Tag Archives: green pepper

Pepper Beef


You ever change what you’re cooking in mid stream?    I did the other night.   I had a lovely sirloin steak that had been thawed a couple of days and needed to be cooked.   I just didn’t want grilled steak and salad, however good that might be, I wanted something different.   And as I pondered the steak, I realized I had a couple of peppers in the fridge that needed to be eaten, and I thought Fajita’s!!!   I’m always up for something Mexican.  So I get the peppers out, slice them, slice an onion, get out the avocado, take a picture of them sitting so pretty on the cutting board.   After taste testing a couple of green pepper strips that is.  You have to make sure of your produce, it has to taste right.

Then as I got my stuff together, sorta, I got interrupted a couple of times, and I realized what I really wanted was something vaguely Chinese.     Actually I got the idea as I was slicing the meat, and getting interrupted a couple of times, while doing so and forgot to take pictures, grrrrrr.    So imagine me slicing the steak on an angle in thin slices.    Then imagine me dumping a tablespoon of cornstarch over the beef and mixing it together while I’m sautéing the peppers and onions.  (this is a neat trick by the way, it tenderizes the meat a little, giggle)    I also added a thinly sliced garlic clove to the mixture.

And some of the mushrooms that were hiding in the fridge, they thought they could escape, but I found them, sorry, it was a long week and I’m feeling a little silly here.     At any rate, I finished it off with a splash of soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil and served it over a bed of rice.   I had such a good dinner.

Such a simple meal, but tasty.     And if I’d wanted to I could have made this into fajita’s by omitting the soy sauce and sesame oil, and adding a sliced jalapeño or three, and sautéed them all together and stuffed into a flour tortilla.   With the aforementioned avocado and some cheese as well.   OK, I know you’re not supposed to put cheese on fajita’s but I think cheese goes with everything.

Now to go and clean house and get ready for Tapa’s night.    I’ve got something in mind for that, just have to get it all together, and yes, I will take pictures.   In fact I’m going to go and change the batteries in the camera right now so I can do my thing.

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Shrimp Etouffee and Beignets


I attended the monthly cooking demo at the Crooked River Grill this past Wednesday, it’s held every month and every month we get to see and taste new foods, well the Shrimp Etouffee was new to me.   I’d always wanted to try it, and finally got a chance to.   The guest chef was Ivanhoe and her husband Cliff and in the spirit of Mardi Gras they made some New Orleans style food.    Ivanhoe stressed the fact that making the Roux was the hardest part of putting together the Etouffee.   You need to stir and stir and stir and stir the roux mixture in the pan until it turns a lovely chocolate color.   If you don’t keep stirring, you can burn it very easily.   I know, the last time I made GumboI had to start the Roux over again.  I just didn’t admit it that day.We had some lovely Potato Corn Chowder and Salad to start with,

Potato Corn Chowder with crab

then we were served with the Shrimp Etouffee,

Shrimp Etouffee

and for afters, Beignets.  Click on the link, this is the recipe that Ivanhoe used.   And they were tasty.

Frying the Beignets
Ivanhoe busy with the Beignets

Did you know you can powder a bunch of Beignets by dumping some powdered sugar in brown paper sack, then placing the Beignets in there and shaking the whole thing up?

After the Powdered Sugar dunking
Throw the Beignets in,
And shake them up.

I’ve breaded fish and chicken doing this but have to admit to never doing some thing like Beignets.

Here’s Ivanhoe’s recipe for the Shrimp Etouffee, and pardon me Ivanhoe, but I added a few details to clarify the recipe instructions.

Shrimp Etouffee recipe

2 lbs. Crawfish tails or Shrimp
1/2- 1 stick butter (1/4 lb.)
1/4 cup Olive Oil (she uses light)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
Tony’s Chachere Famous Creole Seasoning
Paprika
1/2 cup flour
4-5 cans Chicken Broth
Kitchen Bouquet (vegetable seasoning and coloring)

