Monday, October 7, 2013

Cooking with Carmen: Zesty Beef, and a request for Apple Crisp

Sunday was cool and cloudy and this pregnant lady wanted some fat curly egg noodles.
What could be better to warm us up than beef stew, beef stroganoff, or goulash.
I didn't want either of those things. The noodles canceled out any need for potatoes and carrots, I didn't want the sauce to be creamy, and I was fresh out of mushrooms.
Here is my zesty beef recipe with no cream, and no veg. Just a delicious gravy and melt in your mouth beef cubes! I call it Zesty, because most goulash and stroganoff recipes call for paprika, I love paprika so used it in addition to salt and pepper. I suppose you could eliminate it, but seriously it wouldn't be as good.

1 package of stew meat
1 small onion, or medium shallot
1 clove grated garlic
1/2 cup of beer
1 cup chicken broth or stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Paprika
1/4 cup AP flour
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
 Bag of Egg Noodles

PreHeat oven to 350
Season meat with Salt and Pepper.
In a gallon zip lock bag pour AP flour, and Smoked Spanish Paprika.
Add seasoned meat to bag and shake to coat.
Add Olive oil, and butter to a dutch oven, or any oven safe pan. The butter keeps the olive oil from burning.
Brown meat in batches and set aside.
Add shallot or onion to pan and let soften, add garlic.
De-glaze pan with Beer, and stir/scrape to get brown bits off the bottom, and add meat and any juice accumulated back to pan. Add Chicken broth/stock stir.
Place lid on pot and transfer to the oven. Cook on 350 for about an hour, then lower the temp to 300 for another 20 to 30 min. Keep an eye on the sauce so that it doesn't reduce down too much.
This can also be done in the crock pot.
Boil noodles, and serve meet on top

When people say they don't have time to bake, I say they don't know what they're talking about. Baking, even baking from scratch, does not have to be a lengthy process. As long as you have the staples at hand. Flour, brown and white sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder/soda, and cinnamon.  With these few things you can make a multitude of yumminess.
Seriously give this a shot. You'll be glad you made it yourself instead of buying it from a box. Not that I have anything against box mixes. They are mostly good, I have a Trader Joe pumpkin pancake mix in my cupboard right at this moment. I digress.

Apple crisp is one of my fast and easy go to desserts to bake. It seriously takes minutes to prepare, and no time to bake, and is always good. My grandmother used to make it all the time, and she calls it Apple Brown Betty. It cancels out the need to make a pie crust, which I know freaks people out. Pastry is the one thing in baking that I feel is reasonable to feel freaked out about.

Preheat oven to 375
4 to 5 apples
2 teasp. cinimmon devided
1 1/4 cups oats (quick or whole oats)
1/4 cup AP flour
1/2 cup brown sugar (white works too. )
1 stick of butter
1/2 teasp. vanilla extract, or vanilla paste

 This can be made in a glass baking dish, in individual muffin tins, ramekins, or a cast iron skillet

Peel and slice apples.
Saute apples in a skillet with  two table spoons of butter, a teaspoon of cinimmon, vanilla, and a table spoon or two of brown sugar. Cook until apples are slightly soft, not mushy.
While apples are cooking combine oats, flour, sugar, and the rest of the cinnamon in a bowl. Melt what is left of the butter, and add to the dry mixture. Mix until incorporated.
Once the apples are softish, transfer to baking dish, and top with dry mixture. Bake for 30 to 40 min. until golden brown on the top. You'll be able to tell it's done by the smell.

*Occasionally I like to add to the topping, slivered or sliced almonds, or chopped walnuts or pecans.  When I have them.

I hope you enjoy these fast simple recipes, we sure did!!!

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