Tag Archives: One-Pot

Mushroom Barley Soup with Miso and Kale

If you are anticipating a holiday food hangover this season, then take note of this recipe. Mushroom Barley Soup with Miso and Kale is the perfect antidote to excess. Not only does it put to use any left over turkey stock you may have, this healthy, economical soup is loaded with vegetables and high fiber barley. Handfuls of nutrient-rich kale are added to the soup in the end, so there is just enough time to wilt the leaves without overcooking. The extra ingredient to this wholesome soup is a spoonful of red miso paste, which adds depth and that elusive umami quality which keeps you coming back for more. Luckily, this is one meal you can indulge in seconds without feeling guilty.

Mushroom Barley Soup with Miso and Kale

Chicken stock may easily be substituted for turkey stock. Serves 4-6.

Olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
Salt
8 ounces sliced assorted mushrooms, such shitake, cremini, cepes
2 large carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup barley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
8 cups chicken or turkey stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups kale leaves, tough stems removed, leaves shredded
1 tablespoon red miso paste

Heat oil in a medium sized stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt; sauté 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and carrots; sauté 3 minutes. Add barley and thyme and stir to coat. Add stock, bay leaf  and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in kale. Simmer until kale turns bright green and wilts, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the miso. Taste For seasoning. Serve garnished with fresh thyme.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

~ Comfort in a bowl: Braised short ribs, celery root and red wine –

Rich meaty stews fortified with wine are the kitchen’s answer to wet and frosty weather. Simmered over hours, sometimes even days, the aromas of beef, wine and spice mix and mingle, concocting delicious aromas that fill the kitchen and soothe the soul. It draws us in to its embrace, tantalized by the warmth and promise of the meal to come. We are hungry yet content in the knowledge that the wait will be well worth it.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Cold weather stews coincide with an abundance of of root vegetables and sturdy tubers, stalwart allies in the fall and winter season. Celery root is the secret ingredient in this recipe, adding depth to the stock with mellow celery notes. Serves 6-8.

5 pounds short ribs
Salt
Pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 cup diced celeriac (celery root) in 1/4 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup whiskey
3 cups red wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried coriander
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Salt and pepper the short ribs. If you have time, refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before proceeding. (Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before browning.)
Preheat oven to 325 F. Heat oil over medium high heat. Add short ribs in batches without overcrowding. Brown well on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate. Repeat with remaining short ribs. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pot. Add onion, carrot, celery, celeriac and garlic. Cook, stirring up any brown bits in the pan, until vegetables begin to soften, 3 minutes. Carefully add whiskey. Bring to a boil and cook until whiskey has nearly evaporated. Add wine, stock, tomato paste, bay leaves, coriander, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Return the ribs to the pot with any collected juices. Bring to a boil. Cover pan and place in oven. Bake until the short ribs are very tender, about 3 hours. Remove from oven. Cool; refrigerate overnight.
One hour before serving, remove short ribs from refrigerator. Remove collected fat on surface of the stock. The stock will be congealed. Heat over low heat to liquify. Remove the short ribs and vegetables with a slotted spoon.* Separate the meat from the bones and discard the  bones. Bring stock to a boil and cook over medium-high heat until sauce has reduced by half. Return beef and vegetables to the stock and heat through.

*Note: If you wish to fancify the stew, remove only the beef from the reheated stock. Boil the stock with vegetables until reduced. Strain the stock through a fine meshed sieve, pressing down on solids to extract as much flavor as possible. Return beef to strained stock and discard solids.
Sauté additional carrots and rutabaga in olive oil until crisp tender. Add to the stew along with blanched and peeled pearl onions. Simmer until all the vegetables are cooked through.

Farro, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

~ Farro, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup with Parmigiano ~

Autumn in a bowl sums up this nourishing soup. Sweet butternut squash and sturdy kale team up with farro, an ancient Italian wheat grain, known as spelt in English. Farro is a hulled wheat, which means it retains its husk during harvest. The husk serves as a protective cloak, preserving nutrients and protecting the kernel from insects and pollutants, which permits the grower to avoid pesticides. Rich in protein, fiber and B vitamins, farro has a satisfying nutty flavor which adds heft with health to soups and stews.  The final touch in this warming soup is a chunk of Parmigiano cheese, which is nestled into the simmering stock, breaking down and releasing umami flavor while thickening the soup.

