Tag Archives: Stew

Coq Au Vin

My first experience of tasting French food was on a business trip to Massachusetts. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant but I do remember the escargot one of my co-workers ordered and insisted I try. It was garlicky and a little rubbery but totally delicious. It was my first and last attempt at eating snails and although I enjoyed the taste, I did not like the texture. At this point, I could not tell you if that is the way snails are suppose to be when you cook them or if my experience was an exception. Like I said, the flavors were good but the snail did not make my mouth happy.

Fortunately, that experience did not turn me against French food. My next experience was much, much better. There are not many ways you can mess up a chicken so I ordered Coq Au Win at a nice little bistro hubby and I happened upon on one of our vacations. Now, we all know chicken can get a bit boring when you have it over and over again. Fried, baked, boiled. Ugh! Chicken can be so much more than fried, baked or boiled. Chicken can be dressed up as a stew with amazing flavors combined with mushrooms, onions and carrots. Yes, carrots. Coq Au Vin traditionally has potatoes instead of carrots. However, I chose to add carrots because I wanted to serve my Coq Au Vin with mashed potatoes. The gravy from the stew drizzled over the mashed potatoes was a delectable combination.

One more thing I changed in my recipe was the use of white wine instead of red wine. I like white wine better than red wine so I figured why not substitute the two wines. Some may say it’s not really Coq Au Vin if you don’t use red wine but don’t listen to them. Remember, make every recipe your own.

Ingredients:

4 chicken thighs bone-in (remove excess fat)

4 large carrots peeled and sliced thick

3 slices bacon

2 green onions sliced

2 pkgs sliced cremini mushrooms

½ white onion thinly sliced

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup white wine or red wine

2 tsp butter

2 tsp flour

1 tsp thyme

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash chicken and pat dry. Season chicken with salt and pepper then set aside.

In a large oven proof skillet or dutch oven, fry 3 slices of bacon over medium high heat until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove bacon and leave drippings in the skillet. Add chicken to the skillet and brown on both sides. Place chicken on a plate and set aside.

Lower heat to medium then add mushrooms and white onions. Saute until slightly browned for approximately 7 – 10 minutes stirring frequently. Stir in flour and butter and cook for 1 minute. Again, stirring frequently. Add wine and stir to mix. Bring to a low boil and scrap brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add thyme and a little more salt and pepper. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in broth then add carrots and chicken back to the pan along with drippings. Simmer for another 3 minutes. Cover skillet and place in oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Baste after 20 minutes. Enjoy with mashed potatoes, rice or wide noodles.

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Chicken and Gnocchi Stew

Since my #1 food tester is in college now (yes, hubby is my #2 taste tester) I sometimes have to rely on myself to eat leftovers. Even though I don’t mind eating leftovers for lunch or sometimes breakfast, there are times I have to make them more exciting in order to eat them. That is why I came up with Chicken and Gnocchi Stew. I had a leftover roasted chicken that needed a little tender love and care so it was perfect for a new recipe.

Using an already roasted chicken meant my prep time was cut in half which made pulling the rest of the recipe together easy. Chicken and Gnocchi Stew is mostly a different take on chicken and dumplings. Instead of nice big fat dumplings, there a little plump pillows of potato gnocchi. Gnocchi are right up my alley because I love potatoes. Adding gnocchi also eliminated the need to include potatoes in the stew. It was like a two for one deal!

I put Chicken and Gnocchi Stew in the comfort food category. It is packed with vegetables and protein along a little of the other stuff we shouldn’t eat too often. Fortunately, the best ingredient in comfort foods like this one is love.  Corny but true.

Chicken and Gnocchi Stew

Ingredients:

1 roasted chicken skin and bones removed then shred meat or

2 chicken breasts

2 chicken thighs

3 carrots peeled and sliced

2 stalks celery sliced

1 pkg gnocchi

1 pkg frozen peas

½ onion diced

½ onion sliced

1 can cream of chicken soup

3 cups chicken stock

2 tbsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp dried parsley

Prepare gnocchi per package instructions. Drain and set aside.

If using chicken breasts and chicken thighs, cook in 4 cups water with 1 tbsp salt for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and let cool then remove skin and bones. Cut into bite-size pieces.

Pour chicken stock into a large pot. Add carrots, celery, peas and onions along with remaining salt, pepper and parsley. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Whisk in cream of chicken soup. Add chicken and gnocchi cook for 15 minutes more. Serve with or over biscuits. Tastes even better the second day.

