|Image courtesy Man Cave Munchies|
Personally, I think that my buddies are using a lame excuse that makes them lose a lot of time and money. In less time than it takes to place an order and wait for your takeout food at a restaurant, they could have prepared a delicious meal. Having until recently lived on my own for the past ten years, I found it extremely easy to cook for one. My usual modus operandi was to cook 2-3 meals over the weekend, then reheat the leftovers. This would usually get me to Thursday, when I would cook one more meal that would last me until the weekend when I shopped for the following week. Not only has this routine saved me tons of time and money, but I ate like a king.
Below are five meals that are quick and easy to make. The leftovers taste even better than when you serve them up fresh. As an added incentive, the first four can be cooked in a crockpot.
1. Boeuf Bourgignon - Think beef stew with wine and you'll get the idea. This recipe and Coq au Vin, which I'll show you how to make next start with a base of onions, bacon and mushrooms. If you don't care for shrooms, just leave it out of the recipe. The beauty of crockpot cooking is that once you set it up, it will do its thing while you're away at work. Then when you come home after a hard day at the office, you'll be greeted by the smell of a gourmet treat that will melt in your mouth. Bon appetit!
2 lbs beef cubes
1/2 lb bacon
1 lb of mushrooms
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 cup of red wine
Directions: See the video below.
4 ears of corn (or 1 bag of frozen)
1 lb of ground beef or caseless sausage
1/2 bottle of pitted green olives
Green pepper (or chili pepper)
small can of tomato sauce
1 bottle of beer
1 cup of cornmeal
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of water
Directions: Everything needs to be prepared in a cast iron or stainless steel skillet since you'll need to pop the dish into the oven to bake the cornbread crust. (If you don't have either, you can pour the chili into a pie pan and top it with the cornbread mixture as you'll see me do below.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until cornbread has risen and is golden brown on top.
Classic Bolognese Ingredients
2 lbs ground beef
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 small can of diced tomatoes
3 cloves of crushed garlic
splash of vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch of cinnamon
While this dish is fantastic on its own, what I like to do with the leftovers is to cut it up into 3-inch square slices before nuking it for 30-45 seconds to heat it up before putting the moussaka on a toasted hamburger bun. My friends have come to love what I call Mooseburgers. They're way tastier than a hamburger.
5. Easy as Pie - What's dinner without dessert. The video below shows you how to make a crustless apple/raisin pie, but you can use almost any kind of fruit. I've done pineapple, strawberry, blueberry and peach pie using this recipe that takes all of 30-minutes to make including the time to bake the pie.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While it's heating, prepare the fruit and custard as directed below.
1/4 cup of raisins (I soak mine in wine for a few days to make them taste even better)
1/2 cup of brown sugar
3 tbls butter
Core, peel and slice the apples
Take a pan and melt 3 tbls of butter
Add the apple slices and raisins and allow to cook until the apples soften a bit (about 5-mins)
Add the brown sugar and stir until it is thoroughly melted and mixed with the fruit.
Remove from the heat and pour into a greased pie pan then allow to cool
Pour 1 cup of milk into the blender
Add 3 eggs and blend
add a 1/2 tsp of vanilla
Take the custard and pour it over the fruit in the pie pan
Pop the pie pan into the preheated oven and let it bake for 30 minutes.
Allow the pie to cool in the fridge and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
Note: If you substitute berries or peaches, do NOT precook them. Simply layer the fruit into the pie pan and top with the custard mix before baking. The oven will cook them sufficiently.