Temporary Bachelorhood

Our daughter, Tiffany is a bridesmaid in her best friends wedding in Doylestown, PA.  It’s a destination wedding and a whole weekend in the country.  She invited her Mother to join her for the festivities, including rehearsal dinner, wedding, reception, morning after breakfast. They drove over yesterday with a stop @ Peddler’s Village for some scarecrow pictures and some traveler’s respite.  They return on Monday after the breakfast. 

So my plans for the weekend were NIL, I’ve been working on organizing recipes and cookbooks in my Mastercook program, gearing up for Fall 2011 menus.  So for sustenance I went freezer diving scrounging for those almost frost bitten morsels that I was saving for? A Rainy Day?

My hunt turned up two magnificent Tuna Steaks, which I will happily sear for Sunday’s dinner as Nana doesn’t care for fish and even dislikes it when I do cook it for myself. The olfactory residue is particularly unpleasant for her.  So that leaves me with what to do for Saturday night.  Here is the list of my bounty:

  • 3 links of Spicy Italian Turkey Sausage
  • 1/2 cup of Trader Joe’s frozen Roasted Corn
  • 1/2 cup of TJ’s frozen Shoepeg Corn
  • 1 cup of TJ’s frozen Italian Flat Green & Yellow Beans
  • 1/2 can of Petite Diced Tomatoes

So this conjured up memories of Mom’s Goulash—I know she didn’t call it that, but over the years I’ve learned that every family had a similar dish and I’ve heard this assigned title more than a dozen times.  Ours was made with: Elbow Macaroni, Ground Beef, Onions, Green Pepper(maybe/maybe not), canned tomatoes and canned tomato juice. The macaroni always swelled absorbing the juice from the tomatoes and the Tomato Juice added some thickness to the sauce without mimicking a typical Italian Tomato Sauce.   Over the years I’ve had many variations some common inclusions: Corn, Cheese, Olives, Green Beans, etc.   I’ve also made a variety of twists on Mom’s original.  She never strayed from her original recipe, at least now while I lived at home, much less add Green Beans, because Mom’s Green Beans  was the assigned side dish and if it wasn’t served with it the World as We Knew it would have ended!  And we had buttered English Muffins toasted under the broiler for our bread!

Mom’s Green Beans were Del Monte canned Blue Lake Cut Green Beans.  She drained the liquid into a sauce pan added salt and pepper (like they needed more salt) added a small onion and brought the liquid to a boil.  She’d simmer until the onion was softened and then add the beans and heat through.  To this she added the rendered fat from two slices of bacon and served them with crumbled bacon and Apple Cider Vinegar for those how liked the vinegar addition.   My version is fresh blanched beans, crisp two sliced shallots in the bacon fat, toss in the beans until heated through add splash of vinegar and serve with bacon crumbled on top.

For last night’s Goulash I sautéed the sausage out of the casings with chopped onion and red pepper, added garlic and Italian seasoning, the corns, a tablespoon of tomato paste.  When nicely browned I added the tomatoes and simmered while the Elbow Macaroni boiled.   Added the slightly undercooked macaroni to the skillet with a ladle of the pasta water and simmered another 3-4 minutes.  Served in a bowl topped with feta cheese and chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley.

My side dish was the flat beans cooked in water until warm, drained tossed in heated olive oil with some garlic powder, then tossed in some tarragon and white wine vinegar.  Wished I’d had remembered the last bits of Pancetta that I left in the freezer, that would have been an excellent addition!  Enjoyed a piece of leftover focaccia bread, a great Bachelor’s Dinner—with leftovers for lunch! 

Sorry you missed it Nana, hope the food for the rehearsal dinner was as great!

This entry was posted in Chef Jim Recipe, Nostalgia, Roundup and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Temporary Bachelorhood

  1. Debra says:

    Made Mom’s green beans last night with a ham steak and canned potatoes….Just like Mom’s! Yummy!


  2. Chef Jim says:

    Wow, that’s truly a throwback to your childhood memories!


  3. Pingback: Two more: Not Yer Momma’s Recipes! | Travels with a Culinary Artist

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