Monday, July 12, 2010

OMG A Recipe: Lazy Dinners With the Prime

It's been somewhat busy and I haven't had as much time to fuss over meals, but I refuse to defer to the drive-thru window. Not that I have anything against crispy fries or bizarre condiments called Horsey Sauce, but I regard them as a periodic indulgence, not an option, so even if our dinners are in the realm of humbler-than-humble-pie, whatev's, at least it's a home-cooked meal and it microwaves well for lunch the next day. Some of my go-to weekday dishes are ones where there's literally a handful of ingredients and you could easily qualify for the "10 Items or Less" lane at the grocery store. And you could probably include the six pack of beer without wondering if they're counting the item as a single thing or six cans.

Meat + Veggies = SIMPLE. - Photo by Wasabi Prime

More of a winter dish, but great in a pinch for rainy cool days, one of my favorites to make is roasted  veggies and sausage, served over beer-braised red cabbage. It's so simple because the ingredient list is just that. I'll just toss together some oil, salt, pepper and whole grain mustard with sausages and whatever vegetables are in season and oven-sturdy, and let the oven do its roasty-toasty work until everything's fork-tender and caramelized. While it's roasting, I'll slice up some red cabbage and cook it down with a bottle of beer, most likely some cheap bottle or can of something that was leftover from some random BBQ or camping trip. Come on, you know you've got that random mystery beer languishing in the back of the fridge -- let it find its special purpose and cook with it!

So this is suposed to be an OMG a Recipe, so basically the recipe is:

Combination of vegetables (onions, potatoes, squash, peppers, whatever)
Sausage of your choice, insert dirty joke here
Mustard, salt, pepper, vegetable oil to coat, and roast it all at 375 degrees. Bazam. Done.

Head of cabbage, preferably purple because it looks prettier than plain cabbage once cooked down
1 bottle or can of mystery beer that you don't know who left in your fridge
Slice cabbage thinly, sautee in a pan and add the beer as it cooks down and let the liquid evaporate off as the cabbage cooks down and gets drunk-alicious.

Easy cookin' for easy livin' - Photos by Wasabi Prime

One of my favorite simple homemade meals is a dish my mom made when I was a kid, which is pork tofu. And the reason why it's great to make is, that's basically all it is. Pork and tofu. Okay, and maybe some green onions. It's flavored with soy sauce, a bit of sugar and you can add more flavors like ginger or add more vegetables, but this is good, basic farmer food that's tasty over rice. I think my grandfather would make this for my mom and her siblings when growing up because they grew green onions, they always had a supply of pork and tofu was an easy staple to get. And my grandfather was a soy sauce fiend; he'd pour it over everything which made everything taste better and resulted in everyone now on high blood pressure meds.

So maybe some low sodium soy sauce is in order, but it's a good, easy meal to make, no real recipe required. It's one of those dishes where I always feel like I'm home when I eat it, and because I'm so eager to eat it, that's why there's no "ta-daaaah" shot of the finished dish. But I have to give props to Wasabi Mom yet again, because while meals like this weren't anything fancy, they were the staples of my formative childhood years and seeded the mindset that cooking at home is neither a chore nor a big production, and that as long it's homecooked, it's good stuff. And I mean homecooked, not prepared, as in, hey, I bought this premade, prepackaged pot roast sitting in weird preservatives and shoved it into the microwave to warm up before serving.

Cooking cues from Wasabi Mom - Photos by Wasabi Prime

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1 comment:

  1. Both sound easy and delicious, and beer-braised red cabbage? Two of my favorite things. How come I haven't made that before? Funny thing too, I have some mystery beer in the mini fridge in the garage right now! Thanks WP, I'm inspired.


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