Monthly Archives: February 2009

Beef Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy) w/Garlic-Chive Purple Mashed Potatoes

This meal is a labor of love.  It is very time consuming and detail oriented.  But as Alton Brown would say…your patience will be rewarded.


These are only a fraction of the supplies you need:


I pretty much stuck to Ina Garten’s recipe.  I just tweaked it a little and left out the cognac.


  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced…I used regular bacon
  • 2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced…I left these out since pearl onions are used later
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)…I smashed three cloves instead of chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cognac…instead I deglazed the pan with a little of the wine
  • 1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
  • 1 can (2 cups) beef broth…I used Beef stock..unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Bouquet Garni of Thyme, Bay leaves, Marjoram
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound frozen pearl onions
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned.


Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.

Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.


Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned.


Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices.


Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and the bouquet garni.


Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.

Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew.


Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

Worth it…totally worth it.

Now for the potatoes.

Garlic-Chive Purple Mashed Potatoes

  • 6-8 purple potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • A handful of fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 splashes of heavy cream
  • S & P to taste

Peel and cut your purple potatoes.


Steam or boil until fork tender

Add the butter, chives, garlic and cream…


Whip until creamy.

This turned out to be an awesome meal.



Posted by on February 22, 2009 in beef, garlic, potatoes, wine



Lemon Chicken with Roasted Potato Rounds

I have been going through CSA withdrawals.  I miss getting my weekly farm box.  I am fortunate enough to keep in contact with my wonderful CSA farmer Steve Vogelmann.  My daughter and I were lucky enough to stop out at HighCross Farm and pay the Vogelmanns a visit.  While there we discussed the approaching CSA season and my plans for this blog amongst other things.  My daughter and I took the trip out to the farm not only to visit with the Vogelmanns, but to get one of their roasting chickens.  They have the BEST tasting chickesn ever.

I decided to forgo the usual honey-butter chicken I normally make.  I was in the mood for something that would remind me of warmer weather.  I opted for a Lemon chicken and paired it with some roasted potato rounds.  Needless to say, it was fantastic.

The supplies for the chicken:


  • A good sized roasting chicken.  Mine was aprox. 5 lb.
  • Two lemons.  You will use the juice and the rind.
  • Fresh herbs.  I used rosemary, thyme, sage and marjoram.
  • Two gloves of garlic, grated.
  • Olive oil
  • S & P to taste.

By the way, how awesome is that chicken?? Nothing beats farm raised…nothing.

Rinse off and pat dry your chicken.  You can freeze the giblets for later if you so desire.

Zest the rind of one of the lemons.  I have a zester which is great, but if you do not have a zester you can grate the rind on the fine part of your box grater or use a micorplane.

Chop your herbs up nice and fine.

In a mixing bowl combine the juice of the lemon you took the rind from, the chopped herbs, lemon zest and grated garlic.  Drizzle in olive oil and whisk.  Note:  I really don’t measure the olive oil.  I drizzle, whisk and taste.  I put in enough oil to balance out the tartness of the lemon without the oil taking over.  It usually comes out to be close to a 1/2 cup.  It’s all preference. Salt and Pepper to taste.

You will get something that looks like this:


Slice some lemon rounds from the other lemon and set aside.

Brush some of the marinade onto the chicken and cover with lemon slices.


Put the chicken into a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.  This lets the skin get nice and gold and crispy.  After the initial 45 mins, baste the chicken with the lemon marinade every 15 minutes until the juices of the chicken run clear.  I take off the lemon slices when they start to become too dark.

The chicken after roasting:


During the inital 45 mins, prep your potatoes.  I used Yukon Gold potatoes.  I find they hold their shape well.  The skin of a Yukon Gold is thin so I don’t even bother peeling them.


Slice your potatoes into rounds.  I prefer to steam them rather than boil them.  This saves time with the roasting process and they do not get water logged.

Steam your potato rounds until fork tender.

Place in a roasting dish and drizzle some of the marinade over them. ( I set aside some of the marinade in a separate bowl to avoid cross contamination).

Put potatoes into the oven after the chicken’s first 45 minutes of cooking.  They will come out golden brown and crispy on top…nice and soft in the center.

You can cut your potatoes to any desired thickness.

I like to spoon some of the left over marinade onto the potatoes while they are still hot.




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Posted by on February 22, 2009 in chicken, herbs, lemon, potatoes


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Hot Buttered Pretzels

This recipe is courtesy of the wonderful Emily Woloszyn.  She posted this recipe on Facebook and I just *had* to try it out.  The recipe is very easy and virtually no fail.  You get these hard on the outside…soft on the inside…dripping with butter pretzels.  You will never buy bagged pretzels again.  Thank you Emily!


Hot Buttered Pretzels

  • 2.5 C All purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 (or I packet) Active dry yeast
  • 7-8 oz warm water (7 in the summer, 8 in the winter)


  • 1/2 C Warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Course, Kosher or Pretzel salt
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, metlted

Mix first 4 ingredients.   Add the water and mix until a nice dough ball forms (your goal here is a soft dough).

Dust the dough with flour and put in ziploc bag or covered in a bowl to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees

Spray cookie sheets with veg oil or line w/parchment ( I cook mine on stones).

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, I use olive oil rubbed onto the counter.

Divide into 8 equal pieces. let sit covered on the counter for 5 minutes. roll ea. pretzel to 28 inches or a bit longer and twist into the pretzel shape.

Dip in the warm water mixed with the sugar and place on baking sheet.

Sprinkle with salt bake 8 to 9 minutes or until golden

Brush the melted butter on them after they come out of the oven.





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Posted by on February 21, 2009 in Pretzels


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