Dinner By Dagny

Not just food, food with flavor

Archive for the category “Roasted Meat”

Barbacoa Beef

I have a crockpot and a stove top pressure cooker, but my mother-in-law got me a new One Pot combined pressure cooker/crockpot electric with sautéing functionality too. At first I couldn’t figure out how it would fit into my kitchen tools, but after figuring out that I could brown the meat in the same pot as I slow or fast cook the meal, it became more clear in my mind. I stumbled across this barbacoa beef recipe online and decided I would use it.

I got a bit of a late start this morning so used the One Pot. The chuck roast I had was only 3.5 lbs so I had to modify the recipe and would actually modify it a bit further so I’ve included my notes below.

Ingredients:

3.5 lb beef roast

1 onion

1 medium bunch cilantro

1/2 head of garlic

1/2 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 tablespoon salt

Juice of 2 limes

1-2 cups beef stock (I used 3 cups and it was too much. Next time I will use 1-2 cups beef stock)

3 bay leaves

Adobo

Tools:

Blender

Crock pot or pressure cooker or One Pot, depending on availability and time

Directions:

  1. Rough chop onions and blend (in blender) with cilantro, garlic, chipotle peppers, vinegar, cloves, salt & limes
  2. Cut meat into a few pieces to fit best in pot
  3. Season meat with Adobo
  4. Coat meat with blended ingredients by pouring blended ingredients over meat in pot, or rotating meat through ingredients
  5. Pour in beef stock
  6. Toss in bay leaves
  7. Cook on low in crock pot for 10 hours (I cooked it on low for 7 hours but it needed more time so I pressure cooked it for 20 minutes additional minutes on high.)
  8. Serve in tacos, or over rice

Results:

I was too busy cooking and eating to take pictures on this one. I liked this as an alternative to Ropa Vieja and Green Chili Pork. It had the flavors of chipotle and acid. My younger daughter didn’t like this, but she doesn’t like anything with Chili powder or chipotle. I’m still waiting for the opinion of my husband and older daughter so the verdict is still out as to whether I’ll make it again.

Fun with Food (baked sausage, sorrel & parmesan crusted tomatoes)

Over the last couple of weeks, I have tried a couple of new cooking techniques and ingredients. While I’m going to talk about them together they were definitely 3 different adventures.

We still haven’t fixed our grill so when we decided we were going to have bangers and mash for dinner I was figuring that I would do the usual stove top cooking method. The downside to the stovetop method is that you have to focus on your cooking, regularly turning the sausages or adding liquid if the sausage was cooking too quickly. It crossed my mind that there had to be a oven baked cooking method where you could pretty much ignore it. The Internet is a wonderful thing. I found this recipe and decided I would give it a try.

We have good friends who participate in a CSA, where they get fresh vegetables, fruit and eggs from a local farm each week. They were going out of town and Offered us their share for the week. The only caveat is I had to use the ingredients to cook two servings for one of them. Obviously I agreed and went on a grand adventure with my father to pick it up. I got onions, potatoes, peppers, peaches, plums, apples, tomatoes, two types of basil, garlic, and sorrel.

Neither my father or I have never had the sorrel green So we tried it. It had a tart flavor. We took a large “as much as you can eat” portion and went our our way. We started talking about adding it to our salad or using it solely as the leafy green, but then I thought about sautéing it with garlic and olive oil like I would spinach and stuff some chicken breasts with it. I didn’t know that it turns brown and gets slimy when you cook it. It also shrinks significantly. With the addition of spinach, roasted red peppers, feta and cream cheese, I was able to salvage it for dinner. It made a nice flavor combination.

My husband is growing hartman yellow cherry tomatoes in his garden. We brought in about 1 pound of those a day this week so I wanted to use the CSA tomatoes quickly. I got inspired for lunch and did a quick crusting of Parmesan before broiling them. I was a happy girl.

