Posts Tagged ‘Stews’

From Dish Rachelle:

I’ve found that a dish, no matter how accurate the recipe, never comes out exactly the same way twice. That’s part of the fun of cooking — the element of surprise involved when one tiny substitution, whether it’s the freshness of an ingredient or the mindset of the cook, can make a world of difference. Sometimes I bite into a meal I’ve made a hundred times before and can’t believe how good, and new, it tastes. Unfortunately, sometimes this works in the opposite way, too. A tried and true recipe can still go sideways every once in a while.

Case in point: this Moroccan Chicken. It’s based on a highly rated Epicurious recipe and the first time I made it for a guest we declared it a Keeper. I couldn’t wait to have it again and when we made plans to host Dish Erin and her spicy side, it was the first dish that came to mind. My husband and I shopped for ingredients, dreamed up side dishes, and since I’d been so successful the last time, decided that I would head up the prep. I started, and something didn’t feel quite right. Then I realized I had planned an olive-centric meal for a man who hates olives. It got worse from there.

The Moroccan chicken – which had been so savory and fragrant and balanced the last time – came out BITTER. Our guests were kind enough to chow down anyway (wine helps) but I knew that the dish was imperfect. Here’s what happened: the dish simmers for about 25 minutes, when the chicken cooks through and the flavors come together. I realized, about 20 minutes in, that the flame had been too low and the chicken was barely cooked. It then had to go another 20 some-odd minutes, during which time the lemons started breaking down, releasing the bitter pith into the stew. By the time I realized and removed the lemon rings, it was too late. Gross.

On the bright side, I learned a new rule: never simmer lemons for more than a half hour.

But seriously, make this dish. It’s awesome when it’s awesome. I’ve made it twice now, which allows me to write the recipe exactly how I would prepare it.

Serves 4
4 good-sized chicken thighs, seasoned with S&P
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 lemons, 1 sliced into 8 rounds and 1 juiced
1/4 cup green olives, pitted and sliced (assuming nobody hates them)

Set the lemon juice aside.

Heat a tblsp of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or crock and add chicken thighs, skin down. Cook over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate. Add the sliced onions (and more olive oil if needed) season and saute until translucent. Add spices and garlic and stir until fragrant, about one minute. Add white wine and turn the heat up to cook off the fumes. Deglaze the pan.

Add chicken stock, lemon slices, and the browned chicken back into the pot.

Bring to a boil and the lower heat to a simmer. Cook mostly covered for 20-25 minutes.

When the chicken is cooked through, remove it to a plate again. Add the olives and lemon juice and turn up heat, reducing the sauce for about 5 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper and add chicken back in. Serve with a smile, even if it’s not your finest moment in the kitchen — it’s not the recipe’s fault, I promise!

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From Dish Rachelle:

So, I know what you’re thinking. First I post a roast during a heat wave, and then I follow-up with a stew during another one? No, saucy Italian food doesn’t seem like the most intuitive choice for this sweltering spring, but I promise: chicken cacciatore is not your average stew. Thanks to the bell peppers and herbs, it tastes fresh, bright and healthy, and it’s missing the richest elements of Italian food – think cheese, cheese and more cheese – that make other dishes feel so heavy. Served over rice, this meal is a treat. You could even think about substituting fresh tomatoes for canned ones once TOMATO SEASON is in full swing (yes, you’re right, I’m totally obsessed).

Olive oil
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (skin-on bone-in breasts and/or thighs with legs attached)
1 red pepper, sliced
½ green pepper, sliced
½ large onion, sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 large can diced tomatoes
¾ tbsp. oregano
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. capers
¼ cup fresh basil
¼ cup fresh parsley

Heat 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat, and place chicken parts in the pan skin-side down. Cook about five minutes, until skin is golden brown. Remove chicken to a plate.

Lower the heat if needed, and add the sliced peppers, onions and garlic to the pan. Saute 3-4 minutes, or until onions have softened. Add white wine, chicken stock and tomatoes and stir to combine. Replace chicken to the pan and nestle it under the sauce. Season the whole stew with oregano, cayenne, capers and S&P, and bring it up to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer, mostly covered, for 30 minutes.

Remove the lid and with the heat still medium-low to low, let cook uncovered for another 20 minutes.

Just before serving, remove the chicken from the stew and crank up the heat, so that the sauce reduces just a little bit more and thickens. Serve over white rice or pasta!

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From Dish Paige!:

I have complicated feelings about March. First off, it’s my Birthday Month, and as such it is always filled with magic and happiness and love from all my friends and family. On the other hand, the whole “in like a lion, out like a lamb thing” usually just translates to “it’s still winter, deal with it.” Hopefully, this will be my last cranky weather-related post for a while, though. Yesterday, it was cold. It was rainy. And I needed me some egg noodles….

