Mission Beef Stew

A fantastic and hearty winter stew with red wine and potatoes.  Great for a couple of meals.


1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/3 c flour

2 lbs beef cut into 2 inch sections

4 T olive oil

1 T soy sauce

1 T Worcestershire Sauce

1 c red wine

3 c beef stock

2 carrots, cubed

1 onion, cubed

8 small potatoes, cut into eighths

1 tblsp herbs de Provence

1 tbsp garlic, chopped


Trim fat off beef.  Season with salt and pepper and then toss with flour.

Heat olive oil in a deep pan.  Shake off excess flour and add beef when oil is hot.  The burner should have a medium heat where you hear a sizzle when adding beef, but should not be so high that the oil and flour burn.  Consider using a dutch oven style pan. Do not overcrowd the pan or you will steam the meat.

Brown beef cubes on all side.  If the bottom of the pan appears to lack oil, add a small drizzle sound the bottom – about a teaspoon.

Pull the pan off the burner, remove the beef.  If you are doing multiple batches, then quickly clean burned bits off the bottom and add a little more oil to the pan.  Put the pan back on the burner and heat the pan again.  Removing bits of burned material from the bottom of the pan removes burned flavor from the dish.

Complete each batch. Remove all beef from the pan and then add wine, soy sauce, and stock.  Scrape bottom of pan with wood spoon.  Do not scrape with a metal spoon.  Bring liquid to a boil.

Add the beef to liquid and let simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours until the beef is tender.  Turn the burner down to simmer.  Put the lid on to keep liquid from evaporating.  You may need to add an additional 1/2 to 1 cup of stock during the cooking period.

Add other ingredients and cook for 20 minutes in an uncovered pan.  The dish is done when potatoes are fork-tender.

If thickened sauce is desired. remove beef, potatoes, and carrots to a bowl. Cook sauce over medium heat while stirring occasionally to desired thickness. Add back in the meat and vegetables.

Serve in bowls.



Blackened Cod Tacos

Fish tacos are a family favorite. We like blackend instead of batter fried fish. We traditionally grill our fish. The slaw is crisp and seasoned to compliment the fish. Crema adds acidity and creaminess. Blackened fish with crunchy slaw nestled in a soft corn taco shell is irresistible.


1 1/2 poundcod filets sliced into 1 inch pieces

2 T canola oil

Blacken Seasoning

1 T smoked paprika

1 t cumin

1 T garlic powder

1 T onion powder

2 t thyme

1 t cayenne pepper

1 t salt



1/2 head of red cabbage shredded

1/4 head green cabbage shredded

6 T cilantro chopped

1/3 C chopped onion

1/2 Serrano chili diced


1/2 C mayonnaise

2 t cumin

3 T cilantro chopped

1 T shallot diced

1/2 lime juiced

Salt and pepper to taste



1/2.C crema / sour cream*

2 T lime juice

1 t chopped shallot

1/2 Serrano diced/optional

2 T  cilantro chopped

3 T mayonnaise



Heat grill to 375-400º F   8-10 tacos

In small bowl combine blackened seasoning ingredients.* Lightly oil grill pan. Using pastry brush lightly oil one side of fish and sprinkle on blackened seasoning. Turn over and oil  season other side. Place on grill and cook about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove.


Mix slaw dressing Ingredients in small bowl.

In medium bowl add shredded cabbage , cilantro, onion, and chili. Toss and add dressing and mix. Let marinate 30-45 minutes


Mix ingredients together in small bowl and marinates for 30 minutes. Place in serving dish.

Wrap 8-10 taco shells  in foil and place on top shelf of grill to heat.


Place taco on serving dish and add slaw and fish and top with slaw. Drizzle taco with crema. Serve with rice and Mexican black beads. Redand/or green salsas and hot sauce on the side,


*Crema is sold in loca Mexican groceries and in Safeway/Carrs stores.

*Chopped radish can also be added.

* If you want to use premixed seasoning ;Paul Prodhomme has a blackened seasoning for fish.

We are more heavy handed with chilis.

We have access to fresh fish regularly. We use this recipe for salmon, halibut, cod, and rock fish.






Stuffed Cabbage


I saw Julia Child and Jacque Pepin make stuffed cabbage on PBS.  With care and attention to preparation and seasonings, I was able to follow the recipe and understand why this unique recipe was the focal point of the show.  The flavor of the cabbage was delightful and very tender.   I modified ingredients to my taste preference, but most interesting was freezing the cabbage for ease of preparation.  I used gentle seasonings so the cabbage flavor was not hidden. 


