Archive for Beef

Food this week….

Posted in Cooking, Food, Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2016 by urbannight

This week I’m making some interesting made up recipes.

Spinach and Clam Sauce Spaghetti with Sea Scallops.

Put 1T butter and a drained can of minced or chopped clams into a small sauce pan, season with salt and cayenne.  Chop a cup or large handful of spinach.  Add to sauce pan.  Add 6 T of spaghetti sauce and 2T of pesto sauce.  Let simmer on low while cooking up 1.5 servings of spaghetti noodles.  Drain and put into sauce, stir.  Cover on lowest heat to keep warm.  Sear 3 or 4 sea scallops in butter, drizzled with lemon, seasoned with salt and cayenne.  Cut into half, plate pasta with spinach and claim sauce, place scallops on top.  Serve.

Chicken and Avocado on Rice. (by far the easiest)

Buy chicken strips cut for stir-fry.  Dice up.  Season to taste.  Fry up.  While frying, put 2 packets of Uncle Ben’s Basmati Rice in microwave and cook per instructions.  Half and dice up one avocado.  Put rice into 2 – 4 bowls.  Season rice to taste.  I use Cayenne.  Divide fried chicken over the rice.  Top with diced avocado.  Serve.  (I tend to make larger portions because avocado needs to be eaten quickly and I cook for myself.  If you have a family, making this as four servings with a salad and a second veggie side would make for a more balanced meal.)

Sausage and Cabbage in Ro-Tel.  ( someone gave me this one)

Melt a stick of butter in a pan.  Saute a shredded small cabbage and diced onion for 5 minutes.  Cut up sausage or kielbasa.  Add kielbasa and a can of Ro-Tel.  Cover and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes.

Beef and Spinach with Ravioli Soup.

1 lb meat, (I’m using beef).  Fry up with some onion.  Add half pot of water.  Bullion or broth. Season to taste.  Bring to boil.  While this is going on, chop up several cups of spinach.  Have a package of whatever flavor of stuffed Ravioli or Tortellini trips your trigger.  Add the pasta. Cook until done.  Add spinach.  Simmer until spinach is wilted and serve.  I’ve made this with Kale as well and chicken and ground turkey and ground chicken.  The only way I hated was with the ground chicken.  I just think I hate ground chicken.

 

 

Rice and Lentils, a simple if slow cooking dish.

Posted in Caooking, Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2015 by urbannight

I have this super simple dish I make sometimes.  It always  tastes great but it takes a long time to make.

I start with a few cups of water and set it to boil with a bullion cube in it.  Any type, sometimes chicken, sometimes beef, sometimes veggie.

Once the lentils are nearly done I add rice and whatever seasoning trips my trigger at that moment in time.

You have to watch to check the water, add more as needed.   I’ve found it always takes more than the amount of lentils and rice recommend.  I’m not sure why.

Now I just as water as needed until both the rice and lentils are soft.

I’ve never had it turn out bad.

That being said, I’ve had trouble using some of the so-called instant rice.  Regular instant rice cooks up fine.  But there is an ‘instant’ boil in bag Jasmine rice that doesn’t seem to work.  I, of course, cut the bag and pour it in.  The problem is that the box says this ‘instant’ jasmine rice cooks up in 8 to 10 minutes.  This is not true.  I’ve never had it cook in under about half an hour.  Even when cooking it on its own according to the cooking instructions on the box.  If you want to use Jasmine rice, it will turn out better if you just buy a normal bag of the stuff and cook it per those instructions.

The Chili Diaries

Posted in Entertainment, Food with tags , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2012 by urbannight

Earlier this week:

I was sitting on the couch, pretending to stitch, I was feeling pretty poorly and just didn’t have the energy.  My roommate comes out of the computer room and sits down in his recliner, looking at me expectantly.  I wasn’t sure what he was up to.  It was definitely an I’m-up-to-something look though.  You never know where those are going to go.

Do you make chili? – Him

Now I had made my spicy beef soup earlier.  At first I thought I mis-heard him.

No, oh, wait, do you mean can I make chili? – Me.

He nods his head.  At this point, I feel like I’m having a conversation with a kid.

Yeah, I make chili.  I haven’t done so in a while. – Me

What do you put in it? – Him

Wow, a whole sentence.

