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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Schnitzel Dinner

Schnitzel Dinner

ingredients:

pork tenderloin
bread crumbs
flour
egg
milk/water
pepper
salt
oil
lemons

directions:

1. Take a pork tenderloin and cut off the silvery skin, and fatty bits that you aren't interested in. Then cut it in two equal parts. On a cutting board, pound each half with a meat tenderizer on both sides until they are fairly flat. The flatter the better if you ask me. But you still want them to be thick enough to hold together.

2. Now set up your breading station. Take a plate, and fill one with flour, salt and pepper. Take a bowl, and fill it with one beaten egg and milk. You could also use water instead of milk to stretch it out. Lastly, fill a plate with bread crumbs. You could also use panko bread crumbs instead.

3. Dip each flattened piece of tenderloin into the flour mixture, and make sure it is fully covered. After the flour, dip it into the egg mixture and make sure that is covered as well. Then lastly, dip it into the bread crumb mixture and fully coat it.

4. In the largest pan you have, add 1/4 cup of oil. You don't want too little or when you flip your schnitzel there might not be a lot of oil left and the other side will get burned. If you make the schnitzels fairly flat, it might only take a few minutes to cook each side. The first batch you cook in the oil will take a little longer. But as you cook the oil will get hotter, so be mindful of that as they won't take as long. Also, the schnitzel crusts tend to get darker as you cook. If you don't like that I'd suggest cleaning off your pan and using new oil between batches.

5. Serve with lemon. Or perhaps some sauerkraut, or mushrooms, or a mushroom sauce.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Honey Garlic Meatballs and Spaetzle

Honey Garlic Meatballs and Spaetzle

ingredients:

1-1.5 pounds of ground beef
handful of bread crumbs
1 egg
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tsp cayenne
1/4 chopped onion
ground pepper
salt
1 red, orange, and green bell peppers

store bought honey garlic sauce
or
soy sauce
honey
garlic

directions:

1. In a large bowl, put your ground beef in and mix it up and break it up with a fork. Crack one egg into it, as well as sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Add 1 tsp of cayenne pepper, but you could omit it if you don't like heat. Also, dice up a little bit of onion and put it into the ground beef. Crush 2-3 garlic cloves and also put them into the bowl. Mix it around. Sprinkle in some bread crumbs. Just enough so that it isn't completely wet. It will just make it easier to form them into balls.

2. After you are done mixing, form the mixture into balls. About the size of a golf ball. Put the meatballs on a baking tray. You could fry the meatballs in a pan. But I've found doing them in an oven on a baking tray is much easier. As it doesn't require any flipping around and they cook more evenly. Put the tray in an oven at 400 degrees for maybe 20 minutes. You'll know they are done when the fat has oozed out and is surrounding the balls at the bottom of the tray.

3. Cut up some colourful bell peppers. Whatever colours you can find. And toss them in a frying pan to cooking them through. Once cooked, put in your meatballs which you have taken off your tray. Stir in some store bought garlic sauce, or diana sauce. OR make your own sauce in a small pot with honey, soy sauce, and some crushed garlic.

4. Serve on top of spaetzle, or rice.


Pumpkin Chicken Coconut Curry Stew

Pumpkin Chicken Coconut Curry Stew

After Halloween, I had a big pumpkin that I wanted to breakdown into pieces that I could consume. It was a very fun and rewarding experience. And it was shocking home much pumpkin you got from just one little pumpkin! If you are looking for cost savings meals in the fall, definitely consider buying pumpkins. The pumpkin was also a great ingredient for a coconut curry. You could also use sweet potato as well.

ingredients:

2 cups+ raw fresh pumpkin cubed
red pepper
chicken breast
onion
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp curry powder
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
garlic
1-2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
ground pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
handful of cilantro
lime
chicken stock

directions:

1. Dice up some onions, and put them in a medium size to large pot in some oil or butter. Start to cooking the onions down until they become caramelized. While the onions are cooking, prep your other ingredients. Make sure you have your pumpkin in cubes, maybe 1 inch wide. Also some red pepper. If you haven't done so already, you could cook the chicken breast in the oven before hand and cut that up. Or you could cut the chicken and put it in the curry at the same time as the pumpkin.

2. After the onions are done cooking, you can add your spices, and garlic to them. Heating the spices will help reinvigorate them. After a few minutes, add your coconut milk. If the coconut milk doesn't look like enough, you can also add a little chicken stock to stretch it out. But don't add too much or you'll lose the coconut goodness.

3. Toss in your pumpkin, chicken, and red pepper at this time. And turn down to medium heat. Let it simmer and cook the pumpkin through. Maybe 15-20 minutes.

4. Once the pumpkin has cooked through taste the curry. Is it salty enough? Is it sweet enough? Is it spicy enough? There is a good chance you might want to add some salt, brown sugar, or cayenne pepper just to get it right.

