GCC: Steak Pizzaiola

This weeks Gutsy Cook choice used chuck steak as the star of this dish, and then braise it under this rich spicy tomato sauce.  The results were simply magical in our house.  At the end of a 2-hour oven stay, the meat was pull apart tender, infused with this rich taste of tomatoes with a kick of spice.  What could be better than that for a lazy weekend meal? Nothing, it hit the right spot with our taste buds.

We love the idea of making a big bowl of rigatoni to go along with this; instead we opted to make some mashed potatoes to soak up that sauce after we found out our pantry was low on pasta and no rigatoni option to be found.

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GCC: Chile with Cornbread Top

This past week Gutsy Cooks decided to join the masses and have open choice with our menu options and celebrate the upcoming Super Bowl madness.

The theme was to post our favorite game food.

Originally, we planned to have a couple of friends over for the game and that plan crashed and burned and it ended up being just us on a Sunday night.

Or actually just Tom, since I’m not a big football fan.

But, let me totally get off topic here and give a HUGE SHOUT to Madonna.  You ROCKED the halftime show…you still got it, you still made get up and VOUGE!

*cough, cough* Back to our main topic… our dinner.

I knew that we were not going be eating finger food, so the only option for a dinner was the Chili and that was my starting point.

I gutsied up the whole thing, omitted some stuff, added others and totally went rogue and built my chili as a Sheppard’s pie.  I wanted to bake some corn bread to go along with the chili and then had a light bulb moment and thought, why not add the corn bread ON TOP of the chili and bake it?

And that is what I did.

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Beef Involtini - Slow Braised Meat Rolls

For the past 11 days I have been fighting a cold.  I experience every single symptom that every cold medicine list on their packaging. I don’t think I ever had a cold hit me this hard or overstayed it’s welcome - EVER!.  I had been, simply put – MISERABLE. And like anyone, when you are sick, the last thing you want to do is cook or be around food - at least that is the case with me. On top of all that I’m in the middle of interviewing for a new job, which has taken over my mental state.  

Tomorrow I will be going in for my third interview with this company and I’m about to crack – No joke. To have something that you want so very bad right there for you to take, but still beyond your reach, because other people are making the final decision - well, it’s sucks the big one.  I can honestly say that I comprehend what Top Chef contestant go thru doing everything in the power to reach their dream and still not have full control of the final outcome.

So, I know that I have neglected Sweetbites this past week.  But, hopefully this weekend I will be back in full swing and cook up a storm, and then you all be sending me emails to stop posting so much.  Just you watch.

But what I do have is a recipe that I made over a month ago, and just remember that it has been sitting on my DRAFT box all this time.

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GCC: Menu 5 - Braised Oxtail with Wine and Herbs and Polenta

Braising is the classic cooking technique for food to be browned in hot fat, then covered and slowly cook in a small amount of liquid over low heat.  It’s ideal for preparing tough cuts of meat, such as beef short ribs and pork shoulder, oxtail, shanks and many more.

This method dissolves collagen from the meat into gelatin, to enrich and add body to the liquid. Braising is also very economical, as it allows the use of tough and inexpensive cuts, and efficient, as it often employs a single pot to cook an entire meal.  Most braises follow the same basic steps.

The food to be braised is first seared to brown its surface and enhance its flavor. If the food will not produce enough liquid of its own, a small amount of cooking liquid that often includes an acidic element, such as tomatoes, beer, or wine, is added to the pot, often with stock. The dish is cooked covered at a very low simmer until the meat is fork tender. Often the cooking liquid is finished to create a sauce or gravy

For the Gutsy Cook choice this week we had the Braised Oxtail with wine and herbs and instead of pairing it with the most likely candidate of mashed potatoes, we took it one step further and instead choose to cook polenta as the perfect side dish.

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