Recipe Revival Blog – Bungalow Chef | Mike Mech http://bungalowchef.net Tradtional Family Recipes Fri, 09 Feb 2018 16:41:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.14 Bungalow Chef’s Chocolate Cognac Truffles http://bungalowchef.net/bungalow-chefs-chocolate-cognac-truffles/ http://bungalowchef.net/bungalow-chefs-chocolate-cognac-truffles/#respond Thu, 08 Feb 2018 17:41:54 +0000 http://bungalowchef.net/?p=1636

It seems that I just finished Christmas Chocolate production for “House of Fine Chocolates” and now I’m working full steam ahead for Valentine’s Day! They say chocolate is for lovers and in the day of the Aztecs, chocolate was thought to be an aphrodisiac. (That made it quite popular because it was linked to romance!)

How to make chocolate truffles

Bungalow Chef’s Chocolate Cognac Truffles

 

Back then, common folks would use the cocoa bean as money and thus…the thought of “gifting” chocolate was born. Below is an easy Chocolate Truffle recipe for beginning chocolatiers at home. I started with this basic recipe over 30 years ago.
How about making these together with the one you love? It might be the start of romantic Valentine’s Day tradition!

Bungalow Chef’s Chocolate Cognac Truffles

Ingredients:
18 oz. of bittersweet chocolate 66% to 70% in cocoa solids will do. (Chips or bars should be chopped and slivered into small pieces.)
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of table salt, salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter cutting into small pieces at room temperature
2 tablespoons Cognac
1 teaspoon vanilla (or one vanilla bean steeped in the heavy cream)
1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (European)

Method:
1. Place chocolate (chopped or chips) into a mixing bowl.
2. Heat the heavy cream to a strong boil, pour over chocolate and mix until smooth.
3. Add the Cognac and vanilla and blend well.
4. Add the butter and stir just a few times.  Place into the refrigerator and let set for 3-4-hours. You might have to let it warm up a bit to form the truffles.
5. Using a small spring action ice-cream scoop, teaspoon or melon baller, make equal portion sizes about the size of a nickel.
6. Using the palms of your hands roll into smooth balls then dredge into the cocoa.
7. Place in an airtight container and store in a cool place.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Enjoy!   Mike Mech  “The Bungalow Chef”

Visit The House Of Fine Chocolates website

 

 

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Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Heart Cookies http://bungalowchef.net/chocolate-dipped-peanut-butter-heart-cookies/ http://bungalowchef.net/chocolate-dipped-peanut-butter-heart-cookies/#comments Thu, 01 Feb 2018 20:27:10 +0000 http://bungalowchef.net/?p=1624

The pairing of peanut butter and chocolate has been one of America’s favorite flavor combinations for years. And my Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies are a special Valentine’s Day treat you can share with those that you love…or make just for yourself?

I’ve always cherished the classic Peanut Butter cookie. Did you know the first commercial recipe was published before WW 1? No wonder they have been a generational favorite.

Valentine's Day Peanut Butter Cookies

Valentine’s Day Peanut Butter Cookies

I remember as a tyke in my parent’s mid-century home it seemed that we had an endless supply of these cookies in my Mom’s aqua kitchen. And they were always ready to be served after school with a tall glass of Borden’s Milk. (We had a milkman and a milk box on the porch, did you?)  I’m always asked why is the hash-mark design used for decoration on Peanut Butter cookies. Well, it wasn’t really a decoration. It was to assist in pushing down the dough so the cookies would bake evenly. I’ve always use a vintage family heirloom Rodger’s Brother’s silver fork dipped in ice water to do the trick.

Here is the original recipe with a few bungalow twists for Valentine’s Day. I’m sure your family will love these and they’re great for gifts as well! Heck they’re worth making if it’s just for yourself! Enjoy.

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Heart Cookies
Yield: about 30-36 cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
12 oz. of tempered dark chocolate (or chocolate compound) for dipping

Method:
1. In a large mixing bowl whisk all dry ingredients together (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda).
2. Beat the two eggs well.
3. Using a medium size mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter together, adding the eggs and peanut butter then mix until fluffy.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the egg and butter mixture and blend well.
5. Portion dough into 1-inch balls and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Repeat until all the dough is portioned.
6. Using the back side of a glass or coffee mug press down the dough ball until it’s nearly 1.75 inches in diameter.  Using a back side of a wooden spoon indent the top of each cookie to create the double crescent shape of the top of a heart.
7.  Using your fingers, taper the bottom of each dough portion to a “V” shape.
8. Using a fork dipped in ice water, create the traditional hash tags marks in each cookie.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes. Watch very closely as they have a tendency to brown very quickly.  Let cool, remove and place on wire racks for one hour.
10.  Using your tempered chocolate or chocolate compound, dip half of the hearts into the chocolate and let set.