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Lentil Stew

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Don’t ask me why but I have had lentils on my mind for the past week. I think it was because I wanted to make some red lentil soup and discovered I didn’t have any lentils. Since I usually find them at Trader Joe’s I had to wait until my weekend ritual of running errands to be on that side of town. Once I got to the store and spotted the red lentils I also spotted green lentils which made me think of a Lentil Stew. Again, I don’t know why.

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Sometimes my imagination kicks in and I just come up with ideas for combinations of food. For the Lentil Stew I thought of carrots, potatoes and tomatoes as the right combination of vegetables to add to the lentils to make a stew. Yes, a stew not a soup. To me, stews are a little heartier than a soup even more than those soups that are thick and packed with vegetables. Stews have a slightly different consistency than soups and are surrounded by a kind of gravy. In the case of Lentil Stew it makes its own gravy.

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Lentil Stew is the type of dish I would make during the winter or on chilly fall days. Granted, the day I first made this stew it was not really chilly but there was a nice gentle breeze. Now that I have tested out the recipe, I know what I will be preparing it quite often when the gentle breezes turn into strong cold winds.

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Lentil Stew

Ingredients:

1 pkg green lentils (soak overnight in cold water then drain)

½ cup red lentils (optional)

½ cup shredded carrots (slightly chop)

2 cans roasted diced tomatoes

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

2 small potatoes diced

2 scallions diced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp minced garlic

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp basil

¼ tsp ground ginger

Add lentils and water to a large pot. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to medium low. Let simmer while preparing vegetables.

In a large frying pan add olive oil and potatoes over medium high heat. Season potatoes with a little salt and pepper. Saute potatoes until slightly browned. Reduce heat to medium then add onions, carrots, tomatoes and remaining seasonings to the potatoes. Stir and allow veggies to soften. Add veggies and chicken broth to lentils and stir. Allow stew to simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until lentils are tender. Taste to determine if you need more salt. Add additional broth if stew is too thick.

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Oxtail Stew

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My southern roots are showing. Oxtail Stew is one of those southern dishes that most folks up north don’t really know about. Surprisingly, more and more people are coming into the fold and are enjoying oxtails in various recipes. Historically, oxtails were considered a poor man’s dish since it was a cheaper cut of meat. Still, all across the world this cheaper cut of meat was also considered a delicacy. Oxtails were and are used in stews, soups and special sauces. Today, oxtails are no longer a cheap cut of meat. To the contrary. Oxtails are a little more expensive and can be found among the best choice cuts of meat at any grocery store that carries a variety of meats.

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Because my mom is both southern and an amateur chef by profession it meant growing up we often had meals that included every part of an animal’s body. I can honestly say my mom can take any animal on the planet and prepare it so that it smells heavenly. I would also say that same animal probably tastes absolutely delicious but I draw the line at eating certain things regardless of how good it smells. Needless to say, the squirrel, rabbit, turtle and sweet bread dishes my mom made did not touch my lips but boy they sure smelled good cooking.

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Back to Oxtail Stew. I was talking to my mom about recipes recently and she told me she had made some oxtails. I started thinking of how good her oxtails in onions and gravy were and how much I missed having them. I decided I should try making my own Oxtail Stew for the blog and create a new memory for my family. I was shocked when I got to the grocers and saw the price on the few packages of oxtail I found next to the Delmonico steaks. Since I had committed myself to making an Oxtail Stew I did a Mary Tyler Moore move and rolled my eyes, shook my head and tossed the oxtails into my shopping cart.

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Oxtail Stew is one of those meals you eat with two types of utensils. A fork and fingers. You can use the fork to pull pieces of meat off of the bone then pick up the bone and suck all of those delicious juices and those tiny remaining pieces from the bone. For those of you who eat fried chicken with a knife and fork you would not understand what I mean. Just like most of us use our God given fingers to pick up chicken and eat it off the bone you need to do the same with oxtails. If you don’t, you will miss out on some serious flavors and good eating!

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Oxtail Stew

Ingredients:
2 pkgs of oxtails
2 carrots chopped
2 scallions chopped (including green part)
1 large onion chopped
1 garlic clove chopped
1 bay leaf
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups water
1cup beef stock
4 tbsp frying olive oil or vegetable oil
1 tbsp salt
½ tbsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ginger (ground or fresh minced)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
¼ tsp nutmeg

Season oxtails with all seasonings. Place in a plastic zip lock bag and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown oxtails on all sides then place oxtails in a pressure cooker with ½ of the diced onions and 2 cups of water. Cook oxtails for approximately 45 minutes. Let pressure cooker cool (run cold water over the top of the pressure cooker to cool faster. Check out handling instructions.). Strain beef stock from pressure cooker and reserve 2 cups.

