Tag Archives: cooking

Beef Stroganoff in a Cup

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Warm, with beef, noodles and cream, what could be better on a cold winter night. I like to use precooked, beef tips, they just melt in your mouth. You’ll probably find them in the ham and hot dog area of your market. We like it with a nice salad and a good Beaujolais. Life is good!

Ingredients

1 15 oz. pkg. precooked Beef Tips
1 4 oz. can Mushrooms, drained
3 pats of Butter
¼ cup diced onion
1 10 oz. can Beef Broth
1 Tbs. Flour
1 cup Medium Egg Noodles
Dash of Catsup, Garlic Powder, Dijon Mustard and Worcester Sauce
Pepper to taste (there’s usually enough salt in the broth and beef)
¼ cup heavy whipping Cream
1 Flour Tortilla
Sour Cream for the top or use Creme Fraiche (50/50 Heavy Cream and Sour Cream)
PAM cooking spray

Directions

Spray 3 eight to ten ounce ramekins with PAM. Preheat oven to 350 degrees f.

Boil the egg noodles in salted water until they are slightly softened (about 3-4 min.), rinse, drain and reserve. Sauté the onion in the butter and when it has softened a little add the tablespoon of flour and stir it in well to coat all of the flour. Add about ¾ cup of the of broth, the mushrooms and dashes of catsup, mustard, garlic powder, pepper and Worcester sauce. Pour it into a medium sized bowl.

Separate the beef from most of the gravy in the box (you will need a little of it and they give you way too much) and add it to the bowl. Now pour in the whipping cream and the noodles and stir it all together. Cut the tortilla into thin strips and rough them up a little between your hands to form noodles. Fill the ramekins with the mixture and place a mound of the tortilla noodles on top. Bake for about 30 min. until the liquid is bubbling and the tortilla noodles have browned.

Serve in the hot ramekin with a dab of sour cream on top and a dash of paprika for color.

 

 

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Filed under beef, comfort food, Cooking, cooking for two, dinner, food, Food Photography, noodles

Artichoke and Spinach Pie

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We usually have this dish as a side for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. I thought it would make a good entrée as well, so I worked up this version. Small size, no meat, it makes a perfect light dish for summer with a salad. If you need a larger, casserole style for a big dinner, just double or triple the ingredients, skip the Filo dough and just put some bread crumbs on top to brown. We like to add some fresh cilantro to it, that brightens the taste and adds a little zing. Makes about three 8 oz. ramekins.

Ingredients

1 14 oz. can of whole Artichokes
1 Pkg. frozen Spinach
4 oz. Cream cheese
4 Tbs. of Butter, warmed
¼ cup of bread Crumbs
¼ cup chopped onion
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro leaves (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 pkg. frozen filo dough
PAM spray
Cilantro or flat parsley

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. and spray two or three ramekins with PAM

Defrost the spinach and cook it in the microwave until it is hot. Then put it into a strainer and rinse with cold water. Press the water out of the spinach. Rinse and drain the artichokes, cut off the stems if they have any. You want these to stand up in the cup. You can add the stems to the spinach mix, if you wish for flavor. Press the water out of the artichokes between paper towels.

Cream the spinach, onions, chopped cilantro, butter, bread crumbs and cream cheese together.

Place two sheets of Filo in each ramekin and let the sides droop over the top. Stand up enough of the artichokes in the ramekin to cover the bottom of each. Put a layer of of the spinach butter combination on top. Fold the filo dough over on top of the ramekin. Bake for 30 min. or until the top browns well. Pick the package out of the dish using two forks, plate it and I like to put a leaf of cilantro or flat parsley on top as a decoration, a slice of a small tomato works well too.

Serve with a salad and a good Pinot Grigo, Enjoy!

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Filed under Cooking, cooking for two, dinner, food, Food Photography, lunch, Pie

Yeasty Waffles

Waffle

We love waffles in the morning. There is simply nothing better on a cold frosty morning and I can think of nothing else on Christmas morn. The waffles we love are totally home made. The frozen or mix kind just do not stand up to ours. So get yourself a waffle iron and try this recipe. It also makes great pancakes. We love it either way with blueberries or cooked pears. Use an electric mixer to beat it all together properly.

Ingredients

1 pkg. dry yeast (about a level Tbs.)
1 3/4 cups of warm milk and 1/4 cup warm water.
3 beaten eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 Tsp. Sugar
1/4 Tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1 Tsp. vanilla

Directions

Put the water in with the milk and if needed warm them in the microwave for a minute or so.
Beat the eggs, add the milk and water and the yeast. Continue beating until well mixed, a minute or so. Now add the flour, salt, sugar, vegetable oil and the corn meal. Mix very throughly, scraping the sides. Let it sit for an hour or so until it rises to about double its size.

