Lamb Stew

Do you like lamb? I’ve found that lots of people I know don’t like lamb. Although, I would definitely choose a fish dish over lamb chops at a restaurant, I actually crave this stew at least once a month in the winter and spring. The tang from the olives and the sweet, roastyness from the red bells perfectly compliment the slightly gamey shredded lamb.  Mmmmm. Before I was glutenless, I would serve this with Israeli couscous and a side salad. Now, the gluten free Barilla penne will have to do. 

  
Lamb Stew

  • 2 lbs lamb shoulder, cut into 2″ cubes
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 TBS tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3 1/2 cup water
  • 2 TBS corn starch slurry (2TBS corn starch and 2TBS water mixed)
  • 1/2 cup pimento green olives, sliced
  • 3/4 cup red bell pepper, roasted and sliced
  • 1 TBS parsley, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 

In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 TBS oil until shimmering. Season lamb with salt and pepper and add to pan in batches. Do not over crowd. You want to wear all sides to a pretty golden brown. Remove to a plate and continue until all the lamb is browned. 

Add onions, celery and carrots to pan and turn down a bit. Cook until tender. Add tomato paste and cook until paste is slightly browned. Add wine and deglaze, scraping up brown bits. Stir constantly until wine is evaporated. Add water and bring to boil. Add lamb and any juices from the plate. Cover and braise in the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until lamb is fork tender. (Be sure to check the pot after about 2 hours and every half hour after. Add more water if it’s starting to get too dry)

Shred the lamb. Add the cornstarch slurry and bring to a boil on the stovetop to thicken (stir, stir, stir). Add olives, pepper and any addition salt and/or pepper to taste. 

Serve over favorite noodles or Israeli couscous. Sprinkle with parsley. 

Enjoy!!

Eggs in a Spinach Nest

Make this! Make it just for yourself or make it for a family gathering. It is so delicious and comforting and simple and lovely. It says “spring time” on your plate and delivers sunshine to your belly. 

  
Eggs in a Spinach Nest (adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen)

• 12 eggs

• 2 lbs fresh spinach

• 1 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced

• 8 roasted garlic cloves in oil

• 1 shallot, sliced thin

• 4 TBSP unsalted butter

• 1 cup heavy cream

• a pinch of salt

• 1/4 cup grated parmesean 

Add a bit of olive oil to a large frying pan. Heat and add half of your spinach and wilt, about 30 seconds. Add the rest of your spinach and wilt again.  Drain in a colander and cool under cold running water. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Then chop.

Melt butter over medium-low heat in frying pan and cook shallots and mushrooms until soft. Stir in cream, salt, and chopped spinach. Remove from heat and place in 9×13 baking dish. Stir in parmesean.  (You can cover and put this in the fridge to cook the next morning or go ahead to the next step if you’re eating it today.)

Make 12 wells in the spinach/mushroom mixture. You’ll crack each egg into each well. 

Straight from SmittenKitchen: When you’re ready to bake the dish, or about 30 minutes before serving, put oven rack in upper third of oven and heat oven to 450°F. Crack an egg into each well. Bake until whites are firm and yolks are still runny. Takes anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes. The range is long due to different ovens and baking vessels. It’s better to have to check more often than to let them overcook.

[Cooking note: It is nearly impossible to get all 12 eggs to cook evenly. The ones in the center will be more runny; at the edges, they’ll be more firm. But don’t fret. I’ve found that almost all people have an egg preference (more runny vs. more firm) and each egg manages to find the right home. Just ask people their preference as you serve them.]

Remove dish from oven, sprinkle with additional salt and pepper, plus grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Everyone loved this one!!

Gluten-free Breakfast

I think the worst thing about trying to be gluten-free is breakfast options. I was a pastry every day girl. Now? Well, now it takes a bit more effort. But in truth, it’s delicious. Like cold cuts, pickles and hard boiled eggs. Or yogurt with granola and chocolate sprinkles. But this has to be my favorite concoction. It’s a little like chiliquiles and huevos rancheros. It’s super satisfying both in taste and texture and is so darn delicious even my gluten-full family members love it!   

 Gluten-free Cal-Mex Breakfast

  • 1 corn tortilla
  • 1 egg, fried
  • 1 slice of bacon, fried and chopped
  • 1/2 cup pinto beans, heated
  • 1/2 zucchini sliced and cooked with a bit of cumin and olive oil
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • A dollop of salsa
  • Chopped cilantro

Tear apart the corn tortilla and put on the bottom of a plate. Add beans then bacon then zucchini. Top with your fried egg then salsa and avocado and cilantro. 

Enjoy!!

