ready to eat, gently reheat chili over low heat, adding more beef stock if the chili is too thick. Give a final seasoning of salt or pepper, if needed.
  9. Serve chili with any/all preferred garnishes.

Yields 4 hearty portions.

 

 

Adapted from this recipe.

Going Formal for the Holidays

Going Formal for the Holidays

I love really dressing up my table around the holidays. If you’re thinking of pulling out grandma’s silver or unpacking those formal dishes you received at your wedding, here’s how the table should be set for a formal meal:

place-setting

Want a very VIP dinner menu for that special meal? Here’s one I love for the holidays:

Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Sage Brown Butter.

Simple & Festive Prime Rib.

Make-Ahead Twice Baked Potatoes.

Fail-Proof Yorkshire Puddings.

Elegant Key Lime Tart.

Enjoy!

Veronique

Easy Valentine’s Day Menu and Wine Pairings

Easy Valentine’s Day Menu and Wine Pairings

happy valentines day 2014From experience, we all know Valentine’s Day at a restaurant can be hectic and restricted to fixed menus. For those of you who prefer to stay home and cook up a romantic meal, here is some inspirational recipes with affordable wine recommendations. 

BONUS – breakfast:  Waffles with Raspberries and Nutella

Whichever dish you decide to prepare for your loved one(s) this Valentine’s Day, I hope your meal is paired with love.

Cheers,

Veronique

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Short Ribs

Short Ribs After 4-Hour Braise

It’s winter and on cold days like these, I crave slow braises and roasts. Today, I saw nice looking short ribs at the store so opted for this flavorful, slow and low braised dish for supper.

Serve these beauties with mashed potatoes and a couple vegetables and please your guests like there’s no tomorrow.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 6 large short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 6 Tbsp. flour, for dredging
  • 10 large cipollini onions, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 pound Cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 4 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 48 ounces beef broth
  • Zest of one lime (optional)
Onions and Mushrooms

Onions and Mushrooms

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Warm the oil in an extra-large Dutch oven over high heat.
  3. Rub the salt and pepper all over the short ribs then dust with flour.
  4. Sear the ribs in the hot oil until browned, about 3 minutes on each side. You’ll likely need to sear the beef in two batches unless you have a giant Dutch oven. Transfer the ribs to a plate.
  5. Lower the heat to medium-high and add the onions, cook for 5 minutes until slightly-charred, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute. Add the wine and broth and scrape all the brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Add the beef, bay leaves and thyme. Cover tightly and place in the oven to braise for 4-6 hours.
  6. At this point, you can serve the short ribs or the pot can be cooled completely and refrigerate overnight. To reheat, an hour prior to serving, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrape off the fat that’s formed on the surface of the short ribs and discard. Warm the ribs in the oven for about an hour, basting the meat with the sauce every 15 minutes.
  7. Finely grate some lime zest, on the final dish before serving, if using.

Makes 10 servings.

Cheers,

Veronique

National Taco Day – Villalobos Carne Asada Taco

National Taco Day – Villalobos Carne Asada Taco

Chef Adam Rose

Chef Adam Rose

Villalobos Chef/Owner Adam Rose shares his tasty recipe for the already-popular Carne Asada Tacos in celebration of October 4th National Taco Day.

Carne Asada Taco

  • 1 lb. cleaned outer skirt steak
  • 4 oz. chopped cilantro
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground chipotle morita
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped for garnish
  • 3 limes quartered

Instructions:

  1. Take cleaned skirt steak, place in shallow pan. Season with cilantro, olive oil, morita, salt & pepper to create a marinade. Cover and let rest for two hours.
  2. Remove skirt steak and grill each side for 5 minutes. Remove from grill and let rest 2 minutes.
  3. While meat is resting, place tortillas on the grill to heat.
  4. Chop steak, assemble on tortillas, and top with the garnish of chopped onion and limes.

Makes 8 tacos.

Best,

Veronique

Beef Pot Pie

Beef Pot Pie

Beef Simmering

Beef Simmering

The first thing that comes to mind when pot pie is mentioned is the creamy, chicken kind. On a cold winter Sunday, I just love the comfort of beef simmered slowly in wine and aromatics. I had some puff pastry on hand and opted to combine the two comforting dishes: pot pie and simmered beef.

