Roast Beef a Classic Comfort Food

Photo by Gayle Martin

Sometimes I wonder if I may have been a cannibal in a previous life. I’ve always preferred my beef cooked rare. Whether it’s a T-bone, a rib eye, or roast beef, for me it always tastes best when it’s rare or medium rare.

Roast beef was a staple on our dinner table when I was growing up. It’s so versatile and it comes in many cuts, such as tri-tip, chuck roast, and rump roasts. My personal favorite is prime rib, which I sometimes order on special occasions when I’m eating out. At home I prefer the top round. If it’s unavailable, or too expensive, I can make do with a bottom round. Both cuts are flavorful and reasonably priced. 

The secret to cooking any roast, regardless of the cut, is a good meat thermometer. It takes the out guesswork, giving you the best results. I bake my roasts in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven, and set the timer to allow 20 to 30 minutes per pound.

For rare to medium rare, I roast the meat until it reaches an internal temperature between 115 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Those who prefer medium should cook it until it reaches 145 to 170 degrees, with well done being 170 degrees and above. 

Once the desired internal temperature is reached I remove the roast from the oven and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before carving. Add some mashed potatoes and gravy, and you’ll have yourself a delicious plate of good, old-fashioned comfort food.

One final note. You can alway cook your roast a little longer if it’s too rare, but if it overcooks you can’t go back and fix it. Be sure to keep a close watch while it’s roasting. 

Gayle Martin

 

Fish or Meat Souffle

Copyright Can Stock Photo/ ajafoto

If you’re looking for a different way to prepare seafood try this delicious historic dish from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes. Most of the ingredients can be found in your pantry. You can also use ground beef if you prefer. I admit I wasn’t sure about it when I tested it for the cookbook, but it tasted great.

FISH OR MEAT SOUFFLE

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons enriched flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 egg yolks, well beaten
  • 2 cups flaked salmon, tuna, ground, or cooked chopped meat
  • 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

 

Combine flour, butter, and seasonings in top part of double boiler. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly. Cook to form a thick paste.

Beat egg yolks until thick and light in color; add to flour mixture and stir until smooth. Add salmon; mix well. Fold carefully, but thoroughly, into egg whites beaten stiff but not dry. Turn into well-greased casserole. Place in pan of hot water; bake in moderate (350 F) oven about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until set, or knife inserted into center comes clean. Serve at once with melted butter, celery, or pickle sauce. Serves 6.

Modern adaptation: For good results try using a 14.5 ounce can of salmon. To make a quiche combine the ingredients as directed in the original recipe and bake in a pie crust.

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives a glimpse into life on the WW 2 home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one with more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World War 2 ration recipes with short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on AmazonBarnesandnoble.com, and with many other online book sellers.

Other Thanksgiving Ideas

© Can Stock Photo/
ajafoto

We’re living in some interesting times with ridiculously high food prices and  supply chain disruptions.  Rosie lived through similar times herself. In her day, even with rationing, grocery shelves were empty and many items, such as sugar, were very difficult to come by.  So, if you’re having trouble finding the ingredients for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, or if you simply want to try something new, here are a few suggestions.

Ham

Ham has been a popular Thanksgiving option for as long as I can remember. Some families serve both ham and turkey. I also have friends whose kids who are allergic poultry, so ham is their traditional holiday meal. It goes well with sweet potatoes too, so bring on the candied yams.

Venison

For those families who are into hunting, venison, or even elk, could be served at Thanksgiving. In fact, I recall once reading an article about the first Thanksgiving feast, and they didn’t have turkey and stuffing.  Instead they had local cuisine, which included venison. Keep in mind, however, that wild game tends to have a, “gamey,” flavor which many people don’t like, so it might be a good idea to offer ham, or another dish, for those who don’t like venison.

Lobster

The article I read also said lobster was another served at the first Thanksgiving. Makes sense, as we all know New England is famous for its lobster. You know, I could really, seriously, get into this one. I love lobster, so throw in some red potatoes and corn on the cob, and I’ll be a really happy camper. I may have to serve this myself sometime.

Chicken

I’ve never been overly fond of turkey. It tends to be too dry for my taste, and it’s simply not that flavorful. So last year I began new Thanksgiving tradition. I roasted a chicken instead of a turkey, and it was so much better. Juicier, more flavorful, and I can serve with with stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy. There are also fewer leftovers. Roasted chicken works well for small gatherings, and for a bigger gathering you can probably get two chickens in your turkey roaster. Then, the following day, I make white chicken chili with the leftovers.

So, there you have it, and I’m sure you can come up with other favorite dishes yourselves. I know my favorite Thanksgiving memories aren’t about the food itself. They’re about the family, and friends, I shared it with.

Gayle Martin

The Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook is available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble.com, and other online booksellers.

