Friday Food Fight: Guinness & Beef Stew or Irish Nachos?

oct 17

Welcome to Friday Food Fight, where two recipes duke it out to become my supper.

This week's contenders:

GUINNESS BEEF STEW: Who doesn't love to cook with beer? Especially Guinness; a bit for the stew, a bit for me...This hearty and delicious meal is perfect for the changing Canadian weather. *Mum's tip: You can add whichever vegetables you want, try potatoes and celery. Cooking the potatoes with the stew will make it a full meal, no need for a side (except for bread and butter, yum). You can also add some chili powder if you want an extra kick!

Recipe: 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 pounds braising beef, excess fat trimmed 1/4 cup flour 2 cups coarsely chopped onion 2 cups coarsely chopped carrots 1 cup coarsely chopped celery 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 11.5-ounce Guinness Stout beer 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons tomato paste 4 cups beef stock (we like to use the Kitchen Basics brand) salt and pepper

Heat oven to 275 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. While the oil heats, pat the beef dry, season with 1 teaspoon of salt, and then roll in flour so that all sides are lightly dusted. Working in batches and adding additional oil as needed, add beef in one layer to the hot oil and brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve for later. Add onions, carrots and celery to the same Dutch oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until the onion just begin to sweat and soften. Add garlic and cook another minute. Pour in Guinness and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan to get up any brown bits left over from cooking the beef and vegetables. Add the reserved beef, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, beef stock and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir then cover with lid and place into oven. Cook 1 hour then check on the stew. If the top of the stew is dry, add some extra beef stock or water. Taste for seasoning and add salt/pepper as needed then cover again and cook another 30 minutes to an hour until the beef is tender and can easily be pulled apart with a fork.

Recipe courtesy of inspired taste.

IRISH NACHOS: I was looking around for some fun ways of making nachos, and fell on this recipe. It looked too good not to pass! *Mum's tip: Mum doesn't really make nachos, but maybe this is a good time to get those dips out of the fridge and see what's still good. Right Mum?

Recipe: 1 large russet potato [add a few extra if feeding a crowd] your favorite healthy oil dried parsley, cayenne, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste and all your favorite nachos toppings! t-rex chefs add some shredded chicken or pork and have at it vegansaurus chefs skip the cheese or add some daiya instead -- this dish is easily veganized and oh-so flavorful either way. You can also make these with butternut squash! [recipe] toppings cheese [I grated two cheddar/mozzarella string cheeses] fresh or pickled jalapeno peppers greek yogurt guacamole ranch salsa tomatoes black beans black olives chopped green onion bell peppers or sweet mini peppers dried parsley, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste Set your oven to BROIL on high. Wash and peel your potatoes [or leave the skin on for extra nutrients!] and cut into discs. I like mine the same thickness and texture as steak fries. Crunchy, crust-like outside and a fluffy mashed potato-like center. It makes me weak in the knees. Spritz or rub with your favorite oil [olive, coconut, etc...] and sprinkle with cayenne pepper, dried parsley, and a little salt and pepper if you'd like! Lay flat on a wire cooling rack or grilling rack and set atop a reflective baking sheet. This will allow both sides to cook evenly and prevent mushiness.

Recipe courtesy of Peas and Crayons.

*VERDICT*: Not too sure how I ended up with 2 Irish recipes. I know I'm extremely late for St-Patty's day, but hey, Canada is getting cold and these recipes are delicious. Which also means I will have some Irish nacho appetizers before my Guinness Stew. Shucks.

What are you making for supper? Tweet me @warriorrenaud, or use the hashtag #fridayfoodfight.

Friday Food Fight: Mac & Cheese or Salmon?


Welcome to Friday Food Fight, where two recipes duke it out to become my supper.

This week's contenders:

GOAT CHEESE MAC WITH ROSEMARY: Kraft Dinner should probably not be part of your regular diet...especially when the homemade stuff is almost as easy to make, and tastes so great! *Mum's tip: if this recipe isn't cheesy enough, add some grated aged cheddar on top, and place in the oven on broil for a few minutes until cheese is nicely melted and slightly crispy.

