Friday, December 6, 2013

December 6, 2013

While it now seems like ancient history,  I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving.  We traveled for the holiday and had a wonderful time.  This week was busy with catching up on everything since we were gone for almost the whole week, but we were able to make a few new recipes.  And two of them earned keeper status!!!

The two keeper recipes were chopped steaks with mushroom gravy, and smashed red potatoes with scallions.  I served them both the same night and was so pleased that they were both a hit.  There is something so wonderfully satisfying when we sit down as a family and everyone not only tries new things but loves what they taste.  I think that is what keeps me going with this endeavor.  Sometimes when I meal plan for the week I want to stick with the usual suspects  - salmon, tacos, pasta.  But then I think of the times when smiles come across the kids faces and Owen or Liam yells "keeper".   Then I hunt through the piles of recipes I have and decide on a few new things to try.  And each week I am happy I did.  I hope you've tried a few things along the way with us as well!  It'll put a smile on your face, too!

New Recipes
Smashed Red Potatoes with Scallion
Chopped Steaks with Mushroom Gravy

Chopped Steaks


For the patties
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1/4 minced onion
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 1/2 lbs ground sirloin
* 1/2 cup crushed saltine crackers (9 crackers)
* 1 tsp kosher salt
* 1 tsp black pepper

For the gravy
* 2 tbsp unsalted butter
* 8 oz button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
* 1/2 cup diced onion
* 2 tbsp AP flour
* 2 cups beef broth
* chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Combine the patty ingredients, mixing with your hands.  Shape the meat into 6-8 patties of equal size.
3. Sear the patties in a large saute pan over medium high heat until browned on one side.  Flip the patties and then transfer the pan to the oven.  Cook the patties until 160 F, approximately 15-20 minutes. Transfer the patties to a plate and loosely tent with foil.
4. Carefully (since the saute pan is hot!) melt the butter.  Add the mushrooms and saute over medium high heat until brown and most of the moisture has been released and evaporated, approximately 8-10 minutes.  Stir in the onion and flour; cook for 2 minutes.
5. Stir in the broth and cook until the gravy thickens slightly, about 3-5 minutes.
6. Serve the gravy with the steaks, and garnish with the fresh parsley.

Ryan thought this was a much improved version of Salisbury steak, and the kids thought it was a fancy hamburger that we were eating with knives and forks.  It got 4 keeper votes from our dinner table, and the gravy alone was fabulous!!!  We put it on our smashed potatoes in addition to the patties.

Smashed Red Potatoes with Scallions

*24 oz red - skinned potatoes, cubed
* 1/2 cup sliced scallions
* 1/4 cup half & half
* 2 tbsp unsalted butter
* 2 tsp Dijon mustard
* salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the potatoes in a pot of salted boiling water until form tender, 10-12 minutes.  Drain.
2. Return the potatoes to the pot and cook over medium heat and stir until all the excess moisture has evaporated, approximately 1 minute.
3. Remove the potatoes from the heat, then add in the scallions, half & half, butter and mustard.  Smash the potatoes with a potato masher to the desired consistency.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Serve and enjoy.

While it doesn't call for it, I peeled the potatoes.  My kids were more apt to eat it all without picking around the skins.  But either way, skins on or off, this was delicious!  I am sure you could make this recipe with whatever milk you have on hand, but we had half & half on hand for some other recipes we were making this week.  This was great with the gravy from chopped steaks.