Family

Chicken and Artichoke skewers with Herb dressing

Good morning and Happy Mother’s Day!

It is a sunny start here in NH and I again woke to what sounds like a kitten outside my upstairs bedroom window. I have been hearing a bird that sounds like a kitten crying for at least a week now. I also hear it while sitting on the porch after work. I am guessing it must be feeding times? I can’t see it but it is loud and needs to move along or leave the nest soon. I know I live in the woods who do I think I am; but I have owned/lived here for over 30 years the Gray Catbird just moved in – just saying!

This morning I actually googled it to see what it is and you know how you type in a few words and google gives you a few options and they know what you are thinking. I find that a little scary just saying. How do they know what I am going to ask? Similar to my phone telling me how long it takes to get somewhere. How does it know where I am going. When my phone told me how long it took to get to my favorite local restaurant after I had just made reservations I definitely had a; big brother is watching moment… OK that’s way too long on this subject back to the recipe I want to share with you.

It seems to be a theme that this is a recipe my daughter made from one of her favorite cookbooks Cook Beautiful; twice now and is SO good even the next day re-heated. The marinade for the chicken is amazing and full of flavor and you must try this. It may look like a lot of ingredients but you make the marinade the day before place the chicken in it and leave it until the next day. You can make or buy tzatziki; we have had it both ways and both were great. The skewer grills up quickly and you have your meat and veggies all in one place. I would love for you to give it a try and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family has and will again.

Chicken and Artichoke skewers with Herbed dressing

dclarkabal
A little plan in advance and this comes together quickly for a great weeknight meal
Course dinner

Equipment

  • skewers

Ingredients
  

Marinade

  • 1/2 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ginger minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro fresh, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley fresh, chopped
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Skewers

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 14 ounce-cans whole artichoke hearts drained, halved
  • 2 medium red onions cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 small zucchini's cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Lemon-Herbed Vinaigrette - drizzle this over grilled chicken or alongside delicate fish - makes 1 cup

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2-3 lemons
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of Aleppo pepper
  • 2 tablespoons parsley fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro fresh, finely chopped

Tzatziki sauce - makes 2 cups or buy pre-made

  • 1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 hot house cucumber seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • few dill sprig leaves finely chopped
  • few mint sprig leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions
 

Marinade

  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients along with the chicken, stir thoroughly to combine. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the chicken to marinate a minimum of 3 hours, best if overnight.

Making the skewers

  • Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Skewer the chicken, alternating each piece with the veggies. Discard the leftover marinade.

pre-heat the grill over medium-high heat, about 400'F

  • Grill the skewer until lightly charred and cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Before serving, drizzle the sewers with the vinaigrette. Serve with the tzatziki and any remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

  • in a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together and taste for seasoning,

Tzatziki

  • in a medium bowl, stir all of the ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh dill. This can be stored for a couple of dats in the fridge, if you have any leftover that is.

Chicken Tagine

This is another recipe my daughter tried from Ayesha Curry’s cookbook. It is called Chicken Tagine in her cookbook. I personally do not own a tagine so I feel kinda bad keeping the word in the recipe, a tagine is a conical pottery cooking vessel, I am sure you have seen one if you have ever walked through a kitchen store. The top looks a little like a volcano, at least it does to me.

Most tagine recipes are generally made up with aromatics, veggies, a meat and some spices, they cook over a long period of time. This recipe you can make in about 30 minutes and has wonderful aroma and flavor in such a short amount of time in the kitchen. Great for a weeknight meal. You can even pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way home from somewhere, I guess I can’t say work anymore for me at least. I have been working from home for a year now.

While my daughter was making this the other night for dinner, she was trying to pit some olives. I don’t own a tool for that either. I googled for her how to pit an olive. It said to smash the olive with the side of your knife. Voila the pit comes right out. Now this method works as long as you are not stuffing them or want them super pretty. But for our dinner it worked out perfectly. Of course you can skip this step if you can find them already pitted in your store, she could not.

