Thursday, December 27, 2007

Quickie Shepherd's Pie

Merry Seasonal Festivities everyone!
Our holiday was full of family and food and fun... we're still riding out the aftermath. So in the spirit of post christmas appetite, here's something that doesn't even remotely resemble Turkey, Fruitcake, or eggnog.

Total prep/cook time under an hour! Whee!

You'll need
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 3+ medium potatoes
  • Margarine/butter
  • sour cream/milk
Peel (or don't peel) and cut potatoes. Add to salted water and boil until ready to mash (they'll fall apart when you stick a fork in). Meanwhile, brown 1lb ground beef in pan, cook thoroughly and drain excess grease. Mix together 1 can mushroom soup with 1/4 cup of milk, (water will do in a pinch) pour over ground beef. Salt and pepper to taste, add Worcestershire and soy-a dash each. Add vegetables and cover with lid. Simmer on low heat until vegetables are tender. Drain and mash potatoes, adding butter and or sour cream to taste.

Top your fluffy yummy mashed taters with your tasty saucy meat mix. This can also be served over rice (the littlest mouth prefers rice to potatoes) or even pasta. Top with Ketchup (if you must), bbq sauce, ranch dressing, sour cream... whatever floats your boat.

The meat sauce freezes well, so if you're ambitious and find this particularly tasty, you can make more and freeze it for convenient meals.

This might just be my last post of 2007! if that's the case, Happy New Year Everyone, and plan a safe ride home!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Roast n' toast (more of that 'man food')

Yup, that's what it is. Roast beef, on toast.

The best part about this particular dinner is that at 3 pm, I had no Idea what I was gonna make, so I took a 5lb beef roast out of the freezer and it was ready to eat by 7.

To make this magic, you will need

  • A frozen beef roast (anywhere from 3-6 lbs). (I really don't recommend pork for this, because 'slight underdone-ness' may be an issue)
  • A slow cooker with "High" setting (4 hours)
  • Beef soup base.
  • 1 onion
  • 3+ cloves garlic
  • Gravy mix (or cornstarch)
  • Pepper & Salt to taste.
  • Whole wheat bread.
Take your frozen roast out of it's wrapper, plunk it in the crock pot. Add the garlic and onion (cut the onion in quarters), Salt and Pepper, and prepare 2-3 cups of beef soup base according to package directions, use hot water. Add the hot soup base to pot, put the lid on and go away for 4 hours.

When you come back, your roast will be done. Remove from cooker, and using a regular saucepan and some of the liquid from the cooker prepare gravy mix (according to package instr.) or add 3-4 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch to 1/2 cup of COLD water. Heat the liquid from the cooker in a pot to simmering, and slowly pour in the cornstarch mix- stirring constantly. Continue heating until thickened, and season to taste.

Toast up some bread (rye bread is really good for this) and slap on some sliced roast and spoon on the gravy. mmmmm.

Oh, and you might want to eat a carrot or something. lol

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Home Renovations

Maybe I mentioned it, maybe not, but we've been overrun by home improvement projects... You all saw the new appliances :) well, that was only the beginning... The lighting has been changed from fluorescent light box to halogen pots (my last post was done at great risk to my person, there were wires hanging from the ceiling and one bare bulb dangling from above the sink to light my way... what a thrill!), which DO look very nice... I'm sure I will come to appreciate them more when we have A FLOOR!!! Yeah! No floor!. That came up a few days ago, linoleum out of the kitchen and crappy laminate from the living room. There was a bit of suspense as the tile was supposed to be delivered Saturday before noon, and didn't show until Tuesday at 11:30... grr. I know it will look nice when it is all done. but it is horrendously frustrating to be displaced like this with the kid and the dog (hubby is thankfully out of town for a week), and still work and school to get to. Yes. A total pain in the ass.

Anyway, here are the few pics i thought to take of the event...
The first one was where I realised that this was all going to be a very, very big deal. Really, it hadn't occurred to me the entire time we were picking out the tile, not when we were pulling the appliances out, not even when we had no table to put our pizza on. This, this right here was the moment I decided that if I was going to cry, now was the time, and I better get it out of my system already, because this was going to be a big deal.

