Sounds Funny, Tastes Delicious

I occasionally find myself watching episodes of Melissa d’Arabian’s Ten Dollar Dinners. She made a French dish called Daube a la Provençale (served with a swiss cheese macaronade). *Note: You need to plan ahead and marinate the beef for at least 6 hours. My mom and dad had an anniversary coming up, and I couldn’t resist making this dish. They traveled to France last year and fell in love with the country. I was hoping that this would remind them of their travels. All the ingredients go in a dutch oven and are cooked slowly for a long period of time. There weren’t any leftovers, so that should be a testament to how it turned out.

Daube a la Provençale

Materials:

  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 strips bacon, chopped
  • 4 stems fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Serve over Macaronade, see recipe below

Procedure:

Marinate the beef in the red wine, vinegar, carrots and 1/2 of the onions for 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the beef from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and dry gently with paper towels. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium heat and cook the bacon lardons until crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside, reserving the fat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the bacon fat in the Dutch oven and brown the beef on all sides.

Once the beef is browned, add in the reserved marinade, bacon lardons, the remaining onions, rosemary, thyme, garlic and bay leaves. Add 2 cups water and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bring to a simmer, then cover tightly and cook in the oven for 3 to 4 hours. Check the daube every hour and add a little more water if needed. Remove the herbs and serve the daube (reserve 1/2 C of sauce if making the macaronade) with the Macaronade.

Macaronade:

Materials:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes, plus more for greasing
  • 8 ounces macaroni
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss or gruyere cheese (I used swiss)
  • 1/2 cup sauce from Daube a la Provencale
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a gratin dish.

Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package’s instructions for al dente. Drain and toss with the cheese and daube sauce. Place the pasta in the gratin dish, and top with the breadcrumbs, sprinkle with salt and pepper and dot with the butter. Bake 15 minutes and serve with the daube.

Observations/Analysis: I think the recipe and pictures speak for themselves. I never was able to capture a picture of the Daube on top of the Macaronade. It smelled so amazing in my house that I couldn’t resist eating right away. There weren’t any leftovers and I plan on making this again soon! It was inexpensive and extremely easy. The cooking time is lengthy, but there isn’t much hands on prep/cook time. I highly recommend to anyone having a dinner party, or a quiet meal at home. It was a big hit!

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Holy Comfort Food!

Here is another recipe you don’t have to feel guilty about! I included the nutritional information below. I try to cook meals at least 2-3 times a week. Then, I post my recipes when I have time. This recipe was SO delicious, I had to post as soon as possible. I made this dish last night, and enjoyed the leftovers for lunch today. My husband said it was one of the best pasta dishes I’ve made, and I didn’t even prompt him to say this (surprising). Coming from him, this was a huge compliment.

Skillet Chicken with Artichokes and Roasted Red Peppers

Serves: 6 (1.5 cups per serving)

Nutritional Info: 385 calories, 7g total fat, 567 mg sodium, 53g carbs, 5g sugar, 6g fiber, 23g protein

Materials:

  • 12 oz. whole wheat penne
  • 3/4 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained, patted dry, and quartered
  • 1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced (not oil packed)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese (freshly grated!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water – added to thicken
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste – added to thicken/flavor

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Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it because my husband loves buffalo wings.  My Aunt Cindy gave me a buffalo chicken dip recipe, which we both enjoyed a lot.  After making it several times, I wanted to try to incorporate that buffalo flavor into something else.  I came across this recipe in my Food Network Magazine probably six months ago and finally decided to make it.  I guess football season pushed me to do it…

Cherry Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta

I had a lot of fresh cherry tomatoes from my garden and a container of fresh mozzarella.  I wanted to make a pasta that I could have for lunches throughout the week.  It is very similar to the sauce I made with the banana peppers, but this one I didn’t blend.  I’ve seen Giada DeLaurentiis make a pasta similar to this on the food network with the fresh cheese, and it looked delicious. I don’t know what her recipe was, but I did what I felt tasted right.

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Fresh From the Garden Pasta

This is a VERY easy pasta to create with veggies you might have laying around. I happened to have several banana peppers and cherry/grape tomatoes from the garden that needed to be used. Also, my basil is getting close to three feet high, so fresh herbs were needed. You can always use dried if you do not have fresh, but fresh always tastes better (especially when you want to do a quick sauce). I never have time to let sauce simmer all day long. To be honest, I don’t always plan ahead. Besides being versatile, short cooking time is what makes this sauce so nice. I’m guessing on the measurements because I usually cook to taste. So, remember to taste often to see if you need to add more herbs or seasoning.

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