Now oil and heat up your waffle iron and beat down the mixture a little. Pour a little into your waffle iron, ours takes about 1/3rd cup but it can vary depending on the size of your iron. We put the top down but we don’t latch it, that allows it to rise more than normal. Pop it out with a fork when done and serve them hot from the iron with some fruit and Sugar free Maple Syrup (Cary’s). These are great!

Sauteed Pears (microwaved)

1 pear per two persons. Peal and core a pear. Slice it and place the slices into a microwaveable dish. Add a pat of butter, cinnamon and a dash of rum (or not) and microwave for 1-2 min. depending on how hard the pear is. Put this on your waffle with maple syrup, yumm!

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Filed under breakfast, Cooking, food, waffle

Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

T day is coming up so i’m reposting this. I’ve been out sick for the past couple of weeks, Flu, Cold, Infected Tooth, who knows? Any way I was in no mood to Blog so no Blog.

Csauce

It’s the season so I decided to add a couple more of our Holiday favorites. Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce is not totally sugar free. It does have some orange juice in it and cranberries do have a little sugar in them. This is a whole berry sauce (not jellied). We used to make it with tons of sugar, now we use Splenda. One batch makes enough for about 6 people, so if it’s only you and one other, cut everything in half. Ideally you want to make this ahead of time so it has time to thicken in the fridge. The day before is good but at least 4-6 hours ahead.

Ingredients

2 12 oz. bags of fresh cranberries
1 good sized orange
1 cup of Splenda
2 cups of water
2 Tbs. of White Wine
1 Tbs. of Lime juice

Directions

Wash the cranberries in a strainer and drain. Put them in a medium pot with the two cups of water, the wine and lime juice. Make zest out of the orange skin using a zester. It’s a tool you can buy at the grocery store that cuts thin strips out of the peel, leaving the white pith on the orange.

Put the zest into the pot and squeeze the juice from the orange and add it to the pot. Add the cup of Splenda and stir it all together.

Cover and boil for about 5 min. or so. Then turn down the heat to low and simmer for about ten minutes. Let it cool on the stove and then in the fridge.

Enjoy!

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My book “Small Foods” available on Amazon, has lots more recipes, sorry no deserts or sauces, just Entrees and all of them ramekin sized. We will add the deserts section in the   next book.

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Filed under Cooking, Food Photography, Holiday, low sugar, Thanksgiving

Masala Monday

ShrimpMasala

We created a recipe for Chicken Masala for the new book. That’s Masala not Marsala. The one is made with Garam Masala spices. The other with Marsala red wine. Then we started thinking that it might be nice to have a seafood version, basically the same thing but with shrimp instead of chicken. This is a “first try” recipe. We usually wind up doing something two or three or more times, seldom do we just hit it the first time. My wife thought it was fine as is, I thought it needed more Masala spice. You be the judge, here it is so far.

Ingredients

1/2 of a 14 oz. of canned chopped tomatoes (6-7 oz.)
1/2 medium onion diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 clove of garlic (whole clove if you love garlic)
2 tbs. tomato sauce
1 tsp Garam masala spice (1.5 if you love indian food)
1 pat of melted butter
Salt to taste
About 10 jumbo raw Shrimp shelled and deviened

1/4 cup basmati or white rice with 1/2 cup water, salt and a pat of butter or use the one minute instant cups, just microwave.

PAM spray

Directions

Cut the shrimp into large bite sized pieces
In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp, butter, tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, tomato paste and the masala spice.

PAM spray two ramekins and fill each with the mix

Cook at 350 degrees for 30 min.

While its baking, cook the rice in a small pot according to directions. Or get the rice cup ready for microwaving.

Put a tablespoon or two of the rice on top ( an ice cream scoop is perfect) and serve. We put the rice on a plate and poured the dish onto it. Some people might like some plain yogurt or sour cream on the side. A grande flour tortilla lightly toasted is a good substitute for the Indian bread, Nam.

Garam Masala spice: 1 Tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground coriander 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground pepper, ¼ tsp ground fennel, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, pinch cayenne pepper and cardamom. You may need a seed grinder or a mortar and pestle for some of these. Store this in a bottle or plastic bag for future use.
You can sometimes find this in your food store or an ethnic foods store. It’s hard to find some of these things ready ground. If you buy true Indian Masala it will have big nuts and seeds in it, sift these out.

Serve with a good burgundy white. It really needs something with body to offset the spices.

Enjoy!