Enjoy with a cold glass of milk! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Bungalow Chef’s Rosemary Potato Soufflé http://bungalowchef.net/bungalow-chefs-rosemary-potato-souffle/ http://bungalowchef.net/bungalow-chefs-rosemary-potato-souffle/#respond Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:06:26 +0000 http://bungalowchef.net/?p=1615

If you keep up with my Recipe Revival blog you know that Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite meal of the year. Full of culinary traditions and flavorful memories, we all step out of our weekday routine and create the ultimate family feast on this special Thursday in November. Whether you’re a turkey aficionado, dressing devotee or pumpkin pie enthusiast, we all have our favorites. However, you rarely hear folks say that the potato dish is the one they look forward to with zeal on this day of honoring America’s first harvest feast. Well, that’s about to change.

Potato Soufflé

Rosemary Potato Soufflé. Better than mashed potatoes.

I’ve been making my Rosemary Potato Soufflé for years and it always makes an appearance at my Thanksgiving and special occasion dinner tables. Believe me, it will impress your guests with it’s beautiful golden color, puffed airy texture and rich silky flavor. And…what you will be very happy to know is you can make it the day before which will save you time as well as allow for additional cooking space on your kitchen stove.

So, start a new tradition this year and add my Rosemary Potato Soufflé to you holiday menu. You never know…your guests might make it their new Thanksgiving favorite. If you’re lucky enough to have any leftovers, refrigerate and when chilled, form into patties and fry in butter.

Leftovers make Potato Pancakes!

Leftovers make Potato Pancakes!

Want more flavorful side dishes that compliment your holiday table? Just click on the links below.
Best Thanksgiving Dressing
Cranberry Sauce with Lemon and Maple Syrup
Sauteéd Brussels Sprouts With Horseradish
Grandma Esther’s Braised Red Cabbage

Bungalow Chef’s Rosemary Potato Soufflé

Yield 8-10 servings

Equipment: 2 qt. soufflé or deep baking dish, stock pot and vegetable ricer or masher

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

5 lbs. red potatoes
2 1/2 cups of heavy cream or a bit more depending on the starch of the potatoes
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 stick of butter (melted and warmed with the cream)
8 oz cream cheese (cut into small bits)
1 egg (room temperature and beaten)
1/4 tsp baking power
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Peel and placed the potatoes in a stock pot with water just covering the potatoes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to boil and simmer until fork tender. Drain well.

In a small saucepan heat heavy cream, chopped rosemary, and butter to a low simmer.

Using the ricer or masher, start processing the potatoes. Incorporate the cream cheese, cream-butter and blend well. Mix in the egg and baking powder.

Place in the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes until it starts puffing up and turning golden brown. This can be made the day before. Just bring up to room temperature before you place it in the oven.

Cheers!
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Pecan Pralines http://bungalowchef.net/pecan-pralines-2/ http://bungalowchef.net/pecan-pralines-2/#comments Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:26:31 +0000 http://bungalowchef.net/?p=1601

As a youngster, I was blessed to go on food related travel adventures with my family. One trip, that instilled an array of memories, was to the Brown Country, Indiana Maple Syrup Festival where we visited a farm that processed maple syrup. The amazing aroma from the sugar shack was something I will never forget…sweet with an amber smoldering smell that wafted through the air. It was just incredible. I also recall learning that it takes 40 gallons of tree sap to produce 1 gallon of syrup. Can you believe it?  The whole process still amazes me today.

Maple Syrup Pecan Pralines

Maple Syrup Pecan Pralines

Brown Country, Indiana

My family and I at the Brown Country Maple Syrup Festival

As you know, I love using handcrafted products in my recipes. And Burton’s Maplewood Farm Maple Syrup is one that goes beyond pancakes and is perfect to bake and cook with as well. My Pecan Praline recipe is generations old and uses all fresh, natural products.

