Kale and Kielbasa w/baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes

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One of the many things we found real fast about living near Wisconsin and Iowa is there is no shortage of sausage and cheese. I also found no shortage of kale (one of my favorites) even during the winter. It has 133% of the daily values of Vitamin A and 134% of Vitamin C. Since I like a good soup or gravy, I put together this dish.

Meat
½ lb. sliced kielbasa (pork or turkey)

Mirepoix
1 onion – chopped
2 carrots – peeled and sliced ¼”

Vegetables
1 bunch kale – chopped
8 small baby Dutch yellow potatoes – rinsed with skin and chopped into bite-size squares
1 clove garlic – minced

Sauce
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 TBSP corn starch – mix first in two TBSP of cold water then add to the pot

Seasoning and Herbs, Oil
Salt and Pepper
3 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP dry mustard
1 tsp. marjoram

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In a large 5 quart sauce pan add meat and one TBSP oil and brown. Remove the meat. Add the potatoes and a dash of sea salt and fry to a point where there is a little crisp on the skin. Make sure to fry the potatoes real good as the flavor adds a lot to the pot.  Remove the potatoes. Add a little more olive oil and sauté the onions and carrots. Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Return everything to the pot and add the kale and one cup of chicken stock. Cover and cook down the kale about 5 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients, stir in the corn starch, herbs, mustard and seasonings and cook covered on warm for 30 minutes. Serve.

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Chili

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My recipe for Superbowl 50.

Meat
½ lb. ground beef
½ lb. ground turkey

Mirepoix
1 onion – chopped
1 orange bell pepper – chopped
½ green bell pepper – chopped

Beans
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

Other Vegetables
4 scallions chopped
1 large Jalapeño pepper – sliced
2 large garlic cloves – sliced into coins

Sauce
1 (15-ounce) can whole and peeled tomatoes – crushed
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12-ounce) bottle Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
¼ cup veal, beef or chicken stock

Seasoning and Herbs, Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. saffron
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 TBSP olive oil
(Shredded Cheddar, for garnish)

In a large 5 quart sauce pan add meat and one TBSP oil and brown. As the meat browns drain the water several times. Remove meat after brown. Add two TBSP oil and add the mirepoix and sauté several minutes. Return meat and add everything else to the pot. Cook on low 1.5 to 2 hours. Serve with cheese.

Irish Stew

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(click on pic to enlarge)

Irish stew (Stobhach Gaelach) is any variety of meat and root vegetables. Originally, the dish used goat meat and now mostly made with lamb. However, lamb can be expensive here and the taste can be too sweet and gamy. My recipe uses pork stew meat. The reason I use pork versus beef is I will brown the pork first to create a fond (The culinary term, French for “base” or “foundation”) as I do in a Jambalaya.

I also use less meat, just enough to add flavor. Most recipes are built around a pound of meat. I use one-half pound. After browning the meat, I will also create a demi-roux (butter and flour) to thicken the fluids and create a gravy, then sauté the mirepoix in the roux. I will then add a bottle of Guinness Stout a cup at a time and whisk creating even thicker gravy. This continues to build flavors.

I will also add whole potatoes, but mashed potatoes if you desire can be added, which will thicken the gravy further. The other root vegetables and the Brussels sprouts (baby cabbage) are then added. Add herbs and more fluids and cook slow for almost 2 hours on a very low heat.

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Ingredients (shown in the picture above, click on pic to enlarge):

Mirepoix
1 small onion – chopped
½ bell pepper, – seeded and chopped
1 celery stalk – peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves – cut into small coins

Meat
½ Lb. stew pork – cubed
2 TBSP olive oil – (for browning meat)

Vegetables
3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
12 Brussels sprouts, halved
2 cups potatoes, or as needed – cubed w/skin

Seasoning, Herbs and Stock
Salt and pepper
1 small bay leaf
2 cups chicken stock (or as needed)
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
12 fluid ounce bottle dark beer – Guinness Stout

Demi-Roux
2 TBSP All-purpose flour
2 TBSP butter

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In the olive oil brown the meat and then remove.

