Saturday, February 3, 2018

Beef Stew

There is nothing like a hearty beef stew in the dead of winter. It warms up a cold February day, even a work day when you can throw it into a slow cooker! This recipe has variations on ingredients (see the end of the recipe) and works well with homemade drop biscuits OR place the biscuit dough on top of the stew for the last 30 minutes.


There is nothing like a hearty beef stew in the dead of winter. It warms up a cold February day, even a work day when you can throw it into a slow cooker! This recipe has variations on ingredients (see the end of the recipe) and works well with homemade drop biscuits OR place the biscuit dough on top of the stew for the last 30 minutes.

INGREDIENTS

4 lbs stewing beef, cut into cubes
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp oil

1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 cup good red wine
8 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
3 large russet potatoes, cubed
2 cups mixed frozen vegetables (peas, carrots, corn)


PREPARATION

1. Mix the flour, salt, pepper, thyme and paprika in a large bowl. Toss the beef cubes until coated.

2. Heat large skillet or electric frying pan, add oil and fry beef on medium high heat, turning to cook each side.  Remove from heat and place in large bowl.

3.  In slow cooker or large Dutch oven, over medium high heat, add oil and onion. Cook about 5 minutes until onions start to turn brown.  Add garlic and any leftover flour mixture. Cook 1 minute then deglaze with red wine.

4.  Add beef cubes, beef stock, and tomatoes. Cook at a simmer for at least 4 hours (use high setting on slow cooker).

5. After 3 hours, add potatoes and vegetables. Cook until tender

6. Variations: Use canned diced tomatoes or tomato paste in place of fresh potatoes. Add other vegetables including mushrooms, turnips, parsnips, etc.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Galaktoboureko



For years, my mother-in-law would make this dessert which was a mystery to me: it had phyllo on the top and bottom, it was soaked in sugar-honey syrup, but it wasn't Baklava! Basically, Galaktoboureko means "milk pie" and is a semolina custard wedged between phyllo and soaked in syrup. The recipe is not too difficult to make, but personally I only make it on a special occasion like a dinner party or a birthday.

INGREDIENTS

Syrup

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tsp cinnamon

Custard

4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup fine semolina (use Greek semolina here)
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla

6 eggs
1/2 cup sugar

12 sheets phyllo dough (defrosted)
1 stick butter, melted

PREPARATION
  • Prepare sugar syrup ahead of time and let cool in refrigerator. Bring water and sugar to boil over medium heat. Lower heat to simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and add honey, lemon and cinnamon.
  • In large saucepan, bring milk and cream to a slight boil (do not scorch).  Sift semolina, sugar and cornstarch together then SLOWLY add mixture to boiling milk/cream.  Stir and continue to cook on low until mixture is thick.  Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
  • In a bowl, beat eggs and sugar until fluffy and pale yellow, about 10 minutes.  Set aside.
  • Fold egg mixture, in small parts, into warm custard. If custard is too hot it will cook the eggs! Once incorporated, set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using 13 x 9 x 2 pan, brush with melted butter.  Take one sheet of phyllo, place in pan. Most sheets are 13 x 17 so you can't quite fold it in half but fold the excess over on to the sheet.  Butter with melted butter. Repeat with 6 more sheets and butter, alternating the "flap" so that the phyllo is even.
  • Spread custard mixture over phyllo dough.
  • Continue to add remaining five sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until top phyllo is browned.  Remove from oven and IMMEDIATELY and SLOWLY pour sugar syrup over the galaktoboureko.

Storage: you can refrigerate the galaktobourkeo but you don't need to as long as you eat it within 2-3 days. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature before serving.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Dinner 2017


Χριστός Ανέστη Christós Anésti

Can it really be Easter already? This year Greek Easter aligns with the same day as Western Easter - this happens about every four years.  Next year, Greek Easter will be on April 8, 2018 (one week after Western Easter.)

I am making dinner and bringing it over to the in-laws. Here is our menu for this year:
©2017, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.