FFwD: Beef Daube and Spiced Nuts~

24 12 2010

One of the recipe selections for December is Dorie’s “Go to Beef Daube,” which is basically a take on braised beef with what you choose to put with it.  Dorie chose carrots and parsnips, so that’s what we have in ours as well.  You can find the recipe in her book, Around My French Table.  This recipe is unique in that it calls for an entire bottle of a fruity red wine (a syrah was recommended) for braising.

Tasting Notes~
My own beef stew is hearty and full of thick gravy and vegetables, so I won’t be converting anytime soon, HOWEVER…  If you ran across a recipe challenge where you wanted to showcase a particular red wine, this would be the recipe to work with.  The recipe is solid and tasty.  I’d like to see what happens if it were left to marinate overnight…just for my own curiosity.  We enjoyed it as a stew with hot bread one night, and then converted it to Mexican shredded beef for tacos for a second go round by adding some red chili sauce and cumin.

Another of the selections for the month is Spiced Nuts:

These little nibbles couldn’t be easier to make, and they’d be hard to mess up.  It was only after I was well into the process that I realized I didn’t have chili powder.  Chilies, yes…chili powder…no.  I know that’s as hard for you to imagine as it was for me! LOL! So…I grabbed some fajita seasoning (it’s got chili powder in it…along with other seasonings) and added an extra pinch of cayenne pepper and a bit of extra sugar because the fajita seasoning also had salt in it…a little paprika as well…then the cinnamon…like I said…can you foul this up, really?  Could anything be much easier to mix up either?  Goodness!  I was trying to envision this…but it was so much easier than what I conjured up in my mind’s eye!  I selected pecan halves, raw Spanish peanuts and natural almonds for my mixture.   The nuts toast perfectly in the oven.

Tasting Notes~
Oh…these are nasty!  It’s hard to eat just one!  I can see that these little nibbles could easily find their way into a holiday repertoire!  A vellum cone of these little treats tied up with a bow and you’ve got a hot-sweet-spicy-salty snack that begs you to eat more-more-more!  As I mentioned, using raw, un-roasted nuts isn’t a problem, as they roast and toast nicely in the oven during the drying process.  The crust melts and forms a really yummy coating on the nuts that hardens nicely as the nuts cool.  Keep in a tightly closed container until the nuts disappear…I’m thinking they’ll be gone by the day after Christmas.  They’re just too addictive!  In my humble opinion, this is another good reason to purchase Around My French Table!  Definitely a “keeper” recipe!!

Shhhh…I’m sneaking back to the kitchen…