Great Dinner Dates with Great Roommates

Who’s running a 5K trail race at Jay Peak?  This girl!  Signed up yesterday.  I’m super pumped.  The black diamond run… my thighs are going to hate me…for a very long time.  I was supposed to run the Smuttynose Half with timefortangerine in September.  But, pavement running is just too harsh on my delicate knees, so I’ve switched over to something I’ve wanted to do for a while now – trail running!  Timefortangerine will be racing through her third half marathon in support of the Pope Memorial Frontier Humane Society in Newport, VT.    If you’ve got a few extra ones lying around, (maybe some quarters hidden in that big comfy couch?), and you feel some love for those cute furry pets the humane society’s work so hard to care for, think about contacting Ms. Tangerine here.

My weeks have been so crazy lately, though it seems I’ve done nothing at all.  I put together a training schedule to prepare for Jay, and have been sticking to it.  I’m finishing up the first of my two summer courses and that’s been eating up a good chunk of my time.  Sunday marks the last day of this course, though.  Hooray!  25% done with my second Bachelors.  This program is going by too quickly. I’ve been planning meals to make with Ms. Brittney for our family-style dinners here at the Gendreau residence.  So far, we’ve had a delightful few weeks of scrumptious suppers.   Check it out:

Below: Beer Battered Tilapia with a Mango Salsa served over a Brown Rice Blend

To the left: Fennel Garlic Chicken Breast served with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and a mixed green salad.

Note last Wednesday’s white wine tasting in action below!

We had too many great meals to blog about recently.  We enjoyed Venison tacos and Venison Sloppy Joes.  Two super easy recipes and great ways to use up any leftover deer meat.  I can’t say I’m a HUGE fan of venison, so I appreciated these recipes for their ability to mask the gamey meat flavor.  Check out allrecipes for the Taco Seasoning and food.com for the Sloppy Joe recipes.  We used corn tortillas and added spinach, fresh cherry tomatoes, and sharp cheddar cheese to the ground venison for a tasty, gluten-free taco.  Do with yours what you’d like.  I ate my sloppy joe with rice, while others ate theirs with tortilla chips, and others on a bun.  These recipes are so versatile, everyone can find a way to enjoy them.

We also checked out the new restaurant in Waterbury – Prohibition Pig.  Great atmosphere, terrific beer list, good food.

Last night, we ended a chilly, drizzly day with a simple Beef Stew.

Just some carrots, celery, garlic, onion.  Easy peasy.  For those of you that know me, you already understand that I’m messy in the kitchen. I somehow manage to use every dish, every utensil, every measuring spoon, etc. in the house, even when it’s just rice that I’m cooking up.  I also have this tendency to spill things and drop things… The other day, while making dinner, you could nearly filla dustpan with the scraps that I threw around.  I’m totally serious here.  It’s pretty bad.  Last night, though, I hardly dropped a thing.  I was actually super excited about it.  When Brittney walked in the door from work I ran to her bragging about the tiny tiny pile of garlic pieces on the floor.  She was witness to my impressive ways.

The Stew was delicious.  Served some super simple dairy-free mashed potatoes. A nice easy way to round out an overall crummy day.

Beef Stew (adapted from Food and Wine’s Best of the Best Cookbook)

  • 5 carrots, peeled, halved, and cut into 1-2″ chunks
  • 5 stalks of celery, clean, and chopped
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 lbs chuck roast
  • 3 T canola
  • 4 cups of gluten-free beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red Bordeaux-style wine
  • 1 t parsley flakes
  • 1 t rosemary
  • ground peppercorn
  • sea salt
  • 5 russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/3 cup potato water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Remove large fat deposits from the beef.
  3. Cut beef into 1 inch cubes.
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper.
  5. To a large saute pan set at medium-high heat, add 2 T canola oil. 
  6. Once hot, add beef cubes.
  7. Brown the beef on each side for 2 minutes.
  8. Transfer beef to plate.
  9. Add 1 T canola oil and carefully add the onions, celery and carrots.  Turn heat to medium and saute 5 minutes or until soft.
  10. Add garlic and saute another 2 minutes.
  11. To a large glass baking pan/ casserole dish (like pictured above, right) or dutch oven, add the veggies, meat and juices, beef broth, parsley and rosemary.
  12. Place pan in oven and braise for 40 minutes.
  13. Remove from oven, add 1/2 cup of red wine and stir.
  14. Return to oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
  15. Check the meat for desired tenderness.
  16. May need to cook for another 1/2 hour.
  17. While meat is braising, prepare the mashed potatoes.
  18. Quarter the potatoes and add to a pot.
  19. Cover the potatoes with water.
  20. Cover the pot and bring to boil.
  21. Turn to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  22. Use a fork to test for done-ness (fork should easily pierce through the potatoes).
  23. Strain, saving 1/3 cup of the potato water.
  24. Add bouillon cube to water.  Mix well.
  25. Add milk, salt and pepper.
  26. Pour mixture over potatoes and mash well.
  27.  If too thick, add 1 T water at a time until you reach desired consistency.
  28. Serve stew over mashed potatoes. 

Tips:

Serve with remaining wine.  Delicious!

Fennel Garlic Chicken Breast (adapted from Food and Wine)

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t fennel
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1/4 t crushed red pepper
  • sea salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 extra large chicken breast cut in half or 4 smaller breasts
  1. With a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic, fennel seeds, oregano, red pepper and salt into a thick paste.
  2. Add the olive oil.   
  3. Make three gentle, diagonal slices on the top of each breast.
  4. Rub 1/4 of paste into each breast, rubbing into each of the cuts.
  5. Sear each breast over medium-high heat (no longer than 1 minute each side).
  6. Cook, covered, for 4 minutes. 
  7. Turn and cook, covered for 4 minutes. 
  8. Best served hot with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and a green veggie. 

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

  • 1 bag of baby red potatoes
  • 1 T rosemary
  • ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
  • 2 T olive oil
  1. Quarter red potatoes.
  2. Place potatoes in glass baking dish.
  3. Pour oil over potatoes to coat (may need to mix).
  4. Sprinkle rosemary, salt and pepper evenly over potatoes.
  5. Place in 450 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Beer Battered Tilapia (adapted from Eating Well)

  1. In a small bowl, combine cumin, salt, pepper, beer and flour.
  2. Whisk until mixed well.
  3. Coat each piece of fish in the batter.
  4. Heat oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Place fish in pan and cook 4 minutes per side (fish will start to flake when done).
  6. Serve over Seeds of Change Quinoa and Brown Rice topped with Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa (adapted from Eating Well)

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled
  • 1/3 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 T rice vinegar
  • 1/2 T fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
  1. Cut mango into small cubes (need help?)
  2. Add mango, red onion, and cucumber to a small dish.
  3. Add vinegar and lime juice.
  4. Season with cilantro.
  5. Cover and place in fridge for 30 minute.
  6. Eat with tortilla chips or over fish. 

Note: All recipes posted above serve 4-5 people. 

We’ve had many great meals in and some great meals out in the past few weeks.

Are we spoiled?  Maybe just a bit.

You really can’t ask for much more than healthy, hearty food shared with great friends, drinks, laughter, and the occasional dirty joke (maybe a bit too occasional around here).

Enjoy diving into these summery recipes and be on the lookout for some more gluten free meals in the near future!

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One thought on “Great Dinner Dates with Great Roommates

  1. Pingback: Check it Out! « Tootsaroni Macaroni

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