5. Once the curry is done. Spoon it into bowls. You could eat it with rice. But definitely eat it with a squeeze of lime for some freshness and acidity. Also, some chopped cilantro.

Brined Pork Chops with Apple Compote, Glazed Carrots, Roasted Potatoes

Brined Pork Chops with Apple Compote, Glazed Carrots, Roasted Potatoes

After trying to brine pork chops, I have decided that I would never make pork chops again without brining them first. It is the most bullet proof way of cooking pork chops, and not overcooking them and drying them out. The brine injects so much moisture and flavour. I also did the most simple brine possible.

ingredients:

4 pork chops, bone or no bone

2-3 cups water
1/2-1 cup salt
handful of peppcorns
2 bayleaf

1 apple
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
directions:

1. In a pot, heat 2-3 cups of water. Basically enough that you could full submerge the pork chops in. Put in 1/2-1 cup of salt. Don't skimp on the salt. It may seem like a lot, but you want the brine to tasty pretty salty. The salt it what will open up the cells of the pork chop and inject the flavour and moisture. Put in a handful of whole peppercorns into the water, as well as a bay leaf.

2. Let the brine cool over many hours. Or you could put it in the fridge to speed up the process. Once the brine has cooled and is room temperature, you can submerge the pork chops. Ideally you could brine them over night, or for a full day. But I assume you'd want to do it for at least 4-6 hours, but I'd recommend over night.

3. The next day, you can grill the pork chops on the grill. Or fry them in a pan. Or do like me and use a grill pan. Maybe 6 minutes each side.

4. These brined pork chops as a tad salty because of the brine, so it's great to pair it with something sweet like apple sauce. I just chopped up some apples into cubes, and put them in a pan. Added a little brown sugar, white wine vinegar. But you could also just use some apple sauce from a jar if you want.

5. For the carrots, I just tossed some cooked carrots in some honey and butter. And for the potatoes, I cubed them and tossed them in oil, salt, pepper, and some herbs. And then put them in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Classic Creamy Caesar Salad

Classic Creamy Caesar Salad

ingredients:

1/2 cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano
2 tablespoons roasted garlic
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
6 white anchovies
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups canola oil

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups loosely torn country bread (about 3/4-inch pieces)
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley

directions:

1. In a food processor, combine parmigiano-reggiano, ancovices, egg yolk (no whites), 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 2 cloves of roasted garlic. Blend.

2. Slowly drizzle in canola oil into the food processor as it is blending. The oil will emulsify with the egg yolk, and the dijon mustard will help it emulsify as well. Pour in around 1-1/4 cups. Check the consistency as you go. Stop when it looks creamy and saucy.

3. To make croutons. Cut a day old, stale piece of bread into cubes. Fry them into a pan with oil and toss them so that each side is cooked evenly. Fry them until they are a golden brown, and then pull off the stove and rest them on some paper towel.

4. Season the croutons with salt, pepper, and parmigiano-reggiano cheese. You can also use some fresh parsley chopped up if you have it, but it's not really needed.

5. Layer dressing and croutons on top of some chopped up romaine lettuce.

Chickpea and Chorizo Soup

Chickpea and Chorizo Soup

I found a recipe for this soup on a Jamie Oliver recipe. I changed it a little, like I didn't add the egg for example. I just thought I'd make the recipe a little easier from things from my fridge and pantry. It was a nice spicy soup, good for the winter time.

ingredients:

half a link of chorizo
1 can of chickpeas
1 carrot
1/2 onion
handful of kale
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 container of chicken stock (or veggie)
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp paprika
salt
pepper

directions:

1. Dice one onion, and put it in a large pot with some oil or butter. Chop up about half a link of store bought chorizo, and toss that into that pot after the onions get translucent or caramelized. At this point you can also toss in one carrot cut into tiny pieces. Put in 1 tsp of cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper and mix. Next, put in about 2 cloves of garlic crushed. And cook for 1-2 minutes.

2. Then add your can of diced tomatoes, and about 1/2 container of chicken stock. Put in about as much as you'd like. After that, you can put in one can of whole chickpeas. Put the pot at about medium heat, and cooking for 15-20 minutes.

3. Let the pot cook, so that the carrots and chcikeaps are all cooked through. Then add in a handful of chopped kale into the pot. Cook for a few more minutes.

4. Taste the soup. Is it spicy enough? Salty enough? Add more cayenne pepper or chili flakes for spice. If you'd like the soup to be a little redder you could also add some paprika.

Lobster Cobb Salad

Lobster Cobb Salad

Want to make a fun twist on a classic Cobb Salad, instead of chicken, use lobster! As Mark McEwan would say, "A cobb salad is a meal in a bowl".

ingredients:

1-2 lobster tail and/or claws
4 bacon slices
1/2 tomatoes
1 avocado
1 egg
6 cucumber slices
handful of romaine lettuce
olive oil
vinegar
salt
pepper

directions:

1. Cook claws or tails from fresh, or frozen. If from frozen and it's already cooked (if it's red), than just let it thaw in the fridge and it will be ready to use for the salad. If you need to cook it, just boil it in hot water for maybe 5 minutes. If it's a tail, you'll know it's done when the tail is red and has curled. If you do cook it, make sure you let it cool off before you add it to your salad.

