This is a list of recipes that go with the list Top 10 Tips for Great Home-Cooking.
Recipe 1 – Yummy Cheap Chops
Trim most, not all of the outside fat from some cheap pork butt chops. Don’t worry about the rest of the fat, you need it. Place the pork chops on a rack in a pan, and sprinkle with Lipton dry onion soup mix. (only 1 side, and not too much, 1pkg = 6 or 8 chops). Slow roast around 275 to 300 degrees ‘till the fat disappears and the meat gets nicely browned; an hour or two depending on thickness. Serve with scalloped or mashed potatoes and veg.
Recipe 2 – Stuffed Peppers
Core and deseed a bunch of green peppers. Mix 2 parts raw lean ground beef, 1 part cooked long grain rice (or uncooked disgusting minute rice), some chopped onion, minced garlic, pinch of dry mustard, dash or two of worcestechire sauce. Stuff the meat mixture into peppers. Put stuffed peppers in a deep covered casserole dish. Pour a can or 2 of Campbell’s Tomato Soup(undiluted) over peppers, (about ½ to 2/3 up sides of peppers), cover and microwave on med-hi till done…20 to 40 minutes depending on quantity. Serve with salad and crusty bread.
Recipe 3 – Quick Beef Stroganoff
Cut sirloin or other decent hunk of beef into thin strips. Heat the pan ‘till just shy of smoking, and brown in small batches with a little oil. While the meat is browning slice a bunch of mushrooms (or buy sliced), a large onion, mince some garlic. As soon as the last batch of meat is done throw in a little oil, the mushrooms, the onions and garlic. As soon as the mushrooms lose their liquid, turn the pan down to medium, add a pinch of thyme, a couple tablespoons of flour, and stir for a few minutes, (all the chunky bits are comin’ off the pan now). Return the meat to the pan and add a couple cups of beef stock and 1 tbsp tomato paste. Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes. Before serving remove from heat and stir in a ¼ cup or so of sour cream. Serve over noodles with salad.
Recipe 4 – Cheese Sauce (cheatin’ and real)
Melt butter or margarine in small pot, add ½ of the flour, stir, and cook on med for 4 or 5 minutes. (it will kind of foam). While this is cooking, grate old cheddar or Swiss or gruyere and toss it with balance of flour. Add milk to flour/fat mixture (roux). Whisk briskly ‘till it comes to a boil and thickens. Turn heat to low, stir in cheese, a grind or 2 of pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Cheatin’ sauce- use all the flour with the butter, skip the nutmeg and use cheese whiz instead of real cheese. (This is tasty and doesn’t coat the teeth like that gross cheese that comes with nachos)
Recipe 5 – Scalloped Potatoes
Measure the capacity of the pan you’re going to use first. Butter the pan liberally. Alternate layers of thin sliced potatoes and onions, add old cheddar if you want au gratin. Season each layer with salt and pepper. Make enough white sauce to fill the pan and cover the taters. Bake at 325 to 350 for about 1 to 2 hours, depending on how deep the pan is. (You can speed up the process by blanching the potatoes.)
Recipe 6 – Good Pasta and Pesto
Cook up enough spaghettini to serve 4. When the pasta is done, heat up some olive oil and a bit of butter/margarine in a frying pan over medium heat, add ½ to 1 teaspoon of pesto, 1 clove of minced garlic and the drained noodles. Toss it around a bit and throw in a handful of parmesan cheese and a few grinds of pepper. I defy anyone to tell me that this is not better tasting, and better for you than any noodle ‘n sauce package.
Recipe 7 – Awesome Marinade
Mix equal parts dark soy, pineapple juice, brown sugar (ok to sub honey or white sugar but use less of the refined stuff), 4 to 6 cloves of minced garlic, and a tablespoon or 2 of vinegar. Soak cubes of tough beef (eye of round) overnight, tender cuts or pork about 4 hours in the fridge, 2 hours on the counter, cubed chicken takes a couple hours in the fridge. I either do cubes alternated with peppers, onion, pineapple or just meat strips threaded back and forth on smaller skewers for appetizers/snacks. B-B-Q is best, but the broiler works too.(don’t overcook, it’s half cooked from the marinade) Use the same marinade but reduce the sugar a bit, and the chicken for chicken fried rice is to die for.