Make a roux with 1/4 cup oil and 1/2 cup flour and stir, stir, stir over medium low heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan until it is a nice deep brown and gives off a nutty aroma.   To the roux add the chopped onions, garlic, celery and green pepper.   Cook an additional 5 minutes or so and then add the chicken broth, whisking well to incorporate the liquid.   This will thicken quite nicely.   Add liquid until it gets to the consistency you prefer.   Meanwhile, take the crawfish or shrimp and put in a microwave safe bowl, sprinkled liberally with the Tony’s seasoning and then put 2 tablespoons of butter on top and microwave on high 3-5 minutes.   Take out of microwave and add to the pot.  Stir well, let it simmer 10 minutes, then sprinkle a couple dustings of paprika on top.   Mix well and simmer 10 more minutes.   Taste and add Tony’s seasoning and salt to taste.  (I might add here, if you use salted chicken broth, you might not need additional salt).  If it’s too thick, add a little more liquid, if too thin, whisk in some flour and water.
Serve over rice with some Fresh French Bread.
Serves 8-10 people.
All in all, a good time was had by most.

Shredded Beef


Shredded Beef for February Boat Club

I guess by now you realize I go to a lot of potlucks, giggle.   We have a standing date once a month with a local club and then there is our social life which tends to revolve around food, so I get to make something at least twice a month for potlucks.

Since it is February, and everyone has sweet stuff on their minds, I thought a nice, spicy dish would be a good counterpoint.   And last year there were a lot of sweets at the February Boat Club Potluck.

One dish I love to make is Machaca, or Shredded Beef.   It’s one of those dishes that comes together fast, cooks without any fussing around, and is usually pretty popular with everyone, but vegetarians.    Of course, you can make it vegetarian if you like, just add more beans.   In fact I would add a couple of different kinds of beans for variety, along with the kidney beans, I’d add some black beans and some pinto’s.   Beans are good food.   At least I like them.

I usually make this in a crock pot, but have also cooked it on top of the stove and in the oven.   If you do make this in the oven, the flavor will be a little richer, but you don’t lose anything by cooking it in the crock pot either.    Another wonderful aspect of this dish, it can be stretched very easily by the addition of a couple more cans of beans and a few more veggies.  And with the price of meat, that’s a good thing.    Personally I like it when I’ve stretched it more than when I do the original recipe.    And it’s fun to serve to people.   I have to say though,  when you dish it up and place it into a taco, you do need to add the Verde sauce to it, it adds another layer of flavour which I think this needs.   You use the Verde sauce as a condiment, adding it to the meat while cooking, doesn’t do a thing.  I know, I tried it once, and it wasn’t very good at all.  And I think you should learn from my mistakes.   Not that I make all that many, but…

To start with, and this is so sinfully easy I’m embarrassed to tell you how simple it is, get your pot out, whether it be a crockpot, or a pot on top of the stove or a large casserole dish.

All the vegetables, and of course the beans.

 

A big old chunk of meat

 

The meat is in there, hiding, really.

Place your meat in there, add a couple cans of Kidney beans, a chopped onion, a chopped green pepper, one can of tomato sauce, (I like El Pato Mexican tomato sauce), one can of chopped green chiles, 2 tablespoons of chile powder, 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 whole tomato chopped.  Stick the lid on and let it cook.   If you’ve got this in a crock pot, don’t even lift the lid for 5 or 6  hours.   When the meat is fork tender,

At this point it really tastes good, I had to taste, quality control and all that.

pull the meat out and shred it with a couple of forks, add it back into the saucy goodness of the pot and let it cook another hour or so.

It will be saucy.   If doing this on the stove or in the oven, let it cook for a couple of hours, then check for tenderness.  As soon as it’s fork tender, pull it out and shred.   Add back into the pot and let it cook for a little while more.

Made one up before we headed over, final product had to pass inspection, of my mouth that is.

Serve with flour tortillas, Verde sauce and some cheese.   And don’t be surprised when people lick their plates.   It has been known to happen.  But they usually turn away or hide in the corner when they do it.

Shredded Beef

3-4 lb. chuck roast, not too fatty
2 cans Kidney beans
1 can El Pato Mexican Tomato Sauce or
1 can Tomato sauce
1 can chopped green chiles
1 tomato, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
2-4 tablespoons Chile powder

Dump it all in the crockpot and set for low and let simmer for 6 hours, minimum.   If cooking on top of the stove, cover and let simmer for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.   Same directions for the oven, set the temp at about 350 degrees.
When the meat is tender, remove from the sauce and shred, then add it back into the pot and let it simmer or cook for another 1-2 hours.   Serve with flour tortillas, green taco sauce and shredded cheese.

