Archive for the ‘Beef (and anything non-chicken)’ Category

Oven Baked French Fries

November 10, 2009
First of all, let me say “yes, yes, I know…baked fries is an oxymoron!”  But quite a tasty one ;-)
Hamburger IMG_4320

Skillet Hamburger and Oven Baked Fries

Last night was supposed to be Cheesy Chicken and Veggie soup with fresh bread; however, as the afternoon came and went and the sky turned a pretty pink, I had absolutely zero initiative to pull out the cutting board and invest the necessary 20 minutes prep-time needed for the meal.  Besides, it’s been hot and sticky and warm soup just didn’t sound good any more!  So quick change of plans…Hamburger Night!

There are some grill aficionados who would just gag at the idea of pan frying hamburger patties, but to them I say “So what!”  On a Monday night when you just aren’t quite ready to let go of the weekend, there is nothing tastier than a hamburger and fries…go ahead and use your skillet to cook up those patties; it’s a very low-mess, healthy, and fast way to have a juicy hamburger and fries.

While traditional oven fries can be too time intensive for a quick dinner, if you microwave your potatoes first you can cut your baking time in half and have crispy oven potato fries ready in a snap!

Oven Baked French Fries (the fast way!)

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

  1. Scrub potatoes and thinly slice into rounds, wedges, or strips (the thinner the slices the faster and crispier they will cook up.)
  2. Place slices into a microwave safe bowl and cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring half way through.
  3. Remove from microwave just a few minutes before potatoes are completely done; toss with a little butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika.
  4. Bake at 450°F in a single layer on a large cookie sheet for another 10-15 minutes, stirring once, until they are golden and as crispy as you would like them.

    French Fries IMG_4310

    Homemade Oven Fries

Make-ahead BBQ

November 2, 2009

Crock Pot (Slowcooker) BBQAnyone remember that delicious and super easy Skillet Fajitas post?  Well, as I mentioned in there, I have a long-standing bone to pick with large hunks of meat…although I do still loose a few battles now and then, I’m gradually gaining ground.  This recipe was most certainly a moist and mothwatering victory!  

I have a propensity for over cooking and over drying most cuts of meat…mostly because I’m always running late with dinner plans, and try to speed the cooking process along too quickly (resulting in a dry chicken breasts more suited for chucking at an intruder than a moist chicken parmigiana).

Given my history of overcooking perfectly decent cuts of meat, I was determined to make this evenings dinner an exception.  A couple of weeks ago Albertsons had some fabulous looking boneless pork ribs on sale for $3/lb…so being quite thrifty, I stocked up on more than I plan to admit.  My husband loves BBQ ribs, and I really wanted these to turn out well.  Besides, I have a freezer full of them so I’d better figure out how to make them taste good!

The trick to moist meat (BBQ in particular) is very slow cooking at low heat.  “Great,” you say, “but how exactly does this help me make supper, quick?”  Why, the crock pot of course!  It took me all of 10 minutes to toss this into the crock pot yesterday morning; I let it cook all day and it was done in time to put into the fridge last night before bed.  This evening all I did was slice the meat and warm with some extra Worchestire and BBQ sauce, and we had loaded BBQ baked potatoes in almost no time.

Crock pot BBQ 

Total time in kitchen 15 minutes; total cook time 8-10 hours

  1. Grease inside of crockpot (slow cooker)
  2. Layer 1 large onion, chopped and 2 lbs sliced meat (I used boneless pork ribs, but use any cut of meat you like) in crockpot
  3. In small bowl mix 1/4 packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup cola, 3 Tblsp Worchestershire Sauce, 1 small can tomato sauce, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder (or 2 cloves), 1 tsp celery salt (optional)
  4. Pour mixture over meat
  5. Cook on low for 8-9 hours

Meat can be stored in fridge or freezer; when ready to serve, simply slice or shred, mix with a little Worcestershire and BBQ Sauce, and re-heat.

Serve…

  • sliced brisket style with green bean casserole and corn bread
  • chopped/shredded for sloppy Joe’s with a side of oven-potato fries
  • over loaded baked potatoes with grated cheese and a side salad

On the menu tonight…

October 20, 2009

Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Mom's Meatloaf

Mom's Meatloaf

While it does take a while to cook, the actual prep time you will spend in the kitchen is minimal.  It took me about 10 minutes to mix up the meatloaf  and start it baking in the oven, and then another 5 min to scrub the 4 large potatoes we had left, chop them up and set them on the stove to boil in a stockpot.

Left everything to cook itself and went for a nice long bike ride; when we came back there were only 10 minutes left on the meat loaf…plenty of time to drain and mash the potatoes, make a salad of spinach and sliced tomatoes, and set the table.

