(Are you hungry now?)
In my never-ending quest to make my life easier (and share with you, of course!), I’ve taken a hint from that Robin lady from Food Network, mixed it up with Once a Month Cooking, and come up with Second-Generation Meals.
What’s the idea? It just takes a bit of planning– First you cook something that you can eat as it is, but more than you need. Then you change it up a bit use it in something else. You can easily make it 3rd or 4th generation! It’s the same thing that restaurants do with their leftover food. They’re trying to save money; I’m desperate for TIME!
For instance: First meal: Grilled chicken. Then chop the chicken and have Grilled chicken salad one meal– Chicken soup another meal– then Chicken and pasta. Get the idea?
Earlier this week I fixed beef stew meat into beef tips. Served up over rice, it’s a perpetual favorite!
Dredge them in seasoned flour. (For you new cooks, that just means roll them around till they’re coated.) I like Tony Chachere’s, which is an all-purpose seasoning. If you put it on wax paper, it saves on dirty dishes!
Then brown them over medium high heat in a bit of hot oil. Be sure to let it get REALLY HOT! Flip them so they brown all over. Don’t be impatient, and don’t keep fooling with them. Let them brown 4 or 5 minutes then flip them and leave them another 4 or 5 minutes. All you are looking for here is brown on the outside; uncooked all the way through is okay because you’re going to cook them longer. Once they are brown, either take them out or scoot them to one side, add a tablespoon or 2 of flour and let that brown. You’re making gravy! Stir it around, add seasoning,and let it cook 3-4 minutes. Then add water and one of my favorite “tricks of the trade:” Lipton Soup mix #loveit! in whatever flavor you like.
You want to add enough water where the gravy is a bit thin, because you are going to cook it down an hour or so. Turn the heat down, cover it, and let it simmer. Notice I had a large quantity of meat, because I’m making 2 or 3 meals. You can add more soup mix if you want it a little thicker or more flavorful.
NOW FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
Cut up whatever stew veggies you like– I did carrots, celery, and potatoes, no onion because of the onion soup mix– boiled them in some water to which I added a soup bone for flavor– and cooked till tender, probably half an hour. Then I added the whole shebang to the beef tips. I added some corn that I had cooked earlier in the week, and a can of green beans, and YUMMO! Beefed-up vegetable soup! Add a pan of Granny’s cornbread and you are done!