July 14, 2007

Gratuitous Feed The Llama Meme

A week from tomorrow, the Missus and the Llama-ettes head to Connecticut for two weeks to visit grandparents and attend camp. This, of course, leaves self in Temporary Bachelor Mode.

I was discussing food arrangements with the Missus last evening and she let fall a remark to the effect that I'll probably eat nothing but ribeye with two veg the entire time, her general theme being that I'm a picky and unimaginative eater.

Humph! As usual, there is a great deal to what she says. However, it occurred to me that perhaps this might be a chance to bend a bit. Branch out, as it were.

This is where you Camelidophiles can help out.

I am hereby tossing out a bleg for recipes that I can cook for myself in the Missus' absence. I'm looking specifically for meals that are interesting, yet not too terribly complicated. On the weekends I'll have plenty of time for cooking, but I don't generally get home until 7:30 or so on weekdays, so for those nights would prefer something relatively fast and easy. Oh, and feel free to suggest wines or other beverage to go with them.

I have only a few limitations: As I say, keep it fairly simple, because while I am competent enough and not afraid to try new techniques, I'm hardly an expert chef. Also, no bivalves (clams, mussels, oysters, etc.). No mushrooms. No eggplant. No broccoli. Oh, and I hate tomatoes, although I don't mind cooking with them. And bear in mind that the weather is likely to be hot n' humid round here, so try not to suggest anything too heavy, either.

Drop your suggestions directly into the Tasty Bits (TM) Mail Sack. If/when I use your recipe, I will post it here (with appropriate attribution) together with my appraisal. Depending on what I think of it, I may praise you to High Heaven or else slander you without mercy, as well.

Yip! Yip! Yip!


Jaysus! Do I have ter draw yer a bleedin' roadmap?

At reader request, some more info:

- I don't have a crockpot
- I eats the ribeye because I luuuuuuuvs it. Meat is good.
- Yes, I like teh spice and have a particular fondness for the TexMex of my yoot.
- I'm no fan of leftovers

And some more info you did not request:

- I don't like fish
- When I become Emperor of the World, putting pine-apple on pizza will be punishable by firing squad
- What the hell is wrong with Arby's anyway? Huh? Huh?

Posted by Robert at July 14, 2007 11:02 AM | TrackBack

Hmm. A few questions-

Do you have a "slow cooker," AKA a crockpot?

Is the ribeye and 2 veggies your favorite meal, or your easiest meal, or the meal you never get to have when the womenfolk are around?

Do you like lots of spice? Lots of heat? Any particular ethnic food?

Do you want fresh food every day, or do you like taking a little time, fixing a lot of something over the weekend, and microwaving leftovers through the week?

Posted by: owlish at July 14, 2007 11:48 AM

Two simple ones:

Pasta of your choice
Lobster bisque

Cook the pasta and when it's just about done throw in the shrimp and scallops. Strain and top with the bisque as a sauce.

A can of Campbell's Select Tomato Garden soup
A salmon filet

Put the soup in a pot and bring it to a very slight boil, then place the salmon on top, cover the pot, and sautee it for about 20 minutes.

Posted by: Professor Chaos at July 14, 2007 11:53 AM

Considering all your exclusions, I suggest finding an Arby's with a 5 for 5 special. Either that, or just hit the ramen soup aisle and relive the college years.

Posted by: agent bedhead at July 14, 2007 12:58 PM

My questions mirror owlish. We need more information, Robbo.

Posted by: jen at July 14, 2007 03:32 PM

I could live on Ramens indefinitely.

I'd grill the entire time. Chicken with barbecue sauce. Steaks. Shrimp. Ribs.

And asparagus -- you put it in a Ziploc overnite with a zesty Italian dressing, and then char it on the grill; it is fantastic that way. Really a treat if you've never tried it.

Posted by: The Colossus at July 14, 2007 09:04 PM

If you want a slow cooker, I can drop one by; don't really use it all that often, and they can be handy but you tend to end up looking at leftovers.

A super quick and easy one, even though it is blasphemy:

Before going to work, soak a couple of bangers or weisswursts or brats in beer, in the fridge. When you get home disk 'em, nuke some mixed veg with a couple pats of butter and some Jane's Krazy mixed up salt, or spice mix of your preference. Saute the saussies, huck into a casserole with the veg and cover with some out of the box mashed tatties (I know, I know). Pop in oven @ 350-400 for about ten minutes, grate on Parm or Peccorino or a hard cheddar and zip under the broiler for 3 min. If you do it right, takes about 6 minutes of actual kitchen work (less kp) to throw together a half decent mock sheperd's pie. All your food groups in one dish, 'cept for coffee ice cream for afters.

The thing about bachelor cooking is to only buy and cook what you need. When the wife comes home she's just going to bin every thing that you have purchased, so shoot small and keep some snacks around just in case.

Posted by: Uncle Pinky at July 14, 2007 09:47 PM

How about an Italian omelet? Fill it with whatever you like on a pizza, and top with a couple spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce and more cheese. Good with some crusty bread.

Posted by: Ted at July 15, 2007 01:22 PM

I think that Uncle Pinky is from out of town.

Posted by: Professor Chaos at July 15, 2007 10:12 PM

Cook up some pasta: spaghetti or linguine will do, but for what follows, I prefer penne.

In a wok (any pan will do, really) with a bit of oil and garlic, quick-cook some chicken - I use chicken breasts sliced into "fingers." Then add quartered artichoke bottoms and green and/or black olives to the pan. (I also use halved cherry tomatoes... but I see you're not a tomato fan.) Finally, I add a plain pasta sauce to the pan. As soon as it's up to temperature, the chicken/veg/sauce mix goes over the pasta.

I have no name for this. And you can use almost anything you want... I find the olive/artichoke combination suits my taste.

