From My Carolina Home

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Shrimp Flower Appetizer

With another holiday meal coming up next weekend, I thought I’d share a variation of my Shrimp and Avocado Roumelade appetizer.  I fixed it a bit differently and tweaked the recipe too.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Start by gathering your ingredients. Remember my thrift store score of these parfait glasses? No one says they can only be used for ice cream. They are the perfect thing to create these pretty appetizers, just for us two.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

So, I combined the ingredients for the dressing, and split the avocado, shredded the lettuce and chopped it.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Place the chopped lettuce in the bottom, arrange the avocado like flower petals, add the dressing in the middle.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home<

Then add the shrimp.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

You can stop here, and have a lovely appetizer.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

One thing I like is Bold Smoked Salt. It is a large crystal, smoky flavor salt that goes well with seafood and veggies. You could also do some fresh cracked pepper with sea salt.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Dressed up or served plain, it is a festive appetizer that only takes a minute to prepare. It is perfect for a holiday or to make an everyday meal just a bit special.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Enjoy!!

Shrimp and Avocado Flower Appetizer

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or smoked paprika)
2 teaspoons horseradish sauce
8 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined, chilled
1 medium avocado, peeled and sliced into eight slices
1/4 cup chopped lettuce
Optional – Bold Smoked Salt, Cracked Black Pepper

Mix mayonnaise with next three ingredients.  In pretty parfait glasses, place half of the lettuce in the bottom of each. Arrange avocado slices around the edge in a flower shape. Dollop dressing in the center. Add whole shrimp to the top fanning the tails out between the avocado. Optional, top with a pinch of bold smoked salt, or freshly ground black pepper. Two servings.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Here is a download for you! – Shrimp and Avocado Flower

Do you have a quick and easy, special appetizer recipe?

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Three Good Books

Three recently read books have really caught my attention, two fiction with culinary themes, and a non-fiction cookbook.  After doing the sewing/quilting book review series last September, I had a couple of marginal reads to one truly bad read (reviews are on Goodreads) interspersed with quick cozy mystery reads. Then I picked up Delicious by Ruth Reichl, her first fiction novel. I have thoroughly enjoyed her non-fiction books, both her autobiographic accounts Tender at the Bone of her early years, and especially Garlic and Sapphires – a tale of her years as an undercover restaurant reviewer.  I still have Comfort Me With Apples on the To-Be-Read pile.

Delicious is the story of a young woman named Billie, who takes a job at a food magazine. She quickly demonstrates her commitment to the challenges, and folds into the magazine family, only to have the it suddenly shut down. She is offered a position to maintain the hotline for recipe inquiries and complaints wanting the money back guarantee, remaining as the only employee in a deserted mansion in downtown New York. Finding a mystery in the magazines archive, she discovers a hidden room, and the letters of a young girl, Lulu, writing to the legendary James Beard. Through those letters, and an arcane filing system of organizing them, Billie learns about history, the history and challenges of food during the war years. Lulu’s courage battling her own heartache inspires Billie to confront her own tragic past.

Good Books Reviews at From My Carolina Home

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read with a different kind of story, one of the few times I’ll give a novel five stars on Goodreads. Ruth Reichl’s writing is superb, engaging interest quickly and making it difficult to put the book down. Her characters are well rounded and real, with raw emotion just beneath the surface apparent when the source of her main character’s anxiety about cooking is revealed. This is a must read for any fan of Ms, Reichl, any foodie, or anyone looking for a wonderfully different story.

The next book with a culinary theme was suggested by my book reading buddy, Kelly. We meet every couple of months to discuss a book we both read. This time was her turn to choose, and she picked A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White. The story is told from three different viewpoints. It begins with Alice, a young black girl living in 1929 Emancipation Township, North Carolina, subject to the plight of poor people and the persecution of her race. She escapes to New York, becoming the chef at a restaurant called Cafe Andres. Later she writes a cookbook with recipes from her time in the south. The story picks up in the 1981 with Bobby, a young gay man, escaping from his own persecution. He comes to New York, and apprentices at Cafe Andres, after Alice has left. He finds a home with Sebastian, and lives through the horror of AIDS. The third story begins in 1989, with Amelia coming to the city in the aftermath of her husband’s affair and subsequent divorce. She leaves her wealthy comfortable Connecticut home, only to find a connection with Alice that redefines who she really is.

