Friday, January 29, 2010

Healthy French Toast with Banana Topping

Today I'm posting a link to another blog, Eating Bender, where I found this recipe (and photo).

I made it this morning and it was delicious! Since liquid egg whites aren't available here in the UK, I went ahead and used 1 large egg. I also used vanilla soy milk instead of vanilla almond milk, which I can't find here. I found Whey Protein Powder at Holland & Barrett's, and used about 1 Tablespoon. Finally, I doubled the topping and used 1 whole banana + 1 Tablespoon syrup. It probably adds some more calories, but I think it made it tastier. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

French Style Lentil Soup with Bacon

This recipe is super easy and has a great, comfort-food texture for a cold, wintery night. I think the recipe came out of a newspaper I read last week on global comfort foods. The photo below is a shot of all the ingredients simmering before I pureed the soup to serve it. It ends up having a thick, almost muddy consistency, and smells great!

160g puy lentils
500ml (2 cups) chicken stock
3-4 rashers smoked streaky bacon
1/2 an onion (chopped)
1 carrot (diced)
1 sprig of thyme
1 clove chopped garlic
1 bay leaf

1. Wash lentils, and cook according to package directions. When cooked, drain lentils, return to the pot and add chicken stock. Bring to a boil.

2. Add remaining ingredients and reduced heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprig stick, then blend using an immersion blender to your desired consistency--keep tasting to check. (Note: if using a regular blender, allow soup to cool first, or blend on low in small batches to avoid a blender explosion). Add more chicken stock or some double cream/heavy cream to correct consistency. Serve with garlic bead or croutons and a green salad.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Savory Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding

One of D's friends went hunting last weekend and brought us one of the pheasants he caught, so on Sunday night we had a crazy attempt at cooking our first wild bird. D did all the plucking and removed all the innards, but the whole bloody mess in the kitchen kind of ruined my appetite. We cooked the bird according to this recipe from Emeril Legasse, the famous New Orleans chef, but it smelled funny coming out of the oven and was too gamey for our tastes, so we tossed it out, thinking that maybe it had gone bad hanging in the cold garage.

I also cooked this Savory Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding that Emeril suggested as an accompaniment to the pheasant, and it was tasty and rich, just like something you'd be served in one of his NOLA restaurants. I think it would be great with a simple roasted chicken and salad.

Serves 6-8 (large portions)

2 tsps vegetable oil
1 cup (250ml) sliced yellow onions
10 oz/325g assorted wild mushrooms, such as oyster, shitake, chanterelles, wood ear, or porcini
1 tsp minced garlic
3 tsp Essence, recipe follows
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (60 ml) lager beer
5 large eggs
3 cups (750 ml) heavy cream/double cream
1/4 cup (60ml) molasses (I used maple syrup)
1.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
3/4 cup (185ml) grated Gouda cheese
3/4 cup (185ml) grated white cheddar cheese
3/4 lb (375g) stale white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp plain bread crumbs

1. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown and tender, 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Essence, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 3/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and have given off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Note: be careful when adding the spices to the onions--if too much of the chili & paprika gets into the air it can make you cough and choke. Add the beer and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan and until the mixture is almost dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cream, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of Essence, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and whisk well to combine. Add the mushroom mixture and cheeses and stir well. Add the bread cubes and let sit until the bread has absorbed the liquid, 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with the butter. Add the bread crumbs, shaking to cover the bottom evenly. Pour the bread pudding mixture into the prepared pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour and uncover. Continue baking until risen and firm in the center, and golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning)-makes about 2/3 cup:

2.5 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp dried leaf oregano
1 Tbsp dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Easy Chipotle Shrimp Tacos

This recipe came from one of Oprah's favorite chefs, Custis Stone, and was featured on their Easy Family Dinners program. I've made it twice now--though I can't remember where I found the Chipotle Paste (it may have been London). In the US, cans of chipotle peppers in sauce can be found in the Mexican/Hispanic sections of most large grocery stores, so just experiment with the amount of peppers to suit your taste. I halved the recipe and it made about 6 large tacos.

