my pepper steak

okay, so this is really my mom's recipe, but i've never written it down and haven't made it in so long--and i'm a much better cook than i used to be--that i made a few changes on my own when i made it last night. dave doesn't like this meal, so i rarely make it, but it's one of my favorites. dave's complaint is that the meat is too tough, so i've done a few things to remedy that in this recipe that veers off of my moms.

i forgot to take a picture of the ingredients, so i'll just list them here: a sirloin steak, one green pepper, one small onion, a can of beef consomme, butter, garlic, and rice.

let's get started. first, chop up your green pepper in thin strips,

and your onion. throw them together in a frying pan with a tablespoon of butter, and brown on medium heat until they're crisp-tender.while those are cooking, get your steak out.
cut it in half, width-wise,
then trim off the fat (unless you LIKE to eat fat...and in that case, leave it. and then see a doctor about your inevitable bypass surgery).
now slice your steak into thin strips. i like it REALLY thin, but you can do whatever you want, really.
when your onions and peppers are browned and semi-tender, remove them to a plate.

turn the heat up. in the same pan, throw in a few tablespoons of butter and a teaspoon of chopped garlic (i never chop my own garlic, i just buy it that way in a jar).
now add in your meat. sorry about the dark picture, my hands were all steak-y and i didn't get the flash on. you want the heat to be really high so you can sear the outside of your steak, sealing in the juices so that it will be more tender.
see that one on the top left? that's perfect. don't cook the steak too long or it will get tough. you just want to sear it so outside is completely brown but the inside is still pink.
once your steak is ready, grab a can of beef consomme.

put your peppers and onions back in, then pour the entire can of consomme in, and deglaze the pan on high heat.
once the drippings are all off the bottom, cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 15-20 minutes.
when it's time to eat, put 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in a bowl, then add a tablespoon or so of water.
stir until smooth. it should look almost like milk.
pour it into your consomme. you want to turn the consomme into a thicker, gravy-like substance.

stir with a whisk. if it's still too thin (like mine is), add a bit more cornstarch mixed with water.
it'll look like this when you pour it...
and like this when it's done. see how it turned a lighter brown, and it's thicker? perfect.
now serve over rice, and enjoy!

emily's pepper steak

1 sirloin steak
1 green pepper
1 small onion
3 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 can beef consomme

cut your onion and pepper into strips, and brown on medium heat with a tablespoon of butter. remove to a plate, turn your heat up to high, and add the remaining 2 tbsp. butter and a teaspoon of garlic. add your steak, searing both sides. do this quickly so it doesn't get overcooked. once it's browned, add the onions and peppers back in and pour in a can of beef consomme to deglaze the pan (get the steak bits off the bottom of the pan). turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15-20 more minutes. right before you're ready to eat, combine 2 tbsp. cornstarch with 1 tbsp. water and stir. pour into your pan, turning the consomme into gravy. serve over rice.


barb worthen potatoes

barb worthen was my piano teacher growing up, and also the mother of almost everybody in my family's best friend. these are sometimes referred to as "funeral potatoes" because that is often where you find them served, but they will always be barb worthen potatoes to me. so let's get started.

you'll need some large potatoes (2 for a square pan, 4-6 for 9x13), sour cream, cream of chicken soup, butter, onion, and cheddar cheese. this recipe also calls for crushed corn flakes, but i like these better without, so i leave that step out. feel free to add it in if you want.
first off, bake your potatoes. if i remember, i do it the night before so they're cool enough to handle, but you don't have to do it that far in advance if you don't want. either way, you need your potatoes baked.

then in a mixing bowl, mix 8 oz. sour cream,
a can of cream of chicken soup,

4 tbsp. butter,

1/4 of an onion, diced,
like this.
pour in 3/4 cup of grated cheese.

and mix together well.that looks disgusting.

now scoop a little bit onto your pan,and spread it on the bottom:
unroll your potatoes, and peel with a knife.
i use the knife to grab the edge of the skin, then use my thumb to pull it along.
then i slice it in half, and cut it into four long slices,
like this.
then i turn it the other way and cut it into cubes.

layer in your cubed potatoes,
like so:
now pour on the rest of your soupy-cheesy mixture.
use a spatula to get it all out,
then spread it out evenly over the top.
like this:
the recipe says to pour a tbsp. melted butter over the top of this, but i think that's overkill, especially if you're not using cornflakes (which i don't like). so put it in the oven at 375* for 20-30 minutes or until it's bubbly. it should look like this:
mmmmboy. i love these potatoes.
word to the wise: these are not for the lactose intolerant.

barb worthen potatoes

4-6 potatoes, baked
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. sour cream
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 diced onion
4 tbsp. butter
a cup mashed cornflakes or bread crumbs, if desired, and an additional tsp. melted butter

bake your potatoes in foil for about 2 hours, or until soft. cool in the fridge. sometimes i bake my potatoes the night before, if i remember. in a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the soup, sour cream, cheese, onion, and butter. layer a small amount on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. peel and cube your potatoes, and put those in the pan, then pour the soup-cheese mixture on top of the potatoes. if desired, add crushed cornflakes on top and pour another tablespoon of melted butter. i skip this step 'cause i just don't like it, but feel free to do it if you want. cook at 375* for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. serve with ham and green beans. yum.