Chicken Tagine

dclarkabal
A warm feeling dish with great flavors - comes together quickly

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced, or from a tube/bottle
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 preserved lemon peel finely chopped
  • 8 pitted Medjool dates chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 cup Castelvetrano olives pitted
  • 1 15 ounce garbanzo beans drained and rinsed, we used great northern beans
  • 3-4 pounds chicken, boneless thighs or breasts store bought or salt and pepper some chicken breasts and bake in the oven
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves chopped for garnish

Instructions
 

  • If you are cooking boneless chicken breast; pre-heat oven to 350'F season it liberally with salt and pepper. Place on a sheet pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. Once cooked through roughly chop.
    If you are using a rotisserie chicken you can shred it while everything else is cooking.
  • In a medium Dutch oven or a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, Add the onion and a pinch of salt, cook while stirring for a couple of minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the turmeric, black pepper and cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the preserved lemon, dates and lentils. Add the stock and the salt and saffron. Bring to a boil. Cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are cooked through. About 25 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken, either shredded or roughly chopped let sit for 5 minutes to meld. Serve from the pot or transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with fresh parsley.

 

grilled shrimp with polenta cake

So a good friend of mine says that one of my super powers is to look at what I have on hand and make a meal with it. My freezer’s are too full so I have been trying to not shop, which a few of you know is hard for me; Stop laughing SF and KP. They know I LOVE to shop which I will confess I literally just finished online shopping a few minutes ago.

My daughter made a full sheet pan of polenta that we didn’t end up eating; we went out to dinner that night. It sat in the fridge for a couple of days and still nothing. I finally threw it into the freezer and once frozen cut it into triangle shapes and refroze them individually. Now what to do with them; I don’t have a lot of experience with polenta in any form; which is probably why we never ate it. I have nothing against it I really like it just never something I think about.

With a full bag full of Polenta cakes in the freezer on my mind, a half bag of frozen shrimp and a handful of cherry tomatoes I threw together a pretty quick dinner that got really rave reviews from the fam. With the weather being super windy and cold for the last few weeks here in New Hampshire I put my griddle to work and would make this again the same way. Who knows maybe I will make it over the summer out on the grill. I probably will we have a lot of polenta LOL.

If you don’t have a bag full of polenta cakes in the freezer you can pick some up from your local store, usually at the deli in a tube and slice your own into cakes. I am going to share how my daughter made polenta in the oven without the constant whisking.

grilled shrimp with polenta cakes

dclarkabal
quick and simple with on hand ingredients

Ingredients
  

shrimp and polenta cake

  • 1 lemon zested, sliced for serving
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2-3 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 recipe or tube polenta 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 pound shrimp peeled, deveined and tails removed

Creamy Polenta

  • 2 cups coarse stone-ground yellow cornmeal do not use white or fine cornmeal - results will be entirely different. we recommend Bob's Red Mill
  • 11 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Instructions
 

shrimp and polenta cake

  • Zest the lemon into a mixing bowl and add the butter, hot sauce and a pinch of salt. Stir until well combined. Gently stir in half of the parsley, reserving the remaining parsley for garnish. Cut the zested lemon into wedges and reserve.
  • Prepare a grill or grill pan or for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grates. (if grilling do this step, if not skip it as I did) Thread the tomatoes on the skewers, about 7 tomatoes per skewer. (If using wooden skewers, leave just 1/2 inch of the skewer sticking out on each end so you do not have to soak them). Brush 1 tablespoon of the oil on the tomatoes and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Brush both sides of the polenta rounds with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
    Arrange the skewered tomatoes on the hot grill and cook, turning occasionally, until they are lightly charred in spots and have started to burst, 12 to 15 minutes.
    Place the polenta on the grill and cook until lightly charred looking for nice grill marks, about 5 minutes per side, flipping once using a flat metal spatula. (Be careful not to flip the polenta too early because it will stick to the grill if it is not ready.) Remove from the heat and reserve.
  • Toss the shrimp with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred in spots on both sides and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes total. Remove from the heat and reserve
  • The tomatoes should be ready to take off the grill as well. Carefully remove the tomatoes from the skewers and place directly into a small bowl. Use the back of a pair of tongs or a spoon to lightly smash the tomatoes so that they release their juices.
  • Place 2-3 pieces of polenta on each plate. In the center of the polenta, spoon a quarter of the tomatoes along with their juices, one quarter of the shrimp and a large dollop of the reserved butter mixture. The butter should melt nicely over the hot tomato shrimp. Garnish with the reserved parsley and wedges of lemon for squeezing on top of each serving.

