22 May 2006

dips to try

california dip

1 1/2 c sour cream
3/4 c mayo
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 c diced onion
kosher salt
1/4 t white pepper
1/4 t garlic powder

cook onions in olive oil with about 1/2 t salt over medium low heat for about 20 minutes, until onions are a rich brown color. transfer to bowl, making sure you get all the oil. add 1/2 t more salt, white pepper, and garlic powder. combine well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

chicken liver mousse

defrost frozen chicken livers in milk in the fridge overnight. in large saucepan, over medium heat, melt 2 T unsalted butter. add 2 c coarsely chopped onions, 1 coarsely chopped granny smith apple, 1 t fresh chopped thyme, and a heavy pinch of kosher salt. cover and cook until soft and golden brown. add a pound of chicken livers, cleaned and drained. stir the livers into the heat gently, and cook for about three minutes. when livers are done, the outside will look sandy gray, and the insides will still be pink. add a quarter cup of brandy, and simmer for another minute. let cool for five minutes.

transfer to a food processor and puree into a smooth paste. in a chilled bowl, whip a cup of heavy cream to soft peaks. fold half the cream carefully into the liver mixture until it is smooth and mostly combined. add the rest of the cream and fold until completely combined. serve immediately or cover and chill for up to two days.

07 May 2006

Andalusian Beef Stew (Estofado de Buey a la Andaluza)

I'm on a bit of an Iberian kick lately, which is both good (it's tasty and mostly good for you) and not helpful (most of my recipes are for dishes more suited for colder weather). This stew was excellent last Friday night when it was rainy and damp.

We had it with homemade herb bread, recipe to follow, and a Spanish red (duh). It makes quite a bit; I'll have lunch for a few days.

Adapted from
My Kitchen in Spain, by Janet Mendel

2-3 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1" cubes
1 onion, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 T olive oil
1 c water
2 t better-than-bouillon concentrate (or substitute beef broth for the water + concentrate)
1/2 c dry sherry or vermouth
2 large bay leaves
a pinch of cloves
1/4 t cinnamon
a generous pinch of saffron threads, crushed
2 t salt
1 whole head garlic, roasted and peeled
2 carrots, sliced
4 large potatoes, peeled and diced

In a stew pot, combine the beef, onion, tomato, oil, sherry/vermouth, water, bouillon. Bring to a boil and add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, saffron, and salt. Add roasted garlic. Cover and simmer very slowly until the meat is almost tender, about 1 hour.

Add the sliced carrots and the potatoes. Cover and simmer for another 30 minutes, adding more water if necessary, until the meat and potatoes are very tender. Note: my liquid did not quite cover all the solid ingredients and it worked out fine. Add salt and white pepper to taste before you're done simmering.

Remove the bay leaves. The liquid will not thicken, so serve in soup bowls.