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Osso Bucco with Dried Orange, Thyme and White Beans January 28, 2011

Filed under: Big City Cooking — kariryerson @ 4:26 pm

This is a recipe from Big City Cooking. I never realized how expensive veal shanks were until I bought them. I couldn’t find candied orange peel so I made it (shockingly simple) and I have to say the orange peel made this dish. I was a bit worried about the sweetness of it but it turned out to be amazing.



  • 2 cups dried white cannellini beans
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken stock, canned low-sodium broth, or water (I used beef stock since I had lots around)
  • ½ medium carrot, peeled and cut in half
  • ½ rib celery
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp diced candied orange peel (I couldn’t find any in the store, so I made my own)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Osso Bucco

  • 3 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 veal shanks, about 2 inches thick, 1 to 1 ¼ lb each
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, 1 coarsely chopped and 1 cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 2 ribs celery, 1 coarsely chopped and 1 cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 8 cups veal stock, or substitute chicken stock (I made a mix of 4 cups beef stock and 4 cups chicken stock as it is supposed to be close to veal stock)
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp diced candied orange peel


To Make the Beans

Place the bean in a bowl, cover with water by about 3 inches, and set aside to soak overnight or up to 24 hours. Refrigerate if the kitchen is very warm.

Drain and rise the soaked beans and put them in a medium saucepan over medium heat with 6 cups of the chicken stock, the carrot, and the celery. Cover and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until tender, about 1 hour, adding more chicken stock or water if needed to keep the beans fully covered. Add salt just before the beans are fully cooked (the skins will crack if it is added too early).

Drain the beans are return them to the same pot, discarding the carrot and celery. Add the thyme and orange peel and mix gently. Season with salt and pepper.

If you prefer not to soak the beans overnight, cook as described above, but you will need at least 8 cups of liquid and the beans will take at least 2 hours to cook. The beans can be fully cooked up to 2 days ahead, refrigerated in their cooking liquid, and brought back to a simmer before proceeding with the recipe.

To Make the Osso Bucco

In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp of the oil. Season the veal shanks with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Add the onion, coarsely chopped carrot, and coarsely chopped celery and brown the shanks for 3 to 5 minutes per side

Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon, scrapping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook until the wine is reduced to about ½ cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the veal stock and 2 sprigs of the thyme and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium, cover, and simmer until the meat is very tender and the braising liquid has reduced by half, about 1hour and 40 minutes. If the liquid is reducing too much during cooking, add water.

Remove the veal shanks and set aside, loosely covered with foil,. Strain the braising liquid and reserve; discard the solids.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced carrot and diced celery and cook until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the braising liquid. If the sauce is too thick, add chicken stock or water to thin it. Simmer for about 1 minute to heat through, or longer if the vegetables are not fully cooked, and season with last and pepper.

To Serve

Divide the beans among 4 warmed plates. Top with the veal shanks, spoon the sauce over them, and garnish with the diced orange peel and remaining thyme sprigs.


Lamb Stew with Pomegranate and Saffron Fregula January 26, 2011

Filed under: Big City Cooking — kariryerson @ 3:49 pm

This recipe also came from Big City Cooking. I had been wanting to try it for a while but could never find all the ingredients. Now that I live in a big city, I was able to find them all except the Fregula (which I will admit I didn’t look very hard) so I used Israeli couscous as it suggested. The seeds at the end give the meal a great texture so I highly recommend using them.


Lamb Stew

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 lbs lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large carrot, cute into about ¾ inch dice
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice or 1 cup red wine (I used red wine)
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped orange zest
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Saffron Fregula

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cup fregula or substitute Israeli couscous (I used Israeli couscous)
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds


To Make the Stew:

In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Season the lamb pieces with salt and pepper and brown on all sides in the oil, working in batches if necessary, so they are not crowded, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a bowl. Add 1 tbsp or more of oil to the pot, if necessary, and sauté the carrot for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shallots, cumin, cayenne, and ginger and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes to toast the spices. Add the pomegranate juice (or win) and saffron. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. If using pomegranate juice, cook until reduced to about ½ cup, 15 to 20 minutes and if using red wine, cook until reduced to about ¼ cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Return the lamb and any juices to the pot, add the chicken stock and orange zest, and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for about 1.2 hour, removing the cover to skim the liquid occasionally and make sure that the stew remains at a gentle simmer. Uncover and cook for another hour, or until the lamb is tender and the liquid has thickened. Add the pomegranate molasses and season with salt and pepper.

To Make the Fregula:

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the chicken stock and the saffron. If using low-sodium broth, add 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and add the fregula. Decrease the heat to low and cook, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with Salt

Divide the fregula among 4 bowls and top with stew. Garnish with min and pomegranate seeds, if desired.


Depending upon the richness of the stock, you may want to use more or less pomegranate molasses, so add 1 tbsp at a time and taste after each addition.


BLT Pizza January 25, 2011

Filed under: Big City Cooking — kariryerson @ 2:08 am

This came from a cookbook I picked up off a clearance rack because the cover was interetesting. Its call Big City Cooking. This was super simple to make (especially if you buy the dough) and tasted delicious. I wish it had made more.


