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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ode to Wandering Chopsticks: Ma Po Tofu


it's no secret that i harbor a food crush on Wandering Chopsticks, she's the Chị i never had. and i've been fortunate enough to have met her. don't be jealous. Chị WC, as i fondly call her, is wonderful - warm and effusive. i spent a lovely day with her in CA when i was in town for a phamily reunion. if you haven't visited her blog, you should. pretty much most of the things i've learned about blogging, i learned from her.

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so i was uber excited when i noticed that this month is WC appreciation month, or more formally, October Tried & Tasted: Wandering Chopsticks, hosted by the Recipe Center. if i don't hit up my grandmother, then i go to WC for my vietnamese food fix. she knows everything. you want to know about fish sauce, she's got something on it. you want to know how to properly wash and cook rice? she's got you. she's like a one stop shop... restaurant reviews, her brand of soy sauce preferences, recipes of many nationalities, gardening tips and basic all around awesomeness. i've already created a few of her creations, and i intend to still use her as a point of reference and inspiration, so this challenge wasn't really much of a stretch for me. i made her Ma Po Tofu, a dish i made some time ago but now i'll just use her recipe cus it is the SHIT. it's effing pure genius. she asked me if she needed to tweek it and i was like, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?! translation: no, please don't, why mess with pure perfection?

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i actually had to make this dish twice in as many weeks. the first time turned out great but the camera that had the pix of such greatness was left at a friend's house and i wasn't about to trek 45 minutes to pick up said camera. my solution? to make the dish again, only this time, directing Nuria thru the process. the only change i made was the amount of spiciness and use of peppercorn. that's just a taste preference, everything else, it's all WC.

i've also been inspired by or made few dishes of WC's:



ma po tofu



Today's song: Charlotte Martin, Darkest Hour

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daring Baker's Macaron

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern.

Dear Fellow Daring Bakers,
it was down to the wire for me. i baked these little suckers sunday night, with a wallop of a hang over. add to that mix, not much enthusiasm. i think the reason why i did this challenge so last minute is because i'm not a fan of macarons. i don't even know if i'm pronouncing it properly. is it "mack-a-RON" like the guy's name or "mack-a-roooooon" like how i think it should be pronounced, even tho it is missing an "O". actually. a macaroon is an entirely different sweet. this just proves my point that macarons are the devil.

they did not come out fluffy, more flat than anything and entirely too sweet for my palate. further, i was annoyed as shit when it had two bake temperatures! waiting for temps to go up and down, not my idea of how to nurse a hang over. so my results don't have the cute little feets and bodies that everyone else will, but that's ok.

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till next month, keep those ovens HOT!
Angry Asian
check out what the rest of the daring bakers came up with on the blogroll.

macaron
Ingredients:

Confectioners’ (Icing) sugar: 2 ¼ cups (225 g, 8 oz.)
Almond flour: 2 cups (190 g, 6.7 oz.)
Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons (25 g , .88 oz.)
Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.

2. Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.

3. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.

4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.

5. Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).

6. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.

7. Cool on a rack before filling.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Warm & Fuzzy ~ Lentil Soup

i'm not a naturally warm and fuzzy kind of person. i'm not a bad person but i certainly am not what one would call kind. i'm too practical. and i'm not fishing for compliments or anyone to contradict what i'm saying either. any of my close circle of friends will tell you that i'm not the go-to person for empathy. when i say i'm not naturally like that, that's not to say that i can't be like that. sure, i can do and say all the right things. you just broke up with your boyfriend, i will wail, burn his stuff with you and talk shit about him with you. you need a pick me up, i will be your cheerleader, saying all the right positive things you need and really want to hear. however, when you're sick my first instinct is to haul ass out of the room to avoid contamination. i will wish you luck, tell you to chug some nyquil and call me when you're feeling better. for me when i'm sick, i just want to dig a hole, climb in and wallow alone. i don't like being checked up on, i don't like having to check in, i just want to recover at my leisure, in peace... Alone.

however, i realize not everyone is like me. some people like being coddled, fawned over, taken care of. i get it. when Nuria was feeling under the weather recently, i threw together a lentil soup. apparently it doesn't get too cold in Spain and this schizophrenic changing weather of autumn is wreaking havoc on her system. i did throw in a dash of cayenne pepper, to bring some heat to the soup. whenever i was a sick as a kid, my grandparents would make me rice porridge and load up on the black pepper. used to make me sweat. personally, i didn't love the soup but nuria really dug into it. i'd like to say that i have magic cooking skills, strong enough to cure ailments. cus you know it's not cus of my kindness that is curing her! :)

