Ok, I confess, I have a secret obsession. For those of you who know me, it may come as a bit of a surprise. No, its not horses, bees or chickens although, I readily admit to being mighty fond of all three. No, I confess to being obsessed with cooking shows. I love Food Network and The Cooking Channel and am a huge fan of all things Anthony Bourdain.
My DVR is filled with episodes of Chopped. I love the challenge of cooking with preset and oftentimes unusual ingredients and am always surprised by the skill exhibited by the chefs, especially the amateurs. In my next life, I want to be a contestant on Chopped.
This year, I’ve been particularly fond of Heartland Table with Amy Thielen, a former chef from NYC who goes back to her roots of Midwest cooking. I love her simplicity and local sourced ingredients.
I am also a fan of Nancy Fuller on Farmhouse Rules. That woman seriously know how to treat a quality cut of meat and makes a mean cocktail, as well.
But, my dirty little secret is my love of the Food Network’s hit show, The Pioneer Woman.
Now, I know what your thinking, really, how can you like Ree Drummond? She doesn’t grow or gather fresh produce from her garden or buy local organic ingredients grown sustainably. She doesn’t glean or forage the local byways or import exotic ingredients from Dean and DeLuca. Instead she drives 25 minutes to the local supermarket buying staples commonly found in most household pantries. At times, she practically cooks from a can.
I am the first to admit, that I can be a bit of a food snob and nothing makes me happier than creating an elaborate meal from things I’ve either grown or my husband has hunted. I love to google unusual ingredients and build an entire meal around a central theme. But, sometimes you don’t have the time to spend all day in the kitchen. There are times when a quick homemade meal is called for. Besides, give Ree a break, she has four growing kids to feed and an empire to run. And, I can honestly tell you every recipe I have tried of hers is absolutely delicious and easy!
Take this recipe for Ree’s steak sandwich. She touts this sandwich as Marlboro Man’s favorite (the name she calls her rancher husband) Sautéed onions and and cube steak seasoned cut into strips and cooked in a cast iron skillet. Served on a toasted hoagie dressed with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and arugula. I sautéed yellow and red peppers along with the onions, it adds a pop of color and taste. If you feel really guilty, skip the meat, it is a great vegetarian alternative. Do yourself a favor and add a side of sweet potato fries seasoned with smoked paprika. Sweet potatoes are a healthier alternative. Drizzle the rough cut sweet potatoes with olive oil and seasonings and bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes and you will have a delicious side.
So the next time you crave some comfort food, try this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. After all, I have my own Marlborough Man to feed! Minus the Marlboros, of course!