We decided to pick up some new cheese from the grocery store a few nights ago. I threw on some salami nuggets, grapes, and pumpernickel bread and it made for a great snack while dinner was cooking! I can't believe how many awesome cheeses are in the regular grocery store now - and we've already eyed some up for the next time we want to splurge.Top Left: Applewood Smoked Gouda Top Right: Winey Goat
Lower Left: White Stilton with Apricot
Dinner was a really tasty beef dish. I couldn't find cremini mushrooms so I used a mix of portabella, shiitake and button mushrooms instead. I could only find red pearl onions, so I subbed those too. The flavor is very good, and it was great served over egg noodles. It's definitely a comforting meal.Beef Braised with Red Wine and MushroomsCooking Light October 2007
½ cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
1 cup boiling water
1 ¼ lbs. lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup pearl onions (about 16)
6 cups chopped cremini mushrooms (about 1 pound)
1 ½ cups (1/4-inch) slices carrot (about 2 large)
1 ½ cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
½ cup dry red wine
4 thyme sprigs
3 cloves, garlic crushed
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons cornstarchAdd a teaspoon or two of ground dried porcini mushrooms along with the broth and red wine to give the dish an extra layer of mushroom flavor. Meaty, earthy-tasting mushrooms such as porcini or black trumpet are ideal. Serve over egg noodles or rice.
Combine porcini mushrooms and 1 cup boiling water in a small bowl; let stand 30 minutes. Drain mushrooms through a sieve into a bowl, reserving liquid. Chop mushrooms; set aside.
Sprinkle beef with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of beef to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned on all sides. Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining beef.
Add onions to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add cremini mushrooms and carrot; sauté 3 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add beef, porcini mushrooms, porcini liquid, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, broth, and next 4 ingredients (through bay leaves); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Uncover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Combine 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add cornstarch mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until liquid thickens. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
Wine note: Mushrooms and merlot are a natural match. An affordable California version like Buena Vista Carneros Merlot 2004 ($20) provides classic merlot flavors of plum and black cherry fruit along with a touch of earth and smoky oak that marries beautifully with mushrooms. The wine's rich flavor and firm tannins make it a perfect choice for flavorful beef, as well. --Jeffery Lindenmuth
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)
CALORIES 307 (30% from fat); FAT 10.3g (sat 3.8g,mono 4.3g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 33.5g; CHOLESTEROL 88mg; CALCIUM 47mg; SODIUM 716mg; FIBER 3.5g; IRON 4.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 19.9g
MacGourmet Rating: 4 Stars