Saute remaining onions, scallions and carrots in the dutch oven over medium heat until slightly softened and onions are translucent. Reduce heat to medium then add garlic and stir for 1 minute. Do not let the garlic burn. Add tomato paste, reserved beef stock and 1 cup of beef stock. Whisk together. Add oxtails and bay leaf. Cover and let simmer for 2 ½ hours stirring occasionally. Add additional salt to taste. Serve with rice.

 

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Comfort Stew

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Comfort food comes in many shapes, flavors and categories. Some are hot and some are cold. Comfort foods can also be seasonal. During the summer months my comfort foods are homemade potato salad, hand churned ice cream and my mom’s apple pie. In the cooler and down right cold months my comfort foods tend to be homemade soups and stews.

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Just recently my hubby added a new dish I made to his comfort foods list. I think because it was a hearty stew packed with protein, veggies and fiber in the form of beans. Two kinds of beans to be exact. Beans are very rich in fiber as well as protein. I used black beans ( 15 g of fiber in 1 cup) and small white beans (19 g of fiber in 1 cup) to help fill my family up and to provide them with as much nutrition as possible in one dish. That is the great thing about stews. They can be a one pot dish which means easy clean up. At least my son thinks so because he usually does the dishes.

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This Comfort Stew is even better the day after you make it. In my humble opinion, letting a dish sit overnight allows the seasonings and other ingredients to meld together and create an explosion of flavor. Because beans are so filling you will probably have leftovers so you can bet on enjoying another delicious bowl of Comfort Stew the next day. We sure did!

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Comfort Stew

Ingredients:
2 lbs ground turkey (93% lean)
2 14 oz cans small white beans with liquid
1 14 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with sauce
3 scallions sliced
1 onion diced
1 red pepper diced
1 small Napa cabbage shredded
½ green pepper diced
½ cup celery diced
½ cup water

Seasonings:
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp basil

Brown ground turkey on medium high heat in a large pot. Season meat with salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Add scallions, red and green peppers. Stir and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 3 -5 minutes. Add tomatoes, cabbage, water, beans and remaining seasonings. Stir and lower heat slightly. Simmer for 20 minutes.

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Spicy Meatball Stew

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I enjoy hearty stews in the winter but I also enjoy them in the warmer months just because I like stews. Since my family doesn’t eat beef too often I decided to create a stew that replaces a typical beef stew using spicy meatballs but still remained hearty.

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When you think meatballs you usually think of beef but meatballs can be made out of ground turkey, chicken or pork. In most recipes that call for a ground meat I use turkey. The one thing about ground turkey is that you must season it really well otherwise it will taste bland. Lately, I prefer baking my meatballs instead of frying them. This eliminates having the meatballs absorb a lot of excess fat. Plus, it is easier to control the heat so the meatballs don’t dry out too much while cooking.

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Spicy Meatball Stew was somewhat of a surprise for my family. I received a few strange glances when I placed a bowl full of stew on the table for dinner. They were use to seeing meatballs floating around in a nice tomato sauce not swimming with veggies and gravy. However, it did not take long for them to trust I had worked my cooking magic so they lunged into their bowls and came up saying “Hmmm… not bad”. The second and third bites had them totally convinced that Spicy Meatball Stew was fantastic and produced smiling faces. It is always nice when the family requests a second helping.

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Spicy Meatball Stew

Ingredients:

Meatballs
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground spicy sausage
2 eggs beaten
½ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup half and half
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp parsley chopped
½ tsp Adobo
cooking spray

Stew
1 jar beef au jus
1 small bag baby carrots cut in half
1 small bag frozen peas
1 small onion diced
2 stalks celery dice
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 red potatoes cubed
1 cup beef broth
½ cup water
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl mix ground turkey, ground sausage, seasonings and worcestershire. Form meatballs and place on a rimmed baking sheeting sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. If not quite done, meatballs will finish cooking in the stew.

While the meatballs are cooking heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, salt and pepper. Saute for 2 – 3 minutes to let veggies sweat. Add garlic and stir for 1 – 2 minutes. Be careful not to let garlic burn. If necessary, reduce heat. Add remaining ingredients except for peas. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add meatballs and peas. Cook for an additional 20 – 25 minutes. May be eaten alone or served over egg noodles, mashed potatoes or rice.