Good Books Reviews at From My Carolina Home

This is a beautifully written novel about three different people with very different backgrounds, escaping their troubled lives to New York City. Throughout the novel there are references to comfort foods and experiments with new culinary ideas. This novel is so well written, with rich imagery and detail in the lives of the characters. The well developed storyline is written in a convergent style, and a twist at the end that I did not see coming.

The non-fiction book is At Elizabeth David’s Table, Classic Recipes and Timeless Kitchen Wisdom.  This is so much more than a cookbook. For the non-foodie reader, Elizabeth David is an icon in the culinary world.  Ms. David was a world traveler, living a bit of a wild life for her time in France, Italy and England, and one of the first food writers for magazines.  In 1950, her work A Book of Mediterranean Food was published, followed quickly by French Country Cooking in 1951.  Long before Gordon Ramsay, she became an superstar in England but was, and still is, virtually unknown in America.  At the time Julia Child was working on her book of French cooking in Paris, Elizabeth David had already published five works concentrating on the food of five different regions – the aforementioned Mediterranean and French volumes, along with a second book on French cooking concentrating on the Provincial region, English Summer cooking and an Italian cookbook from her time living in Italy in the early 1950s. Throughout her life, she continued to write for international magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and The Spectator, and published more cookbooks on English cookery.  She won many awards over her lifetime, including the Order of the British Empire, Commander of the Order of British Empire, and Fellow of the Royal Society of literature for her food writing.  All of her cookbooks remain in publication today.

Good Books Reviews at From My Carolina Home

At Elizabeth David’s Table is a collection of selected recipes from all of her published cookbooks, along with some of her writings, musings on food and her life in different countries as she lived.  Every course is included from starters and soups, eggs and pasta, rice and sides, meat, fish, poultry, sauces, sweets and bread.  Reading her articles transports the reader to rustic Italy, a summer day in Britain, the French countryside or the edge of the Mediterranean sea.  The forward to the volume was written by Ruth Reichl, a devotee of Elizabeth David.  It wouldn’t be hard to imagine that the revelations of Ms. David of the rationing and austerity of the war years was an inspiration for the Lulu letters of Delicious.

So, two new fiction books for you, dear readers, and one really special cookbook. If you are local, and would like to join the reading group, let me know. Kelly and I meet for lunch when we can, using the discussion guides online for questions. We would love to have at least two more in our little book club. We’ll take turns choosing books, hopefully to push us out of our normal reading genres.

What are you reading now?

 

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Blueberry Breakfast Cake

It’s the first day of spring, so we are ready for a fresh breakfast cake, perfect with a cup of coffee.  I had blueberries and a lemon, and set to work creating a recipe for a light and lovely coffee cake.  It would be lovely as dessert too. Something with blueberries and a hint of lemon, light and airy.  DH prefers this kind of cake plain, but you could add a lemon glaze to jazz it up if you like.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

I begin with assembling a mis-en-place, assembling and measuring ingredients.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Cream butter and shortening with mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add sugar and continue until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time incorporating each one well. Add vanilla and lemon zest and stir in. Place blueberries in a bowl, stir in 1/4 cup of the flour to dust the berries. In a separate bowl, combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients in batches alternating with milk ending with dry ingredients.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Remove bowl from mixer and stir in blueberries by hand, gently folding them into the batter.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Transfer to prepared bundt pan or a tube pan. Bake for about one hour, until lightly browned and top springs back when lightly touched.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Let it cool just a couple of minutes in the pan. Then turn it onto a platter.  Serve warm right away, or allow to cool for later.  Or both, LOL!!