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Lentil Soup
adapted from Almost Meatless by Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond

1 Tbl olive oil
4 oz bacon
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 small fennel bulb, diced
1 Tbl tomato paste
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of crushed tomatos
1 1/2 cups brown lentils
6 cups of water
1 bay leaf
dash of cayenne pepper
1 Tbl balsamic vinegar

heat up the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. add the bacon and cook till done. remove bacon and set aside. Add the onions, celery, carrots, fennel and salt. adjust the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Add the tomato past, stirring well to coat the vegetables and cook for about 2 minutes to melt the paste. Add the garlic, tomatoes, lentils, bay leaf and water. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and chuck bay leaf.

now, the recipes calls for pureeing, i ix-nayed that part. it's originally a cheesy soup, with the use of parmesan or romano cheese. i wasn't having any of that. i just served the soup as was, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Risotto and Roasted Beets



for this month's beet n squash challenge, hosted by Leela of SheSimmers and Mel Bouchon For Two, i made a simple risotto, using up some leftover arborio rice from a few months ago. i thought of cooking the beets along with the risotto, because really, the damn thing takes forever to cook up. however, beets take forever and then some to soften. plus, the thought of the rice being dyed a pink kinda reddish hue freaked me out. it would've looked kinda human organ-like. just trust me, it's better the way i did it. not that what i did was very revolutionary, i cooked the arborio rice according to package instructions, for the 20some odd minutes, with some white wine and homemade stock. before that, for about 1.5 hours in the oven, the beets were roasting at 350degrees in their aluminum foil. prior to wrapping and then throwing them in the oven tho, i did drizzle a bit of evoo and sprinkled some rosemary and salt on it. you know, treating it like a potato, a bleeding one at that.

risotto and beets



right when the risotto was about done, i unwrapped the beets and cubed them. now, i guess i could've thrown them in with the risotto as i finished up but again, the bleeding thing, turning the pasta/rice red... it's a mental block, i tell you. just couldn't do it. so i used it more as a garnish, rather than an equal.

whatever, it worked. the risotta was still slightly al dente and the beets still had a bite to it. it worked tho, the contrast between the two ingredients.

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it can't be said that this dish really reflects my culture. i didn't grow up with risotto or beets, together or separately. however, in recent times, i've expanded my palate. and the way i decided to cook the beets is definitely indicative of my nature: lazy. i'm serious. i'm lazy by nature, i enjoy cooking yes, but holy shit, if there is a chance to cook lazily but the results come out looking like i slaved over it, i'm in.





Friday, October 16, 2009

Six Minute Chocolate Cake

chocolate cake

i found myself in an awful mood last friday. something about the coming cold weather, early sunset really puts me in a funk. it had been a busy day, needy phone calls, random errands and even tho there was a prospect of happy hour with some friends, the cloud over my head would not dissipate. i remember thinking that i shouldn't be so down, nothing can be that serious that i quite literally want to crawl into bed, pull my comforter over my head and ignore everyone. i also remember feeling bad for being in the dumps. now i know it's ok. i mean, it's been a rough week in general, but i've survived it, with a little help from my friends... and chocolate cake.

later that friday night, after Nuria left for an evening out, i found myself too restless to crochet, too preoccupied to pay attention to anything on tv. so i thought back to the one chocolate cake i remember Shannalee of Food Loves Writing made some time ago. {yes, my elephant memory remembers the most random things, but i think, the most important things...} with just a few ingredients that i always have on hand, the mixing was minimal. even tho i didn't actually dig into it until the next day, for breakfast, the aroma of the cake baking soothed something in me. it took me a few minutes to find the recipe, 6 minutes to mix, and at minute 12 of baking, the smell hit me. the cake came out soft, deliciously tacky, leaving a thin coat on my fingers, giving me cause to lick them, quite enthusiastically i might add. i also threw in a handful of reeses peanut butter chips.

Six Minute Chocolate Cake
from Food Loves Writing, from Carol Cutler’s The Six-Minute Souffle and Other Culinary Delights

1 cup sugar (i used 2/3 cup)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
handful peanut butter chips (optional, it was handy and it tickled my fancy)

2 Tablespoons vinegar (i used just regular)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Select an 8 X 8 X 2 pan or a 9″ round cake pan. Add all ingredients, except the vinegar, to the pan. Stir with a fork or wire whisk until thoroughly blended.