polenta

  • heat oven to 375'F with the rack in the lower-middle of the oven.
  • Whisk together the cornmeal, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 11 cups of cold water in a large pot. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. Stirring to prevent clumping, Transfer the pot. uncovered, to the oven and bake for 1 hour.
  • Remove pot from the oven and carefully whisk the cornmeal mixture until smooth. Then using a wooden spoon scrape along the bottom and up the sides of the pot to loosen any stuck bits. Return the pot, uncovered, to the oven and cook until the cornmeal is thick and creamy and the granules are tender. another 10-30 minutes.
  • remove the pot from the oven - vigorously whisk the polenta until smooth and use the wooden spoon to scrape the bottom and sides. Let stand for 5 minutes. It should thicken just enough for a spoon to leave a brief trail, whisk in a little water if needed; to adjust the consistency. Taste and season with salt an pepper. Serve immediately or place in a sheet pan for setting and cutting into shapes for the freezer.

pineapple chicken fried rice


I will say it is pretty nice that my daughter has been making a couple of dinners a week for the last few weeks. I love cooking but getting a little break here and there is pretty cool. I mean even if I didn’t write a weekly food blog and feel obligated to come up with something new for dinner. Making dinner 7 or say  6 nights a week; we try to go out to dinner or get take out at least once a week. So 6 nights is 312 dinners a year that’s a lot of meals to come up with. I will admit we have had a few unconventional meals at our house. Cereal is a thing, breakfast for dinner is a fav and an occasional hot fudge sundae for dinner has happened.

So I have made and blogged about pineapple fried rice, I have even ordered it out before. This one I am going to share is a little different and not just because of the chicken that was added. It had a little heat to it and the pineapple was great at balancing the heat with the cooling. Which is saying something we as a family I would say tolerate pineapple, we like it a little but it is not a go to for any of us.

The recipe comes together within an hour which is nice for a weeknight meal. Though I have been known to make a roaster chicken during the week on occasion, which is what we had for dinner Friday night actually. My daughter got the recipe from an Ayesha Curry cookbook The Full Plate.

The rice is best cooked the day before if possible and if you have ever made fried rice before or even a stir fry you need to have all your stuff prepped before you start cooking. You can use a store made roaster chicken or roast a couple of pieces in your oven before hand.  You could even use a different protein, steak or pork would be great. Also it is a great way to use up some other veggies hanging out in your fridge. Make it your own.

pineapple chicken fried rice

dclarkabal
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper cored, seeded, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cored, seeded, diced
  • 1 cup canned, fresh pineapple chunks cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 3 cups jasmine rice day old best
  • 2 cups chicken breast cooked, shredded
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 green onion finely diced
  • fresh cilantro leaves for garnish optional

Instructions
 

  • heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell peppers, cook stirring until they start to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add the pineapple and peas cook until the peas have begun to thaw, 2-3 minutes longer. Add the garlic, cook for another minute.
  • Push the veggies off to the side of the pan and add the beaten eggs to the opposite side. Stir the eggs with a rubber spatula until they are scrambled. Then transfer everything to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the last tablespoon of oil to the pan and return to medium-high heat. Add the rice, chicken, raisins, soy sauce, curry powder, sambal, salt and cook, stirring until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the rice starts to brown slightly on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Return the veggie mixture to the pan and cook stirring, until rewarmed and incorporated into the rice. about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer to a large platter and garnish with sliced green onions and cilantro leaves if using. Serve hot.
Keyword pineapple chicken fried rice

Stewed pork butternut squash and walnut gremolata


Now this is a recipe my daughter made a couple of weeks ago; a recipe she got from a cookbook called cook beautiful. Pork shoulder does not spring to mind beautiful. We usually end up shredding it and dousing it in BBQ sauce; which makes for a fantastic sandwich don’t get me wrong but beautiful I don’t think so. I do suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


I am sharing this recipe because it was delicious and yes beautiful. She made this in a couple of steps only because she made it during the week. But today is Sunday and this would make for a fantastic Sunday dinner. I for one am making a roaster chicken for Sunday dinner.  How many of you make a sit down with family Sunday dinner? I fear it is a lost tradition but one I have kept going for all my adult life and have no plans of stopping; not only that we all (living in the house) sit down for dinner most every single night.

