Monday, August 29, 2016

Roast Pork Loin

Roast pork loin with roasted potatoes and carrots. I salted, peppered and oiled the roast then put it in the oven @ 325F for nearly two hours. I oiled and salted the potatoes and carrots and put them in oven with the roast an hour before it was ready. They weren't quite done when the roast was so I put the roast under foil to rest while I upped the heat in the oven to 425F and gave the potatoes another 15 minutes. That finished cooking them but didn't caramelize the carrots.

The condiment is apple sauce made the other day. Just apples, no sugar. It's tart but goes great on the meat. The yellow tomato salad is 

tomatoes diced
red onion finely diced
parsley diced
olive oil
lemon juice

Fern picked more raspberries from the second crop. I ran them through the juicer and made a raspberry vinaigrette with 

olive oil
raspberry juice

which I tossed with leaf lettuce, red onion and celery. Martin was over for dinner and he ate this salad! (he doesn't usually like vegetables owing to childhood pressure cooker vegetable trauma)

Martin, who is straight, has become a good friend, which earned him the nickname Doug's new boyfriend. Being a good sport, when someone asks him if he's gay he says, "No, but my boyfriend is."

Cajun Chicken on Caesar Salad

We wanted a lighter dinner so chicken and a salad worked well. I salted and seasoned chicken breasts with Cajun spice, brushed with oil and BBQ'd them. Salad croutons were seared in olive oil to get some brown on them. 

Caesar Salad Dressing

1 egg yolk
1/3-1/2 cup oil - olive with a little canola
1/2 lemon juiced
black pepper
2 cloves garlic finely diced
few drops Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup croutons
anchovy filet if you have one, I didn't

Slowly whisk the oil into the egg yolk till it's all incorporated. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Toss head of romaine lettuce in dressing. Serve chicken over salad.

Easy, fast, delicious and not terribly fattening.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Corn on the cob was on special so I bought that instead of refried beans. The filling was caramelized onion, crimini mushrooms, beef stock and taco seasoning. The guacamole had avocado, lime juice, diced jalapeno, diced red onion, salt and pepper. The salsa was tomato, lime juice, red onion, jalapeno, chopped parsley, salt and black pepper. The last of the sour cream to garnish.

It was delicious!

Prawn Stir Fry

I haven't done a stir fry for a while so it was nice to have one, I like the flavour. This time I bought black tiger prawns, a red pepper and a few spears of asparagus. I peeled the prawns and put the shells in a pot with a cup of water and a teaspoon of vegetable stock. I boiled them up for half an hour and strained the shells out giving me a nice prawn stock. I caramelized half an onion and a carrot then the mushrooms. The prawns were seared on both sides and removed from the pan. The remaining vegetables were added and softened before the prawns were returned to the pan. Some sesame oil and soy sauce in the pan for colour and flavour. A quarter cup of prawn stock. Cook most of the liquid off and serve on basmati rice.

It was great!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Breaded Chicken Breast with Mushroom Sauce

Fern had a chicken breast at The Laughing Oyster which he thoroughly enjoyed. It was pounded, breaded and served with wild mushroom sauce. I didn't taste the sauce so I couldn't reproduce it but I simply made my own. 

I put the breasts in a plastic bag and pounded them flat to about double their size. Then I coated them in:

1 tbsp flour
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground garlic
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt

I added 1/4 cup milk to the remaining flour mixture to turn it into a batter and dipped the floured chicken in it. Then coated it in bread crumbs and put on a baking sheet. Bake at 400F for 25 minutes.

New potatoes were boiled and served with salt and butter.

I caramelized a diced onion then added a couple of diced garlic cloves and browned it a bit. The sliced mushrooms went in and got a good sear. I sprinkled a teaspoon of chicken stock powder and a teaspoon of flour over all and cooked the flour taste off. Then I added a cup of milk to the pan and stirred it into a nice sauce. A few drops of lemon juice to give it a little tang. White wine would have been better but I was too lazy to go to the wine cellar to get a bottle.

The corn was boiled in water with a bit of milk and salt for about 20 minutes. The salad was iceberg lettuce with arugula, tomatoes and cucumber. I dressed it with a bit of olive oil and a splash of lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

The Laughing Oysters chicken was slightly better but this wasn't too bad!

