Hey ya’ll… I know it’s not Sunday but my internet was out on Sunday and I’ve been quite the busy realtor bee this week; so, I’m just getting the chance to sit down and write this blog! Ya’ll are gonna be reading with mouths watering as I tell you about the yummy roast, fried potatoes, and fried vegetable medley I made for my family this Sunday! I had them all begging for seconds and my sweet little nephew who NEVER wants to eat, much less have seconds, ate THIRD helpings of this fried vegetable medley. When I say fried vegetable medley, I mean fried okra, squash, green tomatoes, and onions that will absolutely make you weak in the knees!

Speaking of weak in the knees, the handsome fella pictured below was my sweet little kitchen helper this week! His name is Judd and he’s the sweetest 10 year old boy in the world! This sweet little boy is a hunting fool, a music lover, and a total sweetheart. He gets on my very last nerve a lot of times, most days; but at the end of the day when everyone is winding down, it’s so nice to have him curl up in my lap and give me a hug and tell me I’m the best aunt ever! And really, days like this Sunday, when we were in the kitchen, dancing like fools, singing along to the radio, and cooking a big family meal remind me of my childhood and cooking with my family. Days like that are what made me love cooking so much in the first place. Plus, I love getting compliments on the food. 😉

my little helper me and Judd

Please excuse the mess in the background of this picture… we were cleaning the dishwasher out and hand washing some dishes! Well, it’s that time again. Confession time, time for me to face it. Folks, I HATE washing dishes. My sweet little Juddy buddy washed the dishes for me! So he stacked the clean ones up so I could help him put them away; therefore, there’s a bunch of stuff on the countertops!

This roast is amazing and simple. You need to know three things about making roast. First, there are a bunch of ways to do it, we mainly stick to putting it in a crockpot low and slow for about 8 hours; however, we didn’t have the stuff when I started out to make the roast so I did this one in the oven. I use a ceramic coated, cast iron, Dutch oven. You can use anything that is safe to put in the oven as long as it has a top! The top is important because it holds in the moisture and prevents the roast from getting dry and tough. Second, it all depends on the cut of meat you get. For anyone that has ever spent any amount of time in the meat department, you know that there are about 20 different cuts of roast. Much like picking a ribeye, which you can find info on in a previous post of mine by clicking here, the fat content is important. You want a roast that has thin lines of marbling, fat, running through it; however, you don’t want large chunks of fat because it will result in a greasy, almost gunky texture to the meat. The most popular are chuck roast cuts and round roast cuts. Chuck roast will have a little more fat. Round roasts are going to be more lean because they’re cut from the leg. The most common types of round roasts are top round, bottom round, bottom rump round, eye round and round tip roasts. I like to use bottom round, bottom rump round, or eye round. You can also get a sirloin roast which is super good and very tender but it’s not as big and a little more expensive. The third and final thing you should know about picking a roast is the most simple and obvious. You need to make sure you don’t get a cut of meat that is too big for your cooking method. Sometimes, I’ll buy a small sirloin roast and add a medium sized eye of round roast, and cook them together. The problem for me is getting one that will feed everyone, but one that isn’t too wide to fit in the crock pot. So, now that you know how to pick the perfect roast, I’ll tell you how to cook it!

Perfect Pot Roast:

1 3-4 lb roast of your choice,

2 cans cream of mushroom soup,

1 bag of baby carrots,

4-5 medium sized red potatoes, washed and quartered,

1 small onion, peeled and quartered,

2 beef bouillon cubes,

8 oz. water,

Garlic powder, lemon pepper, and McCormick cowboy seasoning to taste.

On Sunday I used a ceramic coated cast iron Dutch Oven like this:

lodge cabin   uncooked roast

I love to use a Dutch oven for pretty much everything. I use them for soups, stews, macaroni, roast, boiling chicken, everything. They’re easy to clean and cook everything really well. Plus you can use them on the stovetop or in the oven. Anyway, whatever you use, put the roast in it. Now, add the carrots, potatoes, and onions. Pour on the soup and fill the empty can with water. Pour that in and add your seasonings. If you’re baking it in the oven, you’ll need to put it in, with the top on at 350 degrees for 3 hours. You can bring that temp up to about 425 and do it for 2 and a half hours but the meat will be a little tougher if you do that. Now, you can also use a crockpot. Put everything in the crock just like in the Dutch oven and turn it on for 8 to 10 hours. This is my favorite way to make roast. Simply because I can throw everything in there in the morning and go about my business for the rest of the day. Now, with this roast, you don’t have to serve anything with it. You can dish up the potatoes, carrots, and roast, pour a little gravy on top and let that be it. But I usually serve rice or a green vegetable with it. Sunday, I made peas, cornbread, fried potatoes (instead of the potatoes in the roast like I normally do), and fried veggies. I’ve already given ya’ll the recipe for the peas and cornbread, but ya’ll can go back and see it here.

