Many of us have powerful memories of a specific dish from our past. What’s yours?
When I was in high school, a friend planned a midnight dinner for after a school dance. She served French Dip Sandwiches, Fruit Salad and Chocolate Layer Cake. I’ve used this same menu whenever I’ve made French Dips, for the past 50 years, but I’ve added broccoli salad and a tossed green salad to the menu.
French Dip Sandwiches
1 Sirloin Tip or Top Sirloin Roast
1 package of dry onion soup mix
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet
(Method 1): Place roast into a crock pot early in the day (about 10 AM). Mix water and Kitchen Bouquet together and pour over the roast. Sprinkle onion soup over the top. Cover and cook on “high” for 6-8 hours.
(Method 2): Place roast in a roasting pan and follow the directions above for the liquids and the dry soup. Fold a piece of foil in a tent shape and place on top of the roast. Cook in a 300 degree oven set at bake for 2 hours for rare beef, or 2-3 hours for well-done.
Remove roast from cooking pan onto a wooden cutting board and let “rest” for 20 minutes. Prepare a package of Au Jus mix according to package directions. Slice the roast into thin slices and serve on French rolls cut in half. Serve Au Jus in small bowls to dip the sandwich into.
Serve with tossed green salad, broccoli salad and fruit salad, and chocolate cake for dessert.
2-3 brunches of fresh broccoli
1/2 sweet onion
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup bacon, crumbled
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Make the dressing first, whisk the sugar into the mayo and then add the vinegar. Refrigerate while you make the salad.
Cut up the broccoli into small flowers. I usually discard the stems, but if you like that part, cut those up too. Chop the onion, either thick or fine. Mix the broccoli flowers, onion, cheese, bacon bits, and sunflowers. Add the dressing and mix together. This salad actually takes better the next day, so I usually make it ahead of time. You can also add raisins or green grapes. Some people add Mandarin orange slices or chopped apple.
Easy Fruit Salad
1 can drained mixed tropical fruit
1 or 2 sliced bananas
1 or 2 peeled or unpeeled red apples, chopped
1 can drained mandarin oranges
1 can pineapple chunks
1/2 cup whipping cream, shipped and sweetened
Mix drained fruit and fold in whipped cream. This can also be served without cream and substituted with about 1/3 cup carbonated soda water, such as 7-Up or Sprite.
Tossed Green Salad
Your choice of salad greens
Sliced raw tomatoes marinated in Italian dressing and then chopped
Thinly sliced red onion slices, mushrooms, and radishes
Chopped green onions, white and green parts
Chopped black and green olives
Mix together and served with your favorite dressing or a variety of dressings both cream based and oil based.
Dark Chocolate Cake
1 3/4 cup flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixer bowl. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat for two minutes at medium speed. Stir in the boiling water. The Batter Will Be Thin. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool and frost with your favorite frosting.
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 cup butter (1 cube)
1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine chocolate and butter. Slowly melt, stirring gently. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, milk, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add chocolate/butter mixture. Set pan in bowl of ice. Beat until thick. Spread one layer, top with second cake layer and spread frosting evenly over entire cake.