Add vinegar and stir quickly to thoroughly blend in the vinegar, and immediately place in the hot oven. There must be no delay in baking after the vinegar is added.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the center is slightly puffed and the sides begin to pull away from the pan. Cool. Sprinkle top with confectioner’s sugar or frost with chocolate frosting.

Cooking ahead: Six-minute chocolate cake is better if allowed to mellow for a day.

Today's song: Paolo Nutini, Autumn

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Carrot Bread ~ Making Up For Lost Time

i started wearing glasses in the 5th grade. my (step)mother was horrified. i was already gawky and now this would be another blemish on my person, bad eyesight and having to wear wire rims. she got in her head that she would do what she could do to improve my eyesight. by forcing carrot juice down my throat everyday after school.

yes. 8oz of pulverized carrot juice everyday. my feelings for this particular vegetable was rocky, at best. correction. it was more like "fuck you carrots, damn you to Hell", if that is really a feeling and in my case, yes, it's a feeling.

however, recently, i decided to use up some carrots i had in the fridge, not enough for anything and truth be told, not really enough for the bread but somehow i figured i wouldn't be too heartbroken over it. the bread came out moist, fluffy, absolute perfection. Nuria had two slices right out the oven, and i had a slice everyday for breakfast. my eyesight still isn't great, the glasses are gone ... carrots are not going to save this blemish but at least now i can call a truce on the damn things.

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Carrot Bread
adapted from the Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

1.5 cups plus 1.5 Tbl AP flour
1/2 Tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3 large eggs
1/2 cup veggie oil
3/4 cup sugar, actually i put in just under that
2 cups finely grated carrots
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 Tbl cumin

carrot bread

Preheat oven to 350F 20 minutes before baking.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice and cumin. In another bowl, mix together the eggs, oil and sugar until blended. Add the flour mixture and continue stirring/beating just until incorporated. add the carrots and continue mixing.

Scrape the batter into a bread pan (9X5" loaf pan, sprayed with nonstick oil or greased). Bake for about an hour, or until the top is golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. (mine went for about 50 minutes) Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then run a small spatula between the sides of the pan and unmold it onto an oiled wire rack. Wrap the loaf well in plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight to distribute the moisture. If you can't wait till the next day, it's fine, just be sure to allow the bread to cool completely before cutting.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Enduring Friendship - Spiced Pork Loin Roast

*** there will be a giveaway...***

what i find most fascinating about today's technology is that it allows for the most random of people to be in touch. having travelled as much as i did, it's a wonder to me that i'm able to reach out, simply thru facebook, to people i never in a million years thought i would ever talk to again... people i was classmates with in 5th grade, in manila, in an environment where everyone moved every year, in a time when the standard form of cheap communication was writing letters by hand to be mailed (i think stamps were 23cents then!). i have a facebook friend who i knew in 3rd grade, who was friends with my cousin. i have another friend, this one from college, who, while we had a lot of fun working together at a rinky dink bagel shop (sorority girls were our usual target for smack talk) and hanging out at bars, i didn't think our friendship was deep enough to last beyond the time we were actually in school. to be fair, Jessica and i didn't share classes, i lived on campus and she's older than me, so she had a set of her own friends too. Facebook has helped alot in the sense that we know what the other is up to without being intrusive. i haven't seen her in 8 years but like the blue ridge mountains that i loved seeing when driving to and from school, our friendship has endured all this time. and in fact, thru Facebook (or was it myspace?), we found out that we both share a love for Lord the Rings (her dog's named Arwen, how cool is that?!). recently, during some facebook stalking, i found out that she and her husband Curtis have a spice company. naturally, i had to buy something, to show my support and because i just like having different spices in my pantry.

Blue Ridge Blends gives forth custom made spice blends, dry marinades and rubs. um. they even named one after me! don't be jealous. i purchased Saera's Seasoning Salt, because really, i love salt. for me, this is perfect used with my veggies and i have reached for it more when i'm cooking than my kosher salt. i also bought my namesake spice. come on! i had to, i'm way too egotistical not to! the Angry Asian Pork Rub provided a nice kick to the meat, it was not overwhelming, the flavor subtle. i adapted a pork loin recipe around this spice and it turned out lovely.

