Tag Archives: dinner

Chuck Eye Round Roast

Rather than spending half the day in the car battling traffic on the way to the shore, we decided to have a stay-cation in the relaxing comfort of home. A day that started by watching bike races on TV, followed by walking slowly around the property, swimming laps in our neighbor’s pool, and cooking from the heart. This day was soothing for the body and soul. The day concluded with a casual dinner that I cooked for my husband and in-laws. Even though this is not a traditional summer meal, it was satisfying and light served with a red leaf lettuce salad (bought locally from the Farmer’s Market) and roasted yellow beans.

 

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Parsnip and Potato Mash

4 large parsnips, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 c. small red potatoes
2 T. grass fed butter
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 large cloves garlic, grated
2-4 grinds of black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt, plus more for boiling water

Place washed potatoes and parsnips in a large pot and cover with water.  Add a big pinch of sea salt.  Bring water to boil, remove lid and continue to cook parsnips and potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender.  Drain water from pot.  Return parsnips and potatoes to pot and let them release steam into the air.  By removing extra moisture this way, the parsnips and potatoes can soak up flavors better.  Now, add everything else to the pot and begin to mash with a potato masher or the back of a spoon.  (My masher broke and I keep forgetting to buy another one, so end up using this technique more often than I wish to.  This technique just takes a little bit more arm strength and perseverance.  Haha, such is life!)  Taste it, maybe it needs more salt or butter, add it, if that suits your taste.  Makes about 4 servings.

I served these mashers with a mixed baby greens salad tossed in a Preserved Lemon and Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette along with a chorizo sausage, nitrate free of course, and a little bit of dijon mustard.  This is a delicious early autumn meal and pairs well with hard cider.

Herb Encrusted Pork Loin

1 pork loin, about 1-2 lbs
1 T. pastured lard or tallow
1 T. sea salt
1 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp dried lemon thyme
1/2 tsp dried summer savory
1/2 tsp dried pineapple sage
1/2 tsp black pepper

Heat an oven safe saute pan over medium-high heat.  Combine sea salt, granulated garlic, pepper, lemon thyme, summer savory, and pineapple sage on a dinner plate.  Mix spices with fingers, rubbing the herbs between your fingers to release oils and to make the mixture more coherent.  Spread this over the plate and then roll pork tenderloin in it to coat.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add lard to saute pan and let it melt to coat pan.  Once pan is hot, place pork in it to sear.  Let the pork cook, undisturbed for 5-7 minutes until the pork has a  blackish-brown crust.  Turn tenderloin with tongs and let sear on the other side for a couple of minutes, then place pan in preheated oven.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.  The pork, when pressed upon will still be slightly squishy, that is okay, it means the meat will remain juicy once sliced.  Lest rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.

I served this tender pork tenderloin alongside a simple green salad with radish and chives topped with Stacey’s Salad Dressing for a weeknight meal.  This pork makes a nice holiday dish too!

Christmas in July Chicken Coconut Curry

aka Red Curry and Green Vegetables with Chicken and Coconut Milk

1 large zucchini, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 large onion, sliced into 1 inch chunks
4 stalks celery, sliced into 1 inch chunks
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 can coconut milk
1 T. coconut oil
1/4 c. or 2 oz of red curry paste
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 inch ginger root, grated
sea salt

Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add coconut oil and onion with a pinch of sea salt.  Cook until the onion begins to turn translucent.  Add celery and a sprinkling of sea salt.  The idea is to add a touch of salt to each ingredient that is added to the hot pan, this is a chef technique that brings out the flavor in each food.  Add red curry paste and stir to coat vegetables.  Add a splash of water if the pan is too dry.  Add chicken, ginger, garlic, and a pinch of sea salt.  Stir to coat everything.  Let cook, stirring occasionally until chicken is about half way done, about 5 minutes.  Add zucchini and a touch of salt, stir gently and put lid on to cook for another 10 minutes.  Water should release from the zucchini as it cooks, so adding water is probably not necessary, but add a splash if pan is too dry.  Turn heat to low, add a can of coconut milk, stir it in and warm through, about 1 minute.

Baby Back Baked Ribs

Rib Rub:
1 T. sea salt
1/2 tsp each: garlic powder, black pepper, chili powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
dash allspice

1 rack of baby back ribs, preferably pastured and/or humanely raised

Rub ribs with rub at least 1 hour prior to cooking or apply to ribs and allow them to sit in the fridge overnight.  Put ribs in roasting pan with about 1/4 c. of water and cover pan with tin foil.  Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours.  During the last half hour, apply your favorite bbq sauce, return to oven.  After 4 hours is up, remove from oven, apply another coat of bbq sauce, turn oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 15 minutes to add a caramelized coat of sauce.   Allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes, before slicing.  Slice into sets of three, though, hopefully, they will fall apart easily.  This was a large dinner for two, and they were so good, I am not sure I would had wanted to share.  Serve with summer sides like: Watermelon, Garden Greens with Radish Salad, and Roasted Red Potatoes or Potato Salad.

Juicy Baked Chicken Breast

It seems so simple, bakechickend chicken breast, but if not careful, chicken can end up dry.  This method will allow the chicken to be juicy.  Please pay attention to the cook time and observe the chicken to determine when it is done.  When the chicken feels firm, yet still has a slight give when pressed in the center with your finger, it is done.  Juices will be clear.   If your finger sinks in easily, it is not done.  If your finger feels no give when pressed into the chicken, it is over done.  Cook time will take 14-18 minutes depending on size of breast.  For a chicken breast with the tender attached, this will take 16-18 minutes.  For a smaller breast, it will take 14 minutes to cook.  Once taken from the oven, the chicken will need to rest for 2-5 minutes before slicing.  If they do not rest, the chicken will not be juicy.

Also important is choosing high quality chicken.  Organic or humanely raised will have the best flavor, but will also come from chickens that were treated kindly.  Chickens that are treated kindly have more nutrition.  Organic chicken will also have no antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, or herbicides being ingested due to the food that the chickens are consuming.  They are healthier and happier, meaning you will be healthier and happier when eating them.  For this recipe, you will need:

2-4 organic chicken breasts

A good sprinkling of seasoning salt, we call ours “Salt, Pepper, Garlic” because that is what it contains, and that is all that it contains.  No fillers or funny stuff because I make it myself.  It consists of approximately 75% sea salt, 15% garlic granules, and 10% ground black pepper.

Put a broiler pan or baking sheet in the oven and turn oven to bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  The pan needs to preheat with the oven, so that when the chicken touch the pan, they sizzle and start cooking from the bottom.  Rinse the chicken under cold water and season  both sides liberally with seasoning salt.  When the oven is preheated and pan is hot, remove pan from oven.  Place chicken, equally spaced on pan, the chicken should not be touching.  Bake 14-18 minutes depending on size.  After the timer goes off, test the chicken breast using the method described above.  Let rest 2-5 minutes before slicing.

This basic chicken recipe is excellent for topping salads, serving alongside roasted vegetables, or with a nice sauce like Cilantro-Walnut Pesto.