Archive for the ‘Stews’ Category

The hideous organ on my cutting board hardly looked like dinner. However, trimmed, stewed and sliced, tongue can be delicious. In the oven, I stewed the tongue in a pot with canned plum tomatoes, carrots onions, cilantro, thyme, garlic and water. I seasoned the sauce with spices like cumin, chili powder, Spanish paprika, Adobo seasoning and oregano and finished it with brown sugar and a sauce made from tamarind and vinegar from Costa Rica. Finally, I pureed everything to add body. I smothered the tongue in the tangy, brick-colored sauce, piled it over white rice, garnished with diced red onion, chopped tomatoes, roasted corn and cilantro.

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A thai curry is a great way to make use of fresh vegetables and impress people with an exotic dish. Although curries may sound daunting, they are no more difficult than a standard stew. Coconut milk is a rich, dairy-free and forgiving backdrop to a spectrum of flavors. I cut its richness with lime juice, contrast the heat of the red curry paste with some light brown sugar and use turmeric and curry powder for a warm, yellow color. Since the vegetables are pre-steamed, you can spend more time eating than cooking!


  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
  • 2 handfuls of diced carrots
  • 3 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 2-3 large rotisserie/leftover chicken breasts (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 large red or white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15.5 oz. can of garbanzos/chickpeas, washed well
  • 2 13.5 oz. cans of coconut milk
  • 2 limes, rolled and halved
  • 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon thai seasoning mix (includes things like dried lemongrass, garlic, ginger and mint)
1. Steam broccoli and carrots until tender, keeping in mind that they will cook longer in the sauce. Steam potatoes or poke them with a fork and microwave until tender. With leftover rotisserie chicken, take off the skin and bones and chop into cubes.
2. Over medium heat, drizzle olive oil in a pan and sauté onion and garlic with salt until translucent. Add chickpeas, steamed broccoli, carrots potatoes and chicken.
3. Stir in red curry paste until dissolved and add yellow curry powder, ground cumin, coriander, chili powder, turmeric, salt, light brown sugar and thai seasoning mix. Add the juice of two limes and the peas.
4. Simmer for a bit and turn the heat off. Allow to rest for about 1 hour in order to marry the flavors. Reheat and serve over your favorite rice.

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This is my version of a Navratan Korma, which is an Indian curry dish. Navratan means nine gems and this usually refers to the vegetables, fruits, or nuts in the curry. I cut down on the fat—which is why the color is a pale orange instead of a bright yellow—, but not the the flavor and depth of this vegetarian dish.



  • very fresh tomatoes (enough to fill a whole sheet pan when cut)
  • olive oil or wegmans basting oil
  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3/4 of a 16  oz. can 0f coconut milk
  • 4-5 tablespoons plain, greek yogurt
  • 1 zucchini, cut into cubes
  • 1 squash, cut into cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt, pepper, turmeric
  • a handful carrots, chopped
  • broccoli (similar amount)
  • ground coriander (few pinches)
  • garam masala (few pinches)
  • red curry powder (few pinches) It’s spicy
  • a handful of whole, unsalted cashews
  • 3 small waxy potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk (whatever fat content you like)
  • 1 cup of peas
1. Cut the tomatoes (large-bite size) and scatter, filling an entire foiled sheet pan. Roast them on 400º for about 30 minutes with olive oil and seasonings (I used a Wegmans basting oil blend). In a blender or food processor, purée.
2. Roast the cauliflower in the same manner, but only for about 15 minutes.
3. Cook the tomato sauce in a pot with the coconut milk. Add the greek yogurt and stir until homogenous.
4. Sauté the zucchini and squash in olive oil with salt, pepper, minced garlic, and two pinches of turmeric and par-cook the broccoli  and carrots however you choose. I parboiled the carrots until just cooked through and used frozen broccoli. Add all these vegetables to the pot.
5. Add the spices to the curry: turmeric, ground coriander, garam masala, and red curry powder. Salt and continue to season to taste. Add the cashews. Microwave the potatoes until fork tender and cut into bite-size pieces, adding them to the curry.
6. Add the cream or milk . You can adjust richness by adding more coconut milk, cream, or yogurt. Although I didn’t, butter would be a good addition since most recipes call for ghee. When the consistency is perfect, cover the pot, If it reduces too much, add a bit of water.
7. Add half of the peas. Serve over basmati rice (add the remaining peas to this). Garnish with fresh cilantro.

