Monday, July 31, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
Earlier in the week I made my fat free ceasar dressing so I have some of that leftover plus some lettuce so we'll have a salmon ceasar salad for dinner when we get there tonight. All I have to do is wash and tear the lettuce, toss with the dressing and grill the salmon. Done!
For Saturday night it is the traditional beer can chicken. Tim's son is a bit fussy about what he likes on the bbq so once I found out he likes the whole chicken done this way, it's how I always do it for him. And we use the leftover chicken for chicken salad sandwiches during the week. Tim's fav is buffalo chicken salad which uses mayo, hot sauce (tabasco), blue cheese dressing or real blue cheese, depending on what I have on had, and grated carrots. Just don't put it on the bread until right before eating because it will get really mushy!
See ya at the cottage! I'll be the one with the cocktail in my hand....
Remember, my homemade seasonings are just dried spice and herb mixes I've done up ahead of time. Had I not had them on hand I would have used some of my dried herbs to get the same results.
Experiement! You just may surprise yourself!
Thursday, July 27, 2006
For the stuffing for my eggplants, I'm using rice, peppers and red onions and feta cheese. Add a little minced garlic and some Greek seasoning (I used my homemade seasonings but you can use store bought seasonings or just toss in some dried oregano and mint, maybe some rosemary). And you're good to go. I'm going to grill some chicken legs with the thighs attached to go with it. I will probably remove the skin from the chicken to save on fat, drizzle with some lemon juice and sprinkle some seasoning on. Again, I'm using my own poultry seasoning but you could use store bought poultry seasoning or just sprinkle on some thyme, sage, savory, tarragon, herbs de Provence or whatever you feel like. Want to keep it Greek tasting, use your Greek seasoning or use some oregano and mint. I might see what my fresh herbs are like... I know I have some chives, basil and rosemary. Hmmm, that might be interesting. If I use the fresh herbs, I won't remove the skin. I will put the fresh herbs under the skin! Mmmm, I better go find some lunch...
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
And last night's meal wasn't huge, one standard box of rotini, 1 lb of steak, half a head of cauliflower and broccoli (already cut up!) and a green and yellow zucchini. Talk about spreading your food dollar around!
A while ago I had gotten a bag of dried red chilies at the asian market in Halifax. These are spicy chilies. I use them in dishes that call for any type of chili. The recipes I'm looking at tonight all call for green chilies but since I have these dried red ones on hand, I'll use them. They are super hot so I'll only use one or two. I love buying dried ingredients. They are so convenient to have on hand.
Last night I made a pasta dish that involved no real sauce except for the juices from the beef and some pasta water. I incorporated some chunks of fontina and mozzarella cheese. It's hard to do this without the cheese melting into one large clump, which is what happened to me last night. The secret is to quickly toss in the cheese, get it off the heat, stir just enough to spread the chunks around and then serve. I stirred too long and left it on the heat so the cheese melted too much. In this dish I also had slices of flank steak, brocccoli, cauliflower and zucchini and fresh basil. I had pre-grilled the steak and let it rest while I made the rest. I sauteed the veggies with my italian blend and olive oil. I boiled the pasta and saved 2 cups of the water before I drained it. I use that water to moisten the mixture before I put the cheese in. The interesting part about all this, I did it all on the bbq because we had lost power!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
I'm also making my own Ketchup, Dijon Mustard and BBQ Sauce. It really allows me to control the sodium levels in our diet. I've already made the Dijon Mustard and it tastes way better than the bottled stuff I had in the fridge. So I dumped out my bottled stuff and will use the same jar for my homemade stuff. I'll label it as homemade and date it so I'll know when to toss it if we haven't used it all. It's good for about 6 weeks. I had to make it to go into the BBQ sauce, which I'm doing next. The dijon was easy, just mustard powder, white wine, olive oil, cider vinegar and sugar. Everything but the mustard powder was just small quantities. Very healthy!
So this is what The Gourmet Goddess does on her weekends...
Monday, July 17, 2006
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Another thing I'd like to do is to go to Oven Head Salmon Smokers also in Bethel and Wolfhead Smokers in L 'Etang (both are accessible from the highway going from Saint John to St. Stephen, TransCanada #1, they are both close to St. George) and get samples and compare. It's not a major tasting but it would be fun. We have friends who love good smoked salmon so I think we'll get some samples before they come for a weekend. (Yup, Tan, that means you!)
Friday, July 14, 2006
- 1 6 0z can of tune packed in olive oil - DON'T DRAIN
- 1 12 oz can of white kidney beans or cannelini beans,rinsed and drained.
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- handfull of cherry tomatoes or a small tomato diced
- about 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped but if you don't have fresh basil, italian seasoning will do in a pinch. I had some pesto so I threw that in instead.
Mix it all together and your done.
I'm going to do a beer can chicken and some fresh veggies I get at the market that is handy to our cottage. And I'm also going to make the following for lunch.
- Mutigrain bread
- Grilled Peppers
- Grilled Red Onion
- and whatever cheese is already at the cottage but a fresh mozzarella would be nice but I'm might try Havarti.
I'll grill the peppers and onions and then throw the bread on just to get a little crispy. Then I'll assemble it all into a sandwich. I can't wait to try it.
And this is the plan for Sunday's dinner. Portobello Burgers!
- Portabellos Mushrooms
- Whole Wheat Buns
- And, depending on what I find, I could go with
- Feta, Tomato, Olives, Cucumber, Peppers Oregano OR
- Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Summer Squash (Zucchini), Arugula, Basil
I'll dice it up and make it as a topping for the Portabellos. Grill up the Portabellos on the grill and call it a burger!
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
The second thing you need is a good stuffing. Mine usually involve cheese. I rarely use a "starch" (potato, rice, bulgur wheat, couscous, etc) in my meat stuffings but I will use breadcrumbs. I save the 'starch' stuffings for the veggies. I don't know why, it's just my thing. Couscous and bulgur wheat are great stuffings because you just soak them in water and they are good to go. No waiting for cooking and then cooling time like you would need with good rice or potatoes. Add some cheese and herbs and you're done. Or you can get adventurous and add even more veggies. Chopped spinach or broccoli are excellent additions to stuffing, as is onions, mushrooms, grated carrot, tomatoes.
I like to make stuffing for meats out of spreads. Pesto works well. I also have a nice white bean spread made from white kidney beans, basil, garlic and parmesan cheese all pureed in the food processor. Good on a cracker or piece of bread but spread a beef roast cut open with the mixture, tie it back up (cotton butchers twine is a must, you can get it in the grocery store just ask) and you have a company worthy piece of meat. And the next day you can take thinly sliced leftovers on a good bread for lunch!
Cooking method of choice for me is the indirect method. It allows the stuffed item to cook all the way through, or if your stuffing is already mostly cooked, it allows the stuffing to warm all the way through and for the cheese to melt. Delish!
Monday, July 10, 2006
This past week I found a box of arugula at the grocery store. It's not something we get in bulk like that here. Mostly you see it in the herb section in little bags. I'm so excited, we have some many uses for arugula. For those of you not familiar with arugula, it's peppery in taste and does well when balanced with a sweet or salty taste. Last night I served Planked Salmon with Maple Dijon Dressing and Parmesan on a bed of Arugula. It was perfect. The contrasts of flavors was just right. Tonight I'm making those Swedish pizzas I talked about. I have great multi-grain crusts I got at the farmers market. The pizzas consist of a little tomato sauce (I use my favorite pasta sauce that's low in sodium) Proscuitto, Arugula, Mozza and Parmesan. Yum. And I'll do them on the grill using the indirect heat method! Quick and Easy!