Pecan Pralines

Yields 12-15 pieces

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch table salt
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup real maple syrup (Burton’s Maplewood Farm)
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped pecans (I pre-roast them to intensify the flavor)

Directions:
In a heavy sauce pan:
Combine the sugar, salt, milk, and maple syrup. Using a candy thermometer, heat mixture to 235 degrees. Wipe down the sides of the pot with a damp wet pastry brush then let boil for two minutes. Pull off heat, add the butter but do not stir. Just let the butter melt. Cool mixture down to 160 degrees, then add the pecans and beat with a wooden spoon until thickened and taking on an opaque like color. Using a teaspoon, place on parchment paper.  Let cool.  Place in an airtight container to store.

Mike Mech,“The Bungalow Chef”

 

 

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Bungalow Chef’s Maple Bourbon Tipsy Peach Crumble http://bungalowchef.net/bungalow-chefs-maple-bourbon-tipsy-peach-crumble/ http://bungalowchef.net/bungalow-chefs-maple-bourbon-tipsy-peach-crumble/#comments Fri, 11 Aug 2017 15:01:36 +0000 http://bungalowchef.net/?p=1566
Red Arrow Highway Sign in Harbor County, Michigan

Red Arrow Highway Sign in Harbor County, Michigan

Late summer means fresh peaches in the Midwest and I love to drive the historic Red Arrow Highway in Harbor County, Michigan to purchase them from the local farmers’ groves. Red Haven peaches are the most popular peaches in the area and they’re the one all others are judged against. So, it’s no surprise that I always buy them by the bushel! And that first bite is beyond wonderful. The juice, full of sweet summertime flavor, flows down my chin every time. Red Haven delights are the best and they’re also good for baking.

My Maple Bourbon Tipsy Peach Crumble isn’t your grandmother’s dessert but it sure is special thanks to Basil Hayden’s Bourbon and Burton’s Maplewood Farm Maple Syrup. Served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’re sure to have a winning dessert.

 

Maple Bourbon Tipsy Peach Crumble

Maple Bourbon Tipsy Peach Crumble!

 

 

Bungalow Chef’s Maple Bourbon Tipsy Peach Crumble

Ingredients:
7-8 medium size, fresh ripe peaches. Skin on, pitted and cut into 8-10 wedges
1 lemon (juice only)
1/3 cup Burton’s Maplewood Farm Maple Syrup
1/4 cup Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup additional Burton’s Maplewood Farm Maple Syrup
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl add cut fresh peaches, lemon juice, maple syrup, bourbon, vanilla and cornstarch. Mix well, let sit for ten minutes for the flavors to marinate into the peaches. Spray a 9”x13” baking dish with cooking spray or rub it with butter. Put the peach mixture in the bottom of the baking dish.

In a separate bowl, add the rolled oats, brown sugar, softened butter, additional maple syrup, salt and cinnamon. Toss together lightly then place over the peach mixture patting down to create a crumbly crust.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until the peach mixture is bubbling and the crumble is golden brown.  Let cool slightly and serve warm.

Mike Mech “The Bungalow Chef”

 

 

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The Bungalow Chef’s Cool and Refreshing Onion Dip http://bungalowchef.net/the-bungalow-chefs-cool-and-refreshing-onion-dip/ http://bungalowchef.net/the-bungalow-chefs-cool-and-refreshing-onion-dip/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:50:51 +0000 http://bungalowchef.net/?p=1556

My hand made Onion Dip is a welcome addition to any late summer pool or patio party. Mine is so easy to make and filled with fresh sweet onion flavor, that once you try it, you’ll never consider purchasing that dry boxed powder mix again.

Home made onion chip dip

Home made onion dip

As a child, our milkman delivered super-sized cans of potato chips along with his usual dairy selections. We always had them on hand. Do you remember the mid-century Sputnik like chip and dip bowls with the hanger above the base so the dip almost touched the chips below? With chips and dip as vogue as the Twist in those days, this iconic vessel was in a lot of homes…including ours.

I consider my cool and refreshing recipe “dipping perfection” for your favorite chips. And, I’ll be so bold as to say, it’s ideal for dipping anything from a crudité platter. But I also love to serve this as a topping on a baked potato with a big steak dinner or even as a filling for a brunch omelet.

Bungalow Chef’s Cool and Refreshing Onion Dip

Serves 8-10 people

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 3/4 cups finely diced Spanish onions or yellow onions
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground horseradish (optional)

Directions:
In a heavy sauté pan, heat oil, add the chopped onions and sprinkle with the sugar and kosher salt. Stir often, slowly caramelize the onions over medium heat until they are deep golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream and mayonnaise and mix well. Add the garlic powder, pepper, salt, and horseradish. Then toss in the cooled sautéed onions and blend well.  Transfer to your serving bowl and garnish with the paprika.

