Super Quick Gravy

I made a roast tonight.  A regular old oven roast, not a pot roast.  So I was left to figure out what to do for the gravy.  My roast recipe had a long drawn out gravy process, and I just didn’t feel like it.  I found a Quick Gravy recipe attributed to (copied from?) startcooking.com and decided to give it a try.  Magic!  Some of the best gravy I have ever made.  Here it is:

Ingredients

  • Beef/chicken or vegetable broth
  • butter
  • flour

Pretty simple, huh?  Read on, it gets easier!

Use the rule of 2 tbs flour and 2 tbs butter per cup of broth

  1. Using your fingers or a fork (or both) mix together the flour and butter until you have a very smooth paste.
  2. Heat the broth over medium heat, and then add the butter/flour paste
  3. Turn heat to low and stir constantly until gravy thickens.

Although the recipe warns that the thickening could take up to 10 minutes, mine took all of about 3 minutes and it tasted great.  This is a super way to make small amounts of gravy.  The two cups of broth I used made more than enough for the three of us.  I also added the drippings from the roast to the broth before heating, to get that extra taste!  Best and easiest gravy I have ever made.

Simple Egg Salad

Egg salad is a quick and tasty sandwich spread, but if your kids are anything like mine, texture is always an issue.  So many recipes call for chopped celery and other things that seem to induce automatic gag reflex among the little ones.  Here is a quick recipe that will produce creamy, but tasty egg salad.

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, boiled and peeled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbs + 1 tsp spicy horseradish mustard
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic salt or celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Directions

Combine all the ingredients and mash the eggs thoroughly.  I used a potato masher to great effect.  Then use a fork to whisk to a creamier state.

Couldn’t be easier!

Black Eyed Peas (Crock Pot Style)

A little late for New Year’s Day, or a little early, depending on your perspective.  If you need your good luck peas, this is a simple recipe that your family will enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. dried black eyed peas, rinsed and sorted
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 strips bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt
  • dash black pepper

Directions

  1. Soak peas as directed on package.
  2. Drain the peas and place in a crock pot
  3. Add all other ingredients
  4. Cover with water and stir to mix.
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.

Colo-Rican Rice with Pork

So I took a recipe for Puerto Rican rice, and my best recollection of Arroz con Pollo from Colombia, and spliced together what I now call

Colo-Rican Rice with Pork

Colo-Rican Rice.  The boys both voted to put it in the regular dinner rotation, so that is all the recommendation I need.  This dish is not spicy-hot, at all.  I added some pepper sauce to my portion and it made it just about right.  One note, if you are not going to spice it up, consider at least salting it, or increasing the amount of salt in the recipe.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook TIme: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil (or lard if you are really into clogged arteries)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork, cut into cubes (1×1 inch max)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 7 baby carrots, chopped in food processor
  • 2 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 15 ounce can peas
  • 2 packets of GOYA culantro and achiote seasoning
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (if you don’t use GOYA sauce, spice it a bit with dashes of ground cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic powder)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • dash ground black pepper
  • OPTIONAL – 1/2 cup chopped olives and pimentos
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups rice

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat oil and brown pork cubes, onions and carrots.
  2. Stir in garlic and cook another 2 minutes
  3. Add remaining ingredients (except rice) and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in rice.
  5. Cover and cook for 20 minutes


Whole Chicken – Crock Pot Style!

I’ve never tried cooking a whole chicken in my life.  Parts are easier and faster.  However, both the boys are fans of the whole chicken, so I decided to try one.  I was thrilled to find a slow cooker recipe, and gave it a shot.  Bottom line, the chicken was delicious.  However, a few caveats are in order.  If you are familiar with the “meat falling off the bone” effect of the crockpot on roasts and the like, be assured it applies with chicken also.  I went about 8 hours cook time, and the chicken broke apart as I attempted to lift it out of the pot.  I’ll go to six hours, or devise a lifting mechanism next time.  I may also half the amount of water and butter used in the stuffing prep cycle, as the chicken juices will more than suffice in keeping the stuffing moist and expanded.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (4-5 lbs)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 4 medium red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 box stovetup stuffing
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup butter

Directions

  1. Prepare stuffing mix per package directions and set aside
  2. Remove all parts from chicken cavity.  Rinse chicken and pat dry.
  3. Combine all dry spices in bowl and mix thoroughly.
  4. Rub spices all over chicken
  5. Stuff cavity with stuffing mix
  6. Spray inside of crock pot with cooking spray
  7. Toss garlic on bottom of pot
  8. Set chicken over garlic
  9. Place carrots and potatoes around chicken
  10. Cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Italian Fried Pork Cutlets

Just threw this recipe together to cook up some pork I had in the refrigerator.  The boys voiced their approval, so I thought I would share it.  I’d recommend some garlic pasta to go with this, or maybe some garlic mashed potatoes.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Feeds: 2

Ingredients

  • 4 thin sliced, boneless pork cutlets
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil

Directions

  1. In a bowl, beat two eggs with the milk.  Sprinkle in 1/2 tsp of garlic salt and mix thoroughly
  2. In another bowl, combine breadcumbs, cheese and remaining garlic salt
  3. Heat oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat
  4. Wash pork and dip each cutlet in egg mixture
  5. Immediately roll in breadcrumb mix, coating thoroughly
  6. When oil is hot, place cutlets in oil and fry to deep golden brown shade, turning once (time varies with thickness)

Note:  If you use a thicker pork chop, use a bit more oil and a bit less heat.  The trick is to thoroughly cook them, without blackening the breading.  Quick, easy and tasty!  My only regret is that I had to have a PBJ so the boys could get their fill!  They were nice enough to each cut me a small bite to taste!

Old Fashioned Pot Roast (Slow Cooker)

A crock pot!  The single dad’s best friend.  You can make savory, tasty meals, and add a dose of nutrition at the same time.  Kids end up thinking you are a genius cook, and if you plan it right, you gat at least a lunch, if not an entire dinner out of the leftovers!  Here is an incredibly simple crockpot recipe.  I prepare this the night before and turn on the crockpot as I walk out the door to work.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs pot roast
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • vegetable broth
  • water
  • 3 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 10-15 baby carrots
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In crock pot, place pot roast
  2. Add soup
  3. Add two soup cans of vegetable broth and 1/2 can of water
  4. Add carrots, onions, garlic and potatoes
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. At this point, I put the pot in the fridge overnight, or if this is same day, put it right on low
  7. Cook for 10 hours on low setting

Serve this over rice, or even better, egg noodles.   Spoon the gravy over the roast.  Even though you have both carrots and potatoes in the roast, I will usually serve with a side of something green  Enjoy!