Beef, Kidney Beans, Tomato Sauce and Chili powder. – Me

He didn’t say anything.  He just sat there looking expectantly. Still.

Do you want me to make chili? – Me

Chili dogs – Him as he nods his head.

It feels even more like a conversation with a child.

Needless to say, this is why I am now making chili tonight.  He bought the ingredients so I can cook it so he can have chili dogs.

Spicy Beef Soup

Posted in Food with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2012 by urbannight

Spicy Beef Soup

Brown up ground beef in a pot.
Cut half an onion in slightly thick slices, then 1/4 the stack.
Mince one garlic clove.
Peal the rest of the garlic but leave whole or cut big ones in half.
Sprinkle browning beef with Cayenne. Stir well.
When beef is nearly done, add the onions and garlic.
Sprinkle with more Cayenne. Stir well.
Cook until beef is done and veggies are softened.
Add 1 cup water and beef bullion.
Once bullion is completely dissolved, add another cup water and half a cup of small elbow pasta or other pasta.
Cook until softened.
Add more water if needed.
Add more Cayenne to taste.

Good for when you are coming down with a nasty head cold.

So you think you can’t cook…..

Posted in Food, Gaming, Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2012 by urbannight

Here is another fast and easy recipe for those who think they are kitchen challenged or those who just don’t feel like cooking from scratch. Like when you decided to play Star Wars The Old Republic for May Fourth and you end up playing for three days straight.

1 pound

Start with a lb of ground beef. Brown up in a large sauce pan. Season with black pepper or cayenne (if you are like me) or both (something I also do). If you use beef with a high fat content (70/30), make sure to drain it. If you use beef that is too lean you sacrifice some of the flavor. Even thought I use seasoning I can still tell flavorless beef from flavorful beef. I use 80/20 most of the time because 85/15 has gotten really hard to find. I used to use it all the time.

Black Beans

Lets talk about black beans. These are my favorite. Even thought I’ve not gotten the knack of cooking with them from scratch. Canned black beans will save a ton of time and are great for fast, easy dishes.

Take one can and drain well. If you add water to the can, shake well, and drain again, repeating for a total of 5 times to get the water to run clear. Or put in a colander with small holes and rinse out the black stuff it is packaged in. They will cook up clearer (won’t turn your dish black) and it gets rid of a lot of the sodium it is packed in. Don’t worry, I will be putting sodium back in elsewhere. I use the rinse and repeat method to cut down on dirty dishes. I’ve been known to dirty a lot of dishes when cooking so I like to cut back on that when I can. Toss in on top of cooked beef.

Normally, I have a horribly low opinion of canned potatoes. Sliced and whole ones cook up horribly. I don’t have that problem with diced canned potatoes. Use one can and rinse but don’t worry about doing it 5 times. Just a couple of times to clear out the sodium. Toss on top of the beef and beans.

Now I add three cups of water and two beef bullion cubes. These are high in sodium which is why I try to get rid of it from the cans. I know there are other forms of bullion that are not so high in salt but I don’t know the amounts to get the results I want as I do for the cubes. Let simmer a while to heat beans and potatoes all the way through and to mingle the flavor of the cooked beef with the bullion with the beans.

Northwoods Fire

You can season this simply with black pepper. It will taste a bit like beef stew. Or you can use chili powder to have a chili like flavor. In that case, you may want to add a can or two of tomato sauce instead of water. I kept it soup like and used Northwoods Fire from Penszeys to season.

I would show you the end result but I ate it while I was typing this.   I just can’t keep it in the pan long enough to photograph.  It is too yummy.  There is more at home tucked up in containers for other lunches.  Yummy lunch.  I can’t wait until lunch tomorrow to eat the other bowl.    If you make proper servings with a salad and veggie side, you get 5 servings out of it.  I tend to put more in my containers and only get three servings.  It’s easier to do lunches that way and have a veggie heavy dinner.

Do Not Call it ‘Cajun’ and the Mayor’s Tax

Posted in Economics, Economy, Food, Life, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2010 by urbannight

This morning I went to try out Wheatfields.  A new eatery just a block away from home.  ‘New’ meaning it’s been there a year but I refused to eat there.  It used to be a wonderful European pastry shop with some soups and sandwiches.  You really went there for the desserts.  The building was sold and the owners forced them out because they wanted to charge a higher rent on the place.  So they brought in a regional chain.