Recipe 8 – Damn Fine Bread Pudding
Measure the capacity of the pan you are using first and grease it liberally with butter. Butter up a bunch of old hamburger/hot dog buns, bread heels, whatever you have just this side of moldy. Tear or cut into cubes, sprinkle with cinnamon. Throw in a handful of chopped dried apricots (acid) that you have dusted with flour (stops them sinking and sticking together) and a handful of raisins. Toss it all in the baking dish. Now make enough custard to fill the pan and sweeten with a ton of sugar. Take a chance, taste the egg mixture, it should be about as sweet as a McDonald’s© milkshake. Add a teaspoon of vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes/fruit and let it sit in the fridge a couple of hours or so to soak up all the liquid. Bake at 325 or so for about an hour, check it, it puffs up over the edges of the pan and browns so nicely.
This recipe is excellent made with day old donuts; don’t butter, but add a bit of salt to the custard and omit most of the sugar and the raisins.
Recipe 9 – Main Course Bread Pudding
Toss buttered bread cubes with a cup or 2 of sharp flavored cheese, a bunch of left-over ham, some chopped onion, and a cup or 2 of cooked broccoli/asparagus. Season the custard with pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. A dash of hot sauce is good too! Serve warm or cold. We have it with salad for a summer supper but it works well on a brunch buffet as well.
Recipe 10 – Beef n’ Barley Soup
Brown beef seasoned with a bit of thyme in soup pot. Add onions, celery, carrot, and sauté till veggies are soft. (These will not be removed so nice chop.) Add water, reduce by a third, skim. Add a few shakes of Worcestershire or a tablespoon of tomato paste and the beef stock. Return to the boil, add ½ cup or so of barley and medium boil for an hour or until the barley is done. Skim again; add the veggies and one fine cubed potato. Cook ‘till potato is done and adjust seasoning.
Bonus Recipe 1: Mom’s Spaghetti Sauce
Brown 1 or 2 lbs of ground beef in large sauce pot. Drain most of the fat, reduce heat to medium and throw in 1 or 2 diced green peppers, 1 large onion, 2 stalks of celery, 5 or 6 cloves of minced garlic and one small grated carrot. Crush a heaping tablespoon or so of Italian seasoning (buy prepared or make your own, but go easy on the rosemary) in the palm of your hand and add to the pot along with a few grinds of pepper and a bay leaf. If you want spicy sauce add one or 2 chopped Jalapenos. Sauté a bit more and add 3 cans of canned diced or whole tomatoes, 1 can prepared plain tomato sauce, and 1 can (the little one) of tomato paste, and a ½ tsp of salt.
Simmer down for an hour or three. Feel free to add mushrooms, I do, but pan fry them first on high heat to remove the liquid and improve the flavor/texture. Adjust the seasoning; you will need to add salt if the tomatoes are of the low salt variety.
To make chili, omit the Italian seasoning, double the green peppers, add kidney beans, a pinch of cumin, and 2 or 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobe sauce. I prefer the flavor of the adobe peppers, far superior to chili powder. We serve it with grated cheddar and a dollop of sour cream.
Bonus Recipe 2: Shobha’s West Indian Curried Chicken
Shobha is a girl from Trinidad with whom I worked with years ago, she gave me this recipe and a few more. They add geezly hot little red peppers, but I find the curry hot enough on its’ own. Even folks who don’t generally like curry, like this. I warn you, your house will stink for 2 or 3 days, so I usually make it in the spring or fall when you can still open the windows.
Skin and pick the fat from a bunch of thighs and legs. This is stewed so don’t use white meat, it is too dry. Soak the chicken in cold water mixed with a quarter to a half a cup of white vinegar in the fridge for an hour or so. Drain the water/vinegar mix along with the gross floating fat globules. DO NOT RINSE. Sprinkle the chicken liberally with poultry seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Let it sit for at least half an hour.
Heat up the stew pot to almost smoking and saute a chopped onion and a bunch of garlic in a little oil. Stir a minute and add a tablespoon or two of good curry powder. (Chetty’s is recommended). Toast for a second, the curry will foam up and smell amazing, and add the chicken. Brown the chicken very well in the curry; it will almost form a crust. If you want it really hot, add one of those deadly little red peppers at this point. Add water to double the height of the meat. Cook on medium until the sauce reduces by at least half. It will thicken on it own due to the collagen in the chicken bones. Serve over rice with a tomato and onion salad.
Recipes Contributed by Mom424