Saturday, September 29, 2012

Curry Snapper

I keep trying different things with food and tonight I thought I'd see what curry on snapper is like.  I got the potatoes going and the vegetables prepped ready to go.  Snapper bones run from the center of the head end about half way to the tail. The rest should have been cut out by the fish monger but feel around the whole fillet for any that were missed.  Also cut off any small bits of skin. Snapper skin tastes horribly fishy and unpleasant so don't leave even small pieces attached.

I mixed curry powder, salt and cayenne in a small bowl and used that to season the fish.  While everything was cooking I was just standing there with nothing to do and I thought, "I could make a little sauce to go on the fish. Even just open a can of coconut milk and heat a little up... Then I'd have to figure out what to do with the rest of the coconut milk." So I didn't make a sauce, to my chagrin.

The fish tasted interesting but like something was missing. It wasn't bad or good, it was just interesting. If I had warmed up some coconut milk or even made a little lemon sauce it would have lifted the dish from interesting to delicious. Curried snapper has real potential so I'll do it again but it definitely has to have a sauce, even if it's just warmed up coconut milk.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pork Chop with Apple Sauce

Apple sauce was made yesterday by my partner. The pork chop I shook in a plastic bag with corn flour, salt, pepper, fresh chives and oregano.  Unfortunately I found that chives and oregano won't stick to a pork chop at the same time as corn flour without some help.  Pickles were being made all day so dinner was late and I just cooked it as is.  I like the flavor of corn flour on pork, which is good because I had no idea what to do with corn flour otherwise.

Fresh carrots and frozen peas can be cooked together in the microwave.  I just add butter, salt and pepper when they're done. Ordinary mashed potatoes. The star on this plate was really the apple sauce. There's nothing like home canned applesauce. We got a food mill this year which made things easier.  There is still a batch of pears to make into sauce as well. That's for tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Garlic Oregano Chicken, still recovering

My temperature has stayed below 100º all day so I'm slowly getting better.  I got 4 chicken breasts today and quickly boned them and got the stock going.  I put two breasts in the fridge for later in the week and put two in a plastic bag to flatten.  I mixed up salt, mixed pepper, garlic, oregano oil and lemon juice in a bowl and coated the flattened breasts.  I put rice in the microwave and got corn ready in another dish.

Fern asked for a grilled tomato with dinner so I had him pick me one.  I cut the tomato in half and seasoned it with salt and black pepper.  I covered it with shredded parmesan and put it in the oven which was at 350º for 5 or 10 minutes.  The whole tomato was cooking but the cheese wasn't browning so I took it out of the oven and put it under the toaster oven broiler. That quickly browned it.

The chicken was on the BBQ medium heat. Put meat over flame for 2 minutes, rotate meat, 2 minutes, turn meat over, 2 minutes, rotate meat, 2 minutes and it's done. I plated everything quickly and sat to eat.  The chicken was tangy and delicious.  Rice and corn were nothing special.  The tomato was the star of the dish.  It was ripe, sweet and full of flavour. I'd make this meal again.

Pork Chop and maybe it's the flu

Today I was well enough to go shopping, for food. Finally broccoli is affordable again, fresh carrots and mashed potatoes. Not much to talk about there.  I steamed the vegetables, drained them and put them on the burner with butter and a little xv olive oil.  I'm trying to get the hang of finishing vegetables with xv olive oil.  If it's done right it gives them a wonderful flavor, overheat the xv oil and it will be bitter. I didn't quite get to full flavor this time. Premature plating I guess.

The pork chop was the star.  I put corn flour in a plastic bag and added salt, mixed pepper and dry mustard. I shook the pork chops to coat and fried them.  The condiment is fresh Apple Ketchup
made that day.  The meal was the highlight of the day.

Marinated Steak, lingering cold

My cooking definitely suffers when my temperature is over 100º but we gotta eat. I had the meat marinating over night in the fridge.  I used a little red cooking wine, like a teaspoon, then thought lemon would be better.  I put lemon juice, salt, pepper, oil and some fresh garlic in, stuck it with a fork all over  and put it in the fridge.