Here we have the heating cable started. This stuff is a SERIOUS pain in the butt. It's picky, particular, and somewhat fragile. It's also stupid-expensive, but means we can do away with the baseboard heat, and no cold floors in the morning! YAY. There are other less labor intensive versions (they come in mats that you can roll out and cut), but they're about 2-3 times the price. So the hubby brought home the knee pads (tee hee) and got to it.

This last shot is at about 11 pm. The end of an extremely long 2 days of furniture moving, demolition, prep work and of course, bickering. Mmm, beer.

We appreciate your patience while we make changes in order to feed you better.

lol. There'll be a new post soon. A food post. Promise.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

On Fat, and Other Necessary Evils

You may have noticed, there is no tofu in my cooking. Nor is there likely to ever be any tofu. I've tried it, and it's nasty. It seems that no matter what one does to the stuff, it insists on having the consistency of crumbled erasers, and the vague taste of styrofoam. We eat enough soy indirectly to keep the industry running even without Toe Fue; think about it, what do chickens eat now? pigs and cows? what do we cook with? it's all soy based! ALL OF IT! gah. ok. I'm done with that...

Fat.Oh, did you know that tofu has more fat per serving than a porkchop?

Some fat is required in a diet. It is what makes meat taste so good. It assists the digestive process. It makes your brain work properly, and your joints move smoothly. It's alot easier to choke down a little fat on the edge of a steak now and then than it is to gulp fish oil supplements! So don't be a sissy! Just EAT!

The overall quality of diet in my house sucks. I've told you before that 4 nights out of 7 I have to rush to get dinner on the table. Sometimes that means I give convenience a place ahead of wholesomeness. Minute rice, for example, is something we eat more than we should. Canned condensed soups are also not the best thing- they contain more than 3/4 the reccomended daily intake per serving of sodium, and they're processed to smithereens. Cheese Whiz, and processed cheese slices; yes they are disgusting, full of salt, and empty of nutrition... BUT what I'm trying to say here is that when used in moderation, and to make the "yucky healthy" crap more palatable- WHO CARES! My 4 year old will eat ANYTHING if I give him ketchup on it. I mean ANYTHING. Brussels Sprouts. Fish. Liver. Whatever I want him to eat, goes down quite nicely with some tomato snot. My 35 year old, will eat his veggies with or without cheese, but he sure makes fewer faces about it when his broccoli is basted in molten cheese-like stuff. In the end, if it gets them eating, all's fair in love and cooking.

The moral of the story is- The devil is in your kitchen, keeping the scurvy at bay. Give the man a hand!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Chicken and Rice...

This was one of those nights that I made it in the door with less than an hour to plan and prepare a dinner... basically I do this about 4 nights out of 7... Sure I could be more organized, but that takes time too!

* Quick tip on getting the clutter out of your house- Get someone who you know and trust- who knows you fairly well- have them over to your house on a Saturday. Give them a box of trash bags and tell them to toss everything that they think you don't need. You MUST leave the house while they do this. Tell them to take the bags away when they are done, so you are not tempted to go digging through them to "rescue" your crap. Remember- it's ALL CRAP! LET IT GO.
You will more than likely never guess what they threw out, and you will have so much less clutter!

Ok. Back to dinner...

You will need-
  • 1 lb chicken breast- boneless, skinless (or one per person)
  • Honey Garlic BBQ sauce
  • Garlic powder
  • pepper
  • Minute Rice
  • Mixed vegetables

Heat oven to 375 degrees, line baking sheet in foil BECAUSE WE HATE CLEANING, place chicken face down on sheet, sprinkle liberally with garlic powder and pepper. Turn right side up, make several shallow (1/4'') slices lengthwise (that's ALONG the "grain") into the meat and baste liberally with BBQ sauce (remember we didn't have time to marinate the meat, so this will help get the flavor in while it's cooking). Stick it in the hot oven on the middle rack and go do something for 20 minutes.
Ok, now that you're back, get your medium sized pot (one with a lid that fits, OR you can use a dinner plate to cover the pot if need be)... Basically you will prepare the rice according to the directions on the box PLUS add 1 cup of mixed- frozen veggies to the water. Bring the water and veggies to a rolling boil, add the rice, slap the lid on and remove from heat. 5 Minutes later you will have rice and veggies! YAY

Assuming that took altogether another 10 minutes, you can pull the chicken out and cut into it. If it's white all through and the juices are clear (not pink) then you have Chicken! YAY! If you're not so sure about the done-ness, kill it for another 10-15 minutes.

