One dish

Sausages & Lentils with Herb Relish

The herb relish in this recipe is divine. My husband wanted to stock pile it. He loved it so much that he felt it could go on anything. I don’t know if he was being silly or actually serious until he went to get a Honey Nut Cheerio and dipped it in it. No surprise; it didn’t work. I am shaking my head as I writing this.  Needless to say we had leftover sausage and my daughter had to make 2 more batches of it. Yes my husband is one of those scoops instead of dips if you get my meaning.

I also want to point out that my daughter has introduced many different options as far as starch goes. We are a meat and potato kind of family. Most of my meals consist of a meat, starch and a vegetable.  Mostly a potato in some form, or a rice. Now we have Lentils and Farro as options.  Farro being the most recent one and a huge hit.

Sausages and Lentils with an Herb relish

dclarkabal
a great flavor dish that comes together pretty quickly and all in one pan
Course dinner
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

Sausage and Lentils

  • Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6-8 sausage links
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • ½ stalk celery finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and finely chopped
  • ¼ pound pancetta
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • cups dry white wine
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2⅓ cups lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Relish

  • 4 cups soft herbs leaves such as parsley, basil, mint, chives or a mix of what you have on hand
  • Tablespoons capers drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 7 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
 

Sausage and Lentils

  • Heat the olive oil in a sauté that can go into the oven and has a lid. Brown the sausages all over. they do not need to cook through just brown for now; remove and set aside. Add the onions, celery, carrot and the pancetta to the pan and sauté until the pancetta is browned. In a measuring cup; mix the stock and wine.
  • Add the garlic and lentils to the pan along with the bay leaves and toss with the vegetables. Add the 2¼ ups of the stock and wine mixture and bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper and add the sausages back to the pan. Transfer to the oven.
  • Cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stir and add the rest of the stock mixture, cover and bake for 25-30 minutes. The lentils should be tender and the liquid mostly absorbed. Taste for seasoning adjust if needed.

Relish

  • either chop the herbs and capers finely or mix them with the other ingredients in a food processor and whip them together. Taste for seasoning.

recipe adapted from: From the Oven to the Table 

Soba noodle salad with roasted chicken


Current situation is I am in the den trying to write my blog, my sister-in-law is in the kitchen doing dishes, her husband is helping my husband with his snowmobile seat replacement. My brother-in-law and his GF just left to head home to the Cape which is why I am in the den trying to write. Oh and my daughter and her BF just woke up and came downstairs. To say it was a hectic kind of morning is an understatement. Oh and I forgot my son came down with his dog to run and play with my dog and they are both roaming around the kitchen.


This is kind of a typical day around here, and I am not complaining.


This simple salad recipe was fast to come together and really quite delicious; even the next day for lunch it was great. I am not sure if it would have made 2 days for lunch but I would love to make this again and so would the fam.

I am not sure who came up with the grocery stores roasting a bunch of chickens and selling them but I think they were brilliant. I buy them fairly often for our house and at least once a month for my in-laws who we are still grocery shopping for. We started shopping for them due to Covid but since they are in their 90’s I think it is more of a convenience for them plus I pretty much get carte-blanche for the most part of what to buy so I know they are eating pretty well.

Soba noodle salad with soy-lime dressing and roasted shredded chicken

dclarkabal
a light but filling and delicious salad for dinner or lunch or both
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

soy-lime dressing

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice roughly 3 large limes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

salad

  • 8 ounces soba noodle
  • 2 cups roasted chicken shredded
  • ½ English cucumber we used ours from the garden, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup edamame, shelled cooked according to the package instructions
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves plus more for serving
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds plus more for serving
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly grated lime zest and wedges for serving

Instructions
 

Dressing

  • in a bowl, whisk together the lime zest, juice, soy sauce, Sriracha, garlic and the brown sugar. Whisking constantly, add the oil in a slow steady stream. The dressing, you can make the dressing ahead of time and it can be kept in the refrigerator in a airtight container for about a week.

Salad

  • cook the soba noodle according to the package directions. Drain and then rinse with cold water and set aside.
  • combine the noodles, chicken, cucumber, edamame, cilantro, scallions, sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • divide the noodle salad into 4 bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds, cilantro and lime zest and serve with lime wedges.

Sheet Pan Chicken and Cabbage

Procrastination is the word of the weekend!

