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Showing posts from April, 2012

Rustic Chicken and Dumplings

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So I went to Kroger with no idea what I was going to make for dinner. I walked past the chicken and thought I'd do a rotisserie chicken, simple and delicious. So I ventured over to find the perfect veggie compliment. Kroger had a package of different veggies meant for stew; carrots, celery, onions, cabbage and a few other things.  It immediately reminded me of the veggie portion of chicken and dumplings.  BAM! Mind changed! I quickly looked up a recipe to get the right ingredients, I didn't like the recipe, but I had my base.  I saw Trisha Yearwood make C & D on tv, so I combined the recipes and used what I liked from each. Ingredients included onions, celery, carrots (the holy trinity), garden thyme, chicken stock, sherry and a whole chicken. I boiled the chicken for 2 hours until it was fall-off-the-bone tender.

After that I sauteed that trinity in butter and olive oil and thyme.

I added some flour to soak up the fat, then added sherry and  unsalted chicken stock.  Then…

Mediterranean One-Dish Meal

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This was another one of the recipes that the Dutchess got out of a magazine while waiting at a doctors office. Sounded good, and Zach likes sausage, so we had a winner for dinner. I started with sweet italian turkey sausage.

I browned it with some chopped onions. 

After the sausage was browned and the onions tender, I added some garlic and garden dried oregano, and cooked for about 2 more minutes.

Recipe called only for spinach, but I also had swiss chard and arulega in the garden, so I used all three.

I added diced tomatoes (low sodium, of course) with juice from can, kalamata olives,  black olives and quinoa.  Brought this to a boil, then  topped it with the greens (chopped) and cooked it until all the liquid was gone.

after I plated, I added some feta cheese.

I was FULLY prepared for Zachary to not eat a bite of this. To my surprise, he liked it.  He concentrated on the sausage, but ate a few bites of the other bits of goodness too. The Dutchess and I both liked this dish quite a …

Hobo Stew While Camping

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This is actually one of my favorite parts of going camping...using my cast iron dutch oven to make stew!  I love it. The Dutchess pre cut all the veggies: potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, garlic and corn from the cob. I started by coating some stew meat with flour, corn starch and salt. I seared it for a few minutes with a bit of oil.  The coals were extra hot when I started, and this didn't take too long. I tried something for the first time, I added neck bones to add flavor. They did their job, and the stew turned out extraawesome.

After I had achieved brown-ness, I put the pre chopped veggies, beef stock and herbs (rosemary and thyme) into the mix.


I nursed this for about an hour.  Stirring constantly to maintain even cooking.

We forgot to bring a mixing bowl, but I was a boy scout, so we improvised and mixed the cornbread mixture (from scratch, but pre measured) in the ziplock baggy that the dry mix was in.  Worked perfectly.

Stew thickened up nicely with the flour, corn st…

BBQ Asian Salmon and Grilled Napa Cabbage and Mint with Water Chestnut Salad

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Sticking with the Asian theme, I scoured the net, and found this recipe. Using herbs from our garden and mostly stuff from our co-op, all we needed was the salmon, and we were set. First I marinated the salmon in mint, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and ginger. The recipe called for chopped ginger, but I added the leftover ginger slices. I marinated in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

This is a close up of the left over marinade, it will become the dressing for the slaw.

I added a few items that the recipe didn't mention, and I think it added a bit to the experience.  First addition was the water chestnuts I got in the co-op.  I wish I had added more, they were very tasty.

I also added a grilling to the napa cabbage, first I drizzled  olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

The rest of the slaw called for mint, but I added some cilantro.  I think it helped a lot, as the mint flavor was still a bit much.  The next time I do this, I will lessen the amount of mint.

