Pork and Pancetta Pasta

Pork and Pancetta Pasta

Pork and Pancetta Pasta

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Pasta is a staple of traditional Italian cuisine with the first reference dating to 1154 in Sicily so it’s no wonder there are more ways to prepare it than one can shake a stick at but what I have found over the years is that Italian restaurants really only do a tomato sauce or cream sauce with the pasta dishes they put out all the while ignoring other ways of serving it. So with that in mind I decided to do this pasta dish “naked” ( no not me… the pasta) meaning I didn’t use a sauce and it was a huge hit.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1 large package Compliments™ All Natural Fettucini
  • 2 pounds boneless Pork Loin – cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 12 ounces diced  Pancetta
  • 3 large Shallots – diced
  • 1 large Yellow pepper – diced
  • 1 large Red pepper – diced
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach
  • 3 Garlic cloves – fine dice
  • 2 Shallots – diced
  • 2 medium Tomatoes – diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried Basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the Pancetta until just brown.
  2. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and add the pork to the same pan and brown all over.
  3. Add back the pancetta and remaining ingredients, cover and simmer until the pork is tender.
  4. While the pork is simmering bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the fettuccine. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Drain the pasta, plate and top with the pork and pancetta.

Cooks note: Fresh pasta cooks incredibly fast so keep an eye on it otherwise it will go mushy. 

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

Until next time…….

                            Bon Appetit

Five Spice Fish

Fice Spice Fish

Five Spice Fish

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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The original recipe I found was under the title Hong Kong Fish and it intrigued me so much I had to look at it and from what I saw the main difference between our fish and Hong Kong Fish is the type of sauce it is served with. In Hong Kong it is usually served with a Tomato Sauce, Corn Sauce or Black Pepper Sauce but since I didn’t feel like making a sauce I simply left that part out.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 Basa filets
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Pepper
  • 2 large Eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons Water
  • Green Onion for garnish.
  • Canola oil for frying 

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oil in a large pan.
  2. In a non reactive bowl mix all the dry ingredients together.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the eggs and water.
  4. Dredge the filets in the egg mixture and then in the flour mix.
  5. Fry the filets in the oil until golden brown.
  6. Remove to papers towels to drain. and garnish with green onion
  7. Enjoy.

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

Until next time……..

                            Bon Appetit 

Chocolate Cherry Cake

Chocolate Cherry Cake

Chocolate Cherry Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Was going through my dry goods cupboard making a grocery list and came across a tin of Cherry Pie Filling that I forgot I had and figured no time but the present to make something with it.

Now since I am not that proficient at making pie crusts I decided I would use it in a cake and what better combination  than Chocolate and Cherries?

I present to you my Chocolate and Cherries Cake.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 cup All Purpose flour – sifted
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 18 ounce can Cherry Pie filling
  • 9×13 Cake pan

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. In a large non reactive bowl mix together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In another large non reactive bowl mix together the remaining ingredients except the cherry pie filling.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and, using a rubber spatula, mix the ingredients together until smooth. Add the cherry pie filling and mix until a batter forms.
  5. Spray the cake pan with a vegetable oil spray and dust with flour.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

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

Until next time…..

                           Bon Appetit

Avocado Toast

Avocado toast III

Avocado Toast

  • Servings: 2 - 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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When it comes to snack food most people think of potato chips, popcorn and that kind of thing and I admit that I do the same thing however I wanted something different and healthy this time so in searching the pantry I found some Avocados and decided they would be perfect in a snack and they were.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 Ripe Avocados – pitted and removed from the skin
  • 3 Garlic cloves – finely diced
  • 2 small Shallots – diced
  • 4 Cherry Tomatoes – sliced
  • 2 ounces of Capers
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Small Baguette – sliced on the bias

Putting it all together:

  1. In a medium non reactive bowl mash the Avocado with a fork until just slightly chunky.
  2. Mix in the garlic and shallots and season with the salt and pepper. Cover and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  3. Toast the baguette slices and lightly brush them with the Canola oil, spread on the Avocado and top with the tomatoes and capers.
  4. Enjoy.

