Monthly Archives: March 2014

Beefing Up Dinner with Beef Stroganoff over Buttered Noodles

There are some recipes that are classics that seem to get lost in the shuffle these days and you just do not see them around very often. Michelle had approached me not that long ago and said she really felt like having beef stroganoff for dinner one night. Now I had never made beef stroganoff before, and it is not hard to make at all, but I probably have not had any since I was a child. It just isn’t something I see around that often anymore or that a lot of people make at home. Anyway, there are plenty of recipes out there on the Internet and in cookbooks with various ways to make it, but I decided to stick to a very basic recipe that I found from Tyler Florence on the Food Network and give it a try.

Beef Stroganoff over Buttered Noodles

3 cups beef stock
1 carrot, chopped
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons sour cream, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1 (1-pound) package wide egg noodles

Heat the beef stock with the carrot, 3 thyme sprigs, and the bay leaf in a large saucepan over medium heat. Pat the beef dry and season it with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven over high heat. Fry the meat in batches so that it is browned on all sides. Lower the heat to medium and return all the meat to the pot. Add the onions and cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in the cognac or brandy and cook until the alcohol has burned off, about 5 minutes. Add the beef stock, discarding the carrot, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Cook, partially covered, over a very low flame for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and the remaining 3 thyme sprigs and cook until the mushrooms are browned and cooked through. Remove the mixture from the heat and set it aside.

When the meat is done, remove it from the heat and fold in the mushrooms, sour cream, mustard, and parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water until they are tender. Drain the noodles well, toss them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the stroganoff over the noodles; garnish the meal with more sour cream and chopped parsley, if desired.

That’s all there is to it really. you get nice, tender meat in a wonderful sauce that has the great flavors from the mushrooms, brandy and mustard to go along with the richness of the sour cream. Michelle and Sean both had theirs over noodles while I had mine over rice and there were plenty of leftovers for lunches during the week for everyone. It all comes together pretty easily and can make a nice meal during the week or for something different on the weekend.

That’s all I have for today. Check back tomorrow for more recipes to try out. Until then enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on March 18, 2014 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Soups & Stews


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A Bevy of Beguiling Irish Dishes for St. Patrick’s Day

A Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all! While for most people who think of Irish cooking as simply corned beef and cabbage and nothing more, I can tell you there are a lot of great Irish dishes you can try beyond that typical meal. There are some great meals you can choose from all over the Internet and I have posted a lot of Irish recipes on here, being he good Irish boy that I am. I have always wanted to see the cuisine beyond the corned beef and when Michelle and I went to Dublin we got to see, smell and taste a lot of different things. So if you are looking for some things to try this St. Patrick’s Day, here are some Irish meals I have posted on the blog that you can check out, including the classic corned beef and cabbage.

Beef and Barley Broth

Irish Cream and Coffee Cookies

Irish Onion Soup

Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

Irish Mussels in Guinness Cream Sauce

Beef & Guinness Stew

Guinness Chocolate Truffles

Traditional Irish Stew

Guinness Brown Bread

Blood Pudding

Lemon Tart

Irish Coffee

Irish Spiced Beef

Corned Beef and Cabbage in the Pressure Cooker

Corned Beef and Cabbage


Guinness Mustard

Grasshopper Pie

Homemade Shamrock Shake

Potato and Leek Soup

Irish Soda Bread

There are also lots more great recipes out there on the Internet that you can check out from some great sources if you are looking for something a little different. I will be making the corned beef and cabbage in the pressure cooker, along with some Colcannon, cabbage and the brown bread. Of course there will be Guinness and Irish coffee later on as well.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for some more great recipes. Until then enjoy the rest of your day, have a happy St. Patrick’s Day and enjoy your meal!






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A Grand Irish Meal for St. Patrick’s Day – Beef and Barley Broth

If you are looking for a good alternative for an Irish meal and do not want to make corned beef and cabbage, as millions of others will be doing tomorrow, you can try making this stew instead. Unlike a traditional American beef stew, and Irish stew is referred to more as a broth since the broth is clear and does not use beef stock like an American stew will use. The ingredients are very basic and easy to prepare and you come away with a great tasting stew full of vegetables and flavor without having to put a ton of work into the process.

Beef and Barley Broth

1 1/2 pounds chuck steak, trimmed and diced

1/3 cup pearl barley, rinsed

1/3 cup green split peas, rinsed

1 large onion, thickly sliced

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

3 carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced

3/4 cup turnip or rutabaga, peeled and diced

1 leek, rinsed well and thinly sliced

1 celery stalk, sliced

6 small potatoes, such as Russets or Yukon gold, peeled

1 1/2 cups sliced green cabbage


Put the beef, pearl barley and split peas in a large saucepan with the onions and peppercorns. Pour in enough cold water to just cover the contents of the pot. Slowly bring the water to a boil, skimming off any foam, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently for about 1 1/2 hours.

