More of Marie's fall favorites
I had a couple people lined up for this column, but due to circumstances beyond their control, they’ve been moved to future dates. So, dear readers, you’re stuck with me and my recipes again. But I’ve got some goodies for you today — more of my favorites and recipes that warm the tummy as temperatures take a dip.
Before I begin sharing my recipes, if you have not read the November 2012 issue of Consumer Reports magazine, please purchase it, or go to the library or check online to learn about arsenic in rice and rice products, including baby food, cereals and even organic rice products; and sadly, brown rice contains even more arsenic than white rice, because it gets trapped in the hull. I am sending copies of the article to my young friends and family members who have babies and very young children. Folks, please take this seriously.
A great alternative to rice is quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). It’s a super-grain that makes an amazing adult and baby cereal, and I now use it in place of rice. Quinoa is gluten-free, and it’s loaded with antioxidants.
I have a terrific cook book titled “Quinoa: The Everyday Superfood 365,” by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. But if you’re looking for quinoa recipes for free, simply Google “quinoa recipes,” and you’ll get all that you need. Chef Meg at SparkPeople.com often shares quinoa recipes, too.
I have quite a few slow-cooker cookbooks, but my favorite is “Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook” by Phyllis Pellman Good. It boasts “1,400 Best Slow-Cooker Recipes.” I’ve often been disappointed by beef roast slow-cooked recipes. It’s hard to explain, but they had a boring slow-cooker taste; something was missing. But I hit paydirt with Apple and Onion Beef Pot Roast from Good’s big book. My husband and I really enjoyed it.
The recipe was submitted to Good by Betty K. Drescher of Quakertown, Pa. She claims that this makes eight to 10 servings, but we didn’t get that many out of it, so I say six to eight. The roast was so good that perhaps we lost our portion-control discipline! I served it with a side-dish of mashed potatoes on night No. 1. The second time, I prepared bow-tie noodles. The remainder of the roast and bow-ties went into a casserole for yet another meal. Good thing we love leftovers!
Apple and Onion
Beef Pot Roast
? 3-pound boneless beef roast, cut in half (I used a chuck roast)
? 1 cup water
? 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
? 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
? 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
? 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
? 1 large tart apple, quartered (I used a Granny Smith apple.)
? 1 large onion, sliced
? 2 tablespoons cornstarch
? 2 tablespoons water
Method for Apple and Onion Beef Pot Roast:
In a large skillet, brown roast on all sides in oil. Transfer roast to a 4-quart slow-cooker. Add water to skillet to loosen browned bits and pour over roast.
Sprinkle with seasoned salt, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Top with apple and onion. Cover and cook on Low for 5 to 6 hours.
Remove roast and onion; discard apple (which will have almost disintegrated by this time, so you’re pretty much just removing the skin). Let stand 15 minutes.
To make gravy, pour juices from roast into a saucepan and simmer until reduced to 2 cups. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir into beef broth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened. Slice pot roast and serve with gravy. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
As long as we’re talking beef, I have another great pot roast recipe for you. If you don’t own a slow-cooker, or if you prefer to tend to long, slow, top-of-the-stove pot roast like my mother always did, I know you’ll hit the mark with Heloise’s Peking Roast.
I enjoy reading “Hints to Heloise” columns, and the following recipe appeared more than 25 years ago. She said Peking Roast was her mother’s (the original Heloise’s) recipe and has been a favorite in their kitchens for decades. It’s one of my favorites, too, very similar to my mother’s Sunday pot roast with Nana’s dark brown gravy.
This roast uses any cut of beef, even the least expensive, and the result is a fork-tender meat with delicious gravy. Plan ahead: You must start this recipe one day ahead of serving; it marinates for 24 hours in the refrigerator and cooks for approximately six hours on top of the stove — another of my all-day marathon recipes!
Heloise’s Peking Roast
? 3 to 5 pound beef roast
? Garlic (optional) and onion slivers
? 1 cup vinegar (apple cider or white)
? Canola oil
? 2 cups strong black coffee
? 2 cups water
? Salt and pepper
Method for Heloise’s Peking Roast:
With a sharp knife, cut slits in the roast and insert slivers of garlic and onion. Put the meat into a bowl and slowly pour the vinegar over it and then add enough water to cover the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours, basting the meat occasionally.
When the meat has marinated long enough and you’re ready to cook it, pour the vinegar solution off and pat the meat dry with a paper towel. Heat the canola oil in a heavy pot (a cast-iron Dutch oven is best) and brown the roast in the oil until very dark on all sides.
