Sunday, March 22, 2009

Proper English Fry Up

Big Daddy H here again. We had guests over Friday night who are soon going to be spending some time in the UK. So I thought I would give them a preview with a proper English fry up.

This consisted of the following:
  • Pork Sausage (par boiled then fried to crisp them up)
  • Fried Halved Tomatoes (simple, cut them in half, drop them on the pan)
  • Scrambled Eggs (typically with an English Fry up you'll get them over easy or sunny side up, but I decided to scramble these with some seasoning salt, pepper and dried oregano...I have a thing for oregano)
  • beans (really really can, pour into pot and heat)
  • sauted mushrooms ( add butter to the pan, toss in chopped button mushrooms, add dried herbs)
  • toast

Very simple, very filling.

Sea-Food Pasta

Big Daddy H here again. Friday night I decided to do something with sea-food and pasta. Again, I didn't follow any specific recipe. Here's what I put together.

  • 1 Package of Pollack (it's a fish that has the same texture and taste as crab and is very inexpensive)
  • 20 small scallops
  • 1 package of pre-cooked shrimp (fresh is always better, but the pre-cooked frozen stuff is not bad)
  • hand full of whole wheat pasta

I got a pot of boiling salted water going. While waiting, I heated a pan, added olive oil, and pan seared the scallops. Salt and Pepper the scallops before hitting the pan. Be very very careful with the these as they can be over cooked very easily. Flip them once the side is a nice caramelized brown. Once cooked (doesn't take long) take them out of the pan and let them rest. By this time. the pasta was being put in the boiling water. Toss the shrimps in the pan that the scallops were in to heat them up (low heat).

Now, begin the sauce. I didn't want a marinara sauce so I went with a home made Alfredo. By no means is this a low cal dish. In a pan I put a quarter cup of butter, a half cup of whipping cream, added some salt and pepper and some dried oregano. I left this at a low heat and let it reduce a bit. When the past was almost done, I added a cup of fresh Parmesan cheese, and then tossed the shrimp and pollack into the sauce. Pull the pasta out, drain, put in a serving dish. Add the sauce. Put the Scallops on top. Serve.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Roasted Rack of Lamb

Big Daddy H here. We were at Costco and saw some nice looking rack of lamb (from Australia...fancy). I thought I would give it a go, I've never cooked lamb before. I decided to follow Gordon Ramsay's mantra "KEEP IT SIMPLE". I didn't follow any particular recipe other than breezing through a few cook books, and taking what I thought was interesting and tossing the rest (most recipes were basic salt and pepper...almost too simple). It went something like this.
  • Chopped Fresh Rosemary (1 sprig ?)
  • 2 Cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Toss this into a bowl, add Salt and Pepper, some dried Oregano, bread crumbs and Olive Oil
  • Put a bit of Olive Oil in a roasting pan or dish, place the lamb in the dish meat side up
  • Crack some pepper onto the lamb
  • Rub the side of the lamb with Dijon Mustard
  • Add the Bread Crumb mixture to the lamb

We had roasted potatoes, so those were already in the oven cooking. After about 25 minutes of these in a 380 oven, the heat was raised to 400 and in went the lamb. After 20 minutes, the 'tatoes were ready and the lamb was cooked to a medium rare. (during the last 9 minutes, I chopped up some carrots and got them boiling).

I think they turned out well....they didn't last long on the plate.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Left over Chicken

So like I had said below, I made a lot of chicken. A lot. I had leftovers and I don't really like eating leftovers. So I did a two things with the leftovers.

chicken pasta salad: pulled the chicken off the bones and added it in large chunks to a pasta salad that I had made that was made with whole wheat pasta, a tangy dressing and bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onion and broccoli.

chicken and sweet potato baby food: pulled the meat off of the bones and rough chopped it and tossed it in the blender. It was about 1 cup of meat. Simmered about 1 cup of sweet potato until soft and let it cool, reserving the cooking liquid. Put the sweet potato in with the chicken and pureed. I had to add some of the sweet potato water to smooth it out.

Tandoori Chicken

My husband loves a deal and he went grocery shopping and bought a huge container of chicken legs with the backs attached. He promptly froze the whole thing when he got home. I found it in the freezer and thought, "what will I do with this giant chicken-sicle?" I had recently bought some tandoori spices and had half a tub of plain yogurt sitting in the fridge.
I didn't follow a recipe per se, just kind of scanned a few recipes that google lead me to and decided to try my hand at some tandoori chicken. The tandoori spice pack smelled really good and to be honest I didn't really know if it was missing anything. I bought that kind because I noticed an Indian lady grabbing a couple packets of the same one and figured she would know if it was any good or not.

The Recipe(ish)

I trimmed the chicken of extra skin and fat, sliced through the skin and into the meat a few slashes in to each piece. This is to allow the marinade to really get in to the meat. I seasoned them generously with salt and pepper then set them aside.

In a bowl, I mixed together about 2 cups of the plain yogurt and about 1/2 cup of the tandoori spice mix. I tasted it and decided more ginger, garlic and a splash of lime juice were needed.

I put the chicken and the yogurt mix into a large zipper bag and made sure each piece was well coated in the bright red yogurt. The recipes I had read online said to marinate it at least 8 hours, as I had left the skin on I decided overnight was better.

So 24 hours later...the chicken looks good. I preheated my broiler in the oven on low. I am glad my oven has 2 heat settings for the broiler, my last oven didn't. I arranged the chicken, skin side up and popped it in the oven on the second from the top position. I broiled it for about 12 minutes then flipped the chicken. I broiled that side for another 12 minutes. It smelled amazing and was looking so good. I flipped it one last time so the skin was up and broiled it for another couple minutes, just to crisp up the skin a little more.
I served it with a warm couscous and tomato salad and the last of some fresh asparagus. It made for a flavourful and light supper. We will be making tandoori chicken again, that is for sure!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cake Wrecks

when professional cakes go wrong...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sir Link a lot

Fast Food Ads vs. Reality

Happy Birthday, have a pizza

It was H's birthday yesterday. I said he could have what ever he wanted. We got pizza and he picked out his own cake from the store. Hey, it's what he wanted! When it is my birthday I am going to be much more selective.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Baby Pork and Apples

I had a few tips from some pork tenderloins in the freezer that I was saving for a stirfry or something. I decided it was time to make some meat for my little 8 monther. >sob<

So I had about 1/3 cup of pork. I had already trimmed it off fat so I just sliced it into thin pieces. I also peeled, cored and chopped an apple.
Put them together in a pot and stir. I had the heat about medium but turned it down and put the lid on for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. I wanted to steam the apple.
When the apple was soft and the pork cooked through, I took it off the heat and let it cool.
I popped it all in the blender and tried to puree the mixture. This was tough as it was less than a cup of food. Eventually I got it to a pretty smooth consistency.

When I tried feeding it the first time it was not a hit! It kind of reminds me of cat food. I tried offering some more at dinner but this time I mixed in a cube of the acorn squash/pear in to about 3 tbsp of the pork/apple. He ate it all up like nobodies business.
I will try again tomorrow with a little less fruit and a little more meat. I also may saute a little bit of onion and mix it in too.

I also think I am going to buy a food mill. It should make baby food making easier when trying to do small batches.