Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Shredded Beef Pot Roast with Orange and Thyme

Hints of thyme and orange zest flavour this long-simmered beef roast.  The meat is then shredded and served with pan juices over warm, creamy, garlic mashed potatoes.

As said above, I served shredded and beef over garlic mashed potatoes but this subtly flavoured beef could be served a multitude of ways - on a crusty bun with cheese and onion, over rice or even stuffed into tacos!  Don't let the long cooking time dissuade you, once the ingredients are in the pot there is nothing to do for hours until the meat is cooked.

I used inside round roast for this recipe but any beef roast (barring a very lean cut like tenderloin) would work for this recipe - if the cut you use has bones, remove while shredding meat.  Also, to save on cooking time you can cut your roast in large chunks before searing.

This recipe is easily adapted to the slow cooker as well, simply follow recipe instructions until all ingredients are placed back into the dutch oven at step 3, and cook on high for six hours, low for ten then resume recipe steps at step 5!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Basic French Macarons

Following the recipe at Yum Sugar, I made my first batch of Macarons!  Their short list of ingredients - ground almonds, powdered sugar, egg whites and granulated sugar - make them seem deceptively easy, however the process is lengthy and the handling needs to be careful.  I did my research online, temperature, over and under mixing, imprecise measurements, impatience can all lead to disaster.  Thus, I began with low expectations and a basic, straight forward vanilla French macaron recipe.

Yum Sugar's recipe leads you through the process step by step, from sieving the ground almonds and sugar and beating the whites to the unique processes of 'punching down the batter to a molten lava consistency' and striking the cookie topped, parchment lined sheets against the counter top to form the airy 'pied' or feet on the bottom of each cookie.

The author also suggests flavour alternatives such as red velvet and colour variations using gel colouring and at which point in the process to add each.  This being my first time, and the process being notoriously difficult, I left well enough alone - vanilla it is.  I followed the recipe meticulously, the only suggestion not followed, was the 3 day aged at room temperature eggs - I was satisfied my week old carton of refrigerated eggs was old enough and used 3 at room temperature.

I encourage anyone who has been hesitating over making these yourself to give these a try - follow the recipe to the letter and you'll be pleased with the results!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thai Green Curry Soup


This Thai inspired soup is flavoured with green curry, coconut milk, and fish sauce.  Simmered gently, chicken then vegetables are added in the last few minutes of cooking to retain freshness and colour. You can easily make a vegetarian version with a few substitutions!  Soft tofu for the chicken and vegetable broth for the chicken.  If you don't want to use the fish sauce, leave it out - it will turn out just fine!

I used the green Thai curry paste in this recipe.  Here is the brand I used.  You can find it at most grocery stores nowadays in the Asian section or at your local grocery stores.  If you like, you can substitute the red curry for the green - there seems to be much debate online over which is the hotter, I'll leave it up to you to decide!

Shaun loves this soup served over warm jasmine or basmati rice - but rice noodles will work just as well.  This soup comes together quickly and easily while the rice cooks, a good option for a weeknight meal!