Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Simmering sweet potatoes spice up this beef stew

Sweet potatoes seem to be the current darlings of foodies, so no surprise that something so standard as beef stew gets a sweet-potato infusion. This spicy version was wonderful indeed.

Cubed butternut squash also was a new (to me, at least) stew ingredient. I even threw in a little leftover zucchini. We let Spicy Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes cook overnight in the slow-cooker. What an amazing aroma greeted us the next morning! Stew for breakfast? We were tempted but waited (barely) until later in the day.

The magazine source featured a recipe for Herbed Biscuits to accompany the stew. Partners in paradise, I’d say. This made a tough-to-beat combination that we just loved.

Spiced Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (32-ounce) container beef broth (I used lower-sodium variety)
1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 sweet onions, cut into eighths
2 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1 pound)
2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
2 celery ribs, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder (I used regular chili powder)
1 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Whisk together first 2 ingredients until mixture is smooth. Sprinkle beef with flour, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Cook beef, in batches, in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes or until browned. Place in a 6-square slow cooker. Add sweet potatoes, next 8 ingredients, and broth mixture. Cover and cook on high 6 to 7 hours or until tender. Makes 8 servings. 

Herbed Biscuits

1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
2 cups self-rising flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup buttermilk

Use pastry blender or fork to cut butter into self-rising flour until mixture resembles small peas. Add chives, basil, and pepper. Add buttermilk and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Pat or roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness; cut into squares to form 15 biscuits. (I used a round biscuit-cutter.) Place on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden. Makes 15 biscuits. (Source: Southern Living November 2012)

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