We got the dog kennel dug out and, while not fixed, at least usable if temperatures warm back up again. Won't be able to store the canoe on top unless we get a new back panel. What to do, what to do.
In the meantime, we don't have to worry about putting the hounds out for a while again. Temps have dropped back down into the teens which is too cold for my pups to be outside all day. We had a front move through with 45mph winds. Power went out for about three hours during the night. Wow, house is soooo quiet with nothing running! Could really hear the wind howling.
Couple new recipes from last week:
Hearty Irish Lager Stew (Veg Times, March 2011)
This was simpler to make than the directions indicate - simply because I combined a few steps. I sauteed the leeks with the rest of the root vegetables and tomato paste. I completely dropped the tapioca (didn't want to buy it for just, what, 1 tsp? Ridiculous.) and I dropped the miso for the same reason. The stew was plenty thick and had a nice "sheen" all on it's own.
My only complaint with this recipe was it turned out on the tomato-y side. I realized in hindsight (actually, as I was typing this out) that I completely forgot the thyme. I would have used dried - I'm not paying $3.00 for fresh herbs this time of year - but I think that would have mellowed some of the predominant tomato taste. Made 7 servings for lunches.
Pale lager beer adds the mellow flavors of barley, hops, and malt to a rich vegetable stew. The secret ingredient is quick-cooking tapioca, which thickens the stew and gives it a glistening sheen.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
8 oz button mushrooms (I used crimini), sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (1 medium leek), white part only, sliced
1 1/2 cups (3 small) red potatoes, cubed
2 cups (2 medium) carrots, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups (2 small) parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
1-15oz can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup lager beer
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic, saute 8 minutes or until mushrooms are browned. Remove from pan. Add remaining 1/2 tbsp oil to pot. Add leeks, and cook 5 minutes. Add potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and tomato paste. Cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth and thyme sprigs, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add lager, tapioca, and mushrooms. Simmer 10 to 15 more minutes, or until thickened, stirring often. Remove thyme sprig, stir in cabbage and miso and simmer 4-5 minutes, or until cabbage softens. Season and serve.
Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onions (Eating Well, Jan/Feb 2011)
This was also a very easy dish to make since prep can be broken up into say, morning prep and final dinner prep. I seasoned and put the roast into the slowcooker before work. After work was a matter of slicing onions, caramelizing, and adding the rest of the ingredients. Pork is so tender it shreds without any effort. Serve. Seriously. That's it. Best part was it tasted great. I did served this on hard rolls with shredded cabbage. Excellent as leftovers. I would make this again.
Traditional pulled pork is barbecued, which gives it a smoky flavor. But the slow cooker happens to be the absolute easiest way to cook pulled pork—and you can get a hint of smoke by adding chipotle chile. Serve the pulled pork with potato salad, collard greens and grits. Or make it into a sandwich and serve it on a bun with coleslaw.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 large onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup raw cane sugar, such as Demerara or turbinado (see Notes)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 cup chili sauce, such as Heinz
1 1/2-3 teaspoons minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce (see Notes)
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder or blade (butt) roast, trimmed
1.Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 3 to 6 minutes. Add sugar and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes more. Add garlic, oregano, pepper and salt and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook until mostly evaporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in chili sauce and chipotle to taste.
2.Place pork in a 4-quart (or larger) slow cooker and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook until the pork is almost falling apart, about 4 hours on High or 8 hours on Low.
3.Transfer the pork to a cutting board and shred using two forks. Stir back into the sauce.