Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Easy fixins

As I wrote, I'm a lazy cook, or more precisely, a 5-minute cook. Well this ain't too bad if you know what to do and you don't want to eat heat-and-serve meals found in aisles of frozen freezer sections of grocery store. You eat better and it's not that hard. Ok, example please.

Buy a fresh, preferably free-range, turkey breast or thigh (thighs are cheaper but have a different taste). Buy a medium-large potato, white, sweet, yam, etc, doesn't really matter except for personal preference. Buy a few fresh vegetables, eg. carrots, green beans, etc.

Buy your favorite gravy, preferably the only heat-and-serve part of the meal because gravy takes too much and too long to make from scratch or even a mix, for me anyway, as there are so few with little or no wheat.

[Note: If you don't read the ingredients in the foods you buy, start, becaues you'll be surprised all the junk in them, most of which are there to fake the taste (flavor, sugar, etc.) or preserve the food, and little is needed for the actual food itself.

An example is gravy. Read the ingredients and you'll find the main ingredients aren't what the food is sold as, such as turkey gravy where they often substitute chicken and vegetable gravy with turkey flavor along with a lot of spices to hide things.

It's why I have to pay attention since I can't (or shouldn't) eat wheat among a host of other foods, which you can learn about by searching for the word "FODMAPS", really, it's the chemicals naturally in foods my digestive system can't handle or digest.]

I'll preference this story with two appliances I have, a Breville "Smart Oven" which is great to put food in, set the type of cooking, temperature and time, and forget until it's done, and a Breville "Quick Touch" microwave oven, which is an excellent one for the price but has a few quirks.

Anyway, back to the story. Put the turkey, seasoned as you want - I use butter, brown sugar and orange peel - on a broiler pan with the potato, put in the oven, set to roast, 350 degrees for 1 hour, slightly longer for bigger thigh or breast.

Remember to cook the turkey to at least 165 degrees, why the oven is great, it stops when it's done and you can simply change the time to cook longer. It preheats the oven, cooks and shuts off. How hard is that?

I'll preference this with another note when about 20 years ago after cooking with a lots of odd pots and pans, I donated every last one and bought a complete set of Calaphalon commercial hard-anodized cookware and some of their bakeware.

The only exception I kept was a really old cast iron skillet. You can't go wrong with one of these, preferably two if you cook a lot of eggs you can dedicate one for just eggs. You treat them, keep them coated, only rarely wash them and treat them afterward, and they'll be your best cooking friend on the stove.

The Calaphalon cookware is absolutely the greatest stuff you can have for a kitchen. I have the whole suite of pots and pans outside the largest size. They make cooking a whole lot easier and better, and they will last you a lifetime.

Back to the story. You cut the vegetables up into slices, put in a double boiler and steam them for about 10-15 minutes depending on your taste for the firmness or softness of vegetables. Set them aside in a bowl with some butter and seasoning. I melt the butter to pour it on than let the heat of the vegetables melt it.

Once the potato and turkey is done you split the potato, spoon out the inside into a bowl, which will be the one you can, like me, eat from, mash with butter and seasonings. You cut enough of the turkey into pieces and add it to the potato along with some vegetables.

You microwave the gravy, and when nice and hot, pour it over the whole mess in the bowl, and there you have it, a homemade wheat-free  turkey pot pie in a bowl. And you save and microwave the turkey and vegetable to make more of this by just baking a fresh potato, making it quicker to fix next time.

The potato is easy to cook, just clean, put in the oven, set for 1 hour at 350 (I use roast instead of bake as it's a tad quicker), and then repeat the last step above to make mashed potato. Just add the fixin's and you good for another bowlful pot pie.

And, outside the gravy, it's all fresh food which are cheaper and better for you than any frozen food pot pie.

No comments:

Post a Comment