Greek Restaurant Inspired Beef Stew

Greek Restaurant Inspired Beef Stew
 
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I fell in love with the beef stew at a local place called King Kong. After many attempts, I've come up with this recipe, and I think it's as good or better!
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2½ pounds cut up gold potatoes
  • 1 kg (about 2 pounds) beef chuck, cut into ½ inch pieces trimmed of the fat
  • 1 15 ounce can north beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • approx 3 liters (quarts) water, or more, see recipe
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, as needed, optional
  • 4.00 cup drained, Green Beans, Fresh Cut Rinsed and Drained
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare all your ingredients ahead of time. Finally dice your onions, cut your potatoes into ½ inch cubes and soak in water til using (this helps prevent oxidization), cut your beef into ½ inch pieces, rinse your beans well, drain your green beans, and mix your tomato paste with all your seasonings. This helps prevent clumps of seasoning in your stew.
  2. With your pot over medium-high, saute your onions til it softens and just starts to brown, this should take about 3-5 minutes. Then add your beef and stir it around. If you want you can brown your beef, but it isn't required. Add enough water to cover your beef by a few centimeters, or about an inch. Add salt now if desired.
  3. Cover, reduce the heat, and boil until the meat is tender. Anywhere between 30-60 minutes. Check on it every so often and add a bit more water if needed so it doesn't boil dry. After meat is tender add your potatoes and enough water to color by a few centimeters or an inch. Boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. At this point add the rest of your ingredients, making sure to dissolve all the tomato paste and seasoning. If you want to, boil your soup down more until it thickens like mine. Adjust the salt and pepper and you're done! This soup only gets better in the fridge the next day and is excellent over toast, cornbread, or plain ole rice. Delicious and a sure fire recipe!
Notes
Any type of onion or any type of potato can be used, I just prefer sweet onions and yukon gold potatoes.
If you don't have ghee you can use olive oil or use ½ tablespoon oil and ½ tablespoon butter for the same rich taste
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 cups Calories: 397 Fat: 7 Saturated fat: 3 Unsaturated fat: 2 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 45 Sugar: 5 Sodium: 646 Fiber: 8 Protein: 36 Cholesterol: 55
 

How to make ghee | The EASIEST Way

Ghee
 
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Stop spending a fortune buying ghee from the store when it can be made at home in less than 30 minutes for a whole lot less!
Author:
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 pound butter
  • 1 tablespoon water
Instructions
  1. Unwrap your butter and cut into smaller sized pieces, you don't have to do this, but it'll make the process a little faster. Add your pieces into a stainless steel pot and put on the stove over medium.
  2. Using a metal spoon (note not plastic!), stir your butter until it is melted. Once it melted and there are bubble starting to come up, turn your heat down to low. If the bubbles are too big, you will need to turn it down further, until they are similar to the video.
  3. Set your timer for 20 minutes and walk away... yes walk away. We don't need to skim the milk solids off (although you could). As long as you use a large enough pot on a low heat so you won't boil it over, you don't need to watch it.
  4. After 20 minutes, if the milk solids seem nicely separated go ahead and add about 1 tablespoon of water to this mixture and stir. Don't be concerned when it starts to make loud popping sounds, this is normal. Cook for another 2-5 minutes to ensure the water is all boiled off. If you like a more nutty roasted flavor in your ghee, continue to cook 5-15 more minutes keeping close eye on it. Ghee will go from perfect to burned in a matter of seconds once it hits a certain point.
  5. Let your ghee cool off for 5-10 minutes to make it safer to strain. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, paper towel, cheesecloth, or anything you have that will catch the milk solids. I suggest you use a glass container with a tight fitting lid. DO NOT USE PLASTIC. Plastic will leech out a nasty flavor over time into your ghee, plus you could melt it... never a good idea.
  6. Congratulations! You made ghee and saved yourself a lot of money over buying it!
Notes
Contrary to what some people say, you CAN use salted butter. I use salted Kerrygold butter and it gives the final product a slightly salty flavor and a grainy texture.

Ghee is shelf stable so you don't have to put it in the fridge. You can if you want, but there is no point. It should last anywhere between 3 months and 1 years in an air-tight container, but try to use it as soon as possible for best flavor.

The quality of butter you use GREATLY effects the end result. Normal cheap store bought butter which looks almost white, has no real flavor and you'll notice it's probably a lot more water. Try to find a grassfed butter for this application.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 teaspoon Calories: 45 Fat: 5 Saturated fat: 3 Sugar: 0 Sodium: 0 Cholesterol: 10
 

Tip Tuesday: How to make Half and Half


How to make Half and Half
 
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Making half and half is easy to do and can save you money in the long run. If you use a high fat % cream the end product will be around 13% fat content.
Author:
Cuisine: Dairy
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cream
  • 3 cups 2% milk
Instructions
  1. MIx the cream and the milk. Super easy!
Notes
If you are buying light cream or a lower fat % than 35% reduce the amount of milk to 2 - 2½ cups.
Calories are shown for recipe demonstrated in the video.
Bonus tip: portion out into ¼ cup measurements or ice cub trays and freeze.
Great for portioning into your daily coffee. Just defrost overnight and shake well before use.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ cup Calories: 74 Fat: 6 Saturated fat: 4 Unsaturated fat: 2 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 2 Sugar: 2 Sodium: 24 Fiber: 0 Protein: 2 Cholesterol: 24
 

