Monday, October 31, 2011

Dinner was delicious....

but the photos were a disaster.  We'll try again Wednesday for good pics of food.  It can't run away- how can getting good photos be this difficult?

The leftover curry is frozen in an ice cube tray.  the old fashioned kind with the removable insert.  that will make it easy to bag and store in the freezer

Dinner tonight , and every Tuesday is out at a friend's house.  There are bout 20 of us that meet weekly for a meal and anime..

The best tip I found yesterday?  use your stand mixer with the paddle attachment to shred cooked meat.  Worked like a charm, as long as I didn't overload the bowl.  Who Knew?!

10.31.11- Monday: Revised: Curry!- Gadget cooking

Curry has become a staple in our family. it's one dish that I can be assured that the leftovers WILL get finished!

We stat with whatever leftover meat happens to be in the house (this week it's unidentified freezer poultry), 1 large sweet onion, two boxes of Golden Curry (1 medium, 1 mild), a bag of frozen stir fry style veggies I like Bird's eye's sugar snap pea version, or Flavorite's  Japanese stir fry version.  You will notice that neither of these have bell peppers. I'm allergic, and that's sad.  oh- and ten cups of raw jasmine rice.  (why so much?  you haven't seen my son eat rice, have you...)

Today's GADGET is the 20 cup Rice cooker by AROMA.
 I have this rice cooker: 

It's the large Aroma from Target, and I have no idea how I got along for twenty years without one.  It has settings for white and brown rice,  for saute and then cook ( you can do risotto in this!) , for steaming, and my favorite, a "keep warm" setting.  The liner is Teflon, and cleans up like a breeze! It also has a delayed start feature, so that I can set it up in the morning, and have it start cooking so that it will be ready in time for dinner.

Start the rice cooker by adding rice and water as directed.  This takes anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour to cook the rice, depending on how much you're cooking. If you're doing less than a full load of rice, toss the frozen veggies in the steamer basket to cook.  they'll stay crisper that way.

In the meantime, on the stove top, start sauteing your onion.  I like mine in fine rings, but you can dice yours if you like.  It's the flavor that's important here.  I use about 2 tbs of a plain oil like canola, and 1 tsp of sesame oil to saute my onion and meat in.

Let's talk meat- almost any meat edible  by humans will do, though seafood and fish do not stand up well to the flavor of the curry, and shrimp in particular need to be added very late in the process.  We've used about every kind of supermarket available animal and bird in our curry, as well as various kinds of sausage.  This week it is mystery poultry from the depths of the basement freezer.   With the freezer burn on this beast, I'm going to thaw and then boil it in salt water to hopefully save as much of the meat as possible.  When it's cooked though, I'll dice or shred it, and add it to the skillet with the onions.   Brown it up in there to add caramelization and flavor to the meat.  Follow the directions on the Golden Curry- add water, simmer, add flavor cubes, let them melt.  Just before serving, add the steamed vegetables from the rice cooker.  Serve over rice.

We don't do desert every night in our house, but tonight will be some form of Ice Cream- no oven to bake yet.  :( 

Pictures tomorrow!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

going to have to re-think this week's menu

The thermostat on the oven died.  So the gas doesn't come on, and the oven doesn't heat up.  *sigh*
Pot pie will have to be later in the month. :(

Now- what should we have on Monday?

The grill works, and so does the stove top- so I think we'll do a stir fry or curry on Monday, and substitute something smoked or grilled for the Meatloaf, unless we decide to feed a friend at his house that night........and breakfast for supper on Saturday- Toad is a baked pudding/quiche thing....

Friday, October 28, 2011

Getting started

I haven't warned my family about my plans yet.  Not sure how eating at home, at the table is going to go over.  We'll be starting Monday night, as I am babysitting tonight and there are parties this weekend.  The kitchen needs some work, though it's slowly getting better.  We have a serious problem in this house- a complete lack of really useful storage.  The kitchen cupboards are all so high that I can't reach the top shelf without a stool, and at the same time, there is a good foot to 18" above them that could be used for storage if it were enclosed.  There is no coat closet, nor mudroom, so everything gets dumped in the kitchen.  Time to fix that, somehow.  I'm open to suggestions.

First week's menu:
Monday: Chicken pot pie
Tuesday: Out at Anime
Wednesday: sloppy joes (with leftovers for hot pockets)
Thursday: Meatloaf w/mashed potatoes & Gravy
Friday: Vegetable beef Soup and sandwiches
Saturday: Toad
Sunday: pork (roast or chops, depending on price) at Todd's

Grocery list:
Bonelss skinlees chicken thighs (3# bag)
peas, carrots,onion, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, celery (enough for soup and pot pie)
flour, butter, 1/2 pt heavy cream, cheddar cheese (sharp) chicken stock/broth (canned)

Ground beef (2 lb) ground turkey (2 lb) (1/2 for sloppy joes, 1/2 for meatloaf)
2 cans Campbels Vegetable soup (ABC's&123's)
bbq sauce
carrots, pickles

Potatoes (5# red)  (1/2 for mashed, 1/2 for soup)
Rump or chuck roast , about a pound, and bones!
yeast for bread

I'll post "before and after" kitchen pictures on Sunday.
Wish me luck! (and call if you want to join us for supper any night next week- there will be plenty!)