Monday, February 23

Poor Man Steak

Well, havin just read a bunch of news about this rotten economy, I figured we could all use some recipes for food that won't strain the budget, and this one certainly fits the bill both in ingredients and in name. (Note: I am not responsible if you end up needin triple-bypass from eatin a log of fried hamburger and three cans of cream of mushroom soup. If you want "healthy" poor folks' food, try Weiner Water Soup.)

Readin the title of this recipe, I imagined Mike Myers as Linda Richman on the old SNL "Coffee Talk" sketch sayin, "Poor Man Steak is neither made of man nor steak. Discuss."

3 lbs. hamburger
1 onion, chopped fine
1 c. milk
1 c. dry bread crumbs

Oven temp: 350 degrees 1 hour

Pan size: 9x13" glass bakin pan

How to:
Mix together and pat in cookie sheet. Cover with wax paper set in refrigerator overngiht ([sic]). Next day cut in servin pieces (you should totally cut them in shapes like steak-shape, dog bone-shape, hand-shape). Roll in flour and fry brown. Put in 9x13" glass bakin dish. (...and here's the big surprise...) Cover with 3 cans of mushroom soup. (Ta-DAAAAAA! Betcha didn't see that comin! Why didn't Myrtle Johnson include that crucial ingredient in the list? Why? Because silly, of course you, like any good housewife, keep a stock of 6-8 cans of cream of mushroom soup in your pantry at all times. You never know when company is goin to drop in and demand a casserole on the fly! By the way, I assume that this should be baked after you pour the soup over it, but it doesn't actually say - just lists an oven temp and cook time under the ingredients list. SO typical...)

Saturday, February 21

Chinese Bean Casserole

Here's another one from Erna, this time for a casserole that calls itself Chinese, though I am hard pressed to find anythin actually "Chinese" about this. If it were topped with chow mein noodles, or included water chestnuts, perhaps I could be swayed. But as it is, I think we can just chalk this one up as another ethnic-food-fakeout. Let's at least give the old gal props for not callin it "Oriental Bean Casserole".

1 can French cut beans
1 can wax beans, yellow (really, is there any other color of wax beans? and if they're canned, they're more "sallow" than "yellow")
1 can bean sprouts (oh, I bet this is where the "Chinese" comes from, because, y'know, only The Chinese eat those - that's why they're always branded "LaChoy" or "China Boy")
1 can cream of mushroom soup (it's not a casserole without one or more "cream-of" soups!)
1 can French fried onions for toppin

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: "greased bakin dish"

How to:
Mix first 3 cans. Mix in the can of mushroom soup. Put in a greased bakin dish, and bake 1/2 hour. Put onions on top the last 10 minutes. (Hey waitaminute...this is just a standard green bean casserole, but with bean sprouts thrown in. "Chinese", my Aunt Fanny!)

Cold Water Cocoa Cake

Welcome to the beautiful, newly-revamped version of Midwest Cookin! Just because the recipes are ugly don't mean the site has to be hideous.

To celebrate the reboot, let's have some cake with Erna Perry!

1/2 c. butter
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. cold water (you better make damn sure it's cold because that's the ingredient that makes this baby special)
1/2 c. cocoa
2 1/2 c. sifted cake flour (oooh, fancy! reminds me of Home Ec class)
1 c. cold water (yeah, more cold water - this ain't called Cold Water Cocoa Cake for nothin)
3 egg whites, beaten with
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/3 tsp. soda dissolved in small amount of boilin water (and what, pray tell, is a "small amount"? this is goin into the cake, so a little specificity would be hell. I'm talkin to a brick wall here.)

Oven temp: 360 degrees (that's right - 360, not 350)

Pan size: 9x13-inch cake pan

How to:
Cream butter, salt, sugar, and vanilla. Blend and add cocoa and cold water blended. (huh?) Alternately blend cocoa mixture with flour and remainin cold water. (I feel an odd sense of deja vu) Fold in the beaten egg white-sugar mixture. Last add the soda mixture. Stir thoroughly. Bake 35 minutes.

This recipe has won several years at a county fair. (showoff. I wonder what you get if you "win several years"? calendars? time travel? does the island skip back to 1954?)