Oven Baked Sausage Directions

1. Remove the sausage from the refrigerator 10 – 15 minutes before cooking
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius)
3. Layer the baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper
4. Place the sausages evenly on the cooking sheet
5. Bake sausage for 30 minutes, turning them once at the 15 minute mark
6. Remove from oven, let rest for 5-10 minutes

Note: the original recipe says 20-25 minutes unless sausages are especially thick and then it should be 40-60. I cooked them for 30 minutes as that is how long it takes on stovetop or grill. For us it was the right timeframe.

 

This is super simple and resulted in juicy, browed sausage.  The biggest issue for us was that the butcher wrapped all the different types of sausage together so we couldn’t tell them apart without tasting them.

Sorrel with Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Feta

1. Remove stems from large portion (enough to fill a colander) of sorrel
2. Heat olive oil in large skillet
3. Add 3-4 cloves garlic crushed or minced
4. Add sorrel and spinach
5. Season with adobo and pepper
6. Add in 1 roasted red pepper, cut into strips
7. Remove from heat, stir in 2 tablespoons cream cheese and 1/4 cup crumbled feta

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Despite the looks of this, it made a good filling for the chicken breasts.  I brushed thai basil pesto (olive oil, lemon juice, walnuts) on the outside and broiled the chicken for 6-7 minutes on each side.  The one complaint was the “bones” of the sorrel, AKA strings that appeared.  However, it was only “found” by one diner and only on the first bite.  The sorrel added a unique flavor to the spinach mixture, and the spinach added some texture and cut down on the sliminess of the sorrel.  Dinner was not only salvaged, it was unanimously considered delicious.

Parmesan Crusted Tomatoes

1. Cut tops off tomatoes and any bad spots
2. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise
3. Dip tops of tomatoes in grated Parmesan cheese


4. Lay on baking sheet, cheese side up
5. Broil on high for 5 minutes

This was easy to prepare and took very little time.  I ate it with some steamed fingerling potatoes and then had plums and peaches for desert.

Broiled Steak and Roasted Corn on the Cob

What does one do while you are anxiously awaiting your kids return from their vacation, and your husband being busy for the evening?  Well, I find some new cooking techniques to use.  One could argue that broiling and roasting are not new, but I usually boil my corn and grill my steaks.  I have grilled my corn, where you soak the corn husks so they don’t burn, and then the corn steams in the husks.  Unfortunately my grill is broken.  I have a grill pan, that I use pretty regularly but that usually makes my house pretty smoky.  With the weather over 100 degrees this week, that wasn’t quite what I was looking for.  Although I’m not sure turning my ovens on was a better alternative.

Ingredients

2 steaks (these were NY strip)

1 corn on the cob

Roasted Corn

A little internet searching told me that roasting corn is amazingly simple.

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and roast in husks for 30 minutes.

That’s it. The silk removes easily, the husks don’t burn and the corn is pleasantly steamed.  Your inner child will enjoy it too as you can use the husk as a handle.

Broiled Steaks

1.  Bring steaks to room temperature and season to your liking

2.  Preheat skillet or broiler pan under broiler for 15-20 minutes

3.  Lay steaks on pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side

4.  Set oven to 500 degrees

5.  cook for 1 minute on each side for rare, 2 minutes on each side for medium

6.  Let rest

Results

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The one on the left is rare for my husband and the one on the right is medium for me.  I started slicing from the smaller end, so it is a little more well done in the picture below.  I don’t think my pan was hot enough as I didn’t get the searing I was hoping for.  I also used a oregano, olive oil, adobo marinade that was kind of bland for my steak (although it had worked on my lamb chops previously).

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I sat back, relaxed with a glass of wine and my dinner.  I enjoyed the quiet solitude of my house for the last few hours.  It was a nice evening.

Broiled Pork Chops and Pineapple

Summer has started and my kids are starting their adventures this week.  Currently, this means one girl is in Luray, VA with Lolo (AKA grandpa) and the other is at home with us.  I asked the one at home what she wanted for dinner and, no surprise, she wanted macaroni & cheese.  She had also picked out some broccoli from the farmer’s market and I thought that would work with whatever protein I chose.

