Quick and Easy Meals for One, Bachelor Style

25 Jun 2011 21:09 #31 by otisptoadwater
Looking for brats but the only deals you can find are Italian sausages? I'm poking fun at my little brother's mid-western vocabulary, he seems to be incapable of saying Italian, for him it has to be EYEtalian. How about...

EYEtalyun Sausages and Peppas

Get This:
Hot or sweet Italian sausages, your preference (check the bargain bin at your local store)
Sandwich rolls, it's gonna be juicy so get some bread that can stand up to the task
Bell peppers, what ever color you like cut into strips
Yellow onions, cut in to thin rings
Mushrooms, sliced
Garlic, smashed
Marinara sauce, make your own if you have that kind of time or your favorite can/jar
Sharp Provolone cheese, thin slices
Olive oil

Do This:
Make a mini batch of Sunday gravy (you Paisans know what I'm talking about) OR your favorite can/jar of marinara sauce, keep it warm in a pan, making a large batch and portioning the batch out into the freezer is a handy way to save on prep work later. Break out the cast iron griddle and heat up the grill. Pour the oil on and saute the onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers. In the mean while grill the sausages over indirect heat and smoke, the idea is to cook the meat all the way through but not burst the skin and get some nice smoke flavor into the meat.

Toast up the sandwich rolls on the grill, add cheese then sausages then peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Top off with marinara sauce and enjoy. Your choice of bread matters with this one, not crusty enough and you have another KFJ on yourhands.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges; When the Republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous. - Publius Cornelius Tacitus

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29 Jun 2011 23:49 #32 by otisptoadwater
The 4th of July is coming and I always host a party at the Cave, the feature dish is USDA select rib eye steak but I have a few friends that want a poultry option...

Barbecued Turkey Legs

What you need:

4 turkey drumsticks, about 1 lb each
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup barbecue sauce
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
2 heaping tablespoons sea salt or Kosher salt
Red pepper flakes to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup cider vinegar
Half a yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tablespoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

How it's Done:

Watch for sale prices on turkey legs at your favorite store, this time of year the demand is low and so is the price. Make a brine using the salt, brown sugar, red pepper flakes and cider vinegar. Add the legs to the mixture and enough water to cover the legs. Brine the legs for a minimum of 24 hours before cooking covered and under refrigeration.

On the day you want to eat turkey legs, break out a small saucepan, combine garlic, barbecue sauce, oil, additional vinegar, onion, Worcestershire, pepper, and thyme. Simmer on low heat, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes. Place drumsticks in roasting pan. Pour prepared sauce over. Cover and marinate for at least two hours in refrigerator. (If the roasting pan won't fit in your fridge, toss turkey legs with sauce in stainless steel or glass bowl bowl, and pour into roasting pan when ready to start cooking.) Turn pieces occasionally in sauce while marinating.

Spray upper grill rack with nonstick spray (don't do this while rack is over fire). Grill turkey legs approximately 7 minutes per side, til browned. Turning and basting often with sauce, continue to grill about 1 hour, or until tender.

Gotta cook this one inside the house? Cover drumsticks loosely in foil. Bake in 325 degree F oven for 1 and 1/2 hours, basting frequently. Uncover, then continue baking approx. 30 minutes, or until barbecued turkey drumsticks are browned and tender.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges; When the Republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous. - Publius Cornelius Tacitus

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30 Jun 2011 00:18 #33 by otisptoadwater
So, how to cook a really good steak? Try...

Bone in Rib Eye Steaks

What you need:

Bone in rib eye steaks, cut one inch thick
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional because some folks can't deal with the heat)

How it's Done:

Cover each steak with dry spices and then rub with olive oil, marinate steaks for at least 24 hours but no more than 72 hours under refrigeration. Preheat the grill to 500F and cook each steak on one side for three minutes, turn and allow steaks to cook for five minutes on the other side for rare, adjust cooking times if you want to over cook and ruin the steaks.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges; When the Republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous. - Publius Cornelius Tacitus

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30 Jun 2011 21:48 #34 by otisptoadwater
It seems to me that you can't have a proper barbecue without...

