When dinner needs to be on in 15, there are lots of things to fix. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches comes to mind, or even just sandwiches in general (yawn). On a related note, there is the hot-dog-on-a-bun meal, usually served with mac ‘n’ cheese. Ho-hum. Or there is Girl Scout Stew, a quick-fix dish City Boy introduced me to involving mixing together and heating up a can of baked beans, can of drained corn, and 2-4 cut-up hot dogs. Well, that one’s actually tasty in a thrown-together sort of way.
These are just a few of the meals that can get your family to the table fast, with food that will “stick to your ribs,” as the old saying goes. An aside: Why on earth would somebody come up with that saying as a way to say that a meal will satisfy you? Did they think the ribs were an integral part of digestion?
But, I digress. Most of the cooking methods and ideas I talk about in this blog are very well-known and basic, but can also be adapted and changed to accommodate busy families who need dinner on the table in a flash. Keeping certain ingredients stocked in your kitchen at all times can make your repertoire of fast meals much larger. One great thing to add to your list of items to always have plenty of on hand is sour cream.
When your entree or side dish just needs a little extra….something, adding sour cream can make the difference between an okay dish and a better one. And so, here’s an example of an extremely easy meal idea utilizing this ingredient from heaven.
If you have leftover roast, this is a perfect method for giving it some zing. Chuck roast is good for this, and I have used brisket as well. This can also be made with browned ground beef. My daughter actually browns many pounds of ground beef all at once, separates it and freezes it–she just sets it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight as she needs it.
This dish is a stroganoff-type dish that is so easy anybody can have it on the table in no time.
Beef roast (leftover), cut into bite-size chunks, OR 1-2 lbs ground beef, browned (pictured is some leftover brisket)
1 regular can tomato soup
1-8oz or 1/2 of a 16oz carton sour cream
Optional minced onion or dried onion flakes
Method (if you’d call it that):
Start water for noodles.
Pour can of tomato soup in saucepan (a big pot like the one in the picture is not necessary; my medium saucepan was being used for something else).
Dump in the sour cream and stir together. If you use onion put that in now.
Stir in meat.
Slowly add enough water to reach desired consistency and stir.
Heat over medium heat until beef/sauce mixture bubbles, then turn down heat and simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
When water for noodles boils, add noodles and cook until done.
Heat up a vegetable in the microwave, and dinner is ready. Serve the beef mixture over the noodles.
Fast, great-tasting, and easy. We’re not talking about something you would serve for Christmas dinner or company, but it turns out well (much better than Hamburger Helper) and goes together quickly. This recipe seems too overly simple to taste like anything, but it actually has a very good flavor, and is a great stand-by meal for when things are busy and hectic.
Try experimenting with sour cream and see what dishes you can enhance using different amounts of it–and more importantly, have fun!