Best White Fish Dinner Ever!

No word of exaggeration, this is by far the best pan fried fish dinner we’ve ever had.  It all came together so nicely and each aspect complemented the fish so wonderfully.  If any restaurant offered this exact meal on it’s menu, I’d buy it again and again.

 

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Read directions through to get your ingredients:

Orzo:  I browned 1.5 cups raw orzo in 2 tbsp butter,  then in the same large heavy pot added 3.5 cups organic chicken broth (or I could have use my homemade turkey broth), I brought this to a boil then simmered it stirring occasionally until the orzo had absorbed all the liquid, about 20 minutes.  When the orzo was done, I added; 3/4 cup parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup basil leaves, either dried or fresh will do and salt to taste.  Cover set in a warm oven to keep warm (not too warm that it will dry it out!)

Steam green, yellow beans with baby carrots.

I took 4 mid sized pieces of cod, about 3/4 inch thick, dried them well, generously seasoned with tarragon leaves, onion powder, sea salt (to taste) and white pepper, dipped them in whipped egg then a mixture of  1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of all purpose flour and fried one each side for 2 to 3 minutes  in hot olive oil mixed with unsalted butter (if you have super thick fillets, put a lid on to ensure they are cooked in the middle).

When fish is done DON’T OVER COOK!!! place it on a nice large serving tray and place in warming oven.

In the pan that you did your fish in, put 1 generous cup of grape tomatoes cut in half, 1 cup of mushrooms chopped coarsely and 4 large cloves of garlic chopped finely, 3 tbsp butter and juice of one lemon, stir fry quickly until tomatoes soften and it’s heated through.

Serve the stir fried portion over the fish and orzo and vegetable on the side.  OMG….you won’t be disappointed! Any questions, just ask!

My Old Friend

When in doubt, when you don’t know what to make for supper, when you are facing a week where you want meals to be easy, yet healthy and good, slow roast a nice sirloin tip.  The roast is  my old trusted friend that never lets me down.  I know for a good sized roast, the cost can seem intimidating, but if you are looking at the long haul,  it’s a very economical way to go (as is turkey and plump roasting chickens).  The first night with the slow-afternoon long roast, you get to enjoy pure and simple the roast itself with the potatoes and onions and of course the gravy!!  Yum! 

Day two.  Lunch is a nice roast beef salad sandwich or a hot roast beef with some of the left over gravy.  Fast, filling and fantastic!  I like to slice very thin lots of this left over roast and again…sloooow cook in the slow cooker with the gravy a little water, some nice green pepper, a half a cup or more of ketchup and just let it go.   I then toast some hamburger buns, make some fries and you have a nutritious meal with a fast food feel and all the great zingy taste.

Day three.  Thin slices in sandwiches with mustard for lunch and ohhhh la la, a good lot of beef for a quick stir fry for supper. 

And on it goes until every single bite is gone.  No waste and a real bang for your grocery buck.

Roasts, don’t let the initial price throw you…the mileage is incredible.

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Will the Real Shepherd’s Pie Please Stand Up?

Shepherd’s Pie dates back to the North of England and Scotland for many, many, many centuries.  The meat of a Shepherd’s pie is always lamb.  (note: ‘SHEPERD) If you use beef, it then becomes a ‘COTTEGE PIE’. 

This is the pie I made the other day.  Peter absolutely loved it.  I also like the tang of lamb.  I usually eat lamb with a little mint jelly on the side, and Peter does not want to cover the flavour at all.  This is a great cool weather dish.  Click for full yum effect. 

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It’s All In the Broth

Every soup, stew and most stir fries, meat loaves, quinoa based dish and so many more depend on a good start of a really great broth.  Yesterday’s turkey left me with lots and lots of great bones, skin, meat to do an 8 hour cook down to create this wonderful broth that I then pressure canned for later use.  I also flavoured it up with garlic, bay leaves, onion, celery and carrots in the boil and this is what it turned out.  A rich golden lovely aromatic broth.  Pure and simple, no salt added.  Also, no fluoride or chlorine in the water.  Doesn’t get any better than that.

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Flu Bomb Soup

This hearty flavour-blasting soup should blow any flu that dares enter your body to smithereens.   I made the chicken meat balls with lots of cayenne pepper (not so much that it isn’t edible), ground black pepper, garlic powder  and dropped them into a broth of my homemade soup stock, Ontario tomatoes, spinach, a whole knob of fresh ginger, 5 cloves of garlic, carrots, potatoes, fresh parsley, cumin and onion.  I also added some noodles just for texture and yumminess.  If this doesn’t cure us and stop this cold in it’s tracks, nothing will.  Winking smile

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Farm Fresh Lovelies.