Farro, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

Barley may be substituted for the farro. Serves 6-8.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed, green parts discarded, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, finely diced
2 cups butternut squash, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup farro
6 cups chicken stock, plus additional stock as necessary
1 (15-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes with juice
1  (2-inch) chunk of Parmesan rind
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups shredded kale leave
Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add leek, garlic, onion and celery. Sauté 2 minutes. Add butternut squash and farro. Sauté one minute. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, cheese chunk, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer until squash is tender and farro is cooked, about 30 minutes. (Add more stock to desired consistency if soup is too thick.) Taste for seasoning. Stir in kale leaves; simmer until kale brightens in color and just wilts, about one minute. Ladle into bowls and grate cheese over the soup. Serve immediately.

Moroccan Lamb Stew and a recipe for Ras el Hanout

Still fixated on warming stews, I recently prepared this lamb stew which not only has heat but the heady aroma of exotic spice. Its secret ingredient is ras el hanout. Ras el hanout is a north African spice blend which may include upwards of 50 spices, including cinnamon, cardamom, clove, turmeric and cayenne. The name, translated, means head of the shop, meaning the best on offer. Like many spice blends, there is no one way to make it, and variations exist from home to home, merchant to merchant.

At first, I made a version of this stew without the addition of ras el hanout, and it was very good. When I added ras el hanout to the recipe, the stew was excellent. You can find ras el hanout in the spice section of your supermarket or specialty stores. If you cannot locate it, then I encourage you to try to make your own version – it’s easy to do.

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Chickpeas and Figs

The lamb is coated and marinated in a spice paste. As the meat browns in the pot, the spices will also brown and cook, adding a rich flavor and color to the stew.

Serves 6-8.

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground paprika
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 – 3 pounds lamb shoulder or leg, cut in 2 inch chunks
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 – 14 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes with juice
2 cups chicken stock
12 dried Calimyrna or Turkish figs, halved
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons ras el hanout (recipe below)
1 – 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Harissa or red chili paste
Fresh cilantro sprigs

Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl. Mix to form a paste. Place lamb in a large bowl. Rub paste all over lamb. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate covered up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or oven proof pot with lid over medium-high heat. Add lamb in batches and brown on all sides, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Transfer lamb to a plate or bowl.
Add onion and carrot to the same pot. Saute, stirring up the brown bits, for 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and continue to saute 1 minute. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, figs, cinnamon stick, ras el hanout, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.  Return lamb and any collected juices to the pot, submerging it in the stock. (Add additional chicken stock to cover, if necessary.) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover pot. Transfer to oven and bake until lamb is falling apart tender, about 2 hours.
Transfer pot to stove. Remove lamb and vegetables with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Bring stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil uncovered until sauce is reduced by about half and thickened, skimming fat.  Stir in chickpeas. Taste to check for seasoning. If necessary add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the stock. Return lamb and vegetables to pot. (May be prepared up to 24 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate. To serve, skim any collected fat from surface. Rewarm over medium-low heat or in a 325 F. oven.)
Serve with prepared couscous. Pass bowls of harissa and fresh cilantro around the table as condiments.

Ras El Hanout
adapted from The Food of Morocco by Tess Mallos

Be sure to use very fresh spices, or grind the whole dried spices.

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons ground coriander
3 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons allspice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne

Combine all the spices together. Store in a glass jar in a cool, dark place.
(Recipe may be halved.)

Black Bean, Sausage and Butternut Squash Chili

I can’t help myself. I am on a soup and stew bender, and this chili is my latest rendition. This chili is a hearty stew perfect for the winter weather. It’s chunky and sating, packed with black beans, brimming with peppers and butternut squash, and fortified with spicy sausage. If you can stand it, let it refrigerate overnight before serving, and it will taste even better. This will warm you in the cold weather, and is a festive snack option for Superbowl viewing.

Black Bean, Sausage and Butternut Squash Chili

Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound chorizo or hot Italian sausage
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cups butternut squash cubes cut in 1/2″ square
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 poblano pepper, membranes and seeds removed, cut in 1/2″ pieces
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 – 28 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 cups cooked black beans
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, plus extra for garnish
2 scallions, white and green parts finely sliced
fresh avocado as garnish (optional)

Heat olive oil in a stock pot or deep skillet over medium heat. Add sausages and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. When cool enough to handle, cut in 1/4 inch slices.
Add onion to pot and saute until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add squash, garlic and peppers. Saute 3 minutes. Add dry spices and cook stirring, one minute. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste and bay leaves. Simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in black beans, sausage, salt and pepper. Simmer 10 more minutes. Taste to adjust seasoning.
Before serving add cilantro. Serve in bowls with with scallions, fresh avocado (if using) and additional cilantro.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry

