Friday, March 15, 2013

Food Waste Friday and True Food Confessions--Mar. 15, 2013

It's time for Food Waste Friday, when the Frugalgirl encourages us to post pictures from the previous week of wasted food from our household. This accountability hopefully will help us to be more careful with our food and maybe save some money. Also, I am using this public forum to encourage us to eat out less which includes better meal planning. You can follow how we are doing in this endeavor by reading True Food Confessions.

This Week's Food Waste

Popcorn and onion that had to go.
This week I was experimenting with the popcorn button on the microwave and the experiment didn't turn out so well--meaning I burnt the popcorn. However, I put it outside and it disappeared quickly. I think the squirrels enjoyed it. Also, I found a little bit of onion that was rotting in the fridge. I thought it had already been used by Wally, but I was wrong. So out it went.

This Week's True Food Confessions

 It was a busy week with people coming and going at various times from late nights at the office and evening meetings. It was catch as catch can, but we did cook a few things that were available for grabbing as you went by. These included broccoli cheese soup, guacamole, Sloppy Joes, salad, and French toast. We also had takeout pizza.

The new recipe for the week was Yankee Pot Roast that Wally and Theodore made. We only have a roast about once a year or less, so the carnivores were especially pleased. It came from a cookbook that I have checked out from the library and is copied below. 

Wally and Theo mostly followed the recipe except that they added the entire 6 oz. can of tomato paste instead of just a tablespoon. The switch up was nothing more than a mistake. However, the dish was still great. The meat was very tender and gravy around it was flavorful. The only problem with the vegetables was there weren't enough, and surprisingly, everyone even liked the turnips.

Procedurally, we didn't have a large enough dish to hold everything. We had to put our dish into the oven on a cookie sheet because it was boiling over. Theodore is working on this problem with some thrift store shopping. Hopefully, he will be able to find something acceptable.

There are a lot of ways to do pot roast out there, but I highly recommend this one. I think this will become our new standard (but next time, we will only use 1 tablespoon of tomato paste to see how we like it that way.)

From The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Sixties Cookbook by Rick Rodgers and Heather Maclean

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 Yankee Pot Roast

3 tablespoons or bacon fat or vegetable oil
1 (3-pound) rump roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium carrots, 1 chopped, and 2 cut into 1-inch lengths
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 medium celery rib, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups canned reduced-sodium beef broth
1 cup hearty red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
3 medium red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled, cut into halves lengthwise
2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into sixths

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 F.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in Dutch oven or flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. Season roast with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add to the Dutch oven and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer roast to plate.

3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven. Add the chopped carrot, onion, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with the flour and stir well. Stir in the broth, wine, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf and bring to simmer. Return the roast to the Dutch oven and cover.

4. Bake for 2 hours, turning the roast over after 1 ½  hours. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven. Add the cut carrots, potatoes, and turnips to the pot, submerging them in the cooking liquid. Return to the oven and cook until the meat and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour.

5. Transfer the roast to the deep serving platter and let stand 10 minutes. (Keep the vegetables warm in the gravy, covered.) Slice the roast. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables to the platter. Season the gravy with salt and pepper. Spoon some of the gravy over the roast and vegetables, and pour the remaining gravy into the sauce boat. Serve hot.