Although I’ve made the meal for years, last night, my Wonder Woman said, “I’m starting to view this as comfort food.” *huh* For me, it’s always been comfort food, an imitation of a meal my mom used to make on rare occasions back when I was just a lad.
Packaged chicken pot pies
A sort of mock Waldorf salad.
I miss the aluminum pans packaged chicken pot pies used to come in. They were so very useful for many things. Still, packaged chicken pot pies are pretty standardized, nothing to see there, really, but the salad?
OK, “mock Waldorf” because it includes apples and walnuts. The rest is shopped or shredded cabbage, chopped (almost minced) celery and/or celery seed, a can of fruit salad (drained), and mayonnaise. The amounts of cabbage, apple, walnut, etc., are variable, so the amount of mayo–added last–is too.
Last night, a couple of differences:
I just used a package of pre-shredded coleslaw mix that included julienned carrots.
Had no celery. Reached for the celery seed and started shaking some on (“measuring” b’guess-n-b’gosh) and realized I’d grabbed celery SALT. *meh* It ended up all right.
And finally, after decades of making this meal, it’s “comfort food” for my Wonder Woman. So, I have accomplished something in this life.
This is to my taste. YMMV, so adjust amounts/ingredients at will.
Salsa fresca is one of those super easy-peasy things to make that really add a lot to meals and snacks.
Three or four ripe roma tomatoes, chopped or diced, depending on your preference. Size and amount of tomato suiting your taste rules here.
Three or four jalapeño or serano peppers, diced. (Again, to taste–other capsaicin-laden peppers can be substituted, if you wish.)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped or diced–your preference.
Two to four minced cloves of garlic.
Lime juice (to taste).
You may notice I do NOT use any cilantro in my salsa fresca. That’s simply because fresh cilantro tastes stongly like soap (cooked cilantro, perhaps a bit less so, but still. . . #gagamaggot).
Just mix the stuff up and chow down, or store it in a well-sealed container and use it within a day or two, at most.
Bonus: just add this to some coarsely mashed avocado for semi-instant guacamole. Yum.
I grew up with the following salad as part of a comfort meal that included packaged chicken pot pies, though my mother has, for the past ten years or so, disavowed any knowledge of this salad. . . *heh* I’ll give ingredients only–except for a couple of items–and note that you should simply balance the other ingredients against these to your taste.
1 – 14.5oz can of “fruit cocktail,” drained. (Sip the “drainage” or use elsewhere, if you want.)
1 – apple, chopped
Some coarsely chopped walnut
Celery seed, or celery seed and chopped celery.
Chopped green cabbage
Mayonnaise or “Miracle Whip” type salad dressing (use mayonnaise *heh*)
Combine and then place in the fridge for a few hours. I serve it, as per the childhood “comfort food meal,” with chicjen pot pies, whether home made or packaged.
Mother made sloppy joes with a few variations, depending on exactly what she had handy, but her standard sloppy joe meat was an easy-peasy quasi-recipe, modified here in amounts, a lil in process, and with a couple of my fav additions. Still easy-peasy.
Take a pound of hamburger meat. Crumble it in a medium hot pan and brown it. Chop an onion–coarsely–while it’s browning. Drain it (more or less; I drain it “indifferently” nowadays). Set it aside and mince a couple of cloves of garlic (or just do the garlic while the meat’s browning, along with the onion). Sautée those juuuuust to clarity and add the meat back. A few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce (I dunno how many; just until it’s enough for your taste), about 3 tablespoons of prepared mustard and enough ketchup to sop up the mustard *heh*.
I like to sautée about half a bell pepper (green), coarsely chopped, along with the onion and garlic.
Let it simmer to come together, and. . . sloppy joe time! Serve on toast or fav bun.
Another comforting food. . .
Mother’s “French” salad dressing:
Base: mayonaise (although she used Miracle whip, since that’s what my Dad preferred); add a wee a tad prepared mustard; a wee bit more ketchup. Stir to combine. Finished.
Mostly picked over carcass of a roast chicken
A couple of quarts of water
An onion, roughly chopped into large chunks
Five or six stalks of celery
A tablespoon or so of peppercorns
Salt (to taste, after a few hours’ cooking)
Cooked on high in crockpot for an hour or so, then low for a few hours, then “warm” overnight.