2 lbs beef cubes
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 can whole, peeled plum tomatoes
1 carton beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 dash nutmeg
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
egg noodles


Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy bottom pot and brown the beef cubes on both sides. Add in the onion and pepper and saute until the onion becomes translucent. Add in the tomatoes (crushing with a spoon once they’re in the pot because it’ll get really messy if you do it with your hands, I know because I did it with my hands and got tomato juice all over me), the liquid from the can, the carton of beef broth and the bay, caraway, paprika, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper (to taste). Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and watch part of a movie or some TV under a blanket because it’s rainy and you want to be cozy for about an hour and a half. After the stew has simmered, get the egg noodles going (according to package directions). With a slotted spoon, remove the meat and veggies from the liquid and reserve in a bowl. Melt the butter in a separate pan and whisk in the flour, whisking for about a minute or two. Add in the liquid from the stew and whisk until it turns into a nice, thick gravy. Pour the gravy over the meat & veggies and then pour all of that over some buttered egg noodles. YUM!

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From Dish Rachelle:

After a humid New York summer of beer and burger BBQs, tanning, Miami Vices on the beach and – oh yeah – a heavy workload and a big move, it was time to admit that my skin was looking…taxed. Aware that the upcoming holiday season would be equal parts stressful and indulgent, the Boy and I decided to take advantage of the calm before the storm and make some changes to our diets, which in recent weeks had become more and more take-out Chinese centric. This involved eating out less, shelving the delivery menus, paper-bagging it to work and flipping through cookbooks like the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics in order to get fluent in more vegetarian-friendly meals. One night we were planning a meal for guests and I suggested making cassoulet, thinking it was a light bean stew. Wrong! We googled recipes and variants called for everything from pork shoulder to duck confit (it started getting funny when we found one version that called for both, plus ham hocks, pancetta and sausages). Many sites described it as a “pork stew,” treating the beans like an afterthought. Twist my arm – we ended up making an amazing one-pot dish using a pork shoulder, which seemed conservative given the other recipes we’d read. However, a few weeks later I got a repeat craving for white bean stew, and determined to make a healthier version, I invented this one myself.

We had these beautiful chiles from the Boy’s Dad’s garden, and I picked the big long red one, which is beautiful but a little bit evil – so spicy! I ended up using only half and removing the seeds for a flavor that was hot but not overwhelming.

Olive oil
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1½ celery stalks, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
spicy pepper (optional)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
2 springs fresh thyme
1 tbsp. tomato paste
3/4 cup marsala wine
1 qt. chicken or vegetable stock
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 loose cup spinach, chiffoned
2 tbsps. fresh parsley, chopped

Start by sautéing a seasoned diced zucchini on medium-high heat until browned, about 5 minutes (if you want to, you can pretend it’s bacon). Reserve to a plate.

Add onions, celery, carrots and a spicy pepper if you’re using one, and sauté until onions are translucent, sprinkling a little more S&P. Add garlic, ginger and thyme and stir until fragrant, about one minute. Add tomato paste and stir until vegetables are coated.

Add the marsala wine and turn heat up to high, until the alcohol cooks off (you’ll see little bubbles form and the booze will vaporize, leaving lots of wine flavor but nothing intoxicating). Stir in half of the cannellini beans and half of the butter beans. Pour stock over the beans to cover, and then turn heat up to high to bring the stew up to a simmer.

Turn heat down and let simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes.

Once the liquid has reduced by at least a half and the some of the beans have started to crack, add the rest of the beans along with the spinach and parsley. If needed, add a bit more stock and turn heat up to high. Let cook for another 5-7 minutes until the greens have wilted, the beans are heated through, the stew is seasoned to taste and you couldn’t be more excited to eat.

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From Dish Amelia:

This recipe is adapted from the restaurant The Pink Adobe, in Santa Fe, NM, my hometown. This recipe yields around 4 quarts, but is easily adjusted to alternate amounts by how much of all the ingredients you use, if you can believe it. I found a cookbook from the longtime restaurant at a used cookbook store in New York city of course. Its a bright, simple, spicy stew that the Pink Adobe calls Gypsy Stew. Cheap to make and suitable for a shivering army, this is hearty, brothy and meltingly cozy. And yes of course there’s green chile in it.


