Archive for the ‘Stew’ Category

One thing you may or may not know about me… I am obsessed with finding good deals and then stocking up in the freezer.  I dream about the future, when I will have a garage and can buy one of those huge freezers.  Please don’t judge me.

Anyway, I bring this up because around Thanksgiving I bought turkey breasts (the whole bone-in breast, basically the turkey w/o legs and wings, not just boneless, skinless breasts) for 99 cents a pound – which is CRAZY cheap.  So obviously I bought three, two of which I was not planning on using for Thanksgiving.  After a particularly robust trip to Costco, I had to free up some freezer space and I finally made one of the breasts… IN A CROCKPOT.

SO EASY and SO DELICIOUS.  Do it, you will thank me, later.

What you need:

  • Full bone in turkey breast (make sure it will fit in your crock pot, first!), defrosted
  • 1 packet of dry onion soup mix
  • minced garlic
  • two onions, chopped
  • one bunch of celery, chopped
  • a few red potatoes, chopped
  • carrots, I used a bag of baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or white wine (or half and half)
  • 1 stick of butter, softened, mixed with oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary

mmm veggies

What to do:

  1. Put the breast into the crock pot dish.  Prepare the bird by lifting as much of the skin off as you can, then rubbing the butter & herb mix into the meat.  Cover back up with the skin.  Kind of gruesome, but so worth it.

    Boyfriend giving the bird a butter rub down

  2. Fill the crock pot around the bird with half to two thirds of the veggies.  Stuff the remainder inside the cavity.

    This is post-cook, but you can see how the veggies are around, and stuffed inside

  3. Mix the soup packet with the wine/ stock, and add to the crock pot.
  4. Cook on low for about 7 hours
  5. Don’t worry about the lack of liquid!  While it cooks, it will let out all the juices, as you can see in the photo above.

finished product

with stew on the side!

This is seriously the easiest and most tender turkey I have ever made/ had.  We usually fry turkey for the holidays, which is awesome, but a huge PITA.  This is so easy, and it literally falls apart when touched.

P.S. you don’t have to use the veggies, but it so easy, and in the end you have an entire one pot meal waiting for you.


Read Full Post »

Thai Green Curry

Thai green curry is perhaps one of the easiest SE Asian dishes to put together, especially if you have ready-made curry paste. I use the Mae Ploy curry paste, which you can find at your nearest Asian market. They sell it at Whole Foods, too, but I’m not sure if it’s the same brand.

Another good tip — PREPARATION. This dish is basically a stew so make sure everything you need is chopped and ready to go.

  • Slivered onions
  • Minced garlic
  • Rinsed baby bok choy (I prefer mine separated but you can keep them in bunches if you prefer)
  • Canned sliced bamboo shoots
  • Marinated sliced chicken (sesame oil, soy sauce, garic salt, fresh minced garlic and some scallions)
  • Sliced scallions

Start off by sauteeing the garlic and onions in sesame oil. Once the onions turn clear, add about a teaspoon or 2 of curry paste to cook. Throw in a can of coconut milk and about 1 to 1.5 cups of water. Add the chicken bamboo shoots and the bok choy. I’d actually add some fresh basil but I didn’t have any =\

Let everything simmer for about 20 minutes. If the broth is too spicy, add some lemon juice to neutralize the flavor. Some people also add some sugar and fish sauce; I added a teaspoon of dark brown sugar but had no fish sauce. My friend Russell actually adds fresh tomato slices in lieu of the sugar.. that works out pretty well.

You can also add different types of meat to this dish; it’s not limited to chicken. Or you can make it vegetarian!

Serve over rice!

$ breakdown:

  • Green curry paste – ~$3-5, depending where you get it
  • Can of coconut milk – $1 – $3 (mine was $3 because I bought it from frickin Whole Foods because I was impatient)
  • Can of bamboo shoots – ~$1
  • A bundle of baby bok choy – $2 from Chinatown

Read Full Post »

Shredded chicken stew

This is another slow cooker recipe. Man, that thing sure is handy.

Chicken thigh preparation:

Cut into large cubes.. it doesn’t need to be perfect because you will be shredding them anyway. Rub adobo seasoning all over.