TADA! My hubby thinks rice is for sissys and chicken is for girls (I'm paraphrasing here) So I asked him to rate it on a 1-10 scale. 1 being "Rancid Pork Fat" (I'll tell you about that some other time) and 10 being "Prime Rib"... He actually gave it a 6! Really! Coming from the Neanderthal, that's fairly decent! He even had 2nds of the rice.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Requests and Suggestions Welcome!

We at the Hillbilly Grill are always open to ideas for posts, and other comments and suggestions.
Remember the main Idea is "Regular Food For Regular Folk"... Something we can all do without having to go out of our way (or our budgets) to make simple and tasty food.

Now, I know everyone is starting from their own individual levels of ability, and from their own tastes and resources... so if there's ever anything you need explained in more detail, or you are wondering how/ whether you can substitute something, just e-mail me and ask. I'll be happy to help.

When all else fails, eat toast.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Pork Tenderloin and Taters... (ok, veggies too)

Dad's comin for dinner tonight, and he is one of my favourite people to feed :)
He eats it and tells me it is good even when it isn't, but when it is he really goo's about it, which makes me happy.

You will need

  • 2lb pork tenderloin (they come in vac-packs of 2 where i buy them, and they're about a pound apeice)

  • 1 medium potato per person (tonight that's 3 plus the kid)

  • 1.5 lbs of veggies, like broccoli- approx 1 cup per person

  • Olive oil

  • Coarse pepper

  • Coarse salt

  • Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1 med onion

  • AT LEAST 3 cloves of garlic (I will use more, and still hold back so my hubby will eat it...)

  • Flour/corn starch

  • boullion cubes (beef is nicer for this) OR use packaged gravy mix. WHATEVER YOU LIKE, roast gravy, mushroom gravy, Au Jus... your fave is fine

  • More pepper

  • Soy Sauce

  • Worcestershire

  • 3 cups water

Start by peeling and cutting your potatos. They will actually take longer than the meat in this case! Get them rinsed and in a pot just covering them with salted water.

Trim your tenderloins- you will need a sharp knife- ideally you will be trimming away the whitish bands of tough tendon you can see along one side, without hacking the rest to bits. This takes practice, but fear not, it will still taste wonderful NO MATTER what it looks like.

Start the potatoes.

Dice the garlic and half the onion, add to roasting pan with 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp coarse pepper, 1/2 tsp salt. Mix together and put tenderloins in, turning to coat with seasonings and RUB IT IN. Leave to sit for 10 minutes or so, at least until the oven is preheated to 425 degrees.

start the vegetables.

Cook covered for first 10 minutes, then remove lid from roaster. Total cook time should be about 30 minutes, or until internal temp reaches 160 degrees. When done, remove from roaster to platter, and put the roaster on the stovetop at medium heat. Pour in your water, boullion, tbsp soy sauce, tbsp worcestershire. When it's boiling, in another cup stir together 3 tbsp flour (or cornstarch) with COLD water. Add slowly while stirring to boiling pan. If you get lumps, don't panic- you can pour the works thru a strainer (thanks Mom, you're my hero).

Get the gravy good and thick, and if you used flour make sure the "floury" taste is cooked out... if you used cornstarch, don't cook it too long, it makes a gel-ly texture if it goes too long.

Mash potatos with butter, milk and a blob of sour cream... drain and season the veggies... slice tenderloin on a diagonal to maximize texture... serve with gravy-mmmmmmm....

This is quick, simple and neat thing to "whip up" when the in-laws are coming. It is also fairly inexpensive, low in fat and modifiable to what else you have in the cupboards.

