I hate cooking. I want to commence blogging with that statement because it emphasizes how big of deal it is when I do cook. Now, as a disclaimer, you also need to know that I differentiate cooking from baking—cooking deals with “savory” flavors (I learned that term from Top Chef, one of my FAVORITES, ironically enough) and baking as sweet stuff and breads. I don’t mind baking; it’s definitely not anywhere near the top of my favorite things to do, but I’ll do it and I do it reasonably well. And, very predictably, I will tell you why I hate cooking:
- The mess—yes, I have a nice dishwasher (FINALLY! Long story…), but you don’t put nice pots, pans, and knives in The Maid (we did name our DW and “The Maid” is her online pseudonym). So, I have to wash them, and I HATE DOING DISHES!!! I don’t know why considering I actually like to clean my house (yes, I know, I’m weird), but dishes and laundry I absolutely abhor.
- Eating—when I cook, I don’t eat. I don’t know why, but that’s what happens. Every time I cook, I don’t want to eat it, so what’s the point?
- The food—some things are just better when eaten somewhere else. Take, for example, Italian food: why would I buy a box of Barilla and a jar of Ragu when I can call Mamma Maria’s and get some of the best Italian food around (and I used to be married to an Italian).
- The mess (I already covered this)
- I don’t enjoy it at all. Sewing up a super-cute apron for my daughter—hell yeah that’s fun! Cooking—not so much, more like going to the GYN: a necessary, uncomfortable evil
- The mess (see above: 1, 4)
- It’s not my thing, I don’t like it (see 5)
So, I’m sure you get it by now. But, now that we have a family, we simply cannot eat-out nearly as much as we used to and not eating isn’t really practical…I hope you see my problem here. Quite honestly, I feel bad when my husband works all day and then has to come home and cook (not out of any kind of Stepford Wife type of guilt, but because he shouldn’t have to do it all the time when I’m already home). To assuage my guilt, I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to cook more often (maybe twice a week, three if we’re lucky) and, therefore, you are all going to share in this wonderful experience with me [and that was heavily glazed and is dripping in sarcasm]! Here is what we had for dinner during the Superbowl. This is one of the few things I’ve always cooked well, but it’s also really easy. The recipe isn’t one that I’ve ever written down; the only reason I know how to make them is from watching my parents make these as a child. They’ve always been a favorite in my family, they are easily adaptable, and here they are:
(it’s called a “sa’mich” because I didn’t know what to call it—it’s not a sandwich, Hot Pocket is already taken, the Robug says “Sa’mich” and it’s cute)
Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 15-20 min
Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix
(for mix: 1 egg, 1 c. water, 2 tbsp butter, ~1/4 c. flour)
about 1.25 lbs of ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
~2 tbsp. of olive oil (for sautéing onions)
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Prepare hot roll mix as described on box. Be sure to knead it well!
NOTE: The box directions will tell you to let the dough rest for 5 minutes, shape the dough, and then let it rise for 20-30 minutes—DON’T DO THIS! After you’ve kneaded the dough well, put it back in the bowl you used to mix your ingredients, cover it, and put it to rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes (until the hunk of dough has about doubled in size).
**While dough is rising for 20-30 minutes:
Heat olive oil in a pan
Dice the onion
Sauté onions until they are slightly softened/slightly translucent
Add ground beef to pan
Season ground beef to taste (I use some garlic powder, pepper, paprika, and Italian Seasoning)
Cook until done
Strain excess oil/fat
Put on the side to cool
Combine cheeses together in a bowl; put to the side
When the dough is ready:
Preheat oven to temperature specified on hot roll mix box
Use cooking spray to grease two baking sheets or line with parchment paper
Prepare a surface to work where you can have your pan of ground beef, bowl of cheese, and floured surface all together
Lightly flour a flat surface
Turn out hunk of dough
Pull off a piece about the size of a racketball
Turn the dough lightly in your hands to flatten it out into a circular-type of shape that is about a ¼ inch thickness—like a mini-pizza (if it’s too thick, your roll will be more bread-y and won’t have enough filling; if it’s too thin, the filling will bust through the dough)
NOTE: You are working with dough that has already risen, so if you handle it too roughly or too much, you’ll work out too much of the air and the bread will be dense)
Lay the dough shape on a lightly floured surface
Sprinkle some cheese in the center of the dough
Put a scoop of the ground beef on top of the cheese, in the center
NOTE: I use a slotted serving spoon for this so any final grease can drip out. Also, be sure to leave space between the edge of the dough and your filling in order to make the next step easier.
Sprinkle more cheese on top and then wrap the dough around the filling so that it is entirely encased, pinching closed any seams
Place roll on greased/parchment lined baking sheet
Complete all rolls
Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown
Remove from oven and transfer rolls to a cooling rack lined with a paper towel (to soak up any grease that will ooze out). Brush off any remaining flour.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes
We absolutely love these, but don’t make them much because it’s hard to do while wrangling a toddler and, because it’s a time commitment, schedules make it difficult to have a helping hand around—but it doesn’t change the fact that they rock and that we eat these up! In the past I’ve mixed pizza sauce into the ground beef and used only mozzarella for a Pizza Sa’mich, and I’m going to be looking for a rye bread recipe that will work well with this recipe so that we can do two variations: a Patty Melt with ground beef, cheddar, and sliced sautéed onion and mushroom AND a Reuben using hunks of corned beef and sauerkraut marinated in thousand island dressing—YUM!
These are not the healthiest, but they’re not the worst for you either. Not a bad meal if you add some veggies on the side!
I hope you enjoy them!
The hubby is off tomorrow…guess who’s cooking 😉
Please visit my blog to see the rest of this post!