* 2 onions
* 3 cloves garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
* 1 pound smoked sausage
* 1 pound boneless beef (any cut of meat)
* 1 can (14-ounce) stewed tomatoes
* 1 cup hot water
* 4 cups canned black beans
* Salt and pepper
1. Cut the bacon strips into big pieces. Fry them in a large pot over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
2. Turn the heat down to medium.
3. Cut the onion in half. Peel off the skin and outer layer. Chop both halves into small pieces.
4. Peel the cloves of garlic. Chop them into small pieces.
5. Add the onions and garlic to the bacon in the pot. Stir until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes.
6. Cut the sausage and beef into 1-inch pieces. Add them to the onions and garlic.
7. Cook until the meat is brown on all sides.
8. Add the stewed tomatoes (with juice), hot water, yellow mustard, and some salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to simmer. Cover the pot.
9. Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring often. If it looks too thick, add more water, ¼ cup at a time. Add the black beans (with liquid).
10. Cover the pot, and cook for 10 more minutes.
Serves 10 to 12.
I hit our local Meijer today and as always stocked up on some great looking fish with some nice prices. So tonight I had a Baked Salmon Fillet. Rubbed a 1/2 teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on it and seasoned with Sea Salt, Grinder Black Pepper, and Parsley. Baked at 400 degrees for 11 minutes. Had sides of a Baked Potato and had some Asparagus Pieces left over from the other night.
A national dish is a dish, food or a drink that is considered to represent a particular country, nation or region.
Brazil is a large country that is made up of many different cultures. Each region has a different food specialty. The Portuguese arrived in Brazil in 1500 and brought their tastes and styles of cooking with them. They brought sugar, citrus fruits, and many sweets that are still used for desserts and holidays. The Brazilian “sweet tooth” was developed through the influence of the Europeans. Brazilians use many eggs, fruits, spices (such as cinnamon and cloves), and sugar to make sweet treats, such as ambrosia. They also use savory (not sweet) seasonings such as parsley and garlic. Other nationalities that settled in Brazil were Japanese, Arabs, and Germans. More than one million Italians had migrated to Brazil by 1880. Each immigrant group brought along its own style of cooking.
Long before the Europeans arrived, however, the Tupí-Guaraní and other Indian groups lived in Brazil. They planted manioc (a root vegetable like a potato) from which Brazilians learned to make tapioca and farofa , ground manioc, which is similar to fine breadcrumbs. It is toasted in oil and butter and sprinkled over rice, beans, meat, and fish. As of 2001, farofa was still used as the Brazilians’ basic “flour” to make cookies, biscuits, and bread.
Rice, black beans, and manioc (a root vegetable like a potato) are the main foods for many Brazilians. The national dish is feijoada , a thick stew of black beans and pieces of pork and other meats. It is usually served with orange salad, white rice, farofa (ground manioc), and couve (kale), a dark green leafy vegetable that is diced and cooked until slightly crispy.
Almost every kind of fruit grows in Brazil, including apples, oranges, peaches, strawberries, bananas, papayas, mangoes, and avocados. Fruits, vegetables, meat, and flowers are sold at feiras (street markets). These outside markets are set up on streets, which are closed to vehicle traffic. The markets are set up in a new location every day.
Churrasco , chunks of beef cooked on a metal skewer over hot coals, is another favorite. Sometimes the beef is soaked in a mixture of vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic before cooking. This “Brazilian barbecue” is served with rice, potato salad, polenta (fried corn mush), or, occasionally, a fried banana. Gaúchos (cowboys) living in the region of Rio Grande do Sul especially enjoy churrasco . After the gaúchos eat their meal, they drink maté (an herbal tea drunk in many parts of South America). The tea leaves are placed inside a hollowed-out gourd, and then boiling water is poured over them. Gaúchos slowly sip the maté through a metal straw, called a bombilla, with a strainer on the lower tip of it. The gourd and straw are carried, hanging from the belt.
Another popular beverage is guaraná, made from a small red fruit that is high in caffeine and grows in the Amazon River area. It is a refreshing soft drink, unique to Brazil and with a taste some describe as similar to creme soda. People in the Amazon River area also chew the guaraná seeds, or make a drink by dissolving a powder made from the seeds in water. Powdered guaraná is available in the United States in some health food stores, or in markets specializing in foods from South America.
