A Night Off..
|Hubbs had stayed home Monday with a sore back. Being the stubborn man that he is, did he stay off his feet and keep ice on his back all day? Uhhh no. His back must have been extremely painful as he NEVER misses work because of aches and pains.. but yet he managed to wash 3 loads of his work clothes, tidy the house, play with the kids outside - after he blew the leaves AND he made me dinner. I coulda killed him.|
I had high hopes that the man would take it easy for ONE day.. just lay around and relax and do what had to be done to make his back feel better, as I've had back problems before and I know how excruciating the pain can get. He says moving around made it feel better - so move around he did. hehee! Course he ended up staying home Tuesday because it hurt worse, but who am I to say I TOLD YOU SO??!! :P
So this dinner he made me.. Hubbs is a pretty good cook - he makes the best chicken soup I've ever had and his chili and beef stew aren't too shabby either. I refer to him, on occasion, as the "Bowl Chef" - if it is to be served in a bowl, he can make it well! hehe I was quite surprised with this dinner - he knows how much I lurve my Cooking Light cookbook so he took it down and went through it and picked two recipes to make - and neither required a bowl to serve it in! His first dish was Hashbrown Casserole with Bacon, Onions and Cheese. Out of the two this was my favorite. It was a creamy and smokey casserole that was really flavorful. I think it'd be the perfect side dish to pork chops, chicken or steak. He went with beef to serve with it, specifically Asian Beef. This was also very flavorful, but we both agreed, probably not the best to be served with a bacony potato side. It really needed a more benign side dish, to allow it's flavors to be the "star" of the dinner. Tender sirloin steak marinated in soy, ginger, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and sliced green onions. The recipe called for the whole steak to be broiled until cooked the way we prefer, but he asked me if I'd mind showing him how to stir-fry. So he sliced it into bite sized strips while I heated the wok and just a few minutes later we had Stir-fried Asian Beef. I liked this, as it had a sweet tangy flavor and the onions really came through as well. I think this marinade would be much better on pork and I'd like to try it that way one day served with rice.
All in all it was a very nice dinner made by a very nice man =)
6 bacon slices
1 c. chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (32 oz.) package frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes (We just had plain refrigerated hash brown potatoes, so he doctored them up with red bell pepper)
1 c. (4 oz.) preshredded Classic Melts Four Cheese blend, divided (Never heard of that particular cheese, so he just used shredded 4 cheese Mexican blend)
1/2 c. chopped green onions
1/2 c. fat-free sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed 30%-reduced-sodium, 98%-fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and crumble. Discard drippings in pan. Add 1 c. onion and garlic to pan, cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in potatoes, cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Combine crumbled bacon, 1/4 c. cheese, green onions, sour cream, salt, pepper and soup in a large bown. Add potato mixture; toss gently to combine. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 3/4 c. cheese. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350º F
Remove casserole from refrigerator, let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Bake casserole, covered, at 350º for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly around edges and cheese begins to brown.
Yield: 6 servings - serving size about 1 cup.
1/3 c. chopped green onions
3 TBS. low-sodium soy sauce
2 TBS. rice wine vinegar
2 TBS. brown sugar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. minced garlic - about 1 decent sized clove
1 tsp. minced ginger (recipe called for bottled, he used fresh)
1 pound flank steak, trimmed (he used a 1 lb. sirloin steak)
Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place steak on a broiler rack coated with cooking spray. Pour soy mixture over steak.
Broil steak 3 inches from heat 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes; cut around grain into thin slices.
Yield: 4 servings - serving size 3 ounces
Note: If using a more tender cut of meat, such as we did, you can get away with stir-frying this, by cutting the meat into strips, adding a tsp. of oil to a well heated wok and then placing the meat along with a couple TBS. of the marinade and stir-frying until meat is done the way you like it.