BAKED BEANS

What You Need:

1 pound dry navy beans
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound of salt pork (check with the meat manager at your local store)
1 cup black strap molasses
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons dry mustard
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste, I like three tablespoons

How It's Done:

Rinse and sort the beans, make sure to toss out the discolored beans and any small stones and twigs. Combine rinsed and sorted beans with water in your Dutch oven. Cover the beans and bring to a boil. Boil the beans for 2 minutes then remove from heat and let stand 1 hour or overnight. Add salt then simmer partially covered 2 hours or until beans are tender. Drain, reserving liquid. Cook the fatback as one large cube, brown both of the large sides then dice into eight inch chunks. Combine fatback, brown sugar, molasses, onion, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and dry mustard with beans in Dutch oven. Add 2 cups of the reserved liquid. Bake uncovered at 300 degrees for 5 hours. Check once an hour and add additional water as needed.

Clean up is the dutch oven so all you need is a little oil and a paper towel. Since I make this for company it is best to provide paper plates and plasticware for the guests instead of eating it directly out of the Dutch oven. Your canine buddies will be at the ready so be cautious about dropping this stuff on the floor, don't share or you will pay for it later.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges; When the Republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous. - Publius Cornelius Tacitus

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01 Jul 2011 16:25 #35 by otisptoadwater
Having guests over that like ice cream but don't want to get stuck with the leftover store brands that you will end up throwing away anyhow? Here's a way to entertain them and put them to work making their own dessert...

Ice Cream in a Bag

I'm told that the ice cream mix below is very close to Thomas Jefferson's recipe for vanilla ice cream, (of course TJ didn't make it in plastic bags) makes about 2 quarts.

What You Need

6 yolks of eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 quarts of whipping cream
1 vanilla bean
8 plastic grocery bags
4 one gallon ziplock bags
4 one quart ziplock bags
Lots of ice cubes
2 cups rock salt, have some extra on hand especially if it's a hot day

How It's Done

The day before mix the egg yolks and sugar together. Put the cream in a large sauce pot over medium-high heat along with the whole vanilla bean (split the bean vertically and use the blade of a pairing knife to scrape the contents of the bean into the cream). When near boiling, take the mixture off the heat, allow to cool slightly and pour in the mixture of eggs and sugar. Stir well then return the mixture to the heat, stirring it thoroughly with a spoon to prevent scalding the mixture. When the mixture is near boiling, remove from the heat and fish out the vanilla bean pod. Once the mixture is warm to the touch but not hot, pour the mixture into the quart bags in equal portions, one pint each. Once the mixture is in the pint bags seal them shut and place them upright in the refrigerator, cooling overnight is best.

The rest of the process is best done outside because it can get a little messy. Get the chilled quart bags with the ice cream mix inside them and have them ready. Fill four gallon-sized bags halfway up with ice, then pour in about 1/2 cup rock salt in each gallon bag. Mix it around, then put the quart size bags in the gallon bags with the ice and salt. Make sure the quart bags are sealed and that each quart bag is covered with ice.

Seal the gallon bags securely and place it in a couple layers of plastic shopping bags. Shake or rotate the bag for at least five minutes - preferably ten. If your hands are sensitive to cold wrap the bag in a towel. After shaking open the gallon bags to check the firmness of the ice cream in the quart bag. Still soupy? Add more ice and salt and keep shaking. Once the ice cream is firm carefully remove the quart bag from the gallon bag, avoid getting salt in the quart bag.

Without opening the quart bag pour a little water into the top of the bag and then pour the water back out (this ensures you won't get salt in the ice cream) then turn the quart bag inside out into a bowl to get all the ice cream out. I just eat it straight out of the bag...

Don't like vanilla? You're the one that is going to eat it not me, toss in berries, chocolate chips and/or syrup, diced pineapple or whatever else you want after you have poured the mix into quart bags and chill overnight. Go wild and make four different flavors! I have had moderate success adding chopped hazel nuts, Frangelico, and a shot of espresso to the mix but that's for adult guests. Might even be good with some diced cooked bacon and maple syrup... Obviously kids love this stuff, I have doubled the recipe with good results and it keeps the kids busy for a bout a half hour.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges; When the Republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous. - Publius Cornelius Tacitus

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07 Jul 2011 20:56 #36 by otisptoadwater
Find yourself on the road and hungry for Mexican food but short on cash or at home and just too damn lazy to do much more than nuke something simple? How about...

