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Surprisingly savory with the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, and red wine, this stew is nice when you want something unusual.

2 pounds boneless lamb stew meat (such as as shoulder), cubed
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced thin
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 cup wine
1 bay leaf
a few sprigs of parsley
Place the lamb in a glass bowl or baking dish and toss with cinnamon, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cover and place in refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or cook immediately.

In a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté the pieces of lamb in the oil over medium heat. You may have to work in batches. Meat should be browned on all sides. When all of the meat is browned, add the garlic, carrots, celery and onion, and cook for about five minutes, stirring, until vegetables start to soften . Add tomatoes, wine and bay leaf. When mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat to low and cover.

Cook for 2 hours, or until meat falls apart when squeezed.

Serve over couscous or rice and garnish with chopped parsley.

Original recipe
Warm beef stew spiced with paprika and bay leaves, with tomatoes and potatoes to make it a one dish meal.

½ c. flour
1 tsp. paprika
salt & pepper
2 lbs. well-trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1.25" chunks
¼ c. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 small onions, cut into 6 wedges
4 garlic cloves, minced
¾ tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
3 bay leaves
1 can beef broth
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 ½ c. water
1 lb. new potatoes, cut into 1" chunks
½ medium butternut squash
2 large carrots, cut into ½" slices

In large bowl, mix flour, paprika, ½ tsp. salt, ¾ tsp. pepper. Add beef and toss to coat.
In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tbs. oil over medium-high heat. Cook the beef in small batches for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned on all sides, adding additional oil as needed. Set aside remaining seasoned flour
Reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped onion, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Pour in ¼ c. beef broth and cook, scraping with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion is tender, adding additional broth if the pot becomes dry. Stir in the reserved seasoned flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and stir until the mixture begins to boil. Add the remaining broth, water, and beef, along with any accumulated meat juices and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 1 ½ hours, or until the meat is just tender when pierced with a fork.
Add the potatoes, onion wedges, squash, and carrots and return the stew to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes longer, until the beef and vegetables are very tender.

Cummings family
The perfect winter meal: warm, creamy potato soup with sweet ham, corn, and bacon. Be sure to use good quality ham, thick cut.

6 c. diced potatoes
8 strips bacon
½ onion, sliced
1 c. celery, sliced
2 c. honey ham, chopped
3 tbs. butter
6 tbs. flour
2 c. milk
2 cans chicken broth
1 ½ tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
¾ can corn
chives
cheese

Fry bacon. Empty most of grease. 
Sauté onion and celery until tender, slowly add broth and milk with flour to create a nice roux.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer on medium until potatoes are done.

From: Daniel
Stewed chicken, marinated and braised in red wine with bacon and prunes. Amazing flavor, but takes forever (plus the 24 hrs marinating).

2+ cups red wine
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (8-ounce) chicken breast halves, skinned
2 (4-ounce) chicken thighs, skinned
2 (4-ounce) chicken drumsticks, skinned
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
3 bacon slices, chopped
1/2 cup pitted dried plums, quartered
2 bay leaves
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl; cover and marinate in refrigerator at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

Remove the chicken from marinade, reserving marinade, and pat chicken dry. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge the chicken in flour; set aside.

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan; set bacon aside. Add half of chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove chicken from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.

Remove onion and carrot from marinade with a slotted spoon, reserving marinade. Add onion and carrot to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in marinade, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add chicken, bacon, dried plums, and bay leaves; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender. Discard bay leaves. Garnish with parsley, if desired

Nutritional Information (for about 3/4 cup sauce and 1 breast half or 1 thigh and 1 drumstick)
Calories: 353 (29% from fat)
Fat: 11.2g (sat 3.5g,mono 4.4g,poly 1.7g)

Original recipe

poblano_sm.jpgA bit complex to put together, but the smoky rich flavors are well worth it.

1 large tomato or 4 plum tomatoes (about 3/4 pound)
6 medium fresh poblano peppers
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
 Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
Cheese Grits:
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1 cup stone-ground yellow grits (or yellow cornmeal for quick-cook)
1 cup milk
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Grits:
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Stir in the salt. Add the grits in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly.

Reduce the heat to medium low, and cook the grits, stirring frequently, for 40 to 45 minutes (5 minutes for cornmeal), until they are thick-soupy and the grains are tender to the bite. Stir in the milk and corn kernels, and cook for about 2 minutes to warm the corn.

