There have been several meals I have given some kind of name just so I could post them here on the blog. This time, I'm not coming up with any particular kind of name, so it doesn't have one. Most of the meals I cook are just a combination of ingredients that sound good. I may have gotten the original idea from a recipe some time back, but most things come from pondering the ingredients we have on hand and coming up with a meal that will utilize those ingredients in a way that tastes good, hopefully. Of course, that isn't always the case, sometimes it's really good, sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not anything to write home about, and sometimes it's not something we ever want to try to replicate again. This time, since I'm sharing it with you, it falls into the good category. And, actually, a couple of days ago the first time I made it, it was better than this time.
A few days ago when Frank asked the proverbial question, "What's for dinner?" I looked around at all of the fresh garden produce and said, "Potatoes, onions, peppers, tomatoes and meat." He gave me a very dubious look and asked how I was going to cook it. Here is what I described.
Start off with some olive oil and potatoes, frying/sauteing them first. I always salt and pepper the potatoes.
After they are off to a good start, add the onion. We really like onions cooked this way so I used 1 1/2 onions sliced rather big.
Give the onions a bit to cook until they start to clear up, then add peppers. These are sweet peppers and cook up very well. Add as many as you like.
Once the vegetables are about two thirds cooked, take ground meat and drop it around here and there. These pieces are about rounded tablespoon size. I mixed salt and pepper in with the meat beforehand. I space the pieces of meat apart so they will cook individually and end up like weird shaped, small meat balls. After I space them out on top, I turn the entire mixture with a spatula to put the meat at the bottom against the skillet. Then I put another batch of 'meatballs' on top. In all I used about a half pound of meat. Let everything cook, turning as needed, until the meat is done.
For just the last few minutes, add the peeled, diced tomatoes and only cook until they are heated through. This time I cooked them too long and they had blended away into a sauce. The first time I made this, the tomatoes were still in chunks, had a more distinct flavor and Frank liked it much better. But this step is easily adapted to your own preference.
The only spices I added were salt and pepper. This dish would be good with many different spices, it's just that what we wanted was the flavor of the vegetables. The meat takes on a nice subtle flavor from the vegetables, especially all of the onions. This is another one dish meal that is easy to fix and utilizes some of the yummy, fresh vegetables from the garden. The variety of combinations is endless and only limited to what is growing on hand. This dish would be good on a bed of rice, or wrapped in a fresh tortilla, or on a smaller scale, inside of an omelet.
Grow what you like and eat what you grow. It's another example of using your food storage. Don't buy a bunch of stuff that is advertised as easy to fix and nutritious in the event of a disaster and stick it under your bed or on a shelf and never eat it. Because if you end up needing it, you may find out that it is just not palatable, or that it makes you sick because you're not used to eating that kind of food. The same goes for gardening and food preservation. Last summer I finally grew a semi decent crop of lima beans. I had been trying to grow them for three years and was thrilled with my success. But, you know what? After all that time and effort, we found out we don't like them! They were really yucky, so I will not be growing anymore. I've also experimented with a lot of different peppers and have settled on jalapenos and a sweet pepper. The verdict is still out on green beans and corn.
It takes time and effort to fine tune what grows well, preserves well and tastes good. Use your time wisely. The events of the world are a complicated cause for concern. Keep your eyes open and your mind sharp. Don't put off doing what that still small voice is prompting you to do. Listen and act. It's important.
Until next time - Fern