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Home-Style Burgundy Beef Stew


Home-Style Burgundy Beef Stew


Beef stew is one of my all time favorite comfort foods. Luckily, we’re just hitting our stride here in New England with cooler evenings. For me, that means stews, soups and all things comforting are going to start showing up in my weekly menu planning. When it was time to choose a recipe from this week’s American Diabetes Association (ADA) cookbook, it didn’t take me very long to decide. Home Style Beef Burgundy Stew. For me! Well, I’ll share, but it makes me very happy. I love it!

We’ve got tender beef cubes, sweet carrots and silky potatoes happening here. As for seasonings, there was one I’d never used in beef stew before--Allspice! Say what? Yes, Allspice. I didn’t question, I went with it. Upon first taste of the finished stew, I was sold. It’s a lovely flavor in this stew, and very fitting for the fall season. It’s warm and cozy.

This week we’re cooking from Nancy Hughes’ cookbook Gluten-Free Recipes for People with Diabetes. There are so many recipes in this book I want to try, as in the last book we highlighted. It’s a gluten-free cookbook, but unless you actually told someone you were feeding them gluten-free food, they likely wouldn’t know. The idea is: spotlight the stars of the recipe you’re enjoying instead of talking about what you’ve left out or made a substitution for.

As I said in my previous post, for the month of September, we’re celebrating "30 Days of Family Health,” sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The best prevention for diabetes starts early in life, through maintaining a healthy lifestyle and developing good habits at a young age. There are twelve bloggers helping to promote this healthy message for the month of September, so there will be no shortage of recipe ideas brought to you by the ADA and some very talented cookbook authors! All you have to do is follow along and enjoy the ride. Check out Kitchen PLAY to get all of the latest details, links and recipes.

Home-Style Burgundy Beef Stew

Serves 4 • Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups • Makes 5 cups

1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 pound lean boneless chuck, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup chopped onion
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces whole mushrooms
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup dry red wine
2 teaspoons gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 packets sodium-free, gluten-free beef bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 medium carrots, scrubbed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 3-inch pieces (8 ounces total)
12 ounces russet potatoes, peeled (optional), and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3/4 teaspoon salt

1. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown half of the beef; set aside on separate plate. Repeat with 1 teaspoon of the oil and remaining beef; set aside. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the pan residue, cook the onions and garlic 3 minutes or until onions are brown on edges.

2. Stir in the mushrooms, water, wine, Worcestershire, sugar, bouillon, allspice, and return the beef to the onions in the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes.

3. Stir in the carrots and potatoes, cover, and cook 45 minutes or until beef is tender.

For a thicker consistency, using a potato masher or large slotted spoon, mash some of the potatoes and carrots. This technique also adds flavor as well as thickness.

NOTE: There is no mention of the ¾ teaspoon of salt in the recipe directions, but I assume it’s added at the end when you taste and adjust for seasonings.


1 Starch, 2 Vegetable, 2 Lean Meat, 1 Fat


Calories 255
Calories from Fat 70
Total Fat 8.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.8 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 50 mg
Sodium 540 mg
Potassium 1025 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Sugars 7 g
Protein 21 g
Phosphorus 250 mg

There will be other cookbooks highlighted this month that are available in the ADA catalog. You can shop there now and receive a 25% discount on all books until October 4th, 2013! The discount code is KITCHEN2013. Remember, follow along at Kitchen PLAY for more links all month long, and stay tuned to this space for two more 30 Days of Family Health this month.

*This post is sponsored by the ADA in conjunction with Kitchen PLAY.


Traditional Chicken and Rice by Lidia Bastianich (Win the cookbook!)

Traditional Rice and Chicken - Riso alla Pitocca by Lidia Bastianich This dish just screams come in from the cold and fill your belly. It’s loaded with flavor, along with chunks of tender chicken and perfectly creamy rice. Filled with tiny bits of carrot, celery and onion, and some parmesan cheese that’s been stirred in until melty--it’s comfort food at it’s best. “Here is a dish that rivals risotto for flavor but is much simpler to make,” Lidia says about this dish.

The randomly chosen winner of the cookbook is Jen B. Congrats, Jen, and thank you to everyone that entered! 

I love Lidia Bastianich--I always have. She not only makes the most amazing Italian food, but I find her comforting. Her voice is calming to me. I want to be in her kitchen and have her talk me through making all of her recipes. Weird? Of course not! If you like more information on Lidia, check out her site, Lidia’s Italy. It’s filled with information, including recipes, a blog, Lidia’s appearance schedule, and more.

