Don’t panic. I know what the vast majority of people will think when they see this title…”Brussel Sprouts…Yuck!” If you are anything like me you are probably reliving all the family dinners from your childhood when your parents tried to force you to eat brussel sprouts. Personally I have never been a fan of these tiny cabbages, that is until now. It all changed this past Christmas when my lovely sister-in-law served up these bad boys at the family dinner, this is also to say that I cannot take credit for this recipe as it is something I got from her 🙂 This is a super easy and quick side dish that is sure to please even the most determined hater of brussel sprouts.
- 30 – 40 Brussel Sprouts
- 2 – 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Coarse Salt & Pepper to taste
- Wash the sprouts, peeling off any loose bits.
- Trim off a bit from the bottom of the sprouts then cut then in half.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a bowl toss the sprouts with the olive oil and some salt and pepper. (I used approx. 1 Tsp of each)
- Place the halves face down on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and check the sprouts. If they are golden on the bottom remove and serve. If they aren’t golden yet, flip them over and bake for another 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy 🙂
These baked brussel sprouts go great with a little bit of white vinegar sprinkled on top too
Move over Julia Child! Just kidding, the woman was an amazing chef who’s recipe was the inspiration for this meal.
Let me begin with the fact that I have never eaten beef and enjoyed it, that is until I made this gem of a meal. This whole endeavor began after my hubby came along on a grocery trip with me, you may think ‘big deal’? Well it is, he never does the groceries with me so it was a very nice change. Like almost every man out there, my husband loves beef and just because I do not eat beef does not mean I deprive my man of his carnivorous cravings. However, most of his beef consumption occurs in the warmer months when he can slap a huge plate sized t-bone steak on the grill leaving very little room for sides once it is on the plate. So as we walked through the meat aisle I saw some lovely looking cubes of steak that would be perfect for a stew. I held up the steak and said the magical words….”Boeuf Bourguignon?” his eyes lit up and with a huge smile said “YUP!” How could I resist that?
I knew my evening was set, I would attempt a complex French dish that I may or may not even enjoy in the end. I read several versions of this recipe all over the web and all of them were extremely complicated and at times hard to follow. I gave up and just winged it using similar techniques I use for my Coq Au Vin recipe. After hours in the kitchen I nervously watched my husband take his first bite…as I watched a huge smile come across his face I knew I had a winner! So I sat down next to him and tried my first bite…the beef melted away in my mouth and the flavorful and rich sauce seemed to almost hug me. I can eat beef like this everyday! Now to the recipe…I will try to arrange it as easily as possible below. All together you will require about 4 ½ Hours.
What you will need for a complete dish:
- 3 Lbs Beef (cubed and preferably with some nice marbleizing)
- 4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 1 Tsp each of Salt & Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 6 Slices of Thick Bacon
- 20-25 White Pearl Onions
- 5 Medium Carrots (sliced)
- 10 Crimini Mushrooms (cut into ¼” slices)
- 2 Celery Sticks (sliced)
- 15 Small Red Nugget Potatoes (quartered)
- ½ Cup Flour
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 2 ½ Cups Beef Broth
- 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 2 Cups Red Wine (full bodied is preferable, I used a Burgundy
- Place your beef into a large bowl, pour in the 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper and the leaves from 2 Sprigs of Thyme. Mix together and let it sit for an hour.
- While the meat is marinating, cut up your bacon and cook it in a large pan on medium heat. Once the bacon is crispy remove it leaving the bacon fat in the pan.
Prep your veggies:
- Clean and slice up the celery, carrots and mushrooms and set aside in a bowl together.
- Peel the onions cutting off the ends and set aside in a bowl.
- Peel and quarter your potatoes and set aside in a bowl filled with cold water (this will prevent them from turning brown)
Begin the Cooking:
- Place the ½ cup of flour in a shallow dish.
- Dry your marinated meat with a paper towel then dredge in the flour.
- Heat up the bacon fat and add 2 Tbsp of butter.
- Once the fat is hot place your meat in and begin browning it on all sides. Approx. 10 minutes. (do not crowd the meat or it will not brown properly, I did mine in 2 batches)
- Once all the meat is browned set it aside in a bowl.
- Using the left over fat in the pan toss in your onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes to allow the veggies to soften. Set the pan aside.
Prep your Liquids & Continue Cooking:
- Take out a large cast iron pot or an oven & stove top safe dish with a lid.
