Posts Tagged beef

4 Years of … Blogging?

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

It’s anniversary day folks. And when I look back on the past year I have tons of fond memories; we’ve been busy, we’ve done tons, we have clearly cooked and eaten in that time and … I’ve posted once. Trust me, I wasn’t ignoring the blog on purpose. I thought about it nearly every time I entered the kitchen or became inspired by something food-related that I read. But I’m not going to make excuses. The past year has been amazing for me and my family in spite of the lack of blogging. Hopefully I can sometimes still make room for a post every once in a while.

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

If I did have to give one reason for the slow down in recipe sharing, I would say it’s that food has become simplified in the house. There’s not much time for leisurely cooking, we can’t wait to eat until 8 or 9 like we used to when I was testing new recipes. There’s a tiny person that demands food. And she demands food that tastes good … so there’s also not a lot of room for error. So honestly, I’ve stuck to cooking staple recipes the past year. Ones we can get on the table fast and that will be slurped down without any complaints. We still try new recipes, but they are typically ones other people have written and shared.

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

However, I got one of those fancy looking spiralizers from my mother-in-law for my birthday last year. And now we can’t get enough of zucchini noodles. I just thought it was a weird fad that was sweeping Pinterest, so I ignored these long green zoodles for a while. But when I got my gift I tried it out right away. And holy crap guys: zucchini noodles are amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade good pasta for anything. But we aren’t eating zucchini noodles as a substitute, we’re eating them because they taste great. Once I paired them with these moist, flavourful meatballs; now we rarely eat zucchini noodles with anything else.

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs | Gorging George

Zucchini Noodles with Turkey & Beef Ricotta Meatballs

Don’t have a spiralizer? Just serve the meatballs with your favourite long pasta. Shred some zucchini into the sauce if it makes you feel better. 

Meatballs

8 oz lean ground beef

8 oz ground turkey

2/3 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated

1 egg

1 Tbsp sundried tomatoes in oil, drained & chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/8 tsp pepper

4 cups of your favourite marinara sauce

 

Zucchini Noodles

3-4 zucchini (I would use 1/person; not kidding)

olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Prepare a sheet pan by spraying with olive oil (or you can cover with tin foil). Place all of the meatball ingredients into a large bowl. Mix gently to combine. Don’t overmix, or you’ll end up with tough meatballs. Form into approximately 32 meatballs, placing them on the sheet pan as you go. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, spiralize that zucchini.

Heat the 4 cups of marina in a large sauce pan. Once the meatballs are cooked, gently dump them into the marina sauce. Simmer the meatballs and sauce together for an additional 10-15 minutes or until your ready to eat.

While your meatballs enjoy their tomato bath, heat a large, non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a scant Tbsp of olive oil to the pan, followed by the garlic. Let the garlic simmer for about 30 seconds, then add he zucchini noodles. Season generously with the salt (start with at least a tsp. You can add more if needed). Cook the noodles to your desired degree of doneness. I’m not going to tell you how to eat your noodles. Maybe you just want them warm with nearly all their crunch. Maybe you want those things so cooked you could slurp them down without chewing. I’m not here to judge. Important step learned after eating wet noodles: drain those zucchini noodles when they are cooked to your liking. Add them back to the pan or plate them.

Top bowl-fulls of zucchini noodles with meatballs and marinara. Sprinkle with more pecorino if you like. Or just devour.

Serves 4.

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Beef Stew

beef stew

A few weeks ago Kyle and I were out of town for just over a week. We got to visit family and friends, and do lots of shopping and eating. When we’re planning a trip out of our small city, I always anticipate the opportunity to try a number of new restaurants and eateries. While there are good places to eat where we live, the choices are few … which means when you can’t eat gluten, those choices become even slimmer. We thoroughly enjoyed all the different places we tried (I even had gluten free fish and chips after my cousin recommended Brit’s Fish & Chips – thank you Elizabeth!!) – however, after a few nights of overindulging, all I can think about is coming home and cooking up something comforting.

So during our 15 hour drive home, I brought up my craving for beef stew to Kyle more times than I’m sure he wanted to hear. All I could think about was the rich “gravy” that the beef and vegetables swim in, simmered for hours and full of umami flavour. About the tender carrots that take on a meaty taste after a brief simmer in the stew. And of course, about the tender beef, marbled with fat which melts into the meat, causing it to fall apart at the slightest suggestion and to melt beautifully in my mouth. Oh yes, you can bet that the first thing I made when I came home was a big ‘ol pot of stew.

Beef Stew with Bourbon & Carrots

I always serve my stew with buttery mashed pototoes; but for those who prefer egg noodles or rice, I am sure this would work with those as well. And the only veg I ever tend to serve with stew? A mound of minted peas, smothered in fruity olive oil. 

