CHEW THIS! Tina Tutrow’s Slow Cooker Cube Steak and Gravy

Tina Tutrow’s Slow Cooker Cube Steak and Gravy

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, June 15th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Tina Tutrow Shares Family Recipe
Blaise Doubman

Tina Tutrow is one of the only people who know my true hair color and has been a friend of my family and I for so long, I think we all consider each other family by now instead of good friends. My Dad, Jamie Doubman, went to school, all twelve years, with Tina Tutrow so really between my Mom, Darla, and my Dad, they have known Tina for most of their lives. That is the wonderful thing about small town living, everyone knows one another and, if you are lucky, get to experience their lives with one another. Tina has been one of the best beauticians in the area for close to over thirty years. Several years ago, she decided to try her hand at running her own business, her own beauty shop, and has not looked back since. Successful, talented and well known, Tina is a master at what she does and makes it look easy and effortless. She has also managed to raise a beautiful family, who in turn are all raising their own exquisite families. What some people do not know about Tina, is that she is just as talented in the kitchen as she is in her beauty shop. She cooks, bakes and thankfully, is delighted to share her recipes.

One day over at “Tina’s Hair Shop”, my Mom and I were discussing how we were looking for a new recipe for cube steak. Neither of us really cared for the thick cream of mushroom soup that is generally used. Tina said she did not care for the mushroom soup either and said she has used beef gravy for years, instead! My Mom and I looked at each other and immediately knew we had to try it! Why hadn’t we thought of that? Skip ahead a couple of days later and we tried her recipe and oh my! Delicious! It made the cube steaks taste so much better! I think dinner that night disappeared faster than it has in months. Everyone enjoyed it and we decided then and there that number one, I had to share this recipe with everyone and number two, we would never make cube steak with thick cream of mushroom soup again! I highly recommend you try this recipe as soon as possible. Serve alongside baked potato and asparagus for a delicious, and nutritious, meal. Shout out and special thanks to Tina Tutrow for sharing this recipe with me and allowing it to be shared with all of you! Try it and let me know your thoughts! I would love to hear from you. Visit http://trailblaise.com and click “contact”.

Tina Tutrow’s Slow Cooker Cube Steak and Gravy

For optimal flavor and texture, it is important to take the time to brown the steaks on each side before placing them into the slow cooker. I generally follow this rule on most of the meats I put into my slow cooker, aside from chicken. For easier clean up, line your slow cooker with a plastic slow cooker liner. Be sure to reserve the leftover gravy in a small bowl to serve at the table for those who like a little extra gravy on their cube steaks.

4 cube steaks
½ cup white all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Large jar of beef gravy

Start by warming about ½ cup vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. On a plate combine the white all-purpose flour, salt and black pepper.

Dredge each cube steak in the flour mixture and carefully place in the heated vegetable oil.

Brown both sides of the cube steaks, which will take about 5 minutes.

Carefully place each steak inside of your slow cooker and pour on the beef gravy.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.

Ask and Answer: Lots of people have wondered recently if I have any recipes for cold side dishes such as potato salad, macaroni salad, etc. Yes! Visit my website, http://trailblaise.com and in the search box, type in whatever recipe you are looking for! My website is divided up and will search for particular recipes, flavors and even the ingredients you want to use.

Beef Manhattans

I love to order beef manhattans when I am out at local restaurants and often wondered if I could try to make my own homemade version. Well I did and they are fabulous! You will not believe how flavorful these are, or how simple! Use store bought or homemade mashed potatoes and brown gravy.

Beef Manhattans

4 pound boneless beef chuck roast
1 stick butter
1 package dry Ranch dressing mix
1 package au jus gravy mix
2 cups homemade or jarred brown gravy
Prepared mashed potatoes
Texas Toast

Start by lining your slow cooker with a slow cooker liner. Place in the boneless beef chuck roast.

Place stick of butter on top of roast.

Sprinkle over package of dry Ranch dressing mix. Sprinkle over package of au jus gravy mix.

Place on lid and cook 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

After cooking, remove lid and shred meat using 2 forks.

Warm prepared brown gravy and prepared mashed potatoes.

Assemble the beef manhattans by placing 2 slices of Texas Toast on a plate. Top with shredded beef. Top with mashed potatoes and finish with brown gravy.

