Archive for the 'Beef' Category

All-American Chili

I’ve tried several chili recipes over the years and this one is definitely my favorite.  It’s flavorful, spicy, and hearty.  The recipe comes from the January 2003 issue of Cooking Light, and not only is this chili delicious, it’s also fairly low calorie.  It’s easy to make, and it’s the perfect thing to have on a cold day.  I like to serve this chili with homemade cornbread or crusty French bread.  Like most chilis, the leftovers are excellent and the flavors only improve over time.  And if you are looking for a recipe for vegetarian chili, try this one – it’s also from Cooking Light and it’s another one of my favorites!

All-American Chili

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 6  ounces  hot (or mild- depending on how much spice you like!) turkey Italian sausage
  • 2  cups  chopped onion
  • 1  cup  chopped green bell pepper
  • 8  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  pound  ground sirloin
  • 1  jalapeño pepper, chopped (optional – I always omit this… the chili is spicy enough for me without it)
  • 2  tablespoons  chili powder
  • 2  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  ground cumin
  • 3  tablespoons  tomato paste
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • ½  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  bay leaves
  • 1 ¼  cups  Merlot or other fruity red wine (beef broth can be substituted)
  • 2  (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, un drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2  (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • ½  cup  (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Remove the casings from the sausage. Add the sausage, onion, and the next 4 ingredients (onion through jalapeño (if using)) to the pan; cook 8 minutes or until the sausage and beef are browned, stirring to crumble.
  2. Add the chili powder and the next 7 ingredients (chili powder through bay leaves), and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in the wine, tomatoes, and kidney beans; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Discard the bay leaves.  Sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese.

Makes: 8 servings (each serving size is 1 ¼ cups)

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

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Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes


One of my favorite cookbooks is “Cook Smart, Eat Well” by Cooking Light.  It is a collection of easy-to-make recipes that are both simple and healthy.  One of the features of this book is that it gives you a “game plan” for each recipe, so that you know which order to prepare and cook the meal in so that you maximize your time and cook as efficiently as possible.  This is very helpful on a busy weeknight!

I never used to be a huge fan of sloppy joes, but this recipe changed my opinion and now I love them.  This is the perfect weeknight meal, and it makes excellent leftovers.  The ingredients are simple, and several of them are pantry staples: onion, green bell pepper, garlic, ground beef, tomato paste, chicken broth, a few spices, hamburger buns, and canned corn.  The bell peppers and corn add color, sweetness, and tastiness to the dish.  You will not be disappointed with this recipe!

Recipe from: Cooking Light

Sloppy Joes

(print recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1  teaspoon  canola oil
  • 1  cup  finely chopped onion
  • 1  cup  finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½  pounds  lean ground beef
  • 1  (6-ounce) can no salt-added tomato paste
  • 2  teaspoons  chili powder
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  (15-ounce) can no salt-added corn, rinsed and drained
  • 6  (1 ½ -ounce) whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted (toasting is optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes.
  3. Add meat to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.
  4. Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 minutes.
  5. Add chili powder, cumin, salt, and broth. Reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in corn; cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  7. Spoon about 1 cup meat mixture on bottom half of each hamburger bun; cover with top half of each bun.

Serves: 6

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers


I first made this recipe for Stuffed Peppers a few months ago and they were really good.  I originally found the recipe in the book “Cook Smart, Eat Well” by Cooking Light.  It’s a collection of easy and healthy recipes, and with each recipe, the book creates a simple menu so that you have a complete meal.  The book recommends serving these peppers with sugar snap peas and sautéed cabbage.  I didn’t feel like cabbage, so I just served steamed sugar snap peas on the side.  The peppers were just as good the second time around, and the snap peas were a great side dish.

The nice thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, and it is super easy to make.  You can use any color pepper (I used a mixture of red & green peppers).  The filling is a combination of ground sirloin, rice, sautéed onions, a few spices, and Parmesan cheese.  The second time making these, I omitted the wine and it didn’t affect the flavor at all.  The filling also requires jarred pasta sauce, so this is the perfect recipe to make if you have leftover sauce in the fridge that you need to use.  And, like all Cooking Light recipes, it is fairly low-calorie – only 347 calories per bell pepper!

Adapted from: Cooking Light, January 2003

Stuffed Peppers

(print recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1  (3 ½ -ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice
  • 4  medium red bell peppers
  • ¾  pound  ground sirloin
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • ½  cup  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1  teaspoon  paprika
  • ½  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground allspice
  • 2  cups  bottled tomato-and-basil pasta sauce, divided
  • ½  cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • ½  cup  dry red wine
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Set aside.
  3. While rice cooks, cut tops off bell peppers; reserve tops. Discard seeds and membranes. Place peppers, cut sides down, in an 8-inch square baking dish; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at high 2 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender. Cool.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, parsley, paprika, salt, and allspice; cook 4 minutes or until beef is lightly browned, stirring to crumble. Remove from heat. Add rice, 1 cup pasta sauce, and cheese to beef mixture, stirring to combine.
  5. While beef cooks, combine 1 cup pasta sauce and wine in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.
  6. Spoon about ¾ cup beef mixture into each pepper. Place peppers in a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray; add wine mixture to pan. Cover with foil.
  7. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve peppers with sauce. Garnish with pepper tops, if desired.

Serves: 4

Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew with Red Wine)

Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew with Red Wine)

Ever since watching the movie Julie & Julia a few weeks ago, I have wanted to make Boeuf Bourguignon.  I decided to make Ina Garten’s version of this dish, because it seemed simpler and required much less cooking time than Julia Child’s recipe.  The dish turned out wonderfully, and although it was a little labor (and time) intensive, it was fun to make.  It was the first time I’ve ever flambéed something, which was fun too.  If someone had told me 5 years ago that someday I would be purposely lighting something on fire in my kitchen, I would never have believed it!

Another benefit to this stew is that it made excellent leftovers.  In fact, I think it was better the second night.  Also, since I had more time the second night, I was able to make a couple side dishes to round out the meal.  The beef stew paired perfectly with mashed potatoes (I like mashed Yukon gold potatoes), steamed broccoli, and garlic bread.

Adapted from: Barefoot in Paris cookbook, by Ina Garten (pg. 121-123)

Boeuf Bourguignon

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 6 ounces good bacon, diced
  • 1 ½ pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
  • ¼ cup Brandy
  • ½  (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Pinot Noir
  • 1 can (2 cups) beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves ( ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, optional

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.

Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.

Toss the carrots, and onions, ½ tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Brandy, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 ¼ hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.

Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew.  Sauté the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

Sprinkle each serving with parsley, if desired, and serve with garlic bread.

Serves: 4

Cook the bacon.

Sear the beef cubes in the hot oil/bacon fat until browned.

Saute the carrots and onions.

Flambe the brandy.

Wait for the alcohol to burn off.

Saute the mushrooms.

Mashed potatoes are a good side dish.


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