- Combine the 2 ½ cups beef broth with tomato paste and garlic in a large container.
- Set the 2 cups of wine on the side.
- On high heat, melt 2 Tbsp of butter in the pot and toss in the browned meat, Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- De-glaze the pot with 1 ½ cups of the beef broth and tomato paste mix saving the rest of the broth mix for later. Toss in 2 Sprigs of thyme into the pot and add the wine. Bring everything to a boil.
- Cover and place into the oven.
- Cook for 1 ½ Hours. Check on it after an hour and you can stir it to prevent it from sticking to the sides.
- After time is up, remove and stir the contents. Add in the sautéed veggies, quartered potatoes and the rest of the broth and tomato mix. Stir to combine.
- Place back into the oven and cook for another 1 ½ Hours.
If the potatoes are soft when poked with a fork after this time then serve and enjoy, if not, pace back into the oven for 10 – 15 more minutes.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did 🙂
Looking around at some other blogs it looks like I am not the only one who has either not posted as frequently or is behind on stuff this month. Between decorating, doing all the Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts and most recently taking care of our injured dog who took a stick in the throat, punctured it and almost severed his tonsils, I have been M.I.A from blogging. For those that follow me, I do apologize for this but on a good note our pup is expected to make a slow but full recovery :). Until then, he has taken up residence on our bed and since we do not have the heart to tell him to leave, we now have an 80 pound snoring dog in between us on a queen sized bed. Basically my husband and myself have spent the last week clinging to the edges of the bed, getting great sleeps of course…I can’t imagine how this will play out once we decide to have kids lol.
On to the food…to try and make up for this lack of posting I am posting a Christmas related dish. By this I mean something you can quickly and easily whip up as a side dish for your spectacular Christmas feast. There are so many classic dishes to choose from around the holidays and for each of those dishes there are endless variations. At our house yams are always a must and generally do not last long. Typically, I prepare them with just butter and a bit of salt and they have always been great, but last year I wanted to add a bit of panache to them. I bought a bunch of fresh sage for our turkey and since there was so much left over I did not want it to go to waste. Staring at all the food on our island I had a light bulb moment, I would infuse the butter I needed to use with sage to add a subtle rich flavor to our yams.
For the Sage Butter…
- 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 10 – 15 Fresh Sage Leaves (finely chopped)
- Melt your butter in a small pan on medium heat.
- Once your butter is melted and bubbling, add in your sage.
- Stirring constantly, allow the sage to crisp up a bit in the butter (approx. 2-5 minutes)
- The golden butter should turn a light green color from the fresh herbs, once you see the leaves are crisped up remove from the heat.
For the Yams...
- 4 Medium Yams (Peeled)
- 2 Tsp Sea Salt
- Cut your yams into cubes (mine were about 2 inches) Helpful tip: if you are in a rush, cut the yams smaller so they boil faster.
- Put your yams into a medium pot and add enough water to just cover the yams and add your salt.
- Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Once it is boiling reduce the heat to medium.
- Cook the yams until they are soft. (approx. 15 – 20 minutes depending on how big the cubes area) Helpful Tip: Use a fork or small pairing knife to check the doneness of your yams, if they are soft and fall off the utensil easily they are ready.
- Strain your yams and place back into the pot.
- Add in your sage butter and mash the yams.
This has become a staple in our house. After trying various different methods for making some slow cooker pork this one has come out on top in our house. It all began with not having enough time to make Paleo approved dinners in our house so I began trying to make more and more meals in our slow cooker. This recipe is one of the main reasons I started eating more pork. It is full of wonderful flavors and pairs with so many different things which makes it a super easy Paleo dinner options. Your house will be filled with amazing smells and if you make enough of this, you will have leftovers that can be transformed into tacos, stir fry’s and a number of other options. When I first made this version of pulled pork I made so much of it that we decided to invite my father-in-law over to help us get through some of it. Now normally he does not go up for very many second helpings but after he had a bite of this pork he asked for 2 re-fills and a tupper ware for lunch!. i was more than happy to oblige and since then I have made this dish several more times in order to perfect it. I usually pair it with some of my homemade Apple Cider Pickled Onions, the flavors combine into an amazing meal!
- 2 Pork Tenderloins
- 1/2 White Onion (sliced)
- 6 Garlic Cloves (halved)
- 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth (No MSG)
- 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
- 2 Tsp Onion Powder
- 2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
- 3 Tsp Ground Pepper
- 3 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 Tsp Paprika
*If you are putting this pork in before work I recommend combining all the spices the night before in a bowl and putting your onions and garlic into the bottom of the slow cooker before bed, that way you can simply put in the pork, season it and top it off with the broth and vinegar.