Although Brazil has no national religion, the Portuguese who arrived in Brazil in 1500 brought their Roman Catholic religion with them. About 75 percent of Brazilians consider themselves Roman Catholic. Those who do not follow the Roman Catholic religion still enjoy the world-renowned Brazilian Carnival tradition. During Carnival, colorful parades are held on the streets, and children and adults dress in costumes, dancing and celebrating in the streets all day and all night. People eat and drink continuously during Carnival, enjoying spice dishes, such as pepper-scented rice and feijoada, and sweets. Carnival is a week-long party that ends on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the 40-day religious period of Lent before the Christian celebration of Easter. During Lent, it is a Roman Catholic tradition not to eat meat.
Because Brazil is the world’s largest producer of coffee, a typical pequeno almoço (breakfast) consists of a cup of café come leite (a hot milk and coffee mixture) and a piece of French bread. Many Brazilian children also drink a coffee and milk mixture for breakfast.
Lunch, usually the biggest meal of the day, consists of rice, beans, salad, meat, or other dishes, depending on where the family lives and what they can afford to buy. Between lunch and supper some Brazilians have midmorning and midafternoon café , which includes coffee, hot milk, and cookies. Pastels and empadas , little pastries filled with any combination of shrimp, meats, and cheeses that are either fried or baked, are a favorite snack. These can be purchased by street vendors (Brazilian “fast food”) or made at home.
In the late evening, many Brazilians eat a light supper. Children enjoy desserts such as pudim or churros , fried dough rolled in sugar and filled with caramel, chocolate, or sweetened condensed milk.
Onions are the indispensable vegetable, the strong (yet sweet) cornerstone of modern cooking, not just in our culture but around the world. Whether it’s a soup, stew, stir-fry, salad or sauce, chances are the recipe includes onions or garlic (very likely both) or one of their relatives. These members of the Allium genus (part of the lily family) don’t just add flavor, they add richness and complexity.
The onion is an edible bulb. While it is a vegetable at heart, it also acts as a spice inasmuch as it can provide an aromatic undertone to various meat and vegetable dishes, without being a major ingredient. The characteristic appearance of the onion is well known, but there are many variations of color, shape and size. The color varies from white to red to purple, the shape from spherical to almost conical, and the diameter at the largest point from 10mm (1/2in) to 8cm (3in) or ‘more. Onions should be firm, though not rock hard. The papery skin should be tight over the surface of the bulb. Spring onions, or scallions, are immature plants where the bulb has not completely formed. They may be cylindrical, the green stem shading into the white bulblet, which may be almost spherical. Onions are also available in processed form, as dried flakes and powder, or liquid.
Plant Description and Cultivation
A hardy biennial but cultivated as an annual. Although the bulbous plant with its long-bladed leaves has many varieties of shape and color, it is so familiar that it is not necessary to add to what has already been said under Spice Description.
Preparation and Storage
Onions may be used whole, sliced, chopped, diced or liquidised. It is important to observe the cooking instructions carefully, as the flavour of onions is greatly influenced by their treatment. A recipe where onions are to be ‘fried till golden’ will suffer if the onions are browned. Small onions and picklers are easier to peel if they are first immersed in boiling water for ten seconds and then rinsed in cold water before removing the skins. To prevent the eyes from watering, peel onions under cold water or put them in the freezer for ten minutes before chopping. Should onions be excessively strong, boil them whole for five minutes before proceeding with the recipe. Firm unblemished onions should keep for several weeks if stored in a cool airy place. Too much warmth will encourage sprouting. Home-grown onions must be quite dry before stringing. Dried onion flakes and powder should be stored in airtight containers.
Onion is a basic flavoring in the kitchen. It is used as a vegetable, or as a spice to bring out the flavor of other dishes without overpowering them. It often accompanies meat – especially mince and meat dishes such as shepherds pie and meat loaf which would be insipid without it. Onion is also widely used in soups, pickles and cooked vegetable dishes, sauces, hearty casseroles, and bean and lentil dishes. It is a common ingredient in marinades, and an onion studded with cloves is often a main flavoring in stocks and courts-bouillons. There are many classic recipes featuring onion including such familiar dishes as tripe and onions, steak and onions, French onion soup, coq au yin, sauce soubise, to name but a few. Equally famous in India is do pvaza, a dish of meat cooked with a, much as double its weight of onions. The shallot is frequently used in Mediterranean and American cookery, the rocambole in country recipes. Spring onions are common in fresh summer salads and in Chinese and Japanese cookery.
