Sitting on the couch with a classic frozen TV dinner may have been one of your favorite eating habits as a child. But you are an adult now, with a sophisticated palate, and eating processed microwaved food may not be your style anymore. To stay in line with your updated tastes and healthier lifestyle, why not make your own homemade version of the traditional TV dinner?
Homemade and Healthier
Instead of a processed meal laden with sodium, fat and calories, you can use gourmet ingredients to create a delicious dinner that is wholesome and just as easily transported to the couch. Add a glass of red wine for a little extra touch of class.
Homemade TV Dinner Recipes
Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy
Makes 8 servings
2 pounds extra lean ground beef
2 large eggs, lightly beaten (or 4 egg whites)
1/4 cup unseasoned dry whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons unsalted organic butter
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, quartered
2 medium shallots, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix beef, eggs or egg whites, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, salt, mustard, and pepper in a bowl. Form into 8 round patties and reserve.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it foams, place 4 patties in pan and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side until browned. Move cooked patties to a 13×9-inch baking dish. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan and cook remaining 4 patties. Drain grease from pan but keep browned bits.
3. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in same pan. Add in mushrooms and shallots and season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 4 minutes or until mushrooms are soft.
4. Sprinkle flour over mixture and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in red wine to deglaze the pan, using a spatula to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Pour in broth and stir until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to half.
5. Stir in 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Pour sauce over patties in baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm with sauce from the pan spooned over the patties.
Mashed Potatoes with Blue Cheese
Makes 6 to 8 servings
3 pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes
2/3 cup evaporated milk, room temperature
5 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
Salt and pepper
1. Cook potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender. Drain well and place in a large bowl. Smash potatoes with a masher and add milk. Mash or beat milk into potatoes until creamy. Stir in scallions and blue cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Herbed Peas and Carrots
Makes 8 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
7 medium carrots, peeled, small dice
2 medium shallots, peeled, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup water
1 pound frozen baby peas, thawed
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute carrots and shallots, seasoned with salt and pepper, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until shallots are translucent. Pour in water and cook 5 to 6 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Mix in peas and cook 3 minutes to heat through. Take pan off of heat and top with parsley.
Makes 8 servings
5 medium green apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar or a natural sweetener
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted organic butter, cut into small pieces
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. and butter an 8-inch square pan. In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using your fingers, rub butter into oat mixture until small clumps are made.
3. Top apples with oat mixture. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until apples are tender. Let rest 30 minutes before slicing.
For the ultimate TV dinner experience, enjoy your homemade, gourmet meal on TV trays.
And the next time you opt for a frozen dinner, you can make it upscale by pairing it with the right wine. Read Warming up frozen entrees with wine for food and wine tips.