Beef in Gravy

Beef in Gravy

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp. each sat and pepper
  • 2 ½ pounds beef stewing meat, trimmed and cubed
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. each thyme and oregano, chopped
  • ½ tsp. rosemary, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 package prepared puff pastry sheets
  • 1 egg, beaten
Puff Pastry Top

Puff Pastry Top

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle both sides of steak with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches (if needed), sauté the beef in the oil until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for an additional minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef from the pan and set aside for later use.
  2. In the same Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the onion, carrot and celery until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in smoked paprika, herbs, bay leaf, salt and pepper and cook for an additional minute while coating the vegetables with the aromatics.
  3. Return the beef to the pan, add the stock, red wine, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Combine the cornstarch with ¼ cup cold water. Turn the heat up to high and bring the stew to a boil. Pour the cornstarch mixture in the stew and stir gently until the gravy has thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove bay leaves from the stew.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400. Butter a 2 quart ovenproof dish (I use a souflee pan) and add the stew.
  6. Cut a circle of pastry two inches larger in circumference than your dish. Brush the outer rim of the dish with some of the beaten egg then place the pastry on top and pinch the pastry onto the rim. Cut 2 slits into the pastry and brush it with the rest of the beaten egg.
  7. Put the dish on a cookie sheet and place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or just until the pastry is golden brown.

Serves 6.

Note: If you have beef stew leftover after filling the dish, serve it over mashed potatoes.

Tangy Beef Tartare

Tangy Beef Tartare

Beef TartareFor the last two Christmas in Quebec, my family has divided up who brings what for Christmas Eve dinner. As you might expect if you’ve been following this blog for a while, I’m charged with desserts. While everyone raves about my Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie, I look forward to my cousin Phil and his wife Laurie’s Beef Tartare. We serve it as an hors d’oeuvres paired with garlicky toasts and it’s absolutely delicious. This year, they’ve agreed to share the recipe and I’m sharing it with you.

Main Ingredients:

  • ½ pound pristine quality beef filet mignon or sirloin, finely chopped with a sharp knife
  • 1/3 cup chopped capers
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup minced shallot
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped chives
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Tangy Mayonnaise Ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • ½ cup grape seed oil

Directions:

  1. Combine all the main ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk the yolk, mustard and vinegar together until combined. Slowly drizzle the oil into the yolk mixture while whisking vigorously. Continue whisking the mayonnaise after the oil is incorporated for 30 seconds to ensure the mixture is emulsified.
  3. Gently add the mayonnaise to the beef mixture and stir to coat.
  4. Serve the tartare with toasted bread or crackers.

Makes about 2 cups.

Beef Short Rib Leftover Ideas

Beef Short Rib Leftover Ideas

Short ribs are at the top of my list of winter comfort foods. The lowly-simmered, decadent beef with its rich sauce and deep flavors warm the body and the soul.

When I take the time to make Make Ahead Short Ribs, I often double the recipe so I have leftovers. While it’s easy and delicious to simply reheat the short ribs and have them with mashed potatoes, here are two of my favorite ways to use leftover short ribs.

Short Rib Soup

Short Rib Soup

Short Rib, Mushroom and Barley Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 pound beef bones (ideally with marrow)
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, chopped into small dice
  • 2 carrots, chopped into small dice
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped into small dice
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 2 32-ounce cartons of beef broth
  • 1/4 cup dry Marsala wine or white wine (optional)
  • 3/4 cup barley, rinsed in cold water
  • 2 cups shredded leftover beef short ribs
  • 4-inch long piece of Parmesan rind

Directions:

  1. Pour the oil in a large, heavy pot over high heat, and heat up for 30 seconds.  Add the bones and cook for 2 minutes, or until browned.
  2. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the bones in the pot, reduce heat to medium heat and cook the vegetables for 4 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook an additional 3 minutes.
  3. Add the spices, the broth and the wine, if using.  Bring the heat to low and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the barley, short rib meat and the Parmesan rind, if using, to the pot and simmer partially covered for another 30 minutes over low heat.
  5. Remove and discard the bones and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Short Rib Panini

Short Rib Panini

Short Rib Panini

Ingredients:

  • 2 Portuguese rolls, or other favorite bread
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup shredded leftover short rib
  • 4 slices Gouda cheese, or other melting cheese like Fontina
  • 2 tsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mâche or arugula

Directions:

  1. Warm a Panini press or heavy skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cut the rolls horizontally and brush them with the oil.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of short rib to each roll then top with 2 slices of cheese each. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the meat and cheese.
  4. Place the sandwiches on the Panini press, close and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. If using a skillet, simply weight the sandwich down with a second skillet and flip the sandwich after 1 minute or until the first side is golden brown.
  5. Divide the mâche or arugula between the two sandwiches, cut on an angle and serve.

Makes 2 Panini.

If you have clever short rib leftover ideas, please share them!

Veronique