Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Marcy's Korean Beef Tacos

I really made this dish by accident. I had a coupon for the Campbell's Crockpot simmer sauces and thought I'd give it a try. We have a few beef roasts left in the freezer that I need to use before we get another order split quarter of beef. Crockpot meals are such a great lifesaver for weekdays. I'm not organized enough to be a hard-core meal planner with 5 days of crockpot meals in the freezer by Sunday night. But I do like to be able to throw something in the crock before work and have dinner ready when I walk in the door at night. We enjoyed the Korean BBQ the first night just served over rice with some steamed broccoli and pineapple chunks. The leftovers were another question. The package suggested tacos with cabbage. I had lunch at my mother-in-law's (their famous walleye!) and she served one of those complete salad mixes. It was an ah-ha moment. The salad was the perfect thing to put on the Korean BBQ beef instead of just plain cabbage. My taco concept was complete. This is so easy and so good. I hope you enjoy.

Marcy's Korean Beef Tacos
1 pouch of Campbell's Korean BBQ crockpot sauce
3-4 lb. beef roast
1 pouch of Marketside Pantry Asian Chopped Salad  (from the Walmart produce department)

Put the roast, frozen is okay, into the crock. Cover with the sauce. Cook on high for 8 hours. When you get home, drain some of the juice so there is only about 1-1/2 cups left. Then tear the beef with two forks and stir into the sauce. Turn to warm while you prepare the salad. Warm your flour tortillas, fill with some salad, top with strips of beef, spoon a bit of the au jus on top, and fold. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chicky Chickpea Curry

At a meeting over lunch one day last week I saw a friend enjoying a curry dish. I recognized it as a curry I've eaten before. Chickpeas and green peas. I don't have an Indian restaurant where I live. Our local Chinese restaurant serves a few really lovely Thai curries. And the ethnic food store makes some fabulous stewed chicken and curried goat. Great stuff. But I thought I can surely make chickpea curry at home. We like curry and I am not sure why I don't make it more often. Cauliflower curry is one of my top five favorite dishes. I am not sure of the name of proper name of the authentic chickpea curry, or where the dish originates. So I did some curry research online and in my own cookbooks. I got some ideas. I didn't have coconut milk in the pantry, so I eliminated that as an option. I also wanted to include chicken, to give it an extra protein punch. We are omnivores in my house, I confess. So I took my research as inspiration and started cooking. Here's the recipe I came up with. It must have been pretty good as my husband asked for the leftovers to take to work for lunch. That's got to be a first. The item that takes a bit of guess work is the final amount of water/broth. You don't want it to be as thick as mashed potatoes, and you don't want it runny like a soup. Somewhere in between is just right. I figured about 4-5 cups, but start on the low side and add as needed. I hope you enjoy. I know I'll be stocking up on chickpeas so we can make this more often. 

Chicky Chickpea Curry
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
4 c. water
2 tsp. of granular chicken bouillon
6 large russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 large onion sliced thin
2 T. butter or ghee
2 T. curry powder
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne (or more to taste)
1 T. minced garlic (or one clove)
1/2 tsp. minced ginger
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained
2 cups frozen peas 
1/4 c. chopped cilantro leaves
Jasmine rice
Boil the chicken breasts in water with bouillon until done. Do not drain. Add potatoes and cook until done, about 20 minutes. While the potatoes cook, heat the butter in a saute pan. Saute onions until very soft, but not brown. Add garlic, ginger, spices ans stir to coat onions. With a hand masher, smash the potatoes a little. Not completely, just enough to blend the potatoes in a bit with the water. It should be chunky. Add spiced onions to the pot with chicken and potatoes. Reduce heat to low. Add chickpeas and peas. Heat on low until peas are done, about 15-20 minutes. This is just enough time to cook the rice: We like jasmine rice. 2 cup water to 1 cup rice boiled in a covered pot with 1 T. of chicken bouillon and 2 T. parsley.