A Recipe Blogger’s Nightmare

WP_20160227_07_43_09_Pro[1]My plan was simple. I was going to write a humorous little post of my addiction to cookbooks. Something in the form of an online intervention.

I took a picture of my cookbook shelf. It could be worse. It used to be much worse, but this is what remains following The Great Cookbook Purging of 2013.

WP_20160227_13_02_37_Pro[1]I spread all the cookbooks on my table, sorted through them, pulled the ones I either used regularly or couldn’t bear to part with (how could I ever leave thee, Betty Crocker’s Boys and Girls Cookbook), and these select few were put back on the shelf.

WP_20160301_09_01_40_Pro[1]That part done, what do I do with the remaining? Most of them were kept for only one or two recipes at best, others I couldn’t remember using but always thought I might.

Finally it hit me, “Hey! I have a blog!”

Click to Jump to Recipe

My plan: Go through the cookbooks, one by one, pull out recipes I like, write about them, donate the books when finished. Not only would I streamline my recipe collection, I could easily get 50 to 70 posts out of it! Eureka!

WP_20160227_13_23_32_Pro[1]First cookbook on the chopping block: “De Grazia and Mexican Cookery” published by Arizona Highways in 1976. Illustrated by De Grazia and written by Rita Davenport.

How this little book came into my possession, I have no idea. I remember having it when Husband and I were newly married and living in a tiny studio apartment. The book has greasy stains from the one and only recipe I ever used from it, Green Chili Burros. One of the suggested serving ideas was to fry them in oil until golden and crispy, which we did because we were young and immortal.

You’d think I’d feel some sort of nostalgia for the book, but I don’t. Guess I’m ruthless that way. Fact is, this cookbook is a sham. Despite its name and sweet illustrations, the recipes are the most gringo offering of Mexican cooking you can find. Some call for Campbell’s soup, a few of them use Velveeta cheese, for crying out loud. How 1976 can you get?

WP_20160227_13_24_43_Pro[1]But the Green Chili Burros we liked, regardless if they were authentic or not. Only thing, I needed some leftover beef to make them. So I went to the store and bought a 3-pound chuck roast, not on sale.

That was my first mistake. We’re talking a $16 hunk of meat here! My frugal nature was offended, but I was determined. And after all, I reasoned, it’s for two meals, right? That’s not so bad.

Second mistake: I didn’t take a picture of the roast after it was cooked. Note to self: Take a picture of everything you cook. You just never know.

Third mistake: I put the roast on a platter and told the family, “Don’t eat all of it. I need leftovers for my blog.”

This is what remained:WP_20160228_18_35_47_Pro[1]

Okay, so if we choose to look on the bright side, my roast was a hit. The family agreed it was moist, tender, and flavorful. But as I said, I didn’t take a picture of it.

Sigh.

But hey, you know what roast beef looks like, right? It looks like a hunk of meat. And this one was a $16 hunk of meat. So imagine that, okay? You got the picture? Good. Here’s the recipe, along with what to do with the leftovers, should you be so lucky.

Moist and Tender Beef Roast, with Green Chili Sauce

  • Servings: Should be 6, might be 3
  • Difficulty: simple
  • Print

For the Roast:

  • 3 pound chuck roast (Yes, it has to be this cut)
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper
  • Herbes de Provence (or herb blend of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup red wine or beef broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered

Season roast with salt, pepper and herbs. Pour wine or broth in bottom of crock pot, add roast, toss the garlic on top. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, switch to low and cook for another hour. Check to see if it’s done to your liking. Mine was, but you can cook it longer, say another hour or so.
Place the roast on a platter and let set for at least five minutes before slicing.
To make gravy: pour the remaining liquid through a mesh strainer into a saucepan. In a small dish, mix a few tablespoons of cornstarch with a few tablespoons of milk. Whisk into saucepan and stir over medium heat until hot and thickened. Serve sliced beef with gravy, mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.

If you have leftover beef

Green Chili Sauce

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

In a saucepan, saute onion with a bit of olive oil until soft. In bowl, mix water (or broth) and flour, whisk to remove all lumps. Add chilies and seasoning, add to saucepan and stir over medium heat until thickened.
At this point you can use it as enchilada sauce, or you can add 2 cups shredded beef, pork or chicken and use as a filling for burritos. Serve with guacamole, cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream, the works! Can’t you just picture it?

Author: C. J. Hartwell

Christi lives in Phoenix with Husband, Son, Daughter, and Dog. She enjoys moonlit walks on the beach, but as she doesn't live anywhere near a beach, she's usually in bed by 9:30.

10 thoughts on “A Recipe Blogger’s Nightmare”

  1. Emergency! Need cookbook purge intel immediately. Wife has 2,012 recipes on her tab (ChefTap) and 10 shelves of print. I’m not going to live long enough to eat all that stuff. Help!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! 10 shelves? Really? I’m impressed!
      Maybe the thing to in this case is to stick a sign out front welcoming people to “Cookbook Emporium – everything must go!”
      Of course, once she sees what you’ve done, you might have to go too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post has greatly inspired me, as I am constantly running into stray, dusty stacks of cookbooks (that I HAD TO HAVE at the time) randomly placed hither and yon in cute little groupings that haven’t been touched since the art installation was completed. I really should conduct my own purge. Then again, at least with me, “greatly inspired” often means “the idea loses its luster once I realize that actual productivity is involved”…

    Liked by 1 person

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