Lojay’s Foods

Lojay's Foods

It has often been said that “All good things come to those who wait” which in a lot of cases is true however in the world of enterprise the correct saying should be ” All good things come to those who bust their ass to make it happen” and since launching my attempt to start a small business I am finding the latter statement to be so very very true.

Lojay’s Foods is the business I have started in an effort to bring Craft, Artisinal, Small Batch condiments and sauces to the people of the region where I live by means of utilizing the four Farmers Market we have.

Now normally one would think that the hardest part of starting a food related business is coming up with the recipes for the items you wish to sell but you would be oh so wrong…… it is the endless amounts of paperwork that is involved. There are Business Plans to draw up, Marketing schemes to devise, Advertising, Web Sites, Financial issues to resolve, Equipment to update or purchase etc etc and all of this has to be put in place long before you can even begin to think of starting production.

So why then would I even think of entering the looney tune world of food production/sales? Easy….. people love this stuff and who am I to disappoint.

I will attempt to keep you up to date on the goings on with this venture providing of course that I can stay out of the nut house.

Until next time……..

                                 Bon Appetit

 

New Venture

New Venture

It’s often been said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well I’m happy to say that this idiom has long outlasted it’s usefulness as this “old dog” is about to embark on a new venture that will, to say the least, be exciting.

Now before I unveil what this new venture is I wish to supply a little background information.

I only started serious cooking in 1997 after my wife was diagnosed with cancer and couldn’t cook anymore due to her illness. At the time I didn’t know how to do anything except BBQ burgers and boil water so the whole idea of cooking for her and 5 kids was rather daunting however I found my savior in the T.V. show “Essence of Emeril” and my culinary career took off.

Fast forward a few years and my wife is fine, I’ve retired from my regular job and have graduated from Culinary School (at the age of 60) and I am preparing for the newest chapter of my life.

So what then is this new venture?

I am going to attempt, at the age of 63, to bottle and sell my own line of Condiments based on recipes I have developed over the years and ones that people love. It may take a while to get going but with luck and some hard work I can get to the point where I will have a booth at our local farmers market and my company will be a success.

I will try  to keep you updated on how things go.

Until next time…….

                           Bon Appetit 

Salisbury Steak

Salisbury Steak II

Salisbury Steak

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

When I here the words “Salisbury Steak” my mind immediately goes back to the days  of Glass and Steel Diners where burly truck drivers would chow down on the Blue Plate Special, often times Salisbury Steak, followed by a dessert of Antacids.

Thankfully things have changed and diner food has been elevated to a much higher level including Salisbury Steak.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

For the steak…….

  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 3 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1/4 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Granulated Garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Granulated Onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Pepper

For the gravy……

  • 1 medium Sweet Onion – sliced
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the steak, form into oval shaped patties about 1/4 inch thick and put in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to set up.
  2. In a large fry pan heat the oil and place the patties in but do not crowd them.
  3. Cook the  patties for five minutes per side, or until the internal temp hits 160° and when done remove to a plate and tent with tin foil to keep warm.
  4. In the same pan the patties were in melt the butter and add the flour. Stir well to make a Roux. Add the onions and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add the vegetable broth, garlic, salt and pepper and mix well. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Plate with your favourite side, cover with gravy and enjoy.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                           Bon Appetit

Surf N Turf Snack

Surf N Turf Snack

Surf N Turf Snack

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Afternoon snacks around our house while working in the garden are Simple but Tasty and this particular one is a real crowd pleaser.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 12 31 – 40 Peeled Deveined Shrimp
  • 1 pound Top Sirloin Steak Tails – cut into bite sized pieced
  • 1/4 cup Soya Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 teaspoons Granulated Garlic
  • 4 tablespoons Garlic Hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 1 small bunch Scallions – chopped for garnish
  • 6 Bamboo skewers

Putting it all together:

  1. In a non reactive bowl combine the Soya, Hoisin and sugar and mix well.
  2. Place the steak in a large zip lock bag, add the soya mixture and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
  3. Soak the skewers in cold water for 45 minutes so they will not burn on the grill.
  4. Preheat your grill to 375°.
  5. Thread the steak onto the skewers.
  6. Grill the skewers for 10 minutes per side
  7. Pull the skewers off the grill and tent with tinfoil
  8. Melt the garlic and butter in a large saute pan at medium high heat
  9. Add the shrimp to the garlic butter and saute until all shrimp are pink…. about 8 minutes.
  10. Plate 3 skewers and 6 shrimp per person and garnish with the chopped green onion.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                           Bon Appetit

Veggie Skewers

Veggie skewers II

Veggie Skewers

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

When hungry people are chomping at the bit at a BBQ appetizers can buy you time and these ones are so easy and tasty that your guests may even forget about the main course.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 8 ounces Paneer
  • 1/2 of a Large Red Onion -thick sliced
  • 1 large Red Pepper – cut into chunks
  • 12 – 18 Grape tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 6 Bamboo/Metal skewers

Putting it all together:

  1. Cut the Paneer into small cubes and place in a large bowl.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Soak the bamboo skewers for 30 minutes so they won’t burn.
  4. Starting with the Paneer thread the ingredients on the skewers, alternating, until all skewers have been used.
  5. Grill at 350° for about 10 minutes.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                             Bon Appetit

Cheddar Veggie Soup

Cheddar Veffie soup II

Cheddar Veggie Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Chicken soup when you have a cold is just…. well….. gold. However when you don’t have chicken you do the next best thing and use what you have which in this case is veggies and cheddar cheese.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 cups Chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 4 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 cup diced Potatoes
  • 1 cup Broccoli florets
  • 1 small Yellow Onion – chopped
  • 4 Celery ribs – chopped
  • 1 cup Carrots – chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves – chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried Oregano
  • 4 fresh Basil leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • shredded Cheddar cheese for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil and butter is a large pot or Dutch.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in the flour and stir well.
  4. Add in the chicken stock and remaining ingredients except the basil and cheese.
  5. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the veggies have softened.
  6. Add the basil
  7. Use an immersion blender or blend in batches until smooth.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the cheese.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                          Bon Appetit

 

Shells with Sausage and Broccoli

Shells with Sausage and Broccoli

Shells with Sausage and Broccoli

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Pasta is one of those go to items when you really can’t decide what’s for dinner and since there are literally hundreds of variations you’ll never be stuck for a recipe.

I particularly like this one because my grandson inhaled it and wanted more for lunch at school the next day.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 1/4 cups Large Shells
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6 Mild Italian Sausage – casing removed
  • 1 small yellow Onion – diced
  • 1 medium yellow Pepper – diced
  • 2 handfuls Spinach
  • 4 cups Broccoli florets
  • 3 1/2 cups Low Sodium Chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp granulated Garlic
  • Salt to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven and cook the onion and peppers with some salt until softened.
  2. Add the sausage and cook until broken up and brown then add the Broccoli and Garlic.
  3. Pour in half the Chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta shells and cook until the pasta is cooked through and most of the broth is absorbed.
  4. Mix in the spinach and cook until wilted.
  5. Place in bowls and dust with the Parmesan.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                                  Bon Appetit

Peanut Butter Hummus

Peanut Butter Hummus

Peanut Butter Hummus

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Had a bunch of cut up and bagged veggies to use for snacks but I didn’t have anything for a dip because we had just finished store bought Hummus and I don’t really like Ranch dressing so I decided to make my own.

Now traditional Hummus is Chickpeas and Tahini as a base and then other ingredients added to your liking. I found I was out of Tahini but I remembered a conversation with a friend who makes hers with Peanut Butter so I decided to give it a go…. and it works.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 1 19 ounce can Chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 2 Garlic cloves peeled and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Place all ingredients except the Olive Oil in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. With the machine running add the olive oil.
  3. If the mixture is to thick add some warm water until you get the consistency you like.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…….

                          Bon Appetit

Epic Oooooppppsssss

Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies

Epic Oooopppsss

This post is designed to illustrate why I don’t bake that often if ever……..

Roughly two years ago I originally made this dessert and it turned out pretty good so today, since it is raining and miserable outside, I thought I would make it again exactly the way I did way back when.

As you can see it is a disaster…… But, never fear since as they say “when one door closes another opens” and so it is on to plan “B”.

Plan “B” is in this case is to let them harden and then use pieces to create Chocolate Butterscotch Brownie Sundaes using Vanilla Ice Cream and Vanilla Frozen Yogurt. Will see how that idea turns out.

Until next time……..

                                  Bon Appetit

 

Southwest Black Bean Burger

spicy black bean burger

Southwest Black Bean Burger

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

I am in no way a Vegetarian and don’t do vegetarian dishes all that often…. maybe one or two a year, however this is a recipe I have wanted to try for some time.

Now the last time I had a Black Bean Burger it was in a local restaurant and it was just awful…… it took me hours to get the taste of Cumin out of my mouth. I mean there was so much of it in the burger that  I could not taste anything else and it was horrid.

So now here is my interpretation of a black bean burger.

Cook’s note: The Ancho chili powder makes this one a little bit spicy so feel free to adjust the amount.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 medium Green Pepper rough chopped
  • 1 Sweet Onion rough chopped
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 2 15 ounce cans of Black Beans – rinsed and set aside in separate bowls
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Seasoned Salt
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Coriander
  • 2 Teaspoons Granulated Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Ancho Chili Powder

Putting it all together:

  1. Place all ingredients except one bowl of black beans in a food processor.
  2. Pulse the ingredients until a paste has formed.
  3. Place the paste in a large mixing bowl and add the remaining beans and the breadcrumbs. Mix well.
  4. Cover and place in the fridge for 40 minutes.
  5. Remove from fridge and form into 5 ounce patties.
  6. Pan fry or grill for 8 mins. per side.
  7. Enjoy

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                                  Bon Appetit