Onion contains protein, sugars, cellulose, minerals, a fixed oil, an essential oil and over 80 per cent water. The amount of essential oil is very small but it contains the aromatic and tear-producing properties associated with onion. These are caused by sulphides which are produced by the reaction of the enzyme alliinase on an amino acid. These substances are normally in separate cells in the tissues, but when the onion is cut and bruised, rupturing the cells, the reaction takes place. Cooking has the opposite effect, preventing the enzymatic action and thus milder and less pungent flavors are produced. The chemistry of the Alliaceae family, including garlic, shallots etc, is very similar. The calorific value of raw onion is 38 calories per 100g, or roughly 20 calories for a 3oz onion.
Attributed Medicinal Properties
Antiseptic, diuretic, expectorant and rubefacient. Onion’s antiseptic properties as a juice or paste have been used for wound healing, skin complaints (acne), insect bites, hemorrhoids, boils, toothache, earache and respiratory complaints. The raw juice is diuretic and the whole onion is an appetite stimulant and digestant. It has been used as a vermifuge. It is believed to stimulate the liver and is beneficial to the heart and nervous system.
Ginger and Chocolate, “Here We Go”. Two of my favorites together! This will be on February’s must try list. Some nice tips listed after the Ingredients. Another good one from the Diabetic Living On Line web site.
Ginger-Spiced Chocolate Cake
SERVINGS: 16 servings
CARB GRAMS PER SERVING: 32
2-1/3 Cups Cake Flour or 2 cups All-Purpose Flour*
2/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1-1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1-1/4 Cups Buttermilk or Sour Fat-Free Milk**
1 Cup Granulated Sugar or Sugar substitute blend*** equivalent to 1 cup sugar
1/2 Cup Canola Oil or cooking oil
1/2 Cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 2 eggs
1 Tablespoon finely chopped Crystallized Ginger
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Powdered Sugar
Fresh Raspberries (optional)
Fresh Mint Leaves (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan. Set pan aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, crystallized ginger, and vanilla. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture. Beat with a wire whisk just until combined.
3. Spoon batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. If desired, garnish with raspberries and mint leaves.
*Test Kitchen Tip:. You can substitute whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour for up to half of the total cake flour or all-purpose flour used.
**Test Kitchen Tip: To make 1-1/4 cups sour fat-free milk, place 4 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add enough fat-free milk to measure 1-1/4 cups total liquid; stir. Let stand for 5 minutes before using.
***SUGAR SUBSTITUTES: Choose Splenda® Sugar Blend for Baking. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 1 cup sugar.
PER SERVING WITH SUGAR SUBSTITUTE: Same as above, except 192 cal, 25 g carb. Exchanges: 1.5 other carb. Carb choices: 1.5.
Miniature Ginger-Spiced Chocolate Cakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour eight 3-3/4-inch diameter miniature fluted tube pans. Prepare batter as above through Step 2. Spoon evenly into prepared pans, using about 1/2 cup batter per pan. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers of cakes comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks and cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. If you do not have two pans, cover and chill 1 cup of the batter while baking first six cakes; bake the remaining two cakes. Makes 8 cakes (2 servings per cake).
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
* Servings: 16 servings
* Total Fat (g)8
* Saturated Fat (g)1
* Monounsaturated Fat (g)6
* Polyunsaturated Fat (g)2
* Cholesterol (mg)1
* Sodium (mg)133
* Carbohydrate (g)32
* Total Sugar (g)14
* Fiber (g)0
* Protein (g)4
* Vitamin A (DV%)0
* Vitamin C (DV%)0
* Calcium (DV%)7
* Iron (DV%)12
* Other Carbohydrates (d.e.)2
* Fat (d.e.)1.5
Today’s Menu: Fried Tilapia Fillet w/ Pasta Shells & Cheese, Asparagus, and Corn Muffins.
