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Roasted Herb Chicken with Hot Citrus kale and spinach salad

Only 1  dish was dirtied in the execution  of this meal!  I forgot to take a picture. Oh well. Here’s how you do it

  • Preheat the oven to 250. Pretty low.
  • Put 4 quarter chicken pieces, bone in, on a rack suspended in a deep metal pan.
  • Using a pestle, grind up a buuunch of dried rosemary, half a teaspoon of mustard seeds, and a tablespoon of dried oregano (sage would have been better suited).  Rub herbs all over both sides of the chicken, then drizzle olive oil generously.
  • Chop 2 onions and half an apple and spread it out under the chicken. Add a few big clumps of coconut oil to the pan.
  • Put it in the preheated oven for at least 2 hours. Low and slow, baby.
  • The trick here is to baste the chicken religiously and thoroughly, like, every 10 minutes if you can
  • Watch that the bottom onion/apple doesn’t blacken! Remove it if you see it getting darker than brown.   Dump it on a big handful of spinach, waiting on a plate.
  • After 2 hours, remove the chicken from oven. Set aside the rack with chicken to rest.
  • In the hot pan, squeeze half a lemon. You can turn on a stovetop burner to keep the heat on it. Wilt and crisp a bunch of chopped kale in the hot pan.
  • Toss the hot oily kale with the spinach and crispy veg. Serve alongside chicken

Traditional braising recipe

This traditional braise is so simple and delicious, and with a little planning, takes very little effort. It’s fun to cook because you can get creative with the ingredients and flavours.  The resulting stew is always delicious hearty, nutritious, and plentiful.  With a big enough pot, a family could scoop out a bowlful from the fridge any time. I swear it tastes better the longer it sits!

Here’s how:

Chop the mirepoix (onions, celery, carrots). Sear the outside of the meat in hot butter -no blackening!DSCF1100

 

Set meat aside to rest. Fry mirepoix in leftover butter until lightly browned.DSCF1101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Add yummy stuff to the mirepoix. Whatever goes! Endless combinations!  Mix it all together in the pot.  DSCF1105

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Place meat on top, including all it’s juices from the resting bowl.DSCF1106

 

Fill up with liquid to halfway up the meat. Bring to a simmer.DSCF1108

 

Turn down to med-low. Cover tightly and simmer for 6-7 hours either on the stovetop or in the oven. DSCF1109

 

Remove any strings. Roughly chop up the meat. Salt and pepper to taste.DSCF1111

Notes about this dish:
  • Source happy meat. Local, organic, grass-fed energy is better for everything, including flavour.  The savings balance out, especially because the low and slow cooking will tenderize any tough (cheaper) cut.
  • The meat can be salted generously for a minimum of 5 days, covered in the fridge. The longer it salts, the less salty the result!  Chemistry! (But salting is not necessary. In these photos, I’m braising an unsalted roast of venison, which means salt is added last. )
  • Always let meat stand to get room temperature before cooking.
  • If you’re using a cut with lots of fat, you won’t need as much butter as I started with here. (Deer is particularly lean)
  • Don’t pierce the meat! Use a pair of tongs to move the meat around.
  • Choose your flavour combinations out of whatever you have around the kitchen….consulting The Flavor Bible accordingly if you want. (In these photos, I used some leftover stewed tomatoes, thawed frozen  garden tomatoes, garlic, dried rosemary and oregano. A bay leaf.)
  • You can use literally any liquid! Wine, beer, water, tea, broth, etc. Pair the liquid with your flavours accordingly.  (I used vegetable broth and tomato juice from the thaw)
  • Add diced potatoes in the last 2 hours of cooking.
  • Try not to lift the lid too often throughout the cooking process, or you’ll lose precious moisture.

Here’s a nifty flavour combination chart if you don’t have The Flavor Bible

Crashed Potatoes

I’ve revised my original recipe for this new and improved ditty.DSCF9995

They are fine crispy potatoes that give a full french fry experience. Substitute butter with coconut oil or ghee. Adding chopped fresh herbs would be deadly too.

