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stew

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Cassoulet

Cassoulet from Karista's Kitchen // A slow cooked French stew

Classic Cassoulet is a hearty slow-cooked dish originating in the south of France.  It’s often referred to as the “unofficial” national dish of France.

Traditionally, cassoulet includes what my Grandmother would refer to as “everything except the kitchen sink”.  Meaning that almost any meat, poultry, skin, gizzards, beans and whatever was available went into this succulent dish.

I’ve had a few truly authentic and amazing cassoulet’s in the past. All filled with decadent duck confit, pork skin, pork belly, mutton, sausages, fava beans and white beans. A meal so rich and lush, it’s everything you’d expect from a slow cooked French dish.

My cassoulet however is slightly less time-consuming, and not to worry, it doesn’t contain duck confit, mutton or pork belly. Although those ingredients are delicious in a cassoulet, I wanted to create this recipe to be simple, yet flavorful.

I also wanted this slow cooked stew to reflect the bounty of the Willamette Valley here in Oregon.  We’re so lucky to have an abundance of small farms and ranches nearby that raise grass-fed and pastured pigs, cattle and chickens. Not to mention all the gorgeous produce and fresh herbs.

I’ve included locally raised meat and poultry (chicken thighs, pork shoulder, sausages), white beans and lots of fresh herbs and aromatics.  You could also substitute with beef chuck roast, lamb or pork belly – and any type of sausages that you love.

This meal is perfect a la carte with a glass of French Burgundy or a Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s also quite lovely paired with a Salad Lyonnaise or Ratatouille, which I’ll get around to posting soon.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Cassoulet

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch or all-purpose flour
  • 2lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 2-3 pork or beef sausages (I used my favorite German pork sausages)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 3-inch sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of dried herbs de Provence
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2-4 cups chicken broth, enough to just cover the meat
  • 2-3 15ounce cans white beans, drained (cannellini beans work best)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley

Instructions

In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, heat about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and then add them to the pot and brown on both sides. Transfer to a bowl or platter.

Next season the pork cubes with salt and pepper and then toss with the tablespoon of corn starch or flour. Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pot and brown the pork. You may need to brown the pork in batches, otherwise the pork won’t brown if the pot is over crowded. When the pork is browned, transfer to the bowl or platter with the chicken.

Next brown the sausages, adding additional oil if needed. Once the sausages are brown, transfer them to the bowl or platter with the chicken and pork.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot and then stir in the onions. Saute the onions until wilted and fragrant and then add the garlic and cook for one minute longer.

Stir in the ½ cup of white wine, scraping up all the brown bits at the bottom. Add the fresh thyme sprigs and dried herbs. Place the chicken thighs, pork cubes and sausages back into the pot and then add the chicken broth. Enough to cover the meat.

Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Let the meat simmer in the broth and veggies for about 30-45 minutes, or until the pork is tender.

Remove the lid and then stir in the beans and season to taste with salt and pepper. The longer this stew sits the more flavor it will develop. I like to make this the day before I’m serving it, however, if I make it the same day I’m going to serve it, I’ll make it several hours prior and then let it sit for about 30 minutes on the stove top before serving. If you feel the flavors need a little boost, sometimes a teaspoon of white wine vinegar will bring all the flavors together.

Serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh chopped Italian parsley and a basket of crusty French bread.

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Halibut Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Seafood Shrimp

Brazilian Fish Stew (Moqueca)

Brazilian Fish Stew (Moqueca)

The day has arrived!  VRAI Magazine has launched!

I feel honored to have been asked to be a VRAI Magazine Food Contributor and beyond delighted to be a part of this spectacular team of professionals.  VRAI Magazine is a lifestyle magazine reinvented for true living. “Real bloggers, true stories, genuine conversations”.

Along with other fantastic articles, DIY projects, travel and fashion, you can find my newest recipe, Brazilian Fish Stew, also known as Moqueca, at VRAI Magazine.

Moqueca is a traditional seafood soup from Brazil.  Every Brazilian family has their own special recipe for this dish, as does every chef who creates it.  Typically, Moqueca is a slow cooked seafood soup.  However, I’ve created a lovely simple and quick version that is big in flavor but doesn’t take a lot of time.  So simple, I sometimes prepare this stew on a weeknight, skipping the shrimp and just adding in the white fish.

This light and enchanting spring soup is perfect for the season.  A base of coconut milk and seafood stock – it boasts huge flavor.  A lovely addition to your spring menu rotation.

Click HERE to download the recipe and all the other fantastic articles and recipes at VRAI Magazine.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

Karista

 

Halibut Seafood Shrimp

Spicy Seafood Stew

With the cool weather comes the yearning for comforting stews and soups and hearty winter dishes that warm the soul and satisfies the hunger.  One of my family’s favorites is a spicy seafood stew served over saffron or white rice.  Mildly spicy, delicious and simple to prepare.  Once you get the hang of it, this recipe could easily be prepared in under 30 minutes.  It’s so yummy, it could be served as a family weeknight meal or for holiday dinner guests. 

Mix it up a bit and add fresh basil instead of the parsley, or add lemon thyme instead of English thyme and squeeze of lemon.  This recipe is definitely easy, can be prepared everyday and as always, it tastes like you’ve been cooking for hours. 

Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!

Spicy Seafood Stew

Ingredients

 2 medium leeks

1 red bell pepper, diced

6-8 cloves garlic, chopped

1 sprig of fresh oregano

1 sprig of fresh thyme

½ lb Chorizo sausage

Olive oil

1 cup dry white wine

1 15oz can diced tomatoes (I prefer Muir Glen)

½ cup water

1-2 lb small clams

1lb firm white fish (cod, halibut, mahi mahi)

1 lb bay shrimp

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley

Saffron rice or white rice (optional)

1 lemon

 Directions

Trim the leeks by cutting off the root end, and then cut the leek at the point it begins to turn dark green.  Slice each leek length wise making 4 halves total, and then slice each half into thirds lengthwise and then chop into small pieces. 

Drizzle a little oil in the bottom of a heavy stock pot or Dutch oven.  Heat on medium and then sauté the leeks and bell pepper.  Once the veggies have wilted, add the garlic and sauté a few minutes more. 

Next add the chorizo and sauté until cooked through.

Add the fresh thyme, oregano and white wine.  Let the wine reduce a bit, a minute or two, and then add the diced tomatoes.  Bring to a lively simmer and add the ½ cup water if more liquid is needed. 

Once the broth is simmering add the clams and cover tightly with a lid.  Turn the heat down a bit and let the clams steam in the hot broth for about 5-8 minutes.  Once the clams have opened, taste the broth for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Next add the white fish and shrimp, giving the stew a little stir.  Put the lid back on and let the stew simmer on medium low for another 5 minutes.  Once the fish is cooked through, taste stew for seasoning and then sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top. 

For a warm and delicious winter meal, serve over saffron rice (Spanish rice) or white rice, and a squeeze of lemon juice.