cleverchickadee


Orange Marinade: a Recipe by quornflour

It actually was not long ago that I did not even know how to cook a pork chop. From my childhood all I could really remember is dry baked fairly plain pork chops served up with applesauce. There was nothing wrong with them necessarily, they just were not very interesting as food.

This past year I stopped purchasing meat from the grocery store. As a result I am at the hands of a meat CSA, one that has a lot of pork. Luckily I am not anti-pork.

That said, the first time I got pork chops, I looked at them, scratched my head and said, “Ahhh? Hmm.” and then put them in the freezer.

A short while later TxK was visiting and we were making dinner. I asked her if she knew how to cook a pork chop, after she laughed in shame of me for not knowing how, she told me that it was pretty much the same as cooking a steak.

As a point of record, I am pretty sure she is also the person who taught me how to cook a steak on anything that wasn’t a grill.

I have since cooked a few pork chops and they were all delicious.

This go around I decided I would try something a little different and marinade them first.

Here is what I used:

  • 2 pork chops (I think you could also use this on any meat or even a faux meat)
  • 1 small naval orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of Lighthouse Freeze-dried red onion
  • 1 tablespoon of Lighthouse Freeze-dried green onion
  • ¼ teaspoon of Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Peanut oil – if you are going to pan fry them (if you want to broil or bake this you can also do that for delicious results)

You are going to want these to marinade for at least an hour, so give yourself some time in advance.

  1. Place your pork chops in a glass container
  2. Zest entire orange, lemon and lime over the pork
  3. Cut each fruit in half and squeeze juices over pork
  4. Add garlic, onions, salt and pepper
  5. Cover pork chops and let sit for at least an hour
  6. Bring them to room temp before cooking
  7. In a cast iron skillet fill about a quarter to half inch of peanut oil
  8. Cook until juices run clear (160ᴼ is the recommended cooked temp for pork)
  9. Remove from heat, cover and let rest
  10. Serve warm

This will have a strong orange flavor goes very well with applesauce.

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Lemon Basil Chicken and Mushrooms by quornflour

I get meat from a CSA, so like many things you get from a CSA you do not always have complete control over what you are getting. In a recent delivery I got a bone in chicken breast.

Last spring I took a knife skills class where I learned to de-bone a chicken, but I had friends over and I just wanted to take the easy route, you could do this with boneless too, though I am not sure if or how that changes cooking time.

Anyway, this is a pretty simple recipe and you end up with chicken that you can eat with a wide variety of other things.

You will need:

  • A pair of bone in chicken breasts
  • 2 lemons – the juice there of
  • 4 garlic cloves – smashed
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt about a ½ teaspoon
  • Pepper
  • 6-10 basil leaves
  • ¼ a red onion
  • 6 medium coarse chopped button mushrooms

It is pretty easy to put it all together (except the basil leaves, onion and mushrooms), since you put it all in an oven safe glass covered dish and let it marinade for 2-3 hours, if you are going to cook in the dish you marinade in you will need to marinade on the counter. Do not put a dish straight from the fridge to the oven unless you are looking for a reason to clean up glass shards.

Before you cook it, take the garlic cloves that have been in the marinade and the basil leaves and push them up between the skin and the meat and put the skin side down in the cooking dish. Add the onion and sprinkle the mushrooms over top and place the lid or tinfoil.

Skin side down, bake in an oven for about 40 minutes with the lid on at 400⁰, then for another 10 minutes (or until the skin gets golden) with the top off and the skin side up. Tent and let rest for about 10 minutes and then enjoy with your favorite veggies or a starch or both.



Home Frites, because you are fancier than home-fries by quornflour

Sometimes, when a restaurant wants to seem fancy, you call French Fries “Frites”, I am pretty sure they are the same thing, but frites sounds fancier, “Oh look at me with my fancy steak frites!”

If you do not have a deep fryer, you might think, “oh bummer, I can never make frites like the fancy restaurants, oh woe is me.”

I am here to tell you that you are WRONG. Yep, that is correct, you can make super delicious fancy frites right at home without a deep fryer.