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion , roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 dried chipotle chilis, seeded and chopped
(or 50g Discovery brand Chipotle Paste)
3 tomatoes , roughly chopped
2.5 lbs (1500g) raw prawns/shrimp, peeled and deveined
(fresh prawns tasted way better than frozen, thawed prawns)
1/4 cup (60ml) lime juice to taste
Fresh cilantro (coriander)
Shredded cabbage
Corn tortillas


1. Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and sweat onions in 1 tablespoon of oil for 3 to 4 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and chipotle peppers (or paste), and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, season lightly with salt, cook for 1 minute and remove from heat.

2. Blend mixture well in small batches until smooth, adding a little water if needed, and reserve. In a large heavy-bottom pot, heat remaining oil over high heat. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes stirring occasionally, allowing the shrimp to lightly color. Remove shrimp from the pan to a plate and add the tomato mixture to the remaining oil in the pan, being careful, as it will splatter slightly.

3. Cook sauce for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, and add shrimp back to pot. Once shrimp are cooked through and coated with the sauce, remove from heat and season to taste with lime juice, salt and pepper. Finish with the chopped cilantro and serve with shredded cabbage on corn tortillas (Note: I tossed my cabbage in a homemade chili-lime-cilantro dressing before serving, and that gave it a nice, fresh tang). Add additional toppings as desired: salsa, sour cream, guacamole, etc.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Spicy Chile Lime Salad

I got the basic recipe for this salad (and the photo) from this Nourishing Meals website, and the dressing is great!

1/4 cup packed cilantro
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded & chopped
1 clove garlic
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4-5 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Mix all ingredients together in a blender/food processor, or if available, blend in a bowl using an immersion blender.

Add to a salad of mixed peppery greens such as kale, escarole or arugula, combined with chopped red and green bell peppers, spring onions, avocado, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and jicama, if available. You could also add more protein to the salad by sprinkling some cooked shrimp, canned tuna, crumbled Mexican cotija cheese, or chicken pieces on top.

Note: The dressing can also be used as a marinade or basting sauce for salmon or other fish or poultry.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Creamy Risotto with Peas and Crispy Bacon

OK, for all you pork lovers out there (I know who you are), this is a great dish. Sorry Vegetarians! We had it last night for dinner and D gobbled it up. It's not low fat, but you could omit either the salami/chorizo or the bacon, and just enjoy the risotto. Either way, it's creamy, salty goodness.

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
15g/.5 oz knob of butter
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 spring onions/green onions, trimmed and sliced
60g/2.5 oz. cured chorizo sausage, coarsely chopped
(I substituted some garlic-flavored hard salami)
200g/7 oz Arborio risotto rice
1 glass dry white wine
500 ml/2 cups chicken stock, heated
1 heaped tbsp mascarpone or cream cheese
40g/1.5 oz grated Parmesan cheese
60g/2.5 oz frozen peas
4 rashers/slices unsmoked back or streaky bacon

1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan, add the onion and green onion and cook until softened, about 5-6 mins. Add the chorizo and cook for 2 minutes, then add the risotto rice and cook an additional 2 minutes, making sure all rice is coated in oils.
2. Add the wine and continue to stir until it has been absorbed, then add a ladle of the hot stock. Reduce the heat to simmer. Keep stirring, allowing each ladleful of stock to be absorbed before adding the next.

3. Once all the stock has been absorbed, stir in the mascarpone and Parmesan, then mix in the frozen peas. Remove from the heat and cover for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, grill the bacon until crisp, then place 2 rashers on top of each serving of risotto.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls

These spring rolls take a little patience to assemble, but they taste super fresh and are really healthy as well. I found the right kind of spring roll wrappers at Whole Foods in London, and used them up already, but am keeping an eye out for them in Birmingham. Let me know if you spot them anywhere!

They are best served with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping, but would also be good with a peanut satay sauce!

