Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Latest Pet Peeve-recipe related

You may not have noticed this unless you spend as much time reading recipes as I do. Confession: I love cookbooks like teen girls love Twilight. But this particular pet peeve only comes into play with online recipes sites- AllRecipes being my favorite. Most sites have the comments section where users can say something useful like "you can sub the oregano for any green herb and it will still be good." or "mine came out a little watery, but I just simmered with the lid off for about 5 extra minutes and it came out." or "go light on the cayenne if you have kids eating, it's pretty spicy as is." You know, something that keeps the original recipe in tact but gives other users a helpful hint. But what really gets me is when a user rates a recipe and says it turned out great (or even worse, failed) and all they did was simply use pork instead of chicken, tofu instead of polenta, bbq sauce where it called for soy and they cooked the whole thing in a frying pan when the recipe called for it to be baked! Hello! You totally didn't make the recipe that's posted here. If you want to talk about that dish you just made up, go somewhere else!

That's not to say I always follow recipes to a T, just that I'm going to tell you about it on my own blog rather than in the comments section of the recipe (if this example had one.) Here's my attempt at a beef bourguignon slow cooker recipe. I told yall I was going to make it here. The thing is, I picked that recipe out right before posting it and clearly didn't read it all the way through. What resulted was a lesson in how not to follow directions. Here's how the recipe was supposed to go and what I ended up doing to it.

6 strips bacon, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces Bacon? Opps I don't have any bacon, I guess I'll just leave that out.

3 pounds beef rump, cut into 1-inch cubes Oh darn, mine is only 1 1/2 lbs, but that's ok because there's just 2 of us. I'll just up the volume on the veggies.

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced I threw in 3 carrots.

1 medium onion, sliced 2 onions

1 teaspoon salt check

1/2 teaspoon pepper check

3 tablespoons flour check

10 ounces beef broth, can condensed I've only got chicken broth, I'll just stir some of these beef granules into it and and that's almost the same.

2 cups red or Burgundy wine There's plenty of wine around here!

1 tablespoon tomato paste I have a can of tomato paste but I'm not about to open it up for just one tablespoon. I'll use 2 tablespoons of ketchup instead.

2 cloves garlic, minced check

1/2 teaspoon whole thyme what do you mean, whole thyme? Mine is ground, I guess that will work.

1 whole bay leaf These bay leaves are at least 6 years old, I'd better throw in 3.

1/2 pound white onions, peeled more onions? I don't get it, skip.

1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced oops no mushrooms! I do have potatoes though. I think four cubed potatoes might help make up the difference in volume.

  1. Sauté bacon in a skillet on stovetop set to medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. that's a moot point.

  2. Add beef cubes to skillet and brown well. Remove meat and set aside. Thanks to my awesome All-Clad cooker I can brown the meat right in the pot.

  3. Brown carrot and onion in skillet and transfer to stoneware. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in flour, add broth, and mix well. I did the veggies right along with the meat. Then went ahead and put the wine in at this step.

  4. Add beef and bacon to stoneware, mix, and place in slow cooker heating base.

  5. Add wine, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf, onions, and mushrooms. Cover; cook on Low for 10-12 hours or on High for 5-6 hours. Ok, now I'll throw in the rest. cook on low for about 10 hours.

I forgot to take an after picture of it, but let me just tell you- delish! How can you really go wrong with beef stew, though? Is what I made still technically beef bourguignon? There is beef and red wine in it even if no other part is true to the directions.
Was that the most boring thing to read ever? Sorry!
In slightly related new, I got to meet Erin Chase of $5 Dinner Mom last night! You've heard me talk about her at least a few times before, but she was in San Antonio doing a book signing so I was determined to go. Brian was worried about me driving there and back alone at night so he came too and we had a wonderful time. Erin was just as sweet as could be, even if I was a little awkward. If I had my head on straight I would have asked for a picture, it wasn't too crowded or anything, but I forgot and just got my cookbook signed and had a little chat. I told her about the BBQ Lentils over brown rice that we had made from her book as a penitential dinner for Ash Wednesday. It was actually quite good!
We hung around Borders a little longer and shopped. It turned into a pretty fun date date night! I got Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher and Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum. After looking those both up I obviously paid way too much even though they were on sale. Oh well! Have any of you read either of those?


S and O said...

You won my Giveaway!!

Carrie said...

I am laughing so hard over you being ill with the recipe critics! I agree 100 percent and also feel passionately about cookbooks!

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