Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Revisiting the Classics

Sunday was a great day for me.  I added a new friend to the kitchen.  This is a purchase I have saved up a bit for and have been thinking about for a while.  When I watch Food Network I see chef after chef using those pretty enameled dutch ovens and I knew I wanted one.  The are not non stick, but fairly easy to clean.  Because they are not non stick it is easier to build flavors in the pot, reducing the need for other flavorings, including salt.  It is also a gorgeous piece of art in my opinion and can be used for 101 different meals in one pot.  The original crock pot and even more versatile.  I decided to use some stew meat I had in the freezer and some frozen and fresh veggies to make a beef stew.  As simple as a stew is I had never made one completely from scratch.  I was really looking forward to something that hearty, and with as many veggies as I put in I was able fill up more quickly than with the classic meat and potatoes and token carrot stew you can get in a can.  Potatoes are not the best thing for a dieter, so I cut back a bit on those and added some parsnip and more carrot, as well as peas and celery.  Here are a few shots of the cooking process:

First I browned the stew meat.

I then added a beer, some water, and low sodium beef broth.  I braised the stew for about an hour.

Here is the abundance of veggies I put in the pot.  You can also see my kitchen tool of choice.

And here is the stew before going back in the oven for another hour or so.

After adding the frozen veggies I put the pot back in the oven and shut it off.  It was late, so I was cooking for a later date, but here is the finished product:

Here are a few other shots from that evening:

Sleep now my friends...

I am a firm believer of having a really good knife in the kitchen.  These are Calphalon Katana knives in a 7" Santoku and a 6" chef's.  They may not be made by Hatori Hanzo, but they are Japanese steel and razor sharp with great balance.  I was not paying attention the first week I had one and ended up having to wash blood off of the ceiling.  That sharp.

In the kitchen.

The stew was delicious and one large serving was somewhere around 550 calories.  I look forward to using the dutch oven very often.  I saw a recipe for chicken stroganoff on TV the other night that looks like a reasonably healthy version of one of my favorite dishes.

The end of the month is fast approaching and on the 1st I will post an update on the total weight lost over the two months.  See you all then.


  1. Dutch Ovens are so hip right now! I think I want one, too!

    I made some chicken soup the other night but it did not look as good as your stew. Way. To. Go.

  2. Great photos. Where's the other 10% of your body??? :D

    Looking (and sounding - and, I'll bet, SMELLING) good!