Archive for May 2nd, 2007

I must admit, I make good Swiss Steak – lots of onions, gravy, tender beef, slowly cooked for a deep, rich flavor, served over homemade mashed potatoes with green peas. O.K., I know it’s a full-fat dish and not one for everyday fare but it’s a good old standby.

I happened to watch “Pah-oh-lah Dieeeen’s” show on the Food Network one day last week when she prepared Swiss Steak. That’s what prompted my decision to have it for dinner tonight. Her recipe and mine are pretty similar. I usually add a tablespoon or so of tomato paste to the gravy as it simmers and Paula uses a can of diced tomatoes. This time I used half the can of diced tomatoes and no tomato paste for something a little different. It has been cooking in my slow cooker for the past 4 hours. I will report soon on how it tastes. You can find her recipe here if you want to check it out.

[Update: The Swiss Steak was great. Mac made the mashed potatoes for me after work. He used Yukon Gold potatoes which have so much great taste that they don’t need a lot of butter.]

On the same show, one devoted to slow cooking, not necessarily “slow cookers”, she featured peach cobbler. I made that last week and it was good. Her recipe suggests the option of adding a pint of blueberries to 2 cans of peach slices for the filling. The topping is based on biscuit mix, basically a shortcake type batter dropped on top of the fruit before baking. It tasted very good but I would make a few changes. I found that the topping-to-filling ratio was “top” heavy. I would have liked more peaches, but not more blueberries. I used less than a full pint of blueberries and it was too much blueberry flavor. Next time I make it I will use 3 or 4 cans of peaches and 1 pint of berries. That should solve the problem.

The taste was great, either way. We topped it with vanilla ice cream for a great midweek dessert. It’s good to have a dessert recipe that can come from the pantry when fresh fruits are not always available. Fresh peaches can be disappointing even when they are in season and locally available. Sometimes they are mealy and lacking in strong peach taste. Yuck! Frozen peaches can be a stand-in in certain dishes, fruit salad, for example.

Until next time, happy dining!


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