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

Until next time……

                           Bon Appetit 

Schnitzel on a Bun

 

 

 

Schnitzel on a Bun ii

Schnitzel on a Bun

  • Servings: 10 - 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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This is a very classic and iconic German dish that goes by many names and is present in many cuisines around the world…. Weiner Schnitzel in Vienna, Jagerschnitzel (hunters schnitzel) in Germany and Chuleta in Colombia. 

Schnitzel is made by pounding meat thin, putting it through a breading station and then frying it until crispy. It is traditionally served with a lemon wedge and either potato salad,  boiled potatoes with parsley and butter or, as is the case in Germany, Spatzle. Here in North America it is not uncommon to find it served on a bun with tomatoes and Sauerkraut alongside french fries but since I can’t stand Sauerkraut I used Coleslaw instead

However you choose to do it this is one awesome dish that is sure to please.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 half Pork Loin (about 4 pounds), trimmed of fat and sliced into 1/2 inch thick cutlets.
  • 1 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cups Flour
  • 3 Eggs plus 3 tbsp Water
  • 3 Lemons – quartered
  • 10 – 12 Lettuce leaves
  • 2 large Tomatoes
  • 3 tsp Granulated Garlic
  • 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 10 – 12 Crusty rolls
  • Canola Oil for frying
  • German Mustard or a Grainy Mustard (optional)

Putting it all together:

  1. Place the cutlets between two pieces of wax paper and, using a meat mallet, pound until 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Using three shallow pans set up your dredging station by placing the flour in one, breadcrumbs in the second and the egg and water in the third.
  3. Season the flour with salt, pepper and garlic.
  4. Mix the egg and water until well blended.
  5. Mix the Breadcrumbs and Parmesan until well incorporated.
  6. Heat about a half inch of oil in a large pan
  7. Taking the pork dredge in the flour, dip in the egg and cover with breadcrumbs shaking off the excess.
  8. Shallow fry the pork until golden brown on both sides and set on paper towels to drain.
  9. Toast the inside of the crusty roll and build the sandwich by placing lettuce on the bottom topped with the schnitzel and tomato.
  10. Spread mustard on the top bun and plate.

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

Until next time……….

                           Bon Appetit

Brunswick Stew

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Brunswick Stew

  • Servings: 12 -14
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Stews, soups and casseroles are all “yucky weather” type dishes because they warm you up from the inside out and allow you to thumb yer nose at the cold, wet and otherwise cruddy stuff going on outside the window.

I like the traditional soups and stews….. butternut squash, potato and leek soups  along with chicken and beef stews….. but I like to try different types of stews as well and so I decided to try this one which if we went traditional would mean using things like rabbit and squirrel and since I can’t use rabbit (I would be shot if I did) and I would never use “tree rat” (that’s squirrel kids) I opted for pork and chicken as the protein.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds Pork shoulder – cubed
  • 2 pounds Chicken thighs – cubed
  • 3 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1/2 cup of Butter
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1 large White Onion – diced
  • 3 Garlic cloves – chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds Baby potatoes – quartered
  • 4 cups Chicken stock
  • 1 19 ounce can Diced tomatoes (liquid as well)
  • 3 cups frozen Corn kernels
  • 3 cups cut Green Beans
  • 3 teaspoons Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups Smokey BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or Stock pot and brown the pork and chicken removing to a large bowl when done.
  2. Melt the butter in the same pot and saute the onions and garlic for about five minutes. Add in the flour and whisk well.
  3. Pour in the Worcestershire, chicken stock, yellow mustard and BBQ sauce and stir well.
  4. Add back the meat and the remaining ingredients.
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until the meat and potatoes are tender, about 50 minutes.
  6. Adjust the seasonings if needed
  7. Ladle into a bowl and serve with some crusty bread for sopping up the juice.

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

Until next time…..

                          Bon Appetit

Healthy chicken vegetable soup

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Healthy chicken and vegetable soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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“You can’t go wrong with relatively simple comfort food. It’s also about ease. Some cook to impress. I cook for people to enjoy the food.”