I recently received a copy of her new book, Lidia's Favorite Recipes: 100 Foolproof Italian Dishes, from Basic Sauces to Irresistible Entrees. I’m in love with this cookbook! These recipes are the ones that you’ll want to make and share with the ones you love. These aren’t over complicated dishes to make, either. There are no crazy long ingredient lists using fifteen pans to prepare and serve. They’re family style--and suitable for weeknight dinners as well as hearty Sunday dinners.

Lidia's Favorite Recipes

From the book’s dust jacket: “Lidia Bastianich—one of the most beloved chefs and authors in America—presents her most accessible and affordable cookbook to date, a gathering of the recipes that have become her go-to meals for her very own family. But these are not only Lidia’s personal favorites; this book is a love letter to her fans. Here, she is giving us the recipes for dishes that you have raved and written about over and over—the best, the most comforting, and the most delicious dishes in her repertoire.

  From the classic sauces to the delicious desserts, these recipes have been revised and updated to be more concise and clear, but just as soul-satisfying as ever. With new information about the affordability, seasonality, and nutritional value of the ingredients, this book shows there is no question why these dishes are the easiest and most enjoyable to bring to the family table for your most memorable moments. Beautifully illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, Lidia’s Favorite Recipes will give both new cooks and longtime fans something extraordinary to celebrate.”

This chicken and rice dish is a convenient one pot meal, and it’s ready quickly enough to be a weeknight meal, but also wonderful on those cold weekend afternoons and evenings. It’s also an inexpensive meal. I’m going to give you one warning, though. It’s filling! It’ll stick to your ribs, for sure. Take a serving that’s a little less than how hungry you feel, then go back for more if you think you need it. I’ve made this about five times already, and I still haven’t gotten this though my head. It’s just so tasty that I can’t help myself. It’s also husband and kid-approved, and let’s just say that it isn’t pretty when we fight about who gets the leftovers.

Traditional Rice and Chicken - Riso alla Pitocca by Lidia Bastianich

Traditional Rice and Chicken

Riso alla Pitocca by Lidia Bastianich
Serves 4-6

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup onion cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup carrot cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup celery cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cloves garlic, peeled (I use 3, or 4 if they're smallish)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp kosher salt (I use 2 teaspoons. Always better to start with less and season later!)
1 fresh bay leaf (I use 2 dried bay leaves)
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups hot chicken or turkey stock (I use Better than Bouillon, which explains why I use less salt.)
2 cups Italian short grain rice, such as Arborio or Carnaroli (For great creamy risotto texture, don't substitute.)
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for passing


Trim any extra fat from the chicken and cut the thighs into 1 inch chunks, set aside. In a food processor, mince the onion, carrot, celery and garlic into a fine textured pestata. Not a puree, not large chunks, but in between--minced.

Pour the olive oil into a large saucepan with a lid, and set over medium high heat. (Seriously, a large pan. At least a 12 inch pan with a fairly high side, or a large saucepan. This dish grows as it cooks.) Stir in the pestata and and season with one teaspoon of the salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pestata has dried.

Toss in the chicken and the bay leaf (or leaves), and sprinkle with one more teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the chicken is browning and caramelizing. Raise the heat and add the wine, stirring and deglazing the pan. Cook until the most of the wine has evaporated. While stirring, pour in the hot stock and the rice. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce the heat to keep it bubbling gently (a nice low-ish simmer). Cook for 14-17 minutes (It's 14 for Lidia, and about 17 minutes for me.), or until the rice and chicken are fully cooked and the rice is a creamy consistency.

Turn off the heat and drop in the butter, stirring until it's completely incorporated, then stir in the parsley and the 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Check for seasoning  now. Spoon into pasta bowls and serve immediately with additional cheese to pass around at the table.

  • As you can see, I forgot the fresh parsley. D’oh!
  • This is a great dish to make and take to a friend/family in need of some nourishing love. New parents, friends dealing with a crisis, sick friends--you get the idea.




Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Has generously offered to give a copy of Lidia’s Favorite Recipes to one of you! And entering is so easy…

  • Just leave a comment here. That’s it!
  • If you’d like additional entries, you can share this on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+. Leave an additional comment for each share here on this post letting me know you did.

I’ll choose the random winner (US only) on Thursday, January 31st. Good luck!