1 pack spring roll rice paper wrappers (8.5 inch diameter)
1 pack ready-to-wok (pre-cooked) thin vermicelli rice noodles, separated into portions matching the number of spring roll wrappers
1 carrot, peeled, then grated into long slices with a carrot peeler
1 cucumber, peeled, then grated into long slices with a carrot peeler
1 bunch mixed baby salad greens
200g cooked prawns, tails off, sliced in half from head to tail
fresh coriander, leaves picked
fresh mint, leaves picked

1. If you can't find pre-cooked rice noodles, then follow the pack directions to soften the noodles. Otherwise, follow the pack directions for softening the spring roll wrappers. I basically filled a large frying pan with warm/hot water and let it cool a bit. Spread a damp tea towel on the kitchen counter next to your pan of water for assembling the rolls.

2. Start by immersing one wrapper in the water, and let it sit until softened, 10-15 seconds. When soft and pliable (it should feel silky), remove it from the water and lay it on the tea towel. Dab the excess water off with a dry tea towel. The wrapper should be slightly sticky.

3. Place one portion of rice noodles towards the bottom edge of the wrapper. Lay several lettuce leaves over the noodles and top the lettuce with 5-6 pieces of prawns. Over the prawns, lay a few slices each of carrot and cucumber gratings, then sprinkle over coriander and mint leaves.

4. Fold roll like a burrito: take bottom edge (closest too you) and fold it over the filling until the wrapper edge touches the wrapper on the opposite side of the filling. The edges should stick together slightly. Next, fold each side edge in just enough to enclose either end of the filling. Last, roll the filled end over until the wrap is rolled up. Note: The tighter you can manage to wrap the rolls, the better chance you have that they won't fall apart. It takes a little practice.

5. Serve wraps immediately with sweet chili sauce or a peanut satay sauce. If you need to store them, I usually lay them on a damp paper towel in a Tupperware container, and then lay another wet paper towel over the tops before closing the lid. This will keep the wraps from drying out.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Warming Meatball and Kale/Escarole Soup

I tore this recipe out Fitness magazine last October, and finally made it last week! Also, when I made the meatballs, they completely stuck to the bottom of my pan, so my soup had hunks and crumbles of meatball, rather than nicely formed balls, but the flavor was still great, and it was a good way to eat some healthy vegetables! If I made it again, I'd cook the meatballs in a non-stick pan, even though you are supposed to cook them in the pot that everything else will eventually be added to.

1/2 lb./250g lean ground beef/beef mince
6 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
6 Tbsp plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup (60ml) finely chopped parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 cups packed shredded kale or escarole,
rinsed and drained
3 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
(approx. 1250 ml chicken broth)

1. Combine beef, 4 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper and eggs in a large bowl. Form into 24 meatballs, using about 1 level tablespoon for each.

2. Heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a stockpot (or separate non-stick frying pan) over medium-high heat. Add meatballs; cook on each side until nicely browned and transfer to a plate.

3. If you used a separate frying pan for the meat, now add remaining tablespoon of oil to your stockpot along with the onions, carrots and garlic. Cook 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Stir in kale or escarole; cook 3-4 minutes.

4. Add meatballs and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve soup with remaining Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Nutrition per serving: 205 calories; 15 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 10 g fat (3 g saturated); 4 g fiber.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chicken, Black Bean and Tortilla Casserole

This new recipe came out of The Big Book of Casseroles, and is quick to prepare if you buy ready-cooked, diced chicken. It's less expensive if you poach your own chicken before-hand, but takes an extra 20-30 minutes to prepare, poach and cool/chop the chicken pieces. Your choice! It was a big hit with D, who had 2nd helpings.

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 oz/425g) chopped tomatoes, including juices,
lightly pureed with a hand blender or in a food processor
1/2 cup jarred tomato salsa
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 cans black beans, rinsed & drained
3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts
(I used 3 full breast pieces)
8 corn tortillas
3-4 cups (375-500g) grated Monterey Jack cheese
(I usually find grated Jack cheese at larger Sainsbury's)

Optional toppings:
Sour cream
Avocado slices
Sliced green onions
Chopped olives
Salsa & hot sauce

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm oil. Add yellow onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, salsa, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and mix well. Stir in beans and chicken pieces.

2. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. In a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray or oil, spread 1/3 of the chicken & bean mixture over the bottom. Top with 4 tortillas and sprinkle with 1 cup (250 ml) cheese.

