Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon - Candy Coated Culinista

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon – Candy Coated Culinista

I was given a bottle of red wine from a co-worker who had recently gotten marriage. The couple had given all the guests a bottle of red wine they bottled and corked at a winery in the Niagara region. Now since I don’t drink and don’t like wine I said I’d taste a small bit and would cook with the rest. I thought to do coq au vin again; but then thought I should try something else. This is when beef bourguigon came into my head. I also remember that scene from Julie & Julia where Julie says “don’t crowd the beef” and I said to myself this is a good recipe and I have never actually made a Julia Child’s recipe before. I started my prep and had everything ready to go and all that was left was to open the wine (queue the ominous music). Since it’s 2016 I made the assumption that this bottle of wine was going to be one of those twist top varieties and I was so wrong; and believe it or not I don’t even own a cork screw. So here’s where my 30 minute struggle to open a bottle of wine begins. I tried to use a knife and cut away at the cork on a slant, no luck. Then I went to my tool box; because I have a full tool box at the ready; but I don’t own a corkscrew. (I’ve never really been a conventional girl here; and have always been the work on my own car and build my own curio stand and solder this or that) hence I grabbed a screw and twisted it into the cork and then grabbed the hammer to pop it out. Still no luck and at this point I thought I was done, until I did the one thing I really didn’t want to do which was to push the cork in. I did this and strained away any cork pieces that may have broken and then pulled out the cork after the fact and retrieved my screw. Lesson learned here and I will be going to the dollar store to get myself a corkscrew as that was not a fun experience for me at all.

Yield/Serving: 8 – 10 servings
Prep Time: 1 hr.
Cook Time: 3 plus hours
Difficulty level is: Medium, very time-consuming and persnickety

From: Slightly altered from Julia Child

Ingredients
Bouquet Garni

• 1 stalk of celery, cut into three pieces
• A bunch of parsley, stems only
• 4 fresh thyme sprigs
• 5 garlic cloves, whole and peeled
Boeuf Bourguignon
• • 4 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
• 3 pound of stewing beef
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
• 1 bottle of dry red wine
• 1 stick unsalted butter, total use accordingly
• 3 cloves of garlic, whole
• 2 onions, finely chopped
• 4 carrots, cut into ¼ inch slices
• 3 celery, chopped
• 1 pound button mushrooms, quartered if large
• 1 tbsp herbs du provence
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• Parsley, handful rough chop

Assembly
1. Using a frying pan, fry bacon, drain, crumble and set aside.
2. Pat dry all beef pieces and season with salt and pepper.
3. Divide flour and beef into four portions. Place batch one into a ziplock bag and coat beef.
4. Place two tablespoons of oil into a heavy bottomed pot and brown beef on all side. Don’t crowd the meat. Once the meats is browned transfer to a bowl and continue with the next batch of beef until all is browned.
5. Pour off any excess oil from the pot if necessary and then pour wine into pot to deglaze for about 1 minute. Ensure to stir and scrape up brown bits and then pour over the beef.
6. Make the bouquet garni and set aside for the moment.
7. In the pot put butter and oil over medium-high heat and put in the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms along with the crumbled bacon and sauté until browned.
8. Add in the herbs du provence, tomato paste and parsley and continue to stir.
9. Pour in the wine and the beef along with the bouquet garni and gently simmer partially covered until the meat is tender; about 3 ½ to 4 hours and occasionally stir.
10. When beef bourguignon is ready remove bouquet garni and serve.

Tips
• Have kitchen string/twine on hand for bouquet garni
• Serve with baby potatoes or a baguette.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I didn’t add the pearl onions to this recipe as I didn’t really want all of those onions in the dish. I found this recipe to be so persnickety and yes I get the whole “don’t crowd the meat”; but this recipe had a lot going on and was so finicky and Mise en Place. Maybe it’s because I have always found myself to be a more instinctual cook who doesn’t like to follow a recipe in its entirety and yes I even slightly altered a Julia Child’s recipe as sacrilege as that probably is to most; but that’s just who I am. It was still an amazing recipe with its richness the smell the wine aroma and those perfectly chopped vegetables. I can see what all that fuss was about; but in the end this recipe is still way to fussy for me and this isn’t the way I like to cook. I didn’t even have kitchen twine for the bouquet garni and I had to use a cheesecloth that I use for my almond milk. It was really quite an experience to MacGyer my way through some aspects of this recipe. I have always loved MacGyer so in some ways I got to try my hand at working with what I have on hand; but next time I will try this is a slow cooker recipe.

Green Bean Maple Bacon Baskets

Green Bean Maple Bacon Bundles - Candy Coated Culinista

Green Bean Maple Bacon Bundles – Candy Coated Culinista

I believe maple and bacon go great with anything and I tested that theory with these green beans for Sunday dinner.

