Greek Beef Stew with Quinces

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, chef and author and teacher Gail Monaghan states:

“Quince call for low, slow cooking. But the scrumptious, succulent results are worth the wait.

“The elusive quince is quirky as well as delectable.”

I made her basic poached quince which I then roasted with some maple syrup.

But a few days later and with a bowl-full of quinces on the kitchen table it was time to find a recipe that would satisfy our yearnings for something rich and deep in flavor for a cold Sunday night.

I found it in The New York Times International Cookbook, edited by Craig Claiborne. You MUST make this!

Ingredients (serves 6–8)

5 pounds center-cut chuck or plate of beef, cut into 2-inch cubes (I used 2+ pounds for 2 so there would be enough for leftovers)
Flour seasoned with salt and pepper for dredging
8 shallots, finely chopped
5 tablespoons butter
2 carrots, scraped and sliced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 sprigs parsley
1 cup Tomato sauce
1 cup Beef Stock
3 cups dry red wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered (I used a gourmet blend of bella, shiitake, portabella)
3 quinces, peeled (Gail says you do not need to peel.), cored, and cut into 8 equal slices


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Dredge the meat in the flour and set aside.
3. In a large, heavy skillet (I used a large Le Creuset pot) cook the shallots in three tablespoons of the butter, stirring, about two minutes. Add the floured meat and cook, stirring, about two minutes longer. Add the carrots, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, tomato sauce, stock, wine, salt, pepper and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, on the top of the stove fifteen minutes.

4. Cover and place the stew in the oven. Bake one and one-half hours.
5. Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms in the remaining butter until they have a nut-like odor and are golden brown.
6. Add the mushrooms and the quince slices to the meat, cover and bake forty minutes longer, or until the meat and quinces are fork tender.

Easy Skillet (Cast Iron) Apple Pie

This was the first time I ever made an apple pie—and the pie pastry—and OH MY GOSH was it DELICIOUS!!!


  • 2 pounds Granny Smith apples*
  • 2 pounds Braeburn apples*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts**
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Butter-pecan ice cream


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350º. Peel apples, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Toss apples with cinnamon and 3/4 cup granulated sugar.
  2. 2. Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat; add brown sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and place 1 piecrust in skillet over brown sugar mixture. Spoon apple mixture over piecrust, and top with remaining piecrust. Whisk egg white until foamy. Brush top of piecrust with egg white; sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar. Cut 4 or 5 slits in top for steam to escape.
  3. 3. Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly, shielding with aluminum foil during last 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes before serving. Serve with butter-pecan ice cream.
Mrs. James Wright, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Southern Living

*NOTE: I used the apples I bought at a local orchard: Northern Spy and Baldwin.

**NOTE: I made my pie pastry. Recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

MURGHI DOOPIAZA (Chicken with Onions) from The Art of Indian Cuisine

Easy and delicious!


5 tablespoons ghee (I used butter)
2 pounds yellow onions, cut into think slices (I used one large sweet onion cut into thin slices)
3 whole chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise (I used 2 and cut each into 8 pieces—after frying)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon finely minced gingerroot
1 1/4 teaspoon salt (I did not use salt)
2-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped (I used 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes)


1. Heat ghee in a large skillet and fry the sliced onions until light brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the chicken breasts and fry over moderate heat, about 5 minutes a side, or until pieces are well browned. As chicken breasts brown, transfer them to a large shallow baking dish (It was at this point I cut them into 8 pieces).

2. Preheat oven to 350. Add turmeric, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, paprika, gingerroot, salt, garlic, tomatoes and onion to pan in which chicken was browned, adding more ghee/butter is necessary. Cover over moderate heat, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom, for two minutes. Pour sauce over chicken in baking dish. Cover baking dish and bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until chicken is tender and sauce has thickened.

I serve this with Basmati rice with turmeric.

The Art of Indian Cooking by Pranati Sen Gupta

The Burning Bush

“The tragedy of our wilderness experience is not that we have to go through grief and suffering- but that we often miss the blessings from burning bushes—the things through which God speaks…”~Jamie Buckingham

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