Sunday, January 09, 2011

Back to the Burner

My lack of posts in the last month, nearly two, is not due to my blogging deficiency, but to my remarkable kitchen sloth. Grabbing a bowl of steaming hot vegetable soup and a heavenly roll at MCL Cafeteria (conveniently right across the street from my church) has seemed so much easier than cooking these days. I don't know what's wrong with me! I did manage my usual New Year's Eve fondue and New Year's Day pork chops & sauerkraut. To save that from being its usual all-white self with mashed potatoes on the side, I added some green beans tossed with garlic, salt & olive oil then roasted in a hot oven, as well as a beautiful salad starring starfruit, pears, raspberries, walnuts & Maytag blue cheese arrayed on a bed of baby greens, drizzled with raspberry maple vinaigrette.

Since the start of the year, I have managed to cook a few dinners. I made one atrociously bland cauliflower-broccoli cheese soup whose recipe I won't even bother sharing and I did a practically perfect rendition of my chicken pot pie. That turned into a bit of an ordeal when I opened the oven to check for items left behind before preheating. Well, what I found was that the missing kitchen shears were perched on the top rack, their black plastic handles dripped down through the wires, through the wires of the rack below and puddled on the oven floor. Luckily, the plastic had either missed the element for the most part or most of it had already burned off! We are not at all certain how this occurred, but we suspect it involves wee boys at the start and teenagers in the middle. Luckily, my auntie was able to pull up the plastic in the bottom with ease & I chiseled enough plastic off one rack to render the oven usable for pie-baking. I believe I've already given that recipe, but in case I have not:

1 9" pie shell
1 lb. chicken, cut into small pieces and cooked
1 can cream of chicken soup (the flavor suffers not one bit for 98% fat-free, if so inclined)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (as above)
1 can Veg-All (or other mixed veggies), well-drained

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put the bottom crust into a pie plate. Mix everything else together & put into pie plate. Top with another crust, seal edges and flute. Vent top crust. Place on baking sheet and bake for about an hour, placing an edge shield or foil on edges if they start to brown too much.

Tonight, I did a yummy new take on tuna burgers. I wasn't quite sure how it would be, but it turned out great and made the house smell "like a movie theater," as my aunt exclaimed when she came in the door. I served them with potato chips and a salad of mixed baby greens.

Crunchy Tuna Burgers
12 oz. can of tuna, well-drained
4 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 c. crushed Corn Chex
2 tsp. dried minced onion
2 tsp. parsley
Salt & pepper
4 buns
Mix everything but buns together. Make into 4 patties. Heat a skillet on medium heat and spray with butter-flavored cooking spray. Cook until nicely browned, 4-5 minutes per side. Serve on buns with your favorite condiments and toppings. Serves 4.

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