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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Summer Time Flowers And My Hanging Herb Garden

Hanging Herb Garden

My hanging herb garden is thriving! Summer Time Flowers And My Hanging Herb Garden are on the move.

Tarragon

Tarragon above I use in so many of my chicken and seafood dishes.

English Lavender

The Lavender above smells so good. I like adding the blooms to sugar. Lavender sugar makes a great gift.

Chive Flowers

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley is used in most of my dishes because of its great flavor.

Thyme

Above is my fresh Thyme. The lemony flavor is perfect for chicken.

Sweet Basil (2)

Sweet Basil with its lemony minty flavor goes with just about everything. I’d say, it’s the one herb I use the most.

Oregano

Above is my Oregano, a super-strong herb so you don’t need much. Great in Tex-Mex dishes.

Oregano

More Oregano! This is the Greek variety.

Sage

Sage is one of those herbs that reminds me of the holidays. A peppery-rosemary flavor that’s super earthy.

Mint

Above is my fresh Mint. Great for desserts, salads and so much more. Below are pictures of flowers from around my house.

Lavender

Lavender can be used in so many ways. I love making Lavender sugar.

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My bright red Gerberas are part of the daisy family.

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Perennials are great because they’re ever changing with each season.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

Hibiscus bushes are perfect anywhere in your garden.

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One a year the Dragon Lilies bloom. Their vibrant orange color scream summertime is coming!

Rain Lillies

Rain Lilies are so beautiful. They seem to pop up everywhere in my garden.

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Sunflowers

Sunflowers are the meaning of summertime.

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Periwinkles look great in large pots.

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Hydrangeas are my favorite flower, NO question!

Hass Avocado Tree

My Hass Avocado tree is just finding its way. I’m talking 10 years before I’ll see any fruit.

Birdhouse

The Cardinals love their birdfeeder.

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My side garden has a variety of flowers and plants like my baby Fig Trees. Can you see them?

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Sirloin Tips With Mushroom Gravy

Sirloin Tips With Mushroom Gravy (1)

Sirloin Tips With Mushroom Gravy (2)

This dish is one of our favorites. I can’t tell you how many times I’m asked to make my Sirloin Tips With Mushroom Gravy. The meat is so tender, the mushroom and onions pair perfectly with that deep brown gravy that swims over the egg noodles. This recipe is really easy to make. Let me show you how.

I prefer to use a large sautèpan to brown and caramelize the meat because of its large surface area. I do the browning in two batches so as not to overcrowd the meat during the browning process, then I transfer the meat to the braising pot.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: Heavy bottom braising pot with lid, large sautépan, large pot, 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, 6-quart pot

Ingredients:
pinch of Kosher salt
pinch of granulated sugar
1/4 cup red wine, divided
1 1/2 pounds of top sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch bite-size pieces
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 tbsp for mushrooms, 3 tbsp for egg noodles
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil,  2 tbsp for browning each batch of the sirloin steak cubes, 1 tbsp for mushrooms
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, minced
3 fresh sprigs of thyme (if the stems are woody, strip off the leaves, if the stems are still green and tender, no need to remove them)
1/4 cup good red wine
2 cup unsalted beef stock, reserve 1 cup of chilled beef stock for a slurry, (*see slurry)
1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1-10 1/2-ounce can of beef consommé
2 pints of Cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 pint of Shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
2 yellow onions chopped
1 package of NO Yolks Broad Noodles, prepared
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley to garnish egg noodles, (optional)

Directions For Browning Sirloin:
Lay the steak cubes out on a sheet pan and pat dry with paper towel. Season with Kosher salt freshly cracked black pepper. Using your hands, toss until all the sirloin tips are coated with the seasoning.

In a large preheated sautèpan on medium heat, add half (2 tablespoons) of the olive oil. Add half the steak cubes to the sautèpan, do not overcrowd. Allow them to brown, 3-4 minutes, then flip the sirloin tips to brown on the other side, again 3 to 4 minutes. Brown the steak cubes in two batches. Once all the cubes are browned off, transfer them to the braising pot.

To release those delicious flavor bits stuck to the bottom of the sautépan, start by turning the heat to medium-high. Add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted add the diced onions, mushrooms, fresh minced rosemary and thyme sprigs. Using a wooden spoon continue to stir scraping the bottom of the pan. Next, add the minced garlic. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the wine to deglaze the pan.

Using the wooden spoon again, scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan. Season with a sprinkle of Kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Once the wine has completely evaporated, another 1 to 2 minutes, transfer the mushroom and onion mixture to the braising pot.