1 head of green cabbage or Savoy cabbage

1 large onion chopped

2  carrots diced

2 celery stalks diced

3 garlic cloves minced

1 t  caraway seeds

1 T parsley chopped

3/4 pound ground beef

1 C cooked rice


1 large onion diced

3 carrots diced

4 celery sticks diced

4 garlic cloves minced

3 T olive oil

1 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes*

1 T Cento® tomato paste

1 t Italian herbs

1 bay leaf

3 C chicken broth

1 C white wine


Oven temperature 350º F   serves 6-8

Core the cabbage and wrap in plastic wrap.Place in freezer for 24 hours then remove and place in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Cook rice according to package directions.* and set aside.

Remove 12 outer leaves of the cabbage and set aside. Chop the remaining cabbage up and add set aside.

In large skillet bring olive oil up to heat and add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and cook until translucent. Add tomatoes and chopped cabbage. Cook until liquid is reduced about 30- minutes.

Add rice and ground beef and combine.


Heat olive oil in 5 quart oven proof covered pot. Add onions, carrots,celery, Italian herds and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, and broth. Bring to boil.


Cut large sheet of aluminum foil to assemble cabbage leaves and stuffing. Lay down in overlapping circular form the 4 largest leaves. Place at least 1/3 of stuffing in center. Add next 4 leaves and repeat. Add 4 final leaves and remainder of stuffing. Pull the bottom leaves and foil up to form a firm ball. Leave a hole at the top on the ball.

Place the hole side down in the braising pot. Pour in wine and cover. Bake for 1 1/2 -2  hours. Check half way through check on braising liquid level; may have to add additional broth.

Remove from oven. Using a large spatula lift cabbage out of pot to serving tray. Remove foil and pour some braising liquid over cabbage. Count and serve. Serve with green beans and a green salad.

Stuffed Cabbage After Braising

Stuffed cabbage is delicate. Use caution with slicing to create servings.  Below is an example serving.

Stuffed Cabbage Layers

Serve with peppery tomato sauce.

Stuffed Cabbage with Tomatoes


*Diced tomatoes can be substituted for crushed tomatoes.

*Organic brown rice make take longer to cook than white rice.

Freezing the cabbage was a time saving step. No par boiling the leaves. I debated between ground beef and ground turkey. The ground beef added additional flavor to the cabbage.




Top Blade Chuck with Madeira Sauce

A flavorful tender steak with a velvety sauce that is ready to serve in less than an hour.


4 top blade steaks

Salt and pepper


2 T olive oil

2 T butter

1 large carrot finely diced

3 large shallot finely diced

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

1 T Worcestshire sauce

3 garlic cloves smashed

1 C Madeira

1 1/2 C of Swanson’s beef stock

Salt and pepper to taste

1 T butter

1/2 C half and half


Grill 400º F

Trim excess fat from the steaks. Oil the steak lightly with grapeseed oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Cook about 3 minutes per side and then move to cooler part of the grill. Close the cover and grill for about 4 minutes. At 135º the steak was medium rare.Remove steak from grill and cover with aluminum foil for 10 minutes.


Heat olive oil and butter  in the sautepan. Sauté the carrots until golden. Add onions and caramelize the carrots and shallots . Stir occasionally so they don’t burn. Deglaze the pan with half the Madeira scraping the glaze from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the wine. Add beef stock, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to boil than simmer until reduced by half.

Add half and half and add remaining Madeira. Season with salt and pepper. Strain sauce through a fine strainer and add butter. Stir and keep warm.

Plate steaks and pour Madeira sauce over them and drizzle the plates with extra sauce. Serve with cauliflower potato mash and green beans.


This recipe works with New York Strip steaks. The steak can be pan seared and finished in a hot oevn also. It is an easy meal that looks more fussy than it is.

The leftover Madeira sauce was frozen.



Chilies in Walnut Sauce (Chili en Nogada)

A stunning flavor packed entre that tastes good and looks good. There were no leftovers.



1 onion chopped

5 garlic cloves minced

3 T olive oil

1 1/2 pound ground turkey breast/ chicken*

2 pears diced

1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

5 T cilantro chopped

2 T currants

2 T blanched almonds minced


6 poblano chilies


1/2 C walnut halves

3/4 C milk

1/2 C creme fraiche

1/4 C feta

1 T sugar


Walnut Sauce

Place walnuts in bowl of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Discard water and peel brown skin from the nuts. Place walnuts in small bowl cover with milk and soak for  4-6 hours

Drain the walnuts and reserve couple tablespoons of soaking milk. Place nuts in blender and add creme fraiche, Feta, reserved milk and sugar. Blend and refrigerate

Roast peppers

Place on foil lined baking sheet. Broil turning them once until skin blackened and place in covered bowl for 5-10 minutes. Remove as much blackened skin as possible and make a lengthwise slit and remove seeds and membrane. Set aside.