Stewed Pork with Butternut Squash & Walnut Gremolata

dclarkabal
Great Sunday dinner to share with the family
Course Main Course
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Pork

  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 pound boneless pork shoulder
  • 4 cloves garlic diced
  • 2 onions diced
  • 4 carrots peeled, diced
  • 4 stalks celery diced
  • 2/3 cup dry sherry
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic halved
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bunch fresh sage save 1-2 sprigs for garnish

Butternut Squash

  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 small habanero minced
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Gremolata

  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 cup walnuts toasted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 3 tablespoon fresh chives chopped
  • 3 tablespoon shallots finely diced
  • 1 orange zested, plus 3 tablespoon juice
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions
 

Butternut squash

  • Preheat the oven to 425'F. Place the squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and honey. Sprinkle the squash with 1 teaspoon habanero, season with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat the squash. spread out into a single layer. Roast, tossing halfway through, until golden and crispy, about 30 minutes. Remove once done to your liking and let sit at room temperature until ready to use. Lower heat to 325'F

Pork shoulder

  • Heat the canola oil in a dutch oven or equally heavy pot over medium-high heat .Trim any excess fat from the pork, pat it dry, and season it generously with salt and pepper. Sear each side until browned. 20-25 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.
  • Lower the heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil, chopped onions, 1 teaspoon habanero sauté for 3 minutes, add the chopped garlic, sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the carrots, celery and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the bay leaves, sage, and the halved garlic head. Add the stock and bring it to a simmer. Return the pork to the pot. Crumble and wet a piece of parchment paper and place directly on top of the braise. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven. Cook until the pork is tender, about 4 hours.

Gremolata

  • Toss all the ingredients in a small bowl, toss to combine well. season with salt and pepper

Pork - once finished

  • Remove and discard the parchment paper. Transfer the pork to a large plate. Remove and discard the sprigs of sage, nay leaves and halved garlic. Return the pot to the stove top and simmer the cooking liquid for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and summer until the liquid has thickened slightly, about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and keep warm.
  • Break the pork into large pieces. discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the pork to the pot, Add the roasted squash and toss gently to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
  • serve the braised pork with a generous spoonful of the gremolata and a pinch of chopped sage.

Brussels sprouts three cheese and pasta


How many of you read the title of a recipe and make a final decision right there to read on or pass. I will admit I tend to steer clear of a few key words myself. My pass words usually are mushroom, tofu and  peach. I get grief all the time for how much I hate even the smell of peaches. I have poured out wine that tasted too much like it, I do buy them for my husband and if he leaves them too long in the fruit bowl; which sits on the island: I offer to pay him to eat them that day only because the smell is killing me.

This has sparked a conversation since I am sitting at the island writing this talking with my husband and daughter. My husbands first thought was Anise, bourbon and ghost pepper. My daughter said her three would be jelly fish tentacles LOL she said she would NEVER do that again; she was living in Japan and she was at a luncheon and it was ordered for her party. Okra was mentioned and then she said she basically looks at the picture and figures if it looks good she could adjust if something was listed she didn’t have or didn’t like. Sounds like she is more open to read on then even me. Which is probably why we have had the recipe I am going share with you today several times. Not sure if I would read on if I saw this but I hope you are more evolved than I am.

My son and daughter-in-law came down because my husband was making omelets. Out of the five of us he is the ONLY one that cane make a true chef worthy omelet. I won’t make them if anyone is home, I would just embarrass myself.  Anyway I asked them if they wanted to be apart of my blog today. Here is how the conversation when. My sons pass words would be anything to do with peppers, quinoa and the word vegan. My daughter-in-law was also peppers, seafood and anything that smells like licorice and she doesn’t like tarragon.

brussels sprouts three cheese and pasta

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box pasta twisty pasta cavatelli or gemelli
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups brussels sprouts thinly sliced or shredded
  • 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 lemon zested first then juiced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 1 brick gruyere finely grated/shredded
  • 1 brick fontina finely grated/shredded

Instructions
 

Pasta

  • cook according to the instructions on the box minus 2 minutes for al dente. Drain and set aside.

brussels

  • heat the olive oil in a large skillet or use the pasta pot. Once the oil is hot add the garlic, careful not to burn; for a few seconds then add the sprouts. Season well with salt and pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes. You want the sprouts still green and slightly wilted.
  • Add the lemon zest, stir to blend. Add 2 tablespoons butter and stir till melted. Sprinkle the flour in the stir until you no longer see it. Add the broth the stirring constantly until all the broth is added. simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and the cooked pasta. Stir to blended; add most of the cheese; you want some for the top, taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
  • pre-heat oven to 400' F and cooking spray or butter a 2 quart baking dish, Add the mixture to the dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is browned.

