Monday, November 28, 2011

Crockpot Beef Stew #2

I have been trying to make a good Beef Stew recipe that Lil P will like. I have done several before, but decided to use my crockpot again and see if he will like it.

2-3 lbs Stew Meat (cubed)
1/2 c flour (I used 1 part wheat, 1 part white, and 1 part wheat germs)
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbs olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
4 small carrots (cubed)
3 red potatoes (cubed)
1 tbs dried parsley
1 package dry onion soup mix
2 cups hot water (or beef broth)
2 tbs butter
1/2 c red wine
1 tbs worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup corn starch

1) Coat meat completely with flour and pan fry with olive oil, add salt and pepper and cook until meat are brown (again this seals the moisture of the meat)
2) Coat your crockpot with Pam, then lay carrots and potatoes in your crockpot.
3) Pour in browned meat, add in dry onion soup mix with hot water (or beef broth), then add in worchestershire sauce.
4) In the same frying pan, toss in butter and onions and sautee until soften, then placed cooked onions on top of meat in crockpot.
5) In the same frying pan, pour in red wine and turn off the heat, stirring to get all the leftover bits of onions or meat.
6) Pour that into the crock pot.
7) Cook on high for 4 - 5 hours, add salt to taste if needed.
8) Combine cornstarch with water (or red wine), and drizzle over the beef stew, stir it up, leave cover off and let it thickens, about 1/2 hour.
9) Serve over rice.

The beef falls apart while you eat, it's super tender. Even Mr. P had seconds! Lil P on the other hand, is still not enjoying this as much as us. I wonder if he wants a tomato based beef stew?! And he doesn't even like tomatoes...but yet he eats pizza!

I've got enough for leftovers, so I made myself a bento for lunch! YES, I haven't made bentos in a long long time!

Top tier contains pea salad (consist of Peas, chopped bacon, chopped water chestnuts, and mayo...YUM-O), tangerines, and grapes. Bottom tier contains beef stew over brown rice.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Juicy Turkey with Gravy

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving this year.

We have decided to host a Thanksgiving dinner this year and I have decided to make my very first Turkey. It's actually quite a lot of work and I underestimated the time it takes to bake.

I followed this recipe exactly according to this, except I used a 13 lb turkey and I used parsley instead of sage.

I also rubbed the turkey and pour and half of chicken stock and half of champagne in a turkey oven bag and put in the fridge that morning.

Then at 2pm I took it out and stuffed the turkey with the stuffing, pour the remainder chicken stock and more champagne then placed it on the roasting pan and into a preheated oven at 2:30pm. I think my oven temperature is lower than what it really is so by the time 5:45pm rolls around, the turkey's inside temperature was still not there! My dad (a cook) helped me speed up the process by turning up the heat to 525 degrees and let it brown. We took it out around 6:25pm and he helped me sliced the bird. The turkey turned out tasty, moist, and it was fully cooked yet not dried out. Funny thing is, the stuffing is still HARD! That's how I know my oven temperature is lower than indicated. Thanks to the help of my dad, what would I do without him!!!

He also showed me how to make the gravy:

approx 4 tbs Flour
approx 3 tbs Vegetable Oil
3-4 cups Turkey Drippings

1) In a bowl, slowly whisk (with a wired whisk) together the flour and oil, a tablespoon at a time until it thickens.
2) In a sauce pan, pour in hot turkey dripping (you can leave a bone or two in there if needed.
3) Slowly whisk in the flour and oil mixture and continue to whisk until it turns into gravy consistency.

I am so thankful for my dad being there on Thanksgiving!! Everyone, including my dad said "It's pretty good for a first turkey" I'm going to take that as a compliment...whether it is or not. =)

In addition to the turkey, I also made Furikake Salmon, Season Soy Beans, Costco's Pork Tenderloin, and walnut brownie bites. My parents brought a platter of sushi and my in-laws brought Ahi Poke, Pea Salad, Baked Candied Yams with Bananas, Almond Tofu Float. It turned out to be a great Thanksgiving dinner.

I think I'm going to do Imu Turkey next year....