Sweet n Sour Chuck Roast

This is a combo of a couple of recipes I read online plus my leanings towards Asian flavours! I only got one shot of it, sadly. I hope you enjoy!

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Sweet n Sour Roast

This is an easy one pot roast that is loaded with umami! If you like tons of gravy, then you'll want to up the liquids by half. Mine was pretty tight. Also, you might need to adjust the cook time according to the size of your roast. Mine was only 2#. Add 20 mins per pound over that. You may also wish to up the veg with the size of the roast, to ensure you have enough for serving.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian
Keyword easy roast, roast beef, sweet and sour,
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 6
Author misangela

Equipment

  • Dutch oven

Ingredients

  • 1 1-2# Chuck Roast Any kind of roast will work, even pork or lamb
  • ½ pound small potatoes halved or 3/4" dice large potato
  • 1 med white onion frenched or med dice
  • 2-3 carrots 3/4" dice
  • 1 leek, sliced white part only optional
  • 1 small pack cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced button shrooms are fine
  • 1 Red or green Bell Pepper optional, but adds nice colour; I used Korean peppers (green)
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 Tbl ginger paste or freshly ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbl sesame oil
  • 3 Tbl brown sugar
  • 1 cup sake sub chicken or beef stock
  • S/P

Instructions

  • Clean the roast of any visible silver skin or large pockets of fat.
  • Set oven to 325ºF.
  • Season the roast with S/P and set aside while you prep the veg.
  • Put the dutch oven on med high heat with 2 Tbl oil. When oil is shimmering, brown the roast on all sides. Set aside roast and turn down heat to medium.
  • Add veg to pot and cook gently for about 5 mins.
  • Add roast back into pot in the center, nestled in the veg, still on medium heat.
  • Add brown sugar, ginger paste and sesame oil and rub into roast.
  • Add soy and RW vinegar. Stir everything to get it all coated. Turn off heat.
  • Add about 1/3 of the sake or stock.
  • Put on the lid and into the oven on the center rack. Set timer for 2 hrs for a 1-2# roast and add 20 mins for every pound over that.
  • Check every hour or so to make sure it's not too dry. You may need more liquid than a cup. I suggest alternating stock and sake and finishing with stock so you won't have a raw sake flavour. It's also a good idea to check seasoning about halfway through cooking to see if it's too salty or needs salt. Too salty = add some water; not enough salt, add soy or salt.
  • Roast is done when it falls apart with a fork.

Italian White Bean and Shrimp Soup

Italian White Bean and Shrimp Soup
Italian White Bean and Shrimp Soup
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Italian White Bean and Shrimp Soup

This is a delightful white bean soup. It's light and very flavorful, not to mention full of greens and fiber rich white beans. It's also really easy! I do recommend using shrimp stock if you can; directions on how to make it in the notes.
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Keyword cannelini, shrimp, white bean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Author misangela

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Shrimp Med to Large, peeled & deveined, cut in half crosswise if large
  • 1 med White onion small dice
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Dried marjoram optional, or use dry basil
  • 2 cans Cannelini, Navy or Great Northern white beans 14 oz, mostly drained
  • 1 can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes 14 oz, plain is fine, mostly drained
  • 1-2 Quarts Shrimp Stock use +/- to get the thickness you want
  • 2 Cups Lightly packed baby arugula rough chopped
  • 8-10 leaves Fresh Basil chiffonade, then cross chopped
  • 12 leaves Fresh Oregano chopped (optional)
  • 1 med Lemon zest and juice
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

  • Start the shrimp stock first, if you're making your own. I highly recommend this!
  • In a large pot, add in about 1 Tbl olive oil and put over med heat.
  • Add in onion, garlic red pepper and dried herb. Cook until translucent, do not brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add beans, tomatoes and lemon zest. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add shrimp stock and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasoning. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then turn off heat.
  • Add shrimp, arugula, basil, oregano and lemon juice. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with a turn of extra virgin olive oil on top and toasted baguette.

Notes

Make your own shrimp stock!  Just save the shells from shrimp and simmer for about an hour with some salt in a 2 quart stock pot. SO GOOD! Really makes a difference in this soup. 
As you use shrimp, put the shells in a freezer bag and when you have a bagful, make stock by adding 1 qt of water for every quart bag of shells. Simply simmer for about an hour and add some salt. I make stock and store in the freezer, but if you don't have space, just keep the shells and use for stock as you need it. 

