Monday, January 29, 2007

Sloppppppppyyyyyy Jooooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

So who remembers the Manwich? It's a tomatoie seasoned loose meat sandwich. Who wants to remember to buy a can of stuff called "Manwich"...sounds like bad, gay porn. With that leaving a horrible visual scar on your brain, I'll get on with the food from Saturday night's dinner.

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 cup of ketchup
1-2T of Worchestire Sauce
8 burger buns (whole wheat if you got 'em)
(3 ingredients, really?) Yes, that's right, 3 main ingredients and the bun for functionality.

Brown meat (7% preferred) add whatever seasoning you like. Some people might actually use peppers and onions, but with young children (who still didn't eat the food) you want to get it as edible as possible. Once meat is brown, add ketchup and worchestire and reduce down to a thick-ish sauce.

Slap it on a bun (cheese too...if you want).......and watch their faces light up with childhood memories of that thing I mentioned at the front of the post....I can't repeat that name anymore.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Weapons of Our Warfare

Hello. I'm Brian, and I'll be guest blogging here occasionally. Since our premise is easy to throw together fare, I thought I'd share a few of the things I consider Kitchen Essentials. Whenever I think of the words, "last minute", "extra guest" and "not enough" in the kitchen, I have a selection of "go to" items that can assist in turning junk in the fridge into edible food.

A selection of various oils and vinegars. Pictured here, Garlic, Red Wine, Basalmic, Spicy and Malt Vinegars. Also, Olive and Aromatic oils. I also try to acquire or create various "infused" olive oils when I can. I guess you can infer from the picture I am partial to the Star brand.

These are my life savers, so I buy them in bulk. Powdered onion, powdered garlic, and a McCormick italian seasoning blend (which contains marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano and basil). The onion and garlic are especially helpful for sneaking flavor into food without tipping off picky eaters.

Knorr Chicken and Tomato Chicken bullion. When it just "needs" something. It's saved many a bland soup or sauce.

Last is a personal preference, but I find an assortment of chile and pepper sauces essential. They are all different. Here, I am out of any Chipotle or Taco Sauces, but I usually keep several brands on hand. Also, in my opinion, Gebhardt is the only real option when it comes to Chili Powder. Nothing else even comes close.

Not that you have to run out and buy all this on your next shopping trip, but I find these items invaluable. They all keep for a pretty long time, so they can be picked up a few here and there, until you build a collection of "little tastes" to add to your favorite recipes or improvisations. Next up is a little soup that is easy and fast that I love to whip up.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Homeade Bolognese Sauce

So last night I tried something that Pascal recited to me one evening.

1/2 onion, diced
2-20 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb of ground beef (I used turkey)
4-6 vine ripened tomatoes (rough chop)
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 package of spaghetti (I used angel hair...I love angel hair)

Heat a pan w/EVOO, put in onion and garlic, soften onions, add meat, brown (salt and pepper to taste), add roughly chopped tomatoes, let it reduce. (You can add some tomato paste if you'd like, I would have had I been in its possession) Sprinkle Parmesan and mix in. Oh, I forgot...prepare pasta according to package. (al dente is best) Depending on how you like to serve it, you can pour the sauce over the pasta or mix the pasta up. I mixed it up because I didn't have enough pasta for a lot....I had to stretch it out a bit


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Breakfast for dinner, anyone? (edited w/recipe)

So last night on my way home, my wife calls me....."what do you want for dinner?"
We're trying not to eat out/take out so I ask, "Do we have any eggs?"
To which my wonderful wife says, "mmmmmmmmm, bacon and eggs!"
We agreed, hang up and then I get another call, "So I'm standing here wondering if I should get this whole wheat pancake mix."
I say, "we can make it at home, I'm sure I have a recipe at home."
So, we agree on that and once I get way into the process (I'll post the recipe tonight), I find out I am missing Baking Soda.......CRAP! They came out way too dense, but if you put enough butter/syrup on them....they're fine.....if you put enough butter/syrup on them, they're fine....(keep saying that...maybe you'll believe it)

Well, at least the bacon and eggs were good.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ (yes, wheat germ....don't worry, it'll be ok)
1 1/2t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1/4t salt
3T butter
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 cup of milk

Mix all dry ingredients first. (whisk, fork, whatever you like to mix with)
in a separate bowl, mix liquids
mix them all together
Pour 1/3 cup at a time on a medium heat skillet (here's the tip I was never aware of) do not let your skillet smoke (not that kind of smoke.....get too hot). The key is a medium heat skillet as to not burn your pancakes.

Serve with syrup or jelly or both! Of course, bacon and eggs go very well. Enjoy!

P.S. We should be hearing from a new contributor soon.....Mr. PlatypiMuse himself, Brian Norwood. He has a table here.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Repeat Offender

We had the Chicken Parmesean again tonight. It turned out great....but I did not use the flour....and it was pretty dang awesome, I must say. My wife said it was really, really good too.

Someone share a recipe!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The unholiest of unholies in the food world: the Casserole

My wife made this amazingly easy and delicious casserole. Yes, I said it..."casserole". It's called an enchilada casserole, and using "enchilada" in its title is a stretch at best.
Wanna know how to make it? Well here you go!
1lb ground beef
1 can of Hungry Jack (or your favorite instant biscuit)
1/2 an onion
1 sm can of enchilada sauce
1 1/2-2 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (your pick of type...usually cheddar and jack)
Now, take the onion cook it until tender, add beef (or turkey) and brown it. Then pour in your enchilada sauce to cover the beef and let that simmer. Turn oven on to 350 degrees (F)
While your meat stews (ha!), open your canned biscuits (wear protective eye covering due to the explosive nature of opening these things...again, "HA!"..I know I'm not funny to anyone but me) and tear into chunks to line a 9"x13" pan , pour saucy meat over biscuits and put in oven for 20 minutes; add cheese. Let this cook for another 10 minutes or so (until cheese is melted and browning) remove from oven and enjoy!
Like I said, this was one of the biggest surprises my wife has brought to the kitchen and it was wonderful. You can dress it up by adding diced green chili's or use some Tapatio hot sauce once it comes out of the oven.
My wife is one of those I can try anything and usually get it right, the first time, type of people. It's one of the many reasons to love her.
Try it and love it, teach your friends that a casserole can be made and still taste great!