Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Another week has passed.....

My life is pretty boring at the moment. I have been flipping through Desserts by Pierre Herme with "ohh" and "ahh", getting really excited and making mental notes to make this and that recipes. Well, except I am still bumming around, staring at my laptop screen. Sadly, I have done nothing.

Last week was pretty hectic, having to look for a dress to attend OCT's commencement, attended the actual event itself (which I had to sit under the merciless sun for almost 3 hours ALONE!) followed by the hooding ceremony.

I was pretty exhausted by the end of day and had to cancel the downtown walking tour that we intended to go with some of our friends.

Because I wasn't at my top form, I decided not to be over ambitious when it's time to make a birthday cake for our little friend Benjamin who is going to be three years old. As a result, I made a Hummingbird cake, which was also the same cake I made for his mum-BP last year.

I picked out all the large strawberries as decor on the cake but realised later that the smaller one would have looked better on the cake. Lesson learned. Bigger doesn't always mean better.

As last week simply flew past with a blink of an eye, dinners were the usual fare without much fuss. I managed to try a new dish though. It was good enough that OCT had the delusion of hearing it called his name on our vegetarian night.

This is the dish I am talking about : Beef and Mushroom Ragu.

I also made the bacon with miso glazed corn, which I like. And ready made Japanese Vegetable Curry! Actually it was an accident. I thought I bought the curry paste. But turned out that it's an all in one instant japanese curry with vegetable. It wasn't too bad and the gravy went well with rice. .

Here's a snapshot of one of our dinners last week.

Hopefully, there will be more new recipes coming up on my blog this week.

Shredded Beef and Mushroom Ragu
adapted from Cookinglight May 2007

1 cup hot water
2 cups dried porcini mushrooms (about 2 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 beef short ribs, trimmed (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced cremini mushrooms (about 8 ounces)
2 cups thinly sliced onion (about 1 medium)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth

Preheat oven to 350°.Combine 1 cup hot water and porcini mushrooms in a small bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Drain mushrooms through a fine sieve into a bowl, reserving liquid. Chop mushrooms; set aside.

Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper over ribs; dredge ribs in flour. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ribs to pan; cook 12 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove ribs from pan. Add porcini mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; cook 12 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add wine, scraping pan to loosen brown bits. Add mushroom liquid and broth; bring to a boil. Add ribs to pan; cover. Place pan in oven; bake at 350° for 2 1/2 hours or until ribs are tender. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove meat from bones; discard bones, fat, and gristle. Shred meat with 2 forks; return meat to pan. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cool completely. Place mixture in an airtight container or heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; freeze.

Thaw meat mixture overnight in refrigerator. Place mixture in a large saucepan over medium heat; cook until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently.

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