Posted by: Russ at July 16, 2007 11:47 AM

Ok, here's my chicken pot pie recipe. You can't screw this up. I swear to God. If you don't like leftovers (although, I generally don't like them either, but with this recipe, I do.) well, make it for when the Mrs. and the gels are on their way back, so you can warm it up for them (serve it with hot bread and butter) when they arrive home. (BIIIG brownie points.)

You will need:
1 package Pillsbury pre-made pie crusts
1 medium sized shallot
1 package (10oz) frozen carrots, peas and corn
1/3c butter
1/3c flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 3/4c chicken broth
2/3 c milk
2 1/2-3c cooked, cut up chicken
Rosemary and tarragon to taste

Here's what you do:

IF you're in a hurry, pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, skin it, and pick the meat until you have the needed amount. If you're not in a hurry, well, there's two ways you can cook the chicken: first, you can boil a chicken breast or two, salt and pepper it, slice it into chunks and you're good to go. OR you can use sautee the chicken with olive oil, half of the shallot listed above (save the other half for the filling---also garlic is a nice touch here, too.)and salt and pepper. I recommend the sauteeing as it's more flavorful in the end. When you're done with the chicken, set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepot, start your roux with the butter and the flour. Melt the butter, add flour, and let it get nice and bubbly. Add the rest of the diced shallots, salt and pepper, and let it cook for about a minute. Take it off the heat and add the chicken broth and the milk, letting it slowly get back up to heat, wherein it will start to bubble slowly. At this point, add your veggies (doesn't matter if they're still frozen)and the chicken. Add the rosemary and tarragon to taste.

Pour into the pie crust, cover with the other pie crust, cut four slits in the top to let it breathe, and cook at 425 for 35 minutes, or until golden brown. I'd also recommend covering the edges of the crust with foil, to keep it from burning.

Posted by: Kathy at July 16, 2007 11:51 AM

phin's five course bachelor meal:
Appetizer: Brats / Italian Sausages.
Soup: Fillet Mignon. Cut a small section as soon as it comes off the grill to allow juice to form in bottom of the bowl.
Salad: One leaf of lettuce, another grilled rib-eye.
Main Course: Grilled Chops (Lamb / Pork).
Desert: steak carpaccio.

Beverage of choice: Shiner Bock

Posted by: phin at July 16, 2007 12:31 PM

Leave it to me to be the gourmet:

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese + browned hamburger =
crazy delicious


Milk + Cheerios = Manna from Heaven


Posted by: Dick at July 16, 2007 05:19 PM

I'd share a salacious recipe for Spicy Slaw but there ain't no way you could eat the quantity involved all by yourself. And I would pity your family upon their return if you did. I'll save for 'nother time, 'nother bleg.

Posted by: OrgleFan at July 16, 2007 10:27 PM

Pork Chops or Pork Loins with Sauce over Rice
This recipe is for 4, so you could save what you don't eat for another meal...hey save all your leftovers for dinner night when the family gets home to show your accomplishments AND brownie points that the Missus doesn't have to cook!

Prepare rice - do it for four people and use the rice for another meal....I'll give you another one, too!

While the rice is cooking, brown the pork chops/loins on both sides. Add a can of cream of ???? (usually golden mushroom soup, but understand you don't like!). Do not add water - add wine instead. White works best, but red will do. A chardonnay or reisling. How much? Sounds clunky, but poor over the meat mixture glug, glug, glug. That's enough. More if you like the sauce thin. Let cook for 20-30 minutes until meat is done. Serve over rice. Drink the wine while waiting. Never use a cooking wine - only one you'll drink to cook with! But you seem educated enough to know that!

For another meal,

Pork Fried Rice

Ham cubed 1/2" or samller pieces
Toasted Seasame oil.
Spicy oil as desired
Carrots about a cup or so
Green onions about 1/2 to one cup, sliced
2 eggs
Soy Sauce (Try the Kikkoman one for Sushi and Sashimi - it's great!)

Get some ham you really like. We prefer Boar's Head Honey Maple Ham from the deli for this. Get them to cut about 1 lb into 1/2 inch slabs. Then you cut into cubes (you know cut strips then cut the strips!). Cube carrots to your liking - this you can buy pre-cut in most grocery stores - perhaps the sliced green onions. Slightly brown the ham and carrots.

Eggs. Here's a lesson. If you scramble the eggs and then pour them into the rice mixture at the end (least amount of work) -- and being careful not to overcook the egg,-- it's called Golden Fried Rice. If you like to pick up and eat a "defined" piece of egg, scramble the egg, cook as an omelet, then slice and cube it into small pieces and add at the end of the process - Then it's called Silver Fried Rice. I threw that in for free!

Warm the rice in a very hot frying pan or wok, using as much of the sesame oil as you darn well please. Stir so nothing burns. Add (if you didn't take out them out of the pan or used a different one) the ham and carrots. Mix well. Add the Green Onions and soy sauce (to taste), mix well. Lastly, Add the eggs mentioned above using your preferred method. Serve.

This recipe was taught to my mom when we lived over in Okinawa in a Chinese Cooking Class in the mid-1960's. I have never had better Chinese food than what my mom cooks. NEVER. I'm always disappointed so I've been studying under the master so I can cook it like she did. Her sweet and sour pork are to die for.

Oh, and you'll notice that there are no peas in this recipe. You could add snow peas, but the family joke is "Man who cooks carrots and peas in same pot unsanitary." Dad hates peas with rice.

Posted by: JB in Florida at July 17, 2007 01:13 PM

And thank everyone for your recipes. The artichoke/olive sounds like my hubby will love it and the pot pie.....hmmmmmmm. What about that spicy slaw???????

Posted by: JB in Florida at July 17, 2007 01:24 PM