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  • goat meat
  • 2 limes
  • ground cumin and cumin seeds
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • red curry
  • 1 sweet onion
  • same quantity of carrots, chopped
  • same quantity of celery
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger paste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • port wine
  • basmati rice
  • peas
  • a coconut product (dried, shredded, fresh, coconut milk)


1. Separate goat meat from bones, clean, and cut into bite-size pieces. Roast the bones in the oven on high heat for an hour and boil in water until a concentrated stock is left. Marinate the meat in lime juice, ground cumin, and red curry for 1 hour.

2. In olive oil or butter if you can, caramelize chopped sweet onions along with chopped carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Add about a teaspoon of tomato paste, a tablespoon of ginger paste, and minced garlic. Add a few bay leaves, more cumin and more spicy curry.

3. In a very hot metal pot, try to brown the goat (no oil is necessary). Add to the stew. Deglaze the pan with port wine (or any red). Add enough good quality tomato sauce to coat the goat and vegetables.  Add the concentrated goat stock too.

4. I had dried coconut, which I ground into a paste, reconstituted with some hot water, and mixed into the stew. Coconut milk would work beautifully. Re-season to taste and add more wine if necessary.  Simmer for a few hours with no lid, adding broth when necessary. For the final 1 or 2 hours to tenderize the goat, cook with a tight-fitting lid and add frozen peas. For an extra rich sauce, add plain yogurt or cream.

5. Follow the directions to cook basmati rice. Toast the grains first in a saute pan with some oil and cumin seeds. Add peas as well 3/4 of the way through the cooking. Serve with naan. Cooking time may vary depending on the cut of goat. Expect between 5 and seven hours of cooking.

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With this dish, authenticity was on the back-burner, but taste and creativity was on full heat. My no-curry curry features the flavors of indian spices and techniques, while a few twists, like coconut milk and lemongrass, give a subtle element of thai cuisine. Served with basmati rise, the dish is indian food without the fat cholesterol and you can control the spice. Best of all, it’s as easy as 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9… Okay, it may not be as simple as shake-n-bake, but the results are well worth it.

Ingredients: (Spices should be used to taste)

  • Basmati rice
  • Can of Coconut milk
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 4-5 thick ginger slices
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large white/yellow onion
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander
  • 2 teaspoons Garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • About 10 mini peppers (red, yellow, orange)
  • 1.5 teaspoons of tomato paste
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 5-7 garlic cloves
  • A small bag of snow peas
  • 1/2 bag of pre-cooked lentils
  • 3 whole chicken breasts (about 3 pounds) cut into bite-size pieces.
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or 1 stick early on
  • cumin seeds
  • frozen peas
  • fresh parsley

Follow the directions to start cooking basmati rice. It takes about 20 minutes. I’m keeping this simple since it will be under the sauce.

Start heating a can of coconut milk in a small sauce pan with the lemongrass and ginger. Keep it at a calm boil until the flavors merry.

In a large pot, sauté the onion with salt and pepper, coriander, garam masala, and turmeric. After the onions have a head-start, add the peppers. Stir in the tomato paste, and the bay leaves. Press or mince the garlic, and make a paste by smearing the garlic against the cutting board with your knife, salt, and olive oil. Add the snow peas.

Hold a strainer over the pot and pour the coconut milk through it (the coconut milk will join the party and lemongrass will have to leave. Ginger’s pon the list, so pick that out and add it back to the pot. Add half the lentils.

Quickly sauté the chicken in olive oil, salt, and pepper (it may take multiple batches) until it is opaque and pour into the pot. You may also cook it completely in the sauce which will take longer, but could turn out very well. Add the cinnamon. If you want, add a little yogurt at the end for some healthy richness.

Fluff the rice with cumin seeds—toasting in a pan until fragrant is a nice touch. Microwave some frozen peas and fold in for great color. To serve, build a mound of rice, ladle the sauce over, and garnish with chopped parsley leaves. Serve with some naan.

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Vegetable Stoup

My roommate and I wanted to cook something cheap that would last for many meals. Nothing saves better than soup, which is satisfying, yet healthy and inexpensive.

Our stoup is heartier than a soup, but not as thick as a stew.