CHEW THIS! Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, January 7th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Baked Spaghetti is an Italian Classic
Blaise Doubman

If I had to pick my favorite food nationality it would have to be Italian. Although Chinese would have to play an important second role, as well as traditional American food. I love anything and everything Italian, from Ziti to Stuffed Shells and every single one of their desserts. Has anyone tried their lady finger and espresso soaked dessert known as “tiramisu”? Heavenly! Every time there is a celebration around here, and I just do not feel like cooking, which is rare, but it happens, I always pick a nice Italian restaurant. There is something in me that thinks I perhaps have some Italian roots, or maybe even an Italian background somewhere years and years in my background. Maybe I will try one of the ancestry websites and poke around some. Although, I am not really keen on the popular ancestry website where you send in a sample of your blood! I do not want my blood going to some big company that may get hacked or something later. And how is it not guaranteed that my blood will not be used years down the road for cloning purposes! Ha! Can you imagine two of me? My family and friends would not know what to do!

But in all honesty, Italian food makes me think of warmth and comfort, celebrations and togetherness. It may also have to do with the fact that my Grandpa Max and Grandma Deloris ate out quite a bit at Italian places when I was growing up, and I would tag along with them. Recently, when I found out that my cookbook was going to start being sold over at the Warm Glow Candle Outlet in Centerville, Indiana, I immediately wanted to celebrate with my family and friends. I had been working on a baked spaghetti recipe for awhile and decided to perfect it and serve it in celebration. I tinkered around for a while and came up with a recipe that is simple, easy, classic and flavorful! Next time you are thinking about what to make for a celebratory meal, I hope your mind drifts to this recipe and you try it with your family and friends! Feel free to experiment with your favorites types of cheeses and herbs.

Baked Spaghetti with Mozzarella and Parmesan

This dish can be made ahead, wrapped with aluminum foil and refrigerated for up to two days. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to two days. Feel free to substitute different types of cheese for the Mozzarella and Parmesan, such as Ricotta. This is perfect served with a side salad and garlic bread.

16 oz spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound ground beef
Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasonings
28 oz crushed tomatoes
½ cup basil, chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
2 cups shredded Mozzarella
½ cup grated Parmesan

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions until al dente, drain and set aside. Be sure to boil the spaghetti in lots of boiling salted water. Also add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the boiling water. I do this sometimes to prevent the spaghetti from sticking together once the pasta is cooled.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the olive oil for about one minute. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until you can smell the warmth, which will take about 2 more minutes. Add the ground beef and season to your liking with the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.

Cook the meat until fully cooked and no longer pink. Drain the mixture and then return to the skillet, still over medium heat. Add in the crushed tomatoes, chopped basil and chopped parsley until thickened and reduced, which will take about 12 minutes in total. You can taste the mixture at this point and add more seasonings if desired.

Toss this with the cooked spaghetti and pour into prepared baking dish.

Top the dish evenly with the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Place into the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove and serve hot.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting a lot of messages about my favorite type of “quick biscuits”. I would have to say my favorite recipe would be on page 83 in my cookbook and calls for only 2 simple ingredients. Self-rising flour and heavy cream. You take the 2 ingredients, roll out and cut, place in preheated 425 degree oven and bake for 14 minutes. People will not believe that the biscuits are only 2 simple ingredients and you will have a new secret recipe!

CHEW THIS! Kami’s Deep Dish Pizza

Kami’s Deep Dish Pizza

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 18th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Deep Dish Pizza – a Family Favorite
Blaise Doubman

I love a good deep dish pizza! I am not a fan of thin crust pizza or flatbreads. Give me a thick, delicious and tomato sauce slathered piece of deep dish pizza any day! My very favorite deep dish pizza comes from Giordano’s in Indianapolis. If you have not tried it, I highly recommend it! Now, when you go, be prepared to wait about 45 minutes for your pizza but trust me, the wait is well worth it! When I started developing recipes for my own deep dish pizza I wanted something simple, foolproof and flavorful. After testing several recipes I found a recipe for deep dish pizza from my Aunt, Kami Doubman. I was blown away! The recipe was simple and the techniques in letting the dough rise and rest were simple and straightforward. I made the recipe in several variations and discussed with her in length about the ingredients and process. The recipe below is the official result – and it is fabulous!