Unfortunately, our grill is on its last leg and is temperamental enough that I can’t use it.  This is leaving my choices as stovetop or oven.  I was already baking the macaroni & cheese so decided I would broil the pork chops.  Additionally, I had some leftover pineapple and absolutely love grilled pineapple.  If you have never tried grilled pineapple, definitely do so this summer.  The natural sugars caramelize and they are delicious.  Since I couldn’t grill them, I hoped that broiling them would accomplish the same thing.

My macaroni & cheese recipe stays pretty much the same, however you can easily mix it up a little bit with the cheese you have available.  I checked my fridge for any open packets and had a couple tablespoons of shredded parmesan, a little bit of sharp cheddar, and a little less than half a cup of ricotta.  I used all of these as my starting point and then threw in a some mixed shredded cheddar  and sprinkled it on top.  The ricotta made it extra creamy.

Ingredients

3 pork chops

Adobo, cracked black pepper, worcestershire sauce for seasoning

2 cups fresh broccoli

6 pieces fresh pineapple

Directions

1.  Season pork chops with worcestershire sauce, adobo and cracked black pepper on each side

2.  Turn oven to broil on high

3.  Broil pork chops for 5-8 minutes per side (depending on thickness)

4.  Broil pineapple for 4 minutes on each side

5.  Let pork chops rest for 5-10 minutes before eating

Broccoli was simply steamed with a little water.

Results

This is a really simple, quick dinner preparation.  You could season the pork chops ahead of time, but it isn’t a requirement.  By now, you have probably figured out that I like vegetables.  If I have the ingredients in the house, I try to throw together a salad to complement each meal.  This one has spinach and tomatoes from the farmer’s market, yellow pepper, red onion and green olives.

Tandoori Salmon

 

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I love to cook and I get inspiration from anywhere. I usually ignore the magazines in the grocery store isles unless of course the headline is pretty compelling. “5 Ingredient & 15 Minute Recipes” on the Cooking Light magazine won me over. While there were a lot of weird combinations, I did find a few things I thought I would try. One was this Tandoori Salmon and another was a curry paste marinated flank steak (which I’m doing tonight and I’ll post it another day).

My youngest daughter asked for pasta to be served along side the fish. I acquiesced somewhat. I heated up some red tomato sauce for her and made a quick lemon, caper, olive oil dressing for mine. I also paired this with some roasted brussel sprouts.

I don’t have a lot of pictures because this meal was super simple to put together, and fairly quick too.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon Adobo

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

4 salmon fillets

1 bag fresh brussel sprouts

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 cup greek yogurt

1/4 chopped cilantro

1-2 garlic cloves chopped

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 handful arugula

1 tablespoon capers

parmesan to taste

Salmon Directions

1. Mix ginger, turmeric, cumin, Adobo and pepper in small bowl

2. Rub spice mixture over salmon

3. Broil 9 minutes

Pasta Directions

1. Boil 1/2 pound pasta per package directions

2. Drain pasta

3. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice

4. Add in arugula and capers

5. Season with adobo, pepper and parmesan cheese

Roasted Brussel Sprout Directions

1. Remove any brown leaves off brussel sprouts

2. Rinse brussel sprouts

3. Place in baking dish

4. Drizzle with olive oil and season with adobo and pepper

5. Broil for 7-9 minutes on each side (there should be some charring)

Cilantro Yogurt Directions

1. Combine yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and cilantro

2. Chill for 15-20 minutes

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Results

While I know that this is a very simple tandoori, the spices worked well on the salmon and it went really well with the brussel sprouts and light pasta. My dad did a little more research and made a more traditional tandoori spice blend (from my inspiration) for his tilapia, with a side of grilled bok choy. He declared it the best meal ever, so I think it must be a winner. Hopefully, he’ll post his link as a comment.

