Friday, November 21, 2014

Chicken with Coconut Celery Sauce

I put far too much Italian sausage meat in the spaghetti sauce so tonight's dinner had to be chicken, again.  I put a teaspoon of flour in a plastic bag and reached for my trusty jar of onion powder. It's empty! I used it all last time! So I quickly grabbed the poultry seasoning and added half a teaspoon of that to the bag.  I salted the chicken first then shook it in the bag.  I brushed olive oil over all before putting smooth side down over high heat on the BBQ. I grilled them for two minutes then turned them over off the heat to roast for 25 minute total cooking time.

The potatoes were boiled and mashed with salt, butter and milk.  The broccoli was steamed, cooled and finished in olive oil. I have noticed lately that I have everything going and I'm standing with nothing to do. So I decided to try to use up the coconut milk in a sauce. Fern likes celery so it was my challenge to make a coconut celery sauce. It sure sounds weird.

I sweated two chopped garlic cloves and a stick of celery.  Then I added the coconut milk, 2 drops of fish sauce and started reducing it. It reduced to almost nothing so I added a little milk to fill it out.  I cut up a small green pepper from the garden and added that too. I probably should have used a little flour in the sauce to give it body and hold some liquid. The chicken was done so I plated it all.  

I put too much poultry seasoning in the flour mixture so when the flour cooked into a reddish brown, the green seasoning produced an unpalatable muddy colour. The too thin sauce didn't help the appearance much. Surprisingly the sauce was good, it was better before I added the green pepper, but it was still good.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Curry Coconut Cashew Chicken

A third and final meal from that chicken I broke down the other day. It made hearty soup for dinner, then lunch next day. This was the legs and wings plus a piece of chicken breast that was in the fridge. I sweated a diced onion, carrot, celery stick and 3 different peppers. Next I sprinkled a tablespoon of curry powder over the vegetables and tossed them.  I added a few drops of Thai Fish Sauce which gave a distinct odour of dirty socks. That's a little scary, but not all ingredients are in and flavour can change as it cooks.  So I continued with a splash of white wine, half a can of coconut milk and a handful of cashews.  The milk was too watery so the sauce needed to be reduced. 

Once the curry had boiled down enough I plated it over basmati rice cooked with salt, olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice. Fern loved it, I practically inhaled mine. Storm wouldn't try mine but Fern got him to eat a piece of curry chicken. He didn't like the smell but he loved the taste. He licked our plates clean and stared at me, licking his lips for more!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Quick Leftover Lunch

I had enough alfredo sauce for one portion of pasta, not quite enough for Fern and I. I suggested filling it out with tomato sauce to make rosé sauce.  Fern said add ham and cheese too! I got the pasta going and looked at the ham. It was from last week but should still be good. It had white spots on it that didn't look like congealed fat. So I threw it out and substituted bacon. I cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and fried them up.  I grated half a cup of cheddar cheese. I added the bacon and cheese to the hot sauce and stirred. It took a minute for the cheese to melt, then I added some chopped parsley, stirred in the pasta and served it.

It was better than the alfredo sauce alone! The bacon worked really well, it was a delicious lunch.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Chicken on Curry Cous Cous with Mushroom White Wine Cream Sauce

I was feeling particularly creative today and wanted to try something completely different. I bought chicken earlier in the day so it was only a matter deciding how to put it on the plate. I found cous cous in the cupboard and looked up hot cous cous recipes. Curry stood out and that's what I went with. I shook about 1/4-1/2 tsp curry powder into 1/2 cup chicken stock/water. Curry likes a sweet something to take the bitter edge off, raisins work but I wanted more savoury, so I used frozen corn. Added it to the water with a splash of olive oil and some salt. I brought that to a boil for a minute to cook the corn then threw in the cous cous and set it aside for 5 minutes. That was easy.