3 lbs chuck beef roast (beef shoulder)
1 Tbsp potato starch or sweet rice flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Olive oil (for cooking – about 1-2 Tbsp)
2 small onions, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 cups red wine
1/4 cup bourbon
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 cloves garlic, smashed
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
3-4 cups beef stock – * make sure it’s gluten free
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Cut the beef into 1-2″ cubes, removing any silver skin. Toss the beef with the potato starch or rice flour, and the salt & pepper. Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef to the pot in batches (about 3-4) in order to brown 2 sides. Remove each batch to a bowl. You want a good char on the beef – if you try to turn it, and it’s stuck to the pan, it’s probably not charred enough. This should take about 3-5 minutes per batch. Set the bowl of browned beef aside.

Turn the heat of the dutch oven to medium. Add the onions and celery, and saute until the onion begins to soften, stirring frequently – about 5-8 minutes. Add 1 cup of the wine to the pan, and scrape up all the meaty, charred bits from the bottom of the pot. Then add the remaining wine, bourbon, and balsamic vinegar to the pot.  Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, beef stock and browned beef to the pot – turn up the heat to high, and bring the stew to a simmer. Once it reaches this point, cover the dutch oven, then place it in the oven for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, stir in the chopped carrots, turn up the heat to 350°F and continue to cook the stew uncovered for another 30-40 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Remove the dutch oven from the stove, then stir in the parmesan cheese. Serve over potatoes, noodles, or rice and sprinkle with parsley if desired.

Makes approximately 8 cups of stew.

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Bulgogi & Kimchi Kimbap

kimbap

My brother and his fiancé are both currently at Post-Secondary School earning their much deserved educations. The plan is that they will finally be returning home when they’re done; here in Canada’s North. I’m thrilled. Sure, they come back every summer during their break, and for at least 2 weeks around Christmas, but it never seems like enough time. Every year, we have grandiose plans for amazing dinners we’re going to execute and devour. Indian Feast; Moroccan Feast; Sushi Feast …. And every year I am at the airport, bidding them adieu while dreaming of the food we never ate. I realize that part of the problem is our own doing: we never make the time to get together. Although the summer break for them is 4 months long, it’s a whirlwind of catching up with family and friends … and on relaxation lost over stressful nights cramming for exams or last minute assignments. Also, my future sister-in-law – Carina – worked an insanely busy job this past summer as a dispatcher for the water bombers (very cool job); and since the North had many forest fires, she was rarely seen by any of us.

On one of the few occasions that I did bump into Carina at my parent’s place; she was busy preparing to make Kimbap. I had never heard of it before, and I suspect there are some of you reading this who never have either. It’s a Korean “street food” akin to Japanese sushi. Like sushi, it’s a roll made with rice, seaweed and whatever fillings your heart desires. Typically it’s made with picked radishes or other pickled vegetables; and perhaps the addition of cooked fish or beef or eggs. It’s usually eaten as a snack or quick lunch meal, as it’s easily stored and transported. Sometimes it’s cut into slices, just like sushi, but if you’re packing it for a lunch on the run, you can leave it unsliced, and devour it like a burrito. The difference from sushi – and what makes it so much easier to eat (perfect for lunch) – is that you don’t need wasabi, pickled ginger, or soy sauce. Just the roll. Yum.

Carina found out that there is no where in town to purchase pickled radishes; so she left them out of hers – and I also left them out of mine (which makes me think we’ll have to make pickled radishes this summer…). When Carina made Kimbap in the summer – so she would have delicious lunches while working away at her job – she filled it with fried spicy tuna, avocado, and crab meat. The day after she made it, I was over visiting, and felt like a snack; so Carina said I should try some of the Kimbap rolled up in the fridge. I cut up a few slices and greedily inhaled them. Ever since then, I’ve been thinking about making this easy to prepare “snack” – but of course, never got around to doing it until now. Since I didn’t make any pickled radishes, I wanted something else pickled in the rolls – and what could be better than the ultimate Korean pickle: kimchi!

Kimbap

Adapted from Maangchi.com & spoon fork bacon

I also used Maangchi.com’s Bulgogi recipe for my kimbap rolls. I’ve written out the list of ingredients, but linked to the site for how to make the bulgogi. The only thing I changed was using rib-eye steak over sirloin – I wanted to ensure the beef was incredibly tender for the kimbap. I didn’t have any kimchi on hand, and didn’t feel like waiting to make some. So I made a very quick kimchi by using a half a bag of pre-cut, bagged coleslaw. Because the cabbage was so finely sliced, it wilted and took on the flavours of the fish sauce and hot chili paste fast. I let it soak for about 10 minutes with 1 Tbsp of salt and 1/2 cup water – then rinsed the cabbage. Then I mixed it with 1 Tbsp fish sauce, 2 tsp sambal oelek, 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 inch piece of ginger – minced, 1 clove of garlic – minced, and 1/4 tsp chili flakes. I put the mixture in a mason jar and filled with water. Allowed it to sit while I prepared the remaining kimbap ingredients and it was good to go!

