Saturday, August 4, 2012

Good Country Cooking

My husband and I make fun of each other all the time.  It's just a game we play.  I make fun of his Brooklyn accent and he calls me a "hick from the sticks".  Whenever I cook southern dishes, he musters up his best fake southern accent and drawls, "Mmm, mmm!  That's some good country cooking!"  I just roll my eyes and laugh because he might make fun, but that won't stop him from going back for seconds!  (and he can't make fun with his mouth full!)


2 TBS oil
2 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium potatoes, cubed
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
fresh parsley

Season chicken with salt/pepper.  In a large pot, brown chicken in oil.  Remove from pot and set aside.  Saute onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper and garlic until cooked down a bit.  Add potatoes.  Return chicken to pot.  Add butter and stir to melt.  Add flour and stir to coat.  Cook for a few minutes to get the raw flour taste out.  Add chicken broth.  Stir well, getting all the bits off the bottom of the pot.  Bring to a boil.  Season with a little more salt/pepper.  Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until stew is thickened and potatoes are tender.  Garnish with fresh parsley.

Everyone loves a grilled ribeye or fillet mignon.  But what about the cheaper cuts of steak?  Ever wonder what you could do with those?  Well, the reason they are cheaper is because they are tougher.  So grilling won't work.  But, braising will.  Braising can make even the toughest cut of meat tender and delicious!  It takes time, but it's worth it.


1-2 lbs chuck steak (or any cheap steak)
flour for dredging
cajun seasoning or season salt
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
low-sodium beef broth or water

Season steak with cajun seasoning.  Dredge in flour.  In a large dutch oven (heavy pot with a lid), brown steak in oil on both sides (high heat).  Remove from pot and set aside.  Add onion, bell pepper and garlic.  Place steak on top.  Add enough broth or water (or use half broth & half water) to come half way up the side of the steak.  Don't cover the steak completely!  Bring to a boil.  Put on lid and reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 1-2 hours, checking on it every half hour or so to see if it needs more liquid.  Don't add too much!  You want a nice thick gravy.  The steak will be super tender when it's done.  Serve over rice.

So, make your family some good country cooking.  Just be sure to make enough for seconds!

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