Add the carrots, diced rutabaga or turnip, leek and celery to the pan. Season the mixture with salt and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Add a little more water if the stew starts to look like it is getting too thick.

Meanwhile, put the potatoes in another large saucepan with water to cover. Add salt to taste and bring the potatoes to a boil. Cook the potatoes for about 7 to 10 minutes, until tender but not until they are disintegrated or falling apart. Drain the potatoes, return them to the pan and cover the pan with a clean dish towel and set them aside.

Add the cabbage to the meat saucepan and allow the mixture to simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cabbage is just tender. Check the seasoning and add any salt or pepper needed to taste.

Ladle the stew into warm bowls. Place a potato in the middle of each bowl and serve.

This is a very simple recipe that yields a lot of flavor in a basic stew or soup. You get great taste from all of the vegetables and keeps things very simple for you. Some people cook the meat whole at first and then remove it from the pan, dice it up for individual portions into bowls and then ladle the soup over the meat, so do whatever is easiest for you. putting the potato in at the end is the traditional Irish way to do it and it is how we had it served to us in Dublin, but we actually put the potatoes in with the stew itself and a few other vegetables we had on hand as well. We made a large pot of this when we made it so there was plenty leftover to use for those colder days that come along.

That’s all I have for today. Check back tomorrow for another recipe. If you are looking for some Irish recipes for tomorrow, I have lots to choose from here so just type in what you are searching for in the search box and you can get lots of great choices. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!







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Posted by on March 16, 2014 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Holidays, One Pot Meals, Soups & Stews


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More Burger-Like Options – Triple Pork Burgers

It seems like I have been making a lot of burger and sandwich options lately when it comes to mealtime around here. I have been doing a lot of work lately, which has left me less time to get in the kitchen and try out some new things, and it doesn’t help me any that I love sandwiches and burgers overall anyway, so I am always looking for an excuse to try out something different. I had come across this recipe on Food Network a while back and have wanted to try it for a while, but finding chorizo to use around here is not always an easy thing. When I saw some on sale when I went shopping this past week, I finally had the opportunity to get it and give this one a try. If you like your pork, this triple pork burger is a great option for you.

Triple Pork Burgers

1 1/2 pounds ground pork
1/2 pound fresh chorizo sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup finely grated Pepper Jack cheese
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp
8 rolls, sliced
Curly leaf lettuce
3 sliced plum tomatoes
Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise, recipe follows

Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon hot sauce

Preheat a flat top grill pan or large skillet to medium-high heat.

In a medium bowl, mix the ground pork, sausage, Pepper Jack cheese, shallot, garlic, and salt and pepper, to taste. Form the meat mixture into equal-sized patties that will fit nicely onto the buns you chose.

When the grill pan or skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable and oil and heat until it is smoking. Cook the pork burgers for 4 to 5 minutes and then flip the burgers and continue to cook for another 4 to 5 minutes on the opposite side until they are cooked through and nicely browned on each side. Remove the pork burgers from the pan and serve on split rolls with a slice of bacon, lettuce, tomato and  the Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise.

For the Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise:

Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover the mayonnaise with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are serving, allowing the flavors to meld. The mayonnaise can be made a day ahead.

These burgers have a little bit of everything to offer for the pork lovers. You get the ground pork, the heat and bite of chorizo and the crispness and great flavor you always get from the bacon all in one burger. Throw in the great taste you get from the smoked paprika mayo and you have a great option for a burger indoors or for when you are grilling outdoors. I personally did not have any cheese in mine, but Michelle and Sean both loved the addition of the cheese inside their burgers. You can use whatever cheese you like best, but the Pepper Jack seems to go really well with these burgers.The original recipe from Food Network uses these to make sliders, which I think they would be great for as well if you want a great snack or appetizer for a party.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on March 15, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Grilling, Pork, Sandwiches


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Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day – Photo Gallery | SAVEUR

Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day – Photo Gallery | SAVEUR.

If you are looking for something else to make on St. Patrick’s Day besides your standard corned beef and Cabbage, Saveur Magazine has a number of great Irish recipes here that are perfect for you to give a try. Some are quite unique so check them out and see if there’s anything you want cook for yourself this year! I am working today but am hoping to get on later to share some recipes of my own. See you later!