For Kimbap
3 cups uncooked sticky rice
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 batch of bulgogi (link to recipe & ingredients below)
kimchi
1 carrot
1 tsp sesame oil
1 bunch of spinach
5-6 sheets nori (roasted seaweed)
* you will also need a bamboo rolling mat (cover with plastic film if desired to prevent rice from sticking to mat)

For Bulgogi
1 lb rib-eye steak
2 Tbsp soy sauce – gluten free
3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook rice according to directions. Mix together the rice vinegar and sugar until sugar dissolves. Once rice is cooked, pour vinegar mixture over rice and mix gently. Allow to cool slightly – you want warm rice. Too hot and the nori will fall apart. Too cold and it won’t smooth out on the nori. Meanwhile, begin preparing the remaining ingredients:

Prepare bulgogi according to directions on Maangchi. Peel the carrot, and cut into matchstick pieces. Heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick pan; add spinach and saute until wilted down. Drain the spinach. Set out all the ingredients in a “workspace” so you have plenty of room to roll the kimbap.

To begin, place a sheet of nori onto the bamboo rolling mat. Cover the nori with about 1 cup of rice – it will be easier to spread with either a rice paddle or if your hands are slightly wet. Place some bulgogi, spinach, carrots, and kimchi on the rice – place it all close together on the rice, near the side closest to you. Roll up the nori gently using the bamboo mat (this can take some practice if you’ve never made sushi or kimbap before). Unroll the bamboo mat. Continue with the remaining 4-5 sheets of nori and fillings.

You can either slice the kimbap into 1/2 inch thick slices and store in a container or wrap each un-cut roll in plastic film. Store in the fridge until ready to eat. Kyle preferred his sliced, I liked mine unsliced.

Makes 5-6 full rolls.

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Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

I’m preparing for a BIG POST coming up sometime soon. It’s not really a secret, but since I know you all want some mystery in your lives around Halloween, I will just offer you the following hint:  this + this. Check back soon!

Meanwhile in the Carr household: I’ve been attempting to clean up my computer of the immense collection of photos I’ve accrued; and I came across one of the last things we cooked in the old apartment. It was a Pinterest inspired recipe that we devoured greedily – Philly Cheeseteak Stuffed Peppers. The original source of the recipe comes from Peace, Love, and Low Carb. It’s not a blog I have read, but this recipe looked good. Since going gluten free, I have missed amazing sandwiches such as Cheesesteaks or Beef Dips – and when I saw this I had a “Duh, why didn’t I think of that” moment. Of course I could just stuff my favourite sandwich toppings into a pepper to have a pseudo-substitute cheesesteak. Yes, I realize this isn’t a real, real Philly Cheesesteak, but it’ll do for me.

And you may ask yourself “Why don’t I just stuff my cheesesteak between some gluten free bread?” The answer is that I have not yet found a gluten free bread that can hold up to juicy toppings. Every, single, last loaf I’ve tried becomes soggy and grainy within a minute of any minor amount of liquid touching it. Fine for toast or sandwiches with cured meats, awful for juicy burgers and runny beef dips. If you know of gluten free bread (or a recipe for one) that doesn’t behave so badly, please let me in on your little secret.

Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

Adapted from Peace, Love, and Low Carb

I made a few minor changes to this blogger’s recipe. Not that there appeared to be anything wrong with the original, but if I’m going to have a cheesesteak, I want real beef; not processed deli meat. Although I get that if you’re in a rush, using some pre-cooked meat likely shaves off a few minutes of your time – worth it for some, but not for me. 

12 oz sirloin steak
1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 oz crimini mushrooms, slice
kosher salt & pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 – 1 tsp fresh thyme (optional)
2 green peppers, sliced in half and seeds removed
4 slices provolone

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil (optional). Thinly slice the sirloin and season liberally with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper).

Melt butter in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions to the pan, season with 1/2 tsp of salt and saute for 5 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the mushrooms to the onions and saute for another 8-10 minutes or until onions are very soft and translucent and mushrooms are cooked, stir in 1/8 tsp pepper. Remove the onion mixture from the pan to a bowl; turn the pan to medium-high and add the olive oil.

Add the steak to the hot pan in small batches; this will prevent the meat from steaming. Brown each batch of meat for about 4 minutes, removing each previous batch before adding the next. When all the meat is browned, add the cooked meat and onion mixture back to the pan. Stir in the fresh thyme (if using) and remove the pan from the heat. (Alternatively, you could add all the meat to the pan at once – but you really won’t get a good sear on your meat)

Place the halved peppers onto the prepared baking sheet. Stuff each pepper with a quarter of the the beef mixture – yes, it looks like a lot; you will be thankful for this. Top each pepper with a slice of provolone. Add the pan to the oven and bake the peppers for 15-20 minutes, or until the peppers are cooked and the cheese is browned on top. Serve immediately.

Serves 2-4 depending on what you serve with this.

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