It’s that time of year again: the holidays have passed, the reality of winter sets in, and I have a bout of  culinary wanderlust. Over-sated with the goodies of Christmas-past, it’s now time for comfort and heat. I crave stews and spice, at once hearty and exotic. The warmth of soup soothes the soul on a wintry night, while aromatic spices titillate the senses, hinting of sunny far flung destinations. Heady and satisfying, I can’t think of a better way to embrace the cold, grey January weather.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

This recipe may be easily prepared in 20 minutes – just enough time to cook the rice. Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 – 28 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup cilantro/coriander leaves, coarsely chopped

Heat oil in deep skillet or soup pot. Add onion and sauté until soft but not brown, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeno, ginger and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute. Add curry powder and continue sautéing, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, salt and pepper; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and cook until they turn pink and are just cooked through. Stir in cilantro. Taste to adjust seasoning. Serve immediately in bowls with basmati rice.

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin is cozy winter food. It’s meant to slow cook and, like many stews, tastes even better the day after it’s prepared. I’ve come across recipes for quick Coq au Vin. This option sounds ideal for a busy weekday night, but, if you ask me, I would rather save my Coq au Vin for the weekend when it can simmer away, filling the kitchen with warmth and the aromas of wine and herbs, while building anticipation for dinner to come.

Traditional Coq au Vin required slow cooking, since it called for using a tough rooster as its main ingredient, which benefited from a long cooking process to tenderize the bird. Nowadays, chicken is commonly used, and the length of cooking time is shortened. Nonetheless, the dish is best when left to simmer over low heat, and the sauce is allowed to reduce and thicken into a luxuriously rich stew.

In this version, I omit the bacon and use a generous amount of brandy to deglaze the pan. Tomato paste is added to the sauce, lending depth and a touch of sweetness. I like to slow-cook the stew in the oven at a lower temperature, freeing up the stove top for other needs. In the meantime, I am free to get on with other tasks, or relax with a book and a cup of tea or gløgg.  This is the epitome of winter weekend food, preferably when the weather is cold and dismal outside.

Coq au Vin – Chicken Braised in Red Wine

 

As an option to butchering a whole chicken, purchase 2 whole legs and 2-3 breasts with skin and bone intact. Serves 4-6.

1 tablespoon olive oil
One chicken, cut in 8 pieces
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup brandy
4 garlic cloves, smashed
3 large carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 large onion, chopped
8 ounces white mushrooms, halved (quartered if large)
1 – 750 ml. bottle red wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325 F. (170 C.) Heat oil in an oven-proof pot with lid or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces, skin side down, in batches. Brown on all sides, turning once, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
Carefully add brandy to the pot (it will steam) and deglaze pot. Add garlic, carrots, onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add wine, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaves. Return chicken to the pot and nestle the pieces in the wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pot and transfer to oven and bake, occasionally stirring, 1 1/2 hours.

Transfer pot to stove top. Remove chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon and place in a large bowl. Boil sauce over medium heat until reduced by about half and thickened to a sauce consistency, skimming fat, about 20 minutes. Add sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Return chicken and vegetables to the pot, and gently simmer to thoroughly heat through. Serve in low bowls with mashed or roasted potatoes.

Mushroom Barley Soup with Miso and Kale

If you are anticipating a holiday food hangover this season, then take note of this recipe. Mushroom Barley Soup with Miso and Kale is the perfect antidote to excess. Not only does it put to use any left over turkey stock you may have, this healthy, economical soup is loaded with vegetables and high fiber barley. Handfuls of nutrient-rich kale are added to the soup in the end, so there is just enough time to wilt the leaves without overcooking. The extra ingredient to this wholesome soup is a spoonful of red miso paste, which adds depth and that elusive umami quality which keeps you coming back for more. Luckily, this is one meal you can indulge in seconds without feeling guilty.

Mushroom Barley Soup with Miso and Kale

Chicken stock may easily be substituted for turkey stock. Serves 4-6.

Olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
Salt
8 ounces sliced assorted mushrooms, such shitake, cremini, cepes
2 large carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup barley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
8 cups chicken or turkey stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups kale leaves, tough stems removed, leaves shredded
1 tablespoon red miso paste

Heat oil in a medium sized stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt; sauté 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and carrots; sauté 3 minutes. Add barley and thyme and stir to coat. Add stock, bay leaf and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in kale. Simmer until kale turns bright green and wilts, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in miso. Taste to check for seasoning. Serve garnished with fresh thyme.