Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Prawns and Pasta with Romaine, Kale and Tomato Salad


We haven't had prawns and pasta for a while so I suggested it along with a romaine and kale salad. Fern liked the idea so that was it. I put 6 prawns each in cold water to thaw. I had a box of tomato sauce so I only needed to go next door and pilfer some basil. They have lots, they don't mind.

I diced a slice of onion finely and sweated it to golden then added the prawns. I got colour on both sides of the prawns but didn't cook them through. I removed them from the pan. I added tomato sauce to the pan along with a little cayenne. I chopped two tablespoons of basil and added that to the tomato sauce along with salt and pepper. I continued to cook down the sauce while I worked on the salad.

I had romaine torn up for the Caesar salad the other day so I only fleshed it out with chopped kale. I gathered some fresh cherry and plum tomatoes and cut them in half for the salad.

Vinaigrette

1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp canola oil
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
salt
pepper
dried basil

Whisk, pour over salad and toss. 

Cook the pasta as desired, strain and add to the sauce. Add the prawns and heat through. Plate and garnish with grated parmesan.

I never seem to get tired of this meal, I guess it's because the salad is always different. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pork Souvlaki


It feels like I'm cheating when I buy marinated meat but Mitchell's does such a good job I just can't convince myself I can do better. I'm not sure what they put in their marinade but the pork is delicious. Now that I think about it we tried their chicken breasts and we loved them as well. I've tried other mass produced skewers which were more expensive and they didn't hold a candle to Mitchell's. To cook them I just brush the BBQ grill with oil and put the skewers over medium meat for 15 minutes. I rotated them every few minutes so they cooked evenly on all sides.

The basmati rice is cooked with olive oil, salt and a few drops of lemon juice. The broccoli was steamed and finished in olive oil and salt.

My plating is a relic of my attempts to remove the meat from the skewer without flinging it all over the counter and floor. I use a carving fork to push the first one off then two or three at a time after that.  If they are stuck, push just one piece of meat so you don't fling it across the room when it lets go. I guess I just pushed the meat aside and loaded the broccoli onto the plate. It's all so good it doesn't stay on the plate long enough to matter anyway.



Turkey Basil Burgers




Beef burgers have been supplanted by ground turkey. It's more expensive than ground beef but not so much it's out of reach. This time I bought a pack of breast and a pack of dark ground meat. I chopped up fresh basil and seasoned the meat with salt, paprika and a little ground garlic. The patties hold together well in a pan, I wouldn't try to cook them on the BBQ in case they fell apart. 

Potato Salad

4 medium potatoes
1 stick celery
1 slice red onion
salt
paprika 
mayonaise

I put too much mayo on the potatoes and overwhelmed the salad. I like mayo so it wasn't too bad but Fern really didn't like it.

Tomato Cucumber Salad

6 cherry tomatoes
3 inches English cucumber
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt
pepper
2 tsp olive/canola oil
1 tsp rice wine vinegar

Whisk dressing, pour over salad and toss. I put romaine lettuce on the burger and the usual condiments. It was a good fresh meal. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Shanghai Noodle Chicken


Fern had lots of peppers ready so I went to the store with the meal mostly planned. I spotted the noodles by chance but quickly decided they'd be perfect. I've never tried them before but Fern likes pasta so they should satisfy. I got some boneless skinless chicken breasts, a few mushrooms and headed home. 

I diced up a green bell pepper and two poblamos all from the garden. I diced up the chicken breasts, seasoned them a bit and coated them in flour. Sliced up some mushrooms, a stick of celery and a carrot. I put olive and canola oil in my frying pan and added a bit of sesame oil.  First I browned the chicken, then sweated the carrot and celery followed by the mushrooms. Next the peppers went in, a tablespoon oyster sauce and soy sauce. I tossed it all to evenly coat everything then ran the noodles under hot water for a few seconds before adding them to the pan. When the noodles were heated through I plated and served.

The noodles were really good, they didn't taste like pasta. Everything else was wonderful. It's hard to miss with fresh from the garden. Shanghai or Udon noodles are good, fast and easy to prepare, I'll use them again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sole, Potatoes Au Gratin and Kale, Tomato and Cucumber Salad


Sole is the kind of fish you can have when you don't feel like fish. Here all I did was salt one side, coat with flour and fry in hot oil. When I put the fish in the pan I sprinkled shaved almonds on top. Then turned them over to brown the nuts.

Potatoes were sliced thin then layered in a 9x9 pan. I only did 3 medium potatoes, 1 in a layer, a 1/2 tsp flour sprinkled over with a pinch of salt. A little grated cheddar, salt and another layer of potato. A little more flour, more cheese and the rest of the potato. More grated cheese on top then nearly cover with milk. Jostle the potato so they are all covered in milk and put in the oven at 375-400ºF for an hour. I turned the heat down to 350 for the last half hour.

The salad was kale finely chopped, red and yellow tomatoes from the garden and cucumber from the garden. The cuke had gotten huge so I took the seeds out and used only the flesh. The dressing was 2 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp canola oil, 2 tsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp salt, plenty of black pepper, whisk, pour over salad and toss.

The fish was great. The potatoes were really good, and I loved the salad. I always thought kale was bitter but found it isn't so I bought some and started using is. Fern says he doesn't like lime or lemon juice in salad dressings. He's a bit stodgy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Onion Chicken Breast


It's the hottest day of the year! I don't want to spend too much time near any heat source.  Fern did up the potatoes with salt, olive oil, chives and rosemary in foil then put them on the rack in the BBQ. The boneless skinless chicken I salted then coated in:

2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp flour
1 tsp poultry seasoning

Brush the coated chicken with olive oil and put it on the BBQ grill off the heat.  It will brown nicely in 25-30 minutes at 400-500º. The corn I steamed in  the kitchen where I didn't need to be. 

The onion powder caramelizes on the meat imparting a wonderful flavour. The poultry seasoning gives a hint of holidays and happy times. I managed to take the potatoes off when they were perfect. Still firm but cooked through. The corn was served with plenty of butter and salt. Even Eliot, our older dog, had some corn. He apes us and eats the corn right off the cob. I'll take of photo next time, it's hilarious.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Rib Steak


In a rare mood Fern suggested steaks for dinner. I jumped in the truck and screamed off before he could change his mind! Someone gave us a zucchini from their garden so I diced that up along with a carrot, stick of celery and an onion.  I fried the vegetables to get golden brown zucchini and finished them with a dash of soy sauce. I plated the steak on top.  The potato I did in the microwave and put in the BBQ wrapped in foil with butter to finish.  The steak was done on the BBQ in my usual 2x2x2x2 minutes over high heat to get crossed grill marks and perfect medium rare.

I practically inhaled it.