Crashed Potatoes

Steam a bunch of little potatoes. Let them dry [Do ahead any time. They can sit there all day]
Pre-heat broiler or toaster oven.
Grease up a big metal cookie sheet.
Smoosh each potato down on there with a fork.
In a small bowl, whisk together a heaping spoonful of butter and an egg white. Add in a table spoon of some yummy seasonings.
Whisk whisk whisk
Paint the smooshed potatoes with the egg wash, and generously salt.
Broil the hell out of them!
Flip and broil other side once crispy.
Break them up and serve with sour cream

crashedpotatoes2

 

No noodle chow mein

I made a very tasty and healthy classic chow mein for dinner tonight. Raw garlic and ginger compete for spiciness in this dish, and there is plenty of fresh crunch.  Instead of noodles, I used spaghetti squash.  This is a good recipe for those looking to “sneak in” more vegetables, or who want a better gluten free option.

Here’s the short-form recipe:

Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein

Cook & scoop squash “noodles”.
Make sauce by combining
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup of sesame oil
4-6 cloves minced/pressed garlic
4-6 inches of grated fresh ginger
1 large tablespoon of honey
fresh ground pepper
Fry up a chopped onion, 3 stalks of celery,
and 1.5 cups of coleslaw mix (or grated/chopped cabbage)
Combine all

Here’s the play-by-play…

Turns out the trick to making flawless noodle-like spaghetti squash is to slice it in discs, then roast for 40 mins on a cookie sheet. I sheared the top off, and scooped all the guts out. Then I managed to carve in one long spiral, then broke off the discs. No oil, no nothing. Laid out on the cookie sheet. Bake at 300 for 40 mins.  Firm, long thin enough-like-noodles resulted.  I covered them in a container and set aside.

Then I made the sauce by crushing 3 garlic cloves, and grating 3-4 inches of ginger. I put that into 1/4 cup soy sauce, and stirred in 1 big tablespoon of honey and finally, a bunch of fresh ground pepper.  I set this aside, too.

Then I fried up chunks of  1 onion, along with 3 chopped celery stalks and 1.5 cups of coleslaw mix (which is just grated cabbage and carrot) until the onion was slightly cooked, and everything else was still pretty firm and mostly raw.

I tossed everything thoroughly with the sauce, and added sliced green onions to garnish.

In the end, I thought it would be deadly by adding cooked chicken pieces.  Next time.

Some favourite recipes

Basic Thai Noodles

Cook a package of vermicelli  noodles. Set aside.
Whisk in a bowl, your sauce ingredients:
1/4 c. some kinda vegetable oil
1/2 c. sesame oil
6 tablesp. honey
6 tablesp. soy sauce
Sautee in a pan: a chopped jalapeno and lots of minced garlic.
Dump in there: the noodles and sauce, combine well.
Now add a cup each of chopped basil and chopped green onions.
Mix and garnish with crushed peanuts, cilantro, and lime

Crashed Potatoes

Boil 20-30 little gem potatoes. Drain and spread out to dry.
Grease up a big metal cookie sheet.
Smoosh each potato down on there with a fork.
In a small bowl, whisk up an egg and add some seasonings to it.
Paint the smooshed potatoes with the egg wash, and generously salt
Bake the hell out of them!
Add cheese if you want, finish under broiler.
Break them up and serve with sour cream

Creamy and Sweet Broccoli Salad

Fry 5 strips of bacon, drain, crumble, set aside.
Make dressing next, whisk together in a bowl:
1 cup of mayo and 3 tablespoon each of honey and vinegar
Set aside. Now get a big bowl and combine:
3 heads of broccoli, de-stalked
1/2 a purple onion, diced
1 cup of raisins or dried cranberries
1 cup of sunflower seeds
Dat bacon
Now add the dressing and combine very well

Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Rolls

Spread cream cheese on a piece of smoked salmon.
Mill some fresh pepper on there. Or some other stuff.
Place a spear of cucumber on the edge, and roll er up
Slice into bite-sized pieces and enjoy