Sunday, July 12, 2015

Carbonade of Beef

This rich beef stew is a traditional Belgian dish that you'll find on the hob at most decent pubs around Brussels and similar towns.  It's a great complement to the hundreds of different Belgian beers one is wont to imbibe when traveling through Europe's unofficial capitol.  Yes, Belgium is a beer mecca even more than Germany or the Czech Republic.  I've been to some pubs in Belgium offering in excess of 700 distinct beers.

With so much liquid refreshment to try, you'll probably want to put a little something on your stomach.  This dish works quite well, particularly since its made with some of said beer.

Carbonade of Beef

1-2 Pounds Beef, Cubed (Chuck or Round)
1/4 Cup Flour
4 Tablespoons Butter
1 Large Onion, Diced
4-5 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Bottle Dark Beer (Belgian Style Oud Bruin or Flanders Red, if possible)
2 Cups Beef Stock
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
A Few Sprigs Thyme
Bay Leaf

Use a nice quality piece of beef.  I'm using eye of round today as it is nice and lean yet still pretty flavorful.  Cube it up,

Then toss the cubes of beef in flour.  Melt the butter in a good-sized Dutch oven and sauté the beef cubes until nicely browned.

Reserve the beef

and add the diced onion to the butter/beef drippings in the pot and cook until translucent and somewhat caramelized, perhaps fifteen minutes or so over medium heat.

Add garlic about five minutes before the onions are done.

When the onions are perfect, add the beer

and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen browned bits.  As I mentioned above, this beef stew should really have a proper Belgian beer like an oud bruin or Flanders Red to make it authentic.  Today I was fresh out of Belgian beer, so I subbed the next best dark beer I could find, a Guinness.

This is okay, but really, don't be like me and instead plan ahead and find a decent liquor store and get a proper Belgian beer.

Anyhoo, add the beef stock and brown sugar.

Return the beef to the pot.

Next, add the vinegar.

Yes, I know I called for Red Wine vinegar in the ingredients list, but I was fresh out of that too, so I subbed Balsamic.  I'm really bastardizing this today, eh?

Add the fresh thyme and bay leaf.

Cover the pot with its lid and place in a 350˚F oven and let it cook away for at least an hour and half, two if possible.  Check the pot from time to time to make sure there is still some liquid in it.  Add more beef stock if it is running low.  Remove the bay leaf and thyme when dish is finished.

Serve this dish simply, with some good crusty bread or maybe some butter noodles, as we've done here.

And don't forget that beer to wash it down with!

Until next time,



Saturday, June 27, 2015

Roman Chicken

So at the start of all the recipes here on An Eat’n Man I like to tell a little hoopdedoodle  about the dish, you know, its history, origins, interesting trivia, whatnot.  Well, for this dish—I got nothin.’  I’ve searched high and low for info about Roman Chicken, from Apicius to Zed and I got zero.  I’ve found lots of recipes for it on the net, most penned by Giada De Laurentiis.  (That’s where I got mine)  In fact, after much searching, I was beginning to think that Giada invented the dish herself, but I found a reference on Nigella Lawson’s site that mentioned tasting the dish in Rome in the 70s, so perhaps it does predate Giada. 

As to what is particularly Roman about the dish, I think that perhaps this just means it is a dish popular in Rome the city, and not any connection to Ancient Rome.  (The ancients wouldn’t have had access to bell peppers or tomatoes, which are native to the Americas)

Anyhoo, regardless of where the dish comes from, it is a tasty and unique way to feature chicken, so let’s give it a try.    

Roman Chicken

2-4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Red Bell Pepper, Julienned
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, Julienned
4 Oz Prosciutto
3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
1 14 Oz Can Diced Tomatoes
2/3 Cup White Wine
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme, Chopped
1 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano, Chopped
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
2 Tablespoon capers
Fresh Parsley

Heat the olive oil medium hot in a large skillet.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sauté it until browned but not necessarily cooked through.  

While the chicken is cooking, julienne your bell peppers 

and the prosciutto. 

Remove the chicken from the skillet and add the bell peppers and cook until the peppers are soft and just starting to brown.

Add the prosciutto and cook for a few minutes more.

Add the garlic and cook briefly. 

Add the white wine 

and stir to loosen any browned bits.  Add the tomatoes.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. 

Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.  

Remove and keep warm. 

Mince the oregano and thyme.  

Add it to the sauce. 

Don’t forget that fresh parsley.  