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Add the flour and butter and whisk for several minutes until the flour starts to brown.

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Add the mirepoix and sauté until you can smell the onions start to cook.

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Move the mirepoix to one said and add ½ cup of Guinness Stout beer and deglaze that half of the pot.  Move the mirepoix to the other side and add another ½ beer and deglaze the other side.

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Add the remaining beer and stir into a thick paste.

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Add all the remaining ingredients and return the meat.  Add chicken stock until the ingredients are covered.  Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cook 1½ to 2 hours.

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Gyōza Sauce

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Gyōza Sauce (pronounced ji-ohz-i)

Gyōza sauce is a dipping sauce used mostly with pot stickers. But, I use it with a piece of salmon. I buy frozen salmon, defrost it, fry it in sesame oil, and then serve it on a salad or on the side with stir fry veggies. I make this sauce for it. This sauce is also served with Hamachi Kama (broiled yellowtail gill plate) at sushi bars.

Gyōza is a non-standard Japanese word. The Chinese word Jiaozi means dumpling. These dumplings are stuffed and served boiled, steamed or fried.

1 piece salmon
Sesame seeds
1 tsp. sesame oil

Gyōza Sauce
½ cup rice vinegar
½ cup soy sauce
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove minced
½ tsp. ginger minced (or grated)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/3 cup minced green onions

Baste the salmon with sesame oil and then add one teaspoon of the oil to a nonstick fry pan. Cook a minute or so on each side, then sprinkle with sesame seeds, drop in a dash of Gyōza and cook until done. When eating, dip the salmon in the remaining Gyōza sauce.

Asian Stir Fry with Ramen Noodles

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(click on pics to enlarge)

In between the occasional Cajun roux, I try my best to eat as many greens and vegetables as possible. I have not had a hamburger or a steak in a very long time. In fact, I have reduced my meat intake by more than half. I use meat mostly for the flavor. When frying meat, it will leave a brown thick glaze called a “fond”. By adding a little liquid after and scraping the pan the liquid will deglaze the fond and that will add all sorts of great flavors to the dish. Also keep in mind adding onions, celery and some peppers directly after, the sugars are released and adds even more flavor. The idea is to keep building flavor.

This stir fry recipe can be cooked in a wok or a skillet. As long as the pan is fairly hot. Any meat and any vegetable can be used. After frying the meat and veggies I use a sauce and then serve that on a bed of cooked Ramen noodles. The Ramen noodles I use are those cheap packs in the store for less than a dollar. I discard the dry seasoning pack.

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The most important thing is the sauce. This recipe is for 2 servings.

Sauce:
½ cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 Tbsp. Chinese black vinegar (½ white wine/ ½ balsamic vinegar)
2 tsp. Ketchup
2 tsp. cornstarch (added to the cold chicken broth and whisked, the cornstarch thickens the sauce)
(If you like to add a hot chili, I add a TBSP of Chiu Chow Chili Oil by Lee Kum Kee

Veggies:
Select and prepare vegetables.
The basic veggies are Napa cabbage (Chinese cabbage), celery, carrot sticks, green beans, shiitake mushrooms (I use dried and re-hydrate), scallions and also daikon radish sticks when available, bamboo shoots or whatever you like.

Meat:
1/2 Lb. pork chops, chicken or beef chopped into small bite size pieces
1 TBSP minced garlic
½ TBSP freshly grated ginger
½ small yellow onion chopped
Chili oil

Ramen Noodles:
1 pack of Ramen noodle. Crack noodle pack in half then cook as per the directions. (8 minutes boiling water)

Oil:
Canola oil (I use whatever I need). To get the wok started first get the wok hot then add the oil. For this dish I start with 1.5 TBSPs. This is where you develop a feel for the food. If you do it this way the meat will not stick.

Fry the pork and remove

100_6232Add the onions, garlic, ginger and a dash of wine to deglaze the pan

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Add the veggies

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Return the pork

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Add the sauce

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Let cook and cover while cooking the noodles

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After, the best way to clean the wok is to get it hot and then add soapy water, then rinse.

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Can it be that easy?  (Someone say yes!)