Salad Time

Salads are often thought of as healthy, which they are, but also ” not filling” or as an appetizer to a main bigger meal.  This salad is something we make when we are too tired to cook, want to be filled up, and we have the ingredients on hand.  With beans, fresh herbs, tomato, and goat cheese and five minutes of your time to make it… we’d say you can’t go wrong:

5 Minute Salad with Goat Cheese, Basil, and White Beans

adapted from Ellie Krieger

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces pre-washed mixed salad greens (about 8 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes (about 28)
  • 1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 ounces goat cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, torn, or 1 teaspoon dried basil

Directions:

Place greens into a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle the dressing over the greens and toss. Divide the greens onto 4 plates, top each with about 7 tomatoes, 1/4 cup of beans and 2 tablespoons of goat cheese. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

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Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon

After reading Julie and Julia, and loving the movie more then the book- Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon had become a curiosity myself and my friends.  Two others attempted it and loved the outcome of tender beef and even though there are a lot of stages, this is pretty simple- it’s delicious pot roast!  Great for a budget meal, and great re-heated.  We used a 3 lb chuck roast, 1/4 lb pork belly and cheap bottle of red wine.  It turned out rich, tender and really just an amazing pot roast meal.  To lighten it up, if that’s possible, we served it sans potatoes or pasta in butter on the side ( as suggested by Julia) and had a mixed greens salad instead.  Below is the directions and I would love to hear if any of you attempt this!  I also included the recipe for Braised Onions and Mushrooms, good eating and good luck!

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon
Adapted from Mastering The Art of French Cooking

    • 6-ounce chunk of bacon
    • 9- to 10-inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
    • 1 slotted spoon
    • 3 pounds lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes
    • 1 sliced carrot
    • 1 sliced onion
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 3 cups of a full-bodied young red wine such as one of those suggested for serving or a Chianti
    • 2-3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 2 cloves mashed garlic
    • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
    • a crumbled bay leaf
    • the blanched bacon rind
    • 18-24 small white onions (brown-braised in stock)
    • 1 pound quartered fresh mushrooms sauteed in butter
    • parsley sprigs

Directions

Remove rind and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2-inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Saute the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you saute the beef.

Dry the beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Saute it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.

In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sauteing fat.

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

Stir in the wine and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.

Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 21/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

(*) Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.

FOR IMMEDIATE SERVING

Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.

FOR LATER SERVING

When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to the simmer, cover and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.

VEGETABLE AND WINE SUGGESTIONS

Boiled potatoes are traditionally served with this dish. Buttered noodles or steamed rice may be substituted. If you also wish a green vegetable, buttered peas would be your best choice. Serve with the beef a fairly full-bodied, young red wine, such as Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone, Bourdeaux-St. Emilion or Burgundy.

Julia Child’s Sautéed Mushrooms
Adapted from Mastering The Art of French Cooking
Serves 6 people

20 oz. of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced, dried very well
2 Tbs. of butter
1 Tbs. of Olive Oil
Salt and pepper for taste

Directions:

  1. Get a large size pan and heat the butter and oil over high heat.
  2. Let it begin to bubble and once it stops foaming, it is hot enough to add 1/3 of the sliced mushrooms.  Adding all crowds the pan and will “steam” instead of brown your mushrooms
  3. Toss mushrooms for 4 to 5 minutes until they absorb the fat and start to squeak
  4. Continue sautéing for another 2 to 3 minutes until the mushrooms start to release the fat. They will brown rapidly at this point
  5. Remove from the heat when they are light brown. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Repeat with remaining mushrooms
Julia Child’s Braised Onions
Adapted from Mastering The Art of French Cooking
Serves 6 people
  • 1 lb white pearl onion , peeled (may substitute frozen)
  • 2  tablespoons butter , unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup  beef stock
  • salt & fresh ground pepper
  • Herb Bouquet- as follows
  • 1 bay leaf , preferably fresh
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 sprigs parsley

Directions:

  1. 1f you are using fresh pearl onions, they are easier to peel if you blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds and then run them under cold water to cool.
  2. If you are using frozen pearl onions, make sure they are defrosted and drained.
  3. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet and add the onions to the skillet.
  4. Saute over medium heat for about ten minutes, rolling the onions about so they brown as evenly as possible without breaking apart.
  5. Pour in the stock, place the herbs in cheese cloth or a coffee filter and tie with kitchen twine to make your bouquet, add to pan, and cover.
  6. Simmer over low heat for about 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape and the liquid has mostly evaporated.
  7. Remove the herbs, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.