Honey Garlic Wings with Twice Baked Potatoes

This week was pretty interesting in that on top of all our usual craziness of balancing work, school, karate, lacrosse, girls on the run and soccer, my husband had several evening outings including the Caps game and the Nats game.  This left just me and the girls for dinner most nights and I wanted to do something “fun” for dinner.  They love chicken drumsticks and chicken wings, so I thought that would be something that I could liven up and they could have fun eating.  Potatoes were on sale this week at the grocery store (buy 1 get 1 free on 5 pound bags).  That’s a lot of potatoes that I need to figure out how to use.  Who doesn’t love potatoes smothered in cheese (apparently my daughter, but we’ll get to that later).

I envisioned yummy honey garlic wings.  I found several recipes for honey soy wings, but most didn’t have any garlic so I kept looking.  I found this recipe on the foodess blog and the pictures were exactly what I was looking for.  I found this basic twice baked potato recipe as a starting point. I only focused on the proportion of ingredients and only added cheese, mostly because I was too lazy to cook bacon and my kids don’t like blue cheese so that wasn’t even a consideration.

Ingredients

7 decent size potatoes (I chose the largest potatoes from the bag but they weren’t super big.  This was 1 potato per person plus 1 extra to increase the filling amount)

~1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup milk

4 tbsp butter

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

3/4 cup honey

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp sesame oil

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

3 lbs chicken party wings

Honey Garlic Wings Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.  Double line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (I forgot this part so had mild sticking and a difficult cleanup time with the pan)

3.  In large mixing bowl, mix soy sauce, honey, garlic, sesame oil and cayenne pepper

4.  Add chicken wings and toss to coat.  Let marinate at least an hour (I did it for 2 tossing the wings every 30 minutes)

5.  Remove wings from marinade and spread in single layer on baking sheet.  Reserve marinade.

6.  Bake wings for 35 minutes, brushing wings every 10 minutes (for first 20 minutes, but not during last 10 minutes) with reserved marinade

7.  Boil marinade down over until thick and syrupy (I did this for about 35 minutes on medium low) which allowed me to watch it more closely.  The mixture can get burnt pretty quickly if not paying attention

8.  Remove wings to bowl or platter and toss with remaining marinade syrup

Twice Baked Potatoes Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.  Wash potatoes, poke with a fork and rub with a little olive oil

3.  Bake potatoes for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes directly on oven rack.  Potatoes should be thoroughly cooked through and therefore give a little

4.  Allow potatoes to cool to touch

5.  Cut potatoes in half and scoop out centers, keeping skins intact

6.  Mash potato centers and mix with butter, sour cream, milk and cheese together

7.  Scoop potato filling back into potato skins and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes

Results

I thought the wings were pretty addictive.  They were everything I had hoped for.  And the twice baked potato went with it perfectly.  It was creamy and cheesy.  I thought it was a success when my oldest daughter went in for a second helping on the wings.  She had already complained about the twice baked potatoes as I don’t make these regularly, and therefore her only point of reference is the ones they provide at school with the disgusting “cheese sauce.”  Just for the record, I have never used a nasty cheese sauce on anything, so I’m not sure how she thought I would start with this recipe.

Anyway, my oldest daughter finished eating and proclaimed “you can make this again…but don’t add cheese to the potatoes and don’t use the sauce on the wings.”  I explained that the potatoes without cheese were merely baked potatoes and the wings without sauce were just baked wings and if that’s what she wanted, she really didn’t want me to cook this meal again.  She insisted that I could, but only if I made the adjustments she recommended.  I guess it’s all symantecs and everyone’s entitled to their own opinions.

 

Spinach Feta Stuffed Pork Chops with Baked Rice Pilaf and Sautéed Mushrooms and Asparagus

My husband goes through diet phases – sometimes it’s the warrior diet where he only eats once a day, other times it different Men’s Health diets.  I’m not a big believer in diets.  I want to eat what I like, therefore I usually cook what I like.  But sometimes these two conflicts resolve themselves nicely.  The spinach feta stuffed pork chops are only 240 calories.  Even if the pork chop is a little bigger than those used in the recipe and they are a little more stuffed, they still come in at about 300 calories. They are juicy and tasty too.