 

Pho – the easy peasey non-authentic but hecka good kind

i have been cooking a ton lately and was looking through pics realizing that I haven’t been archiving some major successes. 

The deluge of recipes are coming. 

This one is perfect for this time of year. It’s freshness matches the first blushes of spring but the warm broth and hearty meat keep you cozy on our still cold nights. And it’s a perfect weeknight dinner that the whole family will enjoy – especially the kids because it’s all about making it your own. 

Pho

* 1 1/2 box of beef broth (or 6 cups of beef bone broth if you’ve got some in your freezer)

* 1/2 lb of rib eye or strip or any other easily sliced beef (bonus if you can get your butcher to thinly slice it for you)

* 2 limes

* 2 TBSP fish sauce

* 2 TBSP soy sauce, plus more on the table for garnish

* jalapeño sliced

* bean sprouts

* basil leaves

* cilantro

* sriracha

* 1 package of thin rice noodles

Being the broth to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to the packaged instructions. Add the fish sauce, soy and squeeze of lime to taste. Turn off the heat and add the meat. The meat will cook in the hot soup. 

Assemble all the other ingredients on your table and serve the soup in bowls. 

Slurp and enjoy. 

  

Mom’s Pancit

This turned out so good that my Filippino husband said it tastes just like Mom’s. So, of course I had to post it. 

If it’s your birthday or new year, it’s tradition to eat long noodles for a long life. And if you’ve been to any Filippino family gatherings, pancit is a staple. 

  
It’s one of those dishes that tastes so good and comforting and is amazing as leftovers. Omit the baby shrimp if you have any allergies. 

Mom’s Pancit

* 1 boneless skinless chicken breast cut on the bias in bite sized pieces

* 2 celery sticks, sliced

* 2 carrots, julienned 

* a handful of green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half

* 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped

* 1 small onion, sliced

* 3 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 package of rice noodle

* 1 box of chicken broth (or homemade) 3 cups

* soy sauce

* salt and pepper

* lemon

Sauté garlic, onion until fragrant. Add chicken and veggies (carrots, celery, green beans, cabbage) and cook until just tender. 

You can use a separate pan or remove the veggies and chicken and add the stock. Boil then cook the noodles in chicken stock until just tender. Drain. Then add soy sauce, salt, pepper to taste.  Then mix it all together gently so you don’t break your noodles.

Add baby shrimp if you like. Serve with lemon wedges. 

Eat for days. 

Mom’s Pancit

This turned out so good that my Filippino husband said it tastes just like Mom’s. So, of course I had to post it. 

If it’s your birthday or new year, it’s tradition to eat long noodles for a long life. And if you’ve been to any Filippino family gatherings, pancit is a staple. 

  
It’s one of those dishes that tastes so good and comforting and is amazing as leftovers. Omit the baby shrimp if you have any allergies. 

Mom’s Pancit

* 1 boneless skinless chicken breast cut on the bias in bite sized pieces

* 2 celery sticks, sliced

* 2 carrots, julienned 

* a handful of green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half

* 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped

* 1 small onion, sliced

* 3 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 package of rice noodle

* 1 box of chicken broth (or homemade) 3 cups

* soy sauce

* salt and pepper

* lemon

Sauté garlic, onion until fragrant. Add chicken and veggies (carrots, celery, green beans, cabbage) and cook until just tender. 

You can use a separate pan or remove the veggies and chicken and add the stock. Boil then cook the noodles in chicken stock until just tender. Drain. Then add soy sauce, salt, pepper to taste.  Then mix it all together gently so you don’t break your noodles.

Add baby shrimp if you like. Serve with lemon wedges. 

Eat for days. 

Sir Wraps-a-lot

I am craving one of these sooo bad! I’ve been gluten-free all month and it’s wraps and morning pastries that I miss the most. The gluten-free thing isn’t going as good as I hoped. I am trying it for better joint health but have felt no improvement. I think I’ll try adding more gelatin to my diet next. But while doing this, I have definitely started some great non-bread and pasta habit that I’ll try to keep. But the minute I decide to add more gluten, I’m having a wrap. 

I usually pick up a package of lavash and just have it around to make leftover wraps. It is one of my favorite ways to recreate leftovers. All you need is a spread (hummus, pesto and hummus, cream cheese, dressing, anything really), some greens (I love spinach, arugula or super greens), a cheese (feta or goat are preferred), a meat (steak, turkey, chicken, tofu) and addition fun stuff (peppers, avocado, cucumbers, red onion, cranberry sauce). 

This one was a great use of leftover turkey dinner. 

Let me know what are your favorite combinations.