I feel like every time I go and do something on my list I have a “squirrel” moment. We were all going to a pool party yesterday afternoon. Brings me back to my youth; I wonder if that is where my love of parties comes from hmmmm interesting.  I was going to write my blog, pack the cooler, suits and extra clothes before we left. Instead I went out to the garden to weed and harvest, then I came in and processed a ton of tomatoes, divvied up some granola I made and picked up the house?

So here I am about to sit down this morning and write. Squirrel lets strip the bed and start the laundry, and oh the dishes and I should really take the pile off my desk aka the drop zone so while my pictures are downloading I will have it already to do. I have issues I know!

So here I am again, and please don’t think this recipe isn’t something I really want to share, It was so good I had the two leftovers for lunch last week. Plus I overheard my husband talking with someone at the party about what my wife made with some cabbage from the garden and it was really good. I love sheet pan dinners, they are super easy and all the ones I have made are blog worthy.

Sheet pan chicken and cabbage

dclarkabal
comes together quickly with great flavor
Course dinner
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 8 pieces bone-in skin-on chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions
 

  • pre-heat oven to 425°F and grease a sheet pan
  • Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. In a small bowl add the oils, soy sauce, vinegar, and sriracha. You don't have to use the sriracha if you don't like a little heat but I strongly recommend it. Add a little less if you want. Pour 1/4 of this mixture over the chicken. Note if you are using melted coconut oil you will want the chicken at room temperature. I didn't do this and it coagulated. Let it marinade while the oven pre-heats 10-15 minutes.
  • Cut the cabbage in half through the core, cut the each core again, keep doing this until you have slices of cabbage, all a little less than and inch thick. I removed my core which is why mine are not holding together in chunks. Your choice remove or keep intact. Season the cabbage with salt and pepper then place in a large bowl and cover with the leftover marinade.
  • Place the chicken on the sheet pan and into the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the cabbage around and under the chicken if needed. Back into the oven to roast for 20 - 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a platter and return the cabbage to the oven to get a little caramelized about 10-25 more minutes. Serve warm.

Spam Fried Rice

current situation, we are out on the porch with our morning tea and coffee. The birds are chirping the wind chime is chiming, and for some strange reason I have a very mean humming bird who doesn’t like to share. I do have only one feeder but many flowers around so I am sure there is plenty of nectar to share but this little bugger sits in the tree and chases everyone else off. He/she needs a time out! Update – a few minutes ago there were 2 hummingbirds on the feeder, they are trying to make a liar out of me now hmmmmm

So I am sure that this recipe will be cool with some and some won’t even read the recipe; let alone make it all because of the word Spam. Technically it is a terrible name, if you google it the first definition is an irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the internet to a large number of recipients. the second definition is a canned meat product made mainly from ham. No wonder people now a days are not a fan. When I was growing up I distinctly remember my mother grinding it up for ham salad finger sandwiches and I remember my dad using it in westerns and frying it up for a sandwich.

So those of you courageous enough to pick up a can, or dare I say two of this terribly named meat; you should check this recipe out, even the leftovers are quite delicious with a little Thai chili sweet chili sauce.

Spam Fried Rice

dclarkabal
another great way to use up some leftover white rice and also clean out the fridge

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups day old white rice room temperature
  • 1 table sesame oil
  • canola oil for frying
  • 1 can 12 ounce Spam sliced into ⅛ x 1-inch matchsticks - we used light Spam
  • 1 cup carrots about 1½ finely diced
  • 1 cup onion about ½ we used Vidalia
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped green onions, green and white parts about 4
  • 1 teaspoon garlic finely grated/minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 4-6 eggs for frying/serving (optional)

Instructions
 

  • in a large bowl combine the rice with the sesame oil, toss to coat and set aside
  • Using a wok or large pan, set it over medium heat and coat the bottom with 1-2 tablespoons of canola or similar oil. Fry the Spam for a minute or so on each side, or until they are browned and a little crispy. Transfer Spam to a small bowl and set aside.
  • Turn the heat to medium-low and coat with 1-2 tablespoons oil. Once the oil is shimmering and hot, add the carrots and onion. using a wooden spoon or spatula stir-fry until the onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper before increasing the heat to medium. Add ½ cup of the green onions and cook for another minute to soften them. Add the rice, garlic, soy, oyster and Worcestershire along with the Spam. Breaking up the rice as needed with the wooden spoon. Stir-fry until the rice is hot and has absorbed all of the liquids, about 4-5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
  • Create a well in the middle of the rice and pour the beaten eggs. Let sit for 30 seconds before scrambling them. using the wooden spoon let them set another 30 seconds before scrambling them again. This last time bring the rice together with the scrambled eggs. Stir-fry for another minute or so until the eggs are cooked through, Turn off the heat, sprinkle with the remaining green onion and let it sit until you are ready to serve.
  • Make your fried and If you are serving one on top, I am not sure why you wouldn't but you do you!

