Su Lum: Slumming
December 3, 2008
It is my civic duty to write about the proposed Lift 1A project but I just don’t have the heart for it. It is SO huge, SUCH a monstrosity.
Since I recently had a couple of cooking successes I’ll pass on the recipes instead ” one is for pot roast and the other is for lemon meringue pie.
At City Market, a 1.5 pound flat cut of boneless meat called “chuck pot roast” was on sale for $4.28, enough to make an ample meal for three, a good deal in these economic times. Slather the roast with paprika on all sides, shake on a light coating of salt and then, using the edge of a sturdy saucer (no good china), pound a half cup or more of flour into the meat.
Turn the meat over and pound in more flour with the saucer’s edge, repeat two or three times using the leftover flour or adding more until the beef won’t accept any more. This takes about three minutes, both the pounding and the flour tenderize the meat and it makes a big mess.
In a suitable skillet, heat a generous amount of olive oil over medium flame (I have an electric stove and set it on 6) and, being careful not to let it char, brown both sides and place it in deep dish for which you have a tight cover.
Add a large Idaho potato, peeled and cut into chunks, a medium white onion cut into eighths, about a cup of those little peeled carrots (or peel and chop your own), and two cloves of diced garlic.
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Mix two cups of hot water and a heaping teaspoon of “Better than Bouillon,” beef flavor. Better than Bouillon is packaged in a squat jar, found in the soup areas of local markets and is the best bouillon ever. Accept no substitute.
Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil, put on the lid and cook it at 300 degrees for five hours.
Lemon meringue pie is one of my favorites but I make lousy crusts, the filling is a crapshoot and my meringue always came out sticky and sunken until a friend gave me a KitchenAid mixer one recent Christmas.
This super mixer whipped up a meringue that didn’t even resemble my past feeble efforts with my little electric hand mixer, the beaten egg whites clinging to the wire whisk attachment in a solid chunk and the results so fabulous I was inspired to refine the filling.
Off to the Internet, where I found Grandma’s Lemon Meringue Pie. Here is an amalgam of that recipe and readers’ comments:
In a saucepan, stir together 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, one-quarter teaspoon salt, one-half cup fresh lemon juice and (gradually) one and one-half cups of water. When free of any lumps, bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and remove from heat.
Separate four eggs, putting the whites in the big KitchenAid bowl and the yolks in a smaller bowl. Beat the yolks with a little hand mixer, pour some of the hot mixture into the beaten yolks (not too fast or you’ll cook the yolks with unfortunate results), then stir it all together in the pot with 2 tablespoons of butter and the grated rind of two lemons (or more). Cook until thick.
A word about lemons. You have to buy organic lemons because the regular ones (especially this time of year) are covered with wax and are no better than yellow cardboard. The grated rind should taste very lemony and you should not resort to packaged “zest.”
The unusual feature of this recipe is the addition of flour and the reduction in the normal amount of cornstarch. I was suspicious, but the result was excellent.
Beat the egg whites with one-quarter teaspoon of cream of tartar, 6 tablespoons sugar (one at a time) and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Put hot filling in a baked (hot) pie crust, top with meringue, sealing all around and leaving no air holes, bake at 350 for 25 minutes.