Reporting last night; planning today

February 21, 2010

There were no epicurean frontiers broken with last night’s dinner. But it was good.

Clockwise from 12 o'clock, fried potatos, hamburger steak, purple hulled peas with tomato relish.

I didn’t want anything off-the-wall; I had been jonesing for the purple-hulled peas since I found them during freezer cleanout; there’s never anything wrong with home fries; and I wondered how the PJF ground beef would taste in a dish where it was the centerpiece.

Answer to the only question in that batch: Pretty damn good. Enough so to make me feel it’s worth it to pay 4 bucks a pound for it.
All this is, essentially, food I grew up with. I still don’t have the tomato relish perfected, but I’m going to work on it, and it’s a decent approximation.

I added an egg, some pepper and salt, and a touch of rosemary to the beef and made three patties, which I browned in some olive oil. Wish I’d left the rosemary out; it didn’t play particularly well with the onion gravy, or I just wasn’t the a rosemary kind of mood. Browned them well, moved them to a plate, used a glug of red wine to deglaze the pan. Reduced the wine. Added a half-cup of caramelized onions, a cup of beef broth, simmered a little, added a half-cup of cream, and plunked the steaks back in. Then I moved the pan to the oven at 300 for the next 30 minutes or so because I needed the burner.

One day I will have a stove that has more than one large burner. And it will be gas.

The onion gravy, although not visible in the photo, gave the steak a good taste (would’ve been better w/o the rosemary). It would have been improved had I reduced and/or thickened the gravy some before I put the steaks back in, or had I done so before serving. But it wasn’t bad. The PJF beef is a standout; the texture and taste are amazing. I can’t wait to try burgers with it this spring and summer.

Home fries. Simplicity in itself. Wash and slice the potatos. Canola oil, seasoned salt, medium low heat, covered for 15-20 minutes to soften, then heat turned up to medium high and cover removed to crisp them up. I often add onions, but since I had onions in the gravy, I figured no point in going overboard. Child C and I can eat our weight in these things, which I do not cook often because if I did, our weight would increase significantly. They ain’t low-fat. Child C eats them with ketchup, which I think is an abomination, but to each her own.

Purple hulled peas — a cup, maybe, of water, a generous sprinkle of seasoned salt, a couple of tablespoons of bacon grease. Simmer. Eat. Top with the tomato relish, which involves a can of petite diced tomatos, a small diced onion, a quarter-cup of cider vinegar, two tablespoons of ketchup (or tomato paste would work), simmered until it’s thick and glossy.

Today’s plans include:

  • Roast chicken. I’m thinking lemon and tarragon. Just sounds good.
  • Sweet potato gratin. CCRB does not like sweet potatos. That child is just strange. But I found a recipe for one that calls for sour cream along with the cheese in betwixt the layers, and I’m thinking that sounds good.
  • Lightly sauteed spinach, with bacon and boiled eggs and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

Also going to make up the usual weekend sausage and biscuits for the kids, and some pimento cheese for me, because I have the urge for pimento cheese. I just do. Wish Children A and B were here, as they like it; Child C does not. I asked CCRB if she liked P&C; she said she’d never had it. I was befuddled. How can a kid grow up in the South and never try pimento cheese? That just ain’t natural.

Child A, by the way, called me from the grocery. “Mama,” she said. “I want to cook a pot roast. And I don’t have a clue what kind of roast to get. None of these say pot roast on them.”

She has a beau she’s cooking for. This may get serious. I directed her to the boneless chuck, and gave detailed instructions. Will be anxious to hear.

May make something sweet. Not sure what. I have sushi rice, and am contemplating a combo of champorado and pudding that would make a chocolate rice pudding, because that sounds pretty good.

Think I may nap a bit before I get to all that, though. You and y’mama ‘n ’em say a prayer for me at church, because I’ll not make it there today.


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