I think I enjoy the cooking more than eating, there is nothing better than to watch the smile grow after someone’s first bite. Note from Steve: I am a flow of thought writer and apologize up front if I lose you. My family is used to it.
Got some orange beets, butternut squash, red and orange peppers and red onions from Misfits and had just receive some pork chops from Butcher Box so I figured this would make a good meal.
I like to do a quick brine soaking in salt, sugar and water for about 15-20 minutes. Keeps the meat moist especially if grilling outdoors. Then I take a preheated cast in pan and pan sear one side for about 4-6 minutes flip and finish in the oven. Make sure you dry the pork chops with paper towel then salt and pepper before you place in the pan. if you don’t do this you will end up streaming the meat rather searing. This time I had some red wine left over from a nice basket off goodies I got from my retirement party at work. So when I placed in oven I poured the remaining about a cup in the pan and roasted for about 4-6 minutes until done. Hey it was either have a second glass of wine or try something new. My theory was it would braise but silly me braising is done on low heat so the wine quickly evaporated. However, the taste of the wine did come through so it was not a total maitake.
I had already roasted the veggie in a 425 oven.
The veggies as mentioned above, were tossed in oil and spices but I added 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and roasted until done turning half way through total time about 25 minutes. Really like the addition of vinegar.
All this talk about Mike and we made a tuna melt today based on a receipt he gave us a long time ago. it’s very simple you make it the same way you do regular tuna except substitute avocado instead of mayo. Spread on bread of choice top with cheese and place under broiler until cheese is melted and i like it slightly burned.
Mike was moving in with Gail and we volunteered to watch the cats to make the move easier. They quickly settled in but being cats, curiosity was top on their list. They knew where to hide when I went out for the mail so many escape attempts were just that attempts. Lyn did say that if they got out all we had to do was open a can of food and boy do they come running, begging and demanding. If you listen to them, we never fed them and there was never a bowl of dried food always at their ready night and day.
I took to preparing their wet food behind closed doors and Lyn said that they would try to push the door open. Anyway I was preparing a cauliflower crust pizza last Wednesday and had to take extreme measures. See picture below
Another cook from the frig recipe. This time I had some delicata squash, red, green and yellow peppers, made some red onion relish, goat cheese, grape tomatoes earlier so I decided to roast the squash and add the rest sorry no pictures of the finished product.
Roasting the Squash
Preheat oven to 425° convection. Cut ends off of squash, then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Cut squash into ½” half-moons.
On a large baking sheet toss squash with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread single layer on pan and sprinkle with cinnamon (not the sugared kind but I suppose you could)
Roast until golden and soft on the inside, about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Meanwhile I thinly slice the peppers, diced some fresh mushrooms, and prepared a small hand full of fresh baby spinach, grape tomatoes in half and goat cheese
For the cauliflower crust, Lyn’s been into the paleo version, I spread pizza sauce the topped with all the above. As Colbert likes to say meanwhile I spun out my dough which is Portland Pie Company Beer dough, my store bought favorite. And topped with everything except the goat cheese, instead I used three types of Italian cheeses. I then baked for about 10 minutes each. Will vary depending on oven.
Anyway, to make this long story short I was forced to use what I joking call the cat guard to protect my cooking area from the curious duo.
Oh they are in their new home now and enjoying it.
I’m not sure where Lyn was but she must have had other plans because I will generally whip something like this up if cooking for myself. This is a cook from the gut and largely depends on what in the frig. I like the addition of honey gave it a sweeter taste. Sorry my picture did not come out that great, probably did not have my glasses on, but the taste made up for it. Remember cooking is a lot of tweaking to your tastes as well as what you have on hand.
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1 inch cubes
Optional: flour or cornstarch
Coat or dredge chicken pieces
Cornstarch is for gluten free
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs olive oil divided (1 Tbs)
1 cups broccoli florets
1 cups asparagus
1/2 red bell pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
I only had red bell pepper but would be nice with yellow and green mix.
Handful of raw or roasted cashews
Handful of sesame seeds
2 tsp minced ginger
1-2 garlic cloves minced
Optional depends on what you have in frig for veggies, i.e. carrots, broccoli florets etc.
Note: remember you want everything to be bite size
Stir Fry Sauce
1 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp cold water
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Stir Fry Sauce
In a medium size bowl, whisk together corn starch and water. Add remaining ingredients (chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, and toasted sesame oil, red pepper flakes) and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet or wok and heat over medium high heat.
Add chicken floured or not (in batches if necessary) and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from skillet.
Reduce heat to medium and add remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet.
Add broccoli, bell pepper, and asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, just until crisp tender. Add ginger and garlic and cook for an additional minute or until you smell the garlic.
Add chicken back into the skillet and stir to combine.
Whisk stir fry sauce and pour over chicken and vegetables and stir gently to combine.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, stir in cashew and let boil for one minute or thickness you like.
For Christmas Lyn got me a taste of Texas, Austin Texas to be exact Blacks BBQ . It had been years since I was there, but it did not disappoint. It came frozen so after it defrosted, I followed the simple directions to reheat. Wrap in tin foil place on pan * into a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hours until internal temp was between 110 and 120. I stuck in my remote temp gauge and began to prepare my Texas style BBQ sauce. Once it came to temp, I added another step and wrapped the whole thing, foil and all, in a towel and place in a small cooler with lid closed. It was in there for maybe 3 hours. Placing it wrapped in a cooler let it sit and absorb the juices and when I took it out it passed the flexible test gently dropping on each side. Ok enough about the brisket here is the sauce, a friend of mine in Dallas taught me this recipe which I have tweaked since.
* I like to preheat the pan in oven rather than throwing in cold pan.
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 dash of Black’s original pepper sauce (optional)
In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer until you sell it could be less time. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to blend. I placed in the blender after, but this is optional. This comes out as a thicker sauce. I stored in a small canning jar.