Tag Archives: gluten-free stew

Brazilian-Style Fish Stew (Moqueca)

 

It is May, which for most of us means warmer temperatures, more sun, and the beckoning call of the barbeque. But for those days when it’s raining, excessively windy or otherwise dreary outside, a soup or stew is in order. And there are days you just need something creamy and warm to comfort your belly. When I decided to make this stew last night, comforting food was just what I needed. I’d had a bad day, where something I ate this past weekend was wreaking havoc on my system. I needed comfort, but I needed it to be relatively easy on the tummy, and more substantial than a broth – because I was also starving! This stew was a miracle worker – it soothed some of the aches and pains, and it warmed and filled my belly. It was comfort in a whole new way.

Of course, you don’t have to be in need of healing to decide on a stew such as this. It’s ready in under an hour, is made with fresh ingredients, is gluten-free and dairy-free, and pretty darn healthy – what’s not to love? What was also amazing, in my opinion, was that it reheats beautifully. I enjoyed leftovers for lunch today, and the fish remained moist and flavorful. I can only imagine it would be a definite family-pleaser, and different from the usual weeknight routine.

I opted for tilapia in this recipe – not that tilapia is an authentic choice, it’s just inexpensive and sustainable, and it’s what I had on hand. Most recipes I’ve seen call for an oilier fish, which would be lovely. I could also imagine shrimp would make an excellent substitute. I also didn’t have dende (palm) oil on hand, so I simply omitted it, using olive oil instead. (Definitely going to keep my eye out for it though!) Vegan? I haven’t tried this recipe “veganized”, but I would imagine that substituting vegetable broth for the chicken stock and clam juice, and adding a diced potato (not Idaho, I would go for something more like a red-skinned potato or a Yukon Gold) and/or adding extra veggies might work well here. (I could have totally subsisted on the tomato-ey, fragrant coconut milk broth alone – just saying!)

 

Brazilian-Style Fish Stew, adapted from Leite’s Culinaria and Cooking Light

1 ½ lbs tilapia, cut into 2-inch chunks

¼ c lime juice

5 T olive oil

6 cloves garlic, minced and divided

1 inch piece of ginger, minced and divided

3 scallions, sliced

4 T cilantro, chopped and divided

½ t salt

¼ t pepper

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 bay leaf

1 bottle clam juice

1 c low-sodium or homemade chicken stock

1 c coconut milk

2 T tomato paste

2 tomatoes, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the tilapia, lime juice, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, half the garlic, half the ginger, the scallions, and half the cilantro in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute. Add the bay leaf, clam juice, chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the coconut milk and tomato paste and return to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add tilapia chunks and cook for 3 minutes or until cooked through. Add the diced tomatoes at the last minute, just long enough to heat through. Serve with jasmine rice, garnished with remaining cilantro.

Serves 4.

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Filed under Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Seafood, Soups

Daring Cooks: Brunswick Stew

Being a native Texan is not the same as being from the South. Sometimes, I forget this. I was reminded when I saw the challenge for this month’s Daring Cooks – we were to make Brunswick Stew. I thought to myself “What the heck is Brunswick Stew?” Brunswick, to me, conjures up images of bowling gear. Obviously, they have nothing to do with one another.

Brunswick Stew, according to Wolf of Wolf’s Den (the host for this month’s challenge), Brunswick Stew has a long, and oft debated history. Brunswick, Georgia claimed that the first Brunswick Stew was created there in 1898. There is, at the Golden Isles Welcome Center on Interstate 95, a bronzed stew pot with a plaque proclaiming this fact. However, Brunswick, Virginia claims that the first Brunswick Stew was created there by a camp cook named Jimmy Matthews in 1828, for a hunting expedition led by Dr. Creed Haskings, a member of the Virginia State Legislature for a number of years. He was said to have used squirrel in the original Brunswick Stew created for the group when they returned. The hunters were at first skeptical of the thick, hearty concoction, but upon tasting it, were convinced and asked for more. Every year, there is an Annual Brunswick Stew Cookoff that pits ‘Stewmasters’ from both Virgina and Georgia against their counterparts, and takes place every October in Georgia. In the early 20th Cent, the rivalry of the two Brunswicks helped make this dish as popular as it is today, and it quickly became a pan-Southern classic. Some recipe call for the original addition of squirrel, but most allow for chicken, turkey, ham, or pork, even beef on occasion. Rabbit is also used. The vegetables can vary widely from variation to variation, however, the Brunswick Stewmasters recipe says *exactly* what is used in competion stews, and states that “Adding any additional ingredient(s) will disqualify the stew from being an original Brunswick Stew.” However, most agree that, Brunswick stew is not done properly “until the paddle stands up in the middle.”

