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Posts Tagged ‘bulgur’

In addition to the lemon chicken, I also made a beef stew. As the weather turns cooler, I find that this beef stew really hits the spot. The secret to this beef stew is good meat and good wine.

One of the things that I don’t like about stews is usually the meat. Removing gobs of fat from meat while eating always turned me off. I get my meat in one particular shop, always. It’s more expensive than the regular supermarkets, but they know what and how to cut. When you ask for a schnitzel, you get it without the little annoying bits. When you ask to remove the fat, it’s removed. I haven’t found a better place yet. I asked for cubed meat for a stew, and they gave me excellent meat with almost no fat at all. When paired with a bottle of medium priced red wine (regular price: 50 NIS. I bought it on sale at 3 for 100 NIS) , it practically melted in the mouth.

To reheat, I added more wine so that the meat was covered and boiled until the alcohol evaporated. It was as good reheated as fresh.

Ingredients

1 Kg beef for stew, cut in chunks
salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for frying
1 large onion, cubed
3 carrots, cubed
4 stalks celery, sliced
bunch parsley (optional)
1 bottle red wine, good enough to drink but not expensive
5 tbsp brandy
2 bay leaves

Heat oil in a heavy pot. Fry the beef cubes in batches so that they are browned on all sides, adding salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the pot and set aside. Put the onions and carrots in the same pot, along with the brandy. Sauté for a few minutes until translucent. Return the beef to the pot. Add the other ingredients, making sure all the beef is covered in wine. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 hours, until meat is cooked through. Check occasionally to make sure there are enough liquids. If necessary, water or more wine can be added. Serve over rice or burgul.

Steaming Beef Stew

Bon Apetit!

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Lately we’ve had guests for at least one meal every weekend. So I’ve been making more chicken than usual. When we don’t have guests I rarely do it as my husband doesn’t like chicken. He likes chicken breast or schnitzel, but not chicken as is. Odd, isn’t it?

Anyway, as I’ve been doing more chicken lately leftovers are more of a problem. Don’t get me wrong, I like chicken. I just don’t like it the same way every day. On the other hand, making something new when I’ve got perfectly good chicken in the fridge is a bit pointless as well. So this time I made sauce with the chicken, and ate it over pasta. It turned out delectable.

I didn’t photograph it as my baby grew pretty insistent that she wanted to eat as well, so I didn’t have time to savour it properly, and even less time to photograph. But it’s still worth remembering.

The base for the sauce was the chicken gravy and tomatoes. As I’ve already mentioned, a delectable tomato sauce can be made pretty easily in the microwave. Adding the chicken gravy to it made it richer and smoother. I removed fat from the gravy before using it, so it wasn’t too fat, either 🙂 To top it off, I added chopped leftover chicken and chopped leftover grilled fennel, and some dried basil.  The result was a rich sauce with a surprising depth of flavor because of the chicken and fennel.

Definitely something to remember.

Ingredients:

One quarter chicken, cooked
Chicken gravy
About 15 large cherry tomatoes, halved if large
About 1 1/2 chopped grilled fennels
Dried basil to taste
One portion pasta (or rice, couscous, burgul, whatever)

Put the tomatoes in a microwave safe dish. Cook on high for 3 minutes. If tomatoes remain whole, crush them until they pop (carefully! it sprays!) and cook on high for another minute. Add chicken gravy and chicken, fennel and basil. Cook on high for another two minutes. If using pasta, add to sauce and cook for another minute on high or until pasta is warm. Otherwise serve over rice or couscous (or whatever).

Bon Apetit!

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I’m pregnant! (Watch me dancing around the room… and then sitting and breathing deeply for a few minutes :))

As I’m pregnant, I’ve become extremely health concious. Enough to make you sick :). It’s not as though I was stuffing myself on hamburgers before, you know, but still – I’m noticing what I eat a lot more.  I don’t usually suffer from nausea and similar during pregnancy – instead I suffer from semi-starvation. I am literally either cooking or eating, and the temptation to just stuff pizza/cakes/whatever I happen to have in the house into my mouth is sometimes hard to resist. But I (mostly) do.

So what am I more conscientious about?

Caffeine

I don’t drink coffee at any time, also when not pregnant. I find it bitter and icky. What I do love is tea, particularly Earl Grey tea with milk (no I’m not British. I just love their tea). So according to the American Pregnancy Association I should not consume more than 200 mg caffeine a day when pregnant, about one cup of coffee. When trying to find out how much caffeine tea has, I walked into a quagmire. However, on average I could drink up to 3 cups of black tea a day. As I usually drink only one, that was hardly a problem.

