Let’s Make Tomato Vinaigrette

Properly presented beef stew

 
No, I didn’t just repost the same pictures from Thursday, but it sure looks like it.  Today in Traditional European class, we made the exact same thing as on Thursday.  We just switched the dishes, so my group made the beef stew this time.  That’s roasted garlic mashed potatoes and some weird green been/carrot bundle for the vegetables.  Notice that there are potatoes in the stew and it’s served with mashed potatoes.  Repeat after me, starch and fat, starch and fat.  Now you can cook classical French food.  Don’t forget that bacon. 
 
This was a pretty good stew.  It was rich, the beef chunks were tender and it was seasoned well.  It’s interesting when you make this stew that the stew liquid is made into a thicker sauce.  You fish all the beef out, strain the vegetables out of the remaining liquid and add a corn starch slurry to thicken it up.  Then, you put the beef back in and your “show vegetables.”  These are vegetables that were not cooked with the stew, but blanched separately and then added in.  It looks nice because they retain their color and don’t get all brown from the meat juices.  I don’t think the average person is doing this at home, but if you were serving this for a special occasion (is beef stew a special occasion dish?), show vegetables might be nice.  My friend called the stew “beef and gravy” because that’s what they call it in North Carolina.  My European chef was horrified.  “At least call it beef bourguignon!  It sounds more exciting!”
 
 

Tomato is in the middle.

 
The highlight of my day, aside from scrubbing pots until they were silver again, was learning how to make a tomato vinaigrette.  I’ve never made a tomato one nor have a I ever made a dressing in a blender.  It was super, super easy and really tasty too.  Here’s the recipe, if you’d care to make it at home.
 
Tomato Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS:

2 TEASPOON DIJON MUSTARD

1 DICED SHALLOT

1 DICED GARLIC CLOVE

SALT & PEPPER TO TASTE

4 SEEDED ROMA TOMATO’S

½ CUP CANNED ROMA TOMATO

½ LEMON JUICE

¼ CUP WHITE VINEGAR

1 1/2 CUP VEGETABLE OIL

1/8 CUP MIXED CHOPPED HERBS

(we also added a little sugar to ours, about a teaspoon or so because it was on the acidic side.)

PREPARATION:

BLEND ALL INGREDIENTS EXCEPT OIL AND CHOPPED HERBS IN A BLENDER ON LOW SPEED. ADD THE VEGETABLE OIL LITTLE AT THE TIME AS YOU WOULD PREPARE A MAYONNAISE. ADJUST THE THICKNESS WITH A LITTLE HOT WATER IF NEEDED. WHEN ALL INGREDIENTS ARE BLENDED TOGETHER ADJUST SEASONING AND ADD HERBS.

 
This was super tasty!  It was bright and fresh from the tomatoes, with a little pop from the mustard and from the vinegar.  It’s a pretty thick dressing, and coats a salad nicely.  I will be trying to make this at home, although maybe not until summer.  Tomatoes taste like cardboard right now.
 
Chicken cacciatore. Made exactly the same way as Thursday.

Chicken cacciatore.

 
It’s pizza night tonight when I get home from school!  Dinner will be ready when I get home, and I could not be happier about that.  Thanks for ordering the pizza honey!  Be well & happy eating!
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