Soups and Stews are some of the easiest and hearties dishes out there. What makes them so great is that you can add anything you want…..have fun and be creative! As always, at Gunner’s Grille at Taneytown we like to put a little twist on our favorite comfort foods; thus we have several options from the not so heart healthy to heart healthy. First on the agenda is Beef Stew, a long standing favorite in all households and second will be a lighter and healthier stew, Chicken and Artichoke. And finally we will honor Gunner with his favorite soup.
Beef Stew Ingredients – stew beef, carrots, celery, sweet onion, red potatoes, green beans, whole wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), red wine, lemon pepper, truffle or kosher salt, dry thyme, dry parsley, Montreal Steak seasoning, dried bay leaves, beef bouillon or beef stock.
• Cut beef and vegetables into bite size pieces • Combine flour lemon pepper, salt, thyme, parsley and Mon- treal seasoning and lightly toss in the stew beef until completely covered. • Coat the bottom your pot (be sure to have a lid for it) with EVOO and allow to slowly heat up • Layer beef to cover the bottom of the pot and brown beef on all sides • Add red wine to just cover the bottom of the pan. Allow to caramelize a bit. (5 minutes or so) • Add just enough stock or bouillon to deglaze bottom of pan and form a “gravy” • Lightly coat remaining ingredients with remaining flour and mix with beef. Cook approximately 10 minutes or until the “gravy” is almost completely soaked into the beef and vegetables • Pour stock or bouillon to just about ¾ high and turn heat on high. Bring to a boil, stir and deglaze bottom of pot • Reduce heat and simmer for one hour • Serve with your favorite biscuits in a soup or pasta bowl! Savoring the Moment Hearty dishes to fill your bellies
Chicken and Artichoke Stew Ingredients – white chicken breast meat, unsalted butter, carrots, celery, sweet onion, canned artichoke hearts, whole wheat flour, white wine, EVOO, dried parsley, fresh basil, lemon juice, lemon pepper, truffle or kosher salt, chicken stock or bouillon
• Cut chicken into bite size pieces, artichokes into length- wise quarters and carrots, celery and onions into ½ bite size pieces • Place chicken in bowl with EVOO, dried parsley, lemon pepper and salt; toss to coat • Heat pot and lightly brown chicken on all sides. Deglaze pan with white wine, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. • Add carrots, celery and onion; toss with chicken and cook until slightly softened. • Add butter and toss to coat, sprinkle with whole wheat flour and cook until flour is attached to chicken and vegetables; add artichoke hearts and mix in (be careful not to break the hearts up) • Add basil (leave whole and on stem, you will remove before serving) and lemon juice and stir • Add chicken stock or bouillon to ½ high and turn heat on high. Bring to a light boil, deglaze bottom of pan and reduce to simmer for approximately 30 minutes • Serve over your favorite rice in a pasta bowl!
So, we now have our “fly by the seat of our pants” recipes with stews. Let’s move on to soup. While most of the soups I prepare do not have recipes, there are two that definitely do. I would like to share one of them with you this month. This is a very special recipe to me as it is one that honors my father, Gunner. If you have eaten at Gunner’s than you know that we have New England Clam Chowder on the menu. This is in honor of my father who ate “Chowda” and Grilled Cheese most days for lunch at one of his favorite lunch spots.
New England Clam Chowder • Ingredients, 1/3 pound bacon; medium diced, 1/3 Vidalia onion; medium diced, 4 celery stalks, small diced, 1/3 tablespoon dried thyme, 1/8 to 1/4 cup dry white wine, 1/2 teaspoon each lemon pepper, truffle salt, and Montreal steak seasoning, 1/8 cup unsalted butter (not melted), ¼ cup whole wheat flour, 2 cups red potatoes, small diced, 32 ounces canned clams (with juice), 1 pint half and half, 2 quarts, heavy cream. • Cook bacon in a large pot until just browned on medium heat. Add onions, celery, thyme, lemon pepper, truffle salt and Montreal – stir. Add white wine and reduce for minutes. • Add butter and stir to coat until melted. Add flour and cook until slightly browned • Add clams and bring to a boil, stirring almost constantly. Add half and half and every cream and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for approximately one hour.