So this week I tasked me… and you since this is a cook along book club… with:

Beef Bourguignon, page 184
Any Night Baked Rice, page 239
Turnip Gratin, page 267

How were your results? Mine turned out pretty darn good. But if I had a tagline for this week’s recipes I would say: a dish too many. Let’s start with the Beef Bourguignon.

While tasty and tender and oh so good. I would not exactly call this simple. As a cook with out a dishwasher – by which I mean no machine to wash my dishes, hubs is normally tasked with it but too many pots and pans = a cranky hubby – asking me to use multiple bowls, pots, etc is tedious. And will more than likely result in me not following your directions exactly. Case in point the Beef Bourguignon. By the time I got to step 5 where it asks you to remove beef (aka dirty a slotted spoon and bowl) and reduce the pan juices to 2 cups (dirty a measuring cup) then in another small bowl whisk butter and flour together (another bowl and probably a fork or small whisk)… I gave up. Beef stayed in the pot, juices remained un measured (and as it turns out a bit too much) and butter and flour were added as is.

In the end I lived, hubby still complained about the amount of dishes, but agreed that it was darn tasty.

I served the Beef on the Any Night Baked Rice from page 239. Mistake. The rice was too good to be sauced up like that. If I’m going to put effort into making flavourful rice, I’d like to taste it. Once it was under the Bourguignon sauce, I might as well have just made white rice. That isn’t saying however that this rice isn’t great. It is. In fact it’s so good you will want to have it on its own. I just suggest making it when you are going to be eating it plain, and not under something else.

Finally came the Turnip Gratin from page 267. Another case of tasty… but too many damn dishes. I ended up skipping the last step. I made the turnip, added the cheese (which is a wonderful and unexpected delight) – at which time I had a pot, a masher a grater and a fork dirty. Enough. Adding the cheesy turnip mixture to a baking dish, then dirtying a dish for the bread crumbs and baking just seemed like too much effort. I can see how the crunch of the toasted bread crumbs would be wonderful with the turnip… but in every cooking session there comes a time when you look at your mountain of dirty dishes and proclaim the meal ‘good enough’. That point for me was after step two of the Turnip Gratin.

So what’s on deck for next week?

Walnut Gateau, page 346
Poulet Pot Pie, page 218
Flank Steak with Warm Sherry Vinegar and Garlic Vinaigrette, page 126

Happy Cooking!

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