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Sucking in the Kitchen: Episode 2

The question I am most often asked is “How do you do it?”

People marvel at the fact that I am a working mother of three and I cook most nights of the week.

Well people, here is my secret…I SUCK at most things easy in the kitchen. I’m not exaggerating. While I can whip up a creamy corn chowder from scratch, or a melt in your mouth meatloaf, I am incapable of making a simple pot of coffee. In fact, I have been asked at work not to touch the coffee maker, and my awesome teammate, Mike, pre-loads the coffee maker for me if he knows he is not going to be at work the next day. It’s pathetic, and I am so very thankful for my Keurig at home. I burn garlic bread EVERY TIME I put it under the broiler, and no, you can’t just scrape the burnt parts off. Frozen waffles can prove to be a challenge when I am distracted. (You can read Sucking in the Kitchen: Episode 1 here) And finally, tonight’s moment of greatness, I ruined a frozen chicken pot pie. Apparently microwaving a basic frozen entrée is outside of my skill set.

Now, I sincerely hope my doctor is not reading this right now, because frozen chicken pot pie is numero uno on the list of worst foods to never put into your body, and I’m supposed to be eating super healthy, low fat meals, but I had one of those days where the first chance I got to eat my breakfast was on the way home from work this afternoon, compounded with dance carpool, homework, and a paper due for a grad class, frozen pot pie was the only thing I thought I could manage.

I felt guilt as I ripped open the box, read the instructions, and carefully placed it into the microwave, ensuring that the potpie was centered under the little gray crispy plastic film. I should have listened to the little voice inside my head telling me to abort the mission and make a better choice. Well, I shoved that inner voice out of the way and opened the microwave, only to be faced with the reality that I suck at making frozen dinners.

The last minute of cooking sounded like a tornado. Then, when I opened the door, what I found was nothing short of disgusting. It had collapsed in the center, oozed over the sides, sprayed the back wall, and laminated the inside of the cardboard box.

When I extracted the potpie, only half of the crust was baked; the other half was still raw! Then the guts had exploded and run down the sides, burning in the process. It was just plain awful. Who would eat this?

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So, I will settle for a banana and some oatmeal. It’s relatively safe, and it will feed me for the week. I plan to officially retire from frozen entrees and go back to the real cooking which results in dinners that are actually edible.

Until next time, feel free to share with me, your cooking disasters and kitchen downfalls ❤

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Braised Short Rib & Guinness Potpie

By The Fabulous Food Fairy  in The Fabulous Food Fairy

Guinness Braised Short Ribs

Ingredients

  • For the Filling
  • 4 pounds boneless short ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves of minced
  • 2 bottles (12 ounces) stout, preferably Guinness (3 cups)
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2-3 Tbsp. of soy sauce
  • 2 cups of chopped carrots
  • For the Topping
    • 6 medium russet potatoes (3 1/2 pounds)
    • Olive oil, for brushing
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    • ½ cup of chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Make the filling: Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Dredge short ribs in flour, coating all sides. Transfer to a large plate. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Working in batches, brown short ribs, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a large plate using kitchen tongs.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add yellow onion to Dutch oven, and cook until golden. Add garlic & sautee for 2 minutes. Return meat to Dutch oven. Add beer and rosemary. Bring to a simmer. Cover, and transfer to oven. Bake for 2 1/2 hours.
  3. Remove the pot from oven, and add the carrots, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. Braise until meat is tender and the carrots are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Shred meat using 2 forks. Season with salt & pepper. Transfer to a 12-inch gratin dish.
  4. Make the topping: Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees. Peel potatoes, and very thinly slice each (preferably on a mandolin). Arrange potatoes over meat to form tight concentric circles, working around the edge and overlapping each potato by three-quarters. Brush with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until topping is golden and filling is bubbling, about 45-60 min. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.