Friday, September 4, 2015

Cajun Chicken

Fern commandeered the kitchen for a couple of days so dinner has to be simple. This is Basmati rice done in the microwave with olive oil, salt and a few drops rice wine vinegar. A boneless chicken breast, salted, coated with Cajun spice mix, brushed with olive oil and BBQ'd for twenty minutes. 

In a big bowl whisk 

2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp canola oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper

Tear up a few leaves of lettuce and the same amount of spinach, toss.

I put soy sauce on my rice and that was it. Simple but tasty and at $3 per plate, a lot cheaper than pizza!

Meat Loaf

I bought a large chunk of ground beef at Mitchell's so I could make a big meatloaf for the dog. To the 700gm (close to two pounds) of beef I added 1/4 cup bred crumbs, salt, mixed pepper, fresh garlic chopped, a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, a sprig of rosemary. In a bread pan I laid a stripe of tomato ketchup along the bottom, placed the loaf on top and spread dijon mustard liberally over the load. Then more ketchup on top.  Into the oven at 350F for 1.25 hours.

Fresh carrot with frozen peas for the vegetable and mashed potato for the starch. A humble meal but it tasted good. The dog loved the meat loaf better than ground beef with salt. He's a fussy eater so this surprised me. Fern had a sandwich of meatloaf next day for lunch so I think that says enough about it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Liver and Onions

We both like liver and Mitchell's has nice product fairly often. The potatoes were boiled, mashed and finished with butter, milk and salt.

The vegetables were steamed, cooled in running water and reheated in olive oil.

I cut two onions in half and then into slices. I fried them to caramelized.  The liver was salted, coated with flour and fried in the onion pan. The onions can come out of the pan and go in again just at the end so they don't get dried out. Fry the liver so it's just pink in the middle. I usually over cook it a bit but it's thinly sliced so it doesn't turn into hard lumps.

I serve mine with ketchup. Fern likes his plain. It's all good!

Split Pea Soup, Cajun Chicken with Garden Veggies

I had tired bacon in the fridge and two cups of yellow split peas in the cupboard, so soup was a natural. Fern and I both love pea soup. We tried the Habitant brand a few weeks back and it has been watered down from what it used to be. We were quite disappointed. This pot restored our relish for pea soup.

I diced an onion, a couple of carrots, a stick of celery and the left over bacon. I fried the bacon till crisp, then sweated the vegetables with the bacon.  Two cups of split peas to ten cups of water. A teaspoon of salt, a couple of bay leaves. Bring to a boil reduce heat, cover and simmer for a couple or three hours. If it's till wet, remove the lid and let the soup reduce an hour or till thickened.

Cajun Chicken is just salted and seasoned with Cajun spice mix, brushed with oil and BBQ'd for 20 minutes at medium high heat. The vegetable medley was tasty too. I cut the onion, peppers and celery into larger chunks then lightly sweated them in the pan. Sprinkle half a teaspoon of flour and a packet of beef stock over the pan and toss for a minute.  Add half a cup of water and when the water has reduced leaving the veggies glistening, add a few drops of Chinese fish sauce. Toss and plate. The fish sauce smells like dirty socks but leaves behind incredible flavour.

The soup and veggies were fantastic. The chicken was as good as ever.

Breaded Snapper

Friday is fresh fish day at Mitchell's and it's usually local snapper. It has a nice light flavour and firm texture. It also has a few large bones that require fish pliers to pull out. I originally bought an ordinary pair of pliers for this but my partner didn't like workbench tools in the kitchen. Fortunately sells fish bone pullers and Fish Tweezers. I bought pliers but these tweezers should work just as well and they're easier to clean!

The potatoes were boiled in salted water then drained, mashed, buttered and a little milk whipped in with a fork. Salt to taste.

The veggies were steamed, cooled in running water and reheated in olive oil with a little salt.

The fish was boned, salted and coated in a mixture of:

1/4 cup bread crumbs - with crust, not panko
1/2 tsp dried thyme - or fresh if available
mixed ground pepper

Then fried in olive and canola oil. Just cover the bottom of the pan with oil and add a few more drops while it cooks if needed. Too much oil makes the bread crumbs oily. They should be crisp and dry.

I put a lemon twist on top of the fish and a wedge beside. The fish was phenomenal! Everything else was petty good too.

Pork Souvlaki and Greek Salad

Mitchell's pork souvlaki with basmati rice done in the microwave with salt, olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice and some fresh chives. The souvlaki was done on the BBQ in about 10-15 minutes just below high heat.

Greek Salad

3 roma tomatoes chopped
4 inches English cucumber diced
2 tbsp fresh chives chopped
1 stick celery chopped - Fern loves celery, normally not in Gr. salad
black olives - as many or few as you like
feta cheese - a chunk broken up
black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon juiced

Toss and serve. I probably worked all day so simple as this was it tasted good and filled me up.

Cajun Chicken

My plating is changing, not sure I like this look. At least I now have time to spend plating. The days of get-it-on-the-plate-while-it's-hot are waning. This was a chicken breast sprinkled with salt, Cajun spice and brushed with oil then BBQ'd. The rice was done in the microwave and I put soy on my plate because Fern likes his plain. The broccoli and carrots were steamed, cooled and reheated in olive oil.

Not imaginative, but good!