Joe Froggers

Aunt Ann’s recipe.

joefroggers

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Tender Cube Steak with Mushroom Sauce

  • 2 lbs. Cube steaks
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use Progresso)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 dashes worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet on high. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the steaks in the seasoned flour to coat. Brown each side of the steak in the hot oil and set aside. Place the steaks into the hot oil, and cook until golden brown on both sides, 2 minutes per side. Add more oil as needed and keep the pan hot.

Place all remaining ingredients, except for the sliced mushrooms, into a slow cooker. Add the browned steaks. Cook for 4 hours on low.

Brown the mushrooms in an oil/butter mixture. Add to the steak mixture just before serving so they retain their flavor and don’t get soggy.

Serve with mashed potatoes or wide egg noodles.

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Eggs for Dinner

When it is hot out, you really want something quick but still need it to be satisfying. And there are always eggs in the fridge.

2 large, ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil and add the garlic. Cook for a minute or so, careful not to burn. Add the tomatoes and cook to remove most of the water. Pour in the eggs and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Stir all together with a wooden spoon. Remove when the eggs are cooked to desired doneness, anywhere between 5 and 8 minutes. Transfer to serving plates and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.

Serves 2

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Quick Tomato Sauce

If you don’t have spaghetti sauce on hand, or want a fresher tasting sauce than the jarred kind, here is my go-to.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
    1/2 red sweet pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1 big can of crushed tomatoes
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 teaspoon of dried)
  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or chopped Italian parsley)

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the garlic and red and green peppers. Cook briefly without browning. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, 10 minutes. Stir in fresh basil and serve.  You can thin this with a bit of pasta water if it seems too thick.

 

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Best Ever Burgers

I buy my meats through Walden Local Meats that provides 100% grass-fed beef with 75% less fat. Since fat provides the juiciness in a burger, the lower fat content was making a drier, denser grilled burger, which was not as yummy to some people. So I did some research into making a great burger from lower fat beef. My experiments have produced an awesome, juicy burger. Sure, you lose the low-fat aspect, but when you are having a burger you probably gave yourself a pass on the fat content anyway. Here is the recipe I came up with:

  • 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef or buffalo
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

The above “amounts” are a guess, as I didn’t actually measure but I thought it read better than if I said “a gob of” or “generous sprinkle”. Use your own judgement.

Another thing I learned is to not compact the meat before cooking, so when you mix this together don’t smash or smush, keep it loose.  The 2 lbs of hamburger made four patties. Roll a three-inch meatball (loose, no squeezing it together), gently press it flat, then make a dent in the center with your thumb. This helps it to cook evenly. Now refrigerate the patty for a half-hour so it “sets” in its shape. You can do this up to 8 hours before grilling.

Place burger on a hot grill, do not press with the spatula, and try to flip it only once. Depending on how well done you prefer your burger, 3 – 5 minutes per side should do it.

Dress it up however you like.

Honestly, these were raving good. 🙂

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Cowboy Cookies

This is my take on Cowboy Cookies.  There are many versions out there but this is how I make them. Don’t feel restricted by the quantities of add-ins, modify with what you have on hand and what you like.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour41c5d78db7273f762e4d6a200a91aea6
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins or coconut (optional – coconut is traditional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in bowl.

In a very large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in sugars, and combine thoroughly.

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla.

Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.

For each cookie, drop tablespoon dough onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. For larger cookies, drop ¼ cup onto cookie sheet and bake for 15 – 17 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.

Remove cookies to rack to cool.

To print this recipe on a card, save the image below and print to a 4×6 index card.

ccookies

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Fresh Pasta

Serves 4 – 6. 650 calories

  • 400 grams flour (about 2 cups) (Classically, Italians use 00 semolina flour, but here in U.S. I use regular flour.)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp water

Place flour and salt in food processor and give it a whirl to blend.

Place eggs, oil, and water in a glass measuring cup and mix with fork or whisk to blend. With the food  processor running, pour the egg mixture into the flour then pulse until  it is all stuck in a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least half an hour. You can put this in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Let it come back to room temperature before continuing.

On a floured surface, roll the pasta to as thin as you would like it. You may want to divide the dough in half or even thirds to make this bit easier.

  • If you are making tagliatelle or pappardelle noodles: roll out to your desired thickness, allow to dry about 20 minutes, roll making an “S” roll, then slice to your desired width. Open and spread out the tagliatelle on the board and make little nests for them to dry.

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  • If you are making lasagna noodles: Roll out to your desired thickness and slice into rectangles that fit your lasagna pan.
  • If you are making raviolis: this will be a later post, linked to here.
  • If you are making fettuccini, linguini, or angel-hair with a pasta-maker: roll into a rectangle that will feed into your machine, set your pasta machine to the thickest setting (usually marked “1”), and feed it through the pasta roller. You may want to repeat once or twice at the same setting, folding dough into thirds (this helps to strengthen the gluten in the flour, giving it a chewier texture when cooked). Begin changing the settings on your roller to roll the pasta thinner and thinner. Roll the pasta two or three times at each setting, because the pasta tends to pull and catch if you don’t. It might get too long to manage – just cut it in half and work with each half separately. Roll the pasta as thin as you like; I generally go to 6 or 7 on my machine, but you may have different settings.

To cook the pasta immediately, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water, and cook the pasta until al dente, 4-5 minutes. To dry, lay the pasta over a clothes drying rack, coat hangers, or the back of a chair, and let air dry until completely brittle. Store in an airtight container for several weeks. To freeze, either freeze flat in long noodles or in the basket-shape on a baking sheet until completely frozen. Gather into an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Dried and frozen noodles need an extra minute or two to cook.

 

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