Browsing: Entrees

Slow Cooker Texan Pulled Pork

January27

Once a month D, Sister #3 and I host an evening at our house where the Moms and Dads of babies, toddlers and young kids get to have a break and spend the evening with adults. They often look a bit harried as they arrive at our place with kids in tow. The number of kids range from two to four per family and when we have a full house there are ten adults and fourteen kids. We hustle the small fry into the dining room and we put down a quick supper. I say quick because the kids are always raring to get downstairs for a play with their buddies. In the mean time the adults fix a plate and head to the living room and tuck in at a more leisurely pace.

I try my best to fix a meal which will be pleasing to both children and adults and sometimes one group takes precedent over the other. But tonight I think that I may have a winner: Texan Pulled Pork with broccoli & kale slaw, ciabatta buns and one bite brownies for dessert.

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I posted this picture on Instagram and have had a couple of requests for the recipe so here goes:

Slow Cooker Texan Pulled Pork
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Texan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
My husband marinates and slow roasts pulled pork in a convection oven but I wanted the ease of a slow cooker. Great for "lesser" cuts like a shoulder.
Ingredients
  • cut of pork to your size and liking
  • 1 c your favourite BBQ sauce (I used Danny's Own Apple Butter BBQ sauce)
  • ½ c apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ c brown sugar (I used a brown sugar substitute, honey or maple syrup would also work)
  • 1 T prepared mustard (I used a new Winnipeg company's called Smack Dab)
  • 1 T Worcestershire
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1½ t thyme
Instructions
  1. Place everything together in a large slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 5-6 hours.
  3. Test doneness by pulling apart the meat with a fork.
  4. Pull off as much meat as desired and toss in remaining sauce.

Kath’s quote:“Pulled pork jokes never get old”. -Joel Edgerton

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Love never fails.

 

 

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Pollo al Mattone

July23

Pollo al Mattone is a method for grilling chicken under a brick to keep it juicy and crisp. Both the Tuscans and the Romans claim to have invented the method. The weight of the brick presses the meat into the grill for faster, more even cooking. It also works as a cover for the meat, keeping it moist. In Italy, pollo al mattone is often cooked over a wood fire.

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Pollo al Mattone
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Tuscan
 
Ingredients
  • two heavy bricks, terra cotta are best
  • aluminum foil
  • 1 whole fryer chicken
  • fresh herbs like basil, oregano, flat-leafed parsley, to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. wash & dry two bricks
  2. wrap bricks in aluminum foil
  3. using a butcher's knife or large kitchen shears, cut the chicken along one side of the backbone
  4. remove the back bone entirely if desired (we left intact)
  5. open the chicken and lay it flat like a book
  6. lift the skin away for the flesh or make small cuts on breast & thighs
  7. push the garlic and fresh herbs under the skin to look like photo above
  8. liberally salt & pepper chicken
  9. preheat barbeque to approx. medium
  10. heat the bricks in a closed barbeque
  11. place chicken skin side down onto grill
  12. using hand protection, place hot bricks over chicken covering as much surface as possible
  13. close lid and let chicken cook 22 -25 minutes without disturbing
  14. remove bricks
  15. using hand protection, grab legs and flip the chicken so the skin side is up
  16. place the bricks on top again
  17. close lid
  18. cook again for 12-15 minutes without disturbing until exposed skin is starting to brown
  19. repeat above action and flip one last time
  20. cook another 5-10 minutes until skin is starting to crisp and internal thigh temperature is 175 degrees
  21. transfer chicken to platter and let rest 10 minutes before serving

I enjoyed this dish twice in one week. The first was the evening of my Mom’s Celebration of Life. I had driven back out to the lake from the city. Girlfriends of 35 years were staying with me that week. Nance handed me a glass of wine and Mary pulled the chicken off the grill to sit. What would I do without my friends?

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Later that same week with Beep, Boo and the Frenchman joining us on the weekend, D tried his hand at the same recipe.

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We had assembled in the gazebo as it looked as if it might rain. When the sky darkened we had to light candles to illuminate our meal. We didn’t mind a bit.