I use the good old barter system to get my farm fresh eggs.  I bake my Auntie Heather fresh bread in exchange for farm fresh eggs that they pick up at a nearby farm.  They are lovely eggs, the yolks are so brilliant.  I wash them and place them in a basket in the fridge.  Happy chickens make quality eggs.  Winking smile

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Good old Pea Soup

I wonder, in going from the East Coast of Canada to and including all of Europe, how many different variations there are for Pea Soup?  Is it the same within certain areas, or would one neighbour make it different from the other?  Is it a personal thing, or is there big differences between one geographical area to the next. 

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I like to make my pea soup using a big old pork hock.  I put the peas, water, onion and carrots on a slow long simmer until the meat can be cut from the hock and fat. 

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I then put the meat back into the pot and continue a long slow simmer.  It takes me hours to make my soup.  I season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

How do you make your pea soup? 

Treat them well…

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During the throngs of canning season things get tossed around and somewhat abused so with the ending of this season, it was time to treat my kitchen with a little TLC by reorganizing, cleaning and treating my wooden butcher’s block, spoons and cutting boards.  Wood is so nice to work on and work with and with a little maintenance it will serve you well for a lifetime and even those who come after you.  Every month or so, I treat all the wood with a good healthy thick does of heavy mineral oil.  This keeps them from drying and cracking and helps to stop nasty things from sticking to them and staining them needlessly.  The contents of the butcher’s block is now orderly, clean and ready for whatever I might throw at it next.  My kitchen is  my happy place.

Surprisingly Organic.

We have an old apple tree.  It was given to me by my daughter at least 10 years ago.  It is a variety that they used to use over 100 years ago.  It never produced a ‘nice’ apple in all those years.  We essentially ignored this tree, except for cutting the grass around it.  Imagine my surprise when this year, she actually produced an abundance of usable apples!!  Talk about organic!  I decided to can the apples in pieces so I could use them as needed.  I can use them in a pie, or a crisp, or a sauce whatever I happen to need apples for.  It will be so nice to have quick already peeled apples at hand.  And the fact they are 100% organic is a bonus if my little grandson decides he likes apples!

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I was worried that I would not be able to keep them from turning brown during the peeling and preparing.  I did a lemon juice wash and rinsed it off before I brought them to boil in plain water.  Worked great!

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CANNED APPLES: INGREDIENTS: APPLES, WATER.  (water has no fluoride or chlorine)  How ORGANIC can you get?

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Applesauce used for tonight’s pork roast!  Yummy!!

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Waste not. Want not.

I loath the wasting of perfectly good food.  Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to safety, I don’t mind tossing what needs to be tossed.  But, with a little planning and forethought, you can reduce the tossing. 

I remember when I was growing up, when the loaf of bread was finished it was tossed and finished meant, both crusts were considered as useful as the plastic bag itself.  Imagine how many loaves of bread that would equate to over a life time.  Mind boggling.

As any of you who reads my blog knows, we don’t buy store bought loaves of bread, but we do buy hamburger and hotdog buns.  After a bbq of hotdogs and hamburgers there is always that wayward bun or two that gets left behind.  Refreezing leaves a very dry bun and often those buns get left for months if not years in the freezer.  The same goes for when we start a new loaf of bread, there’s always a crust of a couple of ‘staler’ slices left behind.

Here’s my option for avoiding all that waste.  As you notice the left over slices and buns, toss them in the refrigerator until a few accumulate.  When you have a few buns or slices or a mix of both take out a cookie sheet, follow the instructions below:

Croutons:

Slice left over bread into nice sized chunks.  Spread the chunks out on your baking sheet.  Dab each piece with olive oil using a brush.  Generously sprinkle each piece with garlic powder and dried oregano.  Turn them over and repeat the dab and sprinkle.

Put them in your oven.  Set the oven to 300 degrees F.  Set the timer for 20 minutes.  When the timer goes off, turn the chunks over.  Reset timer for 10 more minutes.  When it goes, shut the oven off.  Leave the chunks in the oven until all is nice and cool.  Put your croutons in an air tight container.  Enjoy on salads.  I have a son in law that loves these croutons so much, he can snack on them.

Bread Crumbs:

Break slices and buns into pieces.  Place on cookie sheet, place in oven.  Turn oven on to 300 F.  Set timer to 20 minutes.  When timer goes off, check to see if the pieces are fairly dry.  If not, set timer for another 10 minutes.  When it goes off, shut it all down.  Let it cool.  Put into blender on pulse mode.  You can do a coarse blend and have a panko style (panko bread crumbs are just that, coarse no crust crumbs) or do a fine blend, which I prefer for meat loaves, breading chicken, etc.  Enjoy and save those grocery dollars!!

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