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

It isn’t easy to resist having a slice warm from the oven, and you don’t have to.  Yum, enjoy!

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of one lemon
1-1/2 cups blueberries
2 cups flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan or tube pan with cooking spray, or use butter/flour to coat inside the pan. Cream butter and shortening with mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add sugar and continue until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time incorporating each one well. Add vanilla and lemon zest and stir in. Place blueberries in a bowl, stir in 1/4 cup of the flour to dust the berries. In a separate bowl, combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients in batches alternating with milk ending with dry ingredients. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in blueberries by hand, gently folding them into the batter. Transfer to prepared bundt pan or a tube pan. Bake for about one hour, until lightly browned and top springs back when lightly touched.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake @ From My Carolina Home

Delicious as is, or a lemon glaze can be added if desired by combining juice from the lemon with powdered sugar.

Download the recipe – Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Happy Spring!  Are you in the mood for a bit of spring baking?

 

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Dijon Pork Loin Roast

Pork loin roasts can be so tender and delicious,  and the small ones are perfect for just two, with only enough left over for sliced pork sandwiches the next day.  The loin roast has so little fat, and almost no marbling, very lean.  It is also very easy to overcook.  There are two secrets to getting wonderful, succulent pork for dinner.  First, you really have to have an instant read digital thermometer.  Cooking to precise temperature avoids overcooking and turning a lovely piece of meat into shoe leather. Second, you have to plan time to let the roast rest after cooking.  How many of you have popped a pork loin in the oven, set the timer for one hour without looking at how much it weighed, and got a dry, tough roast out?  One thing to know is that pork loin is 75% water, and it is easy to overcook and dry out when roasting.

Dijon Pork Roast 12

These can be so tender and juicy, with just a little care. I don’t want to have huge amounts of leftovers, so I chose a small 2-pound lean, boneless, pork loin roast, on sale of course. You can put anything on it as far as spices and seasonings you like. This time I ‘frosted’ the roast with dijon mustard, then sprinkled on garlic salt and lemon pepper.

Dijon Pork Roast 2

I topped it off with a layer of Panko bread crumbs for crunch, and lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Dijon Pork Roast 3

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. No, it won’t be done yet, but you need to check the temperature now.

Dijon Pork Roast 5

Using one of these digital thermometers, check its temperature in the center of the thickest part of the roast.

Digital Thermometer

You will get somewhere around 115 to 125 degrees, depending on how hot your oven is. Calculate about 10 degrees per 5 minutes if your reading is around 115, and 7 minutes per 10 degrees if you are nearer the top number. You are shooting for 150-152 degrees. Place the roast back in the oven for 10-15 minutes and check temperature again. If you still aren’t at 150 degrees, put it back in the oven, 5 minutes at a time, checking the temperature every time you remove it from the oven, until the temperature 150-152 degrees is reached.

Dijon Pork Roast 6

Leaving it in the baking dish, tent with foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the meat to relax and reabsorb the juices so they aren’t lost when you slice it. The temperature will continue to rise to the final serving temperature of 160 degrees.

Dijon Pork Roast 7

Moist and tender, you can cut this with a fork!  It is OK to have a slight blush to the meat, it doesn’t have to be pure white.  The temperature is more important in determining if it is done and not overdone.

Dijon Pork Roast 10

I like serving it with my Garlic Zucchini. Yes, we can eat this entire pan in one meal.

Garlic Zucchini

DH likes some noodles too.

Dijon Pork Roast 11

The next night, we had all the leftover roast for dinner. Heat in foil in the oven for about 30 minutes, or microwave on medium low for about 2 minutes. Don’t overcook while reheating.

Dijon Pork Roast 14

I made a double batch of my Parmesan Spinach dish, as I love leftovers of this one. This time I didn’t use the roasted garlic, just added a bit of garlic powder.

Parmesan Spinach

Yum, dinner for two nights and some of my favorite veggie dishes too.