And here’s the rest of the dishes that were brought last night.   And I have to apologize I didn’t get a shot of the roasted tomatillo salsa.   Every time I got close to it, people were eating it, and of course I had to taste it as well, it was good.

Baked Ziti

 

Hot and Sour Soup

 

7 Layer Dip

 

Green Salad

 

Brownies

 

Smoked Chicken

 

Veggie Plate

 

Meatballs

And there you have it, another successful night at the Boat Club.   As usual everything was excellent, and I ate too much, sigh.  Oh well.  I will survive.
Hope everyone has a great Valentines Day.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo


I tasted this Gumbo just before Christmas, we’d been invited over to a friends for dinner and it was so good.   (people have been known to invite me over, I don’t do all the cooking around here)

I love Gumbo anyway, but have to admit I’ve never made it from scratch, well, I now have a new recipe in my arsenal.    In fact, I made it the other day for dinner.   I did make a few minor changes to the original recipe, but hey, I’m the cook.   And don’t you forget it!    Sorry, I got carried away there.

I didn’t cook as much chicken as the recipe called for, but I did use the full amount of vegetables.   Veggies are good for you, aren’t they?

And this is more a note to myself, that when I put chicken stock in the freezer, to label it better.   I accidentally put some of my super charged (highly concentrated) stock into the gumbo by mistake, but was able to correct it.     And on the whole, the recipe was good.   Next time I make it I will try to use a some red or yellow bell peppers, more for the contrasting color than anything else.   I also didn’t make the full recipe of Roux either.  Something about a half cup of oil and a full cup of flour, I thought it would be too much for the three half breasts of chicken and one link of Andouille sausage I used.

Start with browning the chicken in a little oil, then set the chicken aside while you cook the roux.

This will take you a good half hour or so,  until it turns a rich dark brown.

 

You need to pay attention, cooking this over a low heat and stirring, and stirring and stirring.    I think next time I make this I will use a little butter in with it, just to add another layer of flavour.
But while it’s cooking you can chop up the vegetables, for that you need three of my fav’s, a green pepper, an onion and celery, or if you’re not into multi-tasking, just chop the veggies first and set them aside.

Chop up the celery, and onion quite finely, then rough chop the green pepper, and don’t forget the clove or two or three of garlic.  Especially since I forgot to get a picture of that.   And then the very important chile pepper.   I threw in a couple of Chile de Arbol peppers, but next time, I think I’ll add a couple more.   Not too sure where this Danish girl got her love of spice, but I do like me some spicy food.

Chop up the onion, mince the garlic and slice the sausage.   I used one link of the Andouille Sausage here.

 

Next, dump the chopped up veggies and sausage into the pan with the roux and stir it around, coating the veggies.  It will look a little odd at this point.

Pour in the stock while stirring, otherwise it kinda glops together.

Place the chicken into the veggies and stock, add a bay leaf and let simmer for about 30-45 minutes, or until the chicken and veggies are done.  And next time, I’ll cut the chicken into smaller pieces when I serve it.  These were a little unwieldy.   Even though I’d cut each piece of chicken into three.

Add either some fresh okra or some canned okra at the end, let that simmer for a few minutes, and then serve over rice.

We had enough for dinner and three lunches for me.  *giggle*, so I threw the rest into the freezer and now I have lunches.

Here is the full recipe.

Chicken Gumbo 
3 lb Chicken, cut into 6-8 pieces
1/2 cup oil
1 cup flour
2-3 dried red chili peppers or 1-2 fresh chili peppers
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large green pepper, roughly chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 oz andouille sausage or garlic sausage, diced
4 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Dash Tabasco  (I use Crystal Hot Sauce)
Salt and pepper
4 oz fresh okra  (I used one can of okra, could also use frozen here)
Cooked rice

Heat the oil in a large saute’ pan or frying pan and brown the chicken on both sides, 3-4 pieces at a time.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.
Lower the heat under the pan and add the flour.  Cook over a very low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring constantly until the flour turns a rich dark brown.   Take the pan off the heat occasionally, so that the flour does not burn.   Add the chili peppers, onion, green pepper, sausage and garlic to the roux and cook for about 5 minutes over low heat, stirring continuously.  Pour on the stock and stir well.   Add the bay leaf and dash of Tabasco if desired, and return the chicken to the pan.   Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
Top and tail the okra if using fresh, and cut each into 2 or 3 pieces, if okra is small, leave whole.   Add to the chicken and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and serve over rice.