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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pan Fried Sliced Boneless Pork Roast

One boneless pork roast or loin
about 2 pounds is what I used  - but adjust that to the size of your family or the number of people you are feeding
flour (I used oat flour)

cooking oil  (I use peanut oil)

First, you go to the store, and you buy meat that looks good at the best price you can find.  Then you take it home and figure out how to cook it.

Of course you can roast a pork roast, or a pork loin, or even a flounder if you want to.  Sometimes though roasted meat just doesn't sound good.  If you have been on one of those low fat diets you may be wanting something fried.  If you have that craving more than a couple of days, you better go ahead and eat something fried, or you may find your self with a glass of Penzoil on ice.....but that is a different story for a different blog.

Anyway, a pork roast or a pork loin will fry up nicely.  Take the meat and slice it about 3/4 of inch thick 
Salt and pepper to taste.  I like to sprinkle on some seasoning salt if I have it.  Currently I have a couple of jars of seasoning salt from Cabela's.  One is for wild game - but it tastes good on anything.  The other one is general seasoning salt - and it also tastes good on anything  It looks pretty nice on pork because it has some colorful items in it, and pork being light meat, the seasoning shows up nicely.  It makes it look like you spent a lot of time getting your spices together when all you really did was just open the jar and shake a little on the meat,

Then lightly flour the meat.  Don't over do because you are not deep frying, and you don't want the flour to soak up too much oil.  I used to always use wheat flour, but since our youngest grandson is allergic to wheat now, I have branched out.  I have found that oat flour browns up nicely and works for a lot of stuff.  So, that is what I used for this.  But of course wheat flour will work fine.

I use peanut oil for frying because it seems like that oil doesn;t smoke if I let it get a little hotter than I meant to.  It doesn't seem to soak into the meat quite a much as other oils do.

Pour a scant half inch of oil in the skilelt. Heat the oil to medium heat or maybe just a tad hotter..  Stand back so you won't get burned by grease if it splashes, and carefull put the sliced, seasoned, floured pork into the skillet.  Watch the edges of the meat.  It will probably take about 5 minutes until you can see the edges beginning to brown.  Turn the meat with a spatula.  I use a metal spatula because that works better to get any meat loose that sticks to the bottom of the pan   It is usually around ten minutes per skillet.  Take the meat up as it is done.  Put more meat into the skillet, and keep on cooking until all the meat is fried.  This is pan fried, not deep fried, so the calories are not as bad, and the crust is not as thick. 

Now, if you happen to like gravy, there will some nice brown crust left in the pan.  It will make very good gravy.

Mashed potatoes goes very well with this meal of course  And if there is gravy, then it is really good on bread.

OR, if you have sliced a pork loin, you have some nice sized pieces of meat.  In fact, they are nice and round like a hamburger patty or a chicken fried steak.  The pan fried pork works great in a hamburger bun served with a bag of chips,

Basically, this is a very tasty meal with not a lot of effort involved. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Shepherds Pie

Shepherds Pie - tasty and easy

1 1/2 pounds of very lean ground beef
1 can corn
1 can green peas
3 cups mashed potatoes (approximately)
tad of butter
garlic powder
onion powder
dried basil

Shepherds pie is really a meal in the middle of 3 meals at our house.
First I cook a meal that has mashed potatoes as a side dish - being certain to cook enough potatoes to go on the Shepherd's Pies the next day.
When I cook the Shepherds Pie, I cook enough hamburger meat for a meal of spaghetti or chili the next day.

Here is the way to cook the Shepherds Pie

Brown approximately 1 1/2 pounds of the best hamburger that you can afford.  If you use very lean, you won't have to drain off the fat. I use 1 1/2 pounds of hamburger meat for the Shepherds Pie.  If you are cooking extra meat for chili or spaghetti the next day, then you need to double that amount.  When it is done, just refrigerate about half of the meat for the meal the next day.  Then put the rest in the oven safe pan for the Shepherd's Pie.

I start by browning about 1 teaspoon of butter in the skillet.  I add my salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried basil to the butter as it browns. There is no set amount of spices.  You just add about what you normally add  If you are new at cooking, use about half a teaspoon of salt and several shakes of everything else.  If you don't have all the spices, just leave them out.  Salt is really the only thing that is hard to leave out. I personally. like the smell of it butter browning.  If you don't have time - skip that step and just fling the hamburger in the skillet and start it frying.  Add the spices and salt while it is cooking.

When the meat is done, move it over to an oven safe pan.  The pan I used in the photo is about 9 inches square and 4 inches deep.  You just want a pan that everything will fit into.

Add one more teaspoon of butter to the skillet in which you fried the meat.  As it is browning, open and drain your corn and peas and stir into browned butter.  That adds a nice taste and very few calories to the entire dish.  However, if you don't want the added butter, or if you don't want to take the time to brown the vegetables, just drain them well and put them on top of the hamburger meat.  Then spread your potatoes on top of the peas and corn.   Try to get the potatoes spread out to the edge of the pan to help hold in moisture.

I sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of the potatoes - but that is optional.  It smells nice baking, and gives a nice brown to the top of the potatoes.

Put in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour - depending on how brown you want the top of the potatoes and how soon everyone is going to expect supper on the table.  Everything in the meal is already cooked so it really just needs to be warm all the way through.  I like it to cook about an hour just so all the flavors have time to sort of blend together.

While the meal is cooking, you have an hour or so to do something else.  If you are able to goof off  that is great, but you can also get another chore or two done if you feel that you must.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Drumsticks in the Oven

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

ten to twelve drumsticks - with our without skins
garlic powder

Spray skillet with cooking spray.
Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder over chicken.
Paprika is optional. It adds a bright color to the chicken, and is reported to be very high in vitamin c. I like how it looks, and tastes, so I use it.

Arrange drumsticks in the skillet, cover with lid, and put in oven.

Bake for approximately one hour.
I sometimes set the oven at 325 if I want them to cook a little slower. You can also fling an appropriate number of foil covered potatoes in the oven to bake along with the chicken if that sounds good. They may take a little longer to cook than the chicken. If they are not done when the chicken is done, Remove the chicken from the oven and turn it up to about 425 degrees. To check to see if the potatoes are done you can either fork them; or, (using a pot holder) squeeze the potatoe from both ends and see if the middle seems soft.

This is the main dish for a meal.
It is also good to take to any sort of potluck.
It is an affordable and tasty.

I serve it with rice, or quinoa, or potatoes, or potato salad, or a green leafy salad. It really depends on what is on hand at the time.

The bright color of yellor corn or green peas looks nice with chicken cooked this way.

I try to get the chicken on sale and freeze it in portions that will make a meal for the family. It works nicely with chicken thighs as well as drumsticks. I usually leave the skin on. I am careful to drain off any fat that is the bottom of the skillet. You can skin the meat first if you like. The chicken is more likely to cook a little on the dry side without the skin, but then the seasoning is right on the meat. It is good either way.