Thursday, December 28, 2006


Theme for Weekend Cookbook Challenge # 12: Stew

I'm sure that if anyone stops by this blog, he or she has likely already been by Sara's at i like to cook. It was Sara who masterminded this blog event with the hope that people would pull out their old cookery books and/or actually use their new ones. For me, this has been rewarding because in the quest to fulfill the theme of the monthly Weekend Cookbook Challenges, I have found what has now become a staple at the dining table, Hamam Mahshi bil Burghul (a small bird, such as a poussin, squab, or cornish game hen, stuffed with the aromatic combination of bulgur wheat, raisins, and pine nuts). I don't actually have any old cookery books as I'm relatively new to exploring in the kitchen on a voluntary basis, but I have indeed turned to my collection with delight and have turned out wonderful meals. The last hit seemed to be the Muhammara that I made for the party food theme of last month's Weekend Cookbook Challenge #11, which you can read all about here.

So, this month's theme is stew. The wonderful thing about stews is that they are mostly one-pot-meals. The main differences between stews and braises, for which I have been asked, is that stews consist of lots of pieces of meat that have been submerged in cooking liquid, whereas braises are of one big piece of meat that has cooking liquid reaching but 3/4 or so of the way up it (never submerged). Both techniques yield moist meat, and stews in particular are an appetizing way to use inexpensive cuts of meat (usually of the tendinous and sinewy variety).

Because stews are the pillar of most cultures' winter meals, it should come as no surprise to anyone that stew is the theme of Weekend Cookbook Challenge #12. There are plenty of exciting recipes out there; I'm presently up to my knees in cookery books, deciding on which to make and submit to the Weekend Cookbook Challenge.

Sara and I are aware that it is indeed the holiday season and that most people may not feel like participating. We purposely made the "deadline" early in 2007 to allow people who may want to participate a chance to do so after the delightful though stressful madness of Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and celebrations for the New Year.

Please e-mail your submission to me at kitchenaglow AT yahoo DOT com on or by 5 January 2007.







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