Traditional Rice and Chicken - Riso alla Pitocca by Lidia Bastianich

Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of Lidia's Favorite Recipes at no cost to me. Alfred A. Knopf/Random House will be providing the prize for this cookbook giveaway and will send the prize directly to the winner. I did not accept monetary compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.




Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Steak Wraps

Hawaiian Grilled Teriyaki Steak Wraps

Grilled marinated steak, crunchy veggies, grilled pineapple, and a miso Greek yogurt sauce, all wrapped up in the most delicious grilled flour tortilla my taste buds have ever had (thank you very much, Tortilla Land!). We had this last weekend, and as I’m writing this, I find myself wishing we still had some! 

Someone asked the other day, on Twitter I believe, what everyone's favorite grilled food was. I gave it some very brief thought and answered chicken. But now I realize I can’t choose just one. I absolutely adore grilled vegetables--if you’ve never tried grilled leeks, DO IT SOON. Pure heaven! We eat way less meat than we used to, so it’s easy for us to have a big old plate of grilled veggies and a small serving of some meat. If you put a grilled steak in front of me, it makes me a very happy Elle. Simple burger? Yeah! If you add sliced garden tomatoes to that burger, you could probably get me to do almost anything. Almost.

We like to get our vegetables and fruits at a place called Tendercrop Farm in Newbury, MA. They have a huge selection of their own (and other local) fresh produce, as well as their own hormone-free and antibiotic-free chickens, Black Angus beef, and turkeys. It’s good to know that even if we do have some beef or poultry, that it’s great quality. They also make their own sausage and hot dogs! We got some killer Andouille sausage that’s going to star in an upcoming post, so stay tuned for that.

Last week, I received a box of fresh, uncooked flour tortillas from Tortilla Land. When they asked if I’d like to try some, I couldn’t say no. We love flour tortillas. You’re only limited by your imagination as to what to put in them. One of my favorite ways to have them, courtesy of Billy, is just lightly browned in a bit of oil, and then brushed with butter. Have them alongside any meal where you might want bread. So unbelievably simple, but a tasty alternative to bread! The big difference with Tortilla Land’s tortillas, is that they’re uncooked. You simply toss them in a hot pan (or on a hot grill) and after just a few seconds one each side, they’re like you made them at home. With spots of browned goodness that add flavor to each and every bite. Now fill them with something, or have them as a side, and you’ll be totally satisfied.

Tortilla Land’s tortillas are also all natural, have no trans fats, no cholesterol, and no saturated fats. What’s in them? Wheat Flour, Water, Canola Oil, Salt,and Sugar. That’s it. They’re what you would make at home yourself, only you can have them on the table faster. You know how some store bought tortillas can be thick and doughy, and kind of sweet? These are none of those. They’re addictive, especially with the little charred areas that you can get if you let them get that way, which I do.

So! While at the farm last weekend, we picked up some of their steak, which was marinated in their Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce. It was a perfect match for the tortillas.

Hawaiian Grilled Teriyaki Steak Wraps

Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Steak Wraps

makes 4-5 wraps

You can use your favorite marinade here. Ours just happened to be already marinated from Tendercrop Farm. Feel free to use whatever extras you like in the wraps--don't feel limited to what we used in ours. If you can't find the seasoning that I used in the yogurt sauce, you can add more sesame oil, sesame seeds, and ginger to taste.

-about 3/4 to one pound of steak, marinated for at least a couple of hours, but overnight is always better
-fresh pineapple slices
-shredded carrots
-sliced cucumber (I used 2 smallish cukes)
-sliced green onions
-hot sauce (optional)
-Tortilla Land Flour Tortillas

Miso Yogurt Sauce:
makes about 8-9 ounces

7 oz container Greek Yogurt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp light Miso
a few drops of sesame oil
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp Toasted Sesame Ginger Seasoning

Make the yogurt sauce:
Whisk all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set in the fridge until you're ready to serve.

Grill your steaks until done to your liking, or you can also cook them on the stove-again, till done the way you like them. Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes before you slice it. After the steak is grilled, grill your pineapple slices. They only take a few minutes. Set those aside.

Just before assembling the wraps, place the tortillas on the grill. Let them get toasty on one side, then flip them-watching carefully so you don't burn them. The charred spots just add to the overall flavor, so don't be afraid to let them get some good color! They cook very quickly.

Spread some of the yogurt sauce down the middle of the tortillas, then top with the sliced steak, carrots, cucumber, green onion, and the grilled pineapple. Drizzle with some hot sauce if you like. We like! Roll the tortillas up and serve.