3 chicken legs with skin
1 large or 2 small chicken breasts (or even just one normal equivalent sized whole chicken with two legs)
2 large spanish onions (hubba hubba) quartered or just cut a few times in bite size pieces.
7-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
2 14oz. cans of whole peeled tomatoes and juice/liquid
1 lb or 2 cups of roasted, peeled, seeded NM green chiles (mine were pretty hot) you could alternately use poblanos, or reconstituted dried green chiles, or frozen, or Anaheims, but the canned will not work here.
1 pint of dry sherry 1box of low sodium chicken broth, and a bit of water
1 block of jack cheese.

In a heavy pot with a lid, put the onions, garlic, chicken, broth and half the sherry. Cut the breasts into smaller evenly sized hunks, and pull off the skin from the majority of leg, but leave some. Cover and simmer slowly for an hour, or until the chicken is just cooked. In a bowl, put the chiles and tomatoes, and tear them apart with two forks. There’s no reason to be neat here, this is rustic you know. When the chicken is cooked, remove to a bowl and when cool enough, tear from the bone and into pieces. Add the chiles, tomatoes, chicken and rest of sherry to the pot. Season with s&p. Continue to simmer a while longer, as things come together.

To serve, cut jack cheese into half inch cubes and put in the bottoms of the bowls. Ladle the stew over the cheese and by the time you open a beer, maybe squeeze a lime in your bowl, and breath on your spoon, the cheese will have melted from the bottom and slithered its way into every bite of this lovely meal.

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From Dish Rachelle:

It was Oscar night: an evening of settling into the couch to watch five hours of self-congratulatory Hollywood mugging and (much more importantly) pretty dresses. I had my office Oscar pool picks in hand, and a very old friend and his lovely girlfriend coming over. The Boy and I had all day to cook a nice meal and so, around lunchtime, we started our “we’re having guests for dinner” ritual of brainstorming a fun menu.

We went through our go-to’s. Boring. But you never know where you’re going to find inspiration, and sometimes it comes via household pet, who spends his afternoons dreaming of fish.

Bouillabaisse is the perfect Oscar night dinner, because it’s fancy (and delicious) enough that it helps you forget that while all of these celebrities have teams of people who work months to make them look great, you’re sitting in your walk-up on an Ikea couch like a total pleb. Maybe I bit it on my Oscar pool (the aforementioned old friend, looking over my choices, casually determined that I could have done equally well – aka poorly – if I’d circled films at random). He was much more positive about the bouillabaisse, which we served on TV trays with hunks of crusty bread rather than traditional croutes.

A note on the recipe: here at SLD we love to invent our own, but sometimes, when you’re in the mood for something complicated, it’s tough to fly solo. This dish was a group effort by me, Boy, Cat, and Le Cordon Bleu’s Complete Cook: Home Edition.


For the fish:

The Cordon Bleu recommends:

1 lb. John Dory or turbot, bones removed and reserved
1 lb. sole, bones removed and reserved
1 lb. monkfish, bones removed and reserved
1 lb. halibut, bones removed and reserved
1 lb. conger eel, cut into pieces, or 12 littleneck clams, well-washed, or 12 sea scallops

We used (and did not miss the additional POUND of fish):

1 lb. mussels, cleaned
1 lb. cod, cut into pieces
1 lb. haddock, cut into pieces
1 lb. sea scallops, cut into pieces

1 each carrot, bulb fennel and leek (white part only) julienned
2 cloves garlic, chopped
pinch of saffron threads

For Soup:

1/3 cup olive oil
1 small leek, onion and bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 tblsp. tomato paste
2 cups white wine
4 cups water
pinch of saffron threads
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
fresh parsley

For Rouille:

1 egg yolk
1 tblsp. tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, crushed into a paste
1 cup olive oil
½ lb. baked potato

Season the seafood (minus the mussels) with salt and pepper and toss with half the oil, and all of the garlic, saffron, (julienned) carrot, fennel and leek. Cover and refrigerate.

The Cordon Bleu recommends using the fish bones to start a stock. However, since we bought the fish cleaned, we trimmed the fish and started the soup with the discards. Heat the remaining oil (1/2 of 1/3 cup) in a large stockpot, and cook the fish scraps for 3 minutes. Stir in the leek, onion, fennel, celery and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, then mix in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the white wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Add 4 cups water, the saffron and herbs and simmer for 20 minutes.

Ladle the stock in batches into a strainer over a bowl. Gently press the solids with the ladle to extract all the liquid, then discard the solids (“the solids”: in other words, throw out the vegetables! So sad). Put the soup in the saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes until slightly thickened, skimming off any scum on the surface.

Meanwhile, to make the rouille – a thick garlicky condiment used to flavor and garnish the soup – whisk the egg yolk in a small bowl with the tomato paste, garlic, saffron and some salt and pepper. Continue to whisk while slowly pouring the oil into the mixture. Press the flesh of the potato through a sieve and whisk into the sauce.