3. Add another 1/3 of the bean & chicken mixture, 4 more tortillas and 1 cup cheese. Finish with remaining bean and chicken mixture, and 1/2 to 1 cup cheese. Cover and bake, 40 minutes. Remove lid, add remaining cheese and bake until bubbly and lightly brown, about 10 more minutes. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with toppings as desired.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Creamy Baked Gnocchi with Spinach

This is another recipe from Giada De Laurentiis great cookbook Everyday Pasta that I made this past week. Since we've had snow and frost here for the past 2 weeks, I am in major comfort-food mode, and this hit the target in a big way. I measured out everything ahead of time and it was really fast to assemble and bake once we got home from the gym in the evening.

2 (17oz/500g) packages potato gnocchi (make sure
you use the vacuum-pack type, not the kind that
comes hard & dried in a box)
3 cups (750ml) heavy cream/double cream
1 cup (250ml) chicken broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup (60 ml) all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground or fresh-grated nutmeg
12 oz/375g fresh baby spinach (seems like a lot but it wilts down)
3 oz/100g fresh goat cheese
1/2 cup (125ml) grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
2. Place the gnocchi in a lightly greased 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking dish. Set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cream, chicken broth and flour over medium heat. Continue whisking until the sauce is simmering and thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir to combine. Add the spinach in batches and toss until all spinach is coated in the cream.
4. Pour the cream and spinach mixture evenly over the gnocchi and gently spread the spinach out to cover.
5. Crumble the goat cheese over the spinach. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake until the top is golden in places, 25 to 30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Treacle Tart

I made this classic English dessert back in August before I started my blog, but I included the recipe I used on another post for my other blog, An American Gal's Survival Guide to Life In England, so if you are interested in making one, click here to view the recipe. Treacle Tart is best served with clotted cream, but if you are making this in the U.S., clotted cream is unlikely to be available, so you can either serve with a rich, chilled vanilla pudding or a creamy vanilla-bean ice cream.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Salmon & Peas Bake

Made this with a big green salad for a quick & easy post-holiday dinner last night. I forgot to take photos of the meal, but the fish was tasty, so I thought it was worth sharing the recipe. This recipe came from The Big Book of Casseroles, though it's not a traditional casserole: 

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 tsp dried tarragon, crumbled
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tsps fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
3-4 salmon steaks or fillets (1 1/2 to 2 lbs total weight/750 to 1000g)
1 1/2 cups fresh peas, or frozen peas, thawed
Lemon wedges for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425F/210C. In a small bowl, mix mayo, tarragon, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

2. Spread a thin layer of the mayo mixture on the bottom of a 6-inch x 10-inch baking dish. Add salmon. Spread remaining mayo mixture over top of salmon pieces

3. Bake, uncovered, 8 minutes. Sprinkle peas around the edge of the dish. Bake until fish flakes and peas are tender, about 6 minutes longer. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Zuccato di Pannetone

I saw Jamie Oliver's pal, Italian chef Gennaro Contaldo, give out this recipe on a Christmas cooking program and it sounded divine, so I copied it down as notes (no specific recipe was given). He said that this translates to "Pumpkin of Pannetone" because it uses leftover Pannetone bread to make a pumpkin-shaped dessert. I winged it on the assembly, and it turned out great!

Ingredients (Serves 10 to 12)
1 loaf Italian Pannetone bread
1 small bag candied fruit
100g (1/2 c) dark chocolate chips
500g ricotta (2 tubs)
100g (1/2 c) whipping cream
small handful flaked/slivered almonds
small glass of rum mixed with some water or Vin Santo liquer
Cocoa powder

1. Layer a few long sheets of clear plastic cling film inside a medium or large mixing bowl so that
the ends of the plastic extend outside the bowl by 6"-10" on either side.

