Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Salad

I love salad.  I didn't used to but then I discovered Spring Mix which used to be called Mesclun Mix.  I love this stuff.  I've never been a fan of iceberg lettuce and now that I make my salads with other greens I adore them.  Here is a nice easy summer salad that required no chopping.  NONE!  How easy is that!?!

serves 1

2 handfuls of Spring Mix Organic salad out of a box/bag
Sprinkling of chopped walnuts
Sprinkling of Crasins
Sprinkling of organic goat cheese crumbles
Newman's Own Raspberry and Walnut Dressing
Fresh cracked pepper

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuna Poached in Olive Oil

I was dubious about this one.  I found several recipes on the internet for this with most of them requiring an hour of poaching time.  From poaching salmon I thought this a bit odd so I came up with my own recipe and 20 minutes results in nicely cooked fish from a frozen slab with next to no prep time.  You don't even have to defrost the fish!

When I tasted it I was blown away.  This is really good!!  I'm not a huge tuna fan but this tastes wonderful.

If you like your tuna on the rare side, use sushi grade tuna and cook for 5 minutes per side.  If you cook it from frozen put it into the oil while the oil is still cold otherwise the oil will spray all over the place as the ice boils off.  Very dangerous!!  So put the frozen fish in the oil, put on the pan cover then heat.   Using a clear pan lid lets you keep an eye on what is going on inside the pan without having to lift the lid.

serves 1-4

1/2 - 1c good quality olive oil  (I used Spectrum Organic Mediterranean Olive Oil)
sprig of fresh rosemary or 1/2t dried
several sprigs of thyme or 1/4t dried
crushed clove of garlic
generous pinch salt & pepper
1-4 tuna steaks (I used albacore cut about 3/4" thick)

  1. You'll need a heavy skillet with a lid for this.  Fill with about 1/2" of olive oil.
  2. Add seasoning and fish.
  3. Cover and heat on low so the oil just bubbles.  I used a clear lid so this was easy to monitor.  I started at a higher temp and as the oil heated up I kept turning it down so it stayed at a nice low simmer.
  4. Cook for ten minutes on each side.
  5. Use pan lid as a shield in case you drop the fish into the oil and splatter.  There is nothing worse than hot oil burns.   And yes, I did drop the cooked steak.  It fell apart as I was trying to get it out of the pan.
Serving suggestions:
  • Serve hot with rice and garlic green beans or asparagus.
  • Serve hot with a large spring mix salad with a light dressing.
  • Tuna can be stored in the cooking oil and then served up flaked on top of salad.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Orange Cranberry Pork Roast

I am so happy I can finally post this recipe.  I have managed to tinker with it enough that it can be considered almost my own.  The original recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks and I highly recommend it:  Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'Dea. 

All variations of this has been gobbled up by my family.   It is supposed to feed four but between the three of us and the cat there isn't enough left for a fourth person.

It looks complicated but it is really easy to put together and of course it is a slow cooker recipe so you can go rest for at least three hours before having to get up to make some frozen veg for sides.

serves 3-4

2-3lb pork loin roast
1t powdered ginger
2T cornstarch (preferably organic GMO free)
1/4t pepper
1-2T whole grain mustard
generous pinch Celtic sea salt
1c fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2c sucanat
1 clove crushed garlic or 1/4t of minced garlic out of a jar
1/3c orange juice
3-4 thin slices of fresh orange
2-3c coarsely diced sweet potato
  1. Put the cornstarch, ginger and pepper in a gallon ziplock bag and mix thoroughly.
  2. Grease slow cooker with some olive oil.
  3. Rinse and pat dry pork roast.
  4. Put roast in ziplock bag and shake around to coat all sides with cornstarch mixture.
  5. Place roast in slow cooker fat side up.  Dump all extra cornstarch mixture into slow cooker with the roast.  This will act as thickener for the gravy that forms.
  6. Paint mustard on top of roast with a knife.  Adjust amount to personal taste.
  7. Put cranberries, juice, sugar, salt, garlic on either side of roast.
  8. Lay orange slices along top of roast neatly.  This makes for a nice presentation later in addition to flavoring the roast itself.
  9. Layer potatoes along each side of the roast.
  10. Cook on high for 3-4 hours.
  11. Remove roast and put it on serving platter.  Surround with potatoes and cranberries.
  12. Scoop out sauce and put it in a gravy seperator and let sit for a few minutes.  Pour off into gravy boat leaving fat behind.  Put a few cranberries in for interest.
  13. Serve with green beans or carrots.  YUM!!
If the roast hasn't been frozen by the supermarket it literally falls apart when cooked.  I've often removed it from the cooker in pieces.  This is hands down the best pork roast I've ever had.  Even my cat thinks so.

Scallop and Leak Soup

I can't believe I haven't posted for a month.  I had a real bad reaction to The Diet From Hell.  I'm just starting to feel a little better.  This illness just rips time away so fast.  Too make up for my absence I have two new recipes, Scallop and Leak Soup and Orange Cranberry Pork Roast.

The soup is a variation on Icky Tummy Soup.   It is a basic broth with contents that can be tinkered with endlessly.  The broth has to be light so as not to take away from the flavor of the contents.  My favorite broth is Pacific Foods which I cut with water.  Swanson makes a decent broth that is a cheaper but non organic alternative.  I don't think the Swanson would need to be cut with water however.  Another alternative is saving up home made broth and freezing it for later use.  Again this is light enough that it doesn't need to be cut.  Or at least mine is anyway.

serves 1

1/2c Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth + 3/4c water
2c chicken broth

1t GF Tamari sauce
generous pinch of salt
2" length of leak
1" cube of fresh ginger or 1/2t of minced ginger out of a jar
1/4t of minced garlic out of a jar
6 large scallops
handful of rice stick noodles

  1. Put broth, water, tamari, garlic, salt in pan and bring to boil.
  2. Cut leak into matchsticks or rounds or half moons and add to broth.
  3. Cut fresh ginger into skinny matchsticks and add to broth.
  4. Add scallops.
  5. Cook for 3-5 minutes.  I used frozen scallops so they took about five minutes to cook through.  Scallops are easy to overcook and become tough and chewy.  To check fish one out and cut in half.  It should no longer be translucent in the center.
  6. Taste broth and adjust seasoning to taste.  I like ginger and garlic and soy so I'm heavy handed with these.
  7. Toss in the rice stick noodles.  The soup is done when the noodles go soft which happens in seconds.

Variations on a Theme
  • Add some lemongrass matchsticks.
  • No leaks?  Use scallions instead.
  • Sprinkle fresh parsley leaves on top.
  • Use other fish such as Salmon, Halibut and/or shrimp.  They can be combined for extra awesomeness. If using a larger piece of frozen fish adjust cooking time.  Fish will flake easily with a fork when done.
  • Use tofu instead of fish.  Not completely vegetarian but tastes good none the less.
  • Use leftover or frozen rice instead of noodles.  Just add prior to adding fish.  Not overcooking the fish is very important to the quality of this dish.
  • You can also use Udon or Soba noodles instead of the rick stick but these contain wheat.  Add them at the appropriate time to let them cook through without over cooking the fish.