Monday, November 16, 2009

Dark Days of Winter Challenge - week one

One of the best things about winter is the Dark Days of Winter Challenge, hosted by Laura at (not so) Urban Hennery. I love seeing what other bloggers are eating in the winter, and getting new ideas for my freezer and pantry stores.

This week I cooked a meal that debuted last year during the dark days challenge, and has become a favorite in our house. It also happens to be my number one comfort food: creamed chipped beef on toast! For this version I used dried, chipped beef from our butcher shop (Bluescreek at the North Market.) It is a little harder to work with than the dried beef from the grocery store, but with two pairs of hands we get the thin slices of dried beef pulled apart in no time. The beef is much less salty than the grocery store variety, but it can still benefit from rinsing, so once rinsed it joins a cream sauce made with milk from Snowville Creamery (best milk in Ohio!) and butter that's either homemade from Snowville cream, or from Hartzler Dairy. I still use commercial AP flour for the roux, because I'm not convinced that the local soft wheat flour can do as good of a job as a thickener.

While the pulling apart of the beef may take a little while, this is a pretty quick and easy meal. I could have added some vegetable side dishes to make it healthier, but this is comfort food, after all! We finished the meal with smoked chocolate ice cream with homemade marshmallows from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, a true Ohio treasure, and I had a glass of Traminette wine from River Village Cellars (Ohio River Valley.)


Anonymous said...

I agree, the Dark Days challenge is a huge motivator and lets me get a peek into ideas from the kitchens of other participants. Comfort food, sometimes that is just what is needed, not necessarily something perfectly balanced :-)

Lauren said...

So, what exactly is chipped beef? I am so curious now.