The grilling of th…

Vegetable Stir Fry

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I had no plans to blog about this meal.  Zachary had a bad sore throat, so we fixed him double noodle chicken soup.  I was just going to throw something together.
We had discussed chicken stir fry or a grilled napa cabbage asian salad, so I had that  on the brain.  We just got our co-op vegetables and I had ordered an extra asian themed veggie pack, so I knew we had what we needed.  This was just going to be a quick and simple stir fry, which actually it was.
I didn't take any photos at all, until it tasted so good. Then I plated up the leftovers, just for you!
I started chopping up veggies, and Dutchie headed out the the garden. Her main goal was mint for our mojitos, but she also got some swiss chard, cilantro and arugela for the stir fry. I chopped ginger, garlic, celery, snap peas, red bell pepper, jalapeno, bok choy, pears, onion and water chestnut. I heated some peanut oil in the wok, added a squirt of sesame oil and  started adding veggies in order of how long they would c…

Rosemary Shrimp with Garden Mint Pesto and Cucumber Ribbon & Tomato Balsamic Salad

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Continuing my quest to use my abundance of garden herbs, I searched  the internet for something that involved mint. I got a two-fer.... Rosemary shrimp with mint pesto! Pretty simple really.  I went rouge from the recipe, cause the shrimp kept falling  apart when I attempted to skewer the shrimp with a sprig of  rosemary.  Shrimp just aren't thick enough to stand up to my massive rosemary. Its genetics, I can't help it. Instead, I just put the rosemary on a baking sheet and placed the shrimp on top of it.  Much less stress. Garlic, lemon, cilantro and olive oil was whisked in a bowl and then I tossed the deveined and cleaned shrimp and left  them to marinate. Note:  lemon will begin to COOK shrimp if you leave it too long. I did this, but it wasn't a deal breaker.  You can see it in this  photo....the white portions have begun to cook due to the lemon in the marinade.  Having said that, it still turned out awesome!

Mint pesto!  Tons of mint, feta, garlic, toasted pine nut…

Spiced Herb Roasted Chicken with Roasted Beets and Potato

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I have SO many herbs in the garden that I had to start using them...A LOT. So herb roasted chicken came to mind.  I thought that if herbs are good, then spiced herbs  would be better.  I added a few uncommon spices to perk up the skin of the bird. The photo below shows most of the ingredients I used, which included, but was not limited to....garlic, ground coriannder, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, bitters, soy sauce,  worchester sauce and cholula with herbs from the garden, rosemary, oregano, mint and dill. I put all this, plus a few secrets, into a large ziplock bag and  let it marinate in the fridge for about 3 hours.  I made sure to flip the bag several times to make sure the chicken was evenly nated.

For the veggies, I went the easy route tonight and cooked everything in the same pan.  First I chopped beets, potatoes and onions and put them in a bowl to cover them with olive oil, s/p and a mixture of my own dried herbs that I like to call Herbs de Reid.  I also added mushy rooms.

I …

Tunisian Spiced Pork Chops and Garden Rainbow Swiss Chard

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The origin of this meal is that we have a thriving rainbow swiss chard plant in our garden.  I went online to find something to do with it. I was finding mostly soups or sauteed dishes and mostly just side dishes. I came across this meal, it was written to be lamb chops. My Dutchie does not like lamb very much, so I made a slight change to  pork chops and we were set. This recipe would be great on almost any meat, especially chicken. I started by harvesting some rainbow swiss chard from the garden.

Then I prepared the spice rub for the chops. Ground cumin, caraway seeds, crushed red pepper and of course s/p.  

I love this photo, a close up of the rub. I then dipped the chops into the spices and rubbed it in a bit. I made sure that even the sides had spice on them.

A little canola oil in the cast iron on high heat, I sear the chops for a few minutes to get a nice crust, then turn down the heat and cook till done. Around this time I put on my Israeli (Pearl) cous cous.

After the meat w…

Caesar Pork Chops roasted over Portabella Mushys with Mashed Cauliflower

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This one is ALL ME BABY! I came up with the recipe, and it was a hit with the flock.
First I put 4 pork chops in a large zip lock baggy and I put in a bit of olive oil, creamy caesar dressing and lemon, and marinated it for about 2 hours.

I then placed them on top of a layer of mushy rooms and red onions. I roasted them in the oven, alternating the setting from broil to bake, to get a few bits of crispys on the chops.

While the greatness was getting heat. I put a large head of cauliflower into a pot with some salt and lemons. I boiled it until soft.

Then I added some half & half, butter and salt  and mashed it with a tool.

If you look hard you may notice that one of the pork chops has a bit missing. That is cause, once again, I was so eager to taste this, that I forgot to  photograph it.  After a few bites, I came to my senses and grabbed the camera. The chops were juicy and delicious. The marinade provided a tang, that was complimented well with the mushys and onions.

Fed, the f…