As you can see, Dad enjoyed!

Monday, October 29, 2007

A few of my favorite things...

No packages tied in string, but I thought I'd share some of my likes with everyone... in the food category that is...

To Drink-
  • Coffee. Always coffee. In it I like cream and sugar, sometimes I like Carolan's (Like Baileys but not as sweet and not as expensive), sometimes I like rye.
  • Tea. Earl Grey, Red Rose, Orange Spice and homemade Chai (One of these days I'll post Saravjeet's recipe for that... mmmmm.) I'm not big on all those sissy greens and whites though, they taste kinda like piss to me- at least how I think piss would taste if I ever had to taste it, which I hope I never do.
  • Water is good too
  • Beer
  • Carolan's and milk... mmmmmmm... I could drink that by the gallon.
  • Eggnog- I would give up food for chicken-milk, oh yeah, the chicken-milk!
To Eat-
  • Rice
  • Fish
  • Broccoli
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cheerios
  • Ritz Crackers with cream cheese
  • Cheese- I like cheddar, mozza, gouda, havarti, provolone, jack, oh I like pretty much any cheese, hard or soft- except any kind with the emmental process... makes me throw up.
  • Pie
  • Chicken
  • Since red meat doesn't agree with me, I generally avoid it, but I can put away my share of prime rib if it's there!
  • My ultimate weakness is CAKE. Yes, it is Kryptonite. I cannot resist it. mmmmm CAAAAKe......
Oh there's alot of stuff that I eat, and a surprising number of those things are things I didn't enjoy anyway. It's no wonder so many people are fat these days- we're programmed to stuff ourselves whether we're hungry or not- hmm, I guess we might have to explore that further sometime!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pork Chops and Perogies

Tonight's dinner... this is a 45 minutes meal... takes approximately 5-10 minutes of prep (assuming you can find what you need in the kitchen) and about 30-35 minutes to cook. Notice there are no vegetables... My hubby hates vegetables, although he will eat pretty much whatever I put in front of him, sometimes I just can't be bothered.

You will need
  • 4 medium sized boneless chops (1/2'' thick 3 '' across)
  • 1 pkg shake& bake (whatever flavor you like)
  • 15 Perogies (cheemo brand is best, you can throw them into the pan frozen)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • toppings of choice (Hubby likes bbq sauce and sour cream)
Heat your oven to 375 degrees, While oven is warming line baking sheet with foil BECAUSE WE HATE CLEANING! Coat both sides of chops with shake-n-bake (use a bag or pour the stuff on a plate) arrange on baking sheet and place on center rack in oven.

Look at the time- you will start the perogies in 20 minutes...

In a regular frying pan, heat 2 tbsp cooking oil and put perogies in... only do as many as will lay flat in the pan, they'll cook more evenly this way. The pan should be just under medium heat- enough to cook them through without burning the outsides. Turn perogies when they begin to brown.

Grate cheese and make ready your condiments.

At the 30 minute mark, check the chops; the coating should be crisping and the juices bubbling underneath. Cut into one, they should be somewhat juicy, but the juices should be clear and the meat should be white. If so you can turn off the oven and leave them in there to keep warm until your perogies are finished. If not , return to oven for an additional 15 minutes.

Once the perogies and chops are done, you can put grated cheese on the perogies and dig in!

Cleanup should be easy, just toss the foil that covered the baking sheet and put a little hot water in the frying pan so it's easier to wash out... and sic your hubby on the dishes at the end!

Like I said, no veggies. It's a quick and simple dinner, easily accompanied by frozen veggies or a salad (if you're the salad type ).

Cooking for more people- figure one medium- large chop per person, and about 6 perogies each. Veggies are 1/2 to 3/4 cup per person.

Showing off my new shiny kitchen...

So, we got new appliances, and I got some BEAUTIFUL new Kitchenaid pots and pans for Un-Christmas...

I spent most of yesterday baking to try out the new oven which bakes sooo evenly! I Love it!
Of course, I didn't take any pics of the baking... mmmm PIE! and banana bread, and apple crisp...
yep.. next time, I promise.