Dijon Pork Loin Roast

1 pork loin boneless roast about 2 pounds
2 tablespoons (approx) dijon mustard, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
No-stick cooking spray.

Spray an 8×8 baking dish with no stick, add the roast. Frost roast with dijon mustard, and sprinkle with garlic salt and lemon pepper. Sprinkle with Panko bread crumbs and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. You will get somewhere around 115 to 125 degrees, depending on how hot your oven is. Calculate about 10 degrees per 5 minutes if your reading is around 115, and 7 minutes per 10 degrees if you are nearer the top number. You are shooting for 150 degrees. Place the roast back in the oven for 10-15 minutes and check temperature again. If you still aren’t at 150 degrees, put it back in 5 minute times until that temperature is reached. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise to the final serving temperature of 160 degrees.

Dijon Pork Roast 12

Just one more note about cooking pork.  Pork that is fatty or has a lot of connective tissue like a Boston Butt does well in a slow cooker, but please don’t put a lean loin like this, or a tenderloin in there. The slow cooker will raise the temperature of the roast over 200 degrees, which will toughen very lean pork.  It would be like putting a sirloin steak in one, which would overcook that as well.  Very tender cuts don’t need long cooking.  Reserve that for the less expensive cuts that need a long slow cooking to make them tender.

Do you enjoy a pork dinner?

 

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Creme Bruleé – A special dessert for special days

Making a special dessert for special occasions is a fun thing to do.  Whether that occasion is a birthday, anniversary or Valentine’s Day, I really like Creme Bruleé, and it is a lot easier to make than you think. I have the ramekins and the kitchen torch, but there are ways to work around those, so read on!  If you hate making from scratch, there are mixes available, but trust me, I’ve done both and this one from fresh ingredients is just so much better!  You can make these today to serve tomorrow, they are perfect for a make ahead dessert, just finish them off at the last moment.

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

Begin by splitting one vanilla bean, and scraping out the seeds to add to the cream.  You’ll add the bean itself too to steep the flavor out of it as well.

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

This egg separator works great for getting the 4 large egg yolks separated. Sometimes having just the right kitchen tool can save a lot of time and trouble. I’ve never broken a yolk with this neat little tool. Save the whites for another use, like meringue cookies or egg white omelets.

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, heat 2 cups heavy cream with vanilla bean bits and the vanilla seeds over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring to ensure it does not burn; do not let boil. Just scald the cream. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes to extract the vanilla flavor from the bean. Remove and discard the vanilla bean, or save for another use. Strain cream through a fine mesh sieve to remove any curdles that sometimes form if the cream gets too hot.

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  It is going so fast here you cannot see it, but I have the whisk attachment on the mixer.

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

Gradually beat in 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar.

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

Add about half the cream mixture, a little at a time, to the egg mixture, whisking until well blended.

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

Then pour the egg mixture into the remaining cream mixture. Stir until completely blended.  I pour the whole mixture back into the 2-cup measuring cup to make it easier to pour into the ramekins.

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

Pour the custard into 4 (9-ounce) ramekins or custard cups. Place the dishes in large baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.   Just hot water from the tap is fine.

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 300 degrees (note 300 not 350) or until the mixture is set in the center (it should still wiggle when shaken). They will mostly be set, but not browned. Carefully remove the dishes from the baking pan. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.

Creme Brulee at From My Carolina Home

Let creme bruleés stand at room temperature 20-40 minutes before serving.  You want them close to room temperature before doing the sugar burning.  I take mine out of the frig before I serve the meal, and let them sit out while we eat, and maybe a little longer.  Sprinkle the tops with white sugar, light brown sugar or flavored sugar.

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

Burn with a torch until the sugar melts.  If you don’t have a torch, place the ramekins under a broiler, and watch carefully!  It only takes a moment to get these done.

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

Ideally, they should have a light bubbling surface, evenly melted, to make that delightful crunchy crust.

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

Enjoy! You won’t believe how wonderfully creamy and delicious these are!

