Fat Boy Heaven's take on my Father's Tsimmes, a traditional Jewish stew made from root vegetables sweetened with honey and prunes. The flavor comes from the combination of the ingredients and the way the fat in the beef renders during the slow braising. This isn't a fast dish, but it has amazing flavor for such simple ingredients.Read More
Day one of the trip had me leaving Portland behind on the train via Amtrak's Empire Builder on route to Chicago where I will have a wait before changing trains. I love train travel, and have since I discovered it in college.
The train leaving Portland crosses the Columbia river into Vancouver, WA before heading East up the Columbia River Gorge on the Washington side of the river. There are some great views on this section of the trip, and the first afternoon and evening is one of the most scenic on Amtrak's route.
Leaving Portland the Empire builder has a viewing car with a cafe downstairs but no dining car, so dinner the first night was a boxed affair. The choices available were limited to shrimp or beef, so I selected the Burgandy Beef Tri-tip. The beef was flavorful and tender, cooked a little farther towards well than I would prefer but when trying to serve a variety of people and keep under refrigeration that is often the case. The fruit was fresh and tasty, not over ripe as sometimes can be the case with this type of meal, and the dessert was creamy and delightful. The only thing that didn't really work for me was the veggie selection. A mushroom and broccoli combination that might have been good warm was decidedly not when served cold and tossed in some type of vinaigrette.
After dinner I decided to open the bottle of Teeling Irish Whiskey the folks at Caskers sent me to review for a first tasting. Made in Dublin since 1782 The Teeling hasn't been available in the United States since the revolution. With whiskey making such a resurgence in the Americas they decided to begin export in January of this year.
This is a smooth whiskey for a type normally known as a shot not for sipping. As a shot it was so smooth with great sweetness and depth on the finish that I decided to try it on the rocks as well. Over ice it loses what little bite it had on the nose and leaves the sweet aromas derived from its rum cask finish. The sweet malts hit the palate first, followed by a little spice before a slightly fruity finish.
In all a very nice close to my first night aboard my favorite train.
Sometimes I just don't know what I want to make for dinner. I love to cook, but especially when my wife is out of town for extended periods of time (she has been gone since last Wednesday at this point) and I know the kids would be just as happy with Hot Pockets or McDonalds as they are with anything fancy I decide to make for dinner it is difficult to find inspiration. It is times like this that have brought me to an interesting realization. No matter what mood I am in, if I can't decide what to make for dinner beef stew or corned beef hash always work and never disappoint. Really. A big bowl of a thick beef stew made from scratch and cooked the right way for hours in the oven with a good whole wheat roll is NEVER the wrong answer.
Click the link to see my recipe and understand why it is easy enough to make this anytime you aren't sure what to make for dinner.Read More
One of my favorite things in the world is a nice thick beef short rib, and I'm always trying new ways to prepare them. I decided to cut the normally long cooking time by doing them in my pressure cooker tonight. Using a sugar based soda as the foundation of this braising liquid not only caramelizes onto the outside of the meat but also helps break through the salt and work with the spices to make an amazing pan sauce.Read More
There is nothing more comforting to many than spaghetti and meatballs, and many spend years working to perfect their meatball recipe. I have spent years working on my recipe, and finally have it right. Give this one a try, you'll love it.Read More
I love a good beef stew, but was wanting to make it a little lighter (and the kids are tired of me cooking with beer), so I went with a well crafted Ginger Beer from Reed's as the flavor base. The ginger zip is an amazing addition that cuts through all of the heaviness of the beef and marries quite well with the flavors. Give this a try, you'll love it.Read More
Fall is here in force, and while we are enjoying crisp weather I also like to enjoy nice warming soups and stews. October is the time when great squash starts coming available, and I love using pumpkin and other squashes in savory stews in place of potatoes. Enjoy this little piece of Fat Boy Heaven with a nice dinner roll to soak up the broth.Read More
This morning it looked like it would be another blustery day, so I decided to try cooking my son's favorite dinner in the slow cooker instead of on the stove top. I am extremely happy with the results, and I think you all will really enjoy it as well.Read More
I decided that in honor of Bourbon Heritage Month I would cook recipes this month that showcase bourbon in some way. I stumbled across this recipe via Pinterest and knew it was the perfect start to the month for us.Read More
We were looking for something with little prep time that we hadn't had in a while, and I decided to try and come up with a new Short Rib recipe. We had rice, so I decided to take things slightly asian with a sweet-hot flavor, and we were all happy with the results.Read More
Wednesday nights are busy around our house, as they are in many homes. Carrie often works late, and the kids have youth group, so getting everyone together for dinner is hard. Sometimes that means eating out, but I prefer to cook something in the crockpot that is easy for everyone to eat.Read More
I love my crock pot. Like a slow oven, it can make any cut of meat a tender and delicious masterpiece with little effort. I have used this basic recipe for pork ribs in the slow cooker before, but decided to see how it would do with beef spare ribs, as i love how meaty and flavorful they can be.Read More
I found a great Paleo friendly recipe for a classic Greek stew called Stifatho, and decided it would be great to try for dinner tonight. The great flavor of beef combines so well with the traditional Greek spice combination of cinnamon and cloves that I am amazed they are not used more in savory American cooking. The sweetness of the spices is cut by the slight acidity of the tomato sauce, and complimented by the currants and feta. Give this a try folks. Healthy and amazing flavor combined to create Fat Boy Heaven.Read More
Sweet and Spicy Meatballs
- 2 lb bag of Frozen Meatballs
- 1 can (8 oz.) Jellied Cranberry Sauce
- 1/4 cup Siracha chili sauce
- 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
- 2 tbs. Brown Sugar
- 2 tsp. Lemon Juice
- Thaw meatballs
- Combine remaining ingredients in crock-pot on low, mixing thoroughly.