Yield/Serving: 5
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20 – 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from Williams Sonoma

Ingredients
• 3 slices of bacon, cut into half
• 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• ½ tsp onion powder
• 1 pound green beans, trimmed
• 1 tbsp pure Canadian maple syrup

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Using a frying pan, fry bacon until it just begins to brown and place on a paper towel to drain.
3. On low heat melt butter and add garlic and onion powder.
4. Once butter had melted add maple syrup and set aside.
5. Made green bean bundles and wrap with bacon and then brush butter mixture on green beans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These didn’t look like the picture at all as the green beans were shriveled versus firm in the picture. This is probably because I didn’t blanche the beans first. Either way this was such a great side and so flavorful. I will make this again blanched first or not.

Cider-Braised Chicken with Apples

Cider Braised Chicken - Dutch Oven Version - Candy Coated Culinista

Cider Braised Chicken – Dutch Oven Version – Candy Coated Culinista

I really love apple cider!. So much so that I could consume a 3 litre bottle of Fresh-Pressed Mulled Sweet Apple Cider in one day if I’m not careful and therein lies the problem. I’m not usually one for sweet things; but I can’t resist apple cider and when I came across a recipe including cider I’m all in. Apple juice has always been my preferred juice of choice and almost any combination of apples and I’m sold. So when I came across this I had no qualms about trying it alcoholic or not.

Slightly altered from Epicurious

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 8 chicken thighs
• 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ¼ cup Dijon mustard
• 3 tbsp canola oil
• 2 red delicious apple, cut into wedges
• ½ red onion, sliced
• 2 cups apple juice
• ½ cup apple cider vinegar

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
2. Season chicken with salt, pepper and rub mustard underneath the skin.
3. Using a heatproof skillet heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat and sear chicken skin side down, until golden-brown, about 8 minutes.
4. Turn the chicken and then add apples and red onions around chicken.
5. Add liquid and transfer to oven to roast for about 20 minutes.

Tips
• If you want to make this with alcohol use 2 cup dry white win instead of apple juice. Also if apple cider is in season feel free to use fresh apple cider.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made this recipe about one week to early. I thought two weeks into December would be late enough in the season to find apple cider; but it seemed this year apple cider only made an appearance purely for the Christmas dinner shopping schedule. So I had to improvise; which is what I seem to do best in a bind as this turned out great. The original recipe called for putting the chicken in a heatproof skillet and roasting the chicken; but I couldn’t really understand that part as I envision braising on a stovetop in a close container. This is when I split the recipe in half and did half in the oven per the directions and then I put the remaining in my Dutch oven. Personally I like the look of the Dutch oven version more as the sauce didn’t separate and it was creamier. Not to mention the chicken wasn’t as blackened. I’m glad I followed my instincts and split the batch.

Cider Braised Chicken - Skillet Version - Candy Coated Culinista

Cider Braised Chicken – Skillet Version – Candy Coated Culinista

Cranberry Coconut & Apricot Cardamon Banana Bread

Cranberry Coconut Banana Bread - Candy Coated Culinista

Cranberry Coconut Banana Bread – Candy Coated Culinista

As much as I try as sometimes my bananas spoil and I just hate wasting, so here we go again a couple more banana bread recipes for the New Year. This is what happens when it’s the Christmas season and you’re going out and enjoying time with friends and family. At the rate I’m going I will have enough banana bread recipes for a whole month.

Cranberry Coconut Banana Bread

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1/3 cup of butter, melted
• 1 egg
• 1 cup 2% milk
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 2 ripe bananas, mashed
• 1/3 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
• 1/3 cup shredded coconut
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• Dried cranberries
• Coconut slices

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Grease pans.
3. Over low heat melt butter.
4. In a small bowl whisk together butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract.
5. In a medium sized bowl mash the bananas and add the cranberries and shredded coconut and set aside.
6. Using a large bowl whisk flour, baking soda, sugar and add the bananas, cranberries and coconut.
7. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients and gently stir; but don’t overmix.
8. Spoon batter into pan.
9. Top with dried cranberries and coconut slices.
10. Bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Mini Apricot Cardamon Banana Loaves

Mini Apricot Cardamon Banana Loaves - Candy Coated Culinista

Mini Apricot Cardamon Banana Loaves – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: about 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1/3 cup of butter, melted
• 1 egg
• 1 cup 2% milk
• ½ tsp coconut extract
• 2 ripe bananas, mashed
• 1/3 cup shredded coconut
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp cardamon
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• Whole dried apricot

Assembly
11. Preheat oven to 375°F.
12. Grease pan.
13. Over low heat melt butter.
14. In a small bowl whisk together butter, eggs, milk and coconut extract.
15. In a medium sized bowl mash the bananas and add the shredded coconut and set aside.
16. Using a large bowl whisk flour, baking soda, cardamom, sugar and add the bananas and coconut.
17. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients and gently stir; but don’t overmix.
18. Spoon batter into pan.
19. Top with dried apricots.
20. Bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I just can’t get enough of banana bread no matter the combination and it’s such a great way to use those over ripe bananas. Both these recipes were lovely and I’m now becoming a fan of decorating the tops of my banana breads with dried fruits as it adds a nice classy touch.

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