Easy Budget Mexican Feast

What You Need:

1 package frozen taquitos, beef or chicken
1 small package shredded sharp cheddar
1 small yellow onion, diced (think salad bar or COSTCO hot dog condiment bar)
Pickled jalapeno slices (think salad bar or COSTCO hot dog condiment bar)
1 can refried beans
1 packet of instant Spanish rice
1 can green chili or enchilada sauce
2 Microwave safe bowls (scavenge a couple of empty cream cheese tubs during a break break from your business meeting)
Plastic ware, you'll want a couple of spoons a knife and a fork (get'em from the same business meeting)
Paper plates (same source as above, carry a briefcase and be discrete)

How It's Done

Cook the taquitos according to the microwave instructions on the package. Pour the refried beans in to a "microwave safe" bowl (whatever that is...) and nuke until warm. Prepare the instant rice in your other "microwave safe" bowl according to the instructions on the package. Spoon out the desired amount of rice, beans, and taquitos on to a plate then pour the rice and beans in to one bowl and pour in the green chili or enchilada sauce in to the empty bowl and nuke until warm. Top the taquitos off with the sauce, cheese, onions and jalapenos. Best with a rare American pilsner such as Rolling Rock, Mickey's, or Blatz. Take pity on your fellow travelers if you are making this meal in a hotel room, sleep with the window open (assuming your room is four or five floors up)!

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges; When the Republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous. - Publius Cornelius Tacitus

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09 Jul 2011 14:52 #37 by otisptoadwater
Another one pan meal that uses up leftovers or can be served as a side dish...

Easy Fried Rice

What You Need:

2 green onions, cut on the bias into 1/8 inch rings
3 eggs
1/4 cup frozen peas
1 large carrot, slivered (if you aren't up to that much knife work use a cheese grater)
1/2 cup ham, cooked chicken, or cooked pork, 1/4 inch dice
Salt
Black pepper
4 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, vegetable oil is fine but sesame oil is a bonus
4 cups cold cooked rice
Soy sauce
Red chili flakes or dried Tiber chilies (optional but I wouldn't leave it out)

How It's Done:

Wash and finely chop the green onion. Lightly beat the eggs with the salt and pepper. Heat a wok or frying pan and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the eggs and cook, stirring until they are lightly scrambled but not too dry. Remove the eggs and clean out the pan with a paper towel.

Add 2 more tablespoons oil to the wok or pan then add the rice, peas, carrots, meat and red chili flakes or Tiber chilies. Stir-fry for a few minutes, using chopsticks or a wooden spoon to break the rice apart and combine all the ingredients.

When the rice mixture is heated through and the peas are thawed stir in the soy sauce and add the scrambled egg back into the pan. Mix thoroughly, stir in the green onion last and eat it while it's hot. Makes three Otis sized portions, doesn't keep well so this is one of those meals you have to eat over the next five days.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges; When the Republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous. - Publius Cornelius Tacitus

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09 Jul 2011 19:19 #38 by otisptoadwater
One of the great culinary debates, do beans belong in chili? I think it depends on the chili, I like this recipe with beans...

Contest Winning Chili with Beans

What You Need:

4 slices smoked bacon, cut into bite size pieces
4 lbs chuck roast
4 14 ounce cans black beans
4 14 ounce cans of stewed tomatoes
12 ounces tomato paste
10 ounces beef broth
6 ounces dark beer, Shiner Bock or similar is recommended
2 cups strong coffee, one way to dispatch any leftover coffee without letting it go to waste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
8 Serrano chilies, chopped (vein and seed them if you need to, that's where the heat is)
4 Habanero chilies, chopped (vein and seed them if you need to, I say don't bother this is going to be hot no matter what)
3 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon hot sauce, Texas Pete or Frank's Red Hot
3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
Secret ingredients, I'm not going to tell you all of them but cigar ash, Mexican chocolate, trace amounts of gunpowder, and dill pickle brine are included in mine.

