Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ignoring the Cook Books

I have a bunch of cook books. I even have one I made myself, from over 300 no-fail, much-loved recipes begged from friends and family. I rarely use them.

I'm kind of a "whatever" cook. I toss in this and that until it tastes good and then we eat. Tonight was no exception. When I made out my weekly menu (I pick 7 dinner meals and shop for those items) my DH said he wanted "hamburger steaks with mushrooms and onion gravy and stuff."

For the gravy I used:
1 lb of mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 medium white onions, thinly sliced
2 huge cloves of garlic
a pat of butter (about the amount you would use to butter 2 slices of toast)
1 can of fat free cream of mushroom soup (condensed)
about 1/2 cup of 1% milk

2 squirts (about 2 Tablespoons) worchestershire sauce
powdered mustard

I sauteed the onions, mushroom and garlic in the butter until soft and just starting to brown/camamelize and then I added in the seasonings. I used these because I opened my spice cupboard and they looked good. I have a bag of spicy/hot paprika my grandparents got me in Hungary that I'm trying to use up. I used almost a teaspoon of this stuff because it's starting to lose its potency and even then the resulting gravy was not spicy. Mustard powder because I like mustard on burgers (which is an odd line of reasoning because they don't taste the same at all), oregano because my DH wants it on everything and no salt because the worchestershire sauce is salty enough. Hannah made me take a picture of the garlic, though I'd already put half of it in the pan.

I let them cook a couple more minutes while I made hamburger patties out of some fresh ground beef and set them to cooking in another skillet. I sprinkled them with salt, pepper and a squirt or worchestershire sauce (because it was still out).

Then I added the can of mushroom soup to the onion/mushroom mess and whisked it in with my trusty rubber whisk so as not to scratch up my lovely new pan. Add in the milk, whisk, turn to low and let it hang out.

When the hamburgers were done I de-greased them a little by laying on paper towels and then turned them over and over in the gravy.

Side dishes consisted of tater tots (another request) and green beans. Start to finish this meal took me about 45 minutes but that's because I forgot to preheat the oven before I started cooking and we had to wait on the tots.

The "gravy" was *awesome* and I kept thinking along vegetarian lines so I've come up with a couple alternatives for any of you veggie lovers out there!

Instead of hamburger, slice and toast some everything italian bread in the oven. Once crispy, ladle gravy over it! It would also be yummy over some thick-sliced and fried egg plant. Sliced grilled or fried tofu might also work but I don't know, I have no expierence with it.
And, if going that route...

Subsitute the toast or egg plant for hamburger but also substitute a can of vegetable stock for the milk and olive oil for the butter (that we sauteed the onions and mushrooms in).

1 comment:

  1. I just found you and I am SEW happy! I am also a stay at home mom of 2 and have a lovely hubby. I also work from home as a partner owner to our little piece of heaven - Sew Sweet Quilt Shop!
    -Love that you are a throw together cook - me too. and LOVE the paper plates - me too. What age are your little ones. Mine are 1 and 2 - 13 months apart.