However, it soon became apparent that one of the few food sensitivities I’m having during this pregnancy is an aversion to black tea (oh, my beloved Earl Grey…). I found white tea though that gives me what I need in the morning. At first I was extra pleased, because I read that it has less caffeine than regular black tea.

Then I found that it is not that simple. In general, white tea has even a bit more caffeine than black tea, but “in general” is very misleading. There is more difference between different types of the same tea then between different types of tea.  The caffeine in tea depends on the type of plant, the age of the leaf (buds have more than “older” leaves), the  type of fertilizer, and the growing season. And this is only the actual content in the leaf. At this point you can argue about the temperature of the water, the amount of time the tea is steeping (no, most of the caffeine does not go out at the beginning), whether you stirred it or not, etc.

At this point I went back to the “up to 3 cups a day is fine” mantra, where I usually limited myself to one or maximum two (when I brew a pot).

And then the second food sensitivity became apparent – I began to be turned off by white tea as well. So I drank a lot more herbal teas, Internet scares not withstanding (after I got approval from my doctor to drink all herbal teas in moderation. I mean, seriously, no chamomile during pregnancy? Are you kidding me?). However, that still left me without my morning tea.

What to do?

What I’m doing now is spiced tea-less tea with milk, or cinnamon milk: two cinnamon sticks and one whole clove in boiling water , with brown sugar and milk. I feel as though I’m drinking tea without the tea 🙂

Omega 3

I like fish, but my family doesn’t, so I don’t have it as often as I would like. However, now I am trying to have my two portions a week for omega 3. I don’t really count on capsules as the actual amount absorbed by the body is in doubt – I prefer to actually eat fish. As I’m still the only fish eater in the family, I go with canned fish – mostly sardines and mackerel. My mother provides me with fresh baked salmon regularly (heavenly!) so I don’t count only on cans, giving me quite a rounded diet.

And I found a neat dish with canned fish, based on this recipe. This also goes great with canned sardines.

Ingredients:

1 cans Mackerel
1 1/2 cups chopped onion, carrot and celery (I make in advance and freeze in ziplock bags)
100 gr tomato paste (I love tomatoes)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Parsely (chopped)
dried chili, to taste
Dried oregano to taste
water, about 1 cup
lemon juice (optional)

Directions:
Heat olive oil in a pot and saute onions, carrot  and celery for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and water.  Add fish and bring pot to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. While simmering, add lemon juice and seasonings. Stir occasionally and add water if needed.

I made bulgur (just with onion this time) to go with it, and it was soooo tasty…

Canned Mackerel stew with bulgur

Bon Apetit!

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Fish and Red Burgul

I felt like somthing special, so I decided on fish. I had some bream in the freezer, so it seemed the obvious choice. (Wikipedia tells me that the fish known as “Dennis” in Hebrew is called Gilt-head bream in English, and I’ll assume it’s correct). I put it in a pyrex with sliced spring onion, sliced cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, white wine  and some oregano and basil, coverd and baked at 160 C for 20-30 minutes (as my fish was frozen, I cooked it a lot. If your fish is fresh, 20 minutes is usually enough). What to have with it? I felt like burgul, so I went for “Red Burgul” (or bulgur, burghul, bulghur, otherwise known as cracked wheat or wheat groats).  The red color in my case comes from tomato and red pepper. This was a wonderful treat that really lit up my day, especially as my day was full to bursting with running from one place to another at world record speed. Sitting down and having this meal was the one point of peace and pleasure in an otherwise hectic day.

Bream in the oven

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole fish, cleaned
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes, sliced (or 1/2 large tomato)
  • 1-2 sliced spring onions
  • 2-3 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • dash of white wine
  • dried oregano and basil, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

Place all ingredients together in a pyrex. Cover with aluminium foil. Bake for 20 minutes at 160 C or until fish is white all through.

“Red” Burgul

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 red pepper
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes or one small tomato
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup burgul
  • 2 cups water
  • salt to taste (1/4-1/2 tsp)
  • dried basil, to taste

Fry the onion in the oil for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic, fry for 1 more minute. Add other vegetables and saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add burgul, mix together until bulgur is coated in oil. Add water, salt and spices. Cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes (like rice).

Bon apetit!

 

"Red" Burgul

 

Fish

 

I’ve finally found somewhere to connect to a lot of people who cook – and write about it (though of course I am unique (joking!) ). I have joined the Foodie blogroll. I’ve already subscribed to two excellent sites (Tes at Home and Recipe1k) and I’ll probably be drowning in great recipes in the future! Can’t have too much of a good thing…

 

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