BONUS: The Miso Yogurt Sauce makes a fabulous veggie dip! We dipped all of the leftover cucumber slices in the sauce and truthfully, I could enjoy just that as a snack--anytime! Try it on other sandwiches and wraps, as well.

I’m sure I’ll have more tortilla recipes coming up. When Tortilla Land’s rep, Alexis, told me that I’d probably receive enough tortillas to share with friends, she wasn’t kidding!

And just look a the gorgeous color on those tortillas. Seriously. If you can get your hands on some Tortilla Land Tortillas, you’ve got to try them!

Hawaiian Grilled Teriyaki Steak Wraps


Mushroom Bourguignon

Mushroom Bourguignon

Speaking of cold weather and comfort food, today I have a recipe that will knock your vegetarian socks off! You know what? Even if you’re not vegetarian, this one will knock those socks off. This Mushroom Bourguignon is so hearty and, well, comforting. It’s loaded with mushrooms, carrots and potatoes, and served over a bed of fluffy egg noodles. You will not miss the meat in this, honestly. And of you absolutely cannot live without the meat, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t cut the quantity of mushrooms in half, and brown some beef in there while you’re browning the mushrooms in the first step.

Bourguignon refers to recipes prepared in the style of the French region of Burgundy. It’s traditionally beef braised in red wine along with other ingredients--usually beef broth, bacon, pearl onions, and mushrooms. I choose to leave the pearl onions out of this recipe--that’s my preference.  If you’d like to add them, feel free to cut back on the carrots, and add a cup or two of them.

My husband emailed this recipe to me some time ago, and we’ve had it several times since-with a few changes made along the way.  It was submitted to a yoga site by a Kierstin Buchner.  Thanks, Kierstin--we love this one!  What changes did I make?  Well, leaving out the pearl onions, for one, upping the carrot and potato quantities, too.  Changed the herbs up a bit, tweaked the cooking procedure somewhat, and I thicken the bourguignon up at the end of cooking. 

Please don’t be scared off by the ingredient list--it’s not as long as you may think.  This is a fabulous one pot meal, not counting the pot to cook the egg noodles in.  Get your ingredients measured out and ready to go, and it’s very simple.  Here’s the plan:

  • Slice and chop the mushrooms, set aside.
  • Dice the onion, slice the carrots, and set those aside together-because they go in the pot at the same time.
  • Mince the garlic, set aside.
  • Measure out the flour, get the spices together. You’re using mise en place bowls, yes? They’ll truly simplify your cooking!
  • Measure out the wine, then the broth, set aside.
  • Get your tomato paste ready. HINT! You hardly ever need a whole can of tomato paste at once, so here’s what I do: open the can, scoop it all out, toss it in a zip top bag, and form the paste into a log shape in the bottom of the bag.  When you need a tablespoon of the paste, cut a piece off of the tomato paste log (about the width of a tablespoon of butter).  OR, measure tablespoon sized quantities of the paste, and drop them on a parchment lined plate. Freeze them on the plate-when frozen take them off the paper and toss in a plastic bag to keep in the freezer.  Easy!
  • While the stew is simmering for the 30 minutes, get the potatoes scrubbed and quartered, and set a pan of water to boil for the noodles. 

See? All you need is a plan!

Mushroom Bourguignon

Mushroom Bourguignon
This makes a lot (like, 6 servings or so?), so unless you're feeding a crowd, be prepared for amazing leftovers.  If you don't like leftovers, send them to me, I'll take them!

2 lbs Crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 Portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed, cut into chunks
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally  into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
2 cups dry red wine
4 cups broth of your choice-vegetable, chicken, beef
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
2 bay leaves
28 oz (1 lb, 12 oz) small potatoes, quartered (approximately-that's just the size of the bag I had on hand)
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp cold water
egg noodles

In a large pot, heat about 2-3 tbsp of olive oil. Add all of the mushrooms, about 1 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper, and sauté for about 10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and accumulated juices to a bowl and set aside.

Add a couple more tbsp of olive oil, and sauté the onions and carrots for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.

Sprinkle the onions, carrots and garlic with the flour, stir for about 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and accumulated juices back to the pot, then add the wine, broth, tomato paste, thyme, Herbes de Provence and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

After the 30 minutes are up, add the potatoes, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.  (This is also when I get the egg noodles in a pot of boiling water to cook.) Simmer for 10 minutes or so, until the potatoes are fork tender.  Test for seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Stir the cold water into the cornstarch and add it to the stew while stirring.  Stir until thickened.  Serve over the egg noodles.