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now as mentioned at the beginning of the post, this is a giveaway post in support for Jessica's company. All you have to do is visit her site, check out her inventory, leave me a comment with which spice you'd like. i will randomly pick a comment and that person will receive the spice blend in the mail. i will ship anywhere in the world. Deadline Friday, October 16th, at noon EST.

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Pot-Roast Pork
adapted from One Pot Recipes by Linda Doeser

1 Tbl olive oil
2 oz/55g butter
2 lbs boned and rolled pork loin
1 small onion, diced
2 fresh thyme springs
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (recipe calls for 2/3 cup hard cider but i didn't have any)
2/3 cup chicken stock or water
8 celery stalks, chopped
2 large potatoes, rough chopped bite-size
2 Tbl all-purpose flour
2/3 cup heavy cream
enough Angry Asian Pork rub to season loin

take pork loin from fridge and bring up to room temp, about 20-30 minutes. rub the season around, coating it.

heat the oil and half the butter in a heavy bottom pan. add the pork and cover medium heat, turning frequently, for 5-10 minutes, or until browned. transfer to a plate.

add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until softened. add thyme sprigs and return the pork to the pan, with any juices that have collected on the plate. pour in the vinegar and stock, season to taste, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn the pork over and add the celery and potato. Cover the pan and cook for an additional 40 minutes.

***(i did not add this part) meanwhile, make a beurre manie by mashing the remaining butter with the flour in a small bowl. Transfer the pork, potato and celery to a plate with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Remove and throw out the thyme. whisk the beurre manie, a bit at a time, into the simmering cooking liquid. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, then stir in the cream and bring to a boil. Slice the pork and spoon over a little of the sauce over it.

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Today's Song, 16 Frames, Coming Home

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

what is left: Watercress Soup with Cayenne Shrimp

it is weird how the cycles of everyday life changes so much. i used to want to live like a wild bohemian, jet setting around the globe but all the while maintaining a flower child mystique. reality settled in that such a life was not feasible and i thought maybe a Quiet Life would suffice, working day in and day out, holding hands with my Love, laughing with my friends and of course, playing with food to my heart's content. for the most part, that is the life i lead but every so often, the heavens like to remind me that what was left behind can and will pop back up and force me to face it. it's no secret i went thru a very quiet rebellion growing up, silently seething thru 8 years under a strict father's rules and then an additional 4 years of college, away from home but not really because his reach extended that far, despite my efforts to attend an in state college that was 255 miles away.

i wasn't very surprised recently when i received an early morning text from my middle sister pam. she had snuck out of the house, got caught while still out, and refused to go home. it sounded so familiar. the cycle was starting uh-gain, just with a different player. it is tiresome, i'm not even in the thick of things and i'm tired! she won't take my advice to go home, nor will she take my advice to just leave home. so i have nothing left to give her.

kinda like the soup i made recently. my fridge was bare, just the barest minimum of food left, some stuff on the brink of rotting. i had a bag of watercress that i had bought on a lark, for 99cents and never got around to making into a salad. i had a few leftover loose shrimp. so i made soup. the day called for something comforting, something simple, using up leftover ingredients. having used what was left, the meal was creamy with the peppery bite of the watercress and the spicy kick of the cayenne i used in the shrimp. perfection in a bowl, to rejuvenate the one who leads the Quiet Life.

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Watercress Soup with Cayenne Shrimp

a bundle of watercress, washed
1 cup frozen spinach
about 3/4 cup day old cooked rice
left over scallions/green onions, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt/pepper to taste
2-3 cups homemade chicken or veggie stock
a few shrimps, cleaned and de-shelled
cayenne pepper
milk, whatever amount you want to, creaminess being up to you
sour cream (optional)
olive oil

in a pot, heat up some olive oil. when hot, throw in the garlic and scallions, take care not to burn. next add in the watercress, sauteing until wilted thru. finally add in the spinach. heat thru thoroughly. pour in the which ever stock you're using and bring to a boil. this soup can be as thick and creamy as you'd like. at this point, i normally blend, in batches, with my hand blender until smooth. then i add the milk. salt/pepper to taste.

meanwhile, sprinkle some cayenne pepper over cleaned and dried shrimp. amount is up to you but be careful, cayenne is spicy! heat up some olive oil in a small pan and cook up the shrimp, just a few minutes is needed.

to serve, ladle soup into bowls and add a few shrimps. i put in a spoonful of sour cream because the shrimp ended up being far spicier than expected and i needed to mellow it out.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Recipes to Rival: Boeuf Bourguignon

