Weird Spring

Its been a weird spring March warmer than usual and Now April colder

Quick Chicken Parm from the gut.

Quick Chicken Parm from the gut.

We braved the outside world Sunday armed with mask, bloves and bottle of purell and went to Whole foods during senior hours. Beside the better quality products we get a kick out of being carded. There was a line so we waited a proper 6 feet apart. I was surprised to see a few people without masks perhaps they were survivors and had anti bodies. While there, we grabbed some air chilled boneless chicken breast and also a package of bone in. Yesterday while food savering, is that a word we have a Food Saver and use it, we agreed on chicken parm for dinner.

I did the Pan-fried Chicken Cutlets then put sauce on bottom of pan, placed the cutlets spread mozzarella cheese then sauce (left over from ragu but did not have sausage in it) spinkeled so grated parmigiano. cover with tin foil. I out in refrigerator since it was still early afternoon. When i took out I placed in preheated oven at 350 degree and cooked fro about 15 minutes. removed foil and place slices of provolone cheese back in oven until melted.

This is always a good go to comfort meal that is really easy.

Breakfast Sausage Ragu cooking from the gut.

Breakfast Sausage Ragu cooking from the gut.

We took advantage of a special that Butcher Box was offering bacon and breakfast sausage. My son had recommended the bacon so I figured what the heck. Now with the pandemic you have to make do with what you have. The first thing we had to do is figure out if it had maple syrup in it. Mike never got the sausage so he did not know but suggested smell it. Not a bad idea so I opened the package and smelt away and it did not. Good thing is I still had my sense of smell and taste, if you know what I mean. I cooked a tiny pattie just to make sure and the nose did not fail me. Anyway Lyn made her sauce and I cooked the sausage etc. It was a mild breakfast sausage and I added some Italian seasoning while browning. When browning I like to flatten it and let brown flip then start to crumble, rather than start to crumble as soon as you put in pan. In my opinion it produces a moister browned meat.

I added green pepper, mushroom, spring onion after the meat was browned cooked for a minute then added some of Lyn’s sauce

Cooked the pasta and served.

All in all it came out pretty good for a cook from the gut meal. I think the mildness of the sausage made it possible.

Brisket in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

Brisket in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

My brother kept asking me about my mom’s brisket recipe enough where I started to want one. I had a brisket from Butcher Box in the freezer so I grabbed and defrosted. Instead of making it Mom’s style brown, saute onions, add mixture of ketchup, yellow mustarts, horseradish and simmer for hours. I decided at Lyn’s request to try a sweet and sour recipe. However, I did not have ginger ale or coke and unfortunately being a senior I was not going to run out to the grocery store just for ginger ale. I happen to have root beer and said what the heck i have Root Beer BBQ Sauce it can’t hurt to try.

INGREDIENTS
• 1 first-cut brisket, 6 to 7 pounds, rinsed and patted thoroughly dry
• 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
• 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut into chunks
• 6 large cloves garlic
• 1 cup ketchup
• ½ cup dry red wine
• ¼ cup cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper, or to taste
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 1 ½ cups Coca-Cola or ginger ale I did not have either so I used Root Beer which I had used for my Root Beer BBQ Sauce


How
Let meat stand at room temperature for 45 minutes before cooking. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Place everything but the soda, olive oil and brisket into a food processor, and process with steel blade until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and whisk in soda and olive oil.
Place brisket, fat side up, into a heavy baking pan just large enough to hold it, and pour sauce over it. Cover tightly with double layer of tin foil and bake for 3 hours. Turn brisket over, cover pan, and bake 2 to 3 hours more or until fork-tender. Cool, cover brisket and refrigerate overnight in cooking pan.
The next day, transfer brisket to a cutting board, cut off fat and slice with a sharp knife against grain, to desired thickness. Set meat aside. Remove any congealed fat from sauce and bring to a boil on top of stove.
Optional, since we smelt it all day and could not stand, let cool and trim off the fat then slice against the grain. Although I always find the next day produces a better piece of meat.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Taste sauce to see if it needs reducing. If so, boil it down for a few minutes or as needed. Return meat to sauce and warm in oven for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Much Simpler menu this year, only Lyn and Me.

Normally we host about 20 friends and family but with the way things are this year it was just Lyn and I so as the title mentions was much easier than usual on me. We decided on Ravioli Puttanesca and Lyn made lemon meringue without the pie crust. both were great. Usually we would make soup, brisket, lasagna, ravs, chicken cutlets, chicken piccata, pasta, meatballs and sauce, and other stuff.

Quick Goulash with what I had

As I mentioned Lyn is fasting this week and I get to make what I want. I decided to make American Goulash and discovered that I did not a can of diced tomatoes and did not feel like opening a large can of ground tomatoes. So I ad libbed. I also used smoked paprika.

What I did was mix ketchup with the chicken broth and diced what little I had of cherry tomatoes left from Misfit Market. I had chopped green peppers and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Was a good supper and lunch today. Lyn was mad she kept complaining it smelts so good.

Right now I’m waiting for Charlie Baker to give an pandemic update and all that is on screen is his sign person who is looking very nervous walking back and forth and I think talking to himself.

Chicken thigh stir fry

Lyn is fasting this week so I get to cook what I want, wahooo. Last night I made a what do I have stir fry.

Ingredients

  • Chicken thigh cut into 1 inch pieces.
  • Diced green and red pepper
  • Diced green beans
  • unsalted peanuts
  • Diced sweet onion
  • Diced celery
  • Four mixed with pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder

Sauce

  • Nothing was measured justed mix together
  • low sodium soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • Red pepper flakes.Rice wine vinegar
  • honey
  • NOW TASTE and adjust
  • A little cornstarch and mixed again

How

  • Put the flour mixture in a plastic grocery veggie bag add chicken and shake to cover. I like to blow the bag with air twist and then shake.
  • heat over medium high heat oil in wik or fry pan
  • Shake off excess flour and add chicken – you may have to do in batches depending on how much you have.
  • Fry the chicken until just about done tossing to crisp all sides. and put aside
  • take all the other veggies and stir fry about 4 minutes until semi soft.
  • Add checien back in and mix, ass peanuts and sauce mix to coat and thicken the sauce.

NOW EAT

I normally would have added scallions but did not have any left.

Today’s lunch

Left over rice

The other day I made some rice for a side dish, nothing fancy just plain jasmine rice. For the side I added some brown sugar and raisins but did not use all the white rice. I figured I would use it for some soup but never got there.

I made stuff pepper with rice, diced sweet onion, ground sirloin, tomatoes sauce and a little red wine vinegar. I also had some green beans that were starting to look peaked so I dice them and added it. Cook inside a half of green pepper with a little water on the bottom of the pan and topped with cheese and turned on the broiler when the pepper had cooked enough.

HAd some of the filling left so today for lunch I made a burrito of sorts. Added salsa and some some cheddar cheese to top it off.

Again nothing fancy just stretching what I had.