  • Olive oil
  • 1 white onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • Similar quantity of peeled and chopped carrots
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 potatoes, chopped in ¼ in. pieces
  • Red wine
  • 1 carton of chicken stock
  • 1 large can of tomatoes
  • Thyme, onion powder, red pepper flakes
  • Cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • Basil
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat a pot on high and coat with olive oil. Sweat the onions and salt them (salt pulls out moisture and flavor from the onion). When translucent, add the celery, carrots and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Next, add the potatoes soon after.

At this point, the veggies deserve a splash or two of red wine—or anything you have. Simmer with a whole carton of good quality chicken stock and a large can of chopped tomatoes.

Season with dried thyme, onion powder, black pepper, and red pepper flakes for some heat. Stir in lots of chopped cilantro and continue to cook, covered until the potatoes are soft. Finish with the juice of a lime and plenty of chopped basil. Garnish with parmesan cheese and chiffonaded basil.

I served mine with a sourdough crostini. This was the best vegetable soup we have ever had.

Plus, this recipe will make a ton of stoup, so you will never feel the need to say “No stoup for you!”

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This shepherds pie is authentic because it is made with lamb; however, I put a twist on the usual by substituting mashed potatoes with a sweet potato purée. A great way to use leftover lamb, this stew has a complex and slightly sweet flavor. The tarragon-studded sweet potatoes add great color and effortlessly meld with the spices and herbs in the stew.


  • leftover leg of lamb (ground lamb may be used)
  • 1 small bowl of green beans cut in thirds
  • 1 small bowl filled with diced onions
  • 1 small bowl of chopped carrots (I used baby)
  • 1/2 bowl of peppers (I used mini red, yellow, and orange peppers)
  • handful or two of Succotash mix (frozen limas, corn, peppers) I used Trader Joes
  • 1 cup of red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • tomato paste (the tube’s great)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 7 sweet potatoes (mine were small-medium sized)
  • cinnamon, turmeric, salt, pepper
  • fresh oregano, sage, tarragon, and rosemary (use what you got)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • a little flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350º. On a sheet pan, generously coat the sweet potatoes in any oil and sprinkle with salt. This will make them easy to peel. Cook for about 30-40 minutes—until the potato is tender all the way through and the skin is wrinkled. These will be mashed and whipped with a hand mixer to incorporate salt, butter, and light brown sugar to taste. Finish by folding in chopped tarragon.

2. Get a  large pot (preferably not non-stick) nice and hot, drizzle in olive oil, and sauté diced white onions and chopped carrots. I used rosemary-infused olive oil♣. Season with salt and pepper and toss in five sprigs of oregano and sage—stemmed and chopped. These are called aromatics—you’ll see why when you smell the kitchen. Add the fresh green beans too with about five garlic cloves, pressed.

3. When the onions just begin to brown, add the succotash and the wine. Bring to a boil and pour in the beef stock. Bruise two sprigs of rosemary with the back of your knife and bring them to the Jacuzzi. Bring this to a boil and change to low heat. A dash of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, and more salt to taste complete the flavor profile. Don’t forget to remove the rosemary.

4. Melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a pan until it takes on a hazel hue. Incorporate a hefty pinch of flour to make a slurry and add to the stew. Heat until it bubbles and pour the mixture in a casserole dish. Spread on the mash and bake to warm through♥.

This dish is naturally sweet from the cinnamon and tarragon. It’s also very appealing to the eye with vibrant vegetables and bright sweet potatoes. It’s not your average shepherd’s pie.

A square meal.

♣ To make rosemary oil, just let fresh rosemary sit in a jar of oil for a week.

♥ To go above and beyond, pipe the mash on and broil the top, so it is slightly browned.

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My mother purchased stew beef and I said “I feel like I always make stews”. Nevertheless, after making it, I now remember three main reasons why I love to cook stews.

1. I don’t have to worry about multiple components being finished at the same time.

2. If dinner is delayed for some reason, the dish doesn’t become overcooked if reheated.

3. Stews are filling and nutritious, with lean meats, various types of vegetables and the antioxidants of red wine.

This recipe is based on Danielle’s

Mise en Place:

I don’t know how many it serves, but trust me, you’ll have leftovers.