Al Roker

Every once in a while, for no particular reason, I crave something warm and comforting that does not take a lot of time to make and not only tastes good but is good for you……. enter Chicken vegetable soup.

Now as a general rule I avoid trying to make chicken soup of any kind as it usually ends up tasting greasy or oily and that’s not very pleasing to anyone however I surprised myself with this one as it is neither greasy nor oily and that confirmation came from my better half who is also my greatest and most honest critic.

Here is how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts – diced
  • 5 small boneless skinless chicken thighs – diced
  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 2 celery stalks – chopped
  • 2 large carrots – chopped
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 1 cup rough chopped mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 4 cups sodium reduced  chicken  stock
  • small bunch of kale – roughly torn
  • 1 10 ounce can pre-boiled lentils (substitute black beans if desired) 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and sear the chicken in batches. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the onion and saute for about three minutes then add the remaining vegetables except the Kale and Lentils and stir until well mixed together.
  2. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on until the vegetables are fork tender, about 20 minutes (add aditional stock or water if needed).
  3. Add the Lentils and Kale and continue to simmer until the Kale is just wilted
  4. Season with salt  and pepper

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

Until next time……

Bon Appetit

Lancashire hot pot

 

Sundays, before life got even more hectic than usual, used to be a day of fix breakfast for my wife and let her spend a few hours in front of the “tely”, that’s U.K. English for television, watching Coronation Street which for those not in the know is an English television series that has been on the air forever and appears to be not going anywhere soon. It was on this show that I first came across this recipe and I was thoroughly enthralled so much so that I went in search of the ultimate version. 

After searching the Internet and various cook books and talking to relatives in the U.K. I was soon to discover that in fact there IS NO definitive recipe. In fact the only thing the various and sundry recipes had in common was Lamb and Potatoes and even then the debate raged on about “which cut of lamb to use”, neck-leg-kidney,  or “what potatoes were the best”, white or Yukon gold, or even whether or not to use Lamb stock or Chicken stock.

Now I rarely make this recipe because I am supposed to avoid red meat (I have Hemochromatosis which is a fancy Doctor term for excess Iron stored in my liver)  so to me it does not make much difference which part of the Lamb to use  with the exception of the Kidney—- I’m not a big fan of Kidney— nor does it matter which potato although I am partial to Yukon Gold . All that matters to me is that the dish comes out flavorful and satisfying.

So I now present to you my take on Lancashire Hot Pot which by the way is the one my late Father-In-Law just loved and being that he was from Manchester England I take it as a very big compliment.

Ingredients:

Approximately two pounds of lamb- cubed

Two and a half pounds of potatoes sliced like you were making Scalloped Potatoes

One large white onion- diced

1/4 cup all purpose flour— more or less ( I like a nice thick sauce )

2 Carrots- thinly sliced

Healthy dash of Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Three finely chopped garlic cloves

Two cups chicken stock

Three tablespoons butter

Two tablespoons Canola Oil

Tin foil (or for you Brits—- Aluminum foil lol)

Putting it all together:

Heat the Canola oil in a large skillet and saute the onions until translucent – about two minutes

Remove the onions from the heat and set aside

Add the Lamb, butter, Worcestershire and garlic to the skillet and fry, in batches if necessary, until it is medium rare (Lamb is the best when served Medium)

Remove the Lamb from the heat and set aside

To the liquid in the skillet add the flour and make a Roux

Add enough Chicken stock to get the Roux to the consistency you want

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees

In a large greased casserole dish spread a layer of potatoes followed by carrots and the Lamb mixture

Repeat until all the ingredients are finished

Pour the Roux over the contents of the casserole and give it a bit of a shake to distribute the Roux throughout the casserole

“Bung” (another Brit term—- thanks Jamie Oliver) it in the oven for approximately an hour and a half

Dish it out, tuck in, and be in heaven………….

So there you have it……. another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”

Until next time…………..

                                                           Bon Appetit