- Place your onions, garlic and oil into the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Rinse your pork loins and place them into the slow cooker.
- Combine your seasonings together in a bowl then generously coat the pork with the mixtures. Try to cover the sides as best as possible.
- Mix your broth with the vinegar then gently pork it around the pork being careful not to wash away the spices.
- Close your slow cooker and set it for 8 hours on low.
Finally, come home from work or a day of running around doing errands and enjoy your pork with whatever sides you wish 🙂 You also won’t need to light and scented candles because your house will smell amazing!
I have always been a fan of tomato soup, there is just something comforting about it and always brings me back to my childhood. Let’s just say I had and still have an obsession with tomatoes. My mother can attest to the fact that growing up I practically lived off of tomato and cheese sandwiches and since I used to be such a picky eater, sandwiches it was, for most snacks, lunches and sometimes even dinner. Bless my moms heart, she tried just about everything to get me to eat anything but these sandwiches but with limited success. I even distinctly remember when we lived in Spain she tried to trick me into eating fish by telling me that it was “pollo” something I actually ate on occasion. For those of you who do not know Spanish, “pollo” means chicken, not fish. However at that age and a very limited palette, I took my moms word for it and ate the fish thinking it was chicken. The jig was up pretty quick and I went back to tomato and cheese sandwiches as my go to food source. Since I loved tomatoes so much, tomato soup was a pretty regular occurrence in our house, perhaps that is why it is still such a comfort food for me. This past Thanksgiving I decided to put a twist on the standard tomato soup and since Thanksgiving brings so many rich flavors and sweets to our plates I wanted to start the meal off with something savory and different. Bring on the smoky richness of those crowd pleaser.
- 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (796ml)
- 4 Roasted Red Peppers (I used mine from a jar)
- 5 Sprigs of Thyme
- 4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
- 2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Pepper
- 2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
- 1/4 White Onion (diced)
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 8 Cups Chicken Broth (I used one with No MSG)
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Flour (optional for thickening)
- In a medium soup pot heat up your oil and toss in the onions and let them brown.
- Toss in the peppers and tomatoes and combine with the onions.
- Add in your seasonings followed by the broth.
- Bring everything to a boil and then simmer on low for 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and using a handheld blender, puree the soup until it is smooth. If you do not have a hand held blender you can always pour the soup into a blender to puree.
- If you would like to thicken your soup a bit, mix 2 Tbsp of flour with 1/4 cup of cold water (i used coconut flour for the paleo version of this soup) Once the flour is dissolved into the water without clumps, slowly pour it into the soup and bring it all to a boil again.
After seeing the title of this post all of you can now guess what tops my list of favorite animated movies. Yes, that’s right it is Ratatouille. The story in short is about a brave young mouse named Remy who makes his way to Paris and sets out to become a chef. Towards the end of the movie in order to impress a tough restaurant critic he cooks up this dish. This traditional French dish originally from Nice brings the critic back to his childhood and warms his heart. This is an incredibly simple meal to make and makes a great side dish or even a meal in itself. If you have seen the movie you will know that Remy takes great care and time arranging the veggies beautifully. I simply do not have that sort of time as I am sure many of you do not either so mine is slightly messier. The result is the same, a yummy hearty meal perfect for a cool autumn night. Typically this dish also calls for egg plant, I however am allergic to it so naturally this dish is sans egg plant 🙂 If you like you can always add it into yours.
- 2 Medium Zucchinis
- 1 Bell Pepper
- 1 Can of Tomato Paste
- 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
- 4 Sprigs Thyme
- 1/4 Medium White Onion (chopped)
- 1 Tsp Seasoning Salt
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1 Tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
- 1 Cup Hot Water
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- In a food processor, slice your zucchinis on a medium setting. Then slice up your bell pepper into strips.
- In a baking dish, put the onion and olive oil into the bottom.
- In a small bowl mix the garlic, thyme, spices and tomato paste with the water. Combine them all until the paste is dissolved. (using hot water will help dissolve the paste easier)
- Pour the tomato ‘sauce” into the bottom of the baking dish and mix with the onions and oil.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350F.
- Arrange your zucchini and pepper slices into the dish.
- Cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper then bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes.