Irish Stout Stew

YIELDS | 6-8 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 20 MINS

COOK TIME | 90-120 MINS

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We are all a wee bit Irish ☘️ on Saint Paddy’s Day! Why not make it official with this Irish Stout Stew. I scoured The Internet for an authentic recipe. I found a couple that I liked, combined them, removed a few steps I felt were unnecessary and came up with this rich, velvety, veggie packed beef stew. One of my favorite things from looking at the recipes from Irish websites is how they use the word “substances ” instead of “ingredients”. Be sure to keep the root vegetables chunky! Who doesn’t love less chopping! I use the classic combination of carrots, celery and onion along with mushroom but you can sub in parsnips or any other favorite root vegetable.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
* 1/2 teaspoon floor black pepper
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 teaspoon onion powder
* 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 1 tablespoon garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon brown sugar
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt separated
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour separated
* 3 lbs. beef chuck roast. cut into cubes
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 large white onion chopped
* 4-5 cloves garlic peeled and minced
* 4 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped
* 3-4 large carrots peeled and coarsely chopped
* 8-10 oz. baby Bella mushrooms, halved
* 1-15oz. can Guinness or any other dark beer
* 1 cup beef broth separated
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 2 tablespoons maple syrup or brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* Several sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
* 1 large sprig rosemary, stemmed and chopped
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
* Noodles, mashed potatoes or crusty bread to serve with, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

* Rinse, dry and cube the beef into 2” pieces or purchase pre-cut beef and put it into a bowl large enough to easily mix the ingredients.
* In a small bowl, add the rosemary, pepper, thyme, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, if using maple syrup, wait to add. 1.5 teaspoons salt, the flour and mix well.
* Cover the beef, and let it sit in the refridgerator for 30 minutes and up to a couple of hours.
* To a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and brown the meat in batches, about 3-5 minutes on each side. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.
* Pour 1/2 cup of the broth into the pot and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom and sides of the pot.
* Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, add the onion, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and sauté the onion until translucent and then add the garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
* Add the celery, carrots, and mushrooms to the pot and sauté until tender but still firm, about 5-7 minutes.
* Add the remaining broth and the beer, the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, the maple syrup, if using, add the remaining salt and mix well. Add the thyme and rosemary and mix.
* Bring the stew to a boil and then turn the heat down to simmer and cook for about 11/2-2 hours. The stew will begin to thicken as it cooks.
* Add any additional salt and pepper to taste and serve over noodles , with mashed potatoes or a loaf of crusty bread.

NOTES

Roasted butternut squash with wild rice, cranberries, shallots and garlic

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 20 MINS

COOK TIME | 45 MINS

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This recipe is a star as a side dish alongside our Thanksgiving turkey or alone as the main dish on Meatless Monday. It’s festive, beautiful and full of great flavor and nutrients.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 acorn squashes (1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise, seeds removed
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 shallot, minced
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed or 5 leaves, fresh chopped sage
* Kosher salt and ground pepper
* 1 box (6 ounces) wild-rice blend.
* 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
* 1/2 cup dried cranberries
* 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
* chopped parsley for garnish, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange squash cut side down; cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil. Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 40 minutes.

3. While the squash bakes, heat butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add shallot and sage and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and sauce for a minute more.
4. Add rice (toss the little spice packet that came with the rice) and add 1 3/4 cups broth and bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low and simmer, without lifting the lid, until tender, check after 20 minutes. If not tender yet, add additional broth if necessary, and simmer another 5 minutes or until rice is firm yet tender.
5. 
Turn the heat off, stir in the cranberries and chopped nuts and mix, add additional kosher salt and pepper to to taste.
6. Scoop even amounts of the rice mixture into each of the squash.
7. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if using, and serve.

NOTES

Chickpeas, Spinach and Orzo Soup

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 15 MINS

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This vegetarian soup is the perfect pantry meal. A simple mirepoix mixed with other kitchen staples makes this soup perfect for a quick night dinner or weekend lunch. Substitute navy or Lima beans for the chickpeas and use any favorite green. Add precooked chicken if desired. Serve with a green salad and crusty bread.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 Tbsp olive oil
* 2 medium carrots, peeled,
* 2 Ribs celery, trimmed and diced
* 1 small onion, diced
* 1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
* 2 plump garlic cloves, minced
* Pinch red pepper flake or more to taste
* 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
* 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 4 cups baby spinach or other baby green such as Kale or chard
* 3/4 cups orzo, Gluten free or regular
* 1/4 cup Parmesan or pecorino plus more per serving
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Add the olive oil to a medium to large pot over medium high heat. Add the carrots, onion and celery. Cook for 5–7 minutes or until tender.

2. Add the garlic, red pepper flake and rosemary, stir.

3. At the broth and bring to a boil. Add the chickpeas and orzo. Reduced to a simmer and cover. Simmer until the orzo is tender about 10 minutes.

4. Add the baby greens to the soup in handfuls and simmer until wilted, about a minute or two.

5. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with cheese and additional salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

NOTES

Double Duty: Make extra chimicchurri sauce to use later in the week. Spoon over steak or fish, Use it to marinate shrimp and then grill and serve over rice.