Chop some up fine and add it to the sauce. 

Oh, and then there's my favorite part--the capers!

Add them to the sauce.   

Serve the chicken with the sauce.  Enjoy!

Until Next Time,



Monday, June 15, 2015

Chicken Marango

Chicken Marango is one of those old school French dishes that you don't see much anymore, which is a shame, because it's a tasty French dish that departs from the norm by using some predominately Italian ingredients.

The story goes that the dish was invented by Napoleon's chef after the battle of Marango,  Being as the army was in Italy, and were light on provisions, local ingredients were sourced and thus, Chicken Marango was born.  Napoleon was said to have loved it and ate it before (or was it after) every subsequent battle.

Whether this story is true or not is lost in the mists of time, but one thing that is certain is that this recipe has changed over the years, with more modern recipes omitting certain ingredients like eggs and crayfish, and adding mushrooms and red wine.  My version does this as well.  Also, cutting up a whole chicken and using all the various pieces would be more traditional (and perhaps provide a richer, more flavorful dish, with the addition of the dark meat) but tonight it is just the two of us, so I've just done a couple of breasts Marango style.  Sub whatever chicken parts you like.

Chicken Marango

2 Chicken Breasts (or Chicken Parts of your Choice)
3-4  Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Flour
Salt and Pepper
1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
2 Cups Chicken Stock
5-6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Cup (or so) White Wine
1 Can (14 Oz) Beef Consommé
1 Can (28 Oz) Crushed Tomatoes
6 Oz Mushrooms (White, Cremini or Similar) Sliced
3-4 Oz Large Green Olives
1 Bouquet Garni (Herb Bouquet of Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme and Bay Leaves)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Dredge the chicken pieces and flour and then season them with salt and pepper.  Sauté the chicken until golden brown but note all the way cooked through.

Set aside and keep warm.

Add more olive oil if necessary and then sauté the diced onion until it begins to turn translucent and slightly golden.

Add the minced garlic at this point and sauté another minute or two.

Add the wine and deglaze the pan at this point.

Allow to simmer a few minutes and then add the chicken stock.  When this is warmed through add the beef consommé

and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Add the sliced mushrooms and allow these to cook through.  Add the bouquet garni at this point.

Add the crushed tomatoes

and bring the liquid back to a simmer.  Return the chicken pieces to the skillet and cook through. Sauce should thicken as the chicken cooks, but if it is not to your liking when the chicken is done, remove them and allow the sauce to continue to cook until thickened.  Remove bouquet garni and discard it.

Serve the chicken with the sauce and the addition of the olives.

Bon Appitit!



Saturday, May 30, 2015

Salmon with Orange Sauce

This dish comes from The Netherlands, which is not surprising.  Orange is their national color, after all.  We got it from the lovely Dutch Cooking cookbook that my wife bought me when we were touring Holland a few years back.  We've made several dishes from the book, at least one of which has made it previously onto the blog.  There will no doubt be more.

We liked this one because it was simple yet tasty, features one of our favorite fish, and its a bit different.  Give it a try for a change of pace.

Salmon in Orange Sauce

1 Cup White Rhine Wine
1 Cup Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice
1 Small Yellow Onion, Diced
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, plus extra for garnish
Pinch Ground Ginger
2-4 Salmon Fillets, around 6 oz each
2 Tablespoons Butter
Several Thinly-Sliced Orange Halves

You don't need a fancy wine for this, but the recipe calls for a German Rhine wine, so why not go with a nice Riesling or Gewurztraminer.

You could probably get away with just about any white wine in a pinch.

As to the orange juice, make sure you make some fresh-squeezed.  This little guy--A citrus reamer, comes in handy:

You can really juice out the liquid with one of these babies.

 Juice enough oranges to get a full cup of juice.

Then measure out a cup of the wine.  Since there is plenty left in the bottle--don't waste it.  Pour yourself a glass.

Add the juice and the wine to a skillet.

Heat through to a gentle simmer.  Dice your onion:

And add it to the juice.

Add the cinnamon and ginger.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Next, you are ready for the salmon fillets.

Place them in the skillet and cover.

Gently poach them for ten minutes.  At this point, remove them and keep warm.

Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce until a thick sauce is formed.  Season with salt and add the butter and let melt.  Stir and then serve over the salmon.  Garnish the fish with some of the thin orange slices and serve immediately.

Until next time,

Nothing wrong with going Dutch now and then.