Also?  You could totally turn your leftover bourguignon and noodles into an amazing soup!  Just broth it up and add anything else that you like.

Mushroom Bourguignon


Chicken and Rice--Getting my Goya Groove On.

Chicken and yellow rice

I love chicken and rice--it’s simple and versatile.  When I was a kid, we had chicken at least three times a week.  My mom was a huge fan of roasted, on the bone chicken breasts.  My absolute favorite was when she’d make rice on the side.  I’d immediately remove all of my chicken from the bone, shred it, and mix it in with my rice.  I was forever in love.  Really--I still love it to this day!

When I was a teenager and met my (future) husband, I lucked out.  His mom makes amazing chicken and rice.  She’s from Honduras, and put a whole new spin on it in my eyes. Hers has carrots, peas, potatoes and green olives.  She had me hooked!

She doesn’t make it all the time, though--and since she’s moved to Florida, if I want a chicken and rice fix, I need to make it myself.  My oldest loves it as much as I do, and every now and them, she gets a craving for it.  This recipe is a quickie version I came up with years ago, when I was just really a beginner in cooking.  It’s got all of the elements from my mother in law’s chicken and rice, plus it’s quick and easy.  When I was just starting out, this was a great pantry meal for us, because I could use frozen carrots and peas and a rice mix.  All I needed to buy fresh was a couple of potatoes and the chicken.  It makes a good amount, too--and leftovers are always welcome--and occasionally fought over.   


Have you ever tried Goya products?  If you haven’t, you need to check out their product list.  I use their stuff all the time--most often their canned beans and tomatoes, oils and spices.  They have a great selection, and the quality is wonderful.  It seems like they have a million and one things to choose from!  While you’re there, look around the site--it’s full of information and fantastic recipes!  I know, because I’ve made quite a few of them over the years.

Chicken and yellow rice

Chicken and Rice

serves a small crowd
-if I had to nail it down, I'd say 5-6 people

Goya Olive Oil
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
Goya Adobo
onion powder
garlic powder
4 cups water
2 (8 oz) boxes Goya Yellow Rice
1/2-1 cup Goya Green Olives, sliced
1 1/4 cup diced carrots, about 1/2 inch in size
2 medium baking potatoes, partially baked and diced into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes*
1 1/4 cups frozen peas

*First up--partially baking the potatoes: Scrub the potatoes, pierce a couple times with a fork, then microwave on a plate for about 6-7 minutes.  This will depend on the size of your potatoes, and the size of your microwave.  I  have a small microwave, so generally, things take longer for me.  You don't want the potatoes fully done--they should still be firm to the touch, but have a little give.  Let them cool for a few minutes, then dice them.  I do this all the time for breakfast potatoes.  Partially cooking them first makes them cook faster when sautéing in a pan.

-Sauté the carrots and potatoes in a large skillet with a bit of oil--and give them a little dusting of Adobo, onion and garlic powders.  Try to get a nice bit of browning going on the potatoes, as this will add nice flavor to the finished dish.  When they're done, remove from pan and set aside.

-Sprinkle the chicken pieces with Adobo and black pepper.  In a large skillet with a tight fitting lid (And I do mean large-you'll be adding everything to this pan eventually.  I used a 12 inch skillet.), heat a couple tbsp of olive oil, and sauté the chicken until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.

-Add the water, and deglaze the pan--scraping up all of the good stuff in the bottom.  Bring water to a boil, stir in the two rice pouches, and the potatoes and carrots.  Return to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25  minutes, stirring occasionally.  Test the rice at 20 minutes.  If it's still a bit on the chewy side, give it the extra 5 minutes. 

-When the rice is cooked through, stir in the peas and olives.**  The heat from everything else will heat the peas through.  Now eat!  

  • **There are two schools of thought on the olives--stirring in, or on the side.  I like them stirred in, but not everyone likes olives, so you can serve them on the side for those that want them.
  • This does make a lot, so if you have leftovers, it’s a great base for a soup!  Add them to some broth, heat it all up and add some extra veggies and rice, if you like.
  • I know what some of you may be thinking…the rice is from a box.  Yes, it is.  Do I normally use boxed mixes?  No.  But for this, I make the exception.  It’s a recipe I came up with years ago, and we truly love it!

Chicken and yellow rice