The meat and potatoes guy

RobMy nephew Max, sister Louise and Rob “the picky eater” Silverstein (niece Ana is off at college)

My sister is having hip replacement surgery in a few weeks. She’ll be fine, but I’m a little worried about her husband, Rob.

Rob is a brilliant man. He’s an airline pilot who’s landed a plane in conditions that would render most people incapable of rational movement. He owns a car mechanics business and can quote you chapter and verse on just about any car in existence. I’m sorry. I can see him right now shaking his head at me. Okay, any car in existence.

But he can’t cook and he’s a picky eater. Such as…he doesn’t like anything even slightly adventurous. Any seasonings besides salt and pepper are highly suspicious and are to be avoided at all costs. No tomatoes or tomato products. Onions? Not so much.

And even though I have not been asked to intervene in any way, here I go. I’ve been racking my brain to figure out what this saintly man can eat while Louise is on her walker. What she can fix for him before the surgery that will sustain him through the dark hours of a closed kitchen?

And I have some suggestions. Yes, there’s a tad bit of onion and a wee bit of tomato product in these recipes, but I promise you, Rob, you will not detect it. This is not bland food. It is tasty food. But it is familiar food. Don’t be scared, big guy. We’ve got this.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken and dressing casserole
  • 1 package prepared dressing mix
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  1. Prepare dressing mix according to package directions. Saute mushrooms in butter until well browned. In a bowl, mix together soup, sour cream, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and chicken.
  2. Put chicken mixture in a 2 quart casserole dish. Top with dressing. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
5.0 from 1 reviews
Country fried steak with gravy
  • 1 pound cube steak
  • Soy sauce
  • All-purpose flour
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons marsala
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 tablespoons minced dried onion
  • ¼ to ½ cup water to thin sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Rub a liberal amount of soy sauce into both sides of the cube steaks and let sit for 20 minutes. Put about a cup of flour into a sturdy plastic bag and add a liberal sprinkling of pepper. Add the cube steaks to the bag and shake to flour.
  2. Heat about a ½ inch of oil in a skillet and fry the cube steaks until they’re well browned on both sides. Remove steaks and add mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are brown and then add marsala, reducing it to a thick glaze. Add cream of mushroom soup and minced dried onion. Stir and add enough water to thin out the sauce if it is too thick. Season the sauce with additional salt and pepper and add steaks back to pan, coating them liberally with the sauce.
5.0 from 1 reviews
Glazed Meat Loaf
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2½ Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp hot sauce
  • Meat Loaf
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅔ cup crushed saltine crackers (about 17 crackers)
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1 lb 90 percent lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
  • 2 tsps Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  1. MAKE GLAZE: Whisk all ingredients in saucepan until sugar dissolves.Simmer glaze over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
  2. COOK VEGETABLES: Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook onion until golden, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to large bowl.
  3. PROCESS MEAT: Process saltines and milk in food processor until smooth. Add beef and pork and pulse until well combined, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer meat mixture to bowl with cooled onion mixture. Add eggs and yolk, mustard, Worcestershire, thyme, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper to bowl and mix with hands until combined.
  4. BAKE: Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray. Transfer meat mixture to the prepared baking sheet and shape into 9- by 5-inch loaf. Bake meatloaf in a 350 degree oven for one hour.
  5. BROIL: Brush meatloaf with glaze. Adjust oven racks to upper (about 4 inches away from broiler element) and heat broiler. Broil on upper rack until well browned, about 5 minutes.


One Comment

  1. Louise Silverstein
    Louise SilversteinReply
    February 24, 2016 at 5:23 am

    I thought this went without saying, in fact I did say it I thought, but you are officially asked to intervene. Come back and prepare these delicious recipes to freeze and any others that come to mind. If the big guy turns up his nose at any of them, I assure you my saintly nurse, Ana, Max and I will be forever grateful! We still talk about the wonderful concoctions you made at the lake one summer. Orzo with cranberries and almonds comes to mind. In fact, I think my insurance might pay for a personal chef. Yes, I’m sure they will. Come back.

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