The chicken I salted and rolled in a 50/50 mixture of flour and onion powder. Then brush oil over it on both sides and put it on the BBQ over the heat for 2 minutes. Then move it off the heat so it roasts for 30 minutes total cooking time. That gets grill marks on both sides, which looks nice.

The vegetables were just snow peas, celery and spring onions fried up in olive oil. Simple, but Fern loves celery so he loved it. It was surprisingly good.

Six mushrooms sliced up frying in butter, when they had a nice sear I sprinkled instant blending flour over all. Pinch of Salt. About 1/2 to 1 tsp flour to go with the 1 cup total liquid I planned to use. I cooked off the flour taste then slowly added milk and a splash of chicken stock. A tablespoon of cream for body. A tablespoon or two of white wine. I cut up 3 slices of dried tomatoes from the gardens and added them to the sauce. Then I turned up the heat and reduced the milk to a nice saucy consistency. 

I plated the chicken on the cous cous and put the sauce over both because they were meant to eat together. The curry, onion on chicken and white wine creamy mushrooms were phenomenal together.

Fern loved the vegetables too so it was a gold star dinner.

Venison Liver

Kevin, our intrepid gardener, shot a deer on his hunting trip. He offered us the liver and we gladly accepted.  I let Fern cook it because he says I overcook liver. He caramelized 3 onions in the fat of some bacon.  The he floured and salted the liver and set it in the hot oil. It was just pink in the middle.  He made mashed potatoes, carrots and broccoli to fill the plate. 

Venison liver is sweet and tender with no gamy taste at all. I love ketchup with my liver and I dove into this plate as soon as I put the camera down. It was absolutely phenomenal. 

Thank You Kevin!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pork Cutlet

Haven't blogged for a few days. We've eaten out, ordered in, had spaghetti and generally been too busy or had nothing to write about. Back on track, I felt like pork tonight.  That is a cutlet from Save On Foods.  I fried it in olive and canola oil. The condiment is Fern's ketchup.  The potatoes were mashed, buttered, salted and a splash of milk. The broccoli was steamed, cooled under running water and reheated in olive oil.

The salad was olive/canola oil, raspberry vinegar, salt and mixed pepper. It was a bag of Fresh Express iceberg mix.  I should go back to making a bin of salad so it's always available and hasn't been on the store shelf for a week. It's cheaper too.

Despite looking like an ordinary plate this food was exceptionally good.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chicken with Celery, Cheddar and White Wine Sauce

Fern is home from Vancouver and it is time for chicken! I wanted to keep it simple, tasty and high fibre if possible. I settled for the first two. I put rice on to cook with salt, olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice. The broccoli went in the steamer and the BBQ was warmed up.  I first salted then coated the chicken with a mixture of:

2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp flour
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp paprika

Brush the breasts with olive oil and put over the flame on BBQ for two minutes.  Then turn the breasts over and place off the heat so they cook gently. Roast for 25-30 minutes total cooking time. Bone in will take 45 minutes. The broccoli was steamed, cooled in running water and finished in olive oil.  

Once I had everything going I was standing with nothing to do so I thought, a celery sauce for that chicken would be nice.  Fern loves celery.  I put a teaspoon of flour in a pot and added two teaspoon of butter. I cooked that for a minute then added the chopped half stick of celery to sweat.  Next I added 1/2 cup milk and 2 teaspoon whipping cream and a pinch of salt. I tasted it. Pasty, fatty, not a good mouth feel and the taste was ugh! How about some cheddar cheese? I added the rest of the grated cheddar left over in the fridge. Half a cup at most. Now I had a pasty, cheesy ugh sauce. Maybe a little acid will fix it. Lemon juice would curdle the milk, as would wine vinegar, but I have white wine open in the fridge.  Two teaspoons of white wine and the flavour popped out of the sauce and it tasted wonderful. Oh the power of the humble grape.

If you like cheese sauce and celery you'll love this, so try it! Less than an hour to prepare.