In large skill bring olive oil up to heat and add onions and cook for couple minutes and the add garlic. Cook until garlic fragrant. A meat and cook until brown. add tomatoes, cilantro, and pear and cook 10 minutes until mixture is thick. Add currants and almonds


1/2 C pomegranate seeds


Place chilies on serving tray. Add stuffing without tearing the chili. Cover them with Walnut sauce and dress with pomegranate seeds.

Serve with a Mexican rice and a simple tomato avacado salad.


*Beef or pork can be substituted in place of turkey. We used chicken or turkey instead of pork, did not use all fruit, and did not deep fry them.

This is an adapted version of Chili en Nogada. I had the original recipe in Mexico City and it was one of my favorite dinners.


Meatballs with Stuffing in Sauce Over Pasta

Stuffed low fat meatballs with spinach and carrots for family members who are not fans of spinach or cheese. Actually they asked for more vegetables in the stuffing and less cheese.


1/2 pound ground beef(85% ground)

1/2 pound ground turkey breast

1/2  C Italian bread crumbs

1 egg

1 t Italian seasoning


1/2 C cream cheese

3/4 C died provolone

1/2 C chopped spinach

1/2 C diced carrots*

1 garlic clove minced

1 t thyme

Salt and pepper


1/4 C Parmesan

Compouund Butter

1/4 pound butter cold diced

3 T herbs chopped

Chop the herb leaves and place in small blender. Pulse 2-4 times. Add chunked cold butter and pulse until combined. Remove and place on sheet of plastic wrap and roll into log. Ready to use or refrigerate and use on favorite dishes.


Combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, and seasoning in medium bowl.

Combine cheese,vegetables, and seasoning in small bowl.

Divide meat into 12 balls using cookie scoop. On parchment paper press the balls flat and add a teaspoon of stuffing and seal the meat around the stuffing.

Add 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter(I use herbed compound butter*) over medium high heat. Brown the meatballs. Add tomato sauce and cook for 12 minutes.

Add 4 quarts of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook following package directions. Pour sauce and meatballs on pasta. Sprinkle Parmesan and serve.


*Carrots were microwaved for 1 minute

Tarte Pizza with 4 Cheese Artichoke Hearts and Sun-dried Tomato


An easy to make 4 cheese pizza with delicious toppings. It is a no yeast pizza dough that cooks up crispy in 10 minutes or less.



1 1/4 C flour

3 T cano;a oil

1/4 t salt

5 T water


2/3 C creme fraische

2/3 C fromage blanc(can substitute sour cream)

1/4 t nutmeg


2 artichoke hearts chopped

1/4 C thin sliced red onion

2 sun-dried tomatoes thin sliced

Handful of chopped spinach leaves

3/4- 1  C mozzarella shredded. Apply

1-2 slices provolone diced

3 T grated Parmesan

1/4 C feta crumbles

Salt and pepper


Oven temperature 550º F Baking sheet 13″ by 18″ lined with parhment paper Appetizer or serves 2

Mix flour,salt and oil until crumbly. Add water until dough comes together. Knead until smooth. COver and rest for 1 hour.

Sauce: Mix in small bowl and set aside


Roll  and pat dough until paper thin.  Spread sauce, half of the mozzarella and provolone. Add onions, artichokes, tomatoes. Top with remaining cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.


Bake about 10 minutes on lowest rack in oven.. Remove, slice and eat. Serve with green salad

White Bean Chili with Rotisserie Chicken and Orzo



A delcious comfort food with a good balance of spice and especially acidity. This is a great food with a piece of olive bread or corn bread on a drizzly cold day.

4 tomatillos quartered*

2 shallots chopped

1 jalapeno diced

1 rotisserie chicken breat chopped*

4-5 C chicken broth

1 C orzo

2 14.5 ounce cans of white beans drained and washed

1 can of green chilis

1/2 t cayenne

1/2 t Mexican oregano*

1 T cumin

1/4 C chopped cilantro

1/4 C Mexican crema or creme frasiche


In medium pot add tomatillos, shallots, diced jalapeño, chicken, and broth. Cook about 30 minutes until tomatillos are soft and chicken can be shredded. Shred chicken and smash tomatillos.