2. Slice Pannetone into 1" slices and layer in bowl, starting with the bottom and overlapping, so that you have a solid layer of Pannetone around bowl edges. Drizzle rum & water mixture over dry bread.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, candied fruit, chocolate chips and flaked almonds. Add in some whipping cream and sugar (to taste) until the mixture is sweet and creamy, but not too liquidy. Remove 1/2 of ricotta mixture to a separate bowl. Add in some cocoa powder to reserved ricotta (start with 1 Tbsp) to give it a chocolatey taste and appearance.

4. Spoon white ricotta mixture into bottom of Pannetone 'bowl'. Add a 2nd layer of Pannetone over the ricotta and drizzle with rum mixture. Spoon cocoa ricotta mixture into bowl and add the final layer of Pannetone. Note: If your mixture doesn't go up to the top of Pannetone slices around the edge of the bowl, just peel off the extra Pannetone and add to the top layer over the ricotta cream. Sprinkle some rum mixture over the final layer of Pannetone.

5. Wrap hanging ends of plastic cling film over the top of the Pannetone until covered; press down. Top with a heavy plate or two and refrigerate overnight.

6. When ready to serve, unwrap bottom of Pannetone, then remove from bowl and turn out onto a plate, removing the remaining cling film. It should be bon-bon shaped. Sift cocoa powder over the top of the dessert and serve chilled. Alternate topping: melt 200g/6oz. dark chocolate with a knob of butter and pour over chilled Pannetone before serving.

Butternut Squash Two Ways

I had a large, 2-pound butternut squash left over from our Thanksgiving table decorations, so I decided to turn into two dishes: Butternut Squash Risotto (non-vegetarian) and Thick Lentil, Garlic & Butternut Stew (Vegetarian). The risotto was a perfect, warming, 'comfort food' meal yesterday afternoon after D and I scraped the snow off the car and went for mile-long swims at the gym pool, and I'm planning to serve the stew with some fish and lamb during the next few days.

Butternut Squash Risotto (serves 4)

5 cups/1250 ml chicken stock (home-made or store bought)
1 lb./500g raw butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
4oz./125g pancetta, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 & 1/2 cups Arborio (risotto) rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley or tarragon
(I used a dash of dried tarragon as well as the parsley)

1. In a saucepan, combine the stock and squash; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; let simmer (squash will not cook completely).

2. Meanwhile, warm the oil in a medium saucepan (large enough to hold the finished risotto) over medium-low heat. Add the pancetta; cook, stirring, until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crisp, about 8-10 mins. Using a slotted spoon, remove pancetta and set aside on a paper towel to drain.

3. Add the onion and garlic to the rendered fat; cook, stirring, until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the rice, raise heat to high, and continue stirring until the edges of the rice are translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine; cook, stirring until the wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium high; season with salt and pepper. Add about 1 cup/250ml of the hot stock and squash. Cook, stirring, until nearly all the stock is absorbed. Continue adding stock and squash, about 3/4 cup (180ml) at a time. Cook, stirring, allowing each addition to be nearly absorbed before adding the next, until rice is creamy but a little firm in the center, 20 to 25 minutes. (Some of the squash will start to disintegrate and will start to form a golden, creamy paste around the risotto). Stir in the parsley or tarragon and reserved pancetta. Serve. Note: Martha suggests topping the risotto with toasted pumpkin seeds, if desired, but I skipped this option.

Thick Lentil, Garlic & Butternut Stew (serves 4)
taken from Sonja Edridge's recipe in Waitrose's October Everyday Recipes
Note: I halved the recipe and it made 4 side dish portions

4 Tbsp mild olive oil
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
5 tomatoes, roughly chopped
200g/7oz red lentils, washed
1000g/2lbs. raw butternut squash, peeled
and cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
600ml (2 & 1/3 cups) vegetable stock

1. Heat a large, non-stick pan with 1 Tbsp of oil. Add the celery and cook for 4 minutes, stirring, to soften, then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, lentils and butternut squash. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer, then cook for 20-25 minutes (adding a little water if necessary) until the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils are cooked.
3. Season well and spoon into bowls. Drizzle in the remaining olive oil and serve with rustic or crusty bread. Note: I cooked the stew a little longer until it was nearly the texture of mashed potatoes and plan to serve it as a side dish, rather than a meal. You may also wish to season with salt and pepper--I did.