Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rosie And Her Twenty-Minute Meals.

Things can be a bit hectic at meal times around the Hawthorne Household what with the Hawthornelets' comings and goings, job schedules, and social engagements. And when they come home at whatever time, they expect me to have a meal ready for them in a matter of minutes if not already on the table. I guess I'm supposed to have psychic powers and know when each of my spawns is returning to the fold for sustenance. Since I don't have such powers, it's nice to have a few recipes in my repertoire that I can whip up in little or no time. Pasta is always good for that.
I would have preferred rotini for this but was fresh out since I'd used it recently for my minty pea pesto and a basil pesto. I did have some elbow macaroni so that worked. This is one of those use anything in the fridge and get rid of leftovers kind of recipe.
First I sliced my pepperoni and nuked it for about 45 seconds. Rosie Tip #231: When using pepperoni in a dish, especially on a pizza, nuke it first to get rid of a lot of the grease.
My ingredients: baby corn black olives frozen peas broccoli carrots
I poured my macaroni into boiling salted water and about two minutes before the pasta was ready I added my broccoli florets.
One minute later, I added my carrot slices and cooked for a minute, then drained.
I added the frozen peas to the hot mixture and covered to heat the peas through.
After a minute or two, the baby corn went in.
Black olives.
And Italian dressing of your choice. This is Mr. Hawthorne's Homemade Balsamic Vinegar Italian dressing.
Toss and serve.
This seemed to satisfy everyone.
It was light, quick (as in 20 minutes), easy, and quite tasty. And like I said, you can use whatever veggies you have in your fridge or garden for this. Another favorite of the Hawthorne Boys is a burrito.
I had bought about 3 pounds of hamburger meat on sale the other day for a Just Ask Rosie request for chili and I'll be using just part of this for the burritos. I have several other uses in mind for the ground beef, so I'm seasoning the whole 3 pounds together. And I'll individually season each dish. I used: 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons Montreal Steak seasoning 2-3 tablespoons Lea & Perrins 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce And mixing by hand is the way to go.
I heated my skillet and put in about 1 pound of the hamburger meat to brown. My burrito seasonings: sprinkling of granulated garlic sprinkling of onion powder teaspoon or more to taste of cumin and coriander I drained the meat several times throughout cooking to get rid of the meat joos. All the dogs liked this part since the joos went onto their kibble. Now I'm ready for assembly. Here's the mozzarella I'm using on the inside.
I put a few spoonfuls of the meat filling at the edge of the tortilla, topped with the mozzarella, rolled it up, and topped it with cheddar cheese.
A quick trip under the broiler to melt the cheese and WALLAH! Middle Hawthorne's quick dinner at 4 PM since he's off to work. I had filling leftover so I made a second batch for whenever Youngest Hawthorne came in.
I had a bit more filling to use up here so I just folded the tortilla over since rolling was not an option.
Youngest Hawthorne sprinkled his with bottom-of-the-bag-crushed-tortilla chips, some jalapeno pieces, and onion with sour cream. They're both upset with me because I didn't have fresh homemade salsa or any creme fraiche with lime zest and cilantro. BAD Rosie! More of the boys' Less Than Twenty-Minute Meals:
I had leftov, I mean MOREOVER rice and MOREOVER chili. In case you didn't read my last post I have made up a word to describe a dish that was not totally eaten at first tasting, and remains in the fridge waiting to be blessed 2-3 more times. Here's what I wrote: Nothing goes to waste in the Hawthorne Household. And I don't refer to the remnants as leftovers. Immediately after writing the word "leftovers," I knew I needed another word that was more real, more definitive, and positive. First I thought of the word re-do's. But that implies it wasn't done right the first time around when it certainly was. Then I considered do-overs. But, of course, that, too, has a negative connotation. I've put a lot of thought into this trying to come up with just the right word which describes the process of what I do in the life chain of the produce and viande I prepare and serve and consume. And my word is moreovers. Think about it: You've already produced and served a wonderful, satisfying, convivial repast. So, what's next? MORE is next. When you say "Moreover," you're likely going to top what you previously said, put an exclamation point there, and/or put it in bold or italics. So, I have no leftovers. I have MOREOVERS! Back to Youngest Hawthorne and my moreovers: Youngest Hawthorne was very inventive and creative and actually fixed his own meal: Nuked rice and chili with melted plastic cheese on top and a tossing of Tostitos. Then Middle Hawthorne came in and wanted a meal.
The ingredients: My moreover seasoned burrito filling from above. My moreover Tex Mex/Southwest/whatever that means stuffing for the peppers from the other day. Sliced tomatoes. Sliced black olives. Chopped onions. Cheddar cheese. Mozzarella cheese.
I started layering tortillas with the seasoned hamburger mixture, mozzarella cheese, and black bean mixture. Then Middle Hawthorne got frustrated because I wasn't going fast enough and he was faint from his hunger, so he took over the assembly.
Tomatoes and black olives were thrown on. Literally.
More black bean, corn, jalapeno, green pepper, and mozzarella mixture. More cheeses and toppings haphazardly thrown on.
He finally stopped here. I think he had 4-5 layers.
His tortilla cake went into a 350 degree oven ... ... until it was heated through. And he sat down and ate the entire thing. Oh, to have the metabolism of a 21-year old.

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