What is the whole point of comfort food?
To be comforted!
Not to worry about searing, finely dicing, grating, mincing, blah, blah, blah… You catch my drift.
You want to know that these ingredients are going to take care of you. All you have to do is throw them in a pot (or a crock pot in this case), and let them do their thing.
I have made a more intense beef stew before. Yes, in the end, it is rewarding going through all that prep work and taking time to work with and cook to perfection each and every ingredient. But, seriously, you don’t always have time for that!
So I present to you, the never-fail, super easy, slow-cooker beef stew.
This baby is going to jump out of the crock pot and into your heart. It might even give you a foot massage, if you play your cards right!
Ingredients (serves 4-5)
3 Cups of Low Sodium Beef Stock
1 Cup of Guinness
1 Cup of Crushed Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons of Corn Starch
1 Tablespoon of Cold Water
2 Sprigs of Thyme
2 Teaspoons of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Pepper
1, 16oz Piece of Beef Chuck Flat Iron Steak, cubed
4 Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 Large Russet Potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
3 Stalks of Celery, roughly chopped
¼ lb. Fresh Green Beans, trimmed
Add the beef stock, Guinness, thyme, salt, and pepper to the crock pot. In a small dish, mix the corn starch and cold water. Add that to the liquid in the crock pot. Make sure it is mixed well.
Toss in the vegetables and beef. Make sure all the ingredients are covered by liquid. If they are not, add a little bit of water.
Cook the stew on low for 9 hours. (If you are home while making this, it is the perfect times to curl up on the couch under a blanket and catch up on some quality reality TV…cough, cough…Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.)
When it’s done cooking, remove the sprigs of thyme.
Serve up a hot bowl of stew and freeze the rest for another snowy/rainy day!
Yesterday my recipe was very spicy, so now for something completely different. Something sweet.
What comes to mind when I say Key Lime Pie?
For me, it’s images of summer. Days spent without a care in the world.
It’s a nice bite of acidity from a lime wedge in an ice coldCorona, the perfect reward after a long day at work.
It’s like a day at the beach. It is that relief you feel when your toes hit the cool water after taking that long painful walk across the sand.
It’s like coming in from a day of basking in the sunlight and sitting down in front of a fan with a tall glass of ice water. Sigh…
Well…Not to bum you all out, but unfortunately that is not the climate we are currently entrapped under.
So, have a piece of pie and for just a moment, transport yourself to the middle of summer. Bet you think it wasn’t all that hot now don’t you?
Ingredients for the Crust (you will also need a 10” pie dish or if you don’t have one of those, like me, you can also use a springform pan)
6 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter, melted, plus more for greasing
1 Cup Chocolate Graham Cracker Crumbs, from 9 whole crackers
1/3 Cup Sugar
Ingredients for the Filling
1 ¼ Cup Fresh Lime Juice, preferably key lime juice (from 25 key limes)*
1 Teaspoon of Finely Grated Lime Zest
2, 14oz Cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Large Eggs at Room Temperature, lightly beaten
Ingredients for the Whipped Cream
½ Cup Cold Heavy Cream
½ Cup Cold Sour Cream
2 Teaspoons of Sugar
Key Lime Slices for Garnish*
*I used about 12 regular limes, no worries.
MAKE THE CRUST: Preheat the oven to 375° and butter a 10-inch glass pie plate. In a food processor, pulse the graham cracker crumbs with the sugar until thoroughly blended. Add the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened.
Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the side of the pie plate or springform to form the crust. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let the crust cool to room temperature
MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING: In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lime zest, condensed milk and eggs until smooth. I used the whisk attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer instead of a hand mixer for this process.
Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake for about 20 minutes, until set around the edge and slightly jiggly in the center. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until very firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.
MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM: In a bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the heavy cream and sour cream until soft peaks form, 2 minutes.
Beat in the sugar until stiff peaks form, 1 minute.
Mound the whipped cream on the pie. I cut the corner off a plastic bag and sued that to make the pretty swirls around the edges of the pie.
Garnish with the key lime slices and serve.
Cue the Bob Marley music. Ka-Zam! Instant summer! You’re welcome!
Recipe adapted from Food & Wine
The reasons you should eat, and love, this dish:
It has just the right amount of kick. It won’t leave you begging for a glass of milk to douse your tongue in after you take the first bite.
It will clear your sinuses out! During these cold weather months, we all get a little stuffed up. So keep the sauce from this dish handy and use it as a topping or a burger, chicken, or even some noodles when you start feeling those winter sniffles. One bite, and then POOF! Free and easy breathin’.
You get a great blast of vitamin A and Vitamin C from the red peppers and carrots. We are all trying to be healthier, so why put yourself through the ringer with work outs and diets, when you could just eat this recipe I came up with!
This is a seriously uncomplicated and easy recipe.
It gives you the fulfillment of ordering that greasy Chinese take-out without the MSG, calories, and heartburn! Know what goes in your food and into your body people! Trust me it is soooo worth it!