Recipe: Beef Chuck Yummy Steak

This is a recipe for beef chuck steak in a yummy sauce of my own creation. Now, let me just warn you that I haven’t tried this recipe on anyone else yet, so I don’t even have Hubby to vouch for me. But, just trust me. It’s good.

Ingredients

  • beef chuck steak (one large or two individual-sized)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • dill weed
  • garlic powder
  • ground red pepper
  • marjoram
  • ¼ onion, diced
  • ½ orange bell pepper, diced
  • salt
  • thyme

*The Sauce:

  • ¼ tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp steak sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tbsp warm water

Directions

1. Prepare the sauce in a small bowl by mixing the warm water and cornstarch and then adding the rest of the ingredients. Stir well!

2. Melt the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Add and sauté the onion and bell pepper. (The onion should just begin to turn translucent.)

3. Clear a space in the middle of the vegetables and add the steak. Raise the burner to high and cook the steak very briefly on each side, so it is just barely brown, then reduce to low heat.

4. Season the top of the steak lightly with garlic powder, ground red pepper, marjoram, thyme, and dill weed.

5. Stir the sauce again, then cover the steak with it.

6. Cook 30 seconds, turn steak over, season with salt.

7. Increase heat until the sauce begins to simmer and cook, turning the steak often and stirring the sauce so that it constantly covers the steak. Continue to simmer until the sauce is thick and the meat is cooked to taste. You can serve this as I did, with green beans and toast, or however else you like. Serves 2!

Recipe: Mom’s Simple Sweet & Sour Chicken

I don’t keep pineapple and brown sugar in the house, so I was having trouble deciding which recipe to try for Sweet & Sour Chicken the other day. The recipes I found online and in my cook books all seemed to include ingredients I didn’t have on hand! So, of course, I called Mom, and she helped me out with her version of sweet & sour sauce, which I adapted for myself. I thought it turned out quite good, and Hubby said he loved it, so I guess it’s something to keep on hand!

Ingredients

  • chicken (I used about eight boneless, skinless thighs)
  • rice, steamed, about 1-1½ cups per person before preparing

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cube of chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • garlic, either fresh (2 cloves, minced) or powder (about ½ tsp)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ketchup
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar (again, to taste)
  • 1-1½ cups water
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar (or more, to taste)
  • Optional: small amount of ginger

Directions

1. Start by making the rice. The steaming will take longer than any of the other preparations.

2. Prepare the chicken for cooking (cut off fat, etc) and chop into bite-sized pieces.

3. Begin the sauce by sautéing the onion in oil. When the onion is just about done, you can add the bell pepper and the garlic, if you are using fresh garlic. For garlic powder, wait until after you add water so that it doesn’t burn. Note: I did not use ginger in my preparation of this recipe, but Mom highly recommends it. She suggests boiling a slice of ginger (not sure how long) and then using the juice from that, rather than the actual ginger, when cooking.

4. To your vegetables, add water and bouillon, stirring until it dissolves. Lower the heat if it begins to boil, you only need it at a simmer. Add the rest of the ingredients in no particular order and simmer for 10-15 minutes. You will need to do a few taste-tests. If it’s too sweet, you can add some more vinegar, and if too sour, add more sugar. If it tastes more salty than you would like, just remember that the rice and chicken will even it out.

5. Cook the chicken. I simply fried it in its own grease, but I added a dash of soy sauce and black pepper for extra flavor.

6. Serve chicken on a bed of rice, topped with the sauce. I would recommend having a vegetable or two on the side. We had corn with ours, but green beans or peas would go very nicely with it. Should make 4 servings.

Recipe: Curried Beef Soup

I’ve made this soup twice, and I love it. I think it’s now my favorite soup! It’s very easy to make, as well. I love curry, having grown up with it, so if you don’t like Indian food or curry, you may not find this as delicious as I do.

Ingredients

  • 2 cubes Beef Bouillon
  • 1-2 lbs Beef Tips (I haven’t measured what I use; I just try to fit as much in as I can!)
  • 2-3 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes with juice (or equivalent fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1 clove Galic, minced, or ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ¼-½ tsp Ground Pepper (red or black!)
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Vegetables (Recommended: 2 sliced potatoes, and/or 3 chopped carrots. You may alternatively try peas or another vegetable you enjoy!)
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 cups Water

Directions

1. Put flour in a large bag along with your thawed beef tips. Shake to coat the tips with flour.

2. Over medium heat, combine oil and curry powder in saucepan. Allow the oil to heat up, very gently frying the curry. This brings out the flavor, or so I’ve read.

3. Add the onions and beef tips, stirring constantly, allowing them to brown slightly.

4. When beef is slightly browned, add water and bouillon, then your other spices (salt, pepper, garlic). Allow the water to come to a slow boil, then reduce to a simmer.