I figured rice would be a could side dish, but wanted to spice it up a little bit.  I usually have brown rice around as a staple and there are some smoked, unseasoned almonds in my cabinet that I thought I could use so I went in the rice pilaf direction.  I didn’t find 1 recipe that I liked so I took inspiration from a couple of different ones including Alton Brown’s Rice Pilaf, Curried Rice Pilaf and a Basic Baked Brown Rice Pilaf.  I like the baked cooking method in Alton Brown’s recipe but knew that 15 minutes wasn’t going to be sufficient for brown rice.  Adding an extra layer to the rice pot is a pretty common in the Caribbean, but usually it is banana leaves not a towel. And just to reassure everyone, the towel does not catch fire.  It came out hot, but no visible scorch marks.

And lastly the vegetable.  While there was spinach in the pork chop, and red peppers and onions in the rice pilaf, I still wanted a vegetable side.  I asked for suggestions from the people I was cooking for and I got asparagus and mushrooms.  I was pretty sure those ingredients went well together, but there is nothing quite like a quick Google search to figure that out.  I pretty closely followed this buttery pan roasted mushrooms and asparagus recipe.

I think it is important to note that I made 14 pork chops last night (12 stuffed and 2 plain).

Ingredients

14 garlic cloves, minced

Adobo

2 (16 ounce) packaged frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

9 tablespoons cream cheese

rind and juice of 2 lemons

14 boneless center-cut pork chops, trimmed (I go to Harris Teeter for these as their butcher cut is nice and thick.  Generally, grocery stores cut them thinner and they are hard to work with)

6 tablespoons brown mustard

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

5 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 large shallots, minced

1 red pepper, minced

2 cups brown rice

2 3/4 cup chicken stock

3 strips orange zest

pinch of saffron strands steeped in 1/4 cup hot water

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted

3 bunches asparagus

2 packages sliced baby portabellas

1/2 red onion

Spinach Feta Stuffed Pork Chop Directions

1.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat

2.  Saute 6 garlic cloves and spinach until moisture evaporates.  Add Adobo for seasoning

3.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cheeses and rind

4.  Combine remaining 6 garlic cloves, juice, mustard and oregano in a bowl.  Stir well

5.  Cut a horizontal slit through thickest part of each pork chop to form a pocket

6.  Stuff pork chop with spinach mixture (approximately 1/4 cup spinach) into each pocket.  Sprinkle with Adobo

7.  Brush mustard mixture over upward facing side of the pork chops

8.  Broil 6 minutes on high

9.  Flip pork chops.  Brush mustard mixture over pork and broil additional 4-5 minutes until done

10.  Put any leftover spinach mixture into small casserole dish and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees

Baked Brown Rice Pilaf Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2.  In wide, lidded saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat

3.  Steep saffron strands in 1/4 cup water

4.  Add shallot, red pepper, garlic and season with Adobo

5.  Sweat the onions and peppers until aromatic, stirring constantly

6.  Add the rice and stir to coat.  Continue stirring until rice smells nutty

7.  Add chicken stock, orange zest, saffron and water, and bay leaf

8.  Bring to a boil

9.  Stir once, then cover pan with moistened dish towel.  Place lid on pan and fold towel corners over lid

10.  Bake for 40 minutes, then remove from oven, and let sit, covered, for additional 10 minutes

11. Remove lid from rice and turn onto platter.  Add toasted chopped almonds and fluff with fork

Sautéed Mushrooms and Asparagus Directions

1.  Slice 1/2 red onion

2. Chop asparagus into 1 inch pieces, only including the first 2 or 3 inches starting from the tip (that is the most tender part)

3.  In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter and about 2 tablespoons olive oil

4.  Add in vegetables and saute for about 15-20 minutes.  Stir ever few minutes to make sure all the vegetables cook thoroughly

Results

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this meal.  The toasted almonds added that something to the perfectly cooked rice.  The pork chops are quite large, so 1 is enough for either 2 normal size portions or 1 large portion.  And the vegetables were tasty as well.  The leftover spinach mixture did not go untouched.  The leftovers were stuffed into a red pepper for gentle roasting later.