Fresh carrots but frozen peas done in the microwave.  Mashed potatoes done the usual way.  The meat didn't take a sear or look particularly good so I tried to disguise it with parmesan and a few chives.  Didn't work.  It tasted fine but it looked terrible. Back to bed.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chicken Soup for a cold

I made chicken soup yesterday but I was too sick to write about it.  The stock I made the other day when I boned the two chicken breasts, I put the bones in a stock pot in a 350º oven for 45 minutes. When the pot was cool I added 2 bay leaves, an onion cut in half (skin and all, skin gives color), a carrot cut in 3 pieces and a stick of celery also cut in 3 or 4 pieces. Fill pot with water put on high heat, bring to a boil then turn to low and simmer 2 hours more or less. Strain the stock with a sieve or best of all, cheese cloth.

To make soup, dice an onion, carrot and stick of celery, put in a pot with oil on medium high heat and sweat till the onions are  translucent.  Take vegetables out of the pot and put in boneless chicken cut into bite size pieces and seasoned. Add more oil if necessary and brown all round.  Add vegetables back in and fill pot with chicken stock. Add a bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste.  A star anise seed is nice if you have some. Simmer for an hour.

While the soup is cooking make the noodles.  One egg at room temperature and 2/3 cup of flour.  Make a well in the flour and break the egg into it.  Use a fork stirring in the center, gradually taking up more flour until all the flour is stuck in a ball.  If it is sticky add more flour and work it a bit.  Keep adding flour till it isn't sticky then put it in the fridge.  Get the pasta roller out or a rolling pin and process the pasta in two halves, easier to handle. I used fettuccine cutters and cut the pasta into 2 inch strips.  When pasta comes out of the cutter blades I let it fall onto a cookie sheet and dredge it in flour so it won't stick to itself. If I don't have a pasta roller handy I just roll the dough out and cut it into noodles with a knife.

5 minutes before I want to serve soup add the noodles in (longer for thicker noodles).  When they are done I serve the soup. Yup, it definitely makes one feel better.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ginger Chicken with a cold

We both have colds so we needed sustenance, what's easy? Rice. I have a rice button on my microwave that senses when the rice is done. I love it. It also has a button for fresh or frozen vegetables which I'm weaning myself off onto the steamer. In my weakened condition I microwaved the frozen peas together with the fresh carrots. (at least one was fresh!) The chicken I just pounded to double in size and painted with a mixture of soy sauce, ginger powder, mixed ground pepper and oil. Then I BBQ'd them on medium heat for 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes, turn over, 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes and they're done. Then I just threw it all on the plate. After the photo I put some soy sauce on my rice. It was a nice meal considering how rotten I feel. I made stock out of the chicken bones so tomorrow I'll make chicken soup.

Good night.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ling Cod Fillet 2

I put my potatoes in a pot on the stove and got the carrots and broccoli ready for the steamer. I wanted to do the fish completely differently tonight.  I started with whole wheat flour and added some cumin, onion powder, paprika, salt and mixed pepper in a plastic bag.  I shook each piece of fish to coat evenly   and placed in hot oil in a frying pan. The fillets were thick so it took about 4 minutes a side.

The sauce was a tablespoon of white flour, some oil and butter with the flour taste cooked off.  To that I added chicken stock, juice of half a lemon, a couple of chopped garlic cloves and a pinch of salt. In hindsight it would have been better to sweat the garlic in the butter then make the sauce in that, next time.  When the vegetables were done I ran cold water over them to stop cooking and put them aside.  Once the fish was done I put it on warm plates to rest while I finished the vegetables in butter and xv olive oil over low heat.

I plated the potatoes and vegetables and poured sauce over the fish and a little on the vegetables. The fish was delicious, I'd definitely do that again.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ling Cod

Our gardener friend went fishing last night and caught several fish.  We were gifted with two lovely Ling Cod fillets. Big too, half of one each was plenty. I'm keeping the other for tomorrow night. The beans are heirloom from the garden so half the meal is local or our own production.

I don't have much experience with cod but I know it doesn't have a lot of flavor on it's own so I needed to add some.  I started with corn flour, about 2 tablespoons in a plastic bag.  I added 1/2 a teaspoon of cumin and 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric. Salt, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne to spice it up.  Shook the fillets in that bag and laid them in hot oil. It took about 4 minutes per side because the fillets were quite thick at one end.

