Tag Archives: beef

polish cabbage rolls

6 Nov

paleo golabki polish cabbage rollI can’t call this gołąbki because I felt like I sufficiently interpreted these such that I might get chided by a Pole. Namely, in that I didn’t include rice. Next time I will, I swear (but these are so good I’m not sure I want to change them…). I’ll try to make my grandma proud. I also feel funny because I’m no expert in Polish cuisine – it’s not exactly the most popular ethnic cuisine, with hipsters flocking to little holes-in-the-wall to debate the best pierogi in town. There are actually kind of a few restaurants here, but I haven’t made my way over to them yet. Most of them look kinda crappy. Like, trying to be cool when it’d just be better to be a no frills, oblivious to modern tastes kinda place and have really good, all homemade food. Ugh, that reminds me of a Mexican restaurant nearby that has an ADA-certifited heart-healthy menu or some junk. Stay the hell away from that place. Growing up, my mom used to make gołąbki all the time, but I was a kid and I was picky and I didn’t eat anything that wasn’t Polly-O string cheese. So, I’m kind of starting from scratch here, with nothing much to compare to. I’ve mostly seen these little pigeons (that’s what gołąbki means) with a tomato sauce, but both Polish cookbooks I have seemed to be sauce-ambivalent and said you could serve it with a number of sauces. So, I picked a mushroom sauce because I’ve been in the mood for mushrooms lately. Again, it’s interpreted – I didn’t want to use cream. If you happen to be Polish (or another Eastern European) and make these – what sauce do you like to make for them?
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lebanese beef kebabs

1 May

Man, I need to gripe. I really love a lot of things. Like, spending all this time at the grocery store getting everything you need for a while, only to come home and realize you forgot a key ingredient for one meal you were particularly excited about, oh, just the one that you happen to be about to write a blog post about! And like, trying to dig around in your literal mountain of spice jars, baggies, and all other manner of spice housings to try to find a suitable substitute for the key ingredient you forgot with spices going flying all over the kitchen floor. I also really love things like getting ready to start making lovely spice-substituted kebabs and noticing that your camera is angrily flashing its battery light at you. Then, coming to realize that there happen to only be two skewers when you were positive that there were like 6! Or even 8! And it’s really, really awesome when, because you’re a meat idiot, you really suck at forming ground meat patties and they nearly all crumble and fall through the grill grates.
The one positive thing in my life this weekend was finally, FINALLY, getting enough dirt to fill that f-ing raised bed garden. But I didn’t even have enough time to plant anything. And don’t you even think for a minute that, “well it’s okay Julie, your little seedlings will do okay for another week in their egg cartons”, because I KILLED THEM. I TOLD YOU I WOULD. I HATE MYSELF. I had been growing them outside during the day and then taking them in at night so I wouldn’t really have to harden them. But then we got some snow a couple weeks ago and I took them in and forgot to put them back outside for a few days after. During that indoor time they really started growing, so when I finally brought them back outside they were pretty much Scorching Colorado Sun newbies. Shit.
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carne asada brava + cumin caramelized onions

5 Mar

Things I really, really, really want for my kitchen but can’t seem to get it together to get: a mandoline and an old-fashioned citrus juicer. Not a new age-y juicer for carrots and greens and like 18 apples per tall glass of raw food cleansing juice…those things are ridiculous. It’s not that squeezing a half of a lime is hard, it’s that I’m OBSESSED with getting every.last.bit.of.juice. out of the damn thing. So I squeeze and I scrape and I moosh around until I’m convinced that there isn’t a single drop left. I just think a citrus juicer might do a speedier job and be just as thorough. Then again… would a new age-y juicer do the best job?!? Doesn’t matter. I can’t back down on my initial position now.
The night before, I made basically the same thing as this, except without the marinade, and using hanger steak. I really wish I’d saved that steak for this blog post. It’s a more interesting cut, and more typical for carne asada. I rode my bike to the grocery store the next morning, hoping I’d find some, but no luck – it’s not usually there anyway. An on-sale strip steak did just fine. Speaking of that grocery store, the past week they had avocados on sale for 3 for $1. I got so many. I think I had like 20 at one point. Or 21, which I guess is more likely. I would think up excuses to go there just to be like “oh, well I’m here, I might as well get some more avocados!…” I made guacamole with I think like 5 or 6 of them for dinner and it was gone by the next afternoon. Mostly singlehandedly. That’s a lot of avocados to eat in the span of less than a day. I impress myself sometimes. And again, woulda been nice to have that citrus juicer.
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bobotie

15 Dec

On Saturday, as part of my very successfully Christmasy advent activity roster, I went ice skating at the stuffy Denver Country Club for Joe’s company’s Christmas party. During a rip roaring raucous game of broom ball, I fell backward onto my right wrist. Did I forget to mention that I’m not the best skater? The only way I know how to stop is to run into the rink wall. I really had no business trying to play a game on the ice with some rather skilled skaters… In any case, using a knife to chop anything harder than an onion is pretty much horrible. Enter bobotie. Like the best meatloafy dish known to man, and which also includes minimal chopping. It’s an iconic South African dish that is served with this glorious chutney that I kind of cooked to a hard candy because I decided I wanted to take a bath and may or may not have completely forgotten that I was reducing the sauce on the stove top.
I don’t know much at all about South African food. I knew one guy from South Africa and I thought he was the worst person ever. But I like bobotie, so my thoughts on the country are turning a little. Not only is it a curry-spiced hunk of ground meat studded with dried fruit, but it’s topped with an egg custard. If you aren’t as poor as me, you will make this out of lamb. Or even a mixture of beef and lamb. Usually I seem to be able to find ground lamb on sale at my grocery store – the this-is-about-to-go-bad kind of sale. But there was none of that when I went shopping for this. I did get grass-fed ground beef for $3.97/lb. Thought that was decent. This will be so so so so so good with lamb. I love lamb. (PS please get me a microplane for Christmas, thanks God. And Tebow.)
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mint and chipotle meatballs + garlic zucchini

22 Apr

Wondering what you should do with all those extra chipotles in adobo sauce from making the Chipotle Chicken? Well here you go! I’ve been itching to use mint, as it’s kind of the unofficial (or official, maybe, I don’t know!) herb of spring. I bought myself a cute little windowsill pot of mint and I’ve been dutifully watering it in anticipation of just such a dish as this. Smoky, spicy chipotle peppers contrast with that wonderful fresh taste of mint. I didn’t exactly have the amount that the original recipe called for, because I didn’t have the heart to strip the little burgeoning plant of all of its leaves, but the amount still did the trick. Feel free to use the amount I did for any mint-phobes you might have living in your house. You can definitely taste it, but it’s subtle so you might not put your finger on it if you didn’t know it was in there.

Zucchini is a vegetable that is another great “hello, warm weather” ingredient. I’ve been using it for a couple weeks now and it’s so versatile. Usually, though, I just cut it in thin medallions and stir fry with a little salt and pepper. Then, when it’s grill season, I cut it in half lengthwise and grill to perfection. This recipe was a nice deviation. Little zucchini chunks simmered in a garlicky sauce.


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