We used the rest of our ingredients from the Irish stew to make Boeuf Bourguignon in our slow cooker. I was out that morning, and Noah stayed home sick again, so he was in charge of assembling the ingredients. Not to point any fingers, but someone mistook our corn starch for flour, so our stew had a lot of… gooey clumps on the bottom. I also don’t think the recipe was quite right – the wine didn’t quite infuse with the rest of the flavors and it tasted like beef stew with some wine dumped in. I am not a fan of this recipe. But, then again, we didn’t quite follow the recipe entirely. Beef and Guinness stew ingredients differ slightly from Boeuf Bourguignon, so that may have been the problem.
This was the pretty picture of the weird-tasting stew:
We are cooking up a storm today! Due to being prego (we’re about 12 weeks in now!), I kind of lost the desire and inspiration to prepare food so I haven’t cooked hardly at all for the past few weeks. I think I’m finally past that stage and (hopefully) I’m back!
Tonight, I welcomed the cool, October weather with my favorite roasted brussel sprouts (thanks again to Lil for this recipe, which I’ve used numerous times) and white-wine scallop pasta. Both excellent and comforting dishes. I’ve made these brussel sprouts for many gatherings and they are always loved by lots. People who don’t even like brussel sprouts have asked me for the recipe – it’s that good. I think, if you love cabbage like I do, you’ll like these. The scallop pasta is another favorite of Noah and mine. Aside from obtaining the scallops, both dishes are actually amazingly easy to prepare.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts With Pecans
2 lbs brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 c pecans (or walnuts), roughly chopped
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss all the ingredients together. Turn the brussel sprouts cut-side down. Toast until golden and tender, 20-25 mins.
Scallops With White Wine Sauce
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T minced shallot or red onion
1/2 c white wine
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 c butter
1 lb sea scallops
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the garlic and then the onions.
2. Pour in the white wine and lemon juice. Cook and stir until most of the liquid has been reduced. Stir in the butter until melted.
3. Cook the dry scallops in the butter sauce until the center is opaque (about 2 mins on each side), making sure not to overcook the scallops.
4. Remove pan from heat and remove scallops from sauce. Set aside.
5. Toss 1/2 lb of pasta (I used linguine) with the wine-butter sauce and the chopped parsley. Serve and top with scallops.
Usually when I’m out of ideas (meaning I don’t have any real cravings or haven’t found an inspiring recipe), this is when I choose to order take-out. However, I have been spending way too much money eating out with friends lately, so for lunch today, I found myself in a little conundrum. What to cook without any recipe or craving to follow? So, for the first time in my life I cooked a meal without using any recipes at all! I merged the ingredients we had on hand in the apartment with what I could feel like eating, and ended up with the goal to create a white wine cream sauce pasta.
End result: White wine crab spaghetti with summer squash, broccoli and onions.
Verdict: Decent. Pretty good for a first attempt at creating something myself. Nothing amazing, but I’m very happy with my first try. I didn’t have any lemons on hand, and this dish definitely needed some. But, at least I knew what it needed.
8 oz pasta (I used TJ’s spaghetti)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 summer squash, sliced into thin strips lengthwise
2 broccoli, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/4 -1/2 cup white wine
4 oz heavy cream
1/2 lemon, juiced (I didn’t use any since we were out, but it definitely needed this)
red pepper flakes
oregano, basil, thyme (I used these, but would probably omit them next time)
6 oz pre-cooked crab meat and juice from can
1/4 cup chopped parsley
What I Did:
1. Bring water for pasta to boil. While water boils, slice squash, chop broccoli, onion and parsley.
2. Cook pasta (~7-9 mins). Drain pasta.
3. While pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a pan on medium high. Saute garlic in pan and then add your chopped squash, broccoli and onions. Saute until tender, then add white wine. Allow wine to reduce and add cream, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes, rosemary, pepper and salt to taste. Stir in crabmeat, crab juice and parsley.
4. Combine pasta with crab/vegetables and sauce. Serve with sprinkled parmesan reggiano if desired.
p.s. I find it funny that I’ve read enough recipes that I now know the language of recipe writing.
For spring break, Noah and I are in Paris (and in a few days will be cycling through Provence)! I made sure that we spent our first morning at le marché de la Bastille (the best and biggest Farmers market in Paris). Paris markets are so much fun – each vendor enthusiastically sells his or her produce, cheese, seafood, meat, wine, etc., shouting at passersby with the utmost cheerfulness. We brought “home” to our teeny Parisian apartment our Farmers market bounty.
And that evening prepared a meal of lemon-thyme lamb chops (to which Noah added a bit of red wine and butter), sauteed eggplant and white squash, and a salad with mushrooms and tomatoes topped with a lemon vinaigrette.
The lamb and its accompanying sauce was most excellent. We even used bread to soak it up. Both of us found the tomatoes a bit mushy, and Noah agrees that eggplant in France is better than the states. For some reason, here it’s just so much more flavorful! The best part of our meal was a thirty-year old bottle of Bordeaux red wine which we found in the 3 euro bin at the farmers market. We were wary of drinking such a cheap 30 yr old bottle, but in the end, found it was a rich, earthy and excellent wine.