Meal Prep Monday:  Pressure Cooker Beef and Bone Soup

“One of my favorite soups for when the cooler weather hits…”

With the change of weather, people all around are sniffling and sneezing.  I couldn’t afford to get sick either.  So, other than taking a bunch of Vitamin C every day, and drinking my green tea, I made one of my favorite soups.

I tried getting oxtails for this, but the store did not have any at the time.  So, I bought some short ribs, marrow bones and beef shanks for the protein.  I also picked up a bag of soup vegetables that included carrots, potatoes, celery, parsnips, an onion, and a turnip.  I also diced some garlic cloves.

I set my pressure cooker to saute so I can brown the meat (it adds more flavor).  While that was heating up, I seasoned the meat with salt and pepper.  I also smothered some tomato paste onto the marrow bones.  The marrow bones add more flavor and richness to the broth.

I melted a tablespoon of coconut oil (or you can use olive oil) in the pressure cooker, and then added the meat.  Once the meat was browned, I added the garlic and chopped onion.  Once the garlic and onion became glossy, I added the beef broth (for more flavor).  I set the pressure cooker for 35 minutes.

At this point, let it cool completely, place the inner pot into the refrigerator until the fat solidifies on the top.  Once it does, remove the fat and reheat the pot in the pressure cooker.  I set it on saute for about 20 minutes.  Once the broth returns to liquid, add the rest of the vegetables and a bay leaf.  Then reset to Pressure cook for at least 30 to 45 minutes.

Ideally, you would let the flavors marry over a day or so.  If not, its still alright – its still yummy!
-Maeven

Ingredients:

4 cloves of garlic

1 chopped onion

1 turnip, cubed

2 parsnips, cut

3 small red potatoes, cleaned and diced

2 celery stalks, cut

1-16 oz can of cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed

1-32 oz container of beef broth

2 bay leaves

This meal was inspired by the following recipes:

http://nomnompaleo.com/post/34093639615/pressure-cooker-porcini-and-tomato-beef-short-ribs

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/toasted-garlic-beef-stock

Supper Club Saturday: Nando Milano Trattoria

“You had me at fresh pasta!”

Nando Milano Trattoria

2114 W. Division St

Chicago, IL 60622

 

This last month was pretty stressful for me, which ended at exactly 1:30pm CDT on Friday, September 30th (not like I was counting down the minutes).  So what do I do when I want to relax (other than sing-along to a Backstreet Boys song on my drive back?)  This girl got her hair done and treated herself out to dinner!

My hairdresser living in UkranianVillage, and I knew that, regardless of where I went, I wasn’t going to be disappointed.  So, I looked on Yelp and I found this gem: Nando Milano Trattoria.  They had a lot of good reviews and, when I looked at the menu, I saw this:

House-made pasta…whaaaat?!

That sealed the deal for me as I have a weak spot for fresh pasta.

Was I their first patron of the day? Yes. Did I care? No (especially since I didn’t have a lunch that day, this gal was starving!)

I started with the Polenta Ghiotta, which was an organic crispy polenta with mushroom, cheese fondue and a creamy porcini sauce.  The polenta was firm and not soggy with that perfect crisp on the outside.  It absorbed the cheese and porcini sauce beautifully.

Next, I went with their (fresh-made) Orechiette Special that had a ground wild boar ragout in tomato sauce.  The wild boar was not gamey at all and it was tender.  (Sometimes with the wild game meats, they can be gamey and/or chewy or tough – this one wasn’t).  If you have ever had fresh pasta, you know how good it can be – you taste the freshness of the eggs and flour, which was what the orecchiette had.

I was asked if I would like dessert.  Technically I was full, but I wanted to hear what they had.  I heard their tiramisu, their cannoli, their profiteroles…and then I heard bombolone.  When I asked what their bombolone was, it was described to me as a donut filled with Nutella and, before he could even finish the sentence, I said, “I will have that!”

It was so beautiful, it was almost a shame to eat it.

So for Nando Milano Trattoria, with this meal, it was not only fresh, delicious and flavorful, but you had also brought me comfort and soothed me after a rough few weeks. Thank you, it was a pleasure, indeed!

Bring your children, bring your husbands, bring your wives to Nando Milano Trattoria!  You will be graced by, not only their authentic and flavorful meals, but by their wonderful and friendly staff as well.

-Maeven

Nando Milano Trattoria

Web: http://www.nandomilano.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/NandoMilanoTrattoria

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NandoMilanoTrat

Google+: https://plus.google.com/115699584016998212434

Sunday Instagram Round-up (Week 1)

Every Sunday, we want to share with our blog community the photos that made the cut on our Instagram feed. You can also follow us at @eatplaychicagola.

Good morning, everyone! It’s been a week and a half since Eat Play Chicago LA went live, and together with Justine and Maeven, we just want to say thank you thank you THANK YOU to everyone who’s been stopping by our blog, Twitter, and Instagram. We truly whole-heartedly appreciate your support.

Every Sunday, we want to share with our blog community the photos that made the cut on our Instagram feed. You can also follow us @eatplaychicagola.

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Thin crust, brick-oven pizza from Big Chef Burgers
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View of the city from the rooftop of Griffith Observatory
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Black sesame soft serve ice cream from ReLeaf
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Refreshing cold drinks while chilling at Newport Beach
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J. Paul Getty Center is a perfect way to spend your day, from exploring the exhibits to laying on the grass outside.
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Asparagus, portabello eggs benedict w/ breakfast potatoes from Brunch Cafe.
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Something different from Jamba Juice: Strawberry-peanut butter-banana smoothie bowl.

Check out our blog and IG for more of our food and travel adventures! (All places and food information can be found on the Eat and Play categories under the Directory menu)

-Jaja