Classic Swiss Steak

© Can Stock Photo / roxanabalint

This is a classic recipe I learned from my mother, and it’s become one of my personal favorites. It’s easy to prepare and tasty. Best of all, it’s delicious, so enjoy.

CLASSIC SWISS STEAK

  • 2 pound round steak, 1 inch thick
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup beef broth or water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix flour, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Cut round steak into 5 or 6 pieces and coat both sides with the flour mixture. Pour oil into skillet, turn on heat to medium, and brown steaks until brown, approximately 7 to 10 minutes per side. Add broth, cover and reduce hit to low. Simmer for 1 hour, adding more broth or water as needed. Turn steaks over, add onions, bell pepper, and canned tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

 

Cover photo by Rob Resetar

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WWII, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives a glimpse into life on the WW 2 home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one with more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World WarII ration recipes with short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

 

 

 

Southern Chicken Pie

Book Cover for Rosies Riveting Recipes
Cover photo by Rob Resetar

The other day I was looking for a chicken and dumplings recipe, and this gem, from the Rosies Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, can be easily adapted for making chicken and dumplings. It’s also an easy way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken, or holiday turkey. Best of all, it’s delicious.

SOUTHERN CHICKEN PIE

  • 11/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 8 tablespoons enriched flour
  • 4 cups milk (or half chicken broth and half milk)
  • 3 cups cooked, sliced chicken

Pan-fry celery, green pepper, and mushrooms in butter until tender. Remove from butter; add flour; mix well. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add celery mixture and chicken; blend well. Season to taste. Turn into 21/2 quart casserole or baking dish. Top with the following:

Baking Powder Biscuit Crust

  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder (or 2 teaspoons double-acting)*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 milk

Sift flour once, measure; add baking powder and salt; sift together. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk all at once, mixing until all flour is dampened. Turn out on floured board; knead lightly for a few seconds to smooth out dough. Roll out to fit over casserole. Place over chicken mixture. Bake in hot oven (425 F) about 25 to 30 minutes until crust is done. Serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.

Modern adaptation: Carrots can also be used. Dough can also be placed over chicken mixture dumpling style.

* Most modern baking powder is double-acting.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

 

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

© Can Stock Photo / roxanabalint

My parents bought an Airstream trailer shortly after my dad retired and they joined an Airstream club. They spent many years going on caravans and attending Airstream rallies where potlucks were the order of the day. It was a wonderful time in their lives. My mother brought this recipe home from one of their Airstream rallies and served it at a family get-together. We all loved it.

Fortunately, she shared the recipe with me. Generally speaking, I’m not a big casserole fan. This recipe, however, is an exception. It’s very tasty and super easy to prepare. You simply add the layers, bake, and go. I’ve taken it to many a potluck dinner, and it’s always been a big hit.

CHICKEN ENCHILADA CASSEROLE

  • 4 to 6 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped*
  • 1 large bag of restaurant style tortilla chips
  • Diced green chilies (8 ounce can)
  • 1  cup corn
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
  • 2 cups cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • breadcrumbs (optional)

Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Break the tortilla chips and cover the bottom of the pan, about 1/4 inch thick. Add chopped chicken breasts, green chilies, corn and black beans. Blend the soups and chicken broth together in a medium sized mixing bowl and pour over top. (Add more liquid if thinner sauce is desired.) Cover the top layer with cheese and add the breadcrumbs, if desired. Bake at 350F for 35 to 45 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Variations: Use jalapeno or chipotle peppers instead of green chili peppers for a spicier casserole. Turkey can be used instead of chicken.

*Two 9.75 ounce cans of chicken may be used instead of fresh chicken.

***

Book Cover for Rosies Riveting Recipes
Cover photo by Rob Resetar

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WWII, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives readers a glimpse into life on the WWII home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one Rosies’s Riveting Recipes includes more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World War II ration recipes and short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

 

Barbecued Ribs Crockpot Style

© Can Stock Photo/
robynmac

My college boyfriend, who I’ll call George, was studying to become an architect. However, had he pursued it, I truly believe he would have been a damn fine chef. George was a whiz in the kitchen. He was master at creating simple, tasty dishes on a slim budget. George could take a boring, frozen pizza, pile on his own freshly made toppings, and turn it into a gourmet meal.

One of George’s signature dishes was his short ribs. He’d dump them in a crock pot, pour in a bottle of barbecue sauce, and cook them on low for eight hours. They came out so tender the meat fell off the bone. Neither of us had access to an outdoor grill at the time, but George’s ribs sure satisfied our yen for barbecue.

Over the years I’ve tweaked his recipe, ever so slightly. These days, with food prices on the rise, short ribs are like gold. However, their ugly cousin, the back rib, is cheaper and flavorful. They also work nicely in a crock pot.