Had a nice looking Tilapia Fillet rolled in a Bread Crumb and Whole Wheat Flour mixture and seasoned with Sea Salt and Pepper. Fried in a 1/2 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. As sides had Kraft/Velveeta 2% Pasta Shells and Cheese, Green Giant Asparagus Bits, and Dixie Carb Counters Corn Muffins. First time I had tried the Dixie Corn Muffin mix and it won’t be the last! I love bread as you can tell from my previous posts. I hadn’t had a Corn Muffins in quite sometime due to the carbs in them. With Dixie Corn Muffin Mix there is only 138 calories and 8 carbs, 4 net carbs! Plus the taste is on the spot! I’ll be ordering more packages of this soon.
1-1/2 Cups Sugar or sugar substitute-sugar baking blend* equivalent to 1-1/2 cups sugar
3 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Butter, softened or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
3/4 Cup fresh or frozen egg product, thawed (Egg Beaters)
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup chopped Peanuts
1 Cup chopped Walnuts
1 Cup dried Currants
1 6-ounce package Dried Cranberries (1 cup)
*To make the cookie dough a little firmer and easier to drop, chill it for up to an hour.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar or sugar substitute-sugar baking blend and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine butter and the remaining sugar or sugar substitute-sugar baking blend; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add egg product and vanilla; beat until combined.
3. In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Add to beaten mixture; beat until well mixed. Stir in the peanuts, currants, and cranberries.
4. Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
5. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks; let cool. Makes about 60 cookies.
Test Kitchen Tip: If using a sugar substitute-sugar baking blend, we recommend Splenda® Sugar Blend for Baking or Equal® Sugar Light. Be sure to use package directions to determine product amount equivalent to 1 1/2 cups sugar.
Nutrition Facts per cookie: 89 cal., 5 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 9 mg chol., 68 mg sodium, 10 g carbo., 1 dietary fiber, 2 protein.Exchanges: .5 Other Carbohydrates 1 FatCarb Choices: .5
Note:Nutrition facts are based on one cookie.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
* Total Fat (g)5
* Saturated Fat (g)2
* Cholesterol (mg)9
* Sodium (mg)68
* Carbohydrate (g)13
* Fiber (g)1
* Protein (g)2
* Other Carbohydrates (d.e.)1
* Fat (d.e.)1
As Bison Demand Rises, So Does Need For Ranchers
by Grace Hood
Bison ranchers from across the U.S. are gathering in Denver this week to figure out how to recruit more people into the bison business and ratchet up the meat supply. That’s because a shortage of bison is pushing prices to a near-record high.
At a Ted’s Montana Grill in Denver, accountants Cory Vann and Reid Schellhous sat down to some bison burgers for lunch.
Asked how the burgers taste, Schellhous says, “It’s a little bit sweeter, slightly different texture, I’d say. A little bit smoother.”
For these number-crunchers, paying $12 per burger isn’t a deterrent.
“I mean, if it was twice as much as beef, I think I’d stick with beef. But it’s only a couple dollars’ difference, and so it’s not that big of a deal,” Vann says.
A recent supply shortage forced the restaurant to raise its prices on bison. But general manager Scott Procup says that so far, customer demand is holding steady.
“We started prepping more beef, but it stayed in line still with the prices,” he says. “They’re willing to pay the extra price for the product.”
But as prices continue to rise, many in the industry expect customers to push back. That has led the National Bison Association to launch a massive recruiting effort to bring more ranchers into the business.
And people like Chandler Morton are answering the call. When we visited him, he was out stringing electrical fence wire, preparing grazing land for his 15 recently purchased bison.
Morton is in his mid-30s; he has a master’s degree in accounting. His disdain for sitting behind a desk led him to start an animal hide tanning store, which he’s now using to fund an upstart bison business.
“I think there’s several years to go before we can even come close to matching demand. So that’s what’s exciting about it,” he says. “Because there’s not too many industries you can look at in 2011 and say that’s what’s happening.”
But it will take time for Morton to grow his herd. A female bison can’t have her first calf until she’s 3; that’s compared with age 2 for beef cows. It may sound like a shortcoming, but this can actually be an asset, according to Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association.
“The good thing is, with the higher prices, that’s all going right back to the ranchers right now. And that’s a great signal for ranchers to build their herds,” he says.
While ranchers may be benefiting, processors like Rocky Mountain Natural Meats are not.
President Bob Dineen started the business out of his Nissan station wagon decades ago. Today his factory supplies meat to Whole Foods and Ted’s Montana Grill.
“We’ve increased sales in the 10 to 20 percent range pretty much every year,” Dineen says, “this year being the lower end of that, because of supply issues.”