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Pork and White Bean Stew

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I spotted some nice country style ribs at the grocer while shopping this week. They looked so good and were on sale so I couldn’t pass them up. I was sure I could come up with a new recipe to include the country style ribs so they landed in my cart.

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Country style ribs are thick and meaty and are great in chili, stew or all by themselves. I am not sure if I should classify my Pork and White Bean Stew as a stew or a chili dish. I will leave that up to others. For now I will call it a stew. I just liked the idea of the pork with white beans and a few fresh veggies. Plus, one pot dishes are at the top of my list when it comes to cooking. Who wants to clean a lot of pots and pans when you can toss everything into one pot? Definitely, not me. In the case of my Pork and White Bean Stew I did use two pots. I used a pressure cooker to speed up the process of making the pork nice and tender. If you are not comfortable using a pressure cooker I would stick to cooking the pork a little longer to make sure it is tender. Just don’t over cook the meat or it will be dry and chewy.

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The flavors of the pork were amazing with the white beans. At the last minute, I decided to throw some fresh chopped tomatoes from our garden into the pot to give the dish a pop of color. The smell of the home grown tomatoes hit my nose before I could even take a bite of the stew. Wow, what a difference between home grown tomatoes and hot house tomatoes. Home grown beats out store bought tomatoes every time.

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Stew or chili? I am still not sure which one describes this dish the best. Whatever you decide to call it, I know you will like it.

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Pork and White Bean Stew

Ingredients:
4 – 6 thick country style ribs cubed
2 15oz cans cannellini beans (do not rinse/drain)
1 can green chiles
2 small tomatoes large dice
1 small onion diced
1 small green pepper diced
1 clove garlic minced
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp parsley chopped
½ tsp cayenne (optional)
1 pkg whit chicken chili dry mix

Place pork in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cayenne. Toss until well coated. If comfortable with using a pressure cooker, place pork in pressure cooker with water and cook for 30 minutes to tenderize meat. Then place pork and remaining ingredients in a large pot along with 1 cup of juice from pressure cooker. Skim off grease. Cook for 1 hour. If not comfortable with using a pressure cooker, place all ingredients in a large pot and cook for 2 hours over medium high heat until meat is tender.

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DMarie’s Jambalaya

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Jambalaya is a combination of sausage, seafood and chicken. At least in my recipe. Although Jambalaya is similar to Gumbo there is a slight difference. Gumbo is considered a thick soup or stew you can serve with rice. Jambalaya on the other hand is really a rice dish. Both are delicious with incredible flavors. I like to make Gumbo strictly with seafood not sausage or chicken. However, my Jambalaya is a little bit of everything.

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Although the mantra of dmariedining.com is Healthy, Quick and Easy, this recipe takes some time to make but you won’t be disappointed at the time well spent. Most folks will want to come back for a second helping and the leftovers will be few.

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Good down home cooking is not easy to get in parts of the northeast. I have been fortunate to discover a couple of restaurants along the east coast that have fantastic southern dishes and occasionally Cajun dishes that truly remind me of the South and Cajun country. Unfortunately, I have to travel too far to enjoy those wonderful dishes on a regular basis. So, I am left to create my own versions of those delectable meals. DMarie’s Jambalaya comes close to what I experienced in Louisiana but even I know nothing will ever beat the real deal.

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Still, I haven’t had any complaints so I must be doing something right. Enjoy!

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DMarie’s Jambalaya

Ingredients:
1 14 oz pkg smoked kielbasa sliced
1 14 oz pkg andouille sausage sliced
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 lb ex-large shrimp peeled and deveined
1 large onion diced
1 large green pepper diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 10 oz can of tomato puree
1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 12 oz bottle “good” beer (Dogfish Head India Pale Ale)

Seasonings:
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp Adobo seasoning
2 tbsp flour
½ tbsp chopped fresh or dried parsley
½ tbsp gumbo file seasoning (if available)
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tbsp basil
½ tbsp thyme
1 tsp old bay seasoning
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Boil chicken thighs in 1 quart of water, ¼ cup of diced onions, 1 stalk diced celery, salt and pepper until cooked all the way through. Remove chicken then drain broth from vegetables. Shred the chicken thighs and set aside. Reserve 1 cup of chicken broth and freeze the rest to use later for soup or another recipe creation.