  • 2 packages of stew beef from supermarket
  • 1 bowl filled with chopped white onion
  • 1 bowl filled with chopped celery
  • 1 bowl filled with chopped carrots
  • 1 bowl filled with quartered button mushrooms (Also try baby bella or cremini)
  • 5 cloves of diced garlic
  • 3 small chopped potatoes
  • 1/2 cup madeira wine
  • 2 cans (14 oz. low sodium beef broth)
  • 1 bowl filled with cut green beans

Herbs (In package together at the supermarket):

  • fresh thyme (de-stemmed)
  • fresh rosemary
  • fresh sage

1. Get a large pot nice and hot, drizzle olive oil, and add the onions and celery, seasoning with salt and pepper. When the onions are translucent, add the carrots and about ten sprigs of time, de-stemmed and chopped. When the onions start to caramelize and the bottom of the pan shows brown bits of fond—I just love that word—, add about a cup of red wine and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat down to a simmer.

2. In a separate sauté pan, start cooking the mushrooms with olive oil, garlic, sage, salt and pepper until the mushrooms start to turn slightly golden—just 2-3 minutes. Add Madeira wine and continue to cook for a few minutes. Pour the contents into the pot and add the beef broth. Don’t forget to finish with the green beans.

3. Dredge the beef in flour and sauté with oil (olive/vegetable/canola), salt and pepper for about 6 minutes. It may take two batches for all of the meat to join the party.  As an optional step that will really impress people, cut off a piece of cheese cloth and tightly tie three sprigs of rosemary inside. This will flavor the stew without the needles falling off of the stems. It’s alright if you don’t have cheese cloth, but it is a great investment for making sachets.

4. Bring the stew to a boil and simmer with the lid for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. For another two hours, cook with a lid that is slightly ajar. This allows the stew to get hotter without a stronger flame, yet allows moisture to escape the stew. Thus, you’re left with ultra-tender meat and a stew with concentrated beef flavor, notwithstanding a better consistency.

5. The stew is finished when the consistency of the sauce and the tenderness of the meat is to your liking. I like my stew beef to be tender, but still chewable. Serve over whatever rice you prefer. The only garnish you need is a fork.

Please wipe the drool off your keyboard. That’s really disgusting.

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When I told my mom that I was making goat, the first thing she asked was “Is goat kosher”. The answer is yes, goat is kosher. It has split hooves and consumes its own regurgitated, half-digested vomit. As Jews, we only eat the most sophisticated of animals. Have no fear, although you’ll want a second helping of my goat stew, you won’t be tempted to… you know. The goat is very lean and requires a lot of cooking.


  • Mise en Place is a french phrase meaning “everything in place”. With a lot of ingredients, it helps to chop each one and keep them in separate bowls to leave cutting board space. Chop 1 whole bunch of celery, 4 large carrots, and 2 medium-sized white onions.
  • yellow curry powder    
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt/pepper
  • ground cumin
  • garlic powder
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups red wine
  • cilantro and/or parsley
  • optional: ginger
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups bottle red wine

1. Clean the goat, pat dry, and season with curry powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Massage the seasonings into the flesh. In the slow-cooker, layer 1/2 the veggies, the meat, and the rest of the veggies, respectively. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and lots of tomato paste (2-3 teaspoons). Add the beef stock, the red wine, and water to cover all the meat and vegetables. Cook on high for about four hours, and low for the same amount. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. Skim the fat off the stew with a spoon. It should come off easily because the fat creates a shell. In a large pot, make a roux by heating some olive oil and flour and mixing until they form a paste. Add the stew and heat until you see bubbles. Simmer the stew for about 1 hour and add chopped cilantro, chopped parsley, and sliced ginger.

3. I added more of the seasonings and even some cinnamon which really enhanced the dish. Stews require finesse and trouble-shooting. You may need to add salt, other seasonings, or some more red wine. I found that it needed all of those, plus some acid, so I added a little apple cider vinegar.

This stew is great over rice and with some bread to sop up the sauce. The whole house will smell wonderful and the goat is so flavorful and lean. It is hard to find the perfect balance of spices, so I’m not saying this was a perfect dish. We were all stuffed, but we liked it to the point that—dare I say it— we wouldn’t mind chewing it again.

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For those of you who were actually interested in reading this: Good for you. Many people wouldn’t even want to read the recipe, let alone try making the recipe. My dad found oxtail at the market and bought it. I knew it was a very tough, sinewy meat that requires a lot of cooking time to be edible. I knew that a stew was the best way to go. Contrary to popular belief, oxtail is actually not from an ox—it used to be—, but from a cow. I won’t say that this dish is easy; It’s time-consuming and takes a lot of TLC, but the reward is a humble stew where the meat, which can be effortlessly sucked off the bone, melts into the sauce, which is, in essence, the taste of cow in liquid form.