Best if made a day in advance so the flavors can meld over night.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Bungalow Bread Or…The Blizzard of 1967 Survival Bread http://bungalowchef.net/bungalow-bread-orthe-blizzard-of-1967-survival-bread/ http://bungalowchef.net/bungalow-bread-orthe-blizzard-of-1967-survival-bread/#comments Thu, 01 Jun 2017 20:02:20 +0000 http://bungalowchef.net/?p=1515

The blizzard of 1967 hit Chicago and the surrounding area on January 26th with a record setting 23 inches of snow followed by high winds and drifting.  To this day, it remains the worst winter storm in Chicago history. My small Mayberry-esque suburb of Blue Island, Illinois was in its path and, for a boy of 8 years old, it became a magical dream world. School was called off, snow forts were built and there was endless television on all THREE channels. However, for my parents, there was serious concern for the safety of family and friends. Just returning from work was a challenge for Dad and with little warning of the storm, Mom found grocery store shelves quickly emptied of bread, milk and daily staples.

Chicago Blizzard of 1967

Chicago Blizzard of 1967

This was when Mom taught me about bread being the staff of life. Interestingly, she always kept yeast in the house and we had plenty of flour and sugar left from the holiday baking season. Mom pulled me into her emergency mode and shared with me the art of bread baking.  She dug out the vintage crock-like Bauer Bowl (which I cherish and still use today) and my Great Grandmother Rose Schade’s bread recipe.

Bungalow bread still warm from the oven

Bungalow bread still warm from the oven

I quickly learned from a master the techniques of working with yeast, kneading dough, letting it rise and punching it down to rise once again. Loaf after loaf of glorious bread went into the oven and was shared with family, friends and neighbors. All of that bread with its warm and comforting aroma, as well as that iconic ’67 snow storm, will remain with me forever.

Bungalow Bread

Yields 4 Loaves

Ingredients:
2 packages of dry active yeast
4 cups of warm milk (at 100 to 110 degrees)
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ cup melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons salt
10-12 cups of all-purpose flour (additional flour for kneading)
2 egg whites beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
6 tablespoons of butter to finish the crust

Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Use extra butter to grease the bread tins well.

Add the yeast to 1 cup of the warmed milk and the sugar. Stir well until the yeast starts to work or foams.

Place the remaining milk, melted butter, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the flour, one cup at a time with a wooden spoon. After the 5th cup add the yeast mixture. Keep on adding the rest of the flour cup by cup until a stiff dough forms.

After the flour is incorporated, remove the dough to a well-floured board, and knead for 5 minutes. You want the dough smooth, supple and no longer tacky. You might need to add a bit more flour to handle the dough. Butter the inside of a large crock-style bowl well. Place the dough in the bowl and flip it a few times to cover all sides with butter.  Then cover the bowl with a towel, and allow rising in a warm, and draft free spot until the dough has doubled twice its size. Depending on the temperature of the kitchen it could take up to two hours. Note: A warmer draft free kitchen will help assist in the rise of the bread.

Remove the dough from the bowl, and punch down the dough three or four times. Return to the floured board, and knead for 5 more minutes. Divide into 4 equal portions, shape into loafs, and place into prepared bread pans. Cover the loaves again, and let rise again until doubled in size.

Using a sharp knife, score the center of each loaf slightly and brush with the beaten egg whites.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped and nicely browned.

Remove bread from the pans and let cool on a rack. Using the additional butter, slather the tops of the warm bread to give a finish coat and a crispy crust.

Happy snow days!

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The Bungalow Chef’s Apple Strudel http://bungalowchef.net/the-bungalow-chefs-apple-strudel/ http://bungalowchef.net/the-bungalow-chefs-apple-strudel/#respond Thu, 16 Mar 2017 18:10:13 +0000 http://bungalowchef.net/?p=1541

How can anyone resist Apple Strudel fresh from the oven? The crisp and flaky crust wrapped around fresh apples and raisins, and the warm aroma of cinnamon and butter…are amazing. As a child, I was taught the technique of stretching the dough over a kitchen table but today, I use fillo dough. I love Organic Fillo Dough by The Fillo Factory. It’s made with clean vegan ingredients and is easy to use.  This dough comes in 13” x 18” sheets which are perfect.