This recipe does take a little more work and time than others, but the great thing is that you can make a lot and freeze some for later to cut time when you need them. They are also more delicious than a lot of (though delicious) oven baked fries that often just make you say, “meh, they just are not as delicious.”

You will not be saying this about these.

You will need:

  • 5 or more pounds of potatoes (I prefer Yukon gold or red potatoes myself, regardless you are better off picking ones with a thinner skin so you do not have to skin it, because I ask you, “who loves skinning potatoes?” pretty sure the answer to that is, “sadists.”
  • 32 oz olive or coconut oil
  • Salt

You are also going to need to make sure you have a 4-5 quart Dutch (or French) oven, baking trays and a Chinese mesh strainer.

  1. Cut your potatoes into “fry” shaped pieces, about ¼ to ½ inch by the length of the potato
  2. Heat your oven to 350
  3. Pour the oil into the Dutch oven and bring up to temp, you will know it is ready because if you put a piece of potato in it, it will bubble wildly.
  4. Using the Chinese wire strainer lower a few potatoes worth of the cut potatoes into the oil, this should cause the oil go into a rapid boil.
    1. Remember oil is hot; it will burn if it hits you; so it is best not to make these naked.
    2. Once you are done frying all of your potatoes you can strain the oil with a coffee filter into a jar and save for a second use later.
  5. Cook these in the oil until they just barely start to brown on the edges (about 15 seconds) and remove them, spread them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 until golden brown (about 10 minutes)
  6. Set aside to cool. If you are going to freeze some for later, once cooled to room temp, spread them on a baking tray and place in the freezer, once they are frozen put them in a bag until ready for use.
  7. When you are ready to use them, heat a cast iron skillet, add about a tablespoon or two of olive oil, toss the potatoes in the skillet until brown and hot and crispy, serve warm.

If you want to make them extra fancy, this third cook is when you add spices or garlic. Some great things to add are: sage leaves; basil, garlic and parmesan; crushed red pepper flakes; curry powder; fajita seasoning… the options are endless. Some other great recipes that go well with these fries are: chicken nuggets, curry mussels, garlic mussels, spicy Buffalo chicken strips or even just on their own.



Spicy Buffalo Chicken Strips by texaskillet

OMG, yummmmmmm!

Simple. So good.

You’ll need:

Buttermilk

Cornflour (again, no wheat)

Franklin’s hot sauce or whatever kind of buffalo hot sauce you like

Butter

Chicken strips

Frying oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

First, get your buttermilk, cornflour into separate bowls. Then get your raw chicken strips ready on a platter of their own. Next pour all of the buffalo sauce into a bowl and add one stick of melted butter to that bowl (whisk together).

Get your dutch oven or frying pot of choice and heat your frying oil of choice (Can’t go wrong with Wesson) to 375 degrees.

When your oil is hot enough, dredge the chicken strips through the buttermilk, then the cornflour and then place in the pot. These do not take very long to fry up and usually are done when the outside is crispy and golden to medium brown. This is usually accurate for chicken strips that were fully defrosted and at room temperature. You’ll want to use your meat thermometer to be sure, or just cut one open when the first batch comes out and eyeball it if you feel up to it.

When you pull the chicken strips from the hot oil, place them on the cooling sheet (mine suspends over the sink so I don’t waste paper towels). After they have dripped off for 30 seconds or so toss them in your buffalo sauce mixture and then place back on the rack.

My kids love these, except the youngest who just gets the pre-buffalo sauced chicken strips. There are never any left over, but then again that might not be saying much if you knew how many people can be in my household at one time. J

Hint: serve these up with hushpuppies!



50% RAW, 100% delicious by texaskillet

As I went through and made some changes to my current kitchen setup, I also embarked on my first mindfully 50% raw dinner.

It was fun to think about and really challenged my rutted out kitchen brain to just think of food a little differently.

I seriously knew the rice would be good, I knew the salmon would be good… I thought the cantaloupe and zucchini salad would be good…and it was. J

 

Tonight’s menu

Baked Salmon (for me) Baked Chicken (for him)

Garlic Red Rice

Cantaloupe and raw Zucchini salad (I did say earlier how much I like squash right?)