recipe adapted from cookbook Aloha Kitchen

one pot pork and chourico with rice

Keeping with the use what we have in the fridge theme from last week. My daughter made pulled pork tacos for dinner one night last week. They good but I don’t think they were blog worthy. I really try to blog about dishes I really want you to try. SF I wonder if you will be reading/trying this recipe wink wink.

With that being said there was an awful lot of pulled pork leftover. So what to do; we tossed around a few ideas. adding BBQ sauce and making a slaw for pulled pork sandwiches. Adding some more flavors and making carnitas. Maybe some pulled pork and refried beans nachos. I even tossed around adding some Asian flavors and making some sort of salad.

What won out; because we also had a ton of chourico leftover in the fridge so I wanted to use that up as well. The recipe I am going to share with you today came together very quickly since the pork was already cooked and shredded as well as the chourcio was ground. You can make this by slicing up pork shoulder and slicing chourico. Use what you have or can get.

Chourico a Portuguese spicy sausage pronounced (shoor-reese) vs Chorizo a Mexican spicy sausage pronounced (chor-EE-soh). I find sometimes in my usual store they only have one or the other; not sure why; maybe they had a run on them, maybe they don’t stock a lot I’m not really sure. Regardless they are good and you should try them.

Pork and Chourco with Rice

dclarkabal
a great week night meal, warm comfort food

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder cubed or use leftover pulled pork
  • 2 links chourico sliced or use ground either chourico or chorizo
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock

Instructions
 

  • If you are cooking the cubes pork swirl some olive oil in the bottom of your pan. Add the pork and the garlic and saute on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Slice thin and add the chourico continue sauteing until the pork is medium brown.
  • Add the paprika and the rice. continue stirring until the rice is well coated. Stir in the tomato sauce and the wine. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil
  • As soon as it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is soft and fluffy.
  • Give it a quick stir and either serve it right from the pot or transfer to a serving dish. I will add that the leftovers, if there are any, taste great with a poached egg on top. I would even try browning some of the pork mixture before adding the egg.

Leftover Prime Rib Soup

I hope you made the most of whatever kind of Christmas you had – I am sure it was different in someway from years past. Mine was a little quieter and I think maybe a little less stressful. It usually takes me a few days to make the Christmas explosion in the house; that’s what I call it.  I take down pretty much all of my usual decor and replace it with holiday decorations including three trees; the main tree is real the others are artificial. So the trees were up and two of the main rooms had decor plus the porch. It was understated but still festive.

Hope you have a safe happy healthy and prosperous New Year!

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I will be making this soup again this year. I first made this soup back in 2016 and I know I am reposting this for a third time but it had 245 recent views so I am hoping someone else is making this soup today.

I did cook my roast a little differently this year. I seasoned it with kosher salt and pepper the day before and left it uncovered in the fridge overnight. Placed it on the counter for a couple of hours before putting it in a 250’F oven for 3+ hours internal temp was 210’F. removed it for 30 minutes to let it rest on top of the stove and then raised the heat to 500’F and placed it back in the oven for 10 minutes. It came out perfect!

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The only downfall to cooking it this way was there were no pan drippings to make a gravy or an aujus. I knew this would happen so instead of mashed potatoes we had twice baked which were super delicious.