Simple Cornbread Recipe


Simple Cornbread Recipe
 
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Cornbread can be made quickly, simply, and without a lot of fuss. Importantly it tastes AMAZING. Low calorie is a plus!
Author:
Serves: 8 slices
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil for batter, can also use melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil for greasing pan
  • ¼ to 1 cup of sugar (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, this is approx 200 Celsius. If you are using a cast iron skillet, and you SHOULD, put that in to preheat as well.
  2. Add your milk and vinegar into a bowl on the side and let this set for a few minutes, this makes faux buttermilk. If you want you can just use buttermilk instead without the vinegar.
  3. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a bowl, if you want to sprinkle some sugar on top reserve about 1 tablespoon.
  4. Add your remaining liquid ingredients to the milk mixture. DO NOT mix the liquid into the dry until the pan and oven are preheated.
  5. Once your pan is well preheated, remove from the oven and add your 1 tablespoon oil. Spread around CAREFULLY with a heat resistant spatula.
  6. Now you may mix the dry and the wet together, try to remove all lumps. Once your mixture is smooth pour it into your pan. Scrape the bowl out and smooth the mixture in the pan if needed.
  7. Bake for 25-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For me this takes 25 minutes but in my old apartment is took 40, so use a toothpick please!
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve with butter and honey, yummy!
Notes
I suggest using less sugar for normal cornbread, unless you intend on it being dessert style. If this is the case add more and also include ½ - 1 tablespoon REAL vanilla extract.
For a yummy texture, take one tablespoon of your sugar and set to the side. When you poor your batter in the pan, sprinkle it on top.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 piece Calories: 212 Fat: 6 Saturated fat: 1 Unsaturated fat: 4 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 38 Sugar: 15 Sodium: 273 Fiber: 3 Protein: 5 Cholesterol: 29
 DSCF4531DSCF4538Look how yummy it looks! 

Want to know more about why we use both baking soda AND baking powder, check out this article from epicurious.com – CLICK HERE

No Knead Bread stuffed with chili peppers & Cheese! (Pan relleno de chiles y queso!)

After I posted a photo of my homemade bread stuffed with cream cheese and candied chili peppers in a Facebook group, everyone all but demanded I show them how to do it. Of course I agreed happily, as any excuse to make this wonderful bread is welcomed in my house. I have to thank Steve Gamelin off of YouTube who has taught me so much about making bread easily. I have adapted this technique and hope to show you many recipes using the no knead overnight method. If you would like to check out his book, and I HIGHLY suggest you do because it is awesome. Here a link to amazon where it can be purchased or borrowed with amazon unlimited. My No-Knead Bread Cookbook (B&W Version): From the Kitchen of Artisan Bread with Steve.
I decided to make 4 larger sized rolls with this recipe so I used 1/2 block of cream cheese and 4 ounces of jalapenos but you can make 6, just adjust the recipe accordingly.


No Knead Bread stuffed with chili peppers & Cheese! (Pan relleno de chiles y queso!)
 
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Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
Dough:
  • 3 cups all purpose or bread flour (unbleached is best)
  • 12 ounces of cool water
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Fillings:
  • 1 ounce cream cheese per piece of bread
  • 1 ounce pickled/candied jalapenos per piece of bread
Topping: (optional)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Suggested Materials:
  • Baking stone that can go at least 450° F
  • Parchment paper cut to the size of your stone
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Bowl/bench scrapper
  • Large glass bowl
  • Plastic wrap
  • Silicone brush
Instructions
  1. At least 8 hours before you want to make the bread, (14 is better), mix the dough ingredients in a bowl like shown in the video. A large glass bowl works best for you. Cover with plastic wrap and let set on your kitchen counter overnight. If your house is cold/drafty place into the oven and close the door. This should help keep it slightly warmer.
  2. Once your dough as more than double in size, scrape it out onto a well floured work surface. Form it into a ball as shown in the video and divide into 4 or 6 pieces. Take one piece of dough at a time and flatten it into about the size of your hand (roughly 6in x 3in). Place your cream cheese and jalapenos on top and pinch it closed. (really watch the video, much easier than describing it)
  3. Place onto parchment paper or baking sheet. Repeat with all pieces of dough. Cover with a flour sack towel or any lint free towel and let rise on your counter for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes get your oven preheating to 450°F and set your timer for an additional 30 minutes. In total dough should rise for 120 minutes (2 hours). If you don't have a pizza stone please see NOTES
  4. After 2 hours, prepare your egg wash by mixing water and egg thoroughly. Use your silicone brush to thoroughly baste the tops of the dough with egg. Cut 2 or 3 slashes onto the tops with scissors and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
  5. Put into a hot oven on a pizza stone for 20-25 minutes. Bread should be nicely browned and when you tap on the bottom they sound hallow. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into them. If you skip the step the dough might not be cooked all the way through... and that would be sad. 🙁
  6. Store in the fridge for 3 days at most for best results.
Notes
Bread can be frozen if desired. Cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Store in a zip top bag and use within a few months.

If you do not have a pizza stone you CAN make this without, you just might not get as good of crust. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or sprinkle down cornmeal on the bottom to prevent sticking. Let dough rise for 1 hour 45 minutes. Preheat the oven for only 15 minutes and baking directly on the tray. Remove from the tray onto rack when done cooking.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bread (4 portions) Calories: 468 Fat: 11 Saturated fat: 6 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 73 Sugar: 1 Sodium: 508 Fiber: 3 Protein: 16 Cholesterol: 83