Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Week 5: Rocky Mountain Stew and Avalanche Bark

What a game! I don’t know anyone who wasn’t excited to see the most recent Brady vs. Manning rematch.  Despite team loyalties, you have to admit that these are two of the top quarterbacks in the game today.  And as usual, they did their best to put on a great show. 

I was nervous going into the game.  If you have previously read any of my blog posts, you must know that I consider Tom Brady to be the best quarterback in the league. What you may not know is that I consider both Peyton and his brother Eli to be right behind Tom in that category.  That being said, I was nervous because Denver’s defense kicks serious ass and ours... well, ours doesn’t.  I think we might have the worst secondary in the whole league.  I know people say it all the time, but I haven’t seen any facts to defend that statement.   I would confirm it by looking it up, but it’s one of those “I don’t really want to know” situations.

Anyway, the Patriots played a great game to beat the Broncos 31-21.  The Patriots set a franchise record with 35 first downs, with Brady going 23 for 31 for 223 yards.  Props to the Patriots defense who caused 3 Bronco fumbles and to Wes Welker who had 13 catches for 103 yards.

To honor the Broncos we made Rocky Mountain Stew and Avalanche Bark.  The Rocky Mountain Stew didn’t look as appetizing as I was hoping but was surprisingly delicious.  I usually make my beef stew with Tomato Juice or V8, but Dan enjoyed this version calling it the “beefiest” beef stew we have made yet.  I got the original recipe off of AllRecipes, but made a few adjustments before posting.  First, I don’t believe in making any soup or stew with water when you could just as easily up the flavor by using chicken or beef broth, so I switched out the water for chicken broth. Also, Dan and I don’t like pearl onions.  Even when we make Creamed Peas, we use regular onions.  I replaced the Pearl Onions with ½ a chopped white onion, added to the beef at the beginning rather than at the end.  You can find the original recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/rocky-mountain-stew/

Rocky Mountain Stew

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Lbs Sirloin Tips, Cubed
4 ⅔ Cups Chicken Broth
1 Tbsp Salt
1 tsp Lemon Juice
¼ tsp Paprika
I Clove Minced Garlic
1 tsp White Sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Bay Leaf
4 Potatoes, Cubed
6 Carrots, Chopped
½ Large White Onion, Minced
½  Cup Flour
5 Ounces Frozen Baby Peas, Thawed

1. In a large pot over Medium Heat, warm oil and brown Sirloin Tips and Onion.  Pour 1 Cup of Broth over the meat and drippings and stir, cooking for 2 minutes until a gravy forms.  Stir in 3 Cups Broth, Salt, Lemon Juice, Paprika, Garlic, Sugar, Worcestershire and Bay leave.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 - 2 ½ Hours.
2. Stir in Potatoes and Carrots, simmering for 20 minutes or until tender.
3. In a small bowl, combine Flour with remaining Broth.  Stir into stew and cook until stew thickens. Add Peas 5 minutes before serving. 

For Dessert we made Avalanche Bark.  The following is a copycat recipe from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.  This is SUPER rich, so I would suggest cutting it into small pieces.

Avalanche Bark

½ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
3 ½ Cups White Chocolate Chips
2 Cups Rice Krispies
1 Cup Mini Marshmallows
½ Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips.

1. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt White Chocolate Chips and Peanut Butter, stirring constantly.  Set aside to cool.
2. Stir in Rice Krispies and set aside until mixture is room temperature.
3. Fold in Marshmallows and Chocolate Chips. Do not overstir.  
4. Smooth into a greased or wax paper lined 9x13 pan.  Smooth out the top with wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or until hard.  Cut into small pieces and allow to sit for a few minutes to soften. 

Happy Cooking!

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