Thursday, January 11, 2007

What's Cooking?

Da Kid asked me what I was planning on cooking when he spotted the container of ricotta in the refrigerator. Lasagna or manicotti, I replied, explaining that it would have wait. I hadn't realized I didn't have enough sauce in the freezer.

(There's a method to my madness. When I make spaghetti sauce it's enough for usually two meals, sometimes three: Spaghetti the night I make it, then . . . I dunno after that. If there's not enough for third meal, I just plunk the leftovers in the pot with the new batch.)

Anyway, we had spaghetti that night and with Da Kid on duty a few days later, my plan was for him to be able to take leftover lasagna or manicotti with him. With only a single exception, I had everything I needed to make it. The one exception was an oven that worked. It bit the dust last before and as far as I was concerned, for the LAST time.

I love the smooth-top stove — it's the only one that lasted for more than two years with Hubby, "The Stove Killer" — but the oven has always been . . . deranged. From the start, without rhyme or reason, suddenly refusing to work, while beeping incessantly and madly flashing, "F3"!

The operating instructions explained "F3" meant the oven wasn't happy with something and lists 40-million possible remedies, all of which I guess you're supposed to systematically eliminate before shooting the damned thing to finally shut it up.

Da Kid tried to "remedy" what the most frequent problem has been in the past, and when THAT wasn't its current hitch gently suggested to me that instead of going down the hallway to the gun cabinet, I just go buy a new stove.

So, I did. Except, Home Depot doesn't have the one I picked out in stock. In fact, they don't even have any left in their warehouse, but can and will deliver and install on the 18th.

Not a problem. I can live with that quite easily, except I still had to fix something for dinner that Da Kid could then take with him the next day. By then, though, I sure as heck didn't feel like cooking.

And so once again I turned to Kamikaze Kooking, a discipline I first began studying as a working wife and new mother. This particular one-pot recipe (with certain variations of my own) was originally by the Oriental chef, Master Nuke It Quick *:

Italian Sausage Casserole

1 - 3-quart microwave-save dish with glass lid

Dump into the dish:

1 - or so pounds of Hot Italian Sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces.
3 - potatoes, medium-sized, peeled and cut into chunks
2 - cloves garlic, diced

Mix it all up. Nuke on high, covered, for about . . . 12 minutes, stirring twice.

Then, add:

3 - bell peppers, cut into chunks
3 - onions, medium-sized, cut into chunks
1 - 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 - 15 oz. (or whut.ever it is) can of diced tomatoes
½ Teaspoon Oregano
½ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper.

Mix it all up. Nuke on high, covered, for about . . . 12 minutes, stirring twice.

Standing time, approximately five minutes. Mileage may vary, but the potatoes should be soft; the vegetables done but still on the firm side.
* In the early days of microwave cooking, each oven always come with its own cookbooks. The ovens (and the brands) may be long gone, but the cookbooks remain.



Anonymous pamibe said...

Mmmm... I can smell that cooking! I've got some New Braunfels Smokehouse meats for Christmas, including incarnations of sausage... this is a perfect recipe for at least one variety! :)

8:15 AM  

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