Well. Apparently, I’ve been under a rock my entire life, because I had no idea this dish existed, much less the importance it had. So, with Wolf’s direction, I set out to make a pot of stew last weekend. I left the recipe pretty much “as is”, except opted to leave out the rabbit out (I didn’t have time to stop by the one grocery near us that actually carries rabbit); instead I used a larger chicken to compensate. The resulting stew may have been lighter because of my change, but I certainly didn’t complain – it was bright, flavorful, and hearty. A perfect springtime stew, in my opinion. My only change for next time will be to make less of it – I opted to make the full recipe, so I have a LOT of leftovers.

 

Brunswick Stew, adapted from Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook

1/4 lb / 113.88 grams / 4 oz slab bacon, rough diced

2 Serrano, Thai or other dried red chiles, stems trimmed, sliced, seeded, flattened (I used jalapenos)

1lb / 455.52 grams / 16oz rabbit, quartered, skinned (I omitted this)

1 4-5lb / 1822.08- 2277.6 grams / 64-80oz chicken, quartered, skinned, and most of the fat removed (I used a 6 1/2 lb chicken)

1 Tablespoon / 14.235 grams / ½ oz sea salt for seasoning, plus extra to taste

2-3 quarts / 8-12 cups / 64.607-96.9oz chicken broth

2 Bay leaves

2 large celery stalks

2lbs / 911.04 grams / 32oz Yukon Gold potatoes, or other waxy type potatoes, peeled, rough diced

1 ½ cups / 344.88 grams / 12.114oz carrots (about 5 small carrots), chopped

3 ½ / 804.72 grams / 28.266oz cups onion (about 4 medium onions) chopped

2 cups / 459.84 grams / 16.152oz fresh corn kernels, cut from the cob (about 4 ears) (I used 16oz frozen corn kernels)

3 cups / 689.76 grams / 24.228oz butterbeans, preferably fresh (1 ¼ lbs) or defrosted frozen (I used 16oz frozen lima beans)

1 35oz can / 996.45 grams / 4 cups whole, peeled tomatoes, drained

¼ cup / 57.48 grams / 2.019 oz red wine vinegar

Juice of 2 lemons

Tabasco sauce to taste

In the largest stockpot you have, preferably a 10-12 qt or even a Dutch Oven if you’re lucky enough to have one, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until it just starts to crisp. Transfer to a large bowl, and set aside. Reserve most of the bacon fat in your pan, and with the pan on the burner, add in the chiles. Toast the chiles until they just start to smell good, or make your nose tingle, about a minute tops. Remove to bowl with the bacon.

Season liberally both sides of the rabbit and chicken pieces with sea salt and pepper. Place the rabbit pieces in the pot and sear off all sides possible. You just want to brown them, not cook them completely. Remove to bowl with bacon and chiles, add more bacon fat if needed, or olive oil, or other oil of your choice, then add in chicken pieces, again, browning all sides nicely. Remember not to crowd your pieces, especially if you have a narrow bottomed pot. Put the chicken in the bowl with the bacon, chiles and rabbit. Set it aside.

Add 2 cups of your chicken broth or stock, if you prefer, to the pan and basically deglaze the pan, making sure to get all the goodness cooked onto the bottom. The stock will become a nice rich dark color and start smelling good. Bring it up to a boil and let it boil away until reduced by at least half. Add your remaining stock, the bay leaves, celery, potatoes, chicken, rabbit, bacon, chiles and any liquid that may have gathered at the bottom of the bowl they were resting in. Bring the pot back up to a low boil/high simmer, over medium/high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover, remember to stir every 15 minutes, give or take, to thoroughly meld the flavors. Simmer, on low, for approximately 1 ½ hours. Supposedly, the stock may become a yellow tinge with pieces of chicken or rabbit floating up, the celery will be very limp, as will the chiles. Taste the stock, according to the recipe, it “should taste like the best chicken soup you’ve ever had”.

With a pair of tongs, remove the chicken and rabbit pieces to a colander over the bowl you used earlier. Be careful, as by this time, the meats will be very tender and may start falling apart. Remove the bay leaf, celery, chiles, bacon and discard. (I didn’t wish to strain in order to remove all of this, so I removed the celery, the bay leaves, most of the chiles, but I left the bacon.) After you’ve allowed the meat to cool enough to handle, carefully remove all the meat from the bones, shredding it as you go. Return the meat to the pot, throwing away the bones. Add in your carrots, and stir gently, allowing it to come back to a slow simmer. Simmer gently, uncovered, for at least 25 minutes, or until the carrots have started to soften.