This is what I used. I didn’t buy anything, but beef stock

  • 1 oxtail (usually the whole tale comes, cut, in a package)
  • 1 large Spanish onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped peppers
  • 3 cups red wine
  • 2 cups Coca Cola
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • a few waxy potatoes
  • two rosemary sprigs
  • fresh thyme
  • grape tomatoes.
  • mushrooms

Spice rub:

  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • dash of cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • dash of oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Start by mixing the spice rub and rubbing it on both sides of the meat. Heat a pan on medium and add a little bit of oil to the pan. Evenly distribute the bones in the pan, so that they all can brown. The browning process should take 4-5 minutes on each side. Move the bones to a plate.

2. Deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the coke and beef broth. Add two rosemary sprigs and a lot of thyme leaves. Return the oxtail pieces to the pot and cook on low heat for a few hours. If the liquid level drops below the oxtail, add water and repeat if necessary. Strain the sauce to remove the rosemary leaves. The thyme leaves can stay. Refrigerate over night.

3. The next day, skim off the fat with a spoon or fork. I coated chopped potatoes in flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. I sautéed them for two minutes and added the carrots for another two minutes. Then, add halved grape tomatoes, chopped peppers, and chopped onions for a few minutes. Finally, add minced garlic cloves and quartered mushrooms. I seasoned the vegetables as well.

4. Mix in the vegetables with the oxtail and sauce. If you see any huge lumps of fat on the oxtail, just trim it off. I added Worcestershire  sauce too. Simmer until the meat relinquishes its futile grasp against the bone. Add more water if necessary; this is the only thing that is leaving the stew. I served this with brown rice.

This can also be done in a slow-cooker. I didn’t realize how slow a slow-cooker actually was, so I used a pot for half the cooking process. In a slow cooker, it will take probably 7-9 hours of cook. A pot may cook it in less, but still expect a cook time of 5 hours. I have no Idea how long it took me. Sorry for not being precise, but I had to trouble-shoot a lot with this recipe.

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We call this a Shepherd’s pie even though it is technically a cottage pie. We had beautiful carrots, zucchini, and squash that were home-grown. I chopped them into chunky pieces to make a real peasant stew. My father brought fresh Rosemary and Thyme. Rosemary is a strong herb and works well in stronger sauces like tomato sauce. This is also why I used a red wine instead of a white. It was hard to time all the vegetables, but they all came out tender, yet with a bite. I love the flavor and aroma that fresh herbs add to the dish. The red wine and crushed tomatoes make a low-fat  sauce that tastes like it took forever to make. Hearty, Homey, Heavenly.

Ingredients: (I left my pieces on the bigger side)

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped whites onions
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 2 cups chopped squash
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • about 5 potatoes
  • 2 lb. Ground beef
  • cream
  • Red Wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 ears of corn
  • 1 stick of butter
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder.

(You will need to have boiled potatoes ready when necessary)

1. In a huge metal pot, sauté the chopped carrots for about 2-3 minutes in olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, fresh thyme, garlic powder, and onion powder.

2. Add the zucchini and squash and re-season in the same manner. In the meantime, using a different metal pot, caramelize the chopped onions over high heat. Season as before. After about 4 minutes, add 1/2 the minced garlic and corn kernels. After a minute, add the onions to the other vegetables and cook until the carrots are beginning to become tender. I added snap peas, which I parboiled and added at this time.

3. Now that the onions are gone, cook the beef on high heat with some extra oil. Season likewise. Add some more minced garlic too. Remember: it will continue to cook with the vegetables.

3. Add about a cup of wine and reduce to a simmer for a few minutes. Add the can of crushed tomatoes (The tomatoes, not the can). Season to taste with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, fresh pepper, and thyme. Add Worcestershire sauce and 3-4 sprigs of rosemary. Simmer and add more wine if it cooks off. I used a gravy master for darker color. Remove the Rosemary sprigs. Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish. I used a Cazuela which is a traditional spanish cooking vessel.

4. Mash the potatoes (some skin is fine) with cream (8-10 oz.), a stick of butter, salt and pepper. Spread over the filling. I topped mine with the Rosemary sprigs and some thyme for aroma. Keep it warm in the oven until service.

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