Meatball Subs with Classic Beef Meatballs and Roasted Tomato Sauce

My youngest daughter loves meatballs – turkey, beef, from restaurants or even pre-made packages. Some of the packaged ones are ok, but I usually would toss some sausage in the sauce as well, and the rest of us would prefer that over the meatballs.  After a pretty mediocre packaged meatballs a couple of weeks ago, I decided that I was going to make my own.

I have fond memories of making lasagna with my parents, but I also remember the time and effort it took.  We usually made mini meatballs, which means you are rolling them for quite a while.  And then they were fried in batches, which also took a while.  I had ground beef in the freezer and knew I wanted them baked, so those were the criteria for the meatball recipe I found. My recipe is closely based on this classic beef meatball recipe from epicurious.com.

We hosted a party at our house this past weekend and we had a lot of leftover vegetables.  There were too many cherry tomatoes to eat, so I decided to roast them and add them to the sauce.  This was the basis for the roasted tomato sauce.  I also threw in some of the baby carrots.

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

3 pounds lean ground beef (I used 90%)

1 1/2 cups ricotta

3 large eggs

3/4 cup bread crumbs

3/8 cup dried parsley

2 teaspoons dried oregano

3 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3/4 teaspoon ground fennel

2 cups cherry tomatoes

1 onion diced

4 garlic cloves

1/2 yellow bell pepper

3 handfuls of baby carrots (roughly equal to 3 full size carrots)

2 cans crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)

1 tablespoon each of oregano, basil and garlic powder

4 nice sub rolls

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Meatball Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Drizzle olive oil into a one regular sized 9×13 inch baking dish and a secondary smaller casserole dish

2.  Combine the ground beef, ricotta, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes and fennel in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated

3.  Roll the mixture into round, golf size meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches – I used an ice cream scoop to help), making sure to pack the meat firmly.  Place the balls in the prepped baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly in even rows vertically and horizontally.  The meatballs should be touching

4.  Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through

Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.  Spread cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves into baking dish in single layer.  Sprinkle diced onions on top.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper

3.  Roast tomatoes for 30 minutes until tomatoes

4.  Add roasted vegetable mix to blender and add in pepper and carrots.  Blend until smooth

5.  Put blended tomato mixture in saucepan with canned crushed tomatoes, add oregano, garlic powder and basil.  Stir and let simmer for 25-30 minutes.  Add meatballs to sauce and simmer for additional 15 minutes

Meatball Sub Directions

1.  Cut roll in half lengthwise

2.  Moisten bread with sauce (as you would put mayo or mustard on a sandwich)

3.  Add in 3 meatballs and layer with some additional sauce on top

4.  Sprinkle top with mozzarella cheese and broil for 4 minutes until cheese is melted

Results

I think I’m scarred from packaged meatballs.  I don’t think I can do it again.  These were awesome.  They paired very nicely with the roasted tomato sauce and I picked some perfect sub rolls.  It makes me very happy when things all come together.

Lamb Chops with Roasted Cauliflower and Cous Cous Salad

This meal was a tribute to lemon.  I didn’t realized that until after I cooked it, and had I thought ahead might have changed the flavors up a little bit.  That said, I believe that if a flavor is pleasant to you, use it.  My family really likes lamb, therefore we tend to have it pretty regularly as part of our family meals.  As for the roasted cauliflower, I tried this simple recipe for the first time in the last couple of months as I was getting bored of just standard steamed vegetables.

