Lamb Stew with Spring Veggies

Lamb Stew with Spring Veggies

Lyn had been wanting a stew which was unusual for her she is not much of a stew person. Years ago we had made an Irish lamb stew but for the life of us could not remember where we saw it. So we must have look at a dozen recipes and I came up with this which was heavily influenced by Wholefoods. This stew came together easily, simmering on top of the stove for a couple of hours made another day of growling tummies.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  •  1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 pound small red or white potatoes, halved or cut into chunks
  • 1 cup fresh peas or frozen green peas, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (About 1 scallion)

Double click to enlarge

 How:

Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl or plastic bag. Add lamb and toss to coat well.

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat.

If needed working in batches (setting aside first batch in bowl), add lamb and brown on all sides set all lamb aside for a moment. Add the garlic and cook until you smell about 15 seconds to 1 minute.  Add chicken broth, wine, rosemary and oregano. Stir to combine add the lamb and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Stir in carrots and potatoes. Cover and continue to simmer 1 hour longer.

Stir in peas and mustard and simmer 3 to 10 minutes or until peas are just cooked through (frozen peas do not take as long to cook).

Ladle stew into bowls and garnish with green onions.

Lamb and Veggie Stew with bread

Note from Steve: The only thing I might change is using fresh springs of oregano and rosemary and removing the stems after cooking.

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Orange Flavored Chicken but Healthier

Orange Flavored Chicken but Healthier

When I first tasted orange flavored chicken in Texas I loved it, goodbye General Tso’s chicken and swore I would master making it. I kept orange peels in the freezer at all times to add to the dish. I was never able to master it, came close but then I found Trader Joe’s Orange flavored chicken and for a frozen brand it was pretty darn good and yes I became lazy. You could add peppers, stir fried vegetables with a bed of brown rice and you had an instant meal well almost instant it took about 40 minutes to cook. My wife showed me Hungry Girl’s recipe the other day and I liked what I saw I was always looking for healthier alternatives.  So here it is heavily influenced by Hungry Girl who has inspired me many times in the past.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 10 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/8 tsp. each salt and black pepper
  • 1 small egg or 1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar-free orange marmalade
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. maple sugar or she suggests Splenda (granulated)
  • 1 tbsp. reduced-sodium/lite soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. chopped ginger
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 chopped scallions, whites and crisper greens  about ¼ to ½” size

How:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Place flour in a plastic bag or shallow dish. (See below for optional directions)

Place chicken in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Top with egg substitute and toss to coat.

Place flour in plastic bag and divide chicken into 3 portions, shake chicken pieces to remove excess egg and place in bag and shake to coat with flour. Shake off excess flour and evenly lay chicken pieces on the baking sheet. You can fold some flatter pieces in half so cooking in even

or

Place flour on shallow dish and a few pieces at a time shake chicken pieces to remove excess egg and coat with flour. Shake off excess flour and evenly lay chicken pieces on the baking sheet. You can fold some flatter pieces in half so cooking in even.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

In a medium bowl, whisk broth with cornstarch until cornstarch has dissolved. Add marmalade, vinegar, sweetener, and soy sauce, and thoroughly whisk.

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Cook and stir garlic and ginger until slightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth mixture and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir until well mixed and slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat, add chicken, and toss to coat. Serve topped with scallions.

    Orange Chicken

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Lyn is laid up on the couch with her foot properly raised about 6” above her thigh and I am playing the part of Nurse Steve. We have nicked named her foot “Gronk Envey”.

Anyway, I was having a practically lonely time shopping and said to myself what makes one feel good, soup I answered, getting a strange look from the person next to me.  I had a long-necked butternut squash in my hands and went straight to the granny smith apples. This shopping trip suddenly had a dual purpose make Lyn feel better and a good soup.

               

Takes about 2 hours total time to the table, quicker if you are not a talker.

 Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter (We keep butter in the freezer since we don’t use it all the time)
  • 1 ½ cups roughly chopped sweet onions
  •  1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 6 cups peeled and roughly diced butternut squash (I like to buy the squash with a long neck this part has no seeds and usually can get enough for what I need. The bottom I save for roasted later.)
  • 3 cups peeled and roughly diced granny smith apples (about 3 apples)
  • 2 tsp. Toasted Spice Rub, recipe below. ( I make a lot and store with my spices for future use.)
  • About 30 to 32 ounces low sodium, low-fat chicken broth or you can use vegetable broth.
  • 3 cups of water to add to the broth. I have left this out it makes a thicker richer soup.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (Don’t add until you taste finished soup a lot of times it really does not need)

How:

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, and cook until it turns nut brown, just about the time it stops foaming. Add the sweet onions and cook until slightly softened, about 2-4 minutes. Add the garlic until you smell it 10-20 seconds

Now add the squash and apples, raise temp to high, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the Toasted Spice Rub and cook briefly to toast it, about 1 minute.

Add the broth-water mixture, bring to a simmer, and partially cover (use a wooden spoon across the pot rest the cover on that. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the squash and apples are tender, about 40 minutes.

In about 3 or 4 batches transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to a pot, reheat and season with salt and pepper if desired.

Toasted Spice Rub

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns ( I have made with a mixture of pepper corns not bad)
  • 1 1/82 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. ground Cinnamon

In a small heavy pan over medium heat, combine the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns. When the fennel turns light brown, work quickly. Learned this during my Chinese wok cooking stage, turn on the exhaust fan; add the red pepper flakes, and toss, toss, toss, always under the fan. Having trouble breathing? I said under the exhaust fan silly, I did bold it!” Immediately empty the spice mixture onto a plate to cool. I have a small coffee grinder for grinding spices; grind only the fennel, coriander, pepper, and chili flakes. Pour into a bowl and toss with the remaining chili powder, cinnamon and salt. You can use a blender and blend until the spices are evenly ground.  Either way works for me.