The service was great.  My server was rather delicious looking himself.  Very pleasant and he went back to the kitchen to get me more seasoning for my soup.  I’ll get to the soup in a moment.

First, I’ll tell you about the half order of hot beef sandwich.  The potatoes were good with no lumps.  Since moving to Nebraska, getting mashed potatoes without lumps is a challenge.  They think that they much leave lumps to prove they used real potatoes.  I’m from Idaho.  Lumpy mashed potatoes is a sign of a lazy cook.  In grade school I could quickly use a hand masher and get smooth potatoes without using butter or a lot of cream.  I used about a table spoon or two of milk depending on the number of potatoes.  That’s it.  So the mash passed my standards.

The gravy was nothing to write home about.  But it was homemade beef gravy.  Not the super dark brown glop you often get on open faced hot beef sandwiches.  On one hand it was my father’s ordinary gravy.  On the other hand it was better than most everywhere else.  And I didn’t even need to add any pepper.

The beef was to die for.  It was an amazing roast that was shredded and put on the sandwich.  No slices folded together.  I thought it odd that it didn’t come with a steak knife.  Until I cut into it with my fork.  No knife needed for this sandwich.

I ordered a half order.  It was huge.  Half of the half order is now in my fridge for tomorrow.

They had two soups for today.  One was Tomato and Cheese.  I don’t like cheese soups in general and don’t like tomatoes.  I tried the other one.  Cajun Shrimp soup.  Let me count the flaws…..

1. The shrimp was salad shrimp.

2. Bland

3. Beyond bland into absolute lack of flavor.

The soup seemed to be a broth with a little bit of onion, some chopped carrots, and some cut tomato.  To this was added rice, salad shrimp, and some tomato paste.  There was supposedly some Cajun seasoning in there as well.  Cajun food is not normally bland.  Even if it isn’t spicy it normally doesn’t have a complete lack of any flavor at all.

I asked for some Cayenne pepper.  They didn’t have any but the kitchen sent me two little tubs of spice.  One had about 1T of cajun seasoning and the other had a chili power that was paprika based with some cayenne and some other chili in it.  I put half the cajun and a bit of the chili in it.  Better.  I then added all the rest of the cayenne and half of the chili.  MUCH better.

Rice, shrimp, and tomato paste does not make a dish Cajun.  Scaring the dish with the bottle of Cajun seasoning does not make is Cajun.  You have to actually USE the Cajun seasoning until it tastes like a Cajun dish before you can use the word Cajun to describe it.

Now you may wonder what a Mayor’s Tax has to do with this food rant.  If you are from anywhere near Omaha, NE you probably know where I’m going.  The new 2.5 % tax that gets added to your restaurant bill AFTER the state taxes.  So you also get taxed on the tax.  Different places have labled it differently on their sale’s slip.  I had to laugh when I saw that Wheatfield’s is labeling it the “Mayor’s Tax”.

People want to recall Mayor Suttle.  I understand the few people who are saying the economic and budgetary situation he inherited was not his fault. They are right.  But the people who want to recall him are not doing so because they think he created the situation.  They want to recall him because of his reaction to the situation.  The city council actually soften his ideas when they passed the budget.  The people of Omaha hated his ideas and plans once he got into office.  As much as people are screaming now, it would have been 2 – 3 times worse if the budget has passed as Mayor Suttle envisioned it rather than the way the council modified it and softened it.

The worse is, of course, the wheel tax.  People who live outside Omaha but work in Omaha now have to pay a wheel tax.  It will be collected via payroll deduction.  The issues is that these people are being taxed who have no way to vote on it.  No representation in Omaha.  There is a very large portion of couples who live outside the city and drive one vehicle to work.  But both will be charged the wheel tax on the one vehicle.  A person who happens to have two jobs in Omaha is going to get charged the wheel tax twice.  Once for each job even thought it is one vehicle.

People who live in Omaha already pay a wheel tax when they register their vehicle,  but only once per vehicle. Our wheel tax is going up as well and for less than the mayor wanted.  The city council lowered that amount as well.

The Mayor is very tax happy.  I understand they needed to raise taxes but he was going way out over the deep end about it.  The fact that Wheatfields now shows a ‘Mayor’s Tax’ on their sales slips seems funny and appropriate.