I simply stack the ribs in and add a little barbecue sauce between the layers. I’ll then add a little sauce on the top. The sauce becomes watery as it cooks, so I only use a quarter to half a bottle. Then I turn the pot on low and cook for seven to eight hours. I also check them while they’re cooking. If the meat on top gets a little dry I simply spoon some of the sauce from the bottom of the pot over it. Then, once the ribs are cooked, I’ll pour on a little more fresh sauce when I plate them.

I like to serve mine with scalloped potatoes or baked beans. Or both. Some people like corn on the cob and mashed potatoes. Or you may wish to try grandmother’s green bean recipe. Whichever way you choose, it’s a nice recipe for those who don’t have access to an outdoor grill.

Gayle Martin

Cover photo by Rob Resetar

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WWII, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives readers a glimpse into life on the WWII home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one Rosies’s Riveting Recipes includes more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World War II ration recipes and short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

 

 

Chicken Scaloppine in Wine Sauce

© Can Stock Photo/
roxanabalint

My favorite supermarket carries fresh, thinly sliced chicken breasts which always seem to be on sale. I’ve come up with several different ways to prepare them, however, this recipe is my favorite. It was originally a veal recipe, but I played with it and came up with something new and delicious.

While this recipe is not included in the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, I think Rosie would have approved. It’s easy to prepare, and most of the ingredients can be found in our pantries. It’s also delicious.

Gayle Martin

 

CHICKEN SCALOPPINE IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

  • 4 to 6 thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar (approximately)
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 cups cooked rice, wild rice, or noodles

Wash chicken breasts thoroughly. Pat dry with a paper towel. Melt butter in a skillet and add olive oil. While the oil is heating roll the chicken breasts in flour until lightly coated. Place in hot oil and cook each side until it’s a light, golden brown color. Pour approximately 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar over each chicken breast and add the chicken broth, white cooking wine and salt, if desired. Heat until sauce mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles.

Variation:  Veal may be instead of chicken, and balsamic vinegar  may be used instead of white wine vinegar.

Book Cover for Rosies Riveting Recipes
Cover photo by Rob Resetar

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WWII, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives readers a glimpse into life on the WWII home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one Rosies’s Riveting Recipes includes more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World War II ration recipes and short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

Easy Creamy Turkey ala King

a tasty dish for Thanksgiving leftovers
© Can Stock Photo / ajafoto

Thanksgiving is over, so what to do with all the leftover turkey? This dish, while not included in the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, is easy to prepare and delicious. You can also serve it year round using chicken instead of turkey.

Gayle Martin

Easy Creamy Turkey ala King

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch (depending on desired thickness)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, cubed
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter at medium low heat in a large saucepan or small stockpot. Stir in cornstarch and blend until smooth. Add chicken broth, milk and seasonings. Increase heat to medium. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in cubed turkey, peas and carrots and mushrooms. Simmer for several minutes, stirring periodically to prevent scorching, until the turkey is heated through. Serve on biscuits, toast, or leftover stuffing.

 

Note: Leftovers may thicken in the refrigerator. Add small amounts of chicken broth or milk, if needed, while reheating on medium heat. Leftovers can also be frozen. Leftover Thanksgiving vegetables may also be used instead of the peas and carrots.

Cover photo by Rob Resetar

Imagine the government telling you how much meat or chicken you could buy, or how much sugar or flour you could have. Strange as it may seem, at one time it actually happened. During WWII, the United States government devised a food rationing program to help insure that every family would have enough to eat. Rosie’s Riveting Recipes gives readers a glimpse into life on the WWII home front. A cookbook and a history lesson in one Rosies’s Riveting Recipes includes more than 180 economical, back-to-basics World War II ration recipes and short tales of life on the American home front interspersed throughout.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

Crown Roast of Back Ribs

from the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook
© Can Stock Photo/ JB325

The back rib. Some people may think it’s the ugly cousin of the short rib, but with a little creativity they can be delicious. This historic recipe seemed daunting at first, then a friend suggested attaching the ribs together with wooden toothpicks or skewers instead of sewing them together. It worked. It made the dish much easier to prepare, and the results were positively yummy.

Gayle Martin

 

CROWN ROAST OF BACK RIBS

  • 1 1/2 lbs. back ribs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasonings

Rub back ribs with salt. Mix remaining ingredients to form dressing. Sew ends of ribs together to resemble a crown. Place stuffing inside of ribs and bake in 350F oven for 2-3 hours or until tender. Makes 4 servings.

Modern Adaptation

Ribs can be tacked together with wooden toothpicks or toothpicks or skewers. (Do not use plastic.) After cooking, allow the ribs to rest before removing the toothpicks. Three slices of bread, with crusts removed and cut into cubes, can be also be used to make the dressing. You may also add chopped celery, nuts, or mushrooms.

 

Cover photo by Robert Resetar.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.