Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spanish Style beef stew with mushrooms

Spanish-style Beef Stew with Mushrooms
Serves 4 to 6
For the oyster mushrooms, remove the woody base of the stem before cooking. An equal amount of button mushrooms, quartered, may be substituted for the oyster mushrooms. Serve this stew with boiled potatoes.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped fine (about 3 cups)
½ teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and pepper
2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, pulp grated on large holes of box grater, skins discarded
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups dry white wine
1 ½ cups water
1 large sprig fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ½ pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
¼ cup whole blanched almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 slice hearty white sandwich bread, crust removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, trimmed
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1. For the Stew: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add onions, sugar, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt; cook, stirring often, until onions are deeply caramelized, 30 to 40 minutes. Add tomato, smoked paprika, and bay leaf; cook, stirring often, until darkened and thick, 5 to 10 minutes. 
2. Add wine, water, thyme, and cinnamon to pot, scraping up any browned bits. Season beef with 1 ½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and add to pot. Bring to simmer, transfer to oven, and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour. After 1 hour stir stew to redistribute meat, return to oven, and continue to cook until meat is tender, 1 ½ to 2 hours longer. 
3. For the Picada: While stew is in oven, heat almonds and 1 tablespoon oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring often, until almonds are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer almonds to food processor. Return now-empty skillet to medium heat, add bread, and cook, stirring often, until toasted, about 2 minutes; transfer to food processor with almonds. Add garlic to almonds and bread and process until mixture is finely ground, about 20 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. Transfer mixture to bowl, stir in parsley, and set aside.
4. Return now-empty skillet to medium heat. Heat remaining tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add mushrooms and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
5. To Serve: Stir picada, mushrooms, and vinegar into stew. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Miniature food

I'm called A-M and I live in lovely Yorkshire, England. I enjoy wasting lots of time making little things, thus my craft name, Little Time Wasters.

I use polymer clay and to create my 12th scale dollhouse food, as well as food that can be worn as jewellery. I started working with polymer clay because after finishing university, I realised there's more to evenings than writing essays. Also, with clay, it doesn't matter if it's raining outside. Food photography is a great source of inspiration to me, even though in reality I am a really picky eater! 

My websites:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Different kind of food...

Greetings, blogland! I'm Amelia Schmelzer, a 16-year-old who enjoys using her hands for making food, both real and miniature. Along with my mom, I run an Etsy shop selling dollhouse-sized cuisine and food jewelry with retro flair. Each of my pieces is handmade out of polymer clay, from the preliminary shaping of a loaf of bread to the carefully whipped peaks on a pencil eraser-sized deviled egg. I do all the sculpting, listing, and shop management for the Frippery Factory; in exchange, my mom critiques ideas, provides feedback, advises me on business practices, and generally makes sure things don't fall apart and suck.

I'm intrigued by the way food can be rearranged until it's a design element, not just a tasty nibble. Within my food jewelry line, I love to play with the concept of food and see if I can twist it just a little, until it's no longer "just" food. The Exploded Diagram Hamburger earrings are a perfect example of that. I'd always been fascinated with cut-away and exploded diagrams, so I decided to pull the sandwich components apart so they were a wearable
scientific diagram...of a cheeseburger. I also love visual puns; my bow tie pasta earrings are the perfect way to wear noodles on your noodle (heh heh heh). If I'm not having fun with a particular design or sculpting process, something needs to change.

A big part of the Frippery Factory is humor and a certain light-heartedness. I'm a sucker for bad puns, so I use them all the time in my item descriptions. I recently bought a set of ceramic piglets, and I like to sneak them into photographic shots. The subtle irony of a piglet next to a baked Alaska makes me smile. I want miniature food to be cheeky, fun-to-wear (or own), and sometimes even a little self-deprecating. If I can't laugh at myself, I can't laugh at all. 

You can browse my Etsy shop here:
You can also stay hip on Frippery Factory news at our blog.
Drop us a line, even just to say hi! fripperyfactory[!at] Hope to hear from you soon!

Todays Find

Isn't this cute! what a great way to store your condiments!

No Ants Allowed

Ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper? Yup, the gang's all here! Bring everyone's favorite toppings to your next picnic with this cute and clever mini picnic table condiment set. Great for outdoor dining, parties or everyday use. Five-piece set includes a mini wooden picnic table, ketchup and mustard bottle and salt and pepper shakers.


if you haven't checked out Bertolli's website - do so!

look what amazing recipes they have....


  • Serves 4
  • |
  • prep time: 10 minute(s)
  • |
  • cook time: 1 hour(s) 5 minute(s)
1 medium head fennel, cut into chunks
1-1/2 cups Bertolli® Classico™ Olive Oil, divided
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup Bertolli® Vodka Sauce made with Fresh Cream
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
1 package (16 oz.) prepared polenta, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
3 ounces arugula, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped pancetta
1/2 cup finely chopped cremini mushrooms
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (about 4 oz.)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 oz.)
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Arrange fennel on baking sheet in single layer. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon Olive Oil, then season with salt and pepper. Roast 40 minutes or until fennel is tender and golden; cool 5 minutes. Decrease oven to 350°.
  • Process fennel, Sauce and sage in blender or food processor until smooth; set aside.
  • Heat remaining Olive Oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook polenta, a few at a time, turning once, 12 minutes or until lightly browned. (Use more Olive Oil as needed). Arrange on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • Evenly top polenta with Sauce mixture, arugula, pancetta, mushrooms and cheeses. Bake 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and polenta is heated through.
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All the recipes here have either been sent to me, adapted by me or found on the web. If I know the source I always give credit to the author/website. If you know of a source I may have missed please let me know.