Reserve 1 cup, in a small bowl or container of the unsalted beef stock. Place into the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
On medium-high heat, add the remaining unsalted beef stock, beef consommé, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Bring to a boil then turn the heat off. Place the lid on, transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour, or until meat is tender.

To the reserved 1 cup of chilled unsalted beef stock add 1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch. Whisk both together until it forms a smooth paste.

Remove the pot from the oven. Using pot holders, remove the lid. Turn the heat to medium. Add the *slurry slowly, stirring occasionally, and cook until thickened and bubbly. Once the sauce has thickened turn the heat to off and replace the lid to keep hot.

Start the egg noodles.

Cook the egg noodles according to package directions. In a large bowl add the remaining butter and chopped parsley. Drain noodles really well, then add to the bowl, toss to combine.

To serve. place buttered parsley egg noodles into a serving bowl, ladle the Sirloin Tips With Mushroom Gravy over top. Serve hot.

*Slurry: For each cup of liquid you want to thicken, start with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a bowl or measuring cup. Add an equal amount of cold liquid and whisk until smooth paste forms.

 

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Chicken And Dumplings With Vegetables

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What’s the definition of comfort food?, Chicken And Dumplings With Vegetables. It’s so comforting you’ll get warm fuzzies inside! I do have to honest here, I didn’t make my own dumplings or this dish, I took some help from my local grocery store. I mean, making your own from scratch is probably best and can make all the difference in the world to the finished dish except if you’re like where the value of your time is really important, these store-bought dumplings are a quick alternative to making your own, a great time saver.

One ingredient that’s a staple in my frig is, chicken fat. Steve loves to grill chicken thighs and doesn’t use the skin, he gives those to me. I render the skin down and collect all the drippings for recipes such as Matzo ball soup and this dish. Chicken fat can add extra flavor to your dish. I’ll show you how I incorporate it.

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Equipment: 4-quart sauce pot with glass lid, 6-quart stockpot
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Note: While chicken is poaching, prep the vegetables.
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil plus 2 tablespoons chicken fat (or 3 tablespoons of olive oil)
1 yellow diced yellow onion
3 diced carrots
3 ribs diced celery
2 cloves of minced garlic
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded
pinch of dried rosemary (crush up in your hand)
1-1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
1-10 1/2 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 package of Mary B’s Open Kettle Dumplings (12 ounces, break strips in half- freeze unused dumplings)
1 package frozen peas – optional
6 cups of low sodium chicken broth (make sure there is enough broth to come over the half-way mark)
4 tablespoons of corn starch
4 tablespoons of water
1/4 cup of finely chopped, fresh flat leaf Italian parsley

Tip: While chicken is poaching, prep all the vegetables for this dish.

Directions For Poaching Chicken:
To start, place 3 boneless-skinless chicken breasts, in a single layer, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, and a sprinkling of Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, into a large pot. Cover the chicken with either water or (I’m using) unsalted chicken broth. If the 1 quart of broth does not cover the chicken completely, add water so that it will cover the chicken by at least 1-inch.

Bring the chicken to a boil on medium-high heat. You’ll see some white scummy foam collecting on the surface as the liquid starts to boil.  Since I’m not using the poaching liquid for this recipe, there is no need to skim this off, it’s fine to leave it.

As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer. The chicken will typically finish cooking between 25 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat and whether it has a bone.  The chicken breasts are done when they are opaque through the middle, and an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken reads- 165 F.

Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid, transfer the cutting board, and begin shredding them using two forks, transfer to a bowl.

Directions For Frozen Dumplings:
Gently separate the dumplings right before adding them to the broth.

Directions For The Chicken And Dumplings:
In a small dice, dice the onions, carrots, and celery.  Finely mince the garlic. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil, and chicken fat over medium heat. Add in all the vegetables, poultry seasoning, bay leaves, and a pinch of dried rosemary. Season with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Saute until the onions until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add cream of chicken soup to the pot and stir. Next, add the chicken broth (making sure to add enough broth to where it comes up to over the halfway mark in the soup pot), and give another good stir. Turn the heat to medium-high and wait until it returns to a boil. Once boiling, drop in the dumplings one by one. Let them boil in the soup, (45 minutes according to the package), stirring occasionally until they are all tender. Next, carefully fish out the two bay leaves.

Return cooked shredded chicken to the pot and gently stir through.

To Thicken Broth: Optional
In a small bowl combine 4 tablespoons of corn starch with 4 tablespoons of water.
Add to the boiling broth, a little at a time, stirring to reach desired consistency.

 

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