- Add meatballs. Cook for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes
Serve alone on toothpicks as an appetizer, or for a meal over white rice
I was looking for a new dinner recipe a few weeks ago and stumbled across this great recipe from Rachel Ray for Redeye Mole Chili. The combination of sweet spices from the mole with a classic redeye sauce (a southern specialty featuring coffee) makes a unique and new addition to my recipe box. Give it a try, you won't be sorry.
Redeye Mole Chili
- 3 cups beef stock (if using ground beef) or chicken stock (if using ground turkey)
- 2 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 slices lean smoked bacon, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef sirloin or ground turkey
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee
- 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups shredded or crumbled extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- In a large saucepan, bring the beef stock and ancho chiles to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree.
- Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beef, increase the heat to high and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, add the yellow onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes; season with pepper.
- Stir the tomato paste into the chili for 1 minute. Stir in the ancho liquid, black beans, tomatoes, coffee, paprika, coriander, cocoa and cinnamon and simmer for 5 minutes; season with salt.
- Serve the chili in shallow bowls. Top with the cheese and red onion.
Chuck roast was on sale at the store this week, so I picked up about a 4 pound package. I was looking for a new way to do it for dinner tonight, and found a great shredded beef recipe here.
The beef was tender and juicy like I couldn't believe, and the family raved that I should do them again soon. The tanginess of the vinegar married amazingly well with the other spices to give this an amazing flavor. A couple words of advice: First, I used Apple Cider vinegar instead of white. It changes the flavor, but mellows out the flavors in my opinion, especially when combined with the brown sugar. Second, bread choice is going to be critical to this recipes success. When it says "Hoagie Bun" it isn't talking about some sandwich bun next the the hamburger buns on the shelf at Safeway. You need a nice crusty roll that is going to hold the juice from this meat without soaking through or melting, while still absorbing the liquid so it doesn't all end up on you. Resist temptation to dress this up with cheese or other sauces and let it stand on it's own. I could see some sliced pickled peppers on this as a garnish and to add texture, but nothing else would feel right on this bun.
This was a great western take on the Italian beef sandwiches I remember from living back east, and it will be a regular on our menu here at home. I can see doing this one when we go camping this summer in the dutch oven over the fire. An amazing meal.
OK, before all my mexican-american friends start yelling at me, I know this only bears a passing resemblance to a tamale. I didn't come up with the name or the recipe, I found it here, and you can complain to them!
That being said, these came out amazingly good. The dough was a little dry, could probably use a bit more chicken broth next time. The flavor was amazing, and the fact that they are so nicely self contained means I can do smaller versions for appetizers, or larger ones in a big muffin tin for larger portions. The crust is so good I think it will work as a way for me to do quiches in the future as well. An amazing new slice of FatBoyHeaven!
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I love stuffed peppers, especially on a cold night. I haven't made them for a while, and thought tonight would be a good time. I took a couple shortcuts to make it easier, and they turned out great! A nice, simple gluten-free dinner that got rave reviews. I used Yellow bell peppers this time as they add a nice sweet counter point to the acid of the tomato, without the harsh flavor that green peppers sometimes bring to this dish. You can also use a mix of spicy italian sausage and ground beef to add a little kick to this one.
You can find the recipe here.
Another fast easy recipe for you all tonight. I love Tamales, but never have time to make them. This casserole has a lot of the same flavors, but obviously is not going to replace tamales in anyone's life. I loved the way the flavors blended so well, and it was a huge hit with the family.
you can find the recipe here. Enjoy!
One of the things that happens in every household is opening the fridge and finding leftovers that are too good to toss. Tonight I got to thinking about the leftover French onion soup I made the other night, and had an idea. If I added a beer to it, there would be enough liquid to braise some beef! Boneless ribs were on sale, so they got added to the plan. Here's what I did:
Pre-heat your oven to 350. Brown 3-4 pounds (6-8) Boneless beef ribs in olive oil over medium high heat in a dutch oven. Add 2-3 cups of that left over french onion soup along with a bottle of beer. Throw the covered dutch oven into the oven for 2 hours. Increase the heat to 400 and remove the lid of the dutch oven so that about 1/3 of the liquid evaporates (about 30 minutes).
Serve over white-rice and enjoy your little slice of fat boy heaven!