Dirty rice Pilaf

Recipe over by the great blog CultureEatz. Go have a look! Only pictures here.

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Macaroni & Cheese

My version of the comfort food that is mac n cheese. With vegetables because they are tasty and add color. Makes a large batch, reheats well in small portions, freezes decently well.

Ingredients
2 table spoon butter
2 table spoon flour
2 cup milk
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 broccoli, diced
1/2 bag of macaroni pasta
Shredded cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch fresh grated nutmeg
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta. You want them a bit underdone. Drain the pasta.

3. In a sauce pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook until fragrant. Add the milk in a few steps, whisking well, we don’t want this sauce too thick. Add salt, pepper, the nutmeg and the cayenne pepper to the sauce.
milk

4. Add the broccoli and simmer until they start turning tender and bright green. They will finish cooking at the baking step. If you like broccoli extra-soft you can steam it before this step.
broccoli

5. Add the peppers and a few handfuls of grated cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.
veggies

6. Mix the sauce with the drained pasta.
pastra

7. Transfer to a casserole dish and sprinkle a generous quantity of cheese on top.
cheese

8. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven to broil for a few minutes at the end to brown the cheese. Serve warm.
cooked

Bread and Butter Pickles

I eat pickles as a snack, often instead of eating chips. So we made a large batch of these. Like the salsa I’ll list the original recipe, but the pictures will reflect the many fold recipe we made. The recipe is originally from”Tart and Sweet” by Kelly Geary and Jessie Knadler.

Ingredients
2 cups white wine vinegar
2 cups rice vinegar
3 cups water
3 cups sugar
1/3 cup kosher salt
6 lbs cucumber, ends trimmed
2 white onions, thinly sliced

Per jar:
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
1/2 tablespoon brown mustard seed
2 teaspoons chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed

*Makes approximately 6 quarts*
ingredients

***

1. Cut the cucumbers into 1/4 inch rounds.
cucumbers

2. Bring the vinegars, sugar, water, and salt to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.

3. Place the garlic and spices into each hot jar.
spices

4.Pack the cucumbers and onions in as tightly as possible without crushing.
pack

5.Pour in the boiling brine, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Make sure the cucumbers and onions are submerged in brine, and check for air bubbles.

6. Process for 10 minutes in boiling hot water.
boiled

Pulled Pork

Delicious tender pulled pork. The recipe is easy, but it does require some time. There is two parts to the recipe. The first is the spice rub that goes on the meat. The second is the BBQ style sauce the meat is covered with.

Made this for a family picnic. Everyone seemed to love it. It does, however, make for a lot of pork. Adjust quantities as you see fit.

Ingredients
2 kg of pork shoulder, in two pieces of roughly 1kg each
1 Boston lettuce
6-12 buns of your choice

For the rub :
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin

For sauce :
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup cola
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 heaping tea spoon of brown sugar.

ingredients1
ingredients2

***

1. Grind the whole spices with a mortar and pestle, if not already done. Then mix together all the spices (for the rub section above).
spice-rub

2. Measure two tablespoon of the spices and set aside. Rub the remaining spices on the pork. Wrap tightly in cling wrap and refrigerate over night.
spices-on-meat

3. Heat the oven to 325F. Remove the cling wrap and wrap tightly in aluminium foil (you want to prevent the juices from escaping the meat). Put in the oven for 6 hours.
wrap

4. About 30 minutes before the pork is done cooking, mix together all the sauce ingredients plus the reserved spice mix in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the sauce darkens and has reduced.
sauce-combine

5. Take the pork out of the oven and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. Then remove the aluminium foil.
cooked

6. Using two forks pull the pork apart into long shreds. Mix the meat with half of the sauce while both are still warm.
pulled

** Optional step : drive 2 hours to picnic.

7. Assemble the sandwich. Put a leaf of Boston lettuce at the bottom on the bun, pile in as much meat as you care for. Spoon some of the sauce unto the top of the bun as condiment.
assemble

Breaded Pork Chops

I love breaded pork chops, slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside. I prefer pork chops without the bone for these. Serve with your favorite bbq sauce.

Ingredients:
1 pork chop per person
1 egg
1 table spoon milk
Bread crumbs
Cayenne pepper
Paprika
Black Pepper
pork-ingredients

***

1. Set two shallow bowls. In the first one, break the egg and add the milk. Beat lightly with a fork. In the second one pour enough breadcrumbs to cover the bottom. Add a few good dashes of paprika, a pinch of cayenne and some black pepper (no, I have never measured these) and mix the spices into the breadcrumbs.
pork-eggscrumbs

2. Put the meat in the eggs, drain the excess for a few seconds then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure the breadcrumb layer is even and covers all the of the pork chop. Put in a pan with some olive oil and butter.
pork-cooking

3. Cook until both sides are golden and the meat is white (or ever so slightly pink in the middle, according to your taste)
pork-final

Vol au Vent

My mother makes this sauce in the microwave. The only time I tried on my own I burnt it and had to spend a good long time scrubbing that bowl. Still, this is a easy, fast recipe and makes for a good filling meal.

Ingredients
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour (I use whole grain flour but regular flour works great)
2 cups milk
4 eggs
2 chicken breast
Vol au Vent puff pastry shells
1 Peas and Carrot can
Cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt, pepper
ingredients

****

1. Put your eggs in a small pot with cold water. Cover and set to medium high heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and time 5 minutes. Then remove the pot from the heat.

2. Cut the chicken breast in small cubes. Add salt and pepper. Cook in a pan until colored on all sides. Don’t worry if it’s not fully cooked, it will finish cooking in the sauce. Set aside.
poulet

3. In a large pot melt the butter and add the flour. If you have some fat/cooking juice in your pan with the chicken drip them into the flour at this stage so your sauce won’t split. Cook the flour until it becomes fragrant. If using white flour, it will not turn as dark as mine did. Add a bit of milk and gather into a ball.
boule

4. Add a little bit of milk at the time, making sure each addition is absorbed before adding more.
sticky

5. Once all the milk has been mixed in, add the drained content of the can and the chicken.       Peel and slices the boiled eggs then add to the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonning (I tend to add a bit of cayenne pepper, some fresh grated nutmeg, lots of black pepper and a bit of salt at this point). Bring to a boil so the sauce thickens.

6. Put the pastry shells in the oven at broil to warm them (about 1 minute, but keep an eye on them). Ladle the sauce over the shells.
final