2. Hard boil some eggs. In a post, cover your eggs with water and bring to a boil with the lid on. Once the pot is boiling. Kill the heat. And let it sit for 20 minutes. This will help ensure you don't overcook the egg.

3. Fry some bacon in a pan, and once its done remove to a cutting board and chop into bit size pieces. Set aside and let it cool.

4. Chop tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, and lettuce all into bite sized salad pieces. Make a vinaigrette (3 parts oil, one part vinegar) with olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. And maybe dijon mustard if you want to help it bind even further.

5. Take your vegetables for your salad and arrange them on a plate, along with the hard boiled egg. Then top with your chunks of lobster and bacon. Drizzle dressing over top. 

Reuben Sandwich with Pomegranate, Sunflower Seed, Kale Salad

Reuben Sandwich with Cranberry, Sunflower Seed, Kale Salad

A deli classic, and one of the best sandwiches you can make with meats from your local deli counter.

ingredients:

100-200 grams shaved corned beef
sauerkraut
thousand island dressing
mozzarella or swiss cheese
rye bread (or your favourite bread)

kale
pomegranates
sunflower seeds
oil
white wine vinegar
salt
pepper

directions:

1. Take some shaved corned beef that you can get shaved at your grocery deli. Don't use the packaged stuff, as it isn't thin enough and definitely won't be as nice. Put a pile on a baking tray for each sandwich you need. On top of the corned beef, place some shredded mozzarella or swiss cheese on top. Put in the oven at 400 degree for 5 or so minutes until the cheese melts.

2. Toast the bread if you'd like it toasted, or just use a nice plain rye bread, and lift the corned beef off the baking tray with a spatula and place it on top of the bread. Top with thousand island dressing, which will give it a tangy zip and help cut through the fat of the cheese and corned beef. And then top with sauerkraut. Top with another piece of bread to complete the sandwich.

3. Serve with a side salad, or a pickle.

Ricotta, Spinach and Egg Battered Tilapia - Gluten-Free

Ricotta, Spinach and Egg Battered Tilapia - Gluten-Free

When I was younger my mom sometimes covered chicken with egg and fried it. We often had it with chinese food, so I always assumed it was an asian thing. So the one day, after being tired of breaded fish, and having some ricotta in the fridge, I thought of covering fish in egg and doing the same thing. I turned out pretty well.

ingredients:

tilapia
egg
ricotta
spinach
salt
pepper

directions:

1. In a bowl, mix two eggs, a handful of chopped spinach, and about 1/4 cup ricotta cheese. Beat together with a folk until smooth. And season with salt and pepper.

2. Dip fresh, or defrosted tilapia, into the egg mixture. After dipping, put fish into a frying pan. And cook both sides until egg is a golden brown. The fish will probably be cooked through at that point. If you want the egg mixture to adhere better, dip the fish in flour first, and than the egg. But it won't be gluten free at that point.

3. Eat with maybe some rice, and a greek salad, like the picture above.

Wintery Spicy Sausage Kale Soup

Wintery Spicy Sausage Kale Soup

A great winter soup that is filling, but is also a little different. Tired of beef stew or chicken noodle soup? Give this soup a try! The turkey sausage is a refreshing change of pace compared to boring chunks of chicken breast. Also this soup is spicy, which also makes it great for the winter months or if you have a cold.

ingredients:

2 spicy or mild turkey sausages. You can substitute with pork as well, turkey is just healthier
2 white or yellow potatoes, skins on, sliced of cubed
handful of kale
garlic
salt
pepper
chili flakes, or cayenne pepper
1-2 containers chicken stock, or veggie stock
1 onion
butter
flour
cream or milk (optional)

directions:

1. Dice up your onion, and put it in a large pot with some butter or oil. Let it simmer and start to caramelize. When it's starts to become translucent put in your turkey sausage. If they are in casings, cut the casing of the turkey and squeeze out the meat inside. Season the onions and meat with salt, pepper, chili flakes (cayenne), and crushed garlic.

2. After you have cooked the meat for a while in the onions and spices, add your stock. At this point add your potatoes well.

3. In a sauce pan, add some butter. Melt it down, then slowly start to add flour. Make a rue which you will use to thicken your soup. If you don't want to make a rue, or you want your soup to be creamy add some cream or milk instead. Or you could add both.

4. Cook the soup on low to medium heat until the potatoes are cooked through. Once the potatoes are almost cooked, put in some chopped up kale and let it cooked for at least a few more minutes.

5. Taste test your soup. Is it spicy or salty enough for you? I find I like mine a little spicy, so I might add some more chili flakes at this point if I want.