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Posted by on March 15, 2014 in Cookbooks, Cooking Websites, Dinner, Holidays


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Simple Southern Sides, Part 2 – Jamie Deen’s Homemade Baked Beans

Continuing along with some of the southern side dish recipes I have tried recently, I wanted to try something new with some baked beans so I was on the lookout for another recipe. I have tried good ones in the past but I did not want one that I had to put in the slow cooker and I wanted one that I could put in the oven with the other items I was cooking so I could have the stove top free for other things. I came across this recipe on Food Network from Jamie Deen, one of Paula Deen’s sons. I always like his recipes as he tries to keep things simple and a bit healthier when he can, so when I saw this recipe out there I knew I was going to give it a try.

Homemade Baked Beans

1 pound dried pinto beans
8 slices bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 large Vidalia onion, chopped
Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Sort through the beans and pick out any dried-up beans or small pebbles and discard them. Rinse the beans well in a colander, then add them to a large Dutch oven and cover the beans with 3 inches of water. Bring the beans to a boil for 2 minutes. Cover and let the beans sit on the stove for 1 hour. Drain the beans and rinse them again. Alternatively, you could soak the beans in water overnight to achieve the same results.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Add the bacon to the same Dutch oven and cook it over medium heat, while stirring, until the bacon has rendered some of its fat, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the garlic and onions and saute until the bacon is almost crisp and the garlic and onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Season the bacon with a good pinch of salt and pepper and then stir in the chili powder, sautéing for 1 minute to toast the spice and until it is fragrant. Stir in 4 cups of water, the chicken stock, ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, yellow mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the pinto beans, bring the mixture to a simmer, cover the Dutch oven with a lid and place it in the oven for 5 hours. Check the beans every few hours to give them a stir. Add some water to the pot, only if needed, if the beans are looking dry and to prevent them from burning. The beans are ready when they are tender and the sauce is thick.

I thought this recipe was great because it makes use of the dried beans instead of canned, which I find have a lot more flavor to them. There are not many ingredients in this one and once it is under way I was pretty much able to leave it alone and let it cook since I was making these with the spare ribs I made last week, so both were in the oven and are on their own all day while I could do other things and then have dinner ready all at once. The beans had a nice flavor from the mixture of the chili powder, ketchup, molasses and sugar and we all loved them. This recipe does make a lot of beans (the website says it makes 10 servings) so you will have lots leftover to use for other meals or you could freeze some to have on hand for another time.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe as there is always plenty of cooking going on around here and I am always finding new recipes to try. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Cooking, Rice, Side Dishes


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Simple Southern Sides, Part 1 – Sweet Potato Corn Bread

I had made a Mardi Gras dinner last week at Sean’s request so I tried to find some recipes for some good side dishes that fit the theme we were going for and were going to be easy to make. Since I was making gumbo as the main part of the meal, I wanted to have some bread to go with it and what would be better than some corn bread? Well I found this recipe on Epicurious for a sweet potato corn bread that sounded really tasty and very easy to make, so I thought I would give it a shot.

Sweet Potato Corn Bread

1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

2 1/3 cups yellow cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9 inch by 9 inch baking pan. Pierce the sweet potatoes in several places with a fork. Microwave the sweet potatoes on high until they are tender to the touch, turning once, about 12 minutes. Cut open the potatoes and allow the flesh to cool. Mash enough of the potatoes to yield 1 cup packed. Reserve the extra mashed sweet potatoes for another use. Place the 1 cup of mashed sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs and the buttermilk.

Blend the cornmeal, flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and ground ginger in the food processor. Add the pieces of chilled butter and blend in the food processor until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the cornmeal mixture to the egg mixture and stir until they are just blended. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan.

Bake the corn bread until it is a deep golden color on top and a toothpick or tester inserted into the center of the corn bread comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool the corn bread in the pan on a baking rack. Serve or let stand at room temperature and serve when you are ready.

Cooking the sweet potatoes in the microwave saves you at least an hour of cooking time in the oven and helps you get the corn bread made a lot faster. I think the bread came out really well. it was not at all dry like some corn bread can be and had a great flavor from the sweet potatoes. If anything, it maybe could even used a bit more sweet potato for extra flavor. This recipe makes a lot of cornbread and says it will serve 10 to 12 people. I actually cut the recipe in half and made a smaller batch for us and we still had plenty to last for the week. I think I would make this one again as it seemed better than some of the traditional cornbread recipes I have tried.

That’s all I have for today. Check back tomorrow for another recipe. I still have a couple of good southern sides to share – a red rice recipe and a baked beans recipe from Jamie Deen, along with the gumbo I made for Mardi Gras, some parfaits, a new pulled pork recipe, beef stroganoff, chicken fingers, 3 pork burgers and a whole lot more. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!



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Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Breads, Cooking, Side Dishes


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