Apple Strudel made with Fillo-Factory fillo dough

Apple Strudel made with Fillo-Factory fillo dough

 

Growing up as a mid-century kid, I remember the television show Hogan’s Heroes with the beloved character, Sergeant Hans Georg Schultz, never passing up a slice of Apple Strudel.  And as Schultz preferred, I always serve mine “mit schlag”, with whipped cream.

Apple Strudel “mit schlag”

Apple Strudel “mit schlag”

The Bungalow Chef’s Apple Strudel

6-8 servings

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

Filling:
5 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs (un-seasoned)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Pastry:
8 sheets of fillo dough (Thawed per the directions on The Fillo Factory’s Organic Fillo Dough box)
½ cup melted butter
1 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Directions:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In a large mixing bowl, add the diced apples, raisins, melted butter, bread crumbs, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and mix well.

Place one sheet of fillo dough on a large kitchen towel. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Layer and repeat the process using all 8 sheets of dough. Tap down using the backside of a baking sheet.

Spoon the apple mixture along the long side on the fillo sheets. Roll like a jelly roll. Brush the seam area with melted butter. Transfer onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet with seam side down. Bush with remaining butter and cinnamon sugar mixture and bake for 20-30 minutes. Let it set for one hour before slicing with a serrated knife and serving.

For a variation on this strudel recipe, I often use fresh pears or summer plums.

Chef’s Tip: Keep the dough from drying out by covering with barely damp kitchen towels or plastic wrap.

Enjoy!

Mike Mech

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Beef Bourguignon and Potato Soufflé … A Romantic Valentine’s Day Duo Indeed! http://bungalowchef.net/beef-bourguignon-and-potato-souffle-a-romantic-valentines-day-duo-indeed/ http://bungalowchef.net/beef-bourguignon-and-potato-souffle-a-romantic-valentines-day-duo-indeed/#comments Thu, 02 Feb 2017 17:00:31 +0000 http://bungalowchef.net/?p=1530

Beef Bourguignon is an easy, classic and delicious meal for special occasions like Valentine’s Day. I suggest you make this a day ahead then reheat it so the flavors come to their full bloom.

Bungalow Chef's Beef Bourguignon

Bungalow Chef’s Beef Bourguignon

When I a kid I wasn’t particularly interested in sports as I lacked two important physical components…speed and coordination. (If you’re imagining me in Husky’s you have the perfect visual. LOL) Early on, my playing field of pursuit was shaped by culinary icons such as Julia Child and Graham Kerr, and later by David Rosengarten. These masters would grace my home with their presence on our black and white Zenith television with rabbit ears. There I would sit in awe and be trained and entertained by my heroes.

Potato Souffle!

Potato Souffle!

Each of my social culinarians had their way with the delicious wine filled, slow roasted Beef Bourguignon. And while mine is traditional, I’ve added my own twists. I highly recommend that it be paired with Potato Soufflé as it is the perfect foundation for a special occasion dinner. And for a sweet finish, don’t forget my White Chocolate Dipped Green Grapes. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and make a tasty impression with those you care about most.

Bungalow Chef’s Beef Bourguignon

Yield 6-8 Servings

Equipment: Large heavy frying pan – cast iron works well, a large saucepan to reduce the wine and a large covered roasting pan, I use an old enameled from my grandmother.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:
1/2 lb. bacon (Country or slab style) diced fine
Olive oil
4 lbs beef chuck cut into 1.5-inch cubes
1 cup or more of flour seasoned with salt and pepper
2 lbs boiling onions (1 lb white or yellow and 1 lb red onions) skin removed
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch coins
15 garlic cloves peeled and left whole
3 cups low sodium beef stock or broth
3/4 cup Cognac
2 1/2 bottles of 750 Ml. Red Burgundy wine (Purchase 3 bottles and pour yourself a nice glass or two.) Simmer and reduce by one third. Cheers to the Chef!
1.5 lbs brown mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons dried thyme and a few springs fresh (optional if fresh isn’t available)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper

Method:
Sauté the bacon in the frying pan until it is crisp, remove and drain on paper towels. Reserve the drippings.

Dredge the beef in the seasoned flour. Using the same frying pan, brown the meat in small batches, using a small about of the bacon drippings combined with a little olive oil. Take your time! You want the meat to caramelize and brown before you turn it to the next to repeat the process.

