Jimboy's Friday Five: Christmas Recipes

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Who doesn’t think of food when they think of home?

I know that I do… as a child I would mark the passing of the seasons by the wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen. Christmas always provided the highest impact as the wonderful treats rolled out day by day with increasing frequency.

It always started with Christmas Cookies (pecan roll cookies and no bake chocolate/peanut butter cookies still make my heart skip a beat) and progressed to magnificent beef tenderloins, roasted leg of lamb, and beef bourguignon. For us, cooking was a family affair.

Mama would always do the salads (she is a very good cook but prefers to not do complicated dishes), Jimdaddy would always do the meats (his specialty was beef tenderloin), and my grandmother would do whatever was needed (pies were her specialty, but she could cook literally anything).

We children would help out as we wanted, which meant that we always helped with the desserts… and that is what this Friday Five is all about… my favorite recipes. The hardest one by far is the beef bourguignon (but it is so worth the effort)! Try them all, if you dare… ’Tis the Season!

Beef Bourguignon

(adapted from Julia Child recipe)

For the Stew

  • 6 oz thick cut bacon cut into 1 1/2 inch lardons.
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 lb stew beef in 2 inch cubes
  • 1 carrot pealed and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups red wine (bordeaux or burgundy)
  • 2-3 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves (mashed)
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Saute bacon for a few minutes in a large fireproof casserole with olive oil on medium heat to brown lightly. Remove to side dish.
  2. Dry off beef and saute in hot oil a few pieces at a time browning on all sides. Once browned remove to side plate with bacon.
  3. In same oil, saute onion and carrot until softened. Pour off fat and return beef and bacon to casserole with carrots and onion, add salt and pepper, sprinkle with flour.
  4. Set in oven for 4 minutes, toss contents and return to oven for 4 more minutes. Lower heat to 325 and remove casserole from oven.
  5. Add wine and enough stock to cover the meat. Add tomato paste, garlic, and herms… bring to a simmer on the top of stove, cover and place in oven to simmer for 3-4 hours.

Braised Onions

  • 18-24 peeled white pearl onions
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  1. I suggest using frozen pearl onions (much easier). Thaw and drain.
  2. Heat butter and oil in skillet add onions. Saute on medium heat for about 10 minutes rolling the onions to cook evenly without breaking apart.
  3. Pour in stock, add salt and pepper to taste, add herbs and cover. Simmer for 40 to 50 minutes (liquid mostly evaporates, onions retain shape). Remove herbs and set aside.

Sauteed Mushrooms

  • 1 lb mushrooms quartered
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  1. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet. As soon as foam begins to subside, add mushrooms and toss for about 5 minutes. Remove when they have browned lightly and set aside.

To Finish the stew

  1. When meat is tender, remove the casserole from oven and empty the contents into a sieve set over a saucepan.
  2. Return beef and bacon (disgarding the bits of carrot, onions, and herbs). Put mushrooms and onions with the meat, simmer the sauce for a couple minutes (skimming off any fat). You should have about 2 1/2 cups sauce, thick enough to lightly coat a spoon. If too thick, add a little beef stock. If too thin, boil it down to reduce till the consistency is right.
  3. Pour sauce over the beef, mushrooms, and onions. Simmer for a few minutes over low heat. Serve in the casserole with either potatoes, noodles, or rice. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Vaca Frita (Cuban Shredded Beef - SO GOOD)

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion thinly sliced
  • Fresh Parsley
  1. Simmer steak with bay leaves in Dutch Oven for 1-2 hours (till tender). Remove from liquid and cool to room temperature.
  2. Shred beef and place in a glass container.
  3. Combine lime juice, lemon juice, and garlic; mix into the meat. Season with salt and pepper, marinate overnight.
  4. Next day remove from marinade, fry in a large skillet with olive oil till nice and brown (10-20 minutes).
  5. Squeeze on some more lime juice on top of meat, garnish with chopped parsley, serve with yellow rice.
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Buttermilk Chess Pie - a Miller favorite

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 9 inch frozen pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well.
  3. Pour filling into pie crust and bake for 45 minutes or until filling is set.

Salted Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies (aka THE BEST COOKIES EVER)

  • 1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons old fashioned oats
  • 1 Cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 Cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup light brown sugar
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup cake flour
  • 1/2 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  1. Heat Oven to 350 F, line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper
  2. On another sheet pan, spread oats and toast lightly… once cooled grind 2 Tablespoons of oats into a fine powder.
  3. In stand mixer, mix butter 5-10 seconds on medium speed. Add sugars and beat until pale in color (about 4 minutes). Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, crack egg and add vanilla.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk powdered and whole oats, flours, baking soda, and salts, add butterscotch chips.
  6. On medium speed, add egg/vanilla to butter… beat 5 seconds, scrape bowl and mix again for 20 seconds. Add dry ingredients and mix on low for 30 seconds. DO NOT OVERMIX! With bowl scraper, mix rest of dough by hand.
  7. Scoop dough with an ice cream scoop (3/4 oz or 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop) and place on cookie sheets with plenty of space between each. No more than 8 cookies on a sheet pan.
  8. Bake 8 minutes, take pan out and tap it against counter to deflate then put back in oven for another 4-6 minutes or until the edges are a deep golden color and the cookies are beginning to crisp. Let cool on the pan. Stores for up to 3 days in airtight container.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate No-Bake Cookies

  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of kisher salt
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Bring sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa to boil in medium sausepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add oats, peanut butter, vanilla, salt, stir to combine.
  4. Drop teaspoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and let sit at room temperature till cooled and hardened (about 30 minutes). Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days.