I recently upgraded my poor, old, dented Revereware soup pot (can you say, 1982?) to a wonderful high-end piece of cookware. Oh, happy, happy, happy!!!! It was a rite of passage actually. And I am in LOVE with my new pan. I had a hard time not buying up the entire store -- that's how much I love Sur La Table. But ONLY because I love increasing my power to nourish others!!!
One thing I do believe in besides nourishing, is paying it forward. And that's why I developed this recipe to help show off some amazing Pesto hand made by a friend of mine, Erin Grier Stevens, the founder of She's Pesto in Charlotte, NC. Erin has the most delicious, homemade, all locally sourced and traditional Pesto. It is bright and clean, tangy and full of flavor. And the perfect topping for, of all things, beef stew. YUM. She and I are also being featured in the April Issue of Lake Norman Lifestyle Magazine, thanks to our friend Melissa Latin, the Food Editor for the Magazine. So we're pretty excited about the exposure about our respective businesses. But at the end of the day what I think we love most is good food. And we definitely both believe that's the currency of LIFE.
So, here's your invitation to pass the Pesto and the spoon!
RECIPE: Beef Artichoke Vegetable Stew with Basil Pesto
1 1/3 (appx) lbs. beef chunks for stew (your choice of cut)
5 medium carrots, cut into chunks
1 huge russet, cut into chunks
½ large sweet onion
2 T roasted garlic, mashed
1 14 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 beef bouillon cube
4 C water
1 ½ t good dried oregano
½ t coriander powder
1 t allspice
½ t dried thyme
½ t (or more to your liking) cayenne powder
2 T fig vinegar
½ C chopped flat leaf parsley
3 T oil
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste (see METHOD to guide you in when to season with salt and pepper)
1/3 C She’s Pesto for garnish
Dissolve the bouillon cube in 4 C boiling water. Set aside.
Place the oil in a hot, preheated deep Dutch oven pan and then add the beef. Sprinkle with about 1 t salt and ½ t pepper and sear until caramelized on all sides. Add the chopped vegetables and onion, add a bit more salt and all of the spices from oregano to cayenne and cook on medium until the carrots are translucent. Add the liquid and the roasted garlic. Cover and simmer on low for 45 minutes, or until beef is tender, stirring only occasionally. Add the artichoke hearts and the fig vinegar and half the parsley and let simmer another 5 minutes. Test and add salt if needed.
Serve with a dollop of pesto and garnish with remaining parsley.
Let's just put it out there. It is too hot to cook, and almost too hot to eat! (Well, that last part isn't true....but raising your fork to your mouth when our Southern weather is about as sticky and nasty as it gets can be a chore.)
You're using electricity faster than a 3 year old eats Cheerios, and three showers a day is the norm. There's only one solution: SALAD FOR DINNER!
But here's the rub....How do you get inventive, and stay healthy, as well as entertain beautifully, when your apron strings are doing their best to keep perspiration from gently dripping off your glowing brow? My solution is go BIG on flavor, use fruit, and let herbs be the star.
If you can push the button on your food processor, blanch a vegetable, and otherwise saute some cute little chunks of chicken, you're nearly all the way there. Actually, if you want to buy pre-cooked chicken strips, that would work JUST AS WELL! The point is you can present a meal with flavor, substance and nutrition.
There. You just created your own cool version of #blingcuisine. Now where is the nearest swimming pool???
RECIPE: Parsley Rosemary Pesto Chicken and Raspberry Salad
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.