Angela’s Lamb Merguez Croissants

Angela's Merguez
Croissants with Merguez Lamb
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Angela's Lamb Merguez Croissants

I have a hard time finding premade merguez sausage, so I decided to make some myself. This is not really a sausage, but ground lamb is pretty fatty, so it tastes like a true sausage. It is bursting with Moroccan flavour and just the right amount of spice. This recipe calls for MANY spices, but they all bring something to the party, so do try to use them all. Wrap a dollop of this into a canned croissant and bake it up for GREAT party appetizers! That is exactly what I used this for. This recipe will make about 40 croissants (5 cans of 8 ea).
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Moroccan
Keyword lamb, merguez, merguez sausage recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 40 croissants
Author misangela

Ingredients

  • 5 cans Canned Croissants
  • 1 pound Ground Lamb
  • 2 tsp salt Dixie Crystal Kosher
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp sumac adds a citrusy note
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika you can sub sweet, but the smoked gives depth
  • 1 Tbl Harissa the dry kind or you can sub paste here
  • 2 Tbl Garlic Paste an Indian ingredient that I use often; you can sub 4-6 cloves garlic, smashed into paste
  • 2 tsp Chile Paste Amore brand, you can sub tom paste + 1 tsp cayenne here
  • 1 Tbl fresh Cilantro minced; sub 2 tsp dried but fresh is better
  • 2 Tbl fresh Mint minced; sub 2 tsp dried but fresh is better

Instructions

  • Put ground lamb into a bowl and break up a bit. Add all the spices and mix thoroughly.
  • Cook lamb in a skillet over med hi heat until 3/4 done. Drain with a sieve if it's very greasy. Let cool for a few minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F (whatever is indicated on the canned croissants).
  • Open up the croissants and separate.
  • Put about a tsp +/- on the large end of each croissant and roll up. Pinch closed so they don't leak.
  • Cook as instructed on the can - until golden brown. Serve warm or room temperature.

Notes

This lamb merguez is one of my favourite recipes. The lamb tastes incredible! It is actually better than the merguez I've purchased before. 
It would be great as a ragout over rice or rolled into grape leaves. 

Cafe Gates

Cafe Gates coffee cocktail
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Cafe Gates

This is a coffee drink from the 80s that I used to get ALL the time! It is SO good!
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword 80s cocktail, cafe gates, coffee cocktail, coffee drink
Prep Time 3 minutes
Servings 1
Author misangela

Ingredients

  • 3/4 oz Coffee Liqueur Kahlua
  • 3/4 oz Orange Liqueur Grand Marnier
  • 3/4 oz Dark Creme de Cacao
  • 1/2 oz cream
  • Hot black coffee
  • whipped cream garnish
  • shaved chocolate garnish

Instructions

  • Put first 4 ingredients in a tall coffee mug, preferably glass. Top with hot coffee. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate. Add a cherry if you're FANCY.

Notes

This was my hands down favourite coffee drink in the 80s. I have a deep love for Grand Marnier, so anything with that in it will be close to my heart.  <3
Photo credit: Creative Culinary

Cheesy Curried Cauliflower Soup

This is an off the cuff soup that a friend requested the recipe for, so here ya go!

Cheesy Curried Cauliflower Soup
Cheesy Curried Cauliflower Soup


Cheesy Curried Cauliflower Soup

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 small carrot, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
3 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
1/2 tsp thyme leaves (fresh or dried)
1 tsp curry powder (more if you want)
pinch nutmeg (fresh grated if you have it and you should, whole nutmegs last FOREVER!)
S/P
1.5 cup chicken stock or water with one bouillon cube
1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup buttermilk (if you have it, it’s not that important)
1/2 cup heavy cream
(OR use about a cup of half n half OR all cream. Whatever, just get the consistency to where you want it.)

Method:
Bring a 4 qt pot of water to a boil, add 1 Tbl salt and the cauliflower. Cook until tender. Drain. In the same pot over med heat, put butter and celery, carrot, garlic and onion and cook until soft (do not brown, just sweat, adjust heat). Then add flour, thyme, curry and nutmeg and stir thoroughly. Add in cooked cauliflower and stock. Stir and let flour cook for a couple minutes. Kill the heat and puree with a stick blender (or use a regular blender). Stir in the cheese, buttermilk and cream. Adjust seasoning and consistency to your taste. Serve!