Nothing says springtime like fresh herbs and homegrown strawberries, and after a long, cold winter, it’s wonderful to have fresh ones available again instead of dried or frozen.
There are so many ways to use herbs and strawberries, and both are great in salads and desserts. The dumplings in the following stew recipe call for fresh chives, and the salad recipe makes good use of fresh berries. The salad even has a surprise ingredient – little bits of chocolate.
Serve the two recipes, along with some crusty, Italian garlic bread and refreshing iced tea, for a delicious, unforgettable meal.
HOBO STEW with CHIVE DUMPLINGS
1 1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, halved
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 (14 ½-ounce) cans beef broth
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 package dry brown gravy mix
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas
1 1/2 cups biscuit/baking mix
1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
2/3 cup milk
In a Dutch oven, brown meat in oil. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic, cook until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in broth, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for an hour. Discard bay leaf.
Combine the dry brown gravy mix, flour and water until smooth, and then stir into stew. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat and stir in peas.
For dumplings: Combine biscuit mix and chives in a bowl. Stir in milk to form a soft dough. Drop by tablespoonsful onto simmering stew. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or dumplings test done. Do not lift lid while simmering. Serve immediately. Makes about 8-10 servings.
SCOTT’S SURPRISE SALAD
5 ounces mixed greens (No iceberg lettuce)
5 ounces spring mix greens
8 ounces flat leaf spinach greens
1(13-ounce) package trail mix with chocolate pieces
1 small package candied pecans
1 (6-ounce) package dried cranberries
1 (6-ounce) package dried mixed berries
1 (5-ounce) package blue cheese crumbles
1 (3.5-ounce) package dried blueberries (or 1 pint fresh)
1 (6-ounce) package fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 bottle raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing
Toss together in a large salad bowl: mixed greens, spring mx greens and flat leaf spinach greens. Add trail mix, candied pecans, dried cranberries, dried mixed berries, blue cheese crumbles and dried blueberries and then toss salad again. Add fresh raspberries, strawberries and fresh blueberries (if used instead of dried.) Add desired amount of salad dressing and lightly toss again. Serves 8-10.
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