I steamed the vegetables and ran them under cold water when done.  When the fish almost done I put some butter and xv olive oil in the vegetables and heated them up quickly on the burner. Suburban standard plating again, but it works well enough at this point. The fish was great, not too spicy, good flavor. I could have gone much heavier on the spices.

Prawn Crab Edam Pasta

Ice cream making was running late and dinner had to be on time. My partner suggested prawns and pasta in a cheese sauce as it's quick and easy to make.  He doesn't like cheese sauce as much as I do so when he asks for it I jump at the chance. I still had to go to the store so I picked up some imitation crab to lift the flavor a bit higher and I also got some fresh pasta too. So this meal amounts to boil some water and make a cheese sauce. It doesn't get much easier than that. I put a pot of water on to boil.

I put some frozen peas in the microwave to cook and diced up an onion and green pepper. I sweated the onion to translucent then put in crushed garlic followed by the prawns.When the prawns were done I took everything out of the pan and sweated the green pepper and removed it from the pan.  I put 2 tablespoons of flour in the pan and I added enough oil to make a smooth paste. I cooked the flour taste off but not enough to brown the flour. I put about half an ounce of chicken stock in to give some base flavor and then added milk, stirring to prevent lumping. When the milk was hot I added thinly sliced Edam cheese.  As it melted and made the sauce thicker I added more milk. Once it was hot I added all the ingredients and put fresh pasta in the water to cook.  3 to 4 minutes later I drained the pasta, plated it and poured sauce over top.  Dinner is Ready!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Greek Turkey

I wasn't sure what I felt like for dinner, just no beef. Nothing on the fish counter. Skip Angus beef section... oh wait, what's that? Boneless turkey breast marinated in Greek seasoning.  That sounds interesting, and I don't have to do any more work on it! To clinch the deal it was marked down half price to clear. Marked down meat is always fine if used immediately so I picked the smallest package.

Everyone has too many cucumbers right now so what to do with them?  I had a whole hour to prepare dinner and even though my partner insisted I had to pound the turkey breasts flat, I still felt I had time to make a little garnish/salad. First I got the whole grain rice going. I use my own blend of brown basmati and red Thai rice with a little pearl barley thrown in to round out the flavor. This time I used 3 parts chicken stock and 1 part water in the rice.  It takes 40-60 minutes to cook so it has to get going early.

I got the carrots in the steamer and started pounding the turkey breasts in a plastic bag.  I don't want them too big so I only pound them till they are fairly uniform and will cook evenly.  I had the BBQ warmed up to medium low and I put the breasts over the heat.  I put the broccoli in with the carrots and started on the garnish while I did the usual 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes, turn over, 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes and they're done on the breasts.

The garnish is a small carrot grated finely and a peace of cucumber seeded and grated. The cucumber doesn't show but there was about the same amount of seeded cucumber as carrot. I mixed a little xv olive oil and rice oil with some white balsamic vinegar and a little salt.  I mixed in the grated carrot and cucumber and tasted.  Nice, I can taste the carrot and cucumber but it's a bit one dimensional, no time left to fiddle. Next time I'll add a little cumin and see what it's like.

I retrieved the breasts from the BBQ and let them rest while I drained the vegetables.  I added some salt, pepper, butter and xv olive oil to the vegetables and let that melt in while I plated the rice.  Next the vegetables and finally the garnish.

It was pretty good but the butcher left a couple of pieces of plastic on the breasts that we found when eating them.  I wanted to talk to the meat manager anyway so I'll mention it to him next time I'm in.
Otherwise, Greek turkey (fresh garlic and oregano) is a viable alternative to cranberry sauce. Carrots and cucumbers can live together in a salad but they need outside help.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ginger Beef Gruel

It was supposed to be chop suey but I made so many mistakes putting it together that it just failed. Tasted good, but texture and color is all wrong. I started out on the right foot.  I diced a couple of slices of onion to caramelize in the pan.  To that I added the sliced carrots and then the thinly sliced steak. That was my first mistake because the meat didn't sear as much as it steamed.  To that I added the remaining onion, green pepper, mushrooms, bean sprouts and ginger.  I didn't sweat anything first so all the moisture in all the vegetables came out in the pan and made a soupy mess. By the time I had boiled it off everything was cooked nearly to death.  I served it on plain white rice, which I managed to cook correctly so at least the meal was edible. It tasted good but wasn't a pleasure to eat, mushy vegetables and rubbery meat.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pork Schnitzel