How It's Done:

Open the beer and drink half of it, you may find that you will want additional beer but none of it will go into the chili. Break out the dutch oven, this time of year this is an outside cooking job so get all of your ingredients out to the grill and pre-heat the Dutch oven. Toss in all of the bacon stir and cook until crispy. Add onions, garlic and chuck roast to the pot, sear the beef on all sides. Add tomatoes, beer, coffee, tomato paste and broth to pot and bring to a boil then lower the heat and let the meat simmer 2 1/2 or 3 hours. When the beef is cooked remove it from the pot and allow it to rest. Meanwhile add spices, chilies, and beans to the Dutch oven and cover. Simmer for 1/2 an hour, shred the beef and add it to the Dutch oven. Tastes best refrigerated overnight and reheated because the spice level doubles. Serve piping hot, topped with shredded cheese or a dollop of sour cream.

I have won the "Hottest Red Chili With Beans" award three years running with this recipe in the office chili cook off and I have been cussed at by the judges consistently, the management is recruited to judge each year and some of them probably think Ketchup is spicy. One year one of the judges challenged me by declaring the chili inedible so I sat down and ate a bowl in front of her and then I said "...seems to me it could use a bit more spice!" :biggrin:

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges; When the Republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous. - Publius Cornelius Tacitus

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12 Jul 2011 23:04 #39 by otisptoadwater
Have a craving for Chinese food? How about...

Chow Mein

What You Need:

Well seasoned wok (this is one dish that cast iron doesn't do as well as steel)
Chop sticks, preferably some extra disposable chop sticks from your last visit to a Chinese restaurant
8 oz. steamed chow mein noodles
Roast pork, cut into thin slices
5 shrimp, shelled and de-veined, shelled, and tails removed.
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1/4 cup shredded carrot
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 stalks scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
Salt to taste
Red chili flakes to taste

Git'r Dun:

Soak the steamed chow mein in cold water for about 5 minutes. Rinse a few times until the water turns clear and the chow mein is soft. Drain the excess water and set aside. Don’t over soak the noodles or they will get water logged and soggy, you'll end up with mush instead of tasty food. :^ (

Combine all the seasonings in a small mixing bowl and have them at the ready. Heat up the wok with the cooking oil, add in the chopped garlic and stir-fry until light brown, when you smell the garlic it's ready. Add the pork and shrimp and stir fry until they are half done, it won't take long so pay attention. Add the shredded cabbage and carrot into the wok and stir quickly. Add the noodles, the seasoning mixture, and the water. Continue to stir until the noodles are well blended with the seasonings and completely cooked through. Add the chopped scallions, stir some more to make sure all of the ingredients are well combined. This recipe only makes enough for Otis so I eat it out of the wok, if you have guests quadruple the ingredients and break out your best plasticware and paper plates, serve while it's hot.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges; When the Republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous. - Publius Cornelius Tacitus

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13 Jul 2011 00:17 #40 by Blazer Bob
I am a big fan of butter and salt, but the very best corn on the cob and the absolute easiest to fix and prepare is raw. Nothing beats a good ear of corn eaten raw.

Preparation: peel. Then eat.


otisptoadwater wrote: This has to be one of the easiest things to make that I know of... Also a great excuse for a fall road trip to north eastern Colorado!

Corn on the Cob

What You Need:

Ears of corn in the husk
Fire or grill
Butter
Heal of bread
Salt

How it's Done:

Get the corn at your favorite place, DO NOT peel the ears open just select ears that are green and tasseled out. Feel around the top of each ear to ensure there are kernels all the way up to the top of each ear. Not a 100% guarantee that every ear will be a good one but I get it right more often than not. If cooking over a wood fire gather coals off to one side of the fire and place the corn directly on top of the coals, on a grill place corn on the grilling surface. Roll the corn as each side facing the heat turns brown and even black. Remove each ear from the heat once all sides are brown to black.

While the corn cooks butter the heal of bread and salt it, use a lot of butter and salt. Break out your welding gloves and peel each ear by pulling as much of the silk ouot of the top as you can and then peeling back the husk, wrap the inverted husk with a paper towel and use the husk as a handle. Run the corn over the buttered bread making sure to cover all sides. Eat and repeat as needed.

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