weeknight gourmet

Category : One-pot meal

Slow Cooker Recipes: Pot Roast

Just as I was skeptical of the Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe that did not require me to brown the stew cubes, I was highly skeptical of this slow-cooker pot roast recipe that did not require me to brow the chuck roast and called for very little liquid.  Adding to my skepticism was the fact that the only seasoning was salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.

Well, I guess those folks at Everyday Food know a bit more about slow cooking than I do!  The pot roast was incredibly tender, the carrots and onions were infused with flavor, and there was a ton of “jus”.

Just a few comments…

As an added time save you can use baby carrots — no peeling needed!

Be sure to trim the roast of excess fat — the sauce will be better!

I cooked the pot roast on low for 11 hours because my piece of meat (from our half-steer) was closer to 4 pounds than the 3 pounds in the recipe.

Lastly, I might add an additional tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce next time for some added oomph!  But the recipe was (somewhat surprisingly) delicious as written!

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast
Everyday Food

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 medium carrots, cut into thirds
  • 2 medium onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 beef chuck roast (3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

In slow cooker, stir together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth. Add carrots and onions; season with salt and pepper, and toss.

Sprinkle roast with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; place on top of vegetables, and drizzle with Worcestershire. Cover; cook on high, 6 hours (or on low, 10 hours).

Transfer roast to a cutting board; thinly slice against the grain. Place vegetables in a serving dish; pour pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve, if desired. Serve roast with vegetables and pan juices.

Five-Spice-Glazed Salmon with Sesame Green Beans

Here is a a quick and easy Asian-flavored salmon dish.  The simple marinade — honey, soy sauce, Chinese Five-Spice Powder, and garlic — is packed with flavor.

Five-spice powder is a mixture of — you guessed it — five spices.  Typically, it contains cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns (white pepper or ginger are common substitutes).  The spice blend encompasses all five flavors of sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and salty, lending lots of flavor to the dish.

The great thing about the dish is that you broil the salmon and the green beans on the same baking sheet so there is little clean up.  I would suggest using haricot vert instead of regular green beans as they are thinner and will cook more quickly.

A light and flavorful dish — perfect as springtime approaches!

Five-Spice-Glazed Salmon with Sesame Green Beans
Fine Cooking

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 tsp. five-spice powder
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Four 6-oz. skin-on salmon fillets (preferably wild), pin bones and scales removed
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 lb. slender green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

In a small bowl, whisk the honey, soy sauce, five-spice powder, and garlic. Put the salmon skin side down on a large plate and pour the honey mixture over it. Flip the fillets so they are skin side up. Let the fish marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature.

Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, toss the green beans with the canola and sesame oils. Arrange the beans on one half of the prepared baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the salmon skin side down on the other half of the baking sheet. Brush the salmon with any remaining marinade from the plate.

Broil the salmon and green beans for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, toss the green beans with tongs, and reposition the salmon pieces as needed so that they cook evenly. Continue to broil until the salmon is just cooked through and the beans are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Toss the green beans with the sesame seeds and lemon juice and serve.

Easiest Beef Stew Ever!

It has been a while since I posted.  I have been cooking but between work, some illness making its way through our family, and taking a much needed vacation, there really hasn’t been much time to devote to my blog.  Hopefully that will change soon!

I made this super easy beef stew a few weeks ago — you basically just throw all the ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil and then put in the oven.  I was a bit skeptical of the recipe because it does not call for you to brown the beef as most stew recipes do.  But the stew was very flavorful, the beef tender, and the veggies perfectly cooked.

Make sure to have some crusty bread for dipping.

Best Beef Stew
Everyday Food

  • 3 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound medium onions (about 2), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound small white or red new potatoes (about 6), well scrubbed, halved if large
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a Dutch oven (5-quart) with a tight-fitting lid, combine beef, tomato paste, vinegar, and flour; season with salt and pepper.
Add onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil.
Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until meat is fork-tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves and, if desired, season with salt and pepper before serving.

Sausage, Peppers & Onions Stoup (and a vocab lesson)

Brrr….it is frigid in New York City!

Here is a great stoup recipe to keep warm on a cold night.  Rachael Ray uses the word stoup to refer to a dish that is heartier than a soup but not quite a stew.  As is the case with all of her recipes, a stoup typically comes together in 30 minutes.

I love sausage and peppers!  And, this recipe allowed me to enjoy the delicious taste of slow cooked sausage and peppers without all the work.  The dish came together, with minimal chopping, in about 20 minutes.

