Category Archives: Recipes

Posts that contain recipes for HASTY TASTY MEALS

Hammy New Year!

At our house, we celebrate New Year’s Day with ham, cabbage (or greens), black eye peas, and cornbread—tradition for good luck in the coming year.

Ham doesn’t have to be a laborious undertaking. I use a pressure cooker. This year I pulled out my oldest electric cooker, my trusty Power Pressure Cooker XL, because it still works great and its 8-quart capacity is perfect for my 6 pound, semi-boneless ham. (Unfortunately, Tristar stopped selling this model)

I borrowed a trivet from my Instant Pot 6 quart, added two cups water, and placed the ham on the trivet. That’s all that’s necessary, but I wanted to jazz it up a bit since, you know, it’s New Year’s Eve and I feel festive. So I inserted a few whole cloves and added some dried mango for a bit of sweetness to complement the savory pork. Any fruit works, especially pineapple and dried apples. Use what’s convenient for you.

Mangoes and cloves add interesting flavor notes.

Forty minutes later, the ham is hot and ready to serve (after the pot depressurizes, of course.) Plus the pot has a delicious broth* perfect for flavoring vegetables or soaking dried black eye peas.

I always use this method for cooking ham, and without any fancy additions. A good ham and a couple of cups of water for forty minutes in the pressure cooker is delicious on its own.

Happy New Year!

Slice and serve.

*Caution: don’t add salt until you taste the ham. It can be salty enough as is. Then season as desired.

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Watergate Salad Revisited

Remember Watergate Salad? That pistachio pudding confection that appeared at Shoney’s salad bars, church potluck dinners, and holiday dinners. Dole published their version, featuring Dole canned crushed pineapple of course, and Jello had theirs, featuring Jello Instant Pistachio Pudding mix. There are variations (some added coconut). This ubiquitous dessert has remained a favorite and continues to make its appearance at dinners and buffets.

Why is it called Watergate Salad? Good question. It’s not a salad and it didn’t originate in Washington DC at the Watergate complex. Unconfirmed stories claim a food writer titled it after Jello introduced its pistachio pudding because the Watergate wiretapping coverup was in the headlines. The name may be silly, but it stuck.

I recently came across my copy of the recipe, handwritten some 40 years ago by Rachel, my late mother-in-law. Making Watergate Salad today was like a visit with her. So, in Rachel’s memory, I made her version of the recipe.

Watergate Salad

Serves 8

🔘1 package instant pudding mix, pistachio*

🔘1 20 oz can crushed pineapple + juice

🔘1 8 oz tub non dairy whipped topping (thawed)

🔘1 cup miniature marshmallows

🔘½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

🔘1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate. Serve.

That’s it. Simple, easy, and light. No wonder this dish is still a favorite.

*To cut calories, I use the sugar-free Jello Instant pudding, but I recommend using regular whipped topping. The fat free and sugar-free versions don’t save many calories, and the texture and taste are significantly better in the regular or extra creamy varieties.

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Pot Pie in an Air Fryer Oven

I hate to waste food, don’t you? That’s why my freezer has little bags of cooked leftovers, just waiting to be used in a stew, casserole, or pot pie.

Today I wanted to make a pot pie from turkey breast leftovers but without heating the oven in my Florida kitchen. So I experimented with my NuWave Bravo air fryer oven. No recipe is required for a pot pie. Mix vegetables in a gravy, cook, and top with dough. Seriously. It’s that easy.

All I need to create a turkey pot pie.

There are a few supermarket helpers you can keep on hand to simplify pot pie, such as pie crust dough, condensed cream of mushroom or chicken soups, and frozen mixed vegetables. You can vary the ingredients and approach, yet it’s basically meat, vegetables, gravy/sauce, and a crust.*

Steam vegetables and add gravy to create filling.

As for today’s experiment, I preheated the air fryer oven for about three minutes at 375°F. After I assembled my turkey pot pie, I placed it in the air fryer oven for 8 minutes (ovens vary—when you smell the aroma, it’s done).

Place dough atop filling.

*Don’t have a crust or time to make one? Top the filling with mashed potatoes for a cottage or shepherds pie.

Next time you need to do a refrigerator crisper drawer (or freezer leftovers) clean-out, think pot pie.

Air fryer oven pot pie

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Potluck Casseroles

It’s the holiday season. Usually this means holiday gatherings and covered dish dinners, but in 2020 … not so much. Yet I am always gathering ideas and recipes for easy, make-ahead meals for a crowd or a few.

Today I made one I call Philly-Cheese Casserole. You can modify this versatile dish in many ways to suit your tastes. Just follow the basics: Layer potatoes, ground meat, aromatic vegetables, and top with cheese. Bake covered at 350°F for 70-75 minutes.

Recipe

Philly-cheesesteak Casserole

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4”
  • 1 pound ground Chuck*
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: parsley for garnish

*Don’t go too lean on the ground meat. The fat content works to flavor the casserole. There is no added fat or liquid in this dish.

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a casserole dish layer potato slices on the bottom. Salt and pepper.
  • Add the ground Chuck. Salt and pepper.
  • Layer peppers and onions atop the meat. Salt and pepper.
  • Spread the canned diced tomatoes.
  • Top casserole with the shredded cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 75 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Remove casserole from oven, uncover, and allow it to cool 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Casseroles like this one can be made ahead a day or even frozen. Just give an extra 5 minutes baking time.

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Filed under casseroles, onions, potatoes, Recipes, sweet peppers, tomatoes