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

If you don’t have little individual ramekins, you can bake this all in one souffle dish, just be sure that the height of the custard is about one inch before baking. You will need to bake a bit longer if using one dish for the entire custard. Be sure to use the water bath too. This is a great reason to get a kitchen torch if you don’t already have one. You can use them for more than just Creme Bruleé. I have a small jar of flavored sugars to use too, but I really prefer the white or light brown sugar best.

torch

Creme Bruleé

2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup white granulated or light brown sugar or flavored sugars
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, heat cream with vanilla bean over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring to ensure it does not burn; do not let boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the vanilla bean, or save for another use. Strain cream through a fine mesh sieve. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar. Add about half the cream mixture, a little at a time, to the egg mixture, whisking until well blended. Then pour the egg mixture into the remaining cream mixture. Stir until completely blended. Pour the custard into 4 (9-ounce) ramekins or custard cups. Place the dishes in large baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the mixture is set in the center (it should still wiggle when shaken). Carefully remove the dishes from the baking pan. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours. Let creme bruleé stand at room temperature 20-40 minutes before serving.  Sprinkle the tops with sugar, light brown sugar or flavored sugar and burn with a torch until the sugar melts.  If you don’t have a torch, place the ramekins under a broiler, and watch carefully!  It only takes a moment to get these done.

Creme Brulee ~ From My Carolina Home

Ready to try it?  Here’s a pdf for you – Creme Bruleé

Are you planning a special meal for Valentine’s on the day or maybe the weekend?

 

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Savory Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Cold days and snow on the ground makes me hungry for tummy-filling, hot, comfort food. Of course, I don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen when I could be sewing, so the slow cooker comes out. Sometimes I like to use the post roast seasoning mix from the grocery store, but this time was an opportunity for a new recipe for a savory pot roast with just what I had on hand.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast ~ From My Carolina Home

I gathered up onions, garlic, the roast, a can of low sodium beef broth and some big mushrooms.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast ~ From My Carolina Home

Spray the crock with no-stick cooking spray, then put half the onions and garlic on the bottom to provide a rack of sorts for the roast.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast ~ From My Carolina Home

Add the roast, with the fat cap on the top. Sprinkle with the seasonings you like. I use lemon pepper.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast ~ From My Carolina Home

Top with the rest of the onions and garlic, and all the mushrooms.  Pour the beef broth over the roast.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast ~ From My Carolina Home

Cook on low for about 6-7 hours for a 3-pound roast.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast ~ From My Carolina Home

Remove roast and vegetables to a platter and tent with foil. Allow to rest while you make the gravy. The gravy is what sets this apart from the usual slow cooker meal. Just this one extra step makes a big difference in the flavor and fat content of the final dish.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast ~ From My Carolina Home

This is a fat separator, and it works wonderfully. Just pour the hot liquid left in the pot into it. The sieve at the top will catch any large bits left, the liquid goes to the bottom. The fat floats on top, and the broth will pour from the bottom, effectively and quickly de-fatting the broth.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

Pour the broth into a saucepan, and heat on high to boiling.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken with Mushrooms

While it is heating, make a slurry of 1/4 cup of flour with about 1/2 cup of water, whisking out any lumps. Slowly pour into the boiling gravy while briskly stirring using only what you need to achieve the thickness desired in the gravy. Cook about one minute.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast ~ From My Carolina Home

Slice the roast across the grain into nice even slices, about 1/2-1 inch thick.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast ~ From My Carolina Home

Serve with vegetables on the side. Mashed potatoes are perfect to have with this roast and gravy.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast ~ From My Carolina Home

A salad on the side, and some crusty bread make a rib-sticking meal.  Yum, I had to have a bite while I was taking pictures, the aroma was wonderful.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast ~ From My Carolina Home