  • 3 slices bacon, preferable Niman Ranch
  • ¼ Recipe pizza dough (I bought premade at the store)
  • 2 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing dough
  • 1 large vine-ripened tomato thinly sliced (use an heirloom tomato, if available) (I used a regular)
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup shredded fresh buffalo mozzarella, or substitute regular mozzarella (I used fresh and it was way too moist)
  • ½ bunch arugula
  • 1/8 tsp dried red hot pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 550 or as high as your over will allow. Set out a pizza stone, or oil a baking sheet

Heat a medium skillet over medium0high heat and cook the bacon slices until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a round shape with a diameter of about 10 inches. Sprinkle the cornmeal over the pizza stone or oiled baking sheet, cover approximately the area the pizza dough will cover. Place the dough over the cornmeal and brush the surface of the dough with olive oil.

Arrange the tomato slices over the dough and season lightly with salt. Spread the cheese over the tomatoes. Break the bacon slices into small pieces and sprinkle over the cheese. In a small bowl, toss the arugula with 1tsp of olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Arrange the arugula over the pizza and bake until the crust is nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with pepper flakes, season with pepper, and serve immediately.


Orzo-stuffed peppers January 22, 2011

Filed under: New Vegetarian Cuisine — kariryerson @ 10:45 pm

This is another recipe from New Vegetarian Cuisine. I ended up with a feta that had very low sodium (which is shocking for feta) so I actually needed to add salt when I ate them but if you use a feta with normal salt content (mine wasn’t even marked low sodium) then you shouldn’t need any salt. These were one of my favorite things I have ever had from this cook book.


  • 2 cups cooked orzo
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 box (10oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp nonfat sour cream
  • 4 sweet red peppers (the store was sold out so I got orange which are also sweet)


In a medium bowl, mix the orzo, tomatoes, spinach, scallions, feta, mint and sour cream; set aside.

Preheat the over to 350. Coat a 9×9 baking dish with no-stick spray; set aside.

Slice the tops off the peppers. Remove and discard the membranes and seeds. Stand the peppers upright; if necessary, cut a small slice off the bottom so that they’re stable. Divide the orzo mixture among the peppers. Place upright in the prepared baking dish.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through.


Creamy Goat Cheese Risotto January 21, 2011

Filed under: New Vegetarian Cuisine — kariryerson @ 12:44 am

This recipe comes from New Vegetarian Cuisine. I have had this book for a long time but don’t use it often as the hubs isn’t a big fan of most veggies. Since the hotel I stay at for work now includes a kitchenette I get to cook during the week and have started packing this. The biggest issue is that I can only buy what I need and can’t store leftovers so I have to modify recipes a bit. I just love how this one turned out.


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (the olive bar at the grocery store had oven roasted tomatoes so I used those rather than waste half a jar of sun dried)
  • 8 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (I bought mine from the bulk section but eyed the measurements and ended up with just over 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2oz goat cheese (this only came in 4oz packs so I added it all since there is no such thing as too much cheese!)


In a small bowl, combine the water and tomatoes. Let stand for 2 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid. Chop the tomatoes and set aside.

Bring the stock to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan, reduce the heat to low and keep at a low simmer.

In a 3- or 4 -quart saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the scallions; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until tender. Add the rice; stir until coated with oil.

Start adding the stock 1 tbsp at a time. Allow eat tbsp to be absorbed before adding the next, but never allow the rice to become dry. When the stock has been half used, after about 15 minutes, stir in the tomatoes, basil, pepper and 2 tbsp of the reserved tomato soaking liquid. Continue adding stock for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until the rice is creamy and the grains are firm but not hard (you might not need all the stock).

Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the goat cheese until melted.


Mexican Chicken January 16, 2011

Filed under: Paula Deen — kariryerson @ 6:41 am

It really doesn’t get any easier than this. The last of my make ahead meals. The thing that took the longest (after the baking) was taking the meat off the bird. This is a fool proof meal that almost everyone will like. The recipe came from The Lady and Son’s, Too!  by Paula Deen.


  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cheddar cheese soup
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel tomatoes
  • 1 whole chicken, cooked, boned, and chopped or 4 cups leftover cooked chicken  (I bought a rotisserie chicken and shredded the meat)
  • Unsalted butter, for greasing pan
  • 1 (11 1/2-ounce) package flour tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by-9-inch pan with the cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the 3 kinds of soup and the tomatoes. Stir in the chicken.

Layer the tortillas and the chicken mixture in the pan, beginning and ending with tortillas. Sprinkle the cheese over the casserole and bake for 30 minutes.


The Lady’s Pork Stew January 14, 2011

Filed under: Paula Deen — kariryerson @ 9:38 am

This was another great make ahead meal. This freezes well and I love the fact that it uses turnips which I think are very underutilized. I got this recipe from Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons, Too!


  • One 3-pound Boston butt roast, trimmed of exterior fat (I used a pork roast since the store didn’t have Boston Butt)
  • 2 tablespoons Dale’s Steak Seasoning (I used a jar of steak seasoning I already had)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons The Lady’s House Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons The Lady’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
  • 3 medium turnips, skin on, cut into wedges (my turnips were very waxy so I peeled them)
  • 3 medium red potatoes, skin on, cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup cold water


Rub the meat with the Dale’s Seasoning, House Seasoning, Seasoned Salt, and garlic salt–in that order. If time allows, let the roast sit for 1 hour at room temperature. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Cook the roast on all sides until browned. Add the 6 cups of water, the onion, and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove the meat from the pot and allow to cool. Cut the pork into chunks.

While meat is cooling, taste the stock and add salt and pepper, if necessary. Add the carrots, turnips, and potatoes to the Dutch oven and return to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir the cornstarch into the 1/3 cup water. Pour this into the pot and stir until the liquid thickens. Return the pork to the pot and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes longer.