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This years 3 rib roast

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a couple of years ago 2 rib roast

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Leftover Prime Rib Roast

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
A delicious use for a piece or two of your prime rib roast

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small to medium onion diced
  • 1 or 2 stalks of celery diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary chopped – or use whatever herb you flavored your roast with
  • 3 potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 or 2 pieces of beef chopped
  • Beef Broth – homemade or use your favorite
  • leftover gravy – add so much flavor if you have any use it
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Sauté the onion, celery and carrots till translucent. Add rosemary and cook for another minute or two. Add gravy, broth and potatoes. Once the potatoes are soft add the beef and let simmer to let everything meld together. Serve with bread to sop up the wonderful broth

veggie and sausage sheet pan dinner


I had every intention of writing this earlier in the week.  I had Monday and Tuesday off and figured I would get a jump on things. I spent Monday putting my house back together; sending back returns of things I didn’t use or need from my sons wedding last Friday. I spent Tuesday doing absolutely nothing! Seriously I am embarrassed to say I did nothing but play video games on my phone and watch TV but what I should have done was some grocery shopping maybe some laundry, some baking or cooking so I had something to share on my blog but I didn’t and felt super guilty for it.

So I am writing this Thursday night because we are going away for the weekend and won’t have anytime to write. Current situation is sitting on the porch with a cocktail my husband and dog. It was a beautiful day and so far a beautiful night, not sure how many more evenings like this we will be able to sit out here. Winter is coming!

In my laziness; I know I deserve a break too but why do I feel so guilty about it? I wanted a hands off type of dinner and besides the slow cooker a sheet pan dinner is pretty hands off. I try to use up some things from the fridge so should you. I had some fresh beets; not from my garden thanks to the deer, I did use up the green peppers that we picked and our potatoes. This was the first time I have roasted radishes.  I heard you could but have never tried to. I would do it again; seems they became sweeter with just a little heat.

veggies sausage sheet pan dinner

great weeknight meal
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 3 potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 3 fresh beets peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 5 radish chopped
  • 2 green peppers seeded and diced
  • 3 sausage links diced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • crop dust seasoning

Instructions
 

  • pre-heat the oven to 400'F
  • slice up the sausage and place them around the veggies on the sheet pan
  • add all the veggies onto the sheet pan; trying not to over crowd the pan. If you do you will end up steaming instead of roasting
  • check on everything in about 20-30 minutes. I like mine brown so I put it back in the over for another 15 minutes.

Pesto & One pot pasta

Happy Father’s Day – I hope you are all safe and able to spend a little time with your some of your family today! It is a sunny day here in NH but it is a very warm and humid day. I am currently sitting on the couch writing this blog listening to Psych. That is one of my favorite TV shows to play in the background. I cannot tell you how many times I have been through the entire series. Enough to know pretty much all of the snarky little comments. Image

I don’t know how well your gardens are going, mine are a lot of hit and misses. I went to to local gardening shop yesterday, the same one i have been going to for many many years and was shocked at the lack on inventory they had on hand. I know I probably shouldn’t have been. I know a lot of people took up gardening this year but it was still a little alarming. They have always had a plethora of hanging plants and I could always find what I needed and sometimes things I didn’t know I needed.

Here are a couple of things I use up my basil in. Though basil is one of my favorite summer herb and can be used in so many dishes.  These two are worth checking out!

Basil Pesto 

6 Ounces of washed and dried basil leaves, stems removed
4 Ounces of pine nuts
6-8 Cloves of Garlic
2 Ounces of grated parmesan cheese
Olive oil – Salt and Pepper

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Combine first 3 ingredients in a food processor or blender, pulse to combine. Add olive oil until you get the consistency you like, finish by adding the parmesan cheese a little salt and pepper pulsing until combined.  Enjoy with and/or on just about anything!

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One–Pan Pasta 

 1 lb. Linguine
1 lb. Cherry or Grape tomatoes halved
1 Onion diced
4-6 cloves of Garlic
½ tsp. crushed Red Pepper Flakes
6 Cups Chicken Broth
1 bunch of Basil
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper and the chicken broth in a large straight sided skillet

Bring to a boil over high heat, boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and broth has nearly evaporated.  About 9 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with basil.  Serve with Parmesan cheese.