I love recipes that are passed down from one generation to the next and I love recipes that are easy and versatile. For this particular recipe feel free to use a good pizza sauce from a jar or even a good quality marinara sauce with your own herbs added. Go completely homemade with the pizza sauce if you want to by adding ½ cup chopped white onion and 2 tablespoons minced garlic in a skillet over medium heat until clear and tender. Next add in 2 tablespoons olive oil, a couple of cans of crushed tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, a small can of tomato paste and a sprinkling of salt, black paper, oregano and basil. Simmer until thickened and ready to use – it really could not be any more simple – and so delicious! Shoutout and special thanks to my Aunt Kami for allowing me to share this recipe with everyone!

Kami’s Deep Dish Pizza

Top this pizza with anything you desire! My personal favorite topping with this pizza is pepperoni and sliced – not shredded – mozzarella cheese. When using sliced cheese it creates a “blanket” of cheese on top that using shredded cheese just does not match. Add hamburger, sausage, peppers, onions, olives or even pineapple. To help the dough rise in a warm location, turn your oven on 200 degrees F and place the bowl of dough near the oven.

1 cup white all-purpose flour
½ cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package dry yeast
¾ cup whole milk
¼ cup water
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour

Start by combining the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, salt and dry yeast in a large bowl.

In a glass measuring cup combine the whole milk, water and salted butter. Microwave on high power for 2 minutes being sure not to overheat the mixture because it could kill the yeast. You want the liquid to be warm to the touch not too hot.

Add the warm liquid to the flour mixture and stir gently to combine.

Once combined, gently stir in 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour.

Combine, using clean dry hands, until the dough forms a ball that holds together.

Lay the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. This can also be done using the kneading function on your kitchen stand mixer.

Once the 10 minutes is up, place the dough ball into a clean bowl and cover with a clean towel. Place in a warm area and allow to rest and rise for 90 minutes.

Punch down, knead a couple times, reshape and allow to rest and rise 60 additional minutes.

Remove dough from bowl and place in a lightly greased 9x-13-inch baking pan. Gently pat and coax the dough into the pan being sure to press down the dough without stretching it. If you stretch the dough it will return to exactly where it was before in the pan.

Once evenly distributed cover with pizza sauce, pepperoni, sliced cheese, etc.

Bake in preheated 375 degree F oven for 37 minutes.

Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Ask and Answer: Several people messaged me about my made from scratch strawberry pizza and wondered if you could substitute other fruit toppings in place of the strawberries. The answer is yes! Blueberries would be nice, pineapples and kiwi or even cherries. In replacing the fruit you would then want to make a glaze that would pair nicely with the substituted fruit. Unless you wanted to use the strawberry glaze with other types of fruit and that would be perfectly delicious as well. Hope this helps and thanks for asking!

Rigatoni Pie

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” March 22nd, 2017

I first discovered this recipe on “The Food Network” Facebook page and I knew immediately I wanted to try it. I was not sure I would have the patience though to individually place all the rigatoni pastas into the cake pan – but you know what? It was really easy. Might have taken 4 minutes total! Super easy and the end result is really impressive!

This is the perfect recipe for entertaining and the perfect recipe to make with your kids! You can use meat in this recipe – hamburger, sausage, lamb – just make sure it’s precooked and that you add it after the tomato sauce but before the shredded cheese. Fabulous and delicious!

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Rigatoni Pie

1 pound rigatoni pasta
1 large jar pasta sauce, plus seasonings
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Start by spraying an 8-inch springform cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Wrap the bottom with aluminum foil. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water for 8 minutes. Drain.

In a medium saucepan heat the pasta sauce and add in whatever seasonings you desire. I added minced garlic, red pepper flakes, basil and a pinch of sugar to mine. Let come to slight boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Arrange rigatoni pasta in springform pan. The easiest way to do this is turn rhe pan sideways – arrange the pasta building it “up” – sideways – until you reach the top of the pan. Not all of the pasta will fit. That is ok!

Carefully pour the pasta sauce over the rigatoni and level out with a spoon. You may not use all the sauce. Be sure the sauce covers a majority of the top.

If you want to use meat – layer on top now.

Evenly sprinkle with both cheeses.

Place pie on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Place aluminum foil on top of the pie, tenting it slightly. Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove from the oven and remove aluminum foil. Place back into the oven for 30 more minutes to brown and melt the cheese.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Gently undo the springform pan from the pie.

Cut the pie into pieces and serve.

Enjoy!