Remove the grits from the heat, stir in the butter,cheese and pepper, and continue to stir until butter and cheese are melted. Season to taste.

Vegetables:
Core the tomato with a sharp paring knife. Arrange the tomato, pepper, onion, and garlic in a 9-x-13-inch roasting pan, with the peppers gathered at one end. Brush all the vegetables with the olive oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Slide the pan under the broiler (about 3 inches from the flame or heating element), with the peppers nearest you; you'll be turning them frequently as they roast. Turn the peppers every 3 minutes until their skins are blistered and blackened all over, about 9 minutes total. Transfer the peppers to a large bowl. Transfer the tomato, onion, and garlic to a medium bowl, and let them cool. Set aside the roasting pan.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Assembly:
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, gently massage their skins to remove them and discard. Cut a 3-inch slit down the side of each pepper and gently spoon out the seeds and any whitish, fibrous veins. Fill each pepper with 1/2 cup cheese grits, and place in the roasting pan.

When the tomato, onion and garlic have cooled, remove the skins from the tomato and garlic. Process the tomato, onion and garlic in a blender or food processor, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the peppers.

Bake the peppers on the middle rack until the tomato sauce bubbles gently, about 15 minutes. Scatter the cheese on top, and place the pan under the broiler about 2 inches from the flame or heating element until the cheese has browned.

Original recipe

Ultimate crock-pot convenience: put all the ingredients in and just let it cook till you're ready to eat.

1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 can whole or chopped tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)
1 ½ lb. chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
½ lb. sliced mushrooms
½ c. celery, chopped

Combine all ingredients, cook in crock-pot on high 4 hours. Serve with noodles.
Easy comfort food. =)

1 ½ lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1/2 can tomato soup (10¾ oz.)
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1/2 c. ketchup
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. brown mustard
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
4 hamburger buns
Cook first 3 ingredients in a large skillet until beef is browned.
Stir in rest of ingredients.
Simmer 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often.
Serve on hamburger buns.

From: Southern Living
Not sophisticated by any means, considering most of the ingredients (including the meat) come in cans, but this sweet and tangy barbecue stew is addictive Southern comfort food at its best.

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic, sauteed
2 potatoes cubed small and cooked (boiled)
1 lg. can Castleberry's Brunswick Stew
10 oz. can barbecue beef
10 oz. can barbecue pork
1 lg. can chicken
1 lg. can crushed tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can Lima beans
2-4 tbs. Worcester
2 tbs. soy sauce
salt & pepper

Sauté onion & garlic.
Boil potatoes 15 min.
Combine all ingredients, simmer 25 min.
These meatballs are a little time consuming, from the onion prep and the sauce simmer time, but the meat mixture can be made ahead of time if needed. The flavor is well worth it; savory and lemony with a bit of sophistication from the wine sauce. Serve with plain rice (cooked in 1/2 broth, 1/2 water) and vegetables.

Meatballs:
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
1 pound ground pork
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves (~1-1.5 tb dried sage)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme (~1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
Lemon Thyme Sauce:
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from one lemon)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (~1 tsp. dried thyme leaves)
Zest of one lemon, to garnish
Roughly chopped thyme, still on stems, to garnish
Put the milk and breadcrumbs in a small bowl and mix with a fork. When the crumbs have softened squeeze out the milk and discard it.

Gently sauté the onion in a little olive oil until it is soft but not colored. Season with a pinch of salt and set it aside to cool.

Combine in a medium bowl the pork, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, Parmesan, sage, thyme, cayenne, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix with hands thoroughly. Shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls. This can be done several hours or even a day ahead.

To cook, heat a skillet large enough to hold all the meatballs in one uncrowded layer. Add a little olive oil. When the skillet is heated, add the meatballs, shaking the pan to keep them from sticking. Using tongs to turn so they brown evenly, cook the meatballs until they are no longer pink in the center and lightly browned on all sides. Remove from the pan to a plate and immediately make the sauce.

Alternative cooking method: bake meatballs in the oven at 375 for 8-10 minutes & then brown in skillet.

Lemon Thyme Sauce:
Remove meatballs from the pan, and deglaze it over medium heat with the chicken broth and wine. Simmer until reduced by at least a third. Add the lemon juice and thyme, then add the meatballs back in again as well.

Simmer until ready to serve - at least 10 minutes, but up to half an hour. Serve meatballs with the sauce poured over and garnished with lemon zest curls and thyme sprigs.

Original recipe
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