Peppered meat stew recipe

Yesterday I was working from home, so I decided to do some stew. I had seen on-line these recipes for a peppered stew called “Peposo” (literary: peppery) typical from Tuscany. I had been looking for an occasion to try it for a while and yesterday seemed to be just the right occasion. It turned out to be a great spicy and aromatic stew.

I decided to share this recipe with Full Plate Thursday by Miz Helen and It’s a Keeper Thursday by Christina.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb stew meat
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon crushed pepper
  • wine
  • salt
  • EVOO

Directions

  1. First I roasted up some garlic cloves in a bit of oil until the garlic was well browned. Then I added the diced meat to the pot and started browning it. When the meat was well seared on all sides, I added a splash of wine Red wine would be the way to go, but I add only very little red so I did a bit of red and a bit of white. Finally I added 3 diced tomatoes and seasoned the meat with a pinch of salt and a lot of pepper. I covered the pot and let the stew simmer for about 2 hours until the meat was fall-apart tender.
  2. Eat it with some toasted bread or polenta or even boiled rice. I would suggest using a rather “bland” side, the thing is not called peppery for nothing!

Potato bread recipe

The other day I boiled potatoes for making some mashed potatoes, but I baked far too many so the day after I had to use them for something and I decided to go for potatoes bread. It is super soft, fluffy bread and is pretty good too! Definitely a must try.

Ingredients

  • 1lb boiled potatoes peeled
  • 1.2lb flour
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 oz. potatoes buds
  • salt
  • sugar

Directions

  1. I started as usual by dissolving the yeast and sugar in some warm water, then I mixed the water with the flour and the potatoes buds. This dough is quite dry, but don’t worry once you add the potatoes it will work out to just the right consistency. After about 15 minutes, I added a pinch of salt and the potatoes which I mashed using a potato ricer. It is important to mash the potatoes quite finely and a regular masher won’t work, you should use either a ricer or a food mill. I kneaded the mashed potatoes with the flour dough until I got a soft and smooth mixture. I put the dough in a bowl and put a lid on it. After a couple of hours when the dough had risen, I formed the dough into a crown shape and floured it. I put my pizza stone in the oven and warmed up it at 450F. When the oven was warm enough, I baked the bread for about 40 minutes because I like it quite crusty, if you like the bread to be less crusty cook it for 5-10 minutes less.
  2. Nice and soft, great for making sandwiches!

3.1

Potato on FoodistaPotato

Mushroom and turkey ham crepes

Now that we have bechamel and crepes down we can make some great savory first course or entrée using them both and whatever you have in the fridge.

This time I had mushrooms, turkey ham and cheese.

Mushroom and turkey ham crepes

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cup bechamel
  • 6 crepes
  • 9 slices turkey ham
  • mushrooms
  • beef broth
  • butter
  • parmesan
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. I started by preparing the crepes batter. While the dough was resting I started on the mushrooms. I sliced mushrooms and cooked them in a pan with oil and garlic and added a bit of beef broth so that the mushroom soften up and develop a nice wild flavor. I then prepared my bechamel according to the base recipe. At this point the crepe dough is usually ready to cook. I prepare 2 to 3 crepes per diner and when they are all cooked up I start assembling them. First I cover half the crepe with sliced turkey ham, then I add thinly sliced cheese over it. This time I used some Swedish cheese that taste something in between sharp cheddar and gouda. I top the cheese with mushrooms and I close the crepes by folding them in half and then in half again. Finally I arrange the crepes in an oven dish and cover them with the bechamel. I season with some ground black pepper and cover in grated parmesan and butter. Crepes should be cooked in the oven at 390F for about half an hour or until cheese is melted. You can broil them for the last 5 minutes to get a nice golden crust on top of your crepes.
  2. Looks rather impressive, doesn’t it? And you can prepare it in advance and warm it up last minute for your guests!

Cheese choux AKA gougeres recipe

A couple of weeks ago I was in the mood of eating something light so I decided to go for a simple pea soup for which I used the fresh peas I found at Costco. The soup itself was just peas and water, so I knew I had to add something else to make it a bit more filling and appealing for my BF. So I decided to bake some cheese choux, which I believe here are known as gougeres.

Cheese choux AKA gougeres

Ingredients

  • half stick butter
  • 5 oz flour
  • 3/4 cups water
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (I used a mix of Asiago and Parmesan)
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  1. First I melted the butter with the water in a pan and brought it to boiling temperature. I added a bit of salt and the flour all at the same time. Then I kept mixing the dough with a spoon until the dough came off clean from the sides of the pots. At this point I took the pan off the stove and I started adding the eggs waiting to add the 2nd egg until the first was well incorporated (I find that using a hand mixer works better than just using the spoon as the dough is rather tough. Finally, I added the grated cheese and mixed until well incorporated.
  2. I formed the choux into small balls using 2 spoons, but you can also use your pastry bag, and then cooked the choux in a 400F oven for about 15 minutes or until golden.
  3. I ate them with the pea soup kind of like croutons, but they are good also alone as an appetizer.

Walnut bread recipe

Yesterday I had kind of a no-day in the cooking department, I baked/cooked a couple of things and I was not particularly happy with the result with any of them. Actually I might be re-baking the cake I baked yesterday… The one exception was the bread. It might be that it’s an easy thing to make or that I was really feeling the walnut bread thing but not the others. Anyway walnut bread turned out great. Other things not so much.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 spoon dry yeast
  • 1 spoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup walnuts

Directions

  1. I proceeded as usual, first I dissolved the yeast and the sugar in warm water, then I mixed the flours with the salt and the nuts and finally I mixed in the water with the dissolved yeast. This time I tried a “no knead” version so I only mixed the ingredients using a fork. I let the dough raise and when it was more or less doubled, I kneaded it into a loaf shape adding some more flour to prevent sticking. I let the loaf raise for another hour or so and then scored it with some horizontal cuts and placed it on my pizza stone in a 450F oven.
  2. Great bread to go with cheese or honey.