Originally Posted by puffin3
Not in any order:
Choose your theme and stick to it.
Keep the advice very simple. Think about who has likely received your book as a gift. And why.
These are your demographic.
Organize your tips alphabetically. I have a Sicilian cookbook which has a clever index. You can find a specific recipe in the index by looking for key words. In some cases the recipe is listed six times under different starting words.
Not to sound condescending but image the reader is very inexperienced and 'dumb'.
"Simple Kitchen Tips For Dummies". Sound familiar? LOL
Lots of excellent 'food porn' quality photos. Fills the book up and a picture is worth a thousand words. Right?
Thanks for all the tips.
Just bought a really good camera and it arrived about 1hr ago.
This is the first recipe that I intend to put in the book.
My daughter asked why a frying pan and a pot are needed.
The image was from my phone and is not properly in focus but it will look much better with the Nikon.
What do you think of the recipe? Easy-intermediate?
Made enough of this for two meals so I'll enjoy it again tomorrow.
I noticed that the focus is not as good on my phone if I don't use the flash.
Beef Potato Carrot And Celery Stew
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 2:10 min - depends on tenderness of the meat.
Total Time: 2:35 min
Serves 4 to 6
1 kg / 2 1/2 lb of beef chuck, cut into 2" cubes
600g / 1 1/4 lb of medium red potatoes, quartered
4 medium carrots, cut into 5cm / 2" pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 5cm / 2" pieces
2 medium onions, cut into 6ths
7-8 whole, peeled tomatoes, lightly crushed
About 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
Beef or vegetable broth
5 cloves of crushed garlic
1 tbsp of tomato paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 sprigs of fresh parsley or two tsp of dried
6 sprigs of fresh thyme - or 3/4 tsp of dried
2 bay leaves
2 to 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
Olive or vegetable oil, for searing
Optional - 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
Season the beef with the salt and pepper and fry in a pot over a medium high heat until brown on all sides.
In a separate pot fry the the onion over medium heat in either olive oil or oil and butter if using until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it's fragrant, about 1 minute more.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring for a minute or so more.
Add the beef with its juices, sprinkle enough flour to lightly coat the top of the meat, and cook stirring for another two to three minutes.
Add enough water or broth to cover about one half of the meat and bring to a simmer.
If using fresh herbs, then tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together with a piece of kitchen twine and add the bundle to the pot.
Or add the dry herbs and the bay leaf.
Season with 2 teaspoons of salt, and some black pepper, to taste.
Cover the pot and simmer for around an hour, checking to see if you need to add more stock or water.
Check the tenderness of the meat, and continue cooking unless it's it's fork soft but not breaking up.
Add the potatoes, carrots, celery and tomatoes, and bring to a simmer.
Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for around an hour more.
Remove the lid and increase the heat until the liquid thickens and the vegetables are tender.
Discard the herb bundle if you used fresh or remove the bay leaf if you used dry.
Stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper, to taste. You will probably need a little more salt because the potatoes will have neutralized any previous salt.
* Extra virgin olive oil burns more easily and is much more expensive. Regular virgin olive oil is fine.
* Many tomatoes can cause a bitter taste, so if the sauce tastes bitter then add a touch of bicarbonate of soda or sugar or both.
* Brining the meat will make it much more tender and cut down cooking time