Saturday, November 5, 2016

In A Stew

One of the nicest aspects of cold weather is hearty cooking and eating. There's  nothing more satisfying than a homemade stew, chock full of meat and veggies.Add dumplings and it's a full meal. It's the best comfort food on a chilly day, warming from head to toe.

What is the best stew? That's up to the home chef making it along with individual tastes.Chicken stew is the most classic and has a nice, light flavor. Because of this , any combo of veggies pairs well with it. You can even use fresh or frozen ones. Since this is autumn, think about adding butternut squash .It's taking chicken breasts and cooking them with four cups of squash. Diced tomatoes are also thrown in to give color and a boost of flavor.Fall spices such as sage and thyme are also included, along with garlic and onion. That leftover Halloween pumpkin can be cut up and added to a chicken stew as well.Cooked pumpkin has a lovely creamy texture  and a sweetness that  compliments the bird. For a fancier take on this humble dish, try a coq au vin inspired one. This is an easy one,laced with red wine , garlic and a variety if different herbs. The last is one found in Gallic cooking, oregano,thyme and bay leaves. Top it with herbed dumplings laced with more thyme, chives and parsley. Can turkey be made into a stew? Yes! In fact, many of those Thanksgiving birds will be repurposed into tasty stews. Turkey stew can even be made in a skillet. It's just taking the meat cooking it with whatever veggies you want. You can even use leftover potatoes and yams.along with those herbs you used for the stuffing.

Many home chefs enjoy  making a good beef or lamb stew. This is the most traditional recipe. Meat lovers enjoy a good traditional beef one, chock full of flavor and texture. Where the meat comes from is crucial to creating a good stew. Remember to get cuts from the front shoulder or rear end, A chuck shoulder or a rump roast is a good choice. This also applies to lamb too. You could also try top chuck or eye round roast too. An old-fashioned beef stew has everything from sugar (!) to Worcester sauce.Spices are crucial. Stick with the traditional one such as allspice, ground cloves, along with paprika for color. Vegetables are also traditional too. Use celery, along with carrots and celery.Pork can be turned into stew as well. Melissa Clark gave a good recipe in her column A Good Appetite column in Wednesday's New York Times Food section.She puts  the spicy garam masala along with cinnamon and cumin, spices not normally connected with the dish,Cayenne is also added for heat, again, unusual for a stew.Another ingredient, also out of the ordinary for this dish, coconut milk is used for tying the entire dish together, She also tosses in chick peas and green peas for some creamy texture. Tomatoes, that stew staple are included to give it color and some acidity.Instead of dumplings , try warm naan with it instead for sopping up the gravy.

This is stew weather. Try a homey chicken one, or a spicy pork, loaded with curries. Anyone is a rib sticking one, warming  a happy eater from head to toe.

No comments: