Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mushroom Bourguinon

I love this recipe from Deb at Smitten Kitchen. It's been awhile since I made it, but it will make your house smell divine. Two things I want to share about this time around......

Thing #1: I love these new-to-me frozen herb cubes. They are called Dorot and I got them at Trader Joe's yesterday. I bought garlic (used in this recipe), basil and cilantro. I, of course, forgot I had them, and pulled out my garlic cloves to mince...I was dreading the mincing. I have an irrational hatred of mincing. THEN! I remembered! I had cubes! Pop! Pop! Done. Love it.

Thing #2: While we're on the frozen topic. I really, really hate that recipes usually only call for a tablespoon or so of tomato paste. Hate. What I hate more is that I regularly store the extra tomato paste in my fridge. And forget about it until it's fuzzy. But because I was using frozen herb cubes, I had a brainstorm! I could freeze the rest of the paste in tablespoony portions. And so I did:

Oh, wow. That's not pretty. Form over function, I guess. I put them on wax paper. Froze them (they've been in there for two days now, because I'm thorough. Not lazy, thorough), then put them (well, I will put them) in a freezer bag, and TA-DA! Stop the hate.

 I'm sure I'm not the  first person to do this. Some of your are probably shaking your head thinking, "Um....doesn't everyone do this already?" But I'm going to ignore you and have a celebratory glass of wine for being such a culinary-effing-genius. Yo.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Guinness. Nothin' wrong with that!

Last week I went to the Scholastic Warehouse sale at the Tabala (Tebalah? Tabawhoosie? I think it's a Mason thing?) Temple. I get a little crazy at these things. Not crazy as in buy too much. Crazy as in "By-pass anything I would normally buy and pick up only things that I'm marginally interested in or heard of once, I think. Maybe. But look! 50% off!"

So I picked up Cooking Light: Comfort Food, because who doesn't love comfort food? Even better if it's made lightly, right? Dear lord. This stuff isn't really....light. Unless you want to use a lot of fake cheese, fake eggs, and fake sugar. I made the Beef and Guinness Stew....It was **not** light. The lightest thing about it was that I used buffalo instead of beef. But day-um was it tasty.

I'm sorry. I am both too inept and too lazy to make that horizontal. I love you, but still. Turn your head.

Basically, you take the meat cubes, dredge them in flour and then sear them in a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil. Take it out. Put in the onion for five. Add the paste. Add the liquid, seasoning and raisins. Boil, then simmer for an hour. Uncover, boil for 50 min. Add the veg and simmer for 30 min.