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This was the finished product: chicken and ribs, new potatoes, squash and zucchini. Delicious food, cozy spot, good wine and family. Life is good.

Kath’s quote: “You know when you come across one of those empty shell people, and you think “What the hell happened to you?” Well there came a time in each one of those lives where they are standing at a crossroads… someplace where they had to decide whether to turn left or right. This is no time to be a chicken-shit, Frances“. -Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun

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Love never fails.

 

Cauliflower Three Ways

March23

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Veg -centric dishes are often my choice when we dine at Winnipeg’s trendiest restaurants-Pizzeria Gusto, The Merchant Kitchen, Deer + Almond, Segovia and Enoteca.  These are dishes that focus on flavour. Being meatless is secondary. Proteins are still included, but they’re more of a flavour enhancer. We spotted many such dishes on Scott Bagshaw’s Enoteca menu and finally decided upon the Roasted Cauliflower utilizing “cave aged” gruyere to intensify the taste. Panade added moisture, rough cut almonds provided crunch, orange segments the acidity and capers the saltiness.

We’ve included more veg-centric dishes in our own repertoire at home so recently when Carly Peters the editor of Local Fare Magazine (published on behalf of the Manitoba Restaurant Association) contacted me to see if I had any cauliflower recipes in my repertoire, the answer was an immediate “yes”.

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Our son and his wife (known as J1 and J2 in this space), were the first to introduce us to Buffalo Florets. We were all up at the beach house and they were on dinner duty. They served roasted cauliflower that had been tossed in Frank’s Hot Sauce and then roasted again, as an appetizer course. Loving Buffalo wings but not the calories and fat, we got a kick out of this alternate. When Carly and her photographer arrived to photograph this dish, I had prepared carrots and celery sticks to dip into blue cheese dressing to offset the fieriness of the hot sauce.

Curried Cauliflower is a take off on one of our families’ favourite casseroles-The Best of Bridge’s Classy Chicken. A mixture of mayonnaise, lemon juice, cheese and curry powder smothers a crown of cauliflower and then buttered panko flakes add some crunch.

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Cauliflower Steaks were reminiscent of a classic Sicilian dish that we enjoyed while visiting friends in Castellammare del Golfo, near Palermo.

These recipes will be published in an upcoming edition, but if you would like a sneak peak at them, leave  a comment here.

Kath’s quote: “Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.”-Mark Twain

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

Beef is a Great Protein Choice

February12

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Of all of the “hats” that I wear, food -styling is one of my favourite tasks. Recently I had the opportunity to accompany fitness star Dai Manuel on a visit to CTV Morning Live where he spoke to Kris Laudien about the benefits of consuming beef as a reasonable protein choice.

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Since not all proteins are created equal, the food items that I apportioned and displayed show that if you attempted to consume the equivalent protein of 75 grams of beef, you would have to eat 11 eggs, 100 almonds, 7 T of peanut butter,6 servings of cooked quinoa (125 ml each),3 servings of hummus (60ml each) or 2.3 servings of black beans (175ml each).

I prepared three fabulous beef recipes to illustrate its versatility including

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beef & bean quesadillas and

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a roast beef wrap with red pepper jelly and cashews.

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My favourite though were the Korean Beef Cups which I have permission to share with you here:

Korean Beef Cups
Cuisine: Korean
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Delicious when scooped into lettuce cups or mixed with an Asian noodle.
Ingredients
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 lb Lean Ground Beef Sirloin
  • 1 tsp minced ginger root
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Chopped cilantro or mint or chopped green onion
  • 1 tsp Asian chili sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Bibb lettuce leaves
  • carrot and cucumber matchsticks
  • fresh lime wedges
  • cilantro, chopped (or mint or green onion)
Instructions
  1. Cook garlic, diced pepper, ground beef and ginger root in large skillet using medium heat, stirring occasionally for 8 to 10 minutes until beef is browned and completely cooked. Drain if necessary.
  2. Add soy sauce, chili sauce and sesame oil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Transfer to warm platter. At the table let each person spoon some filling into lettuce leaves. Top with squeeze of lime juice and serve with toppings such as shredded carrot, cucumber, chopped cilantro or mint. Roll up with your hands to eat.