Dear Fellow Recipes to Rivalers,
it's autumn here. as always, i love seeing autumn in pictures but i don't necessarily like being in the midst of autumn. i waited till the last possible day to make my pot of boeuf bourguignon, it was warm in the early part of the month and i wanted there to be a chill in the air while the beef simmered in the wine sauce. alas, the day before BB-Day, it was wet and dreary. the day off tho, it warmed up considerably, allowing for a lovely leisurely stroll thru Mt. Vernon during a weekend long book fair. figures.

autumn



i have a few confessions to make. 1. i can't say that i am a Julia Child fan. i thought her speech was weird and as a kid, had i stood next to her, i honestly would've thought she was a gigantic monster. 2. i do not like red wine so cooking with it is not my idea of good use of my time or good meat that cost me money, as evidenced by my abyssmal attempt back in april with chicken. 3. i thought the movie Julie/Julia was too long, both characters (julie and julia) to be whiny and for the love of god, how in the world did the girl fall asleep while her boeuf bourguignon was in the oven?! (i also did not have the inclination to chug from the bottle of wine as i poured it into my pot.)

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my main thing was that on BB-Day i realized i don't have a casserole pan/pot/dish that can be used on the stove top AND in the oven. i'm just not that kitchen equipped (yet!). further, i wasn't sure how i felt about leaving my oven on while i was traipsing in the city, browsing books and eating funnel cake (that was so yum, btw). my twitter friends said it was ok, especially on low 325, but nuria was freaked out and her freaking out spread to me freaking out and i compromised and put the damn thing in a crockpot. she was still apprehensive but i've left my crockpot on all day before and really, they're designed for that!

coming home a few hours later with arms full of books (btw, bought two cookbooks. nuria and i are determined to make 1 recipe/book/week.), we were not hungry as we had pigged the EFF out on funnel cake. so i let it simmer, completed the mushroom and onions step. put it all together and what do you get? utter deliciousness. damn thing took all day to finish and it tasted like it did. the butter in the mushroom and onions hurt my stomach (i hate being a lactard) but the meat was tender, the sauce was divine (i chose a red from Four Sisters) and i can't complain about how it turned out. Jason liked my Beef in Beer Stew better whereas Nuria liked this better. My account rep at work, Steve, really liked this as well. will i make this again... eh. there are other just as tasty beef stews out there that takes less time to come together. i will say that Julia Child knew her shit.

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Thanks to our hostess Heather of Randomosity and the Girl
Until next time, keep your stove clean and hot!
Angry Asian

Please click on "Read More" for full recipe.

for more boeuf bourguignon, hit the blogroll.


Boeuf Bourguignon
Yield: For 6 people

Ingredients
A 6-ounce chunk of bacon
1 Tb olive oil or cooking oil
3 lbs. lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes (see Notes)
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced onion
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 Tb flour
3 cups of a full-bodied, young red wine such as one of those suggested for serving, or a Chianti
2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon
1 Tb tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
½ tsp thyme
A crumbled bay leaf
The blanched bacon rind
18 to 24 small white onions, brown-braised in stock
1 lb. quartered fresh mushrooms sautéed in butter
Parsley sprigs

Directions
Remove bacon rind and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, ¼ inch thick and 1½ inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1½ quarts of water. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef.

Dry the beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.

In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

Stir in the wine, and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2½ to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.

Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2½ cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.

FOR IMMEDIATE SERVING: Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley.

FOR LATER SERVING: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About I5 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to the simmer, cover, and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.

Notes
Equipment: A 9- to 10-inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep and a slotted spoon

Cuts of Meat for Stewing:

The better the meat, the better the stew. While cheaper and coarser cuts may be used, the following are most recommended. Count on one pound of boneless meat, trimmed of fat, for two people; three if the rest of the menu is large.

First choice: Rump Pot Roast (Pointe de Culotte or Aiguillette de Rumsteck)

Other choices: Chuck Pot Roast (Paleron or Macreuse a Pot-au-feu), Sirloin Tip (Tranche Grasse), Top Round (Tende de Tranche), or Bottom Round (Gîte a la Noix).

Vegetable and Wine Suggestions:

Boiled potatoes are traditionally served with this dish. Buttered noodles or steamed rice may be substituted. If you also wish a green vegetable, buttered peas would be your best choice. Serve with the beef a fairly full-bodied, young red wine, such as Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône, Bordeaux-St. Émilion, or Burgundy.