I went to the grocery store with either beef or pork in mind.  There was no tempting beef on special but there were some pork cutlets.  I picked the smallest family size that had 3 pieces of meat and it was under $3 so very attractive by price. I've had such good results pounding my chicken breasts that I decided to try the same with the cutlets.  So I pounded them to about double in size. I put some corn flour in a plastic bag and coated each cutlet.  In another bag I mixed bread crumbs, salt, pepper and mustard powder. Then I dipped the cutlets in egg and coated them with the bread crumbs. Finally into a frying pan with plenty of oil over medium high heat.

Mashed potatoes and corn on the cob round out the plate.  The corn is just boiled for 20 minutes and served separately so it can be swimming in butter. Home made ketchup is the condiment on the pork.

Apple Ketchup

2 lbs tomatoes
2 lbs apples, unpeeled but cored
4 medium onions
3 cups sugar
2 cups white vinegar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp pickling spices

Here are my mashed potato instructions which I include for completeness and a bit of silliness.

Peel them, rinse them, cut them into less than one inch pieces, cover them with cold water in a pot with half a teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil then turn down to gentle boil. When a fork pierces them easily, drain them, mash them, add a pad of butter and a little salt.  With a fork stir in an ounce of milk, add more if it's too dry.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rosemary and Thyme Chicken

Dinner was the two remaining breasts from the four I bought earlier.  All my spice rub containers were empty and I really felt it was time for something different.  We're still doing canning so dinners are quick and don't take a lot of space to prepare. I did the rice in the microwave and the vegetables in the steamer.  The chicken I pounded flat and seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika and fresh garlic, rosemary and thyme. I sprayed both sides with oil and put them on the BBQ.  The breasts got 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes, turn over, 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes and they're done with nice grill marks.

When the vegetables were done I ran them under cold water to stop cooking.  I seasoned them with salt and pepper and added a pad of butter and some xv olive oil.  I turned the heat up to medium high and when the breasts were done I put the vegetables back on the hot burner to warm up in the oil and butter. This little extra attention to the vegetables brings so much extra flavor it's worth doing even for frozen peas.  Not only taste but doneness too.  Reaching for the steamer instead of the microwave bowl is about all the extra work it entails, it just seems like more at first.

I had this meal on the table in about 40 minutes and I didn't break into a sweat. So it's something anyone could push out without much trouble and it tastes great!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Southwest Chicken with Ketchup

I desperately needed chicken stock so I picked up 4 breasts with bones and skin on.  First I boned the breasts and put the bones in the stock pot.  The skins I peeled off and fried crispy for the dogs.  The stock pot went into a 350º oven for 45 minutes then cooled a bit and an onion, carrot, stick of celery and a bay leaf went in with a full pot of water and set to boil then simmer for a few hours.

I got my carrots and broccoli prepped and ready to go in the microwave. Half the stove is still busy so I'm taking the easy way out.  I started a quarter cup rice for each of us and put a breast in a plastic bag.  I pounded the breasts to about double in size then seasoned with my Southwest Rub.

Southwest Spice Rub

2 tbsp  chili powder
2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp  brown sugar
2 tsp Mexican oregano (I used Golden Oregano, use what you have)
1 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp cayenne (optional, but it really helps)

I put the breasts on the BBQ over low heat for 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes, turn over, 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes and they should be done with lovely grill marks if the BBQ was hot to start. I started the microwave and magically everything was ready at the same time. I must be getting better at it. I buttered the vegetables and put a little xv olive oil on them with salt and pepper.  Ketchup on the breast and serve.

Pork Cutlet with Ketchup

I was running late so dinner had to be quick and easy to prepare.  I decided on pork cutlets that were on sale. I simply put a tablespoon of corn flour, a tablespoon of corn meal ( polenta ), salt and pepper in a plastic bag and shook the cutlets to coat them. I got the potatoes on to cook and set the carrots into the steamer.  Fresh beans from the garden can't be beat but they sure are a pain to clean.  I hold the stem end under running water and brush the dirt off the bean fuzz, tedious but worth the trouble.  I started the cutlets in a frying pan with plenty of hot oil.  When the carrots were half done I added the beans to the steamer.