 

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Beef Tips as Small Foods

 

BeefTip1I’ve been trying for some time to make a beef wellington in a ramekin dish. This would be for the next version of Small Foods. Just rolling a chunk of steak into a taco shell or filo doesn’t work. Even with the best cut of beef it just comes out over cooked and chewy. I had the same problem with beef stew in the first book. The stew beef has to cook for hours to become tender. The Beef Wellington would have to be a big chunk of beef to cook with some amount of rareness.

 

BeefTipPkg

When I did the Beef Stew I found that I had to use frozen precooked beef tips. They worked perfectly providing the fall apart in your mouth tenderness the stew needed. I decided to try them in a Wellington-ish beef dish for Small Foods Too and here it is.

ROASTED BEEF TIPS

Ingredients

1 Pkg. Frozen PreCooked Beef Tips
2 Large Pats of Butter
1 Tbs. Red Wine
3/4 cup of coarsely chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup defrosted and chopped frozen potatoes
1 Grande Flour Tortilla
2-3 dashes of garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
Heat up a saute pan and cook the onion and mushrooms until they are tender. Add the defrosted potatoes. Cook for a few more minutes and add the beef tips & gravy, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix it well and remove from the heat. Cut a 3″ slice across the edge of the tortilla, form it into a circle and pin it together with a toothpick.

BeefTips5

Spray two ramekins with PAM and put the rolled up tortilla into them. Fill the tortilla with the mixture being careful not to break the band. Don’t fill it to overflowing, leave about an inch or so exposed at the top to brown. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the top edge browns. Serve with a green veggie and a salad maybe a good Red Burgundy.

These were so good that I broke the portion control aspect of Small Foods and I ate all three!

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Night is Wings Night

We usually have chicken wings for Friday night’s dinner. They are easy to make and quite tasty with a big salad. These are relatively dry wings, so if you like those gooey coatings you’ll have to add it before serving. They’re not really “Small Foods” as in  my book, but I keep toying with the idea of cooking 5 or 6 standing up in a ramekin. It would probably be super messy and I wonder if the ones inside would even cook.  So this is really big food, here’s the first recipe for the blog.

FISH WINGS

Ingredients

About a half pound or so of wings per person (1.5 lbs. will fill a cookie sheet)

If the wings aren’t cut up, cut them and discard the wing tips

1/2 cup cheap soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
Couple dashes of sesame oil
Sesame Seeds
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 Tsp. Paprika
Pepper to taste (you won’t need salt it’s in the Soy Sauce)
If you like really hot wings add some red pepper

Reynolds non-stick tin foil (it makes clean up so much easier)

Directions

PreHeat Oven to 350 degrees

Put everything except the Sesame Seeds together in a gallon sized  plastic bag. Press the bag to get most of the air out of it and close it tightly. Mix it up thoroughly by squishing the bag around for about 30 sec.  Put it in  the fridge for 4-8 hours flipping it over every hour or so.

Line a big cookie sheet with the tin foil and turn up the edges to keep the juices off the pan. Pull a wing out of the marinade bag and shake it a couple times to remove excess marinade. You don’t want the wing sitting in a puddle of marinade as the marinade can burn. Fill the tray with the wings but leave room between them. Sprinkle some Sesame Seeds onto each wing.

Bake for about 30 min. then rotate the wings so they will cook evenly, bake about another 30 min. checking during the last 15 to see if they are brown enough.

Make a big salad, serve some beer and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Small Foods – The Beginning

Image I started writing Small Foods about two years ago. I’ve been cooking for about 15 years, maybe more.My wife worked in major ad agencies as a creative director. I worked in technical marketing. She went home when the work for the day was done. She would call to let me know approximately when she would get out. I left at about 5 PM with everybody else. She had an hour commute, mine was usually short. When I arrived home I would start the dinner. When she arrived, I would plate it up.

One evening, while making spinach pie, I thought about just how much of this pie went to waste. There were only two of us and it would only keep so long. So the next time I made it, I made it in two 7 oz. ramekins. It was perfect, just the right size for dinner with a salad and no left overs.

After I retired, I started cooking other foods in ramekins. And after adjusting for a small size (proportionaly you need more spices not less) they came out perfect as well. My wife commented that I should write a cook book. So I did. You can buy it on Amazon, just search for Small Foods by Bill Fishbourne. Here’s a spread below so you can see my photos and my wife’s super book design. You can double click on it to see it in high-res. Enjoy!

PromoSpread

I intend doing a lot with this blog, more recipes, cooking videos, previews of my second book and even funny stories. Check back once in a while to see what’s going on. Or click on FOLLOW and be notified whenever we put up something new.

 

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June 29, 2014 · 5:35 pm