Saturday, September 20, 2014

Chicken Curry

Does it look a little sickly yellow? Once I put the coconut milk in, the colour started coming out of the green peppers and colouring the sauce, not a pretty colour either. The coconut milk was watery and thin, translucent instead of opaque. I thought I left all the solids in the can. Nope. It was a can of Western Family Organic Coconut Milk I bought hoping it would at least be acceptable.  I was sorely disappointed. I don't know why, I can buy a can of good quality coconut milk for $1.49 so why can't WF put one out for $2.99?

I sweated an onion then added the chicken cubed and coated with flour. Salt on top and brown the chicken all over. I sprinkled about two teaspoons of curry powder over the chicken. Then I added the celery, peppers and after a minute, coconut milk. I reduced the sauce but it was still sickly looking. It tasted ok which was good enough at this point. I plated it with rice made with salt, olive oil and lemon juice.

The salad was fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden with black olives, red onion and feta cheese from the store. 


1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp rice wine vinegar (or any vinegar)
black pepper

The meal had potential but the anaemic coconut milk spoiled it for me. I know not to buy that brand. Why did I do it? Why? 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lemon Sole en Papillote

I was so busy trying the dish I forgot to photograph it. I only had celery, onion, carrot and dill fresh. So I used them and dried thyme and fresh chives. Even though I didn't use all the ingredients in Ramsay's recipe, it was still the best sole I've ever made.

You owe it to yourselves to try this!


Fern made the sauce from garden tomatoes and it was wonderful. It has peppers and from the garden as well but I'm not sure all the ingredients he put in it. In any case, home made sauce from vine ripened garden tomatoes is far better than ready-made.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Palomino Pork Cutlet

I left for the store to get some pork cutlets for dinner. In a rare coincidence, Save On had some in a package small enough that two adults and two children (the dogs) could eat. I didn't have the pan quite hot enough so the coating stuck to the pan a little, hence palomino cutlet. There was still sufficient coating on the white patch to give crunch and flavour so it wasn't as bad as it looks. I paired that with mashed potatoes and corn. Both had salt and butter and the potatoes had a little milk.

Greek Salad

2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
black pepper
1/4 inch slice red onion
2 tomatoes
4 inch length English cucumber
black olives (I buy pitted, cheap brands are awful)
feta cheese

English cucumbers have sweet skin so they don't have to be peeled. I often take a potato peeler and take three strips off the cucumber for appearance. It looks nice if you have the time. Whip up the vinaigrette and toss everything in it.

The cutlet was excellent as usual. It pains me a little to cook what someone else prepared, but until I can do better, it will have to do. I cut down my potato portion to help keep weight off. I used frozen corn because a) I had some b) $.79/cob is too much.

The fresh cucumber and tomatoes from the garden made the salad a highlight. Overall, I won't aim for palomino pork but won't cry if I end up with it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bacon Fuzzy Chciken

I don't know why but my camera didn't want to auto focus correctly this time, hence blurred photo and fuzzy title. The boneless chicken was salted then shaken in a plastic bag with 60/40% onion powder/flour. I brushed the entire breast with oil and put it off the heat in the centre of the BBQ. I didn't turn it over half way through and that was a mistake. So after 15 minutes turn the breasts over. Then cook at 450-500ºF for 25-30 minutes total cooking time.

Simple new potatoes with butter, salt and chives. The vegetables on the breast were green pepper, mushroom and bacon.  I finely diced a strip of bacon and fried it crisp. Then I fried the mushrooms in the bacon fat and added the green pepper. Once the pepper had softened a bit I sprinkled a little flour over all, turned it over and cooked the flour taste off. Then I added a splash of beef stock, salt and pepper, tossed to coat and served it over the chicken.

Greek Salad

1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Whisk then add:
two tomatoes diced
4 inches cucumber sliced and diced
1 slice red onion finely diced
black olives
feta cheese
black pepper

I was proud of this plate, it looked good. Everything on the plate belonged there. If I had grill marks on the chicken so it looked better I would have plated the chicken on top of the vegetables. As it was this looked better than my usual plate. I'm finally getting out of the suburbs with my plating. The secret was choosing the chicken coating to go with the vegetable medley. Onion was missing from the vegetables but it was on the chicken so the meat and vegetables together tasted better than either alone.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pan Fried Cod

I picked up a nice piece of cod at Save On. Fern didn't want fish and chips so I pan fried it.  First I salted the fish then ground a little fresh mixed pepper and finally some dried thyme.  I dusted the seasoned cod with flour and put it in a pan with plenty of hot oil The potatoes were just boiled and served with butter, salt and fresh chives. Fresh carrots steamed with frozen peas and finished with butter, salt and pepper. 

I put a few drops of lemon juice beside the fish and called Fern for dinner. The potatoes were really good, glad I bought more.  The vegetables were nice but frozen peas will never impress anyone. I under cooked the fish a little, Fern's piece was a little thicker so I think that's why. Mine seemed cooked through to me. The flavour was a bit weak.  I didn't put enough thyme on and it really needed something else, fresh garlic maybe or onion powder. Cod by itself, while good, is a bit boring. A sprig each of fresh thyme and rosemary would have been better too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Chicken, Greek Salad and bad borsht

First the borscht. Kevin sent some beets over from his garden and I finally made soup.  I diced the beets and just covered them with beef stock and brought them to a boil.  While they were cooking I added a little salt and some paprika to perk it up a bit.  That was a mistake. I don't think I used too much paprika so, beets and paprika must not taste good together. I couldn't finish mine and told Fern not to try his. It had a bitter unpleasant taste. Live and learn.  I put black pepper on grey cod the first time I tried it. That was really terrible. It's amazing to me that a small amount of the wrong thing can completely ruin an otherwise wonderful dish.

The chicken was coated with Shake'n Bake which should have had oil sprayed on the skinless breasts so they would brown. I put them off the heat in the BBQ for 25 minutes. If I had turned them over half way, they would have browned nicely all around. They were tasty if not browned to perfection. New potatoes with fresh butter and salt, hard to beat. The Greek salad was  tasty and quickly washed the beets off my palate. All in all, a satisfying meal.