Ingredients

1 cup Israeli cous cous

1 red bell pepper

1 – 1.5 cups each peas, corn, broccoli (these had been previously cooked leftovers.  you could have just as easily cut up celery, carrots and a couple of different colored bell peppers.  The key is to add vegetables you and your family enjoy with a variety of different colors to make it look pretty)

6 lemons (I ended up using 3 lemons and about 1/4 cup of lemon juice)

4-5 pounds lamb shoulder chops

2 packages frozen cauliflower

1 cup of olive oil

Adobo, fresh cracked pepper, oregano

Lemon Vinaigrette  Directions (used on cous cous salad and as marinade for lamb chops)

1.  Juice 3 lemons into small bowl

2.  Add Adobo, fresh cracked pepper and oregano

3.  Drizzle in ~1/2 cup olive oil, whisking as it is added

4.  Taste and add any additional seasoning as needed

Cous Cous Salad Directions

1.  Cook cous cous per the package directions

2. Chill cous cous down in refrigerator

3.  Cut vegetables down to small dices (to mimic approximate size of cous cous) as needed

4.  Mix vegetables and cous cous together and stir in vinaigrette

Roasted Cauliflower Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.  Place frozen cauliflower in casserole dish

3.  Sprinkle zest and juice of 1 lemon over cauliflower

4.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with Adobo and fresh cracked pepper

5.  Roast for 30-40 minutes, until cauliflower is tender and florets start to turn golden

Lamb Chop Directions

1.  Marinade lamb chops in lemon vinagrette for a minimum of 10-15 minutes (1-2 hours is preferred)

2.  Heat grill pan over medium high – high heat

3.  Sear lamb chops for about 2 minutes  on each side

4.  Turn down heat to low – medium low and cook lamb chops for additional 6-8 minutes

5.  Check meat texture or temperature (130 – 140 for medium rare, 145 – 150 for medium.  see this finger test article for details on checking doneness by touch)

I added a little mint jelly as I like the pairing of it with lamb.

Results

I know that a meal is good when my daughters ask for several additional servings.  In this case, one daughter had 3 servings and another daughter had 2.

Roast Chicken with Roasted Root Vegetables

One of the simplest and tastiest dish in my repertoire is roast chicken.  It really isn’t that difficult, but until recently, I only had the time to do this on the weekend.  You do need a couple of hours to cook it, but if you have planned appropriately, you have enough for dinner, leftovers and still some tidbits on the carcass left to make a hearty pot of soup.   Unfortunately, I have also learned that I need a minimum of a 5-6 pound chicken for it to manage all this for my family.  I purchased a 3-4 pound whole chicken a couple of weeks ago, and my kids had devoured it so there wasn’t enough for my husband or any subsequent meals.

Ingredients

1 whole chicken (I used a 7.5 pound oven roaster)

lemon juice

Adobo, fresh ground pepper, thyme, oregano and paprika

1 each of medium sweet potato, white potato, turnip, beets

olive oil

wine, broth or water for basting chicken

Chicken Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.  Make sure to remove the hearts, livers, necks from the cavity of the chicken.  I will usually put these at the bottom of the roasting pan to make the pan drippings more rich

3.  Rub down entire chicken, inside and out, with lemon juice (This is a habit I picked up from my parents, who I believed picked it up in St. Croix.  I think it was originally for sanitation reasons, but then stuck around because it adds a nice flavor and makes the skin brown and crispy)

4.  Season chicken thoroughly with Adobo, fresh ground pepper, thyme, oregano and paprika

5.  Place chicken on rack in roasting pan

6.  Put in oven for appropriate cooking time.  I use 20 minutes per pound which equates to approximately 2 1/2 hours

7.  Every 30 minutes, baste chicken with basting liquid (I used a light red wine I had on hand)

Roasted Root Vegetables Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2.  Peel and cube root vegetables

3.  Drizzle root vegetables with olive oil and season with Adobo and fresh ground pepper

4.  Cover with foil and roast in oven for 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender

5.  Uncover and broil vegetables for 5 additional minuts to add additional color and texture

I served the roast chicken and roasted vegetables with green beans, a mixed vegetable salad and homemade cranberry sauce.

 

 

 

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