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Chicken and Pasta bake

Late Friday afternoon my “co-worker” daughter from another company sent out an email to everyone in her company. She created a 30 day act of kindness calendar. Just a few ideas of how to show a little kindness in our area can go a long way! And it seems our country is in dire need of some kindness.
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Her only hesitation was sending it after closing time on Friday or wait till Monday morning. I told her send it, there are some who check their emails and it can’t hurt to sit there unopened until Monday either. Before she told me what she was working on I had planned to go grocery shopping for my in-laws who are 89 & 90 and finally arriving home from being quarantined in FL. My sister-in-law kept them safe for 6 months; now it is our turn.
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Browning all the meat in the same pot separately for several dishes I was making – less dishes

A friend of mine has been spreading kindness for several weeks now making fried rice and selling it with all the proceeds being spread out to some local charities, first responders, families in need you name it and she has touched a lot of lives. My daughter and I picked up some of the rice and then headed to the grocery store. While in the store my daughter was approached by a co-worker who proudly said she had already started on the list and shared with her what she had done just that day. My daughter was so excited to tell me about this. It’s working!
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When we got home and put away their grocery’s and ours I started making food. I wanted them to have a few things they could just pop in the oven, or take out of the freezer and re-heat. How to keep them safe is to keep them home. Which isn’t going to be that easy but we will try.
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I actually find it pretty easy to cook for an army; as they say. I am pretty organized in my thought pattern; say if I am making several dishes and a couple of them need onions I will cut up enough for whatever I am making. Basically I rock at mise-en-place (put in place). Yesterday I made a large pot of chili, a couple of shepherd pies, some bolognese and a I wanted to make a chicken and pasta bake of some sort. I had such a busy afternoon I popped one of the chicken bakes in the oven for dinner which I will share with you here.
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Chicken and Pasta bake

Donna Clark
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
0 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 box pasta cook to package directions
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 packets Sazon seasonings
  • 1 container mascarpone cheese small container or replace with 1/2 brick cream cheese
  • Kosher Salt, Black Pepper and your choice seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Cook your pasta to the package instructions
  • Dice your chicken breast into bite size pieces, season your pieces with your favorite seasoning liberally. I chose kosher salt, black pepper and Crop Dust all purpose seasoning from my local butchers shop The Flying Butcher.
  • In a saute pan add the olive oil and when hot add the chicken, sprinkle on the 2 packets of sazon. If you want the pieces browned do no over crowd the pan and cook in batches. Set aside.
  • In the same saute pan add the butter and flour making a roux. cook the flour for about a minute. Whisk in all the milk and keep whisking until the sauce thickens. Lower the heat and add the mascarpone cheese stir till all combined. Remove from the heat and add the cheddar and half of the mozzarella cheese stir till melted.
  • In a large bowl add the cheese sauce and the cooked chicken to the pasta. Stir till combined. Depending if you are saving for later or having now. Add to your baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is browned and heated through.

https://www.theflyingbutcher.com/

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy and Be Kind

 

Ham bone soup

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Yesterdays lunch

It’s beginning to be a bit like groundhog day around here starting our 6th week working from home! At least that is what my daughter keeps saying. We both work for different companies albeit the companies share a parking lot but they couldn’t be more different. We also have different hours but I created a workstation for us both along one of the walls in the den. It is actually a really cool space but again it is kind of a little groundhog dayish. To break up the monotony a little we are having spirit week this week and there will be pictures.
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What do you usually do with your ham bone if you make ham for Easter? I usually give mine to my mother-in-law. She makes split pea soup which is probably one of the top things to do with a ham bone. But not with me; I love soup but split pea is not for me. I am sure it stems from my childhood not liking green vegetables. I do eat frozen peas on occasion but they are not my go to. So for me to add peas to any of my soups just doesn’t happen.
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My Mother-in-law is still in FL until we are able to get them home safely. Yes I could throw it in the freezer and save it for her but I wanted to try making a soup with the leftovers and make a bone broth with the ham bone. So here is what I made and I might have to fight my mother-in-law for my ham bone next year!

Ingredients

leftover ham diced
1 or 2 carrots diced
1 or 2 celery sticks diced
1 onion diced
2-3 garlic diced
1/4 teaspoon Thyme
1/4 teaspoon Cajun spice
3 tablespoon flour 
6 cups Broth
1 can Pinto beans or 2 Potatoes
1-2 cups Water
 2 tablespoons olive oil 

Instructions

In a stock pot add the olive oil over medium heat add the ham, celery, carrot and onions and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or so. Add the spices cook for another minute. Add the flour and cook for 4-5 minutes. 

Add the broth and water bring to a boil. Add beans or potatoes and then lower the heat to low and simmer for about 30-40 minutes. Take a potato masher and break up some of the beans/potatoes it will help thicken the soup.  Season with salt and pepper if needed. 

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Ham bone broth in my slow cooker – cover with water turn on low and let it go!

 

 

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