Savory Slow Cooker Pot Roast

1 beef pot roast 3-4 pounds
Two thick slices of onion, cut in half and rings separated into half-ring slices
4 large mushrooms
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 15-ounce can of low sodium beef broth
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water

Spray the crock with no-stick cooking spray, then put half the onions and garlic on the bottom to provide a rack for the roast. Add the roast, with the fat cap on the top. Sprinkle with lemon pepper. Top with the rest of the onions and garlic, and all the mushrooms. Pour the beef broth over the roast. Cook on low for about 6-7 hours for a 3-pound roast. Remove roast and vegetables to a platter and tent with foil. Allow to rest while you make the gravy. De-fat the broth using a fat separator. Pour the broth into a saucepan, and heat on high to boiling. While it is heating, make a slurry of 1/4 cup of flour with about 1/2 cup of water, whisking out any lumps. Slowly pour into the boiling gravy while briskly stirring using only what you need to achieve the thickness desired in the gravy. Cook about one minute. Slice the roast across the grain into nice even slices, about 1/2-1 inch thick. Serve with vegetables on the side. Mashed potatoes are perfect to have with this roast and gravy.

Downloadable pdf – Savory Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Slow Cooker Pot Roast ~ From My Carolina Home

Are you a fan of pot roast?

 

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Beef Barley Stew for Two

I like beef and barley stew, but one of the problems with making it is the quantity it usually makes.  I have found that I really don’t care for leftover food much anymore, and would rather have something fresh (or at least freshened, LOL, see my Creative Leftovers).  For our holiday meal we had a prime rib, and the leftover meat after several meals along with the bones made the perfect base for a dinner for two.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

Actually, any beef bones with meat on them will do for this. Just put the bones in 8 cups of water with some onion and bring to a boil.  The bones will flavor the broth nicely with the onion.  You can add other aromatics like garlic, leeks and/or carrots if you like.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

When the stew has boiled, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.  This will get the most flavor from the bones, and tenderize the meat so it comes off the bone easily.  Add mushrooms if you like them. Measure out 1/2 cup of pearled barley.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

Take the bones out and allow to cool so you can handle them while the barley cooks. Shred the meat off the bones.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

Bring the broth back to a low boil or high simmer, add the barley and cook about 45 minutes, or until tender. The barley will take up much of the broth. Add the meat back to the pot.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I don’t do any thickening of the broth for this meal, the barley is filling and it is nice to have the beef broth just served as it is.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

Serve in a bowl, I like using the pasta bowls for stew.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

I like to add a dollop of sour cream and some chopped green onions to my bowl.  I love the fresh flavor these garnishes give a meal.  DH just gets green onions as he isn’t a fan of sour cream.  He gave me some white truffle oil last month, and it was delicious on this stew too – adding an earthy flavor.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

With a salad as the first course, the stew makes a filling supper, and there is enough just for two with maybe a small bowl left over for lunch tomorrow. This is a great way to use up the remains of a beef dinner, and make the leftovers into a fresh meal.  If you need a bigger amount, just increase the water and barley in a 3-to-1 ratio.  The amounts of onion and mushrooms can be increased too, this isn’t a precise recipe.  A bit more or less of any component will work.  You can add other things too, like green peas or carrots if you like.

Beef Barley Stew for Two

Leftover beef with bones
Thick slice of onion, split into rings
8 cups water
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup pearled barley
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish suggestions – sour cream, green onions, light drizzle of white truffle oil

Place bones, onion and water in large pot and bring to boil. When the stew has boiled, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add mushrooms if you like them. Measure out 1/2 cup of pearled barley. Take the bones out and allow to cool so you can handle them while the barley cooks. Shred the meat off the bones. Bring the broth back to a low boil or high simmer, add the barley and cook about 45 minutes, or until tender. The barley will take up much of the broth. Add the meat back to the pot, salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls with broth, garnish as you like, sour cream and green onions are tasty.

Beef Barley Stew for Two ~ From My Carolina Home

Do you enjoy beef and barley stew?  What do you like to do with leftover beef?

 

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