Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

Monday, November 17, 2008

coca cola beef stew

Sometimes I think I wait the whole year for autumn - my favourite season - just to make autumnal and winter warming food. We love stews, soups and curries in this house. And if we could, we'd have them everyday!

This beef stew is a family favourite - sometimes made with dark Belgian beer, red wine or like yesterday, cola. Using the tougher cut of beef, thoroughly season and brown to consolidate all the flavours and leave to simmer with carrots, celery and leek. Last night we had it with buttery melt in the mouth mashed potato - another autumnal/winter favourite. But today for lunch to make a somewhat lighter meal, served with freshly baked rolls.

Coca cola beef stew


1.3kg stewing beef

1 cup (250ml) coca cola

2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

celery, leek and carrots - chopped

3 garlic - crushed

herbs from the garden - I used thyme, rosemary, bay and oregano

1 tsp chili powder

beef stock or water - enough to cover the beef and vegetable

vegetable oil, butter, salt and pepper


1. IN a pot - I used my Le Creuset - heat some some vegetable oil and butter.

2. Season the beef lightly with salt and black pepper. You can cover the beef in flour if you like but I prefer not to.

3. Brown the beef thoroughly in batches - not crowding the pan.

4. Set the browned beef aside and add coca cola into the potand deglaze. Let boil and add in the Worcestershire sauce. Season and taste.

5. Add in the garlic, chopped vegetables, herbs and chili powder. Let simmer for a minute.

6. Add in the beef. Stir the beef and vegetable together.

7. Add beef stock or water and a bit more cola if you like to cover the beef and vegetable - the amount is depending on the size of your pot.

8. Lower the heat, close the lid and leave to simmer for at least 2 hours or until the meat soften and melting in the mouth.

9. Serve with mash, rolls, more butter and vegetable or salad of your choice.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

the fish had us for dinner...

Part of the plans in Malaysia was to eat as much fish and seafood as possible, since the fresh offerings are of abundance there. We were really indulging ourselves, eating fresh fish and seafood everyday. And a few days before we got back to NL, the fishies turned the table and had us for dinner... or rather our dead skins instead.
If like me, you have been watching Ugly Betty, the idea of having your feet thoroughly cleansed by a fish won't be so alien. It was championed by Wilhelmina Slater, the vicious and ambitious creative Director to nab the ultimate prize, Bradford Meade, who had a bit of a foot fetish. I was quite intrigued by the idea and was truly delighted to get a pamphlet from a kimono clad lady on our way to shop at the Pavillion. I took Nabila on our girls only outing for a 30 minutes fish spa. After having our feet washed, we were ushered to the small fish tank to get acquainted with the treatment. The Qing Qing fish are renowned in China used by bathers to treat skin problems and mainly for very thorough exfoliation. The ones offered in Kuala Lumpur were imported from Turkey.
The school of fish quickly rushed to us, nibbling, sucking, feasting on every centimeter of skin that was submerged under the warm water. Boy they were hungry! And greedy too. And they were not bashful to ravish someone they just met! It was initially ticklish and left us both giggling but after a while, the sensation was getting really sumptuous and a little heady. Nabila who can't stop giggling took both her feet up and was just sitting next to me, having my exfoliation done. I moved to bigger fish after about 15 minutes, the pleasure was more intense and after a while was rather intoxicating. All I can say is the next time, I will go straight to the bigger fish!
We were told that you can't really have it done so often because the fish are only interested in your dead skin. Don't come after a body scrub or pedicure because they won't come after clean feet! The treatment left my feet and legs positively glowing!