Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cheap and easy, warm and wonderful.

this recipe classifies as truly cheap.  but it doesn't taste cheap.  and on a cold rainy day like today, with a loaf of fresh honey wheat bread, it was wonderful.

                          "Lobster" Corn Chowder

  2             strips  bacon -- diced
  1                cup  onion -- diced, 1 large
  1                Cup  celery -- diced
     1/2      teaspoon  red pepper flakes
  2        tablespoons  flour
                        house seasoning
  2               cups  chicken stock
  1                can  evaporated milk
     1/2      teaspoon  thyme
  1                Can  creamed corn
  2               cups  potatoes -- diced
  1            package  imitation crab or lobster (I do kind of pinch it apart so the pieces are more shredded)

Get out the heavy pot and start rendering the bacon!
Add the onion,celery, herbs and spices.  Let it sweat.  Enjoy the wonderful smell in the house.
Stir in the flour to coat everything.  Brown it a bit.
Now the chicken broth, stirring the entire time.  Then add the entire can of evaporated milk and the creamed corn and potatoes. Cover
Simmer, simmer, simmer until the potatoes are soft.
Stir in the fish and bring back to a simmer.

I think you could serve worms on toast if you first started with bacon and onions sauteeing together.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dinner times two

Sunday's pot roast became tonight's steak pie.  With the rain, cold and sleet (yep, sleet) this smells heavenly baking.  Oh, either one smells heavenly.

We had the roast with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans.  The pie was accompanied with a wedge of iceberg lettuce dashed with Blue cheese dressing and Gorgonzola crumbles.

                              Beef Pot Roast

  3             Pounds  chuck roast
  4        tablespoons  flour
  2          teaspoons  house seasoning (equal parts  pepper, onion powder and garlic powder to 2 parts of kosher salt)
  2        tablespoons  canola oil
  1              large  onion -- chopped
  4                     carrots -- chopped
  2             stalks  celery -- chopped
     1/4           cup  tomato paste
  1                can  beef broth
     1/2           cup  red wine
     1/2           cup  red wine vinegar
  1         tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce

Heat oven to 300.
season the meat with the house seasoning then coat with flour
heat canola oil in heavy ditch oven. Add meat and brown thoroughly on all sides
remove meat.  Add onion, carrot and celery to pot.  Cook slowly until onions start to become golden.
Add tomato paste to the pot.  Stir and brown the paste until a film forms on the bottom of the pot
Deglaze with the wine, wine vinegar and beef broth, in that order.
Return the meat to the pot.  Add water to bring the liquid to the top edge of the beef.  Add the Worcestershire.  Adjust the seasonings
Place in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours.
Remove meat.  Sieve the solids from the liquid.  Remove the fat.  Thicken with Wondra flour for gravy.

                                 Beef Pie

                        Beef Pot Roast -- leftovers
  1                cup  peas and carrots, frozen
  2                     potatoes -- peeled and chopped
  1                     ready pie crust

Heat oven to 350
Cook the potato in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Set aside
Chop the beef, thin the leftover gravy with water or beef broth, stir in the carrots and peas, stir in the potato
turn out into a deep dish pie pan
cover with ready-crust.  Spray with cooking spray
Bake 350 for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.  Should be bubbly and golden.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

green tomatoes and jalapenos

Do you know what you get when you puree 3 quarts of green tomatoes with 6 of the atomic jalapenos we grew this year?

Drain cleaner.

This was a failed attempt to make some tomato-jalapeno puree to use in chili this winter.  I was going to freeze it in portions but this stuff would have melted the plastic bag.  It had core melt-down written all over it.  If we had any bugs left in the garden this would have had them packing up and taking the evacuation option.  The small taste I had by dipping my little finger into the slurry has not only seared my mouth but I think my fingernail melted.  Two gin martinis have not erased the heat.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Don't Panic!

We panicked.  Frost was predicted!!  Frost!!  My poor tomatoes! my poor jalapenos!
 my poor okra!

We picked them  Now I have a gallon of green tomatoes and about 1 dozen jalapenos to deal with.

Pickles?  Marmalade?  Relish?

How about chop them up, stuff into freezer bags and throw into chili this winter?  Green tomatoes make a nice substitute for tomatillos in green enchilada sauce and this will be a lot less mess.  But I will have to seed the jalapenos so there is the choking and coughing involved there.

What shall I do?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Dinner

Before starting anything, slice the onions, mushrooms and beef.  Salt and pepper the beef.  Start the water to cook the noodles.  the longest cooking time is the onions, which take about 15 minutes to fully caramelize.  I keep a bowl of onions that are already caramelized with Aleppo pepper in the fridge so I can stir in whatever amount I want in whatever I am cooking at the moment.  They (the onions) are really good in scrambled eggs or egg whites.

I think the beef is good in this but the whole thing with only the mushrooms would also be great. Omit the beef base and use something like Vegemite to get the meatiness.

And the beef is easier to slice thinly if slightly frozen.

                             Beef Stroganoff

Serving Size  : 6 

  1 Pound  sirloin steak, trimmed -- sliced 1/8" thick, against the grain
  8 ounces  mushroom -- sliced
  1 medium  onion -- sliced
  6 tablespoons  butter -- divided
  2 teaspoons  Worcestershire sauce
  1 cup  white wine
  2 tablespoons  beef base -- Knorr brand is good
1/2 cup  water
                        salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon  garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon  Aleppo pepper
  1 teaspoon  Dijon mustard
  1 cup  sour cream
  12 ounces  egg noodles -- cooked and tossed with butter and dill weed

Start the onions in a pan with 3 tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper and Aleppo pepper.  Caramelize then remove.

Toss the sliced beef with salt and pepper.

Add 2 T. butter to pan and quickly sear the beef.  Remove while still rare, leaving juices and butter behind.  Sprinkle the Worcestershire over the beef and set aside.

Add the last tablespoon of butter and the sliced mushrooms.  Start them with a little salt and pepper, then add back the onions.  Cook until the mushrooms are tender and reduced.  Add the garlic powder.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine, then add the beef base, mustard and water.  Bring to a simmer.

Return the beef and all the accumulated juices to the pan.  Bring everything up to a simmer.  Simmer 10 minutes to tenderize the beef.

Just before serving over buttered dill noodles stir in the sour cream and gently heat through.