Thursday, March 27, 2008

So, my work schedule has been a mess. No consistency whatsoever. For a couple of weeks, I kept getting these last minute call-ins. I was buying food, then having to go to work and not being able to use everything up. Stuff would go bad and I'd have to throw it away. Grrr! The call-ins still go on throughout the year, but more so than usual this past month. I've been trying to plan meals based on staples I have in the house.

St. Patrick's Day came and I wanted to make stew. I found this recipe in
Robin Robertson's Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker and had almost all of the ingredients. It's called Almost Irish Stew and the only thing I had to buy a green leafy veg.

Again, trying to get some greens into Jim.

I had just picked this up the day before, so it was nice and fresh and green. The regular Swiss Chard looked like it had seen better days, but the red was really vibrant.

The recipe also called for white wine. I was in the mood for red wine with dinner and didn't want to open a big bottle of white just to use half a cup. OK, the recipe called for 1/4 cup, but who's measuring? I have a few small bottles of wine in the house, just for occasions like this. Don't buy cooking wine!! It's horrible stuff. Use a wine that you would drink.

I used this one for the stew. It's decent enough and it won't break the bank. It comes in little bottles (250 ml) that are under $4.

The stew slow cooked all day in the crock pot. The greens were cooked seperately and then added in about 10 minutes before serving.

The original recipe didn't call for any kind of meat alternative, but did say that chunks of seitan could be substituted for the beans. I didn't have any seitan on hand and frankly, was feeling just too lazy to make any, so I fried up some veggie burgers, cubed them and added them in about half an hour before the stew was done. I used the beans too for an extra protein punch.

I didn't even make any soda bread (feeling lazy, remember?) so I opted for these delicious ciabata buns that we make at the bakery. They are crisp on the outside and dense and chewy on the inside. Perfect for stew.

Since the stew had a "light" broth, I went with a light red wine. I really enjoy Pinot Noir. In Ontario, we don't see a whole lot of wines available from BC for some reason. They have a thriving wine industry, but I don't know where all of those bottles go. Certainly not east. This one, from Gray Monk, comes in through Vintages and I usually try to grab a couple. I've had this bottle for over a year and decided to give it a go. It was delicious! The 2006 offering was recently for sale and again, I bought 2 bottles. Wino Will didn't give it a great review, but I'll let it sit for another year and then try it, which I've always done with these wines anyway.
Oh, did Jim like the Swiss chard? Better than the kale, but still not a fan. He ended up leaving most of it on his plate, then when he thought I wasn't looking, gave some of it to Simon. Did Simon like the greens? He LOVED them!


Shawn Powers said...

Yum. :)

Also, I've taken to having a glass of wine almost every night. I should pick your brain for suggestions. Right now, my sophistication ends with, "it doesn't have a screw top."

I used to only like sweet wines, but I've taken a fancy to pretty much any red wine lately. Still don't really like any of that pink or white stuff though. ;)

Anonymous said...

I watch American Idol....David Cook blew me away with the song.I like David A and Michael Johns as well.
Going to be an interesting season!
The stew you made looks delicious..yummm

Ww said...

Glad to see the Gray Monk put down for awhile - could turn out to be a really pleasant light PN... I'd put down a dozen if I could but have to pay my taxes.

Cheers, Ww

Veggie said...

looks like we made the same irish stew for st. patrick's day. i wish i'd cooked the spinach separately too.