Monday, March 30, 2015

Salisbury Steak on a World Tour

A couple of days off due to forgetting to photograph the meals, both were good and I'll make again. Tonight I'm trying lean ground beef with some 5 spice powder give Salisbury Steak a little more flavour. 

Salisbury Steak and then some

400 gm lean gr. beef - almost a pound
1/2 small onion diced
2 tbsp bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp 5 spice powder
1/2 tsp salt
dash Worcestershire Sauce
several drops Tabasco Sauce
black pepper

Sweat the onion and garlic in a sauce pan and add to the meat with the other ingredients. Mix well. Make into two patties squeezed thinner in the centre, coat with olive oil and put on a hot BBQ on high heat. 2 fminutes in, rotate the meat so grill marks cross. Wait a few more minutes and turn them over. A ew minutes later turn the heat down and roast the patties to cook through at about 350ºF. Mine were on the grill for 15 minutes altogether so they were well done.

Yellow flesh potatoes were cut up and boiled. When soft they were salted and buttered.

Green beans were boiled in a little water for 3 minutes then drained and finished with diced red onion, butter, salt and black pepper.

Red Wine Reduction

3/4 cup red wine - more or less
6 crimini mushrooms sliced
1 cup hot water
1 packet beef bouillon

Dissolve bouillon in water. In the pan used to sweat the onions sear the mushrooms. Then add the red wine and boil it down. Add salt, pepper and bouillon. Cook it down a bit then sprinkle a little instant blending flour over reduction and stir it in. Flour needs to cook a bit so let it boil and thicken. Too much flour makes it pasty. 

Plate the beef patty and pour sauce over top. Add potatoes and green beans and dive in. It's wonderful.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Prawns and Pasta with Greek Salad

I finely diced a clove of garlic, a small onion and a stick of celery and put them in the pan to sweat. Shortly after the prawns went in and I sprinkled a teaspoon of dried basil over the pan. The prawns were turned over and removed from the pan before they were fully cooked. If they stay in the pan they will turn to rubber. The penne pasta was boiling away in salted water. I poured one to two cups tomato sauce into the sauce pan. When the sauce has thickened enough add the prawns back in to cook for two or three minutes. Add the drained pasta and plate with grated parmesan on top.

Greek Salad

1/3 English cucumber, diced (skins aren't bitter)
2 tomatoes
2 green onions
handful black pitted olives
chunk of cow feta broken over top
1 tbsp olive/canola oil
1-2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper

It took an hour to put together but it was sure worth it!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chicken Cashew Stir Fry

I planned on chicken stir fry so I was really happy to see snow peas on clearance at Mitchell's. A stick of celery, green pepper, few mushrooms, handful cashews and an onion made the balance of the plate. I salted, floured and seared the chicken first, then removed it from the pan.  Next I sweated the onion and celery followed by the mushrooms. Once they had a sear all the vegetables, nuts and chicken were put back in.  I added a few drops of sesame oil and fish sauce to the plate and finally soy sauce.

I plated it on basmati rice. It tasted wonderful.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pork Souvlaki, new potatoes and Greeky Salad

I was rebuilding the chicken run most of the day and I had a late lunch, Fern too. So we had a light meal for dinner. The pork souvlaki is from Mitchell's, as are the new potatoes and salad ingredients. I BBQ'd the souvlaki while I mixed up the salad.


1 tbsp olive/canola oil
1-2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic minced
1 small onion finely diced
few sprigs fresh oregano, minced
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper
black olives - pitted are easier on the teeth
cow feta cheese

diced tomatoes
diced cucumber
torn lettuce

Toss and enjoy. Fern finished his plate before me, that's a first.

Cajun Chicken on Lemon Rice with Asparagus and Fresh Hollandaise

Despite Lake Hollandaise, it was a simple meal to put together. The rice had salt, olive oil, pinch of dried dill and lemon juice to heighten it's flavour. The chicken I salted, coated with Cajun Spice Rub and brushed with olive oil before putting on the BBQ.  I put skin side down first for a few minutes to give grill marks on that side, then turn them over for a total cooking time of 30 minutes.

The asparagus I snapped the stems off and steamed in an asparagus steamer. Any kind of steamer will do. Someone gave me one so I use it. When a fork pierces the stem, they're done.

Easy Hollandaise

2 egg yolks
1/3 cup butter - melted, not hot
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cold water

Slowly whisk melted butter into egg yolks until it's all taken up.  Mix lemon juice and water and whisk into yolks and butter. It must thin out so it can thicken when it cooks, either on induction burner or over a pot of boiling water.  I add more lemon and water as it cooks, keeping acid balance correct.  I want it thick but runny.  Finally add salt and taste. Adjust lemon juice and salt as needed to achieve a rich lemony flavour. 

Fern had less Hollandaise but he commented that the chicken is hard to get at. I should have put the Asparagus and Chicken side by side with rice at the top. I guess so, next time. He also remarked repeatedly how good it was.

That free run chicken from Mitchell's has so much flavour it doesn't matter what I do to it, it's wonderful. If I remember to bring a plastic container, I don't have to deal with all the paper the meat would be wrapped in. Saves the store money too.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Exotic Ground Beef Burger

I know it sounds corny but that is the word that came to mind when I tasted it. Fern will eat beef in ground form because the fat comes off during cooking. Mitchell's didn't have any ground pork left so I used pure ground beef. It will be a bit drier, so will need a sauce of some kind, soy sauce something might work. I had new potatoes, broccoli and carrots to complete the plate. Fern might not be home for dinner so I didn't make a salad.

Exotic Beef Burger

400 gm lean ground beef (nearly a pound) 
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper
1/4 tsp 5 spice powder
1/2 tsp ground garlic
1 tablespoon of bread crumbs. 

I mixed that up rather well since it had warmed up to room temperature, it was much easier to work. I'll remember that for next time. I made two concave patties of it so when it cooks and rises it will end up flat.

Exotic Burger Sauce

1-2 tbsp soy sauce
few drops sesame oil
3 shakes Tabasco Sauce

I was tempted to keep going with the sauce but thought, 'I've got enough going on already.' Good choice. I put sauce on the plate, set the burger in it and brushed more sauce over top. The potatoes were boiled and finished with butter and salt. The vegetables were steamed, cooled under running water and reheated with olive oil, salt and black pepper.

Yum. It hit every note I like on my plate. Have yet to get Fern's vote but he'll probably at least eat it.

Chicken Curry

Very simple meal.  I diced an onion and half a stick of celery and sweated that. Then I cubed the chicken and coated it with salt and flour before tossing in the pan to brown.  I got a little sear on the meat all around but didn't cook it through. Then removed the meat from the pan. I should have sprinkled the curry powder over the onion but forgot and added the coconut milk next instead. I set it to reducing. 

The rice was basmati done with salt, olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice. When the coconut milk had thickened a bit I added the green pepper,  celery, curry powder and meat. I kept it boiling to thicken more and finish cooking everything.  When the chicken is firm place on the rice.

It was excellent.