Month: October 2009

Yum Nua (Thai Beef Salad) with Shrimp and Squid

Yum Nua (Thai Beef Salad) with Shrimp and Squid

While living in Dallas, Texas, I encountered a lot of different food. I talk about it quite a bit on this site, however I think it deserves to be talked about. Sure, I traveled to New York City a couple of times while representing Ad […]

Cauliflower Soup with Beer and Cheddar Cheese

Cauliflower Soup with Beer and Cheddar Cheese

Yes, you heard right. Beer and Cheddar. When you hear that combination, one might immediately think of Wisconsin. I am cool with that. Beer and cheese is  a great combination, however you place it.  I have made a couple of dishes using beer and cheese […]

Hello Wisconsin – Wisconsin Food

Hello Wisconsin – Wisconsin Food

wisconsinYou know der hey.’ ‘You betcha you know, and so.’ Wisconsin. The state I was basically raised in, however born in Kokomo, Indiana, and still have roots there. My family moved to Wisconsin when I was in second grade. Ms. Farchianno’s class, a great class at that.  My roots, granted, were started in Indiana, were grown and clipped in Wisconsin. The common cheese head state, and beer drinking capital do not bother me when others try to burn me. Beer is great, and cheese is better,  and when you attempt to pair them, well, then, eat your words.

Wisconsin to me, is where I remember laying on the carpet at age seven, in a bare bedroom, my parents bedroom, watching a small TV, and eating McDonald’s. Waiting for things to arrive. A late night that turned into a lifetime of great friends, perfect seasons, excellent food, and the love of my life.

Reflecting on my childhood, I was, and still am happy to live in Wisconsin. My parents were into a lot of different hobbies, that my brother and I desired; bowling (video games), fishing (getting into trouble/fishing), hockey and walking on small creeks; you name it. But there is one thing that my parents taught me in Wisconsin, during all of those years, and that it is a beautiful state. We never stayed put. We traveled a lot. Camping in Rhinelander, Tomahawk, , and Merrill, Wisconsin. Pure beauty, but it never stopped there. We would drive to Stevens Point to get a a killer brunch, literally drive about 2 1/2 hours to get to brunch, that was that good, and fish fries throughout the local scene. Wisconsin has something about it. The people, the fun, and scene.

I’m glad to be from Wisconsin. Cooking comfort food from what my parents served (for the most part) on the table, and being raised from a family that exposed me to home cooking and the importance for being home, for dinner, as a family.

Minestrone – Italian Soup

Minestrone – Italian Soup

You have probably had this soup some time during your life, and probably as a kid. It most likely came out  of a can, you added water, and brought it up to temperature. I know I was one of those kids. We are big kids […]

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict

There are a few times out of the year where our family goes out to brunch. Not that I am picky about brunches, but when I know they are serving eggs benedict, I get a bit excited. I have always loved English muffins, probably due […]

Beef Stew

Beef Stew

It is that time of year in Wisconsin. That time where the slow cookers are a common site in most kitchens. A time for warm soup, and delicious stews. After all, there is something to be said about a nice warm, comforting meal when coming in from a cold and rainy day.

Beef Stew - Pure Comfort Food

Beef stew is one of those dishes that I love coming home to. I remember coming in from playing outside as a kid and entering the kitchen. It just felt warm, and the smells that came out of the pot… you knew it was going to be great. A one pot meal that can really be made to your liking. Packed with great vegetables, super tender meat, an amazing broth, and served with garlic mashed potatoes, who could go wrong with this one?

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs of boneless chuck roast
  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 cup of good red wine
  • 1/2 quart of beef stock
  • 6 oz of tomato paste
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 6 carrots, skinned, ends removed, quartered
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed, rough chopped
  • 8 baby portabella mushrooms, dirt and stem removed
  • sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • your favorite mashed potato recipe (I use a garlic mash on this one; russet potatoes, heavy cream, butter, salt, pepper, roasted garlic)

Heat a large pot and add the olive oil. Add  a generous amount of salt and pepper to the entire chuck roast. Lightly coat the entire roast with the flour. The goal is to brown all sides of the roast, cooking a few minutes on each side, yes, each side, until nice and brown.  Once browned, remove from the pot and either set aside, or place it in your slow cooker. Add the tomato paste, garlic, wine, and stock. Scrape the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil, stirring often to break down the paste. If you are using a slow cooker, add the meat, pour over the stock, and toss in the vegetables, salt and pepper, bay leaves, and thyme. Cover, and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

When you are ready to serve, you can go family style on a large serving platter, or plate individually. Place your mashed potatoes either on the side or as your base, take some of the meat, portabella mushrooms, and carrots and onions, along with a bunch of the sauce, and you have pure comfort. Pure comfort at its finest. Enjoy.