 

For the rice:

Rice cooker (my favorite kitchen appliance aside from the coffee pot)

One cup of Red Thai Rice (this goes by many names, but I like the stuff from Thailand carried at Whole Foods)

Crushed or minced garlic

Two cups of water

Put it all in the cooker and push GO

 

For the chicken and the salmon:

Cook to your preference.

I like to drizzle a little olive oil and use some of Tom Douglas’s Spicy Tokyo Rub.

YUM! It’s almost like you can’t mess it up.

 

For the C&Z salad:

SUPER simple, but a lovely, mildly sweet flavor which is also juicy and refreshing next to the cooked items.

Just split, separate your cantaloupe meat from the rind and cube into bite size pieces.

Then, cut the zucchini into strips the long way and then cut across the length to create smaller diced zucchini bits.

Mix and let permeate for a few minutes before serving.

 



Curry Chicken Pot Pie by quornflour

Years ago I lived in a house with 5 roommates. At one point I taught my roommate Kenny how to make this pie, he made it all the time. One day another roommate Jen was talking about curry and how normally she does not like it, but that she likes Kenny’s Chicken Pot Pie. I laughed, and told her that I taught him how to make the pie, we both had a laugh (yes, we were drinking).

Kenny’s Chicken Pot Pie was a slightly different version of this, using frozen veggies and cream of chicken soup, but it is where this recipe evolved from.

What you need is:

  • 4 chicken cutlets – cut into bitable chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 16oz chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon “Italian” Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 pie crusts (you can make them thought this time I used the store bought version)
  • 1 parsnip – chopped
  • 1 carrot – chopped (or shredded)
  • 1 potato – chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery – chopped
  • Salt to taste

In a large frying pan on medium high, add oil when it is heated add chicken, a dash of salt, curry, crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning and mix.

Cook the chicken until it lightens in color on two sides, add the broth mix and then remove the chicken (the chicken may be under cooked, this is fine).

Add cornstarch to the broth mixture and bring to a boil stirring occasionally, until the broth thickens and is reduced to a little more than half.

Chop all of your veggies and put half in a pie dish with the bottom crust in place, add chicken, then the rest of the veggies.

Pour the reduced broth over top.

Place the top crust on, cut vent holes. Place thin strips of aluminum foil around the edge to prevent burning, put in an oven at 425⁰ and bake for 40 minutes.

If you want to make Kenny’s Chicken Pot Pie: replace carrots, parsnips and celery with a bag of mixed frozen veggies, replace the broth with condensed chicken soup.

 

Enjoy!



Stuff Your Face with Stuffed Peppers by quornflour

Yeah, yeah, I know there are simpler 1 pan ways to make stuffed peppers, I’ve done it.

Sometimes I do not care, what I was is delicious stuffed peppers and that my friend is just what these are.

This makes 4 servings of 1 pepper per person.

Start with 4 poblano peppers or similar thin meat pepper (in this case I used what the store referred to as “Italian peppers” they were the same size so we are good.

Pig butter or peanut oil

4 boneless chicken breasts cut into 1″ pieces

2 T dried Italian seasoning

2 T crushed red peppers

Sea salt

1 t garlic powder

1 t onion powder

1 cup dry rice

1 can Ro*Tel

1 can white beans

Water

1 T Texas Fire Water (TFW)

1 ½ C grated cheddar cheese

In a medium sauce pan put 1T pig butter or oil and heat, add the dried rice and mix until the rice is translucent. Add 1 ½ C of water the can of Ro*Tel, the can of beans and the TFW. Cover, put on low heat and stir occasionally.

In a frying pan on medium high heat, heat a shallow layer (no more than a ¼” deep) of pig butter or peanut oil, add the chicken, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and sprinkle with salt. Flip occasionally and cover with lid or aluminum foil.

Take the peppers and slice lengthwise and remove stem and seeds. Place them in an 8″x8″ baking dish and in an oven at 375⁰.

When the rice is cooked remove peppers from the oven, they should be soft enough to spread open without cracking, add 1 breasts worth of chicken per pepper then top with rice mixture, sprinkle with salt then add cheddar cheese and return to the oven until the cheese is melted (or crispy around the edges if you like), serve warm.




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