Stew base (goes directly into crock pot):

  • Onions (cut them into thick pieces)
  • Potatoes (cut into quarters
  • Minced garlic
  • Olive oil
  • A large can of diced tomatoes (I like the chunky kind)
  • Chicken broth (you want to thin it out a bit)
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chili powder
  • A touch of cayenne pepper
  • A couple dashes of hot sauce (optional)
  • A tablespoon of butter
  • Lemon juice

Add in the chicken thighs, cover w/ lid and set on LOW overnight. In the morning, remove all the yummy chicken pieces and shred them. Just take 2 forks and since the chicken has been slow cooking for hours, it should come apart fairly easily. This isn’t a difficult process, it just takes time. A long time, depending on how many pieces of chicken you have. I now have a new appreciation for places that serve shredded chicken.

Put the chicken back into the crockpot and set it on warm (if you have that feature). At this point, I cut a red bell pepper into thick slivers and placed it into the crockpot. This is the last thing I put in to cook because I wanted to maintain some of the bell pepper’s crispiness. Let this cook for 5 more hours.

Serve over rice. Or perhaps garnish it with some sour cream & cilantro. This would also be good with some broken tortilla chips, like tortilla soup w/ shredded chicken. And it’d probably be good topped w/ some melted cheese.

$ breakdown:

  • $2 can of tomatoes
  • $5 pack of chicken thighs

Read Full Post »

Catalan-style Seafood Stew

My friend and I had an AMAZING seafood stew when we were in Barcelona and I wanted to make something similar for him when he came to visit in NYC. This dish sounds fancy and all but it’s SO simple. I put it all in my slow cooker, too! Bonus points for convenience!

The thing that makes this a Catalan style stew is the picada. Picada is kind of like a pesto. It’s basically blended breadcrumbs, herbs & garlic. Some picada recipes will call for other things (like anchovies) and they’re mostly specific to the Catalan dish you are preparing. Anyway, picada brings everything together; it adds texture and flavor without adding so many calories (like creams). The MOST important thing is that you MUST add this in last into your dish. If you add it too early, your sauce will break (thanks for the tip Chef Julie!).

Picada recipe:

  • Garlic
  • Fresh parsley
  • Bread crumbs (I actually pan-toasted baguette slices in olive oil and sliced them in cubes)
  • Olive oil
  • Roasted hazelnuts
  • Almonds (they should be blanched but I just left them raw)

Place all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor (it might be best to first make your breadcrumbs). Add olive oil and some water until it’s like a thick paste.. like pesto! The great thing about this is that you can make it ahead of time and make a LOT of it. I think picada would be good as a spread, also..

Stew base recipe:

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes in its juices
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • Garlic, minced
  • Onions, diced
  • Shallots, diced
  • Fresh thyme (I put a couple sticks in)
  • Fresh parsley, diced
  • White wine
  • Seafood stock
  • 1 bell pepper (I used a green one), diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Olive oil & butter

Place everything in the slow cooker on low and let it cook for 8+ hours. You can make this as thick/thin as you’d like. I made it more soup-like because I added a lot of stock.

Seafood ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb of scallops
  • 1/2 lb of crawfish
  • 1/2 lb of shrimp (they should be headed & deveined but I left it as is because that’s how the Spaniards did it!)
  • 1/2 lb of mussels

Be sure to put these into the slow cooker on high 5-10 minutes before you serve dinner! Remember, it doesn’t take long for seafood to cook.. be wary of overcooking it! White fish is good in this stew as well (and we had it in our stew in Barcelona). And the picada!!! Put the picada in (to taste) before you put in the seafood.

I served this with sliced baguettes so we could dip it into the soup. It was pretty good but it was actually better a couple days later. OMG it was so much better.

This was definitely a lighter version of the original. I feel like they added some kind of cream into the broth and it tasted a lot more buttery. Additionally, I believe their stew was placed under the broiler for a little while. OH GOD it was so good. It was more stew-like in that it was a lot thicker. Does this mean I should revise my title to indicate that I had actually made a soup, not a stew?

Here’s a photo of the original, the inspiration for this meal (which cost ~20 euros):

The original!

$ breakdown:

  • $3 for the baguettes
  • $14 for ALL THE SEAFOOD!!! And it’s fresh, too! I bought a pound of each and only used half for the recipe. I love Chinatown!
  • <$3 for the canned goods
  • ~$1 for the bell pepper
  • ~$1 for the jalapeno pepper

Read Full Post »