Thanksgiving prep

Not sure how your Thanksgiving will look this crazy year but I am still planning on cooking for my family and my in-laws that we spend the most amount of time with. Well my plan is to cook for everyone the only downfall at the moment is I cannot find any small turkeys. I prefer to make two small (10 pounds or under)  birds versus one large one. Not only do I find they have a better chance of being tender If I can prepare them differently. Last year I roasted one and fried the other. If I can’t find what I want today I will have to just deal with what I get then decide how I want to cook it.

spatchcock

 

cajun rubbed fried

 

My food blog for the most part has become a weekly diary of what is happening not only in my kitchen but my garden and some parts of my life. I try not to share every detail but I think if I read back over the years I could come up with a pretty clear picture of what’s been happening. With that being said I am going to share a few past recipes that my family has come to expect on our Thanksgiving table a week before the holiday. Look at me evolving.

Cranberry sauce, canned or fresh?  I have been serving both for a few years now. Not sure which one is easier seriously. Opening a can or a bag?  A bag add 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar and some orange zest into a sauce pan, bring to a boil until the cranberries start to pop and a little longer. the sauce will thicken while it cools. that’s it.  Give it a try this year if you haven’t before.

here are a few links for our favorite dressing/stuffing along with a couple of ideas for leftovers. Turkey soup and leftover egg rolls that everyone loved.

Thanksgiving – Sausage Ciabatta dressing

Thanksgiving Leftover Egg Roll

turkey rice soup – tis the season

 

crispy short rib carnitas with sunset slaw

I am the one that spends the most amount of time in the house thinking about food.  What I mean is coming up with the meals, shopping for the meals and making the meals. Probably why I have a food blog, well partly why I have a food blog; I just really love food.

Last weekend my husband and I were away so my daughter who was home with the dog pulled out several of her favorite cookbooks and took over for the week.  She came up with a game plan and also shopped for the weeks worth of dinners with one night ordering take out.  If you think about it and are fortunate to eat 3 meals a day. breakfast, lunch and dinner for a year that is 1,095 meals to plan for.  That is a lot of thinking, planning, buying and making. I know it really isn’t that high of a number. No one is making something unique every day, every meal. We all have a meal or two or twelve that we eat several times a month. I mean who opens a box of cereal with the intent of having one bowl only.

I was very nice to not have to think, plan or purchase dinner last week. Two of the meals I will be sharing with you over the next week or so. One was she has made before and we all love. The last one while it was good I believe it will be a one and done. Though we do tend to learn and discuss how we would make it different next time.

crispy short rib carnitas and slaw

dclarkabal

Ingredients
  

Carnitas

  • 3 pounds bone in short ribs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 orange juiced
  • 2 limes 1 1/2 juiced save the other half for slaw
  • 5 garlic cloves unpeeled

Slaw

  • 3 cups red cabbage finely shredded
  • 1 carrot peeled, coarsely grated
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/4 cup cilantro roughly chopped
  • kosher salt
  • 1 dollop mayonnaise
  • dash hot sauce (optional)

Instructions
 

Short Ribs

  • preheat the oven to 275'F. Combine the salt and chili powder in a small dish. Spread this mixture all over the short ribs. Arrange the ribs in a dutch oven or similar as long as the dish is taller than the ribs. Pour the orange juice and lime in the bottom of the dish, scatter the garlic around the ribs. Cover the dish with the cover or tightly with tinfoil. Bake slowly for 2-2 1/2 hours. The meat should be tender, the fat rendered. The meat should be starting to separate from the bones.
  • Remove the cover and increase the heat to 425'F. Basting the ribs with the pan juices once or twice for 15-20 minutes. You want the edges crispy and browned.

Slaw - make while waiting for the ribs to finish

  • Toss the cabbage, carrot, salt and lime juice together in a bowl. Set aside for 5 or so minutes, the slaw will be easier to work with. Stir in the scallions, then the mayo and hot sauce if you are using it, adjust the seasoning and then add the cilantro.

finishing up the ribs

  • Discard the bones, pick off any large chunks of fat, then lightly shred the meat into a dish. pouring the extra pan juices over it.
  • You can squeeze the garlic out into a small dish and smear on the tortilla or save for later

Assembling

  • heat the corn tortillas for 20-30 seconds on each side. Pile a small amount of shredded short rib meat on top. either add slaw to the top or on the side. If desired top with chopped white onion, cilantro, squeeze of lime. you do you!

Refried Beans by guest cook Deborah

What bad recipe starts with a pound of bacon – um not a one!

So this has been quite a week around here, my father-in-law has been in the hospital (none covid related) for 10 days. Thankfully he is home now and doing fine but we have had several family members staying with us over the whole ordeal. I didn’t make anything “new” to share with you but we definitely made and ate well and currently my husband is in the kitchen making us all breakfast with his self acclaimed famous home fries. He has definitely stepped up his game with them, they are excellent.

