That being said, I have a repertoire of dishes that I know how to make well. The thing is, it's quite a small repertoire, and sometimes, I find myself looking for something new to make.
Enter the Wholesome Beef Stew recipe from "Healthy Cooking for Happy Kids", a cookbook specially made for moms who want to serve their kids healthier food without too much of a hassle. Technically there are no kids in my house, but sometimes it feels like...
Since we love caldereta - the Filipino version of beef stew - I decided to give this recipe a try.
The ingredients seemed simple enough, so I made a list and headed off to the supermarket to get things together.
To be honest, this was the first time I actually followed a recipe in ages, and it was kind of a big deal for me, so I was rather OC about it. As it turns out, it wasn't hard at all!
Wholesome Beef Stew
Here's the meat bubbling away in the crushed tomato-tomato paste combo.
And, the final product:
The verdictNot to brag, but the beef stew was awesome! It definitely does not taste anything like the traditional caldereta we Filipinos are used to, but the different flavor of this stew is something you'll find yourself craving for just as much.
I think it's the mixture of the celery, basil, and bay leaves that made a whole lot of difference, and while I could have cooked the dish much longer (an hour longer at least), the beef was tender enough. The fresh shiitake mushrooms also added a texture that was very much welcome.
Needless to say, I know I will be making this dish again. Maybe after a few more tries, I won't have to keep checking the recipe every minute to make sure I am doing things right.
The cookbookAs I mentioned earlier, I got this recipe from "Healthy Cooking for Happy Kids". Don't be turned off by the title if you are not a parent, though, as there is a whole bunch of interesting and potential (positive) bombshells of a recipe in the book.
If "my" Wholesome Beef Stew is any indication, I'll be adding more recipes in my repertoire in the next months.
Check out "Healthy Cooking for Happy Kids", and when you visit NBS or Fully Booked next, look for it - you can thank me when you find that dish that your kids (or kids at heart) will praise you for.