I have decided to fully describe everything in each meal so there are no links to other articles for recipes etc. To that end here is my shortest possible mashed potato recipe. Peel them, rinse them, cut them into less than one inch pieces, cover them with cold water in a pot with half a teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil then turn down to gentle boil. When a fork pierces them easily, drain them, mash them, add a pad of butter and a little salt.  With a fork stir in an ounce of milk, add more if it's too dry.

When the beans were almost done I took them off the steamer and ran them under cold water to stop cooking.  When the cutlets were done I put them on warm plates to rest while I tossed the beans and carrots in butter, xv olive oil, salt and pepper over a medium burner. Don't over heat xv olive oil or it becomes bitter and unpleasant. Plate everything and put some ketchup on the cutlet.

Tomatoes Tomatoes Tomatoes for Ketchup

Fern with some of his tomatoes

Finally enough tomatoes to make Ketchup! This condiment is very popular in Quebec and goes well with pork and chicken. The recipe comes from Jehane Benoit's Encyclopedia of Cooking, it's called Apple Catsup(Ketchup).  Here's the recipe.

2 lbs tomatoes
2 lbs apples, unpeeled but cored
4 medium onions
3 cups sugar
2 cups white vinegar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp pickling spices

Put the pickling spices in a cheesecloth bag and run the apples, tomatoes and onions through the medium blade of a food processor. It's best coarsely chopped.  Then put everything in a large pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 1 hour or until ketchup is thick. Turn the ketchup into heated jars and seal.

Ketchup on the shelf.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Strip Loin BBQ

The tomatoes are ripening quickly so the kitchen is given over to making ketchup and condiments. Dinner had to require little preparation and be cooked on the BBQ.  Fortunately strip loins were on special, not Angus but they have fairly good quality meat anyway. I decided to use up the rest of the greek yogurt instead of sour cream, Fern didn't like the idea but I thought it tasted quite good.  

I put the potatoes in the microwave to cook most of the way while I prepped the carrots, broccoli and steaks. I put the carrots in the steamer then seasoned the steaks with my Beef Rub and sprayed them with oil.

Beef Rub

1  1/4  tablespoons paprika
1   tablespoon kosher salt
1   teaspoon garlic powder
1/2   teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2   teaspoon onion powder
1/2   teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2   teaspoon dried oregano
1/2   teaspoon dried thyme

By the time I'd done that the microwave was finished with the potatoes, so I took them out and set them on squares of aluminum foil. I sliced them down the middle, filled them with butter and a few lengths of chives, some salt and folded up the foil around them.  I put the broccoli in with the carrots, the steaks on the BBQ and the potatoes on the BBQ but off the heat. The steaks I cooked on high heat for 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes, turn over, 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes and they're done. Nice grill marks this time too!

I plated the vegetables then put butter and salt on them. A dollop of yogurt and few chives on the potatoes and serve.  It was all as good as it looks.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Southwest Chicken with beans, carrots and potatoes

I pounded out the chicken breasts again.  These must have come from monster chickens as they are simply huge.  That one was pounded considerably and was still almost an inch thick. It was good anyway, I used my Southwest Rub and BBQ'd it.

Southwest Spice Rub

2 tbsp  chili powder
2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp  brown sugar
2 tsp Mexican oregano (I used Golden Oregano, use what you have)
1 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp cayenne (optional, but it really helps)

I could have had pretty potatoes if I plated them and then put butter on them, but didn't think of it. My vegetables are finally something to write about.  I have been using the steamer to cook the vegetables then running them under cold water to stop cooking.  Then I use the steamer pot to finish the vegetables in butter and xv olive oil when everything else is ready. It turns out to be much easier to cook the vegetables early in meal preparation and finish them while plating, they come out perfect every time.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Adult Banana Split

I like banana splits but they are a bit much for one person.  Here is a nice version that's just right for one.  I have two ice creams made:

Vanilla Ice Cream

1 cup milk
2 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
1-3 tsp Vanilla or 1 Vanilla bean

Blend and pour into ice cream maker.