Of course, since I love a little heat, I used hot Italian sausage.  But, I am sure it would be tasty with sweet or mild sausage.  The store didn’t have bulk sausage so I just bought links and removed the casings.  I opted for crushed tomatoes over diced.  And, I used three large peppers.  Four peppers might have been too much.

YUM-O!  Make sure to have some crusty bread for dipping!

As an aside, do you know the actual definition of stoup?

noun \ˈstüp\

1 a : a beverage container (as a glass or tankard)
b : flagon
2: a basin for holy water at the entrance of a church
3. Scots A bucket or pail.

Sausage, Peppers & Onions Stoup
Rachael Ray

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds hot or sweet bulk Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cubanelle peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium-large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans or 1 (28-ounce) can crushed or diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat extra-virgin olive oil in deep skillet, add sausage and brown a few minutes then add garlic, peppers, onions and cook until soft, 6 to 7 minutes more.

Deglaze pan with a little vinegar, stir in stock and tomatoes and reduce heat to simmer, cook 5 minutes more then stir in parsley and basil and serve with cheese on top

Weeknight Chicken: Roman-Style Chicken

Looking for a tasty weeknight chicken recipe?  Here another delicious recipe from my gal Giada. What I love about this dish is that it tastes like it has been simmering for hours but only requires about 30 minutes of prep and cooking.

The prosciutto, wine, chicken stock, and peppers come together to make a delicious sauce worthy of a piece of crusty bread!  The chicken was super moist and flavorful.  Tim and I are trying to go low carb these days but I could imagine serving the chicken with some polenta for a delicious meal.

Roman-style Chicken
Giada de Laurentiis

  • 4 skinless chicken breast halves, with ribs
  • 2 skinless chicken thighs, with bones
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a heavy, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the peppers and prosciutto and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, and herbs. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.

If serving immediately, add the capers and the parsley. Stir to combine and serve. If making ahead of time, transfer the chicken and sauce to a storage container, cool, and refrigerate. The next day, reheat the chicken to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the capers and the parsley and serve.

Tasty Turkey Tacos

Here is another recipe I found while shopping for groceries on Fresh Direct.  As I try to find time to prepare dinner with a newborn, I’ve been looking for recipes that are quick and healthy (so I can lose the baby weight).  This recipe — requiring little prep work and using ground turkey — fit the bill.

I’ve never made tacos with tomato sauce as an ingredient — it imparts some sweetness to the dish reminding me vaguely of Sloppy Joe’s.  There is definitely some heat from the chili powder, cumin and paprika.

I served the tacos with lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and shredded cheese.  This is definitely a tasty alternative to my typical beef tacos!

Tasty Turkey Tacos
From “The Great American Eat-Right Cookbook” by Colleen Doyle and Jeanne Besser (via Fresh Direct)

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Optional Toppings:

  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 3/4 cup “Mexican-style” shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat or regular sour cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped jalapeños
  • Taco sauce or salsa

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. Sauté the onion for 5 to 8 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add turkey and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently to break it up. Add tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, and paprika and stir well to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with hot sauce, salt, and pepper.

Meanwhile, wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and warm in the microwave on HIGH for 15 to 30 seconds.

When ready to serve, place toppings in small bowls on the table. Layer about 1/3 cup of turkey in a tortilla and add desired toppings.

Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola

Here is a delicious way to prepare your basic pork chop, courtesy of Giada de Laurentiis.  I bought some delicious center cut pork chops at the butcher shop in Chelsea Market.  We were thinking of grilling them but then I came upon this recipe.  With the tomatoes, onions, red pepper flakes, and herbes de Provence, it looked right up my alley.

The dish was quick and easy to prepare and packed with flavor!  You likely have all the ingredients in your kitchen.  I actually didn’t have any diced tomatoes but I just chopped up a can of whole tomatoes.  Make sure to serve with some crusty bread to mop up the extra sauce!

Tim and I both loved the meal — will definitely be making this again.

Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola
Giada de Laurentiis

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 (1-inch thick) bone-in pork loin center-cut chops (about 12 ounces each)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, in juice
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook until they are brown and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted horizontally into the pork registers 160 degrees F, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the pork chops to a plate and tent with foil to keep them warm.

Add the onion to the same skillet and saute over medium heat until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, herbes de Provence, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend and the juices thicken slightly, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and more red pepper flakes. Return the pork chops and any accumulated juices from the plate to the skillet and turn the pork chops to coat with the sauce.

Place 1 pork chop on each plate. Spoon the sauce over the pork chops. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Meatless Monday: Pasta with Sweet Peas, Sugar Snap Peas, and Ricotta

Here’s another super easy meatless Monday recipe — courtesy of the new Everyday Food cookbook — that relies on spring produce.  The thing I love about this recipe is that other than chopping a tablespoon of fresh tarragon there is absolutely no chopping involved!  Perfect for a hectic weeknight (or for a gal who is nearly 41 weeks pregnant)!