Add in your onion, butterbeans, corn and tomatoes. As you add the tomatoes, crush them up with your hands. Simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring every so often until the stew has reduced slightly, and onions, corn and butterbeans are tender. Remove from heat and add in vinegar, lemon juice, stir to blend in well. Season to taste with sea salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce if desired. You can either serve immediately or refrigerate for 24 hours, which makes the flavors meld more and makes the overall stew even better. Serve hot, either on its own, or with a side of corn bread, over steamed white rice, with any braised greens as a side. (I served mine with braised greens and white rice.) Serves about 12.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Soups

Gluten-Free Beef Stew

beef stew

 A few weeks back, when I was picking up eggs from Jacob’s Reward Farm, Cindy told me about a new event she was holding at the farm, called “Spinning Yarns: Cowboy Stories and Song.” This was to be a wonderful outdoor “picnic” of sorts, where there was to be cowboy-style music, stories, and of course, the attendees were more than welcome to bring along their spinning wheels and knitting needles, and gather for some laid-back fun. But everyone needed to eat, so she graciously asked if I would help her in that area. On the menu? A hearty beef stew – perfect for the theme of the event.

My first “catering” job! I was excited, of course. While I’ve prepared Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for 25-30 (our family is large!), I have never catered. I wanted to be sure everything was perfect, so I made sure I scheduled plenty of time for preparation, and even did a test run on a smaller portion of the dish earlier in the week. It was wonderful that so many of the guests brought side dishes; this allowed me to focus on one dish – beef stew. It was a wonderful setting for my maiden voyage into catering.

jacobs reward event 031

Yesterday was the big day. (Read more about it at the Jacob’s Reward Farm blog here) I had prepped most of the meat and vegetables the night before, but awoke at 5am (much to the dismay of my husband!) to get started. I didn’t want to be late! And thankfully, aside from a slight issue with the pot I’d recently purchased, (I bought a propane burner, along with a stainless pot set – and the pot cracked as soon as I placed heat on it. Thankfully I had my large aluminum tamale pot, which did the job perfectly.) everything went as planned. Until I left, that is. I set up at the farm, and only then remembered that I’d left my parsley on the kitchen counter. Good thing I only live 10 minutes away – I could run home and grab it. No harm done.

As for the event, it was wonderful. We couldn’t have had better weather. Practically the entire month of October has been rainy, but for the past few days, it has started to dry out. Yesterday was sunny and in the upper 60s – absolutely gorgeous. The musicians played wonderful cowboy-style fiddle, guitar, and banjo, and the storytellers spun yarns about famous icons of the cowboy days in Texas. It was a grand time. While I’m not a spinner/weaver, and I don’t know how to knit, I admired everyone’s work as they spun yarns and knitted scarves and socks.

My stew went over well, and was the perfect dish for such an event. I hope you enjoy it too.

Gluten-Free Beef Stew, adapted from Simply Recipes

½ lb beef stew meat

½ lb oxtail

Salt and pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

½ yellow onion, chopped

½ large carrot, chopped

½ celery rib, chopped

3 c beef stock

½ c gluten-free beer (I used Bard’s Tale)

½ c red wine

1 T tomato paste

½ T sugar

1 T fresh thyme leaves

½ T Worcestershire

1 bay leaf

2 T butter

1 ½ lbs Yukon gold potatoes, diced ½ inch

1 c carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces

2 small parsnips, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces

1 turnip, diced into ½ inch pieces

Salt and pepper

1 T fresh parsley

 

Generously salt and pepper the stew meat and the oxtail. Heat a large, heavy pot to medium-high heat and brown the meat, turning with tongs to ensure all sides are browned. Remove and set aside. Add garlic, onion, carrot, and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add back meat, and add beef stock, beer, wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, and cover, allowing to simmer for 1 ½ – 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat to medium heat and add butter. Add carrots, parsnips, and turnip to pot. Saute until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until beef stew has simmered for 1 ½ 2 hours.

Once the meat is starting to fall away from the bones on the oxtail, remove from pot, and allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove meat from bones and add meat back into stew. Add the vegetables and potatoes, and allow to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender throughout.

Salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with parsley.

Serves 4.

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Filed under Beef, Budget-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Soups