KickoffLabs is Live… What Next?

Today I wasn’t able to figure out exactly what to do for about 30 minutes.  It was the first time in a while I’d found myself at a complete loss.  I published the announcement blog post and should have walked away for the next half hour. 

What is KickoffLabs?

All new businesses are experiments that start with customers. You don’t know if your idea is going to work, but you know you need customers to make money… whether it’s through ad sales, subscriptions, or walk-ins buying your bagels after you’ve set up shop.  KickoffLabs both simplifies and reduces the costs of the online part of your experiment.

Tomorrow I’ll be hunkering down to work with our first customers, spread the word about KickoffLabs  a little wider, and work on features for the next deployment. 

For now I’m enjoying a nice glass of red wine in celebration…  But we’re bootstrapping, so it’s a cheap bottle. Smile 

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Reduced Twice Red Wine Spaghetti Sauce

We had some left over red wine that was just past drinkable so we decided to cook with it last Friday.  I found this on Cooks.com.

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1826,144164-243206,00.html

I'd recommend adding 1 or 2 bell peppers, but I'm a bell pepper fan in my pasta sauce. Just mix them in with the onion mixture.  The second thing you can do is cook the pasta in a mixture of both wine and water for some extra decadence.  I'd certainly make this again.  Enjoy!

REDUCED TWICE RED WINE SPAGHETTI SAUCE

1 lb. hot ground Italian sausage
2 lg. onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves
2 c. hearty red wine
8 oz. beef broth
2 lg. cans pureed tomatoes
3 to 5 fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
Handful of crushed red peppers
Salt and pepper

In a heavy frypan, cook the sausage (we get extra hot sausage). Drain off the fat. Set the meat aside and put the fat back in the pan. Add the chopped onions. Saute over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the onions are golden brown. Crush the garlic and add directly to the onions. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the red wine and bring to a boil. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula.
Place the sausage in a deep cooking kettle. Add the red wine and onion mixture to the sausage. Add boiling hot beef broth. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce until the liquid has almost completely evaporated.

Add the fresh and canned tomatoes and the spices. Return the sauce to a boil, lower heat and let simmer, stirring frequently for 30 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to desired consistency. Remove the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. (We're convinced the more you reduce something, the better it tastes. If you have the time, this is a wonderful spaghetti sauce. Try this sauce with our Spaghetti Pie recipe.)

Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce

This recipe was great but there are couple of things I'd recommend.  You only get four servings with what you see below.  For all the effort I'd recommend doubling up so you can freeze some or serve a larger crowd.  I also think a stew like this could use some starch so some cubed potatoes might had added a lot.  Other than that the stew was a fantastic 4 of 5 as long as you know it's going to take you a while to make.

Via Food & Wine

ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef from the flatiron part of the shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 15 cipollini or pearl onions
  • 15 cremini mushrooms
  • 15 baby carrots
  • 5-ounce piece of pancetta
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Dash of sugar
  • Chopped fresh parsley
directions
  1. For many Americans, the quintessential French stew is boeuf bourguignon—beef cooked in Burgundy red wine. The stew, featured regularly at my mother’s restaurant, was made from tougher, cheaper cuts of beef, which had to be braised a long time to get tender and to stay moist.
  2. For my beef stew, I like to use a special piece of the shoulder called the flatiron steak. This long, narrow piece is extremely lean, tender and moist, and it makes an ideal stew. I do not use stock, demiglace or even water. I make my stew strictly with a robust red wine. This rich, winey beef stew is always a hit with my chef friends.
  3. Buy about 2 pounds of beef from the flatiron part of the shoulder. Remove the skin or sinew from the top. Alternatively, use lean beef chuck in the same manner. Cut the meat into 8 pieces.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast-iron pot that is attractive enough for the table. Arrange the meat in one layer in the pot, and season it with salt and pepper. Cook on top of the stove over high heat for about 8 minutes, browning the meat on all sides.
  5. Add 1 cup of finely chopped onion and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic. Cook over moderate heat for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tablespoon of flour. Mix in well so that the flour doesn’t form lumps. Stir in 1 bottle of red wine. Add 2 bay leaves, a sprig of fresh thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir well and cover.
  6. Place the pot in the oven and continue to cook for about 1 1/2 hours; the meat should be soft and tender and the liquid properly reduced. The recipe can be prepared to this point up to a day ahead.
  7. For the garnishes, peel 15 cipollini or pearl onions, wash 15 cremini mushrooms and peel 15 baby carrots. For the lardons, you will need one 5-ounce piece of pancetta. Bring the pancetta and 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan and simmer for about 30 minutes; drain. Cut the pancetta into 1/2-inch slices and then cut the slices into 1-inch-wide lardons.
  8. Combine the onions, mushrooms, carrots and pancetta in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of water and a good dash each of sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes; at this point, there should be practically no water left. Uncover and cook over high heat, sautéing the vegetables until nicely browned on all sides, about 4 minutes.
  9. To serve, mix some of the vegetables and lardons into the stew and sprinkle the rest on top as a garnish. Add a little chopped fresh parsley and serve.