Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bison Pot Roast with Dill Sauce

I have been working a lot of overtime lately, and having a nice warm fork tender pot roast waiting for me when I get home is enough to soothe the stress away. My trusty Crock Pot is always bubbling away with something yummy in it. And this time of year, when the weather gets chilly, pot roast is what I crave.

I always used a beef chuck roast in my Crock Pot. But lately, I have been using Bison. It tastes just like beef - seriously! This is not the "tastes just like chicken" line. And it is leaner and better for you. Bison has 67% less fat than beef, and 46% fewer calories. Bison can be healthier than chicken. But it is a bit expensive and sometimes hard to find. So if you want to use beef, go right ahead - it all works the same.

 Bison Pot Roast with Dill Sauce
1 1/2 lb chuck roast (bison or beef)
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup low sodium beef stock
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 cup low fat or fat free sour cream
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons canola oil
fresh ground black pepper

In a hot skillet with oil, sear roast on both sides until brown and place in slow cooker. In same skillet, saute onion until caramelized and put on top of roast. Combine broth, vinegar and dill weed and pour over roast. Season with fresh ground black pepper and cook on low for 9-10 hours. When ready to serve, remove roast and wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm (be careful - the roast is very very tender). Turn slow cooker up to high and allow broth to bubble. Mix flour with about 1/2 cup of water and pour into bubbling broth to thicken. When thick, stir in sour cream. Serve beef with pasta and a drizzle of sauce. Garnish with a sprinkle of additional dill weed if desired.

If you are using a beef chuck roast, you will see a lot more liquid and fat in the pot after cooking. You may want to skim off the fat, and remove some of the broth (keep about two cups or so) before making the sauce. My roast was cooked in a 3.5 quart cooker. If yours is a larger slow cooker increase the amounts on all of the ingredients.

Pot Roast on Foodista

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chana Dal

I was the kid that hated all vegetables. In fact I had a long list of foods that were unsuitable for consumption - liver, fish and at a secure position at number three - beans. And then one day as an adult I tried hummus. Suddenly a light was shed on the humble legume. While I am still a bit skittish about beans in general and have a bit of hesitation when confronted with them (I blame this on residual conditioning from childhood) I do find myself wanting to try new ways of eating them. Some little beanies are kind of yummy, and downright good for you.
Chana Dal
1 cup dry chana dal
3 cups water
l large onion, diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Pick through the dal to make sure nothing but beans remains. Combine dal and water in a small crockpot (I used my 2.5 quart) and cook on low for about eight or nine hours. If you don't use a crockpot, you could simmer the dal in the water until tender. In a skillet, saute the onion in the olive oil until caramelized. Add to the dal with the tomato paste, cilantro and garam masala and cook for a few minutes. Puree the mixture to your desired consistency and serve with bread as a spread or dip, or add a bit more water and tomato paste for a soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chana Dal on Foodista

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Turkish Pasta with Meat and Yogurt Sauce

(Yoğurtlu Kıymalı Makarna)
My taste buds' trip to Turkey is long overdue. They have had their bags packed and have been patiently waiting for me to get cooking what is one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. It's also one of the largest, full of history and influencing all of the countries around it. So off I went to imagine myself at the Bosphorus, wandering the streets of Istanbul and smelling the fragrance of the spice market. I got lost for a while, and it made me really really hungry, so I cooked up this beautiful pasta dish. It may be simple food - but there is nothing like it around here. Very yummy!

Turkish Pasta with Meat and Yogurt Sauce
8 ounces extra lean ground beef (97/3), or bison
1 medium Onion, chopped
1/2 cup all natural fat free yogurt
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Tomato paste
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1/4 teaspoon Ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon Sweet Hungarian paprika, divided
1/4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
Kosher Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

cooked pasta

For the meat sauce:
Saute chopped onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil until golden and translucent. Add two of the cloves of minced garlic and lean ground beef and saute until meat is cooked through. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, and 1/8 teaspoons of sweet paprika and cinnamon. Turn heat to low and keep warm.

For the yogurt sauce:
Mince two of the garlic cloves and combine with one pinch of kosher salt and mash into a paste. Add to yogurt and set aside and allow to come to room temperature. I used organic fat free plain yogurt, but you could use regular yogurt too.

For the oil drizzle:
Combine 1 tablespoon canola oil with additional 1/8 teaspoon of both cayenne pepper and sweet paprika. Heat in microwave safe container for 30 seconds until warm. Set aside. Butter is most commonly used for this and you could use it instead of canola oil.

Makes two servings:
Serve 3/4 to 1 cup cooked pasta (I used whole wheat fusili) with 1/2 of the meat sauce and a dollop of yogurt. Drizzle with a few drops of the oil. Garnish with fresh cucumber slices.

Turkish Cookery on Foodista