My sister-in-law is a huge help while she is here and wants to help out in whatever capacity. She knew I was working all week and I KNOW she wanted to make something since she loves to cook as well. I put a pork butte in the slow cooker with no real plans; Deborah had a plan she wanted to make burritos. I personally have not used pork butte for burritos but I totally “get it”. I have only had canned refried beans and that’s all I have in the house; so off to the store she went.  When she announced she was making homemade refried beans I told her she HAD to take pictures; which is another passion of hers. So this week I give to you a Guest Cook recipe and photos.

what bad recipe starts with a pound of bacon – um not a one!

You know the saying “too many cooks in the kitchen” well my husband; while making breakfast; started talking smack about him winning the chocolate chip cookie contest we had several years ago; that everyone in the house except him remembers that I won. Well challenge accepted we are having another one today, I told him to take out the butter it’s on! We are going to do a blind taste test with my niece, sister-in-law and daughter being the judges. I’ll report back next week with my winnings; I mean the winner.

Refried Beans

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package dry pinto beans rinsed
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 pound bacon cooked, fat reserved (optional) Oil, or lard any oil will work but some add more flavor than others.

Instructions
 

  • cook the bacon however you want, we really only need the fat from it. I cook my in the oven on a rack. Save the bacon for breakfast sandwiches or BLT's or crumbled some of a salad. Or eat it right out of the bag.
  • cover the beans with water and let them boil uncovered for 2-3 hours, make sure to keep them covered with water.
  • dice the onion and add it to a large saute pan with the bacon fat. saute till they are golden brown, not burnt
  • using a slotted spoon take a couple of spoonfuls and add them to the onions and using a potato masher, mash the beans into the onions, You don't need to mash them all completely flat. Continue adding and mashing until all the beans are added to the pan. Add some of the leftover bean liquid to your pan until they are the consistency of lumpy mashed potatoes.
  • taste and adjust the seasoning with salt

Corned Beef Hash

I am pretty sure the title of this blog with garner some sort of a response. People are funny when it comes to food, I know this because I used to be one and am in some respects. I am not a fan of mushrooms, raw red or really any onion is on my no thank you list. And I am pretty sure I don’t need snails in my life; though the garlic and butter part of how snails are prepared in restaurants is pretty outstanding.

I think it is funny that just the name “corned beef” turns people off. Here is a little history from the Smithsonian Magazine to why it is called Corned Beef. The British invented the term “corned beef” in the 17th century to describe the size of the salt crystals used to cure the meat, the size of corn kernels. After the Cattle Acts, salt was the main reason Ireland became the hub for corned beef. Ireland’s salt tax was almost 1/10 that of England’s and could import the highest quality at an inexpensive price. I didn’t even know this but was pretty interesting.

The old saying it takes a village well the potatoes and cabbage were picked from the garden by my husband,  my daughter cooked the corned beef while I was out, the huge cast iron pan came from my mother, the eggs were from my friends chickens and my sister-in-law is here for a few days and she washed the dishes.  We had New England boiled dinner last night and all the leftovers we made into this delicious breakfast.

corned beef hash

great way to use up boiled dinner leftovers

Ingredients
  

boiled dinner

  • 1-2 packages corned beef
  • 2-3 potatoes
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 1 small turnip
  • 1 head cabbage quartered and cored

Corned beef hash

  • 1 leftover corned beef diced and cubed
  • leftover potato, carrot and turnip chopped
  • leftover cabbage chopped
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-2 egg per person optional

Instructions
 

boiled dinner

  • place the corned beef in a large pot and cover it with water, add a bay leaf or two and some pepper corns. Bring to a boil and then cover and lower to a slow rolled boil. Let it boil for 2-3 hours take a look and add more water if needed.
  • Peel and chop the carrots, turnip and potatoes and add them to the pot. let it boil for about 35-45 minutes until the turnip is tender add the cabbage and cover. Cook for another 10 minutes or so just so the cabbage is cooked through but not mushy.

corned beef hash

  • prep the meat and veggies by dicing and chopping everything so it is all similar is size.
  • dice the onion and add some oil or butter to you pan, add the meat and the onion and cook until the onions are soft and the meat get a little color.
  • Add the cabbage and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the rest of the veggies. cook through and allow the pan to give everything a little crust. you don't need to stir too much, if you do things tend to breakdown even smaller
  • Add an egg of your choice, my favorite is poached.

 

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