cooked roast

The fried potatoes are something that my dad loves. They’re basically skillet potatoes, nothing super special, you can use them for supper or make them into a breakfast dish. All you do is buy a bunch of large sized red potatoes and slice them up. My mom told me that my dad loved them a while back. She said it was one of the few things her mom ever made, but that it was my dad’s favorite. She said that she had tried to make them several times but they had never turned out just right. So I figured I would get out my skillet and try it myself. I’ve made similar potatoes before so I didn’t think it would be that difficult. Now, I bought my potatoes from the Farmer’s Market, because they’re bigger. I only bought 4 but if you buy them from the grocery store, it’s cheaper to buy a small bag of small to medium sized red potatoes.

Skillet Fried Potatoes:

Red potatoes,

1 small onion,

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil,

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Wash and scrub the potatoes, making sure any bad spots are cut off, you can peel them if you would like but you don’t have to. Plus, the peeling is supposed to be the most nutritious part of the potato! After they’re scrubbed, cut them into really thin slices. About 1/8″ thick. Slice the onions, I just did slivers but you can dice into small pieces. Pour the oil into the skillet first, then add the potatoes and onions.

potatoes

Turn the heat on medium and season the potatoes. You don’t have to baby sit these but you do need to keep an eye on them. Make sure you stir them up and if you want you can put a top on them to keep some moisture in there. If the ones on the bottom start getting too brown, you can put them on a baking sheet or in a bowl. I lined a baking sheet with a paper towel and put them over onto it.

fried potatoes

They were delicious, if I do say so myself! They’re great for a side dish and they’re also great if you add a little cheese and maybe leftover steak or eggs and sausage. You can also cut them into squares and cook them in a hash-brown style!

The vegetable medley is amazing, but it’s very time consuming. Now, you’ll notice in this next recipe that I don’t have any measurements. This is because it is 100% up to you and how much you want to cook. I had a lot of people to cook for so I needed a lot of veggies; however, if you’re only cooking for a few people, you’ll only need a little. Now, you can also only use squash or only use okra but I like all of it mixed together. My mom started doing this and it kind of became something that we expect every time we ask for fried okra. So much so, that when someone asks for it, it’s a given and if we don’t mix it in, they say, “where’s the other stuff?” I’ll try to put the measurements for enough for a family of four, but I can’t promise that it will be enough or that it won’t be too much! This is what you’ll need:

Fried Vegetable Medley:

10 small to medium sized okra,

1 medium Vidalia onion,

4 medium yellow squash,

2 small green tomatoes,

2 cups of white corn meal,

salt and pepper.

When you’re picking out the okra, you want to get the soft ones. The hard ones are real slimy and haven’t gotten ripe enough yet. Once you pick them out and get them home, you’ll need to wash them well. Start slicing them, it’s going to be kind of nasty and kind of slimy. Just be prepared. Slice them into a bowl, sprinkle cornmeal over it. Wash and slice the squash. Wash a cut the green tomatoes into rings or chunks. Cut the onion into chunks… you can also cut it into rings if you want. Now sprinkle on more cornmeal, season judiciously with salt and pepper.

chopped and mealed okra

Stir it up until everything is coated. Pour some oil into the bottom of the pan. You’ll want about an inch of oil in the pan and let it get hot. If it doesn’t get hot enough before you put the okra in, the cornmeal will wash off in the oil and gather at the bottom. You’ll want to make sure its piping hot, if you have a frying thermometer, it needs to be around 350 degrees. If not, you can drop a piece of the okra into the oil, if it gets nice and brown within about 30 seconds, it’s hot enough. When the oil is ready, drop in a large handful of veggies.

okra frying

You may have to turn the veggies once or twice in order to make sure they’re evenly cooked. Then, using a slotted spoon, remove them from the hot grease, allowing the excess to drain from the spoon, and place it on a tray or in a bowl lined with paper towels. This allows the excess grease to drain off and prevents the vegetables from becoming too soggy and greasy. Once all the veggies are done, sprinkle with a little more salt, serve them to your adoring crowd, and accept all compliments.

fried okra

This meal, while delicious, is very rich and heavy, starchy and carb-y, so you’ll need to eat salads for a week to make up for it. These are the recipes of my childhood. My mom made roast so much when I was a kid that it’s kind of hard to get my brother to eat it now, unless he’s feeling really nostalgic or unless I tell him he can eat it or starve. 😉 He does like it, he just got a little burnt out on it during our childhood and he’s also a meat snob. He thinks roast is too cheap! Anyway, I hope ya’ll enjoy this meal as much as we did. And I hope you have a little kitchen helper as cute as this one!

silly Judd

Ya’ll enjoy and I’ll be back to writing more frequently soon!! Have a good one!