Friday, November 13, 2009

Anniversary Dinner: Beef stew with shiitake mushrooms and fall salad

Last night was the boyfriend and my 2 year anniversary. Go us! In honor of that, I decided to cook a big dinner. It's been a bit cold and dreary this week, so beef stew seemed like a hearty and comforting option, and a fall salad seemed like a perfect and light seasonal accompaniment.
I looked at several beef stew recipes, and I chose one from epicurious because it got rave reviews and tons of mushrooms and wine in it. Sounded delish to me! The fall salad caught my attention because it had dried cherries in it, which I adore. I adapted both recipes somewhat based on what ingredients I had access to.

I realized too late that what I thought was maple syrup was actually molasses, so instead I used my sugar-free Miss's Butterworth's syrup. Crazy, I know, but the dressing had a great, sweet maple flavor, and hell, I avoided a lot of sugar, so that's not all bad. I think this recipe makes way too much dressing, so next time, I'd halve it. As expected this salad tasted of autumn, and I loved the addition of dried cherries, which are so much more interesting than dried cranberries that are so ubiquitous in salads these days.
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