Peppadew Beef Sliders {potlucks & picnics}

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Picnics and potlucks and parties, oh my! Got to love the start of the social season. I’m so looking forward to concerts in the park, school social potlucks, pool parties, backyard parties…

For someone who cooks as much as I do, you’d think I’d have a “go-to” dish to contribute to these events, but I always struggle with what to bring. Especially since I really want to make something special but I don’t want to spend a fortune, have no time, and usually forget until the night before.

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Enter my Spanish-inspired shredded beef. Put it in the crock overnight or all day and bring to a picnic or potluck with slider or kaiser rolls. You don’t really have to keep it hot for a picnic; room temp is fine. Or, if you’re having a party at home, consider serving over saffron rice with peas.

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This uses jarred peppadew peppers and smoked paprika, both of which you can easily find at Whole Foods or online. But if you can’t easily find them, skip the smoked paprika, or sub oregano, and use a jar of peperoncini peppers instead of peppadew.

I don’t know if this will end up being my go-to dish but it’s darn good and I will be making it a few times this summer! What’s your go-to potluck or picnic dish?

Peppadew Beef Sliders

Total Time: 10 hours

Yield: 10 servings

Peppadew Beef Sliders

Perfect for potlucks and picnics, this 4-ingredient Spanish-inspired shredded beef is great for feeding a crowd!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pound round roast
  • 1 14 ounce jar peppadew peppers--do not drain, you'll use the peppers and the juice for this
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • sauteed peppers and onions (optional)
  • chopped green olives (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the whole round roast, the jar of peppers--including the juice, salt and paprika in a crock pot. Cook on lowest setting for 8 hours.
  2. Remove the roast, shred using 2 forks. Leave the liquid in the crock pot.
  3. Return beef to crock pot and cook on lowest setting another 2 hours, or whatever time you have. It's really not necessary but it does let the sauce get fully absorbed by the beef.
  4. Serve on slider rolls or over rice, topping with sautéed peppers and onions and/or olives if desired.
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Winter Panzanella Salad with Warm Anchovy Orange Dressing

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This recent bout of spring weather has gotten me in the mood for some fresh farmers market veggies! Too bad winter has returned with a vengeance and spring vegetables are a long way off.

It got me thinking though about what I love about summer cooking:

  • Fresh, seasonal produce
  • Beautiful, bright colors that jump off the plate
  • Light meals with a lot of flavor
  • Quick and easy preparation

As I looked around my kitchen for inspiration I found a gorgeous deep orange butternut squash, dark rich green  mature spinach, black wrinkly oil-cured olives, vibrant red roasted peppers, bright cheerful oranges, and wheat speckled half eaten loaf of olive bread.

Why wait until summer? This winter panzanella salad takes advantage of the best the season has to offer; no compromises necessary!

Winter Panzanella Salad with Warm Anchovy Orange Dressing

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Winter Panzanella Salad with Warm Anchovy Orange Dressing

Ingredients

    For the salad
  • 1 small butternut squash, approximately 1 pound
  • 1/2 loaf of hearty stale bread; olive bread works great
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped oil cured olives
  • 1 roasted red pepper, thinly sliced into 1-inch strips
  • 8 ounces spinach leaves
  • For the dressing
  • 3 anchovies
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons orange juice--approximately 1/2 an orange
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

    Prep the salad
  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel the butternut, remove the seeds, and dice into 1-inch pieces. Toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil and spread out on a sheet pan. Roast for 20-30 minutes, turning once or twice until browned on the outside and tender on the inside.
  3. Cut the bread into 1-2 inch cubes. Toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil and spread out on a sheet pan. Roast for 20 minutes, turning once until brown.
  4. Microwave the spinach for 15-20 seconds, just until it starts to wilt.
  5. Toss together the squash, bread, olives, red pepper, and spinach leaves.
  6. Make the dressing
  7. Combine anchovies, garlic and 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a small saucepan. Turn heat to medium low and break up anchovies. Once it's very fragrant and the anchovies have melted into the oil, remove from heat.
  8. In a small bowl whisk mustard, vinegar, orange juice, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil mixture until emulsified.
  9. Finish the salad
  10. Toss together the salad and the dressing. Let stand for 10-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Serve.
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Friday (re)Fresh: Weird Thanksgivings, Girl Power

Among my many wonderful traditional Thanksgivings over the years, there have been a few notable ones that were decidedly less traditional. While they weren’t Norman Rockwell inspired, they were special times shared with friends and family and I still remember them so I put them up there among my favorites. Read on for some weird Thanksgivings, more tips for this Thanksgiving, and a a game to put on your daughter’s Christmas list this year.  [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Vegetable Love

Thanksgiving vegetable sides

We’re doing Thanksgiving a little different this year. Typically we go to my husband’s family’s house for the day for a big family meal. It’s loud, it’s chaotic, there’s drama, there are relatives there that we haven’t seen since the last year’s Thanksgiving.

Usually I bring something to the table, usually it’s a vegetable dish. Here I am obsessing about what to bring in previous years.  [Read more...]

Friday (re)Fresh: Thanksgiving is coming! Run!

run

Squeezing in one last big hill run this weekend before next Saturday’s Zoo Zoom. Couch to 5k went so well I figured I’d tackle an 8k. Ack! So, a big bowl of pasta tonight to fuel me for 5 miles tomorrow.

And a wine tasting to pair with said pasta: an upcoming Shrimp Pasta recipe (that’s Cappelini con Salsa di Gamberi e Aglio to you). Place your bets: Soave or Pinot Grigio? And place your bets on whether I’ll be sweating Soave tomorrow morn.  [Read more...]

Shortcut meals

This summer, my husband has been working late 2 nights a week. I’ve been trying to keep my cooking time really short on those nights so I can play with my 2-year-old as much as possible. Here are 2 recipes that worked really well recently:

  • Store-bought Spinach-cheese Ravioli with Pistachio-Mint Pesto: This one was really good. The Cooking Light recipe called for fettucine, but ravioli was on sale that week and my son is not a huge fan of pasta anyway. He’ll eat ravioli, though – he loves the cheese filling, and anything that gets spinach into his belly is a win as far as I’m concerned. I shelled the pistachios the night before and put all the pesto components into a bowl so when I got home from work I just had to toss them in the mini-food processor and boil the ravioli. The one change I made to the pesto recipe is to cut out the salt – I figured the ravioli is already salty enough and the Romano cheese adds saltiness too.
  • “Southwest” Chicken Caesar Salad: Rotisserie Chicken, romaine lettuce, bottled caesar dressing (we like the Simply Dressed brand), toasted wheat baguette. Leftover black beans and corn were a last-minute addition. My son really enjoyed the chicken, toast, and corn.

Do you have any favorite super-fast meals?