Monday, January 9, 2012

The Evolution of Dinner

I woke up this morning with no clue what tonight's dinner would be.  There's soup in the fridge, but the kids won't touch it (just because it's black bean and cabbage... what's so bad about that?).  There's pork cutlets that I browned the other day because they'd come out of the freezer and had to be cooked.  The freezer holds meatballs, various frozen appetizers that hubby and I keep on hand for in house "date nights," and some larger cuts of meat that would not freeze in enough time to enjoy tonight.

By this afternoon I was no further ahead.  I got thinking of the meatballs and the pork cutlets.  I didn't want to do pasta and tomato sauce.  What about gravy?   Ooh, there's time to caramelize some onions.  How about onion gravy?  How about onion gravy with cranberry sauce, finished with sour cream?  Yeah, that's what I want.  I love onion gravy, and my 7 year old loves meatballs with cranberry sauce in the gravy.  But... the pork cutlets need to be used up first.  So we're having those instead.

The gravy goes like this (no real recipe)...
* Caramelize some onions (4 small in this case) in some oil and butter over low heat until lovely and sticky and brown.
* Deglaze with booze.  I had a little whiskey on hand.  I let it all cook off.
* Sprinkle with flour (generously heaped dessert spoon).
* Add beef broth (a couple of cups?) and bring to a boil to thicken. 
*Add a little cranberry sauce (I made up a small batch - 1/4 C water, 1/4C sugar, 1C cranberries, simmered 10 minutes)
* Add meat and simmer for a while.
* Adjust seasonings to taste.  Add sour cream (I hope I don't forget that step).

I'd serve it over mashed potatoes, but the kids don't like them, so I'll do something more like home fries.  I'll serve it all with pickles and some cucumbers in vinegar in lieu of a salad.

So that's it.  From nothing to a spark to a craving for yummy gravy to supper.  In the middle of the afternoon.

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