Not Martha

our new go to comfort food

a pretty good meal

It’s rare that I make dinner without much of a recipe and it turns out pretty good. This was so much pretty good that we made it again a few nights later. This is a basic beef stew, the cubes were dredged in flour and browned before being put in a crock pot on low with red wine, an onion and fresh thyme (which, shockingly, I had on hand). The second time we made this I cut the onion into rings which were no longer recognizable as rings by the end of the cooking. But it was amusing for a few seconds there.

onions in a crock pot, with red wine for braising liquid

The potatoes are Russian Banana Fingerlings and were oddly more delicious than other fingering potatoes. They were steamed, then tossed with butter and salt.

delicious baby yellow potatoes

The carrots were tossed with olive oil, ginger, cumin and cayenne and roasted, then sprinkled with dill and tarragon. I was going off of this recipe for Spicy Roasted Baby Carrots but only used the spices I had in the house. Still really yummy, and if you get the chance I really think you should try this carrot recipe sometime soon.

peas whipped in a mini food processor

And the peas were the strangest of all, but my most favorite. Simply, these were canned peas (the young, off-green sort) that were whipped, or really put through my mini Cuisinart (which was part of the BlogHer Food conference loot). I’ve been meaning to do this for years since Will on Will&Grace made it for a dinner party. I know it’s more baby food than fancy food but I have to say in the middle of a nearly-always-raining January it’s become my favorite comfort food. And it made a disturbing Gremlins splat inside the Cuisinart.

Serve with red wine, try to ignore the fact that it’s distressingly dark and still raining outside.

· comments [19] · 01-18-2010 · categories:food ·

19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michelle // Jan 18, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I am completely intrigued about the peas.

  • 2 MamaLana // Jan 18, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Me too!

  • 3 cyndicat // Jan 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    It’s summer here in Sydney, so we’re eating salads. But this stew is similar to one of my winter staples, except after browning beef I deglaze pan with 1 cup each of beef stock and red wine. After its been reduced by half, I pour stock/wine over the beef, which has been topped with sliced carrots and leeks (a couple of each). Cook for 2 or 3 hours in very slow oven. You can add mushrooms during last half hour or so, or turnips/parsnips earlier. It also makes a terrific pie filling – just add peas and potatoes!

  • 4 Anna // Jan 18, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    In Northern England (whence my spouse hails), mushy peas (mashed peas) are a comforting favorite. They are made with marrowfat peas–which are dried but fatter than our normal dried peas. I have managed to find these peas in suburban southeastern Pennsylvania, and I heartily recommend you try them if you can find them. (Add butter when you mash. Lots of butter.)

  • 5 megan // Jan 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Anna – mushy peas, of course! I haven’t heard that mentioned in years but I bet the Will&Grace “whipped peas” was the same thing. I’ll see if I can find marrowfat peas, thanks.

    cyndicat – That sounds fantastic. My dad used to put turnips in stew and I always liked them after they’d been braising with meat for a good number of hours :)

  • 6 Barbara // Jan 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Looks good! How long does it take to roast the carrots?

  • 7 megan // Jan 18, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Barbara – Uhmmm, I don’t remember, maybe 10 minutes at 425? If it looked like my other stuff wasn’t going to be done I just turned the oven to 300 and left them in there.

  • 8 Seanna Lea // Jan 19, 2010 at 8:55 am

    It’s been snowing and raining here, so any comfort food is good. I made black bean soup yesterday, because I wanted to feel warm inside and out.

  • 9 Sara L. // Jan 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    That is so funny about the peas, because that is the one thing from Will and Grace that stuck with me, too. The “All Appetizer” dinner. Weird what we remember, eh?

    Anway, it all looks yummy, and now I think I’m gonna have to try some mushy, or “whipped”, peas, too.

  • 10 megan // Jan 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Sara – Thank goodness somebody else remembers that, I’ve been having to tell the story all week!

  • 11 Ines // Jan 20, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Really love your plates. Could you tell me where they are from?

  • 12 megan // Jan 20, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Ines – They aren’t so fancy! They are soup bowl shaped melamine plates from Target. I wrote about them earlier. I have been seeing soup plates in ceramic around and really like using them for everyday casual dinners.

  • 13 Julia // Jan 21, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Looks yummy and comforting!

    Glad you gave whirled peas a chance!

  • 14 michel // Jan 21, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Try this sometime….fast and easy and unbelievably delicious!
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/pea-puree-recipe/index.html

  • 15 Kurdistan // Jan 21, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    looks good love to try it

  • 16 DP // Jan 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Best thing ever – Make stew without the spuds but make a big pot of mashed potatoes instead. Put a blob of the mash potatoes in individual bowls, then ladle some stew over the top. Sprinkle with a little shredded Parmesan. Yum.

  • 17 Jason // Jan 27, 2010 at 10:49 am

    After reading this post, we picked up a bag of those Russian banana fingerling potatoes at Fred Meyer. I never would have thought to steam them… go figure — tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper they were a fantastic side dish! Thanks for the recipe.

  • 18 megan // Jan 27, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Jason – I forget where I first saw steaming potatoes instead of boiling them. We steam eggs to hard boil them (Alton Brown suggestion) too and somehow I’m convinced the texture turns out better.

  • 19 Recipe-phone « Adventures in Food // Jan 29, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    [...] weekend. I found it whilst bumming around on one of my favorite catch-all craft-food-design sites, Not Martha. The link will take you to the whole post, which was an entire meal, but I was drawn to the side [...]

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