Monday, November 22, 2010

Slow-Cooker Bacon Jam (based on Everyday Food Magazine)

I have been recently receiving Marth Stewart's Everyday Food magazine, and finally started trying the recipes. Although this is a bit different, and takes a while to make, it is definitely worth it!!! Sweet and salty, a great spread on rustic bread pieces....

Slow-Cooker Bacon Jam (based on Everyday Food Magazine)

In a large skillet, over medium high heat, cook:

1 1/2 lbs. bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
Cook until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Mix regulary to make sure for constant heat over equal distribution. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to plate with paper towels to drain. Our off all but 1 T. of fat from skillet (reserve for another use). Lower heat to medium or medium low. Add:

2 medium yellow onions, cliced thin
3 garlic cloves, coarsly chopped

Cook until onions are translucent. Add:

1/2 c. apple cidar vinegar
1/2 c. packed dark-brown sugar
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
3/4 c. brewed coffee

Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any bits from the skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon to combine.
Transfer mixture to a slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Transfer, in batches, to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a mason jar. Let cool, cover, refrigerate.

This can be kept for up to 4 weeks.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spicy Sesame Beef (based on Martha Stewart's Sesame Beef)

With everything that has been going on lately, I haven't had much time to cook, let alone blog about it. But, now things have slowed down a bit, and I am enjoying being the "housewife" again. I have also been getting the Martha Stewart Everyday Food Magazine, and there are some simple, but interesting recipes in there...yesterday, I decided to try one (with a Schneider twist, of course). A few notes:

1) I used a whole lb. of beef, even though the recipe only called for 3/4 lb. This was because of #2.

2) The recipe called for thin slices of red bell peppers, but I cut them thicker than recommended and added about 12 asparagus spears, cut in three pieces each.

3) Because of the addition of #1 and #2, my sauce ingredients were all heaping, but that included the red pepper flakes. I think this is why mine turned out to be a spicy sesame beef, and not just regular sesame beef :-)

Spicy Sesame Beef

In a small bowl, wisk together:

2 T. Soy Sauce
2 T. Cooking Sherry
1 T. Sugar
2 tsp. Rice Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp. Cornstarch (I used Potato Starch)

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat:

1 T. Oil

In batches, placing individually, side by side:

1 lb. boneless New York strip steak, thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Brown for about 1 minute or less on each side. Transfer to a plate.

Add to the pan:

12 asparagus, each cut into about 3 pieces

Mixing regularly, cook for about 2 minutes (still crisp and green).

Add to the pan:

2 red bell peppers, cut in thick slices and then halved

Mixing everything together regularly, cook for about 2 minutes (vegetables should be crisp-tender).

Add to the pan:

2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk soy sauce mixture once more, thoroughly, then add to the skillet, along with the steak. Cook, stirring, until sauce thickens, approximately 1 minute. Stir in:

1 T. sesame seeds (the recipe calls for toasted, but I forgot, and the dish was still amamzing)

To serve, spoon beef mixture, over rice and top with:

Thinly sliced scallion greens (optional)
Note: In regaards to the rice, I used Dominicks O Long Grain Thai Jasmine Rice. First, I liked the fact that it came in a resealable plastic bag. Second, I have never made jasmine rice, so I wanted to try it out. It came out perfectly. I have had very bad luck making rice, it's always too sticky or overdone, or underdone, or just gross...if you like easy brown rice, I get the frozen rice at Whole Foods. You just stick it on the microwave, and no actual cooking necessary...

UPDATE: Well, this was definitely another success story! There was absolutel nothing bad Matthew had to say about it!