Place the browned meat into the roasting pan, reserving those “fonds”, the brown bits of flavor from the browning process.

Now brown the onions, carrots, and garlic in the same pan using the same process. Place everything in the roasting pan.

Deglaze the frying pan by adding the cognac then the beef stock. Reduce until it is a glaze, making sure to scrape up the fonds and brown bits. Add to the roasting ban.

Add the brown sugar and tomato paste to the reduced wine and mix well then pour the mixture to the roasting pan. Toss in the mushrooms, bacon, and thyme.

Place in the oven uncovered for 1 1/2-2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Check the meat, when it is fork tender it’s done. Taste for additional salt and pepper.

(This can be cooled down and served the next day, heating on low heat.)

Bungalow Chef’s Potato Soufflé

Yield 8-10 servings

Equipment: 2 qt. soufflé or deep baking dish, stock pot and vegetable ricer or masher

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients: 
5 lbs red potatoes
1 stick of butter (melted and warmed with the cream)
3 cups of heavy cream or a bit more depending on the starch of the potatoes
8 oz cream cheese (cut into small bits)
1 egg (room temperature and beaten)
1/4 tsp baking power

Method: 
Peel and placed the potatoes in a stock pot with water just covering the potatoes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of ground horseradish. Bring to boil and simmer until fork tender. Drain well.

Using the ricer or masher start processing the potatoes. Incorporate the cream cheese,
melted butter and cream. Mix in the egg and baking powder.

Place in the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes until it starts puffing up and turning golden brown. This can be made the day before.  Just bring up to room temperature before you place it in the oven.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Have a fire lit, martini’s waiting, and classic Sinatra in the back ground. And if find yourself solo, remember you are always loved and never truly alone in the kitchen!

Cheers!
 
Mike Mech “The Bungalow Chef”

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Onion, Leek and Pea Gratin…A Recipe with Roots http://bungalowchef.net/onion-leek-and-pea-gratina-recipe-with-roots/ http://bungalowchef.net/onion-leek-and-pea-gratina-recipe-with-roots/#respond Mon, 19 Dec 2016 21:30:57 +0000 http://bungalowchef.net/?p=1505

My family’s Blue Island heritage goes back to the 1860s and as a kid growing up in this historical Chicago suburb, onions and root vegetables were plentiful and always made an appearance at Sunday family dinners. Perhaps it goes back to what was called Market Day in the horse and buggy era of where I lived.

Blue Island Market Day

Photo courtesy of Blue Island Historical Society and Browntown Communications

Back in the 1870s, Market Day took place on the first Thursday of every month along the southern stretch of what is now called Olde Western Avenue. This was when farmers within a twenty five mile radius would eagerly bring their livestock and produce to sell to Blue Island residents. My Great Grandma Ma Schade often shared her memories of Market Day and it was easy to imagine her strolling through the market in search of the best vegetables she could find. And yes, root vegetables like onions were high on her shopping list.

Photo by Stephen Hamilton Photographics

Photo by Stephen Hamilton Photographics

My Onion, Leek and Pea Gratin pays homage to the onion root vegetable and the farmers who worked the rich Midwestern soil in days past. This is the perfect accompaniment with roast chicken, holiday ham, as well as beef or pork roast.

Onion, Leek and Pea Gratin

8-10 1-cup servings

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, extra for buttering the casserole dish
2 strips of bacon
3/4 cup panko or Italian style bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
1 leek diced fine
1 lb. pearl onions (fresh or frozen), peeled. If using fresh, par boil for one minute in boiling water, then shock them in an ice bath to stop cooking. Remove skins and drain well.
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon flour

Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a two quart oven proof casserole dish, butter bottom and sides well.

Pan fry the bacon, remove from pan and drain. Retaining the drippings, add the diced leek and sauté until golden brown. Chop bacon and reserve. In a mixing bowl, add the bread crumbs and grated cheese. Melt one tablespoon butter in a saucepan and add the onions, leeks, and peas. Pour in the cream and broth. Bring to a light boil and cook until the vegetables are fork tender.

Now blend the flour and remaining butter in a small bowl and mix it with the vegetables and broth. Cook for two minutes over medium heat. Pour the vegetable mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the diced bacon. Top with the cheese-bread crumb mixture. Bake for 12 -15 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy!

Mike Mech “The Bungalow Chef”

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