Sunday, August 21, 2016


Corn on the cob was on special so I bought that instead of refried beans. The filling was caramelized onion, crimini mushrooms, beef stock and taco seasoning. The guacamole had avocado, lime juice, diced jalapeno, diced red onion, salt and pepper. The salsa was tomato, lime juice, red onion, jalapeno, chopped parsley, salt and black pepper. The last of the sour cream to garnish.

It was delicious!

Prawn Stir Fry

I haven't done a stir fry for a while so it was nice to have one, I like the flavour. This time I bought black tiger prawns, a red pepper and a few spears of asparagus. I peeled the prawns and put the shells in a pot with a cup of water and a teaspoon of vegetable stock. I boiled them up for half an hour and strained the shells out giving me a nice prawn stock. I caramelized half an onion and a carrot then the mushrooms. The prawns were seared on both sides and removed from the pan. The remaining vegetables were added and softened before the prawns were returned to the pan. Some sesame oil and soy sauce in the pan for colour and flavour. A quarter cup of prawn stock. Cook most of the liquid off and serve on basmati rice.

It was great!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Breaded Chicken Breast with Mushroom Sauce

Fern had a chicken breast at The Laughing Oyster which he thoroughly enjoyed. It was pounded, breaded and served with wild mushroom sauce. I didn't taste the sauce so I couldn't reproduce it but I simply made my own. 

I put the breasts in a plastic bag and pounded them flat to about double their size. Then I coated them in:

1 tbsp flour
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground garlic
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt

I added 1/4 cup milk to the remaining flour mixture to turn it into a batter and dipped the floured chicken in it. Then coated it in bread crumbs and put on a baking sheet. Bake at 400F for 25 minutes.

New potatoes were boiled and served with salt and butter.

I caramelized a diced onion then added a couple of diced garlic cloves and browned it a bit. The sliced mushrooms went in and got a good sear. I sprinkled a teaspoon of chicken stock powder and a teaspoon of flour over all and cooked the flour taste off. Then I added a cup of milk to the pan and stirred it into a nice sauce. A few drops of lemon juice to give it a little tang. White wine would have been better but I was too lazy to go to the wine cellar to get a bottle.

The corn was boiled in water with a bit of milk and salt for about 20 minutes. The salad was iceberg lettuce with arugula, tomatoes and cucumber. I dressed it with a bit of olive oil and a splash of lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

The Laughing Oysters chicken was slightly better but this wasn't too bad!

Breaded Chicken Thighs

Another attempt at crispy chicken thighs. This time I had to cook a pork cutlet for the dog with the chicken so I put it in the same pan hoping the pork fat would raise the flavour of the crispy coating. It did, but it made the bottom soggy so it was a Pyrrhic victory. The new potatoes boiled and served with salt and butter were wonderful. Ordinary Greek salad. It was good but not outstanding.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Cajun Chicken Greek Salad and Borscht

We had a big lunch so I couldn't eat a huge meal at dinner, hence mostly veggies and no starch. I salted and seasoned the chicken with Cajun spice, brushed it with oil and BBQ'd it for 25 minutes. I sliced the meat before plating and sprinkled fresh lemon juice over it on the plate. Fern really liked this little change. "What did you do to the chicken, it's delicious!"

Greek salad had 

red onion
black olives
cow feta
black pepper

Topped with a little olive oil and lemon juice, fresh and delicious.

Borscht was made the other day and heated up. A dollop of sour cream on top when served.

A bit untraditional but this made a really nice light meal and cleaned out the fridge!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Faux Shake'n Bake

At 5:10 I was watching the early news and Fern asked if we could eat at 6pm? I'll try! I had bone in, skin on chicken thighs that I wanted to bread and bake, hopefully making them taste better than a commercial coating mix. They would take 40 minutes to cook. Working fast as I could I mixed 

2 tsp flour
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground garlic
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

coat the chicken in the seasoning mixture and set aside. I had 4 thighs. I added 1/4 cup milk to the leftover seasoning mix and dipped the coated pieces in it then rolled them in panko type bread crumbs. Place on oiled sheet and bake at 375-400F for 40 minutes.

Rice, salt, olive oil and water and into the microwave. The stir fry vegetables were simple. I boiled the carrots in the frying pan for a few minutes till they started to soften then added the frozen peas. The peas cooked for about 2 minutes then I drained and cooled the lot under running water.  Olive and sesame oil in the pan then a diced onion and stick of celery. Sweat them then add the carrot and peas back in. A small dash of soy sauce and toss till everything is heated through. Serve over the rice.

The chicken was delicious and Fern asked me to make it again, soon. He got the Shake'n Bake connection but said it tasted much better. 

Finally I beat Shake'n Bake. Took long enough. @ 5:50 Fern asked if he had 15 minutes to run to the drug store. Yup, that will help! so dinner was served at 6:15, a few minutes late but Fern was ready to go out at 7pm as he wanted.

Salisbury Steak with Borscht

Salisbury Steak is an American invention, who knew? Ground beef is a lot easier to chew for many of us older people and it's cheaper but still has the flavour of more expensive cuts. I added salt, black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground garlic and 2 teaspoons bread crumbs to 400gm ground beef before making the patties. They were brushed with oil before BBQing.

Mashed potatoes have salt, butter and milk. The beans were boiled for a few minutes till they soften then cooled and reheated in olive oil with caramelized diced onion. The gravy was caramelized diced onion with sliced crimini mushrooms seared in. A teaspoon of flour sprinkled over top with a teaspoon of beef stock powder. Add a 1/4 cup butter and cook the flour taste off. Add 2/3 cup water and bring to simmer. Reduce to thicken. Once it simmers for a minute the gravy should pick up colour from the pan and darken nicely.

I don't like cooked beats as a vegetable but Borscht is just fine. Probably the sour cream. I caramelized a diced onion and carrot then sweated three diced beats. I added 3 teaspoons of beef stock powder and 3 cups water, simmer 40 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream. 

A nice meal on a cool, rainy summer evening.