Awesome, foodie pen pals, NoOodles, pumpkin sauce

Foodie Pen Pal: October

This month’s lovely box of Foodie Pen Pals goodness comes to us from Stephanie, of Illinois.  Her note said this was a box of seasonality, unique and local and she nailed it on all accounts.  She also managed to fill it with many of my favorite things. 

For seasonal she included a jar of Cucina Antica Tuscany Pumpkin sauce.  I always buy this line of pasta sauce, but have never seen this variety offered local.  I’m extremely excited about this flavor and am actually planning on bringing it with me when I head to NY (where I’ll be when this posts) and share it with some family.  She also included a bag of Montebello Conchiglie pasta, another favorite in our household, but I think I’ll save these for a hearty batch of Mac ‘n Cheese later in the season.

For ‘unique’ she included two bags of ‘NoOodles,’ which are a yam based noodle. I think I’m going to toy around with these in both a sweet and savory recipe–maybe something like a burbur cha cha.

Rounding out the ‘local’ was a bag of Matt’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip cookies. When I saw these–combined with everything else–I felt like Stephanie had looked inside of our pantry and made up the box from there.  She even included two of my favorite flavors of KIND Bars–Chocolate Cherry and Peanut Butter Chocolate.

This was a really great and thoughtfully assembled box.  I can’t thank Stephanie enough for sending me some very unique items, as well as some household faves. Thanks for sharing a bit of the season and your favorites, Stephanie!

fall dishes, roasting, side dish, vegetables

Autumn Hash

This time of year, it’s hard to not want to roast or braise every single dish I cook. It’s also hard to walk by full stalks of brussel sprouts at the Wednesday market and not pick one up, despite the fact that the Missus is hardly a fan. 

Food52 is a great source for ANY recipe need and it came through again, giving me something a bit different than the usual roasted vegetables. I loved the addition of using apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pan as it added a nice acidity and sweetness to the dish. This one is definitely getting filed away for future use.

by AntoniaJames

  • 2 cups of peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 2 cups cubed thin-skinned potatoes (red, white, Yukon gold, whatever)
  • 2 cups trimmed and halved Brusslies (Brussels sprouts)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 ounces of prosciutto, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 shallots, chopped (or 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion)
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 -2 tablespoons cider vinegar (preferably organic), to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Squash and potatoes should be cut into 3/4 to 1 inch cubes. Toss them in 2 teaspoons of oil to coat well. Sprinkle on a small pinch of salt and put on a baking sheet and into the oven. Roast for 20 minutes, turning after the first ten. They should be fork tender and just starting to caramelize.
  2. Toss the Brussels sprouts in 1 teaspoon of oil and roast for about 15 minutes. If you like them a little softer, cook them a bit longer.
  3. Heat a large skillet until fairly hot, then add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the prosciutto pieces. Cook until crisp, then remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in the skillet, then add the shallots. Cook over medium heat with a tiny pinch of salt, stirring constantly. When they are well wilted and somewhat translucent, add the chopped garlic and the rosemary and cook, stirring, for about thirty seconds.
  5. Deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar and, with the heat on medium, add the prosciutto, the squash, the potatoes and the Brusslies. Add the parsley and toss very gently.
37 cooks, chili, marx foods, stew

Guajillo Chili

Guajillo Chili
adapted from recipes in Texas Eats and The Wright Recipes

1 recipe Guajillo Chili powder (see below)
2 1/2 pounds Chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1/4″ cubes
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups beef broth
1 (28 oz) can pureed tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon lard or olive oil (more as needed)
For Guajillo Chili powder:
2 dried Marx Foods Dried Guajillo Chilies–stem end removed and chopped
3 allspice berries
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Toast all above ingredients in a skillet until fragrant. Transfer to spice grinder and pulse until finely ground.
Add fat to Dutch oven and heat over medium high heat. Add beef cubes in batches and cook, turning as needed, until well browned on all sides.  Remove from pan using a slotted spoon.  When meat is done, lower heat to medium and add onion to pan. If needed, add a little more oil/lard at this time. Saute for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
Add the chili powder, thyme, paprika, oregano, salt and garlic, stirring for one minute.  Add the beef broth, tomatoes, water and browned beef. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, then cover partially and reduce to a simmer for approximately 2 hours, until the meat is very tender. Add water, if needed, to maintain desired consistency. 

Spoon over cooked rice and top with shredded cheese blend.

**This is another contribution to the 37 Cooks/Marx Foods Challenge**

37 cooks, beef stroganoff, marx foods, winter eating

Beef Stroganoff with Mixed Mushrooms

Beef Stroganoff with Mixed Mushrooms

adapted from and grazie to Tyler Florence and his Food Network recipe

3 cups beef stock 

3 sprigs thyme
1 1/2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 1/8th wide strips
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons dry sherry
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces maitake mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces mix of portobello and white button mushrooms, sliced 
1 ounce Marx Foods Dried Porcini Mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream, plus more for garnish
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives, for garnish
1 (1-pound) package wide egg noodles 

Heat the beef stock until just warm. Take 1 cup of stock and pour over dried mushrooms and let sit until re-hydrated. Strain liquid back into beef broth, roughly chop mushrooms and set aside. Pat the beef dry and season it with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over high heat. Fry the meat in batches so that it is browned on all sides. Lower the heat to medium and return all the meat to the pot. Add the onions and cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in the sherry and cook until the alcohol has burned off, about 5 minutes. Add the beef stock. Cook, partially covered, over a very low flame for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and remaining 3 thyme sprigs and cook until the mushrooms are browned and cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside. 

When the meat is done, remove it from the heat and fold in the mushrooms, sour cream, and mustard. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. 

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water until tender. Drain the noodles well, toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and season with salt and pepper. Serve the stroganoff over the noodles; garnish with more sour cream and chopped chives.
**This is another 37 Cooks group project. We were fortunate to receive a box of samples–dried mushrooms, chiles, vanilla beans, dill pollen and saffron–from Marx Foods. Keep an eye out for other recipes I’ve shared**