Thursday, January 26, 2012

Comfort Food

With this cold weather I find myself looking around my recipes for comfort food. Something that will warm my heart and soul and fill my “these days always hungry” tummy! I thought of making soup but then I didn’t have much time on my hands to think of a main dish as well so “Hearty Beef Stew” was the best option for me (something between a soup and a main course as well). I knew that I needed to serve it with something else…hmmmm…then a light bulb went off…Bread. I miss the smell of freshly baked bread so I made a wonderful recipe for dinner rolls which I found on www.allrecipes.com. It was a lovely lunch, very hearty and we all enjoyed it… I still have leftovers if anyone is interested ;)


Basic Beef Stew
Ingredients
1kg beef stew meat (I used steak and cut it into chunks)
½  cup flour
3 table spoons olive oil
2 large onions, diced
1 container tomato paste
½ tea spoon dried rosemary, ground
3 large potatoes, cut into big cubes (similar to the size of your meat pieces)
2 cups carrots, cut into cubes
4 cups beef broth ( I used boiled water and a beef stock cube)
Salt, Pepper to taste
½ tea spoons mixed Arabic spices (I decided to give it an eastern twist)
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen peas (don’t need to defrost)
Directions
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add meat chunks and brown on all sides till no longer red. Add onions and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add flour and stir for another 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, rosemary, Arabic spices and tomato paste. Stir for another minute then add hot stock  and bay leaf. Let it come to a boil then reduce the heat to low and leave it to simmer with a lid on it for around 2 hours (make sure to check on it every 10 minutes and to stir it so it won’t burn down, add water if you feel that it is too thick for your taste. Once meat is cooked add potatoes and carrots, cook till tender then add peas and cook for another 10 minutes. Check salt and pepper and adjust it to your taste. Serve hot with rice or fresh baked bread.


Dinner Rolls
Source: www.allrecipes.com

Ingredients
3 3/4 cups flour, divided
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup shortening or margrine
1 teaspoon salt
1 table spoon rapid rise yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Directions
In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, sugar, shortening, salt and yeast. Add water, milk and egg. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl and turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Dough is ready if indention remains when touched.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half; cut each half into 24 pieces. Form the pieces into rounds. Place the rolls close together in lightly greased pan or baking dish. Brush with melted butter. Cover and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until doubled. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. I did brush them with more butter when they came out of the oven...yumm...

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