Total time in the kitchen:    20-30 minutes

~ TIPS ~

  • Use a stand mixer to mix up your meat loaf; it will speed things along!
  • Modify your meatloaf recipe to what you have time for; you don’t always have to use fresh onions and peppers.
  • If you are going to be gone, use your oven timer!  Meatloaf is hard to really overcook so don’t worry about it sitting in a warm over for a little while after the cooking time it up and the oven shuts off.
  • Did you happen to notice I mentioned using a stockpot for my potatoes? I knew I wanted to go out for a bit, and potatoes are notorious for boiling over if the pan is too full or the heat too high; using a pan which you might think way too big for the quantity you have means you won’t have to keep an eye on them to prevent boil-over-mess-cleanup!
  • Leave the skins on your potatoes; this adds extra nutrients, saves you time, and actually tastes great!

~ RECIPES ~

Mom’s Meatloaf (if you don’t already have a favorite meatloaf recipe, this one is delicious!)

  1. In a large bowl or stand mixer, thoroughly mix 3/4 – 1 lb. lean ground beef (uncooked), one 8 oz can diced or stewed tomatoes or tomato sauce, 1 small can mushrooms, 2 Tblsp Worcestershire Sauce, 1 sleeve crushed white crackers, 1 egg, 1/4 cup milk or less, 1/4 cup dried onion, oregano to taste.
  2. Spread in square baking dish and top with a thin layer of katsup
  3. Bake for 1 hour at 350

Mashed Potatoes (for anyone who has been using instant for so long they have forgotten ;-))

Homemade is always best!

Homemade is always best!

  1. Scrub potatoes under cold water to remove any dirt; peal if desired.
  2. Chop potatoes (the smaller the pieces the faster they cook) and place in a large pot.
  3. Add enough water to cover potatoes by at least an inch.  Make sure water level is at least 2-3 inches from top of pan or you will have a hard time keeping them from boiling over.
  4. Boil for 20-40 minutes; cook time depends on size of potatoes and quantity.  Test with a fork:  potatoes are ready when they are tender and break apart easy.
  5. Drain and return to pot.
  6. Add butter, salt, milk and seasoning to taste (seasoning ideas: sour cream, garlic, ranch dressing, dill, rosemary, grated cheddar cheese)
  7. Mash or use a hand-held electric mixer

20-Minute Fajitas

October 14, 2009

This recipe (or cooking tip you could call it) was born out of necesity…I both needed to use up some leftover steak and also had some bell peppers which were looking far too sad to use in a salad.

First, an admission:  I am steak-challenged.  Leave me alone with a perfectly good steak and a grill, and I can find a way to ruin it, despite my best efforts and a number of resources on the subject.  So, after grilling yet another batch of over-cooked sirloin I was determined to find a way to use the leftover meat and not let it go to waste.  Fajitas!

Made these again tonight for dinner and yummmmm…they always taste so good!  I started everything late this afternoon and left it sitting on the stove while we ran errands; when we got back it took 2 minutes to turn the stove back on to heat it up again, toss the tortillas in the toaster to warm, open a can of corn, and set out the  grated cheese and sour cream.

Here ya go…

DaisyLou’s Skillet Fajitas

Yield:  about 4 large servings (two tortillas each) / Time in the kitchen: 20-30 minutes from start to dinner-on-the table finish depending on whether you use cooked or uncooked meat.

  • Onion, chopped into strips – about 1 large onion, or more to taste
  • Bell Pepper (green or red) – about 1 large pepper, or more to taste
  • Seasoning – Fajita Seasoning, Salt/Pepper/Garlic Powder, and a little Tony Chacheras Creole Seasoning
  • About 1.5 lb chicken and/or beef, already cooked and sliced no thicker than 1/4 inch strips (slice against the grain to make meat more tender)
  • 1 package of Lipton/Knorr Rice Sides– Taco, Mexican Rice or Dirty Rice are my favorite to go with fajitas
Knorr Rice Sides make a fast side to go with your Fajitas

Step 1 - Start Rice

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Step 3 - Add Meat

Saute Onions and Peppers

Step 2 - Saute Veggies

Start your rice and cook according to package directions.

In a large skillet, saute chopped onion in some oil over med/med-high heat just until it begins to turn opaque; toss in the chopped pepper and continue to saute for a couple minutes more until onions begin to brown slightly and peppers start to soften.

Add in cooked, sliced meat (and a couple pats of butter), sprinkle with seasoning to taste, and continue sauteing until meat is heated through and slightly browned  and veggies are as soft as you would like them.

Serve with warm tortillas, rice and your favorite sides…grated cheese, sour cream, corn, black beans, guacamole.

You’ll just have to imagine what they looked like, all wrapped up in warm tortillas with rice, cheese, sour cream and looking quite delish…they just tasted so good we ate them all before I remembered to take a picture!  Darn, I’ll just have to make them again :-))

Tips:

  1. Adding extra onion and pepper is a great way to stretch your meat and make it go further!
  2. If you don’t have meat already cooked, you can start with raw meat (chicken, steak, stew meat, etc)…slice into thin, 1/8 to 1/4 inch strips, season and cook first in your skillet with a little oil or butter, adding in onion and pepper when meat is almost done.
  3. If you have a counter-top grill (such as a George Foreman) do this…after you start your rice, go ahead and toss your meat on the grill to start cooking; then saute your onions and peppers, and by the time they are ready (about 10 min) your meat will be cooked through and you can slice it up and add it to the onion/pepper mix.
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