by Jolene Lamb, coordinator, LLCC Culinary Institute
This week I’m writing to you from home. Like thousands of others, I’m working remotely. For me personally, it does have a benefit: more time to cook and bake.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still putting in solid hours connected to Lincoln Land Community College through the computer. However, I’m finding those hours can be a bit flexible. For instance, I can take a quick afternoon break to get a soup or sauce simmering. Getting a little prep done earlier in the day helps me bring dinner together quickly.
There is a downside to the situation we are all in. Not everyone is prepared to cook a variety of meals. For many, this may be the most time they spent in the kitchen. For some, this is the first-time cooking. It can also be a challenge to cook with a limited supply of staples on hand. I have been pulling random ingredients out of my pantry and defrosting long ago frozen leftovers found at the bottom of the deep freeze. Here are a few recipes that you can easily make with few ingredients. Enjoy!
Don’t worry so much about having the exact ingredients, use what you have! Any beef cut will do, heck you can even use ground beef if that’s all you have. No fresh garlic or onions? That’s ok too, use garlic and onion powder. No beef stock? Replace with a mixture of water, Worcestershire and a drop of liquid smoke. You can even use yogurt, heavy cream or milk in place of sour cream. Although if using water and milk, you may have to thicken the sauce with a bit of flour. Do that by mixing a tablespoon of flour with cold water to form a paste without lumps. Whisk paste into sauce and bring to a boil to thicken.
Makes 4 servings
2 pounds top sirloin roast, trimmed
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
A garlic clove or two
1 onion, chopped
2 cups good quality beef stock
1 1/2 cups sour cream
Cut the beef against the grain into narrow 2-inch long strips about 1/2-inch thick. Pat dry and season with salt and pepper, to taste. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the prepared beef and brown on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Add another tablespoon oil to saute pan, if needed, and add onions and garlic. Cook until light golden, stirring and adding 1/4 cup of beef stock to deglaze the pan. Stir in the remaining beef stock and the beef with any resting juices back to the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and just heat through, do not boil. Taste for seasoning and adjust, as necessary.
Chicken Pot Pie
Feel free to use leftover chicken or any beef, turkey or pork you may have on hand. Canned or frozen vegetables will work. If you are running low on veggies, use rice or white beans instead. No chicken broth or eggs? Use a can of condensed soup. Cream of chicken, cream celery or cream of mushroom will all work well. Refrigerated biscuit or croissant dough can be used in place of making a crust, if you happen to have a can in the fridge. In a pinch you can even top the pie with breadcrumbs!
Makes 6 servings
FOR THE CRUST:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, and a little extra for rolling out dough
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into cubes
5 tablespoons ice cold water
FOR THE FILLING:
(2) 14.5 ounce cans of vegetable mix, drained
1 14.5 ounce can cream of chicken
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup chicken, cooked and diced
1 tablespoon water
FOR THE CRUST:
Add flour and salt to mixing bowl. Add butter. Using the paddle on your mixer mix the flour and butter together till butter is pea size. Or you can use a food processor, or even make it by hand.
Slowly add one tablespoon water in until you get a nice smooth dough.
Form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until ready to use.
FOR THE FILLING:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 9×13 rectangle glass casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Mix vegetables, cream of chicken, onion, broth and chicken together. Pour into pan.
On a floured surface roll dough out to a rectangle of 1/8 inch thickness.Place over your vegetable mixture. Cut slits in the top of your dough. Whisk 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water together and brush onto the top of your crust.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until you have a nice golden-brown crust.
Allow to cool in oven for 30 minutes. Cut and serve!
With the crust: I simply laid it on top of my vegetable mixture without pinching the edges.
Whatever you decide to cook, remember, Gordon Ramsey is not in your kitchen judging you, so feel free to make substitutions and work with the pantry staples you have on hand!
Want more great recipes from pantry staples? Check out the list compiled by HuffPost.com: https://bit.ly/2UV5os3
Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Baking/Pastry, and Value Added Local Food, and non-credit cooking and food classes through our Community Learning Culinary Institute. For more information, visit our website at www.llcc.edu.
Cooking or food questions? Email email@example.com