Monday, February 16, 2009

Not Diet Food

Yesterday we decided to have my in-laws over to play with the kids and join us for dinner. Bad idea? Well, my in-laws are very nice people who love nothing more than to spend hours (grandma at least) playing with their grandchildren while I prepare a big family dinner. In their defense, they don't know any better and think that nothing bad can come out of my kitchen. Suckers! Now, usually I can produce an edible, health-conscious meal, but not this time, when apparently my MIL is on a diet. That would have been nice if I had remembered, because she did tell me about a week ago, but me being all skinny and stuff never worries about such silly things like a diet.

Anyway, I have a crapload (technical term for freezer full) of beef and thought I would try something new. And who better to try new recipes on than my in-laws? I scoured my cookbooks and the web and decided on a beef braise. It looked rich and hearty, and the kind of meal they would enjoy if they weren't trying to lose weight.

I had never made a braise before, but I know I can make a mean stew, so this couldn't be much different except that the recipe called for an entire bottle of red wine and required 3 hours on the stove plus prep and searing. Fine, I've got wine and a kitchen timer, but I think when my in-laws arrived at 2:30 for dinner (I told them 6:00 btw) they were maybe a little shocked to see me just starting to cook something that would take all damn day. Feeling rushed, I turned up the heat to medium instead of just medium-low and by the end of cooking (which by the way still took 3 solid hours) had developed a nice burn chunk at the bottom of my dutch oven. Shhhh, I didn't tell anyone, but removed the braise from the pot and transferred it to a clean unburned dish and blamed attributed the smoky flavor to the bacon. Actually it wasn't that bad, the wine made a deliciously thick sauce and the meat was oh-so tender yet not falling apart. I served the whole thing with roasted mushrooms and pearl onions, popovers, and boiled parsley potatoes. And for dessert, I was planning to make a chocolate cake, but while Mae and I were out and about in the morning we decided to stop and pick up a DQ ice cream cake (my in-laws' fave) with extra frosting because we all know that's the best part aside from the fudgy-crunch layer.

And, apparently today is MIL's weigh-in day. Oopsies. Maybe next time I should stick with a trusty low-fat, veggie-overload chicken dish... or maybe this was just a lesson in moderation.

13 comments:

Rachel said...

Oh! That sounds delicious!!! If I come over and play with your kids can you make dinner for me?

Out in Them Sticks said...

sounds yummy!

Out in Them Sticks said...

oh, and for the record, I don't think one meal (should you eat in moderation) should throw off a weigh-in for an entire week. I think you were the scape-goat on that one, lol. Salt, maybe, but that is just temporary... maybe that was the culprit?

Shady Lady said...

That sounds like an amazing meal to me! But then I'm all about eating more fats.;) Yum!!

Aliceson said...

Rachel, bring your kids. They all can play and we can drink wine, I mean cook.

Sticks, I think you're right about the moderation thing. We don't eat like this all of the time but once in a while is OK.

Shady Lady, what diet are you on? Must be similar to mine.

Shady Lady said...

Oh, Aliceson...you don't even want to go there...unless you've got some time. I could talk about Nourishing Traditions forever. ;)

Sidhe said...

Sounds great!

Don't worry, she'll get over it...as soon as you do something else to raise her ire:-)

Now, I should figure out what to make for dinner...

Fiona said...

That sounds yummy! In my opinion, any meal with wine is fabulous!

Momma Bear said...

wow what an on the fly endeavor- you go momma! I bet it was wonderful! Hey could I have your popover recipe?
Yummy now I want to make the dish!

skyewriter said...

Dinner sounds great (it will sound even better in a couple of days when I get my appetite back).

Seriously, chick, you need to think of a career in food/cook book/photography/etc.

Kelly said...

Suddenly I am craving beef.

Dammit!

Debbie said...

I bet they loved it! I would if someone cooked me that nice of a meal.

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