Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Comfort Food, A Comfort Tool

Christmas before this one I asked for and received an electric skillet. Mostly it has set on the bookshelf in the utility room, but I have used it occasionally, and several times recently for pancakes, for which it is fabulous. I still miss my late 60's wedding gift electric skillet and I can't think why I ever got rid of it. I especially and fondly remember it sitting on my orange formica kitchen counter slow stewing chicken cacciatori. It had a large domed aluminum cover which made cooking large hunks of meat possible and I used it most regularly for pot roasts.

Last Saturday I made a renegade run to Whole Foods (shopping usually a joint excursion) and although intending to get some short ribs, bought a really nicely marbled 3 pound chuck roast in anticipation of slow cooking on Sunday. Thank God, the weather finally turned and Sunday was indeed a grey rainy day, something we have been desperately in need of to break the drought (32 days). Late Sunday I invited Friend Bonnie to join us Sunday evening for dinner.

In the old unenlightened days, I always dumped a packet of Lipton's Onion Soup Mix on my pot roast prior to adding liquids. Shunning such shortcuts and packages of convenient anything these days for many and complex reasons, I still used boxed beef broth this time after searing. Plus carefully arranged a bed of lots of onions and laid 3 perfect carrots and 3 lovely Yukon Gold potatoes in peaceful circumference around the roast. A glug of red wine and a big glug of Wouscestershire sauce went in also. After squishing down the roast slightly since this cover is not as large as the previous one, the electric skillet seemed difficult to regulate down to a slow simmer, although maybe the old one cycled on and off equally but I was unable to see through the old aluminum cover. About 90 minutes later it was done. Perfectly. Gorgeously.

We ate in front of the fireplace, on the coffee table and sitting on the floor, watching West Wing all together. Although my husband did not rave about the pot roast as he is not a fan of "soft meat", Bonnie and I raved. And for me, this is exactly how Sunday night should be.


Anonymous said...

Nice Blog :)


WonderPen said...

I want to write more about comfort foods. Any suggestions from anyone?

Jeremiah Scott said...

That sounds like it turned out to be quite a good pot roast. I don't own an electric skillet but might have to consider picking one up eventually. As Alton Brown would say, they are multitaskers too!

Keep up the work on the blog.