Extra Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

1 cup milk
2 cups whipping cream
7/8 cup sugar
3/4 cup coco powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Blend and pour into ice cream maker.

I cut the banana in half, then each half in half lengthwise so we only had to  eat half a banana each.  I put two scoops of Vanilla and one scoop chocolate, sprinkled some salted almonds for crunch and with a potato peeler I shaved some extra dark chocolate over everything.

I was just told I should have chopped up the almonds and drizzled a little maple syrup over the ice cream, I'l try that next time.

Prawn Stir Fry

This was a last minute switch.  I was going to cook a pork chop on the BBQ and have it with mashed potatoes and vegetables.  My partner said he really didn't feel like pork chops.  I offered, "I could make a prawn stir fry on rice instead?" Sold!

I put some basmati rice on to cook and got the prawns out of the freezer.  I bought a 2lb bag of frozen raw prawns for $5 a while back and they have come in really handy. Freezing kills a bit of the flavor but,  being raw, I can cook them properly, not rubbery. I ran the prawns under cold water for a few minutes then left them to thaw.

I diced up an onion and a green pepper and sliced up a carrot and stick of celery.  First I browned the onion to golden then took it out and put the prawns in with a crushed clove of garlic.  When the prawns were almost cooked I took them out and put in the carrots, then celery and finally the green pepper. When everything was sweated I put the onion and prawns back in and added some soy sauce. When it was all cooked I plated the stir fry over the rice. Fast, easy and reasonably delicious.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cajun Chicken with Green Beans

Fresh chicken breasts were on sale today and I was planning chicken anyway so no time wasted deciding.  I just grabbed a nice package of breasts and headed out. At home I let the chicken warm up on the counter while I peeled potatoes and carrots and trimmed the beans. I put the potatoes on to boil and the carrots in the steamer.  I used one of the vegetable bags from the grocery store to pound the chicken flat, it worked better than plastic wrap so that's what I'll use from now on. Pounding the chicken flat means it can be cooked evenly so it won't be dry, it also has greater surface area to take on flavor so it's a double win. I don't pound it much, it's still half an inch thick, but it makes a big difference. I seasoned it well with my Cajun Rub.

Cajun Rub
 1/4 Cup of salt
 2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
 2 Tbsp. paprika
 1-1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
 1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
 1 Tbsp. freshly ground white pepper
 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
 2 tsp. dried basil
 1 tsp. chili powder
 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
 1/4 tsp. ground mustard
 1/8 tsp ground cloves

Once the carrots were about half done I added the beans to the steamer. The chicken was on the BBQ over the heat for 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes, turn over, 2 minutes, rotate, 2 minutes and they're done. While that was doing, I drained and whipped the potatoes then drained the vegetables.  I emptied the water from the steamer pot and put some oil and butter in it. To that I added the beans and carrots and sprinkled a little xv olive oil, salt and pepper over them and put them on medium heat.  I took my warmed plates out to the BBQ and plated the breasts.  Back into the kitchen and plate the mashed potatoes and the vegetables.  A really good, simple meal.

Prawn and Crab Pasta

Dinner by myself this night so not too difficult a meal. I had a few raw prawns and some imitation crab which I was planning to have in a cream cheese sauce. First, out to the garden to get a  fresh shallot and a green pepper.  I put water on the stove for the pasta and started dicing my shallot.  When the water was boiling I put the pasta in to cook.

I put  a little oil and butter in the sauce pan on medium high heat and added the shallots. When they were golden I took them out and put in the prawns, garlic, salt and pepper.  When the prawns were almost cooked through I took them out and added the diced green pepper.  Once the pepper was sweated I took it out of the pan and put a heaping teaspoon of flour in the sauce pan.  I added enough oil to make a paste of the flour and cooked the taste off it.  A dash of chicken stock to thin the flour then a half cup of milk to make the sauce. I whisked in the milk to make a smooth sauce and put all the ingredients back in.

While the sauce pan was heating the milk I got out my cream cheese and added about 5 wedges to the pan.  When they were melted I stirred the cheese into the sauce and plated it over the pasta spirals. It was really good!