Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Easy Ground Beef Gravy


1/2 lb. of ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper
1-2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
1 tbsp dried parsley

Brown meat in a large skillet with the onions, garlic and salt/pepper over medium heat. Drain off excess fat. Mix in 1-2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, as well as approximately 1/3 of the used can filled with milk for every can of soup. Stir well as mixture is being heated in order to get a smooth consistency. Add parsley and simmer for approximately 5 minutes.

Serve over potatoes, cooked any style, as well as rice or biscuits.

**If you prefer to make the gravy from scratch, you can brown chopped mushrooms, onions and garlic with the meat and then add 1/4 cup of  all purpose flour to the fat in the pan after browning and removing the large chunks of meat. Stir together until it is thick. If there was not enough fat, then add more butter a tbsp at a time until the mixture is thick. Stir it over the heat for about 1-2 minutes. Then gradually add 2 cups of milk (the higher the milkfat, the richer the gravy) followed by the parsley to the mixture as you continue stirring over medium heat. It will begin to thicken as it simmers. Continue to stir until it reaches its desired consistency.

Cauliflower and Egg Scramble

 Although I always add vegetables to my scrambled eggs, cauliflower is something that I never would have thought to combine until I was visiting with my Iraqi friend one day. She made this up and served it with warm pita bread and it was so delicious! The nice thing about egg is that it makes up into a quick yet filling meal. The last time I made this, I added some Frank's Hot Sauce on top which added just a nice little zip.

Serves- 2 or 1 hearty appetite
  • 1 small cauliflower head or 1/2 large head
  • 1 small-medium onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or thinly sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • Cut cauliflower florets and upper stems into small pieces and boil covered in a small amount of water until somewhat soft but not mushy, approximately 5-7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium skillet,  fry onion & garlic in 1 tbsp of oil or butter until onion is translucent. Add the cooked and drained cauliflower.
  • Scramble the eggs with milk and seasonings and add to the mixture. Cook on low-medium heat, stirring until egg has almost completely set.
  • Optional- garnish with chopped green onions and parsley. May also top with grated cheese (more American) or mix in parmesan cheese to the egg mixture before scrambling it.
Serve with warm pita bread.

Iraqi Chai

Boil water and black tea with cardamom seeds for approximately 3 minutes. You may use 1 teabag and 1 cardamom seed for every 2 cups of water. If you are using loose tea leaves, you may use 1 tbsp of tea per 3-4 cups of water.  You may want to adjust the amount of tea and spice to the amount of water depending on how strong you like the tea.

After the tea and spice have set for about  5 minutes off the heat, pour into cups and serve with sugar and cream to taste, if desired.