Since Eve made that unforgivable mistake, traditionally, woman has labored by the sweat of her brow in the kitchen, among other places.
Long gone is The Garden of Eden and the talking worm, but the modern-day Eve is daily plagued with the question, “What’s for dinner?” Frequently, today’s answer must be something that doesn’t take too long to prepare, but is healthy, delicious and economical.
Sometimes, a meal can be prepared ahead of time, frozen and is ready to heat and eat, when needed. Leftover meats often can be utilized and incorporated into a new dish rather than become just “leftovers.” A salad made from fresh greens, tomato, carrot, red pepper, leftover chicken, turkey or beef with cheese strips and sliced hard-boiled egg, when served with your favorite dressing and crusty bread, makes a good, quick meal. An omelet to which you’ve added a handful of sliced mushrooms, leftover ham strips, cheese and leftover spinach or asparagus may just do the trick.
There are also quite a few dishes that don’t require a great amount of preparation time, yet taste like they do. Here is one of my quick favorites. It was given to me by Rose, a former co-worker, who never batted an eyelash when asked, “What’s for dinner?” Here is her version of, “Oh, you just…,” which I first used one night when I forgot to defrost the meat. Luckily, I had some frozen minute steaks on hand.
When I make this recipe now, I buy thinly sliced round steak. Usually, this is available in the meat section of the supermarket. If you don’t see it, ask the butcher to slice the round steak about 1/8-inch thick. You can make the same recipe using thin-sliced chicken breast, substituting white wine for the red wine and chicken cubes for the beef cubes. It’s wonderful both ways. Also, any leftovers are great the next day on a roll, with lettuce, tomato and a little mayonnaise.
ROSE’S BEEF (CHICKEN)
¾ lb. thin-sliced round steak cut 1/8-inch thick
1 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. butter, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
2 beef (Herb-Ox) seasoning packets or beef cubes
1 cup red wine – inexpensive, not sweet
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ lb. mushrooms, sliced (more if you like mushrooms)
1 Tbsp. minced parsley
- Melt oil and 1 Tbsp. butter in skillet over medium heat.
- When oil/butter mixture is hot, sauté meat quickly, approximately one minute per side, or until meat is no longer red and begins to brown. Season meat lightly with salt and pepper.
- Remove meat from the skillet and keep warm.
- Add the additional 1 Tbsp. butter to pan and sauté onions and mushrooms for a few minutes until onions are translucent and mushrooms are softened.
- Remove and set aside with the beef.
- Crumble and mix the two beef cubes into the pan.
- Stir in one cup of wine.
- Turn heat high and allow wine to cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
- Add minced parsley.
- Return meat, onion and mushrooms to pan for one or two minutes on low heat.
Good accompanied with rice, veggie and a salad.
So remember: don’t listen to worms. Try Rose’s recipe and give your other half a little food for thought while enjoying dinner. Let him know why you’re cooking so well.
“Grow Old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the
First was made.
Our times are in his hand.”
Maybe you’ll get a kiss! At worst, it sure will make him think, “What has she been reading lately?”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Eat well, live long, enjoy!
(Questions or tips can be sent to Donna Zitter Bordelon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Northeast Times, 2512 Metropolitan Drive, Trevose, PA 19053.)