Thursday, September 27, 2012

Carne Guisada and Stewed Okra

Ladies and gentlemen, it has been awhile.  So long, in fact, that my blogger format has changed and I'm fumbling around as if it were my first post.  I'm a month into my final semester and I have to say that I'm loving my placement in a kindergarten classroom.  I'm exhausted as all get out, not so much from school, but from the balancing of school and home life.

Home life, it seems, has gotten comfy-cozy with mom having the available time to cook and clean on a regular basis.  The problem is, like many, many moms may know, when you go back to work, all of the work of home life is still waiting for you.  Home life cohabitants haven't minded the floors not being mopped for a month. I mind. Greatly.  Home life is a-okay with the clutter. Me?  Not so much.  Dinners are still being served, however desserts would be a thing of the past if Big Sissy hadn't been kind enough to bake a few batches of cookies to keep me from getting all crazy eyed.  Now, Bebe!  That's one smart girl, smart enough to learn key phrases like, "You're beautiful," "I love your heart," and "you're really awesome."  These phrases coupled with her baby cuteness, why, she's possibly the smartest in the bunch!  Hubs is falling behind in the "be kind to mommy" category; although I do give him props for making a few grocery runs, and in all fairness, he has been pulling six and seven day weeks and it is football season so...  I know I should cut him some slack, but my lack of slack has cut into his share and I'm feeling all slacked out- so to speak.

I miss my blogging buddies and hope to get back to some semblance of normalcy in blogland after I graduate, but we will see. Maybe by then I'll be bestowed with super-mommy powers and I'll be able to do it all without any complaint ( hubby's greatest wish).  Yea, and maybe by Thanksgiving they'll invent Pecan Pies that will magically make you drop all the extra holiday  L Bs. : )

To prove that I'm still cookin', here's a dinner that's pure comfort, Carne Guisada and Stewed Okra.  It's not much to look at, but it sure is tasty.  This dinner is going to need some time.  The idea is to have the chunks of beef falling apart.  In all honesty, my beef tips could have cooked down for another hour.  Well, that was just one hour we didn't have and it was still yummy, but if you've got the time, I think it would be well worth it.  Here's what you'll need-

2 lbs. stew meat, I use beef
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. oil
2 cups water mixed with 4 tbsp. of Tony Chachere's Brown Gravy mix
Salt & Pepper to taste

Begin by heating oil and caramelizing onions in a dutch oven.  I've got a cast iron dutch oven that's perfect for this job.  Add meat and gravy and let simmer, covered, on medium-low heat for 3 to 4 hours.  The idea is that the meat be falling apart.  You may want to add a little water here and there, when you check on it.  This is up to you.  If you add too much water, take a 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and add a heaping tablespoon of flour, mixing until lumps dissolve; stir this mixture back into your meat and let it come to a simmer again.  This should thicken it.  Serve over rice or wrapped in flour tortillas.

For the stewed okra I sauteed half an onion and added to it a bag of frozen okra, a can of diced tomatoes, and a small can of tomato sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  This is a yummy vegetable side for this meal.  The acidity of the tomatoes goes nicely with the rich gravy of the carne guisada.

I'm sharing @ Foodie Friday hosted @ Rattlebridge Farms.

Have a blessed weekend!