Oven stopped working. Help! with dinner menu.

The oven, she is kaput and it will cost my one hundred dollars just for a person to come to my house for a “diagnostic visit”. I’ve got a hundred bucks-- for food shopping.

Since I’ve been unemployed and at home everyone at home has gained at least 15 pounds. And this is even though I’ve instilled Mostly Meatless Mondays. Now it looks like I’ll have to cook dinner exclusively on the stove top for some time to come. I don’t want to fry everything!.

So I’ve come to you guys. What should I pick up at Western Beef? Any menu ideas for stove-top only dinners? P.S., I do not own a crock pot.

Do you have a Dutch oven or any other type of lidded container that you can use on the stovetop? You can do pot roast and any kind of stew on the stovetop.

I know this sounds crazy, but did you check the warming oven? On Thanksgiving Day with a houseful of company (SERIOUSLY) my oven panel went out. While I was hyperventilating, my husband noticed that we could still control the small warming oven with a knob on the front and it went up to 400 degrees. I honestly thought it was just a drawer to store pans in. We ended up making casseroles, pies and turkey wellingtons in the warming oven - Thanksgiving was saved!

Otherwise - how about a yummy pasta sauce?

Don’t need an oven to make couscous. mix with tuna or chicken and peas, whatever spices you like = dinner.

I hardly use my oven for anything but baking…what kinds of things do you normally make in the oven, but are trying to figure out how to make on the stove top?

Do you have any other auxiliary cooking appliances (microwave, pressure cooker, etc.)?

Warming oven? Are you a descendent of Marie Antoinette?

Step 1 - Get a crock-pot.

Step 2 - Break out the dutch oven.

Step 3 - Add Salad Sunday to the rotation. No need to cook at all.

I rarely use the oven, either. Here’s some of my regular menus:

Stir fry
Pasta and sauce
Ham steaks (heated in skillet on stove top)
Jambalaya or other bean/rice dishes (red beans and rice, etc.)
Tacos and/or taco salad
Soups of all kinds: chicken noodle, vegetable beef, chili.

I also grill a lot of stuff on my George Forman grill. Do you have one of those? Or even an outdoor grill; the weather is certainly warm enough.

Pork chops
Turkey burgers (or hamburgers of course)
chicken breasts

You could also stew whole chickens or roasts on the stove, if you have a big roaster pan or dutch oven type thing.

I hardly ever use my oven for meals. It takes way too much time to bake dinner. Most pasta dishes are stove top only. Stir fry over rice or noodles. Chicken with a pan sauce and steamed veggies. Fire up the grill. Today we’re having a marinated beef over greens dish that according to my cookbook is a Thai dish called Shaking Beef. it looked good and it will take me about 15 minutes to make this evening.

Then there’s soups and many stews.

who needs an oven?

Yes to dutch oven, microwave and-- how could I forget?-- my small George Foreman!

What do I usually cook in the oven? Everything. I even oven fry chicken. Yesterday hubby set up a mac n cheese casserole before he remembered the stove isn’t working. He put it in the microwave. It came out surprisingly not inedible. It even browned on the top.

Oh, the oven is shot. It had been smelling faintly of burning plastic. I decided to clean it, thinking that would make the smell go away. The only thing that did was make the oven not get hot. Oh, there’s a fire under there. You can see it glowing. But it never gets above about 200 degrees. Plus it smells like gas. I can’t believe it’s going to cost me one hundred dollars just to find out what’s wrong with it. Stupid home ownership!

How do you feel about curries? They’re stupidly easy to make, strictly stove-top (and only 2 pots to wash!), and can fit easily into MMM. Sautee whatever veg you want till it’s mostly soft, plop in some curry paste +/- some chopped garlic and ginger and stir a few seconds till it really smells. Throw in a mixture of broth and coconut milk with a little honey to balance out the flavors and simmer for 15 minutes or so. Serve over rice. If you want meat, brown longer cooking stuff like chicken at the beginning of the process, add things that will overcook easily like shrimp close to the end of your simmer.

I’m also awfully fond of dishes that simmer cheap meat full of connective tissue, like neckbones and rice. We love us some connective tissue around here–it just tastes so intensely of whatever animal. And because it’s so intense, you don’t need much meat to really make the meal satisfying.

I feel for you about the oven thing–we were without one for 7 or 8 months because we had the devil’s own time trying to find something that would fit in the old hole, and still had to have cabinet surgery.

Here’s an easy stovetop meal-- take chicken breasts. Slather 'em in salsa. Cook in a frying pan, with just a dab of olive oil to fry with. After a while, flip 'em. Then eat 'em.

You guys all ways come through. So far my shopping list will include oxtails and stew beef for stews in the dutch oven, chicken thighs for arroz con pollo. If the goat meat is cheap, curry goat will be on the menu. Don’t gag. I’ve eaten it and made it, it’s delish if you don’t mind all the bones.

Pasta w/ olive oil and garlic. Sounds wonderful. Throw in some shrimp cooked in their shells with garlic. That’ll do for Mostly Meatless.

If only it didn’t take about 40 dollars in fish to make this family happy. Fish steamed on the grill would be excellent.

Again, thanks!

Question: How would this chuck steak-- that I usually smother in herbs and onions, cover with foil and let the oven do all the gravy making and work-- fare on the Foreman grill?
I’m trying to stay away from frying. It’s all I can do to stop my son from breaking out his Fry Daddy baby deep-frier once a week!

Personally, I’d do the chuck steak as a stove-top braise in the Dutch oven. What’s your recipe for the oven version? I could help you adapt it to stovetop.

How about stew? Or goulash?

I rub the steak with salt, pepper maybe some cumin and dried herbs: rosemary, thyme, cilantro, oregano, basil. . . whatever I’ve got some of. Then I slice an onion into rings, put that on the bottom of the baking dish, put the steak on top of that and then some more onions on top. Cover with aluminum and bake at about 350 for 20 or so minutes. Take foil off for another 5 to 10. I’m sorry, I’m not good at this recipe thing. I even made a thread about how bad I am at this recipe thing.

I have the larger size george Forman (with removable and dishwasher-able plates), and I just remembered I’ve got a marinated pork tenderloin that I plan to make on it tonight. I slice the whole thing in half lengthwise, grill for about 10 minutes, rest and then slice. It’s ridiculously easy. I got a pre-marinated tenderloin on sale for about $6. Steamed vegetables in the microwave, lettuce salad … poof: dinner.

Ah, in that case, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure I’d try adapting that to the stovetop, and I don’t know how it’d work in the Foreman. Actually, I do have ideas, but I’ve never tried it before so I wouldn’t risk giving you a bum recipe.

That sounds good. I wouldn’t do a cheap/tough cut in the foreman, though - that’s really for quick-cooking more tender things like chicken breasts. However, I don’t see how your original recipe wouldn’t work in a covered lidded pot, sort of the way people have been suggesting to do a stew on the stovetop instead of in the oven. You said you had a dutch oven - I’d use that.

Also, you could make an egg-based dish on the stovetop. Good way to use up leftovers.

This was my thought, too, but I usually cook chuck for a long time, low and slow, until it breaks down to a pot roast type of consistency. I would think that, in theory, you could be able to replicate BigGirl’s method on the stovetop, but I can’t guess on times based on a 350 oven.