Add orzo and cook for about 9 minutes additional broth if needed . Add beans, chilis, and seasoning.

Serve with chopped cilantro, crema, and generous slices of artisan bread and a green salad.


* The tomatiilos add a nice acidity to the soup. Canned tomatillos and very green tomatoes with juice of half lime can be used as a substitute for the  fresh tomatillos.

*We use left over roasted chicken as we eat alot of chicken and have leftovers. Fresh chicken breast can add an hour plus to cooking time

*Dried marjoram is substitute for Mexican oregano.

Roast Chicken with Crispy Skin and Juicy Meat Is Possible

Beer can or vertically roasted chicken never fails in delivering crispy skin and juicy meat with a hint of herbs and garlic.  You can eat your beer and drink it too.

Ingredients (Preparing the chicken)

1 roaster/fryer chicken

2 t chopped rosemary

2 garlic cloves minced

3 T melted butter

Salt and pepper

Vertical roaster ingredients*

Half can of beer

Half of lemon

4 rosemary sprigs

4 garlic cloves halved

Brine ingredients

1/2 C kosher salt

1/2 C sugar

2 star anise

10 juniper berries

8 pepper corns

2 sprigs oregano

4 sprigs thyme

1/2 head garlic

1/2 lime


Oven temperature 375º F

1. Brine the chicken.

Add salt and sugar into 2-3 cups on water in sauce pan and bring to boil. Place boiled mixture into large container and fill with three quarts of cold water. Add in remaining ingredients and stir. If present, remove fat and giblets from chicken and rinse in cold water.

Place chicken in brine solution and refrigerate for three to four hours. I use a large Zip Lock bag.  I place the bad in a large bowl since a bag may leak.  Brining can also be done in a bowl or other large container with a lid.

2. Roast the chicken

Assemble the vertical roaster.  Add wine or beer to half-filled level in vertical roaster tube or beer can.  Then add garlic, rosemary, and lemon into the liquid. Place in a 8 inch by 8 inch pan with edges since the chicken releases juices while cooking.

Remove chicken from brine solution and dry.  Place chicken on a clean surface.  Season inside of chicken with salt and pepper. Place on vertical holder or can.  A beer can may be a tight fit.

Finish preparing the chicken by applying a seasoning rub under the skin and butter on the outside of the chicken.  Mix chopped rosemary, minced garlic, 1 T butter and 1/2 t salt to create the rub. Gently lift skin of chicken and rub the mixture on the breast and thighs–this is under the chicken skin. Rub remaining 2 T of butter on top of the chicken skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  This treatment is important for flavoring the skin as it cooks.

Place in oven, Roast to 165º F. Remove from assembly and let rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board. Slice and serve.

Contents in vertical tube or beer can are disposed.


*Beer or soda cans can be used in place of vertical roaster.  For a wide beer can, use a bigger chicken For smaller chickens or birds, use a smaller can.

I use a vertical roaster and a glass baking dish.  The vertical roaster is stainless steel and has a built-in tube.  Both go in the dishwasher for easy clean-up.

The front and back of the chicken is always a beautiful golden color so when carved everyone gets some crispy skin and juicy flavorful meat.

Kid-Loving Pizza

Pepperoni Tarte

Replace your pizza crust with a tarte dough to make the best thin crust pizza.  Lightly layered pepperoni and your favorite cheseses create an amazing kid-loving pizza.


Part 1. Tarte Thin Crust

1 1/4 C all purpose flour

3 T canola oil

5 T water

1/4 t salt

Part 2. Toppings

1/3 C pizza sauce or pesto

1 1/2 – 2 C pizza cheese

20 pepperoni slices

1/2 C sliced olives


Oven 550º F Dough recipe is for 1 tarte. 1 baking sheet [13″ by 18″] with parchment paper cut to size.  You need high heat, but don’t confuse this with the broiler.  The broiler will sear your pizza to inedible blackness.

Mix flour, salt and oil together until it is crumbly. Add water gradually until dough comes together. Knead until smooth about 5 minutes. Cover and rest for 1 hour.

Assemble tarte

Placed dough ball on baking sheet and roll and patt out dough until papaer thin, Spread sauce choice on dough. Add cheese then pepperoni and olives. Top with cheese.. Baked for about 10 minutes on lowest shelf in oven.

Remove, cut, and serve. Served with carrot sticks, pepper sticks, and snow peas.


Tarte flambe is also known as flammekueche

This is a non traditional way to serve this dish but it was an alternative choice for the younger set.

We used turkey pepperoni