Almost Gluten-Free Beef Stew (Sadly, Not Gumbo)

2014-07-20 19.44.13I guess this is what I get for trying a “Gumbo Recipe” that came with my new crockpot (really cool by the way, it has 2, 4, and 6 quart sized bowls!).  While it was quite wonderful, I don’t think I can call it Gumbo without offending my neighbors.  The name refers to my mild success with some vegan sausages that contain gluten. They were cheap, had the right texture, and the flavoring was dead on.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the taste of this dish – it was flavorful with a nice kick and the “sausage” allowed me to halve the amount of beef I used – but I was expecting Gumbo.  The texture of the final product was quite thick, much closer to the Jambalaya recipe that I made earlier this year.  Chef John’s recipe seems like it would be much more authentic, but I’ll have to try that one out next time.  Check out the recipe below:

Continue reading “Almost Gluten-Free Beef Stew (Sadly, Not Gumbo)”

Surprisingly Delicious Vegan Pepper Steak

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Vegan + Delicious = Blasphemy!  Many dishes which get around dietary restrictions swap key ingredients and leave the dish lacking in taste.  The sign of a successful replacement ingredient is approval by a third party unbound by those restrictions.  I am in no way a vegan and tend to stay away from vegetables and other green things, but my curiosity got the better of me when I saw Gardein Beefless Strips  at the grocery.

This dish was really quite tasty and it wasn’t as heavy a dish as the non-vegan version, so give it a try no matter what your diet (though not gluten-free because the beefless strips are made of wheat gluten, sometimes called Seitan).  The fake beef strips have a meaty texture and flavor, making it a magical substitution.  It was a perfect meal after seeing the wonderful film, Chef, which will make you salivate for 115 minutes.  Check out the recipe below:

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Tomato Tribulations

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Photo by Rachel Andrew

Having just moved down south, far from family and friends, I was faced with a real decision to make.  My choice would change my life forever.  Clearly, the selection of the proper tomato product to purchase at the grocery store would make or break my dinner.  But being a naive and uninformed shopper, I assumed that Tomato Paste was basically unflavored Tomato Sauce.  Boy was I wrong.

No matter how much I simmered, seasoned, or diluted, the “sauce” that I made had an incredibly strong, sickeningly sweet and acidic taste.  What I was really looking for in the store was Tomato Purée.  Unfortunately, my pasta was not great that night, but I learned quite a few Tomato Terms™ (which I will share below): Continue reading “Tomato Tribulations”

Chocolate Covered Deliciousness

Chocolate Potato ChipsWhat is better than chocolate? Covering other things in chocolate!  I can’t believe that I have not tried to do this before, it was so easy to make.

For this recipe I actually used milk chocolate because, well I wanted to.  I don’t always have to have a reason for the things I do, experimentation is one of my favorite parts of cooking!  Actually, most recipe’s recommend sticking with semi sweet chocolate because milk chocolate has the tendency to completely overpower anything that you dip in it.  I found this to be true, so give it a shot and let me know how it goes. Continue reading “Chocolate Covered Deliciousness”

Simple Grilled Chicken (in a grill pan!)

So moist
So moist

There’s a certain time in winter when I start to crave a good Barbecue.  This overwhelmed me tonight, so I pulled out my grill pan and made this super simple, juicy grilled chicken.  There were no marinades, sauces, or complicated procedures, just chicken breast and some spices.  It is hard to believe that this dish is healthy because of how amazing it tastes!

It’s truly a shame that grilled chicken has such a bad reputation because when made right, it rocks.  Problem is, people are so afraid of under-cooking it that that beat it to death and dry it out by overcooking it.  Follow the steps below to avoid this shameful situation. Continue reading “Simple Grilled Chicken (in a grill pan!)”

Creamy, Slow-Scrambled Eggs (in a double-boiler)

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Not a stock photo, I made this!

While traditional scrambled eggs was the first food that I could ever say I “cooked”, I’ve been recently trying some interesting variations.  This Lifehacker post talks of two different ways to cook, a different version of scrambled eggs that is creamy, fluffy, and easily spreadable on toast.  The Gordon Ramsay method, just requires a regular pot and involves constantly stirring the eggs while over extremely low heat.  I’ve tried this method before but it is quite a bit of work and it is easy to overcook the eggs.  Today I tried the double-boiler method, and even though it was slow, it resulted in those incredible looking (and tasting!) eggs that you can see above.  Continue reading “Creamy, Slow-Scrambled Eggs (in a double-boiler)”

Cajun Chicken Ragout (with beef bacon bits!)

I want more
I want more

Last week, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on some Grow and Behold beef bacon.  Oh it was so good that David wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole!  I first used it to make bacon and eggs (see the picture below) which were great but a bit too greasy.  Next time I have to use the technique (shown here) of using paper towel to absorb the extra fat in the pan. After my bacon introduction, I went for Chef John’s amazing looking and purposefully misspelled Cajun Chicken Ragu.  It has quite a few steps, but nothing particularly difficult, and it was absolutely fabulous!  The Cajun spices made this a spicy dish, but in a flavorful and balanced way.  Continue reading “Cajun Chicken Ragout (with beef bacon bits!)”