Wednesday, November 11, 2009

epic dinner

Fenneled Colcannon

2 1/2 pounds of potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 head of napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
1 cup of unsweetened soy milk (or milk)
2 Tbsp of Earth Balance (or butter)
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until fork tender, about 12 minutes. Remove potatoes and add the cabbage and fennel to the pot, and cook until soft, 3-4 minutes. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mash the crap outta them!

Traditional Pot Roast

1 piece of beef (We used a 1 1/2 pound piece of london broil. Light on the fat, and quick cooking.)
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 pound of baby carrots
2 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
1 cup of red wine
2 cups stock
2 Tbsp double concentrate tomato paste
3 Tbsp canola oil
salt and pepper to taste

For gravy:
3 Tbsp Earth Balance
3 Tbsp all purpose flour

If you have a dutch oven, you should use it for this recipe. If you don't, just follow along. In a large pan, heat the canola oil on medium high heat. Season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper, and sear all sides in the hot pan, about 2 minutes a side. Yes, all sides, use some tongs and hold the meat so you can get the ends and everything- we aren't trying to let ANY juices out! When the meat is seared, set it aside in a pyrex baking dish. Add the shallots, celery, carrots, and tomato paste to the pan and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. De-glaze the pan with the wine (afraid of losing eyebrows and armhair? Pro-tip- turn off the fire underneath the pan.) and using a wooden spoon, make sure you get all the meaty bits from the bottom of the pan to dissolve into the wine by scraping them up. Allow this liquid to reduce by half and then add your stock. Pour all of this over the meat, cover, and place into a preheated 350 degree oven until it reaches 165 degrees, about 1 hour.

After the tasty roast is ready, remove the meat and veggies from the remaining sauce and allow to rest on a plate for 8-10 minutes before cutting against the grain and serving. Meanwhile, melt the Earth Balance in a pan and use it and the flour to make a roux. Once the roux is complete and smells like buttered toast, add the remaining cooking liquid into the pan. Make sure to stir or whisk thoroughly so the roux dissolves completely in the liquid (no lumps here Ma!), and allow to come to a boil. Continue stirring until it does so, it shouldn't take long, the liquid is already piping hot. Allow to boil for 1-2 minutes, until gravy thickens up and coats the back of a spoon.

Sourdough Bacon Shallot and Sage Stuffing

4 cups of fresh sourdough bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 ribs of celery, cut in 1/4 inch pieces
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 cups stock
4 dried sage leaves, finely chopped (or 2 tsp. dried sage)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot on medium heat, add bacon and saute until crispy and delicious, about 10 minutes. Remove cooked bacon leaving oil in pot. (I removed about 1 Tbsp of the leftover bacon grease, I know- sacrilege, but I didn't want it to be too bacon-y.) Add celery, and shallots and cook until shallots are translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Toss in your herbs, and then the bread. Slowly add stock 1/4 cup at a time while stirring the mixture. Stop adding stock when you start to notice excess stock not being soaked up by the bread. Add in half of the cooked bacon, taste and season with salt and pepper. Put the entire mixture in a baking dish and top with the rest of the cooked bacon and then cover with foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes covered, and then 10-15 minutes uncovered until the top is golden brown.

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