Too delicious for words. Store in fridge. After it’s well-chilled, you can scrape off the schmutz (the well-seasoned chicken fat), if you wish, for use in other recipes (DO NOT THROW THIS MAGICAL MATERIAL OUT!!!) or leave it for incorporation when using the stock/broth. I like it for just plain sippin’.
This is especially quick for me, since I almost always have all the ingredients at hand, including the toasted* (flat) corn tortillas and my fav brand of canned refried beans (seasoned with jalapeño, onion, garlic and cumin to make a better-than-Frito Lay bean dip).
- Flat, toasted (baked) corn totilla
- Refried beans (seasoned to taste)
- Shredded cheese (your fav); use pre-packaged or Make America Grate Again! *heh*
- Nuke for whatever time your MW oven takes to melt the cheese.
- Top with diced onion, shredded lettuce, salsa–whatever floats your boat.
Make just one or as many as you want to eat.
*I take corn tortillas, place them on a baking sheet in my convection toaster overn at 350F for ~20 minutes. They’re a wee tad more fragile than if fried in oil, but still really tasty and it’s a virtually hands-off job.
So, wanted to make some cabbage soup last week. Didin’t like the look of the cabbages at the local market, so grabbed a bag of “coleslaw mix” (just shredded cabbage and carrots) that did look OK. Didn’t use chicken stock cos I had some ham base to work with. Also didn’t use bacon, as would ordinarily be my wont, cos had tons (well, seemed that way) of “pork butt” already cooked and on hand.
Had only four small potatoes, but had onion, garlic and etc.
You see where this is going? Yeh, made some pretty decent cabbage soup anyway, largely from substitutions and leftovers.
And the leftover cabbage soup ain’t half bad, either.
OK, NOT authentic, but Good Enough in a pinch.
- Emergency can of enchilada sauce (the real stuff takes a while to make; traditional method takes eight or so hours of soaking the peppers to start)
- CORN tortillas
- Shredded cheese
- Diced or minced onion
- Dice or chop the onions, then place them in a covered, microwave-safe bowl and nuke ’em for about a minute. It’s a sort of faux saute technique. I usually add a wee tad of olive oil.
- Place a bit of enchilada sauce on a plate; place a tortilla (flat) on top; a few onions; cheese, another tortilla, etc. Last one in the stack gets sauce and cheese, only.
- Nuke the plate. Three tortillas will cook in a wee tad over a minute in a 1000W microwave oven. Four? Add another 20-30 seconds.
Yes, the texture is substantially different to regular, traditional rolled and baked enchiladas, but the favor and nutrition is the same.
Serve with rice (LEFTOVERS! *heh* Remember: QUICK meal, mmmK? 😉 ), refried beans (from leftovers or a can) and some shredded lettuce.
A note about canned enchilada sauce: most is based on tomatoes and water and merely favored to approximate real red sauce. IOW, most canned enchilada sauce is crap. Avoid it religiously. Around here, the only canned enchilada sauce that’s worth buying is this:
Note that it contains NO tomato product and the only ingredient present in a greater amount than dried red chiles is water, which is normal for real enchilada sauce consisting of simply dried red chiles (rehydrated, softened and blended) and water. The other ingredients listed don’t detract greatly from the flavor. *heh*
SUPER fast faux enchiladas: take some of those frozen flautas that are available nowadays (I think I’ve seen ’em called “taquitos” or some such stupid thing). Cover ’em in an appropriate enchilada sauce you have on hand (red for beef, green for chicken), add shredded cheese and then nuke. I’ve done this when I was in a rush (my Wonder Woman likes to have those frozen things to take with her for lunches, so they’re around). Turns out. . . edible, but not as good, IMO as the “flatpacks” above.
5.5 pounds of pork butt in the slow cooker with onion, garlic, a wee bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. After five hours, a bit “soupy” but smelling great. Give it overnight on a nice, low setting so it can be pulled tomorrow and then put back to soak on low heat in BBQ sauce.
Beans are soaking separately. They’ll cook up nicely to go with the pork for tomorrow evening’s meal. Cornbread? Sure, why not that, too? Now, for greens. . .
I like simple, one-pot recipes. Cube a couple of steaks and brown ’em. Add chopped peppers and onion (and some freshly ground black pepper). Toss in a cuppa rice, some tumeric (& whatever *heh*), and a couple of cupsa beer. Lil later, add some frozen peas. Let it all kinda simmer a while, then chow.
Oh, some beer batter bread is a nice accompaniment.
And another beer. 😉