Sunday, January 30, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

PERFECT WINTER BEEF STEW

These cold, snowy evenings have been calling for some one-pot, warm the insides meals. One of my sisters-in-law had a knee replacement before Thanksgiving and when I called to see how she was doing, she told me they were getting ready to eat this GREAT Beef Stew that she had directed her "man servent" (my brother) to make. It sounded really delicious and I knew if Jean said it was good, it was good!!

The next morning there was the recipe in my "inbox". Thank you Don.

Yesterday was the day for "Perfect Winter Beef Stew". It was sooooooo good and I thought some of you might like to try it also. I had planned to do a tutorial but just didn't have the strength to do the cooking and pictures too.

PERFECT WINTER BEEF STEW

3/4 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
2 lbs. beef (stew beef or chuck roast, cut into 1" chunks)
6 slices bacon, chopped
3 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped onions (about 1 large)
3 cups sliced carrots (6 medioum)
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled, cut into large chunks (4 cups)
2 (14-1/2 oz.) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 (14-1/2 oz.) cans beef broth (a 32 oz. carton of broth will not be too much liquid)

Pour dressing over meat in large re-sealable plastic bag. Seal bag; turn to evenly coat meat with dressing. Refrigerate minimum of 30 miutes to marinate.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in large saucepan (large Dutch oven works best) on medium heat 5 min. or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from saucepan; drain drippings.

Add mushrooms and onions to same saucepan; cook on medium-heat 10 min. or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove meat from maridade; discard marinade. Add meat, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, broth and bacon to saucepan; stir.

Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for~2 hrs. (3 hrs. in oven at 300 degrees) or until meat is cooked through and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.

We served our stew with a crusty Tuscan Herb Bread. OH SO GOOD!! I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much we did.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I LOVE Books - The Older, The Better

...I also like to eat...so, when you combine eating and books...you cannot beat an OLD Cookbook!! Sometime in the past, I picked up "1821 Sesqui - Samplings 1971" 150 Years of Cooking in Indianapolis at an auction (another favorite pasttime). I thought some of you would enjoy reading some excerpts from this well written book, so I'll be sharing them on Mondays.

"The saga of a city, indeed the history of man, can be rather accurately documented by taking note of the food that was eaten over the years. Starting with culinary samplings of the people who inhabited the untamed wilderness of Indianapolis 150 years ago, we will follow this chronicle to modern times." (This book was published in 1971)

In this day and age of car pools, TV dinners, punching time clocks and doing civic duty, it is hard for today's mobile woman to comprehend the "simple" life our pioneer women not only endured but endowed. The recipes of early settlers were simple and unsophistiated, with a lot of "a pin" of this and "a lump" of that. Today, although there is no specific cooking style indigenous to our region, the imaginative and excellent home-cooking of Indianapolis enjoys a fine reputation throughout the country. The phrase, "Hoosier Hospitality" expresses the happy combination of superior cooking skills and the genuine warm-heartedness of our people."

1820 FALL CREEK settlement, the hunters called it. It was just a sprinkling of cabins which settlers were beginning to build that spring of 1820, along the forested banks where Fall Creek joined White River. Settlers like George Pogue and the McCormick brothers, John, James and Samuel, and the others who arrived shortly after them. They came, and stopped, and stayed because of the game, the fertile land, the water. And it wasn't until a June meeting of special state assembly commissioners in John McCormick's cabin that the settlers discovered they'd picked the site of the future capital as their home. The next year, 1821, after much heated debate, the area was officially named Indianapolis.

McCormick Johnny Hoecakes
1 cup corn meal
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Lukewarm water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Sift together corn meal, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in egg, molasses and enough water (approximately 1 cup) to make a thin batter. Pour into a greased 8-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve with butter and honey.

John Frederick Smith
Great-Grandson of
Samuel McCormick

Pogue Corn Dodgers

1 cup corn meal
1 tablespoon butter or bacon drippings
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Mix all ingredients except water. Pour water over this mixture and beat until well blended. Dip hand in cold water, take a handful of batter and drop onto a greased cookie sheet or griddle. Bake in a 400 egree oven about 8 minutes or on top of stove.

Ivan Pogue
Great-great-great grandson
of George Pogue