A couple of very minor notes…I used penne because I had half a box in the pantry.  And, I also added 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese to the dish.  Because of the naturally salty flavor of the parmesan I didn’t really add any extra salt to the dish (other than salting the boiling water).

Our dinner was fresh, fast, and flavorful just like the cookbook title!

Pasta with Peas & Ricotta
Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 ounces gemelli or other short pasta (e.g., penne)
  • 12 ounces sugar snap peas, stem ends and any strings removed
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh tarragon, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese

Bring a pot of water to a boil; add a generous amount of salt.  Cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions, adding snap peas 3 minutes before the end and frozen peas in the last minute of cooking.  Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta and vegetables, and return them to pot.

Toss pasta and vegetables with butter, tarragon, and ricotta, adding enough reserved pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats the pasta.  Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, divide pasta among shallow bowls, and garnish with tarragon sprigs.

Serves 4.

Weeknight Chicken: Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives, and Cilantro

First of all, my mother thinks it is ridiculous that I am still cooking with my due date only five days away but I really do find cooking (and blogging) relaxing.

I bought the new Everyday Food cookbook a few weeks ago and have been thinking that the cover recipe looked quite tasty.  It didn’t require too many ingredients or much prep work so I thought I could handle making it tonight.

My only note on the recipe is that the chicken breasts I used were rather thick so it probably took 20 minutes for them to be cooked through.

Tim and I both loved the tomato, olive, and onion mixture on top of the chicken.  The lime juice and cilantro provide a nice, fresh flavor as well.

The recipe suggested serving with rice or crusty bread and salad.  I opted for some crusty bread because I didn’t want to dirty another pot.  I piled some of the extra tomato mixture on top of the bread.  Yum!

Overall, a simple weeknight recipe that spices up your basic chicken breast.

Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives, and Cilantro
Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1.5 to 2 pounds)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup pitted green olives, halved
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low.  Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, and cook until lightly browned and just cooked through, turning once, 10 to 15 minutes.  Transfer to a plate; cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Raise heat to medium; cook onion, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add tomatoes and olives; cook until tomatoes soften and release their juice, 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, and stir in lime juice and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve chicken topped with tomato mixture.

Serves 4.

Dinner Courtesy of an iPhone app: Pepper Steak with Squash and Mushrooms

Tim and I had a very long week moving our AdBuyer.com offices from shared office space in Tribeca to our very own space in the Flatiron.  We were planning to drive up to the Berkshires Friday night but were too tired so we drove up Saturday morning.  On our way up we decided to stop at Trader Joe’s in Danbury.  We made the decision to stop about 200 yards before the exit so I had to come up with dinner menus for Saturday and Sunday in about 3 minutes.  I had just installed the new Martha Stewart Everyday Food iPhone app on my phone so I decided to give it a whirl!

Everyday Food’s recipes typically don’t have too many ingredients which was ideal — my shopping wouldn’t take too long and, hopefully, I’d be able to find everything I needed at Trader Joe’s.

This Pepper Steak recipe — an au poivre-style dish, not an Asian pepper steak — was yesterday’s daily recipe.  I thought Tim would really like it and Trader Joe’s typically has prepped butternut squash so I thought the recipe would be quick and easy in terms of prep time.  I used a tri tip roast that Trader Joe’s had and followed the cooking instructions on the package.  I cooked it longer and at a lower temperature (425 degrees) than the recipe below.   The veggies still roasted beautifully.

It was a very tasty one-pot, low prep dinner!

Pepper Steak with Sqaush and Mushrooms
Everyday Food

  • 1 package whole button mushrooms, (10 ounces)
  • 1 small butternut squash, (about 1 3/4 pounds), halved, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges (along with core)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 top round or London broil steak, (1 1/2 pounds, about 1 1/4 inches thick)
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black peppercorns

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In an 11-by-15- by-2 3/4-inch roasting pan, combine mushrooms, squash, and onion. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Arrange vegetables around sides of pan; place steak in center of pan.

In a small bowl, stir together mustard and peppercorns. Coat steak with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and sprinkle generously with salt. Spread mustard-pepper mixture over top of steak; press down to adhere.

Roast, turning and stirring vegetables once, until steak is lightly browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in one side of steak registers 130 degrees to 135 degrees for medium-rare, 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer steak to a cutting board to rest; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Spread vegetables in an even layer, return to oven, and continue roasting until lightly browned and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Cut the steak into 1/4-inch thick slices, and serve with vegetables.