Brown andouille and kielbasa in 1 tbsp of oil. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Place oil in a large pot and heat over medium heat. Whisk flour into oil and continue stirring until mixture turns to a rich brown color to create a roux. Be careful not to let the roux burn. If necessary, turn down the heat a little to prevent burning. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and beer to the roux. Add seasonings, tomatoes, tomato puree, green pepper and onion. Simmer for 20 minutes then add chicken and sausage. Let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add raw shrimp and stir into mixture once they turn pink.

Serve with corn muffins.

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Eggplant Stew

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Sometimes when I am at the store buying groceries I pick up different meats and vegetables thinking I can come up with a fabulous recipe for this or that. Most of the time I have an actual recipe in mind but other times I am winging it. That is what happened when I came up with the idea of making an eggplant stew.

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I wasn’t sure what to make when I bought a couple of eggplants but I love eggplant so I threw them in the cart with the other veggies. By the end of the week I still had not come up with an idea for the eggplant but since I did not want them to start turning brown I decided to make an Eggplant Stew.

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Stews are usually hearty and include meat somewhere in the mix. In this case, I wanted to substitute the eggplant for meat and create a vegetarian meal. All it took to make a nice hearty stew were a few chunky vegetables to compliment the eggplant and a few subtle seasonings to allow the flavor of each veggie to shine through. If you are a fan of eggplant, I think you will like this recipe.

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Remember, there is more to eggplant than making a casserole or frying.

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Eggplant Stew

Ingredients:
2 eggplant peeled and sliced
1 large onion cut in half then sliced
1 large green pepper cut in half then sliced
1 large tomato cut into wedges
2 medium red potatoes cubed
1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp salt
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp Adobo
½ tsp basil
¼ cup olive oil
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray rimmed cookie sheet with cooking spray. Layer the eggplant and other veggies on the cookie sheet then sprinkle with seasonings. Drizzle olive oil over veggies. Roast veggies for 35 – 40 minutes until soft then remove from oven. Place veggies in a large pot along with chicken broth and fire roasted tomatoes. Add a little more salt if needed. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

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Fishermen’s Stew

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My Mom celebrated another birthday recently and we are all grateful that she did. As our parents get older it is nice to spend time together and celebrate life, family and love. For my mom’s birthday I thought I would fix her a special meal and use her as a guinea pig for a new dish at the same time. She loves seafood so I decided to have fish as the centerpiece of the meal

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Both my parents grew up fishing in the south so you can only imagine what I learned to do when I was old enough to hold a fishing pole. There were many weekends we loaded up the car and cast our poles out on a pier or lake in a nearby town. One of the best parts of going fishing was preparing the day before we went. My dad and I would walk down to the compost pile in a nearby field and dig for worms. No, I was not afraid of worms and found them to be quite interesting. Besides, if I was going to fish I had to learn how to bait my own hook. We created a lot of fond memories fishing together and trying to out do each other by catching the biggest fish. If we were fortunate, we would catch enough fish to last a few weeks to keep in the freezer. Thursdays was fish fry day and we would have it with either fried potatoes or grits, hot sauce and a slice of bread (told you I was a southern girl at heart).

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I came up with the idea of fishermen’s stew because there was one southern dish my mom liked to fix that I could never bring myself to eat. Fish head stew. Yes, you actually cook and eat the fish heads in a stew. Me? I only like the parts that are used for fillets.

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Fishermen’s stew is a combination of fish, shrimp and scallops in a flavorful broth. I would suggest you use a firm white fish or catfish. I used two types of fish just to shake things up. If you really want to make it a hearty dish you can add diced potatoes or corn sliced off the cob.

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Thanks mom for inspiring me to make a wonderful stew and for teaching me how to fish.

Happy Birthday !!!

Fishermen’s Stew

Ingredients:

1 lb of tilapia cut into chunks

1 lb of halibut or cod cut into chunks

1 lb of shrimp peeled and deveined

1 lb scallops

1 large onion sliced thin

1 large green pepper sliced thin

2 14 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp ground black pepper

1 tsp seasoned salt

1 tsp old bay seasonings

1 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp cilantro

½ tsp red pepper flakes

½ cup fish broth or chicken broth

1 14 oz can lite coconut milk

 

Optional:

diced potatoes

corn sliced off the cob

Stir together lemon juice, seasoned salt, pepper, garlic, cumin and paprika in a large bowl. Add fish and shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes. Reduce to medium heat and add peppers, tomatoes, remaining seasonings and broth. Cook for 5 minutes then add fish and shrimp. Pour coconut milk over the mixture and stir gently. Cover and reduce heat and let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the shrimp turns pink.