5. Stirring occasionally, allow soup to simmer about a half hour, then add your remaining vegetables. Make sure the temperature is high enough to maintain a simmer or a very slow boil for another 30-60 minutes. Continue stirring occasionally to make sure it does not stick to the bottom, and the mix the flavors together.

6. Before serving, check the beef to see that it is cooked properly. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed only after the meat is cooked. If too much of the water boils off, you may try simmering with the lid on, or you can simply add more water. I’ve found that the beef usually comes out very tender! This should serve 3-4 people!

Recipe: End of the Line Ham Casserole

Got leftover ham from Christmas? Here’s a good way to use it up. I found this recipe online and modified it with my hubby to make a tasty dinner for three, and we used up all of our leftover ham! It could have easily been doubled – possibly even tripled – using the same glass casserole pan. There was plenty of leftover space in our pan when it was cooked.

Ingredients:

  • One can of Cream of Celery Soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 small red potatoes, sliced
  • About ½ large onion, diced
  • 3 cups cooked ham, diced
  • Your choice of spices
  • ½ to 1 cups grated cheese

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 375ºF. In a small sauce pan, combine the soup and milk over low heat, blending until smooth. Then, pour into a casserole dish and add spices. I used about ¼ tsp. black pepper and a bit of garlic powder, which are simple staples that I can use in most recipes.

2. Layer the potato slices on top of the soup and milk mixture. Try to spread them out evenly across the casserole dish. On top of that, layer your onions and the pre-cooked ham.

3. Make sure to cover your casserole dish with tin foil before putting it in the oven to cook for about one hour. Then, take it out, uncover it, and sprinkle your cheese on top. We used a combination of parmesan and cheddar. Return to the oven uncovered to cook for an additional 20 minutes. (If you cover it back up, the water from the cheese can’t evaporate, and it makes it a weird consistency.)

4. I would suggest serving with green beans or another green veggie. (I’d say peas, but I don’t like those!!) As I said, it should serve 2-3 people, but could easily be doubled or tripled. It tastes a bit like scalloped potatoes with ham.

Recipe: Your Salmon Has a Face

My husband and I made this recently, as a sort of experiment, and it turned out quite tasty! It’s a simple recipe for an inexpensive salmon dinner and a good way to use up leftovers. I wanted to document what we did so that we can recreate it, and maybe you’d like to try, too!

Ingredients

  1. 2-3 (we used 3) salmon filets, skinless and boneless
  2. 3 small red potatoes
  3. about 1 cup of steamed rice
  4. 3 tbsp cornstarch
  5. 2 tbsp olive oil or canola oil
  6. 1 can of sliced mushrooms
  7. your choice of spices
  8. optional: about 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  9. optional: about 1/4 cup onion, diced

Directions

1. Prepare your ingredients. Thaw the fish, chop the vegetables. I would suggest readying a non-stick frying pan with some canola oil in the bottom. In the canola oil, you will scatter the seasoning you wish to use on your fish. I sprinkled garlic powder and onion powder, because I was too lazy to use the real thing. This actually worked well and soaked in to the fish nicely. I’d recommend including a bit of savory and/or thyme, dill weed, black pepper, and seasoned salt. Regular salt should work if no seasoned salt is available.

2. Rinse your thawed salmon and pat dry with paper towel. Then, over a plate to catch the excess, pat on an extremely light coat of cornstarch. I read about this on instructables.com and have found it to work very well keeping the moisture in and keeping the desired spices on the fish. Without it, you’ll find you end up with a very dry piece of fish! Make sure to shake off the excess cornstarch, as it is meant to be just a thin coating. Place in your pan, on top of the spices.

3. On the top of your filets, add a light coating of oil with a brush or a spoon, and then spice the top. I did not use all of the same spices on the top, but I did add a coating of the big flavors: the seasoned salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.

4. Cook on medium heat for several minutes. You will know it’s ready to turn when the pink fish has turned white about a third of the way through, and the bottom of the fish will be a sort of crisp golden brown. Simply flip and wait. Remove from heat after the bottom is the desired color. The fish may be either cooked white all the way through, or with a thin line of pink through the middle.

5. We started the potatoes cut into pieces and microwaved to get them soft. Then, we chopped them up into more bite-sized pieces and added them to pan that the salmon was cooked in. By this time, the salmon should be set aside. You will want to add another teaspoon-or-so of oil to the pan. Add any vegetables that need to cook, such as your green peppers or onions. Add your mushrooms, including about half the water in the can. Black pepper and seasoned salt may be added to taste.

6. Lastly, add your pre-cooked rice. We used leftover rice we had in the fridge. Continue to stir and fry until the vegetables are softened and the rice is slightly browned, then remove from heat.

7. Serve the salmon on a bed of the rice and veggie stir fry, and enjoy! (Good for 2 large or 4 small servings)