Sunday, June 24, 2012

A.1. Pot Roast

Today turned out to be a perfect Sunday for a pot roast dinner since tropical storm Debby has been dropping buckets of rain on our area all day. It was so nice to dump everything in my slow cooker and let it do all the work while I laid around in my pjs all day and napped.

My husband recently saw a pot roast recipe on the side of an A.1. sauce bottle, so I thought I'd try it out, but I put my own spin on the recipe. And I must say, it came out pretty darn good, and I've tried out several different pot roasts over the years. In fact, I don't think I have ever made the same one twice. This one might very well be my favorite so far.

1/2 cup A.1. Sauce
3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 onion, sliced
1 beef chuck roast, 2 and 1/2 pounds
salt and pepper
1 lb pound baby carrots
1 lb baby red potatoes

In a bowl, whisk together the A.1. sauce, beef broth, seasonings and flour. Set aside.

Place the slice onions on the bottom of your slow cooker. Season the chuck roast on all sides with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Place the roast on top of the onions. Add the potatoes and carrots around and on top of the roast. Pour the sauce all over the top.

Place the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 6-7 hours. Serve with some fresh baked rolls or bread and a side salad.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jäger Schnitzel

Last year my husband and I finally tried, and immediately fell in love with, this German restaurant in Tampa called Schnitzelhaus. It quickly became one of our most frequently visited restaurants and we introduced family members and friends to it as well. Everyone we brought also became fans. Sadly, last month, after 16 years in business, Schnitzelhaus closed. Leaving a hole in our hearts and our stomachs.

One of our favorite dishes at Schnitzelhaus was the Jager Schnitzel, breaded veal, chicken or pork cutlets topped with a creamy, rich mushroom sauce. I went on a hunt for the recipe, hoping to find our Jager Schnitzel fix. I found the below recipe on a German Food Guide Web site. It's not exactly like the restaurant's, but it's pretty close and it was definitely delicious. My next German feat will be to tackle Spätzle. It's about time I master the cuisine of my heritage.

Number of Servings: 4
For the Schnitzel
1 pound thin veal cutlets (I used chicken cutlets because I had them, but I'm all for making it with veal)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the Sauce
1 lb Mushrooms, washed and cut into bite-size slices
2-3 slices Bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup Vegetable Broth (I used chicken broth)
1/2 cup Cream (I used milk but sprinkled in a little flour before adding the liquids)
1/2 teaspoon dry Thyme
A small bunch Parseley, finely chopped
A little extra milk as needed

Season each veal cutlet with salt and pepper (both sides). Let stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare your work area. You will need 3 plates - add the flour to the first one, add the eggs to the second one, and add the bread crumbs to the third plate. Arrange the plates in a row, close to the stove. Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy skillet or pan over moderately high heat for about 2 minutes. For each veal cutlet, coat the cutlet with flour, dunk it in the eggs, then coat it with bread crumbs. Put the coated veal cutlet immediately in the hot skillet. Cook each side for about 3 minutes, or until each side is a deep golden brown. Remove the schnitzel and place on a plate lined with paper towels (to absorb any extra oil). Keep warm.

Using the same pan as you made the Schnitzels in, fry the mushrooms until they begin releasing water. Remove them from the pan and set aside.

Add a little butter to the same pan. Add onions and bacon. Cook until onions begin to brown. Add mushrooms back to the pan, then add the broth and cream. Add salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring mixture up to a simmer, and continue simmering until liquid has noticeably reduced (about 15-20 minutes) - stir occassionaly.

Stir in milk into the sauce until the sauce reaches the desired consistency (the sauce shouldn't be too thin and be creamy). Remove pan from heat. Stir in 2/3 of the chopped parsely. Add additional salt and pepper as needed.

To serve, place a Schnitzel on a plate and top with the sauce. Sprinkle some chopped parseley over the sauce.