Breaded Chicken Thighs

Another attempt at crispy chicken thighs. This time I had to cook a pork cutlet for the dog with the chicken so I put it in the same pan hoping the pork fat would raise the flavour of the crispy coating. It did, but it made the bottom soggy so it was a Pyrrhic victory. The new potatoes boiled and served with salt and butter were wonderful. Ordinary Greek salad. It was good but not outstanding.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Cajun Chicken Greek Salad and Borscht

We had a big lunch so I couldn't eat a huge meal at dinner, hence mostly veggies and no starch. I salted and seasoned the chicken with Cajun spice, brushed it with oil and BBQ'd it for 25 minutes. I sliced the meat before plating and sprinkled fresh lemon juice over it on the plate. Fern really liked this little change. "What did you do to the chicken, it's delicious!"

Greek salad had 

red onion
black olives
cow feta
black pepper

Topped with a little olive oil and lemon juice, fresh and delicious.

Borscht was made the other day and heated up. A dollop of sour cream on top when served.

A bit untraditional but this made a really nice light meal and cleaned out the fridge!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Faux Shake'n Bake

At 5:10 I was watching the early news and Fern asked if we could eat at 6pm? I'll try! I had bone in, skin on chicken thighs that I wanted to bread and bake, hopefully making them taste better than a commercial coating mix. They would take 40 minutes to cook. Working fast as I could I mixed 

2 tsp flour
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground garlic
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

coat the chicken in the seasoning mixture and set aside. I had 4 thighs. I added 1/4 cup milk to the leftover seasoning mix and dipped the coated pieces in it then rolled them in panko type bread crumbs. Place on oiled sheet and bake at 375-400F for 40 minutes.

Rice, salt, olive oil and water and into the microwave. The stir fry vegetables were simple. I boiled the carrots in the frying pan for a few minutes till they started to soften then added the frozen peas. The peas cooked for about 2 minutes then I drained and cooled the lot under running water.  Olive and sesame oil in the pan then a diced onion and stick of celery. Sweat them then add the carrot and peas back in. A small dash of soy sauce and toss till everything is heated through. Serve over the rice.

The chicken was delicious and Fern asked me to make it again, soon. He got the Shake'n Bake connection but said it tasted much better. 

Finally I beat Shake'n Bake. Took long enough. @ 5:50 Fern asked if he had 15 minutes to run to the drug store. Yup, that will help! so dinner was served at 6:15, a few minutes late but Fern was ready to go out at 7pm as he wanted.

Salisbury Steak with Borscht

Salisbury Steak is an American invention, who knew? Ground beef is a lot easier to chew for many of us older people and it's cheaper but still has the flavour of more expensive cuts. I added salt, black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground garlic and 2 teaspoons bread crumbs to 400gm ground beef before making the patties. They were brushed with oil before BBQing.

Mashed potatoes have salt, butter and milk. The beans were boiled for a few minutes till they soften then cooled and reheated in olive oil with caramelized diced onion. The gravy was caramelized diced onion with sliced crimini mushrooms seared in. A teaspoon of flour sprinkled over top with a teaspoon of beef stock powder. Add a 1/4 cup butter and cook the flour taste off. Add 2/3 cup water and bring to simmer. Reduce to thicken. Once it simmers for a minute the gravy should pick up colour from the pan and darken nicely.

I don't like cooked beats as a vegetable but Borscht is just fine. Probably the sour cream. I caramelized a diced onion and carrot then sweated three diced beats. I added 3 teaspoons of beef stock powder and 3 cups water, simmer 40 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream. 

A nice meal on a cool, rainy summer evening.

Chicken Cordon Suisse with Hollandaise

This is about as simple as dinner can get. The rice is done in the microwave with salt and olive oil. When it's done a few drops of lemon juice are stirred in with a fork to fluff the rice. The Chicken Cordon Suisse is made fresh at Micthell's so all I had to do was bake them at 375F for 25 minutes. When the cheese leaks out they're done. 

The broccoli was steamed for 3 minutes, cooled under running water and reheated in olive oil just before serving.