Quick and Easy Sesame Garlic Noodles

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 5 MINS

COOK TIME | 10 MINS

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I have been making a version of this dish for years. I love its chameleon-like versatility. Missing an ingredient-improvise! This dish can take it. Add seasonal veggies for an ultimate fresh and healthy version.
The bonus is I haven’t met a kid who hasn’t gobbled it down! Double Duty Recipe: Make extra sauce to use later in the week to pour over rice or marinate fish, beef or chicken and broil or grill.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 8 oz. package favorite spaghetti, I like thick spaghetti
* 2 tsp chili oil or vegetable oil
* 8-10 oz cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
* 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
* 1 carrot, julienned
* 2 Serrano peppers or to taste, thinly sliced1
* 3-4 scallions , cut into 2” pieces and then slices lengthwise, set aside a few pieces for garnish
* 3 Tbsps soy sauce
* 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 tbsp maple syrup
* 2 tsps fish sauce
* 3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
* 2 tbsps toasted sesame seeds 
* 4-5 large basil leaves cut into ribbons, optional for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Start a large pot of water. over high heat and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.


2. While the pasta cooks, in a small bowl, whisk the garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, maple syrup, sesame seed oil. set aside.


3. In a pan large enough to toss all the ingredients including the pasta, heat the chili or vegetable oil over medium heat.

4. Add the Serrano, bell pepper and carrot. Cook, for about 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally or until tender.

7. Add the chopped mushrooms, stir and cover. Cook for 5-7 more minutes. Stir once or twice.

9. Uncover and remove from the heat. The liquid will evaporate.


10. Add the cooked pasta and and toss and then add the sauce and mix well.

11. Serve hot or at room temperature. Garnish with basil, if using, scallions and sesame seeds.


NOTES

Add in any vegetables you would like. Add add extra carrot or beansprouts and broccoli.
Substitute rice vinegar for the fish sauce to go vegan and vegetarian.

Homemade Sauerkraut

YIELDS | 8-10 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 minutes plus fermentation

COOK TIME | NA

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Sauerkraut alone, on a polish or mixed with pork sausage, the benefits of this gut friendly fermented vegetable are almost endless. Like Kimchi, this dish can morph into many dishes by changing the flavor profile. This recipe is the ultimate in simplicity and tastes so much better than store bought. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself making it often.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 1/2-2 teaspoons pickling salt, or kosher salt –
* 1 large head fresh green cabbage, keep a couple large leaves to use to hold down the sauerkraut and brine.
* Jars with lids

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cut the cabbage in half, remove any brown or bruises leave and the core.

2. Slice the cabbage 1/8 inch thick, almost like a shred, sprinkle on the salt. Massage the salt into the cabbage for about 15-20 minutes. Do not pour out the juice. 


3. Pack the cabbage in a the glass jars and tamp until the jar is about 3/4 full. Pour in juice until the cabbage and liquid are about 1” from the top of the jar. Be sure the cabbage is fully submerged and there are no air pockets..

4. Fold a piece of the reserved cabbage leaf on top of the sauerkraut and brine and gently push down until it keeps the contents submerged. Loosely cover the jar with a lid.

5. Place the jars in a cool, dark place where the temperature is between 65-70 degrees. IMPORTANT: Be sure to open the jar every day to release any pressure so the jar doesn’t explode.

6. After 3-4 days of fermenting begin to taste the cabbage every day and until it reaches the level of preferred tanginess. The brine will most likely become effervescent. This is a sign of active microbial activity-a good thing.

NOTES

To reap the benefits sauerkraut has to offer, ferment the cabbage for a minimum of two weeks.
Once the sauerkraut is finished, tighten the lid and store the sauerkraut in the refrigerator.
Sauerkraut can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 months.

Grilled Clams with Poblano Pepper and Roasted Corn Relish

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 4-8 MINS

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This dish is as gorgeous to look at as delicious to eat and it makes an impressive and beautiful presentation. Farm raised clams are available year-round and you can find wild clams from October through June.
I have tried a few different versions of this recipe. I removed several steps and simplified the ingredients to make my version super simple.

INGREDIENTS

* 3-4 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed
* ½ cup onion, any type, chopped
* 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped, seeds removed

* 2 medium poblano peppers, chopped, seeds removed 

* 1-14 ounce can premium sweet corn, drained
* 1/4 cup cider vinegar or more to taste

* 2 tablespoons honey
* 1-2 Tbsps olive oil
* 1 lime, 1/2 for juice and half cut into wedges for serving
3-4 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the grill to high.

1. While the grill heats up, heat the oil in a medium sized pan over medium high.

2. Add the onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and cook until translucent about 6–7 minutes.

3. Add in the cider vinegar and mix well.

4. Add in the red and poblano peppers and sauté for another 10 minutes.

5. Add the corn and mix well.

6. Turn the stove off and add the honey. Squirt on the juice from half the lime and mix to incorporate. Set aside

7. The grill should be hot by now. Put the clams directly on the grill grates or a grill pan. Grill undisturbed for 4-8 minutes or until they open. Carefully place them onto a serving platter. Be careful not to spill the clam liquer. Discard any clams that do not open.

8. Spoon the corn and pepper relish all over the clouds. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper to taste and erve with lime wedges.

NOTES

You can use fresh corn but I substitute a 1-14oz can of good quality sweet corn for 2 cups fresh corn when I am running short on time which is almost always.