Getting a meal on the table each evening isn’t hard it just takes planning and a few good recipes. My goal is to show you how I go about getting a good meal on the table and what steps I take to prepare it throughout the day. You could prepare this meal all at once in the evening about 2 hours before dinner time. I just prefer to work on it a little at a time.
I’ve divided the preparation of this meal into steps that you can do a little at a time; usually once in the morning and once right before dinner will be enough time. Don’t let it overwhelm you, just read through it a couple of times and then try it out.
Of course if you want to cook it all at once, go right ahead! Or if you’d like to leave out part of the menu, that’s fine too. This is just posted here in hopes that it might help those of you who need a map or a plan for preparing a meal.
The first thing you will want to do is get your recipes out and read over them. Make sure you have all your ingredients before you start. Note all the time requirements of the recipes. Also make note of things you need to do ahead of time like marinate, peel, season, precook, etc.
Make a list of what you need to do first, second, third, etc. Decide if there are parts of the meal that can be made ahead and reheated while other parts of the meal are cooking.
Salisbury Steaks with Onions and Gravy
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Green Salad with Boiled eggs and dressing
Do these as you have time throughout the day:
- Combine the ingredients for the Salisbury steaks, form into 12 patties, dredge in flour, cover and refrigerate.
- Bake the sweet potatoes, peel, mash and add butter, brown sugar and cream to taste. Put the sweet potatoes in an oven safe bowl, cover with a lid or foil and refrigerate.
- Boil the eggs, peel and place in refrigerator.
- Prepare the salad, cover and refrigerate.
- Make dressing and refrigerate.
30 minutes before supper:
- Preheat the oven to 425* , make and bake the biscuits (Don’t make biscuits? Skip ’em and use whatever bread you like! Just preheat the oven to 350*F to reheat the sweet potatoes or use your microwave).
- Stir the sweet potatoes, add a tablespoon of cream of milk and heat in the oven while it is preheating and baking the biscuits. It will take about 30 minutes to heat the sweet potatoes in the oven.
- Take out the Salisbury Steaks and follow instructions for cooking them and the gravy.
Makes 6 generous servings
2 pounds lean ground meat
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1/2 cup homemade cream of mushroom soup or 1/2 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup thinly sliced onions
Mix well. shape into 12 equal patties. Dredge in flour. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate til ready to cook.
When ready to cook, take steaks out of the frig. Heat about 1/4″ oil in a large heavy skillet to medium hot. Add the steaks a few at a time and cook til browned on both sides.
Add the thinly sliced onions to the meat patties in the skillet and cook them along with the meat. When they are translucent, you can remove them to a platter.
Move the steaks around and stack them as they get done. You can use two skillets if you like.
When the steaks are done, remove them to a heated platter and cover.
Make the Gravy
Use the same pan you cooked the steaks and onions in, leave all the little bits and flours in the skillet.
1 tbsp oil
2 cups thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups cream or milk
1/2 can of mushroom soup
1 package beef bouillon or to taste
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Heat the oil to medium hot, scrape the bits and flour off the sides and bottom of the pan, add the mushrooms and cook til browned. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir and cook on medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the meat and onions to the gravy. Heat through.
Make the Egg and Salad Dressing – This dressing is a very old dressing recipe that your great-grandmother probably made. Its great on boiled potatoes for potato salad, on sliced eggs and on salads. It is very mild with just a touch of tartness from the vinegar. You can pep it up as much as you like by using black pepper, more vinegar and more sugar. Even a little Tabasco sauce is great in it!
In a medium sauce pan combine:
3 egg yolks (save the whites for making a meringue later in the week!)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard or 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 tablespoon cornstarch )
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
3 tablespoons butter, cut into 8 small pieces
Cook the ingredients over medium heat, stirring constantly, but do not let it boil or it will be lumpy. Once it is thick, remove the pan from the heat and pour the dressing out into a small bowl or pan to cool.
After its cooled you can store it in the frig. If you have leftovers it will keep about 3 days.
Everything is done so lets get it ready to serve ………
Slice the eggs over your green salad and drizzle with dressing. Serve in a shallow bowl.
Place biscuits on a platter. Serve butter and jam or apple butter with the biscuits.
Take reheated sweet potatoes out of the oven. Give them a stir and add some cream if they are too thick.
Serve steaks on a platter accompanied by a bowl or boat of gravy.
You can scale this down or up to suit yourself. If you’ve even wondered how to get a meal on the table, I hope this helps!