Recipe: 1 c heavy cream 1 c milk 1 clove garlic, minced 1 T finely chopped fresh rosemary 8 oz cavatappi or other shapely pasta 1 tsp canola oil 4 oz goat cheese 1/4 tsp black pepper pinch salt 2 T all-purpose flour (optional)

Place a large pot of salted water over high heat. While the water comes to a boil, place a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Combine cream, milk, garlic, and rosemary in the smaller pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Once the large pot of water is boiling, add pasta and cook to al denté as directed, usually 8-12 minutes. Drain pasta into a colander and allow to sit, covered, while you finish the sauce. Once pasta has been drained, add the goat cheese, pepper, and salt to the cream mixture and stir until cheese is melted. Add drained pasta to the sauce and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes. If the sauce is still too thin to coat pasta, add flour a bit at a time and continue to stir. Serve immediately, garnishing with additional rosemary.

Recipe courtesy 30 Pounds of Apples

SIMPLE SALMON TERIYAKI: Salmon is so good for you, and super flexible! It can be cooked in a variety of ways to cater to the curious taste-buds; as long as you don't mind the smell while it cooks! *Mum's tip: this recipe calls for a simple marinade; for a more adventurous meal, add some lemon juice, a small amount of fish sauce and replace the sugar for maple syrup. So good!

Recipe: 1 pound salmon 1/2 cup soy sauce 2 tablespoons mirin 2 teaspoons sugar 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (optional)

Cut the salmon into 4 portions. In a shallow container large enough to hold the salmon pieces, mix the soy sauce, mirin and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Coat both sides of the salmon with the mixture and arrange pieces skin side up in the container. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Arrange your oven racks so that the skillet you will be cooking in is as close as possible to the broiler flame. Turn on the broiler. Preheat a cast iron or other ovenproof skillet over high heat on the stove until very hot. Remove the salmon from the marinade and brush both sides with the oil. (If your pan is well-seasoned, you can skip this step.) Place the salmon skin side up in the skillet and transfer the pan to the broiler. Cook for 1-2 minutes and check for doneness. If it isn't done, flip and cook for 1 minute more.

Recipe courtesy The Kitchn

*VERDICT* I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today, and this rainy weather is a perfect accompaniment for the mac & cheese and a good movie.

What are you making for supper? Tweet me @warriorrenaud, or use the hashtag #fridayfoodfight.

Friday Food Fight

Introducing Friday Food Fight, where two recipes duke it out to become my supper.

This week's contenders:

COCONUT CHICKEN CURRY: Indian curries can be a little more complicated to make, but they are always worth the extra effort. The ingredient list might seem longer than usual, but the length is usually attributable to spices, which only need measuring and tossing in. *Mum's tip: while you prep your curry, measure all your spices onto a small plate. It'll be a breeze to just add it in later!

Recipe: 3 Tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil for the healthy conscious 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 Tbsp Garam Masala 1 Tbsp cumin powder 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp paprika 1 bay leaf 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger root 1/2 tsp white sugar salt and pepper to taste 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves-cut into large bite size 1 Tbsp tomato paste 1 cup plain yogurt 3/4 cup or half a can of coconut milk 1/2 lemon, juiced (you can substitute for apple cider vinegar if you're out of lemons) 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, if you like to spice things up)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over med. heat. Saute onion 'till lightly browned. Stir in garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar and salt. Continue stirring for 2 min. Add chicken pieces, tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 min. Remove bay leaf, and stir in lemon juice and cayenne. Simmer for 5 more min. Serve with basmati rice.

Recipe courtesy Jules Food, with a few modifications.

GRILLED PORK CHOP: This recipe is a bit easier than the curry. Goes great with some grilled potatoes for a true home-cook, comfort-food meal. *Mum's tip: a trick for amazing oven baked potatoes: after draining boiled potatoes, place lid back on pot and shake it like a polaroid picture. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, your favourite herb and bake!

Recipe: 6 pork loins 4 teaspoons thinly sliced onion 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 clove minced garlic 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 cup bbq sauce (if you have time on your hands, it's always great to make your own sauce. Try this recipe on for size; and if you make extra, just jar it and keep it for next time!) 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine onion, chili powder,  garlic, oregano, paprika, and cayenne pepper and rub on both sides of the pork (about 1/2 tsp of rub per side). Mix together the lemon juice and bbq sauce. Place chops on a preheated grill. Grill for 6-8 minutes per side. As one side is cooked and you turn over the chops and give the cooked side a coat of the bbq sauce mixture. Turn again and coat cooked side with bbq sauce mixture. Give each coated side a minute to cook to get the chops nice and saucy.

Recipe courtesy Real Mom Kitchen

*VERDICT* It's only 6PM, and I just found a can of coconut milk in my pantry...Coconut Chicken Curry it is! Let's get some music playing and start cooking.

What are you making for supper? Tweet me @warriorrenaud, or use the hashtag #fridayfoodfight.