Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stew and Dumplings


It's barely been over a month of having my boyfriend live here with me, but I already love it. When I was living alone or when I was single, I ate poorly. Not because I couldn't cook for myself, but because I wouldn't. I hated to go all out on a meal and then have to eat the same thing for days. I loved being able to cook for people. So once in a while I would have a dinner party so that I could share my love of food. When I started dating my boyfriend I would try to cook a nice meal for him at least once a week. It was the only time of the week that I ate well. The rest of the days would be filled with bags of rice chips or instant gluten free meals. Not healthy, not very exciting either, just a means of sustenance. Now that he lives with me I get to cook all the time.

Sometimes I feel like I should rebel against cooking in the kitchen for my boyfriend, because it's part of the age old roles of men and women. When I was growing up I hated the fact that my Mom went to work, did all the cleaning and was still expected to make the meals. It is the expectation that it has to be done that I would rebel against. But I don't have that here. I cook for my boyfriend because I want to cook for him, because I know he appreciates my cooking, and because it makes ME eat healthier. He often tells me that I don't have to make him dinner, but I want to. It's also a lot easier for him if I do the cooking because then he doesn't have to worry about what I can and can't eat. If I cook it, it's all edible for me. Plus, since I do all the cooking he has to do all of the dishes. I figure that's fair!

This week alone I've made homemade French onion soup, stuffed eggplant, mini pizzas and stew and dumplings. I don't think I've cooked so much from scratch in a long time ... I also don't think I've used so many dishes! Of all of those recipes I will share with you the stew and dumplings. To be honest, I liked the French onion soup the best, but I forgot to take pictures, so I will save that for another post when I make it again! The stew turned out quite tasty and the dumplings were all right but a bit chewy. I will have to work on the dumpling recipe. I used one off of celiac.com that didn't involve fifty different flours, although it was still quite similar to dumplings (I think), that recipe needs work. So I will tell you how to make a
yummy stew and guide you to the dumpling recipe. Perhaps you have already found a good gluten free dumpling recipe that you can share with me?



Stew and Dumplings with Red Wine
-serves 6-8

2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 lbs of Stewing Beef cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup of White Rice Flour
Salt and Pepper
1 yellow Onion
1 heaping teaspoon of minced Garlic
1 28 ounce can of diced Tomatoes
2 cups of Glutino Beef Broth
1 cup of Red Wine
2 large Carrots, sliced
1 large Parsnip, sliced into sticks
3 large Potatoes, halved and quartered
4-8 Mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon of dried Mustard
1 teaspoon of dried Basil
1 teaspoon of dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon of Rosemary
1 Bay Leaf
1 tablespoon of Tapioca Starch or Corn Starch plus Water

To make this dish, start by getting a large pot and coating the bottom with oil. Take your beef and place it in a ziploc bag along with rice flour, salt and pepper and shake. Throw the beef into the pot and brown the outsides of the beef. Next throw in the onions, garlic and stir until onions are soft. Next add dried mustard, tomatoes, beef broth and wine and stir. Allow the stew to come to a boil while adding the remaining ingredients (vegetables and herbs). Stir well and reduce to a simmer for about 20 - 30 minutes. At about the half way mark for simmering, combine tapioca starch and a little bit of water in a cup and stir. Then pour the mixture into the stew. This should help it thicken lightly.

Once you think your stew is nearing complete (beef is fully cooked and potatoes are tender) you can drop your dumpling mixture into the stew and cover for 10 minutes (do not peak). After ten minutes, remove from the heat and let sit for another 10 minutes before removing the lid.

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