Pour the 2 cups brewed coffee over the meat and add the 2 cups of water. Cover and cook over low heat for approximately 6 hours on top of the stove.
You may need to add more water, so check it once in a while, making sure it doesn’t cook dry. Add only a small amount of water at a time. Do not add salt or pepper until about 20 minutes before serving. Yield: 6-10 servings, depending on the size of the roast.
My husband, Jim, and I love onions, and one of our favorite side dishes is Ina Garten’s Herb-Roasted Onions. Garten, known as “the Barefoot Contessa,” included this recipe in her “Barefoot Contessa at Home” cookbook. Don’t turn up your nose at serving roasted onions. You will be surprised at how delicious they are. Plus, this is a very inexpensive side dish and goes great with Heloise’s Peking Roast (above).
These onions take a while to put together, but they’re worth it. In fact, I often make them a day ahead of serving and reheat the covered casserole for 45 minutes at 325 degrees F. But if you’re making Heloise’s roast, you’ll be in the kitchen all day anyway!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
? 4 red onions
? 3 yellow onions
? 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1-1/2 to 2 lemons)
? 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
? 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
? 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
? 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
? 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
? 1/2 cup good olive oil
? 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Method for Herb-Roasted Onions:
Remove the stem end of each onion and carefully slice off the brown part of the root end, leaving the root intact. Peel the onions. Stand each onion root end up on a cutting board and cut the onions in wedges through the root. Place the wedges in a large bowl.
Combine the lemon juice, mustard, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the onions and toss well.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a sheet pan, reserving the vinaigrette that remains in the bowl. Bake the onions for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender and browned. Toss the onions once during cooking. (Note: I don’t bother with this step and they always turn out great.) Remove from the oven and drizzle with the reserved dressing. Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste and serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 6 servings.
No autumn column would be complete without a soup recipe. You all know that I love soups, and especially soups that are creamy without adding cream. The trick is to have enough liquid at the very end of the cooking process so that when you blend/puree the soup with a hand-held immersion blender (one of my very favorite pieces of kitchen equipment) or a food processor or regular blender, the soup has a creamy consistency.
I found this recipe in the January 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine. Cauliflower, along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale are on the top-10 list of anti-inflammatory foods, so eat up! This soup is also gluten-free. The apple nicely complements the curry’s spice.
Curried Cauliflower Soup
? 2 tablespoons olive oil
? 1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
? 1 medium-tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (1 cup)
? 1 tablespoon curry powder
? 1 clove garlic, sliced (1 teaspoon)
? 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into 1-inch pieces (6 cups)
? 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
? 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar (I use honey.)
? 1 teaspoon rice-wine vinegar
Method for Curried Cauliflower Soup:
In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion and sauté 5 to 7 minutes or until soft and golden. Stir in apple, curry powder and garlic; cook 2 minutes more, or until curry powder turns deep yellow.
Add cauliflower and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 20 minutes. Cool 20 minutes (this allows the flavors to deepen), then blend in food processor or blender (I use my immersion blender with great success) until smooth. Stir in honey and vinegar and season with salt, if desired. Yield: 6 servings, at only 104 calories per serving.
Before I end today’s column, I want to plug a really nice guy. In the past year, I had surgery on both thumbs; my basal joints were so painfully filled with arthritis that I couldn’t even button a button. When the orthopedic surgeon removes the arthritis, he uses one of your own tendons to create a new thumb joint.
So, during this year, sharpening my expensive knives was next to impossible until I recovered from both surgeries. I took more than a dozen very dull knives to Tom’s Sharpening Service at 200 W. Market Street in Georgetown and, within a week, I was back in business. Tom mostly does lawnmower blades and other yard tools, but what a job he did on my knives at a very reasonable price!
He warned me to be careful (did someone snitch about my horrid history?). To instill this warning in me, he sliced a piece of paper with one of my chef’s knives. Some lessons are harder learned than others, so please don’t tell Tom that I was covered in bandages for a couple weeks until I finally slowed down on the chopping block.
He does not do serrated knives. If you go, tell Tom I sent you. Call ahead for hours, though, because he’s a one-man operation and, when he gets hungry, he closes for lunch. His phone number is (302) 856-3639.
(Editor’s note: If you have recipes to share, or recipes you want, contact Marie Cook, Coastal Point, P.O. Box 1324, Ocean View, DE 19970; or by email at ChefMarieCook@gmail.com. Please include your phone number. Recipes in this column are not tested by the Coastal Point.)