04 January 2009


Wow, I must say my food photography is vastly and instantly improved when I use our new Canon digital SLR instead of my phone camera. Something to think about for my future posts...

Anyway, tonight at dinner time we had some friends over, so even though I knew that they didn't expect us to feed them, I was happy to, because more people means more motivation! For tonight, it meant that I actually got into the kitchen and cooked up one of the things I bought ingredients for the other day, instead of resorting to instant ramen. So this is what we had:

*Japanese-style Beef Stew with Winter Squash, recipe from Mark Bittman's Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times
*Green salad of romaine lettuce, freshly grated parmesan, dried cranberries and chopped pecans
*Rice, mostly white with a bit of brown mixed in
*more coconut cake with canned chocolate frosting, arranged much more quickly and less artfully than yesterday
*chocolate-dipped crystallized ginger
*chocolate-dipped mini pretzels

Beef Stew Recipe (because it was worth a repeat, according to the fam and our guests, though note to self, Aogu would prefer less or even no lemon)

2 # boneless beef chuck, cut into chunks
2 cups dashi
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin, honey or sugar
10 nickel sized slices of peeled fresh ginger
salt and pepper
1 lemon
1 1/2 # peeled butternut, pumpkin or other winter squash or sweet potato, cut into 1 inch chunks

This is how I made it, not Mark Bittman's exact instructions:
1. Brown the meat chunks in a large pot
2. Add the dashi and the rest of the ingredients, except the lemon and squash. Dash in some pepper, peel the lemon and add the peel.
3. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Check the meat for tenderness. Stir in the squash and either cook for 15 more minutes, or if you're trying to save time as I was, have your squash pre-cooked via microwave so you can stir it in and heat for just a minute or two.
5. Salt if necessary and add the juice from the lemon...or don't, if you're me making this recipe next time. Enjoy with rice, preferably Japanese-style short grain!


Aliyah's Hope Chest said...

Do you think John would like this? As long as it can pass for a "stew" instead of soup I think it might work out. I have so much beef in the freezer I might try this recipe.

jamie christine said...

By the time I was ready to serve it, it didn't have much liquid left in it at all so I don't think he would perceive it as a soup at all. Does he like butternut squash? It's probably worth a try for you, it's so easy!!