Monday, May 30, 2016

Salisbury Steak


It started out as a lighter meal but seemed to just grow into a plate of beefy heaven. New potatoes I put on the boil with some salt. I sliced up a massive green onion that over wintered. A spring onion in it's second spring. It was good anyway. I mixed that with the beef, salt, black pepper and ground garlic. Made meat patties and fried them to a good sear on both sides. Then I transferred them to a roasting pan and put them in the oven @ 325F.  In the meat pan I started frying the crimini mushrooms. When I had a good sear on them I removed them from the pan. A tablespoon of butter and a teaspoon of flour into the pan. Cook the flour taste off in the butter for a minute. Whisk in a cup of beef stock and add the mushrooms. Simmer and reduce to a nice gravy. Add salt, Worcestershire Sauce and black pepper.

In another frying pan fry the sliced carrot in olive oil. When they have a nice sear add the celery, onions and beans. Add 1/4 cup beef stock and reduce till almost dry. Add salt and mixed pepper.

When the potatoes are done, drain, salt and add a tablespoon of butter. 

Turn off both pans and add a tablespoon of butter to both. Stir melted butter into both pans. 

This was really good comfort food.

Not Horrible Marijuana Butter Cookies


My doctor would like me to smoke less and eat more pot, if possible. Marijuana butter is easy enough to make, put a pound of butter in a pot of water with some marijuana and simmer it for a couple of hours. Remove from heat and let butter rise to surface. Put in fridge over night so butter hardens and can be removed as a solid and any residue scraped off the bottom. The problem is it has an extremely strong obnoxious flavour that nothing covers up. I've tried adding this butter to several kinds of recipes and nothing works. I just get horrible tasting vanilla or chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies or brownies. Fern asked me to make some cookies for him so I decided to try making a recipe just for marijuana butter. I had 3/4 cup butter so used it all. Preheat oven to 325F.

Marijuana Butter Cookies

3/4 cup marijuana butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Cream butter then sugar together. I kept adding sugar till the horrible taste was mostly hidden. A little more or less should be fine. Add egg. Add most of the flour and baking powder. This should make a dough that can be formed into balls, flattened and placed on cookie sheet. If it's sticky add more of the flour but not so much it crumbles. If it's too dry, add a tablespoon of milk. Form balls, flatten and place on cookie sheet. Bake 12-20 minutes till browned. I have ceramic cookie sheets that take 20 minutes to bake cookies. They could have baked another 2 minutes because they fell slightly in the middle but the texture was good.

It took me till after dinner to try one. Surprisingly it wasn't bad. It wasn't good. Not a flavour you look for. But edible, almost enjoyable. If you have to use medical marijuana, this is a good way to treat and consume it.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Cinnamon Date Sunflower Seed Buns


This is my cheese scone recipe adapted to a different purpose.

Scones - preheat to 425F

1 1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4+ cup butter
4 tbsp sugar
1/3-1/2 cup milk

Mix flour, baking soda and salt, then cut butter in with pastry cutter. Mix in sugar. Add half the milk and use a fork to mix into a dough. Add more milk till it can form a ball. Cover with plastic and put in the fridge for few minutes while I get the filling ready. 

1/4 cup finely chopped dates
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soft butter
cinnamon

Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Spread soft butter over all. Sprinkle cinnamon over all. Sprinkle brown sugar over everything. Sprinkle the dates and sunflower seeds evenly. Carefully roll up. Slice in 1 inch pieces and bake 13 minutes. 

They're really good, I'll make these again but I'll put extra brown sugar on them before baking. A dozen are almost gone in just a few hours.

Pineapple Coconut Prawn Curry


In the morning Fern asked for Prawns and Pasta for dinner. Mid afternoon he was reading his post-op instructions and it said, lay off tomato sauce, too acid. "I could make curry instead?" I offered. Fern liked that idea and I ran back to the store to get coconut milk and pineapple pieces. 

I caramelized a diced onion then got a little colour on both sides of the prawns and removed them from the pan. Then I sweated a diced carrot, stick of celery and green pepper. I sprinkled two teaspoons of curry powder over all and added the coconut milk. It needs to be reduced, that's why the prawns came out, I don't want to boil them to rubber. When the coconut milk is reduced to a sauce, add the prawns and finish cooking them, a couple of minutes at most. Add 1/2 a cup of pineapple tidbits and 1/4 cup juice from the can. Taste for salt. I added more juice to sweeten the heat in the curry. I let that reduce while I plated rice then spooned the curry over top.

For a last minute change, this was pretty good and Fern didn't realize it would be prawn curry, he liked it.

Chicken Soup


Fern's mouth is healing from surgery so soup for lunch seemed like a good choice. I caramelized a diced onion then browned the chicken breast I had diced and coated with flour. Then I added a diced carrot and stick of celery. I added about 1.5 to 2 litres of chicken stock and a couple of bay leaves. Salt and pepper. I plunked a sprig of fennel into it when serving but it didn't flavour the soup so took it out. I'll have to chop it up and add at the end to get the flavour. At least I finally figured out how to use it since it's growing in the garden anyway.

Fern liked the soup, so did I.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Snapper under Rosemary and Thyme with Peas and Risotto


Ok, I know you can't eat the rosemary and thyme but that's how it came out of the frying pan and it looked great so I went with it. That made this really simple. Salt and pepper on the fish and fry it in olive oil. Put the rosemary and thyme on the fish while it cooks. 

The peas were frozen, cooked in the microwave, finished with butter and served like they were special. They are acceptable if you don't over cook them and serve them immediately.

Risotto 

2/3 cup Arborio rice
1.5 cup water
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup butter

Bring half the water to boil in a 10 inch skillet with lid. Add rice, water, stock powder. Stir, cover. Cook till water absorbed. Add remaining water, stir till absorbed. In a perfect world the rice would be perfect at this point but check it anyway. If it's still too crunchy add a little water and stir it a bit more. If it's done, add the parmesan and stir it in. Remove from heat. Add the butter and stir it in. Serve.

Fern had oral surgery today so this was a soft food meal and he absolutely loved it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Pork Souvlaki with Ratatouille and New Potatoes


Pork Souvlaki from Mitchell's, it tastes good and it's easy to cook. Usually I use it to slap a meal on the table as quickly as possible but this time I decided to try a little harder. I brushed the pork with oil and BBQ'd it as usual, that was easy.  Instead of rice I decided on new potatoes at the last minute. I put them on to boil and that left just the ratatouille.

I took a slice of cabbage so it would be like shredded. Two tomatoes diced. Half a green pepper diced. One stick celery diced, a small carrot and an onion diced. I sweated the onion and carrot first. Next went in the green pepper, celery and cabbage. I softened the pepper a bit then sprinkled half a teaspoon of vegetable stock over the pan followed by the same of flour. Stir that a minute to let the flour taste cook off. Then add the tomatoes and an ounce of water. Bring to a simmer and reduce as the tomatoes release water. I put a few sprigs of fresh thyme and one of rosemary in the pan at this point with some salt and mixed pepper. 

I plated the souvlaki with a dollop of sour cream, that was a nice addition. The ratatouille was wonderful. Fern doesn't usually like a wet plate like that but it tasted so good he just kept slurping it up. The potatoes were a great change from rice and went really well with the ratatouille. It took an extra ten minutes to prep the vegetables but it was worth it. I'll do this again.