1 egg yolk
1/3 cup butter melted, not hot
1/2 lemon juiced - Mitchell's lemons contain significantly more juice than Save On or Safeway 
1 tsp cold water
pinch salt

Whisk the melted butter into the egg yolk a teaspoon at a time till it's all incorporated. Whisk in salt, water and lemon juice. Heat gently on induction burner or over boiling water till lumps melt and sauce thickens. Serve.

Just yum.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Roast Pork Butt with Roasted Apple and Caramelized Onion and Carrot Sauce

This time I bought a big pork butt roast and slow roasted it at 225F for 3 hours. In the last hour I turned the heat up to 250F to finish cooking it on time. It worked, the meat was tender and juicy. To prepare it I salted it all over, brushed with olive oil, set it on a rack and put bay leaves and a sprigs of rosemary and thyme on it then slid it in the oven.

I picked 3 apples off a neighbour's tree, cored them, poured a tablespoon of molasses over them and sprinkled a tablespoon of brown sugar over and in the centre. I put this in the oven with the roast for the last hour. It wasn't quite done when the roast was so I took the roast out and turned the heat up to 400F for a few minutes. That baked them down as you can see on the right!

Mashed potatoes were boiled, drained, mashed, salted, buttered, milked and whipped with a fork. The peas were microwaved and finished with butter, salt and black pepper.

The sauce was caramelized onion and carrot with a teaspoon of flour, teaspoon of beef stock powder a little water from cooking the carrots and milk.

The meat was a bit too fatty for Fern but otherwise it was very enjoyable and tasty meal.

Cajun Chicken with Garlic and Mushroom Sauce

The broccoli was steamed, cooled and finished in olive oil and salt. The chicken was salted, seasoned with Cajun spice mix, coated with olive oil and BBQ'd over medium high heat for 20-25 minutes. Mashed potatoes were boiled, mashed and finished with butter, milk and salt.

The sauce was caramelized onion and garlic, a teaspoon of flour over the pan, a teaspoon of chicken stock powder and cook the flour taste off. Add 2/3 cup milk slowly, whisking the lumps out as it's added. The flavour was developed by slowly browning the onion and garlic. It was really good.


Tacos filled with ground beef, onions and mushrooms all caramelized in a delicious gravy. Topped with sour cream and 


1 ripe avocado - it should be slightly squishy
1/2 lime - juiced
diced jalapeno - a few small pieces

Add the lime juice to the avocado immediately, it's prevents it turning black. Then mash the avocado with a fork. Add the salt and a spoon of sour cream if you like. A few pieces of jalapeno in it to spice it up.

Refried beans are a can of Old El Paso refried beans heated up and topped with grated cheddar. I put a few pieces of jalapeno before serving just to spice them up.


2 tomatoes diced
1 jalapeno diced
1 slice red onion diced

Dice it all, add lime juice and few drops of olive oil, pinch of salt and some black pepper.

Work confidently and this meal can be on the table in under an hour. It's better than it looks.

Breaded Chicken Breast

Breaded chicken breast. You'd think by now I would know to set the oven at 425F so it would brown but I always forget and cook them at 325F. So it's pale but tasty. Plain old rice with a bit of soy sauce on it. Frozen peas with butter, salt and black pepper. The salad was a nice touch, crisp and summery even though it was just lettuce, tomato and cucumber with a simple vinaigrette.

Dinner Sausage

Mitchell's store made dinner sausage, lean and tasty. These are a nice change from the usual. Here I have caramelized onions, removed them from the pan and fried the sausages, then returned the onions to finish. Mashed potatoes have salt, butter and milk. We had corn on the cob a few days ago and it was so good I felt it would be a one time thing. It was. This corn was good but it wasn't super tasty like the first batch. I've found that before. The best tasting of a farmers produce comes out first, it will be fantastic. Once it's gone, the rest is good, just not exceptional. This was some of the best corn I've ever had, but it wasn't as good as last time. I might never taste corn that good again, which would be too bad so I'll remain hopeful that next year will bring another plate of memorable corn on the cob.

Laughing Oyster

Dinner at the Laughing Oyster Restaurant, steak with oysters on top. Yum!

I think this was chicken with mushrooms, Fern liked it.

Always great food at the Laughing Oyster in Lund, BC.