Add the marinated fish pieces and scallops into a large pot with the mussels and the julienned vegetables. Pour the hot soup over and simmer for 7 minutes, or until the fish is cooked. Remove the fish and vegetables and place them in a large dish.

Whisk 3 tblsp. of the rouille into the soup to thicken it a bit, then pour the soup over the fish and sprinkle with the basil.

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2010 brings a new feature to Saucy Little Dish: BOYS! Say hello to our first guest Spicy Side of Meatball Andrew – Professor of Computer Science, frequent supper club cook, and – heart – SLD boyfriend. He dudes up the place appropriately with some sports talk.

2009 was the year I would start following football.

Over the summer, during a weekend in Point Pleasant, NJ (before The Jersey Shore) my friend Dave and I tried to find me a team to follow:

The Giants won the Superbowl a few years ago and the last time I paid attention to football was with my mom’s boyfriend in 1990 during their last championship season – they’re in.

The Lady’s dad has had Jets tickets for a lifetime. He took me to my first game this fall when the Jets beat the Patriots – they can stay.

We lived in New Orleans for a few months in 2008 – Geaux Saints!

And the Vikings have a rad helmet. (Seriously, that’s all it took.)

So having narrowed my teams to 4, I followed the first few weeks of the season closely. I watched games. I checked box scores. I was a fan. Then I got distracted until the playoffs.

Reemerging two weekends ago to watch the conference championships with Dave, Dish Erin and Dish Rachelle, I found three of my beloved four teams still making a Superbowl run. In the AFC, the Jets were looking strong, and the Vikings and the Saints were competing for the NFC Championship. Wait — either way, one of my NFC teams was going to the big game!!! We did it!!! We’re going to the Superbowl!!! I’m number one!!! But first I had to see which of my teams were going with me. And that was going to take a serious commitment, the likes not seen since early September. And what better sustenance for seven hours of football than a pot of chili.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6):

2 tbsp olive oil (or so)
4 spare ribs (a little over a pound)
1 lb ground chuck
2 jalapeno peppers, charred and diced.
2 cloves garlic, whole
1 onion, diced
6oz Miller Genuine Draft
2 cans (28oz) san marzano diced tomatoes
1 can (28oz) water
1 can (15.5oz )kidney beans
2 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp ginger
1 bay leaf

1 jalapeno pepper
2 scallions
A pile of your favorite grated cheese — I like Colby or Queso de Papa
Cornbread — you’re going to have to ask Dish Erin how this was done…specifically how to make milk from half-and-half.

Spice Rub
1tsp cayenne
1tsp cumin
1tsp ginger
1tsp oregano
1tsp paprika
1tsp tumeric

Heat olive oil on high in a heavy bottom stock pot.
Meanwhile, dredge ribs in the spice rub mix.
When the oil is hot, add the ribs. Sear on all sides.
Remove the ribs.
Season the ground beef with a little salt and pepper.
Add the ground beef and cook until there are the first bits of char on it – past grey is what I’m trying to say. You want to get some beef flavor on the bottom of the pan.
Remove the ground beef from the pot.

Over an open flame — I like a stove flame — roast two jalapeno peppers. (This can be done while searing the meat.) The skin should be completely blackened. Then dice.

If necessary, adjust the oil in the pot. The bottom of the pot should still have a thin coating of fat. If not, I’m going to guess you used ground sirloin instead of ground chuck…thinking its healthier because it’s leaner. Well, now your pan is dry. I hope you learned your lesson. Add a little more olive oil and carry on.

Add the diced onion and whole garlic cloves to the pot. Add a pinch or two of salt. This will keep the onions from browning.
When the onions are looking glossy, add the diced jalapeno.
When the onions are translucent, deglaze with beer. (Deglaze french for “scrape up all the delicious bits of meat from the bottom of the pan”.)

Add tomatoes and water.
Bring to a simmer.
(Everybody in the pool.)
Return the meat to the pot.
Add the beans.
Add remaining spices — cinnamon, ginger, cocoa powder, bay. There should be enough heat from the cayenne rub and the jalapenos for it to be pretty spicy, but if you like more, go ahead and add some more cayenne or an ancho chili, or some sriracha, or whatever you want, big strong man.

Reduce heat to low/medium low and let simmer for at least 40 minutes. We let it go for about 3 hours, which was pretty perfect. It’s not going to overcook, so don’t stress it. If it starts to get dry, add some beer (if you’ve got any left, you lush) or water.

While you’re waiting, slice some scallion and raw jalapeno. Grate some cheese. Ask a friend to make cornbread.

Geaux Saints!

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