Last year, the industry saw some growing pains. Rocky Mountain Natural Meats initiated its largest recall ever, due to possible contamination by E. coli bacteria. Dineen says the processing plant tests daily for it. And he says that growing the business means preserving the quality customers expect.
Back at Ted’s Montana Grill, diner Cory Vann says he probably couldn’t taste the difference between beef and bison if he were blindfolded. And right now, that’s part of the appeal for consumers like Vann, who also cooks the lower-fat meat at home.
“We’ve made like a Bolognese with bison instead of ground beef before,” he says. “We’ll make burgers at home, but even taco meat you can make with bison instead.”
It seems that just about the only culinary limit the bison industry has right now is dessert.
An article on my favorite meat, Bison!
Bison – a heart-healthy meat
Jim Romanoff – The Associated Press
BILL HOGAN Chicago Tribune
Tired of chicken? Try a bison burger, grilled to rare or medium doneness.
Want to be health conscious and a red meat lover? Try bison.
Bison (also called buffalo) meat has a flavor that is similar to beef, though many say it is slightly sweeter. But what is most notable, especially to the healthy cook, is that the American Heart Association has included lean cuts of bison as part of a heart healthy diet.
Nutritionists like bison because it is low in total fat, saturated fat, sodium and dietary cholesterol. It also is nutrient-dense, containing a high proportion of protein and minerals relative to calories.
Ground bison and bison sirloin steaks can be found in most supermarkets, and an even wider range of cuts can be purchased from specialty meat purveyors.
Bison can be used in the same ways you would beef, but the leanness of the meat comes with a downside — it has to be cooked carefully or it can easily dry out and become tough.
It is best to cook bison steaks to a rare or medium doneness, so if you prefer your meat well done you may want to stick with beef.
Ground bison is quite versatile and works well for tacos, chili, meatloaf and meatballs. The latter two are especially good if you add some moisture in the form chopped onions or moistened, fresh breadcrumbs.
A bison burger is delicious, especially when cooked to no more than medium doneness. Season the ground meat with a simple combination of coarse salt and ground black pepper, or using seasonings from any of your favorite burger recipes.
This recipe for grilled, marinated open-faced bison steak sandwiches uses a balsamic vinegar and shallot marinade to add flavor and moisture. Use bison steak medallions, bison strip or rib-eye steaks for the best results.
The low fat, creamy horseradish-chive sauce provides the perfect accent to the bison steak and peppery baby arugula. Try it on your favorite steak, burger or even as a dip for crispy, fresh vegetables.
½ cup balsamic vinegar ¼ cup finely chopped shallots
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Four 6-ounce bison sirloin steaks, about 1-inch thick each
4 slices sourdough bread
2 cups baby arugula, washed and dried
In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, shallots, olive oil and mustard.
Place the bison steaks in a zip-close plastic bag and add half of the balsamic dressing. Turn to coat well. Set the remaining dressing aside. Place the sealed bag in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours, and up to 8 hours.
Heat a gas grill to medium or prepare a charcoal fire. Remove the steaks from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Oil the grill rack using an oil-soaked folded paper towel held with tongs.
Grill the steaks to medium doneness, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Be careful not to overcook. While the steaks are cooking, grill the bread, turning once, until toasted, about 1 minute per side.
Toss the arugula with the reserved balsamic mixture. To assemble the sandwiches, top each slice of bread with dressed arugula and steak. Serve immediately topped with a dollop of creamy horseradish-chive sauce.
Makes 4 servings.
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish, chives and vinegar.
Today’s Menu: Bison Sirloin Steak and Sauteed Mushrooms w/ Smashed Potatoes and Artisan Multi Grain Bread.
I had one of the most tender and great tasting Bison Sirloin Steaks I have ever had for dinner tonight! Rubbed just a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on it and seasoned with McCormick Steakhouse Grinder Seasoning. Pan fried to medium rare and covered with Sauteed Portabella Mushrooms. As sides had Smashed New Potatoes and Kroger Artisan Multi Grain Bread. I fixed the Potatoes by quartering them and seasoned with Sea Salt , Grinder Black Pepper, Ground Thyme, Parsley, and a teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Put them in a microwave safe bowl and nuked for 4:30 minutes. Then took a hand masher and partially smashed them and then added a pat of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Then ENJOYED A GREAT DINNER!