Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I like to eat, so I learned to cook.

Blogging is such a wide open thing, sometimes there are too many choices.... what do I write now? 

Food?  Why not?  I like to eat.

I really like spaghetti & like pizza so I'll ramble on about those for a few minutes.

I used to make a heck of a spaghetti sauce, fresh ingredients, simmer all day kind of sauce. But that was then.  My current sauce comes from a can, well several cans.

Tomato paste, diced tomatoes and canned sauce

It's a meat sauce generally, most any type of meat will do, this time I used Italian sausages... they were on sale.  These were links, I split the casing & fried them up as ground meat.
If I think it needs it I can add garlic & onion.

Italian sausages uncased for frying 

I've used leftover meat, canned chicken, canned ham chunks (the last two when I was vandwelling with limited refrigeration). Rotisserie chicken works great!

Brown the meat & drain it, mix in the canned sauce, the canned diced tomatoes & the tomato paste and heat it up.

Boil your favorite noodles & have at it.  I've been putting the left over sauce in a mason jar to store it in the fridge until I use it again.. the jar came with sauce in it..

Now for my other favorite, pizza! Left over spaghetti sauce will make great pizza sauce. There are any number of ways to make the pizza skin, I'm going to show my latest way.

12" pizza pan, dough, sauce, cheese and toppings

I used to do it all by hand including the kneading but I'm not against using a machine to help  My machine today (now that I have room to store one) is a used bread machine. I picked up a used bread machine at a second hand store on a day they were going 50% off small appliances, I spent $6 on it.

The $6 bread machine I use for mixing the dough

I follow the recipe for pizza dough, that takes this machine about 30 minutes, then another hour to rise. I spread it out on a slightly greased 12" pizza pan (Dollar store).
Top with left over spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese & your favorite toppings. 400 degree (f) oven for about 12 min.

The bread machine &left over pizza

It's hard to beat leftover pizza the next day... it really is.   For those of you who'd like something really different I've made pizza in my 14" dutch oven while camping.


Cheap, easy & (IMO) fun.




9 comments:

  1. I cook the same way. I use canned tomato sauce and canned tomatoes, garlic and lots of basil and oregano (or Italian seasoning.) I also use a bread machine for bread and pizza dough. My machine cost about a hundred dollars at target, but I have had it for ten years and it is still going strong. I like to take tomato sauce and put it in the bottom of our slowcooker with garlic and spice, then put chicken thighs in and pour a can of diced tomatoes over it - cook it for six hours and it can't be beat. Like you I started cooking over open fires.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. I have a small slow cooker (part of learning to cook for just two people), I'm going to try that chicken!
      Thanks!

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    2. I already weigh 305! If I got myself a bread maker it's hard telling what would happen. I would be one of those guys you see on the news being carried out with a forklift! My sauce comes from a jar but I'm with you when you start cooking the sausage! Ymmmmmm

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  2. This is my 3rd bread maker, one died & I got rid of the other when i downsized. I picked this one up because I have the room to store it. I'll make a loaf of bread if I'm out & don't plan on going to town for a day or two.
    I use to make dough too.
    I could get carried away.. I buy flour in 5 lb bags instead of 50# sacks these days :-)

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  4. I used to be a sauce guy and I couldn't hardly eat pasta without it but I'm afraid Annie's way of preparing pasta has ruined me for life. I tried it her way one time(!) and I've never looked back -- haven't bought a jar of sauce since. (We actually gave away our last jar of Newman's Own Italian Sausage and Peppers sauce :) She starts out with pressed/minced garlic, onions, (OMG -- dried shallots if you can find 'em) and bite-sized pieces of raw chicken breast -- all sauteed in extra-virgin olive oil. In a separate pan, she boils the angel hair (Barilla protein plus) and stirs in frozen broccolli or whatever frozen stuff you want to add. Fresh spinach, chunks of tomato, asparagas and other fresh items are added to the saute pan. Then it's all mixed together -- add more olive oil as might be needed so it's not too 'dry'. We use Weber's "Kick'n Chicken" and Johnnies but feel free to use *your* favorite spices and any meat can be substituted (one of our faves is frozen extra-small, deveined, tail off shrimp but these only require three minutes or less to cook if your pan is hot) or you can use no meat at all. Top with grated fresh parmesan or pre-grated Italian cheese blend. You've gotta' try it at least once but be warned: your sauce days may be over :)

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    1. I've made some really good & really quick sauce with garlic, onions & other spices in olive oil and whole tomatoes in a cast iron fry pan. Medium heat, you want the tomatoes to swell up & break by themselves (as they get hot), then help them along with a spoon or spatula or whatever.
      Continue cooking until it's 'right'. You'll know when.

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  5. I love spaghetti sauce and mine comes out a jar as well. I still marvel at all the bargains you manage to find. Now, I'm hungry!

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    1. If you add a can of diced tomatoes & tomato paste to the jar sauce it still comes out great & has better "texture" IMO.
      Plus the leftover sauce is a great base for next time.

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