Kath’s quote: “Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.”- Gene Tunney

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Love never fails.

 

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Barley Mango Sweet Pepper Spring Rolls

June24

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At “Life is Good” our summer beach house, weekends are lovely and brimming with family. I love to make suppers from scratch and serve up some special treats of things that the kids might not have the time or the budget to make on their own. With the price of protein as high as it is right now, I love getting wind of a nutritious meal that stretches an item like shrimp into a full meal deal.

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Recently, the team at Go Barley sent me this recipe for Barley, Mango and Sweet pepper Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce including delectable Shrimp. Having cooked often from their award-winning cookbook, I knew that the recipe would be packed with flavour, healthy & simple ingredients and affordable barley!

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I prepared the pearl barley earlier in the day, while I was taking care of the dishes from brunch. This way, we were able to spend the afternoon on the beach with the Wee One, arriving home just in time for me to swing into action.

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I got everything prepped in order to start making the rolls and was able to coax our 2 year old grandbaby to snack on the red pepper and mango to hold her over until supper time. The rolls were fun to put together and I even had a volunteer of our son-in-law to help me out. We have to be particularly resourceful when we are up at the lake because there are a couple of country stores but not one with a full complement of items. Therefore, when I ran out of large rice papers and had to resort to smaller ones, the process got a little bit more time consuming.

When another contingent of family arrived just in time for supper, everything was ready to go for a casual dinner. We knew that there would be snacks around the bonfire later that evening, so we were all content with the lighter fare.

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Barley Mango Sweet Pepper Spring Rolls
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 rolls
 
Hint: I purchased round plastic screens from an Asian grocery many years ago to make working with rice paper a breeze. I use them often and strongly recommend them.
Ingredients
  • Dipping Sauce:
  • ⅓ c fresh lime juice
  • 2 T liquid honey
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 2 t rice vinegar
  • 2 t finely minced ginger root
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • Spring Rolls:
  • 2 T peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1½ c cooked pearl or pot barley
  • ⅓ c chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 10 large rice paper wrappers
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, cut into strips
  • 10 large cooked shrimp, peeled and cut into half lengthwise (mine were smaller so I kept them whole)
  • 1 small mango, cut into thin strips
  • 2 c shredded cabbage or pre-cut cole slaw
Instructions
  1. To make dipping sauce:
  2. In a small saucepan, combine lime juice, honey, fish sauce, vinegar, ginger root, garlic and red pepper flakes.
  3. Heat gently, stirring, just until honey melts.
  4. Set aside.
  5. To make spring rolls:
  6. In a small bowl gradually add 1 to 2 T dipping sauce to peanut butter, whisking until blended, smooth and the consistency of a thick sauce.
  7. Stir peanut butter mixture and cilantro into barley.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Fill a pie plate with or shallow plate with warm water.
  10. Place a rice paper in water and soak for 5 seconds.
  11. Remove and place on work surface until soft and pliable, about 30 seconds.
  12. Across lower third of rice paper, layer approx. 1/10th of the red pepper and the barley mixture, a couple of shrimp pieces and 1/10th the mango and cabbage leaving 1 inch border at each end.
  13. Fold bottom of rice paper over filling, then fold sides towards the centre.
  14. Roll up into a cylinder (mine were more like "packets")
  15. Repeat soaking, filling and rolling with remaining rice paper and ingredients.
  16. To serve, cut each roll diagonally in half.
  17. Serve with Dipping Sauce.

I made a double batch. There were enough rolls for six of us that evening. I served them again as an appetizer previous to our Father’s Day dinner Sunday evening and then D took the remainder to work for lunch. In the mean time I mixed up extra pre-cooked barley, more of the peanut butter sauce, added cilantro and fresh mini cucumbers and enjoyed a tasty barley salad for my mid-day meal.

Kath’s quote: “The keynote to happiness within the four walls that make any home is plain, wholesome, well cooked food, attractively served.”-
Louis P. De Gouy

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

 

 

 

 

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