Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pork Dressing (Stuffing)

Pork Dressing (Stuffing)
So I found out that apparently stuffing isn't called stuffing unless it's stuffed in something while it cook...and if you don't do that it's called dressing. How strange. I suppose it makes sense to not call it stuffing, but it's weird to call it "dressing". Am I supposed to use it to "dress" the food on my plate? Hmmm...English can be such a funny language sometimes.

It's yummy though! Especially if you "dress" it with gravy. HAHA. Or I suppose you can. >_>

Pork Dressing (Stuffing)
(serves 10-12)

  • 2 lb lean ground pork
  • 3 apples, cored and diced
  • 1 onion, sliced into strips
  • 1/4 loaf of bread, cubed (I used Cheddar & Jalepeño)
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (I grounded up the Cheddar & Jalepeño bread)
  • 2 Tbsps fennel seeds
  • 2 tsps dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsps canola oil (I used bacon grease)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat up oil over medium high heat. Brown ground pork wish fennel seeds, oregano, cumin and red chili flakes.
  3. When the pork is no longer pink, add in apples and onion strips. Cook until onions are soft and meat is cooked through.
  4. Stir in bread and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer to a casserole dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top layer is golden and crispy.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

Brussels Sprouts & Bacon
People are weird. Or maybe I'm the weird one. Yes, I'm sure that's it. But I love brussels sprouts. Sure they've got a cabbage-y taste. But that's really what they are - tiny cabbages. They're even better when deep fried and sprinkled with Parmesan. Yum. I don't deep fry stuff at home, so I'll go out for that.

In any case, I made some brussels sprouts with bacon for Thanksgiving. I think it was a hit. At least people ate it. So that's a win, for sure.

Brussels Sprouts & Bacon
(serves 12-14)

  • 2 lbs brussels sprouts, washed and cut into halves
  • 1 lb bacon, chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Water

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, throw in the chopped bacon and cook on medium heat until bacon bits are crispy. Transfer bacon bits onto a towel lined bowl or plate. Set aside.
  2. Drain off all but 1/4 cup of bacon grease and return pot to the stove. Turn the stove up to medium high and add brussels sprouts. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they're tender crisp (about 10 minutes). Season with lots of salt and pepper.
  3. Take the pot off the stove, or just turn off the heat. Mix in bacon bits and lemon juice.

I like to dump my bacon into a cold pot and then turn on the heat. Starting with a cold pot ensures that I'm not gonna get splashed with grease the moment raw fat touches a hot surface. You can also add a splash of water to start the cooking process.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cranberry Sauce (with Apple Juice)

Cranberry Sauce (with Apple Juice)
I love cranberry sauce with my turkey. There's something about the tartness that makes it yummier. Mind you, I prefer chicken to turkey so MEH! What do I know? Lol.

Anywho, this was actually a second batch I made. I previously made one using my usual recipe which calls for orange juice. But I was told that I'd probably need way more cranberry sauce, so I made anther batch. Only to find out I have no more oranges left. Whoops. Whatever. I'll just use apple juice instead with less sugar. >:)

Cranberry Sauce (with Apple Juice)
(serves 8-12)

  • 1 12oz bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple juice, not from concentrate

  1. In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, mix everything together and cook until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Use a spatula to squish the cranberries, if desired. Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cranberry Sauce (with Orange Juice)

Cranberry Sauce (with Orange Juice)
So this is the recipe I usually use. It's super easy and it tastes yummy. The amount of sugar kind of scares me, but I only have this with turkey around Thanksgiving and Christmas, so who the hell cares, right? :P

It's pretty standard but I like using freshly squeezed orange juice rather than the stuff in jugs/cartons.

Cranberry Sauce (with Orange Juice)
(serves 8-12)

  • 1 12oz bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Juice of 1 orange

  1. In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, mix everything together and cook until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Use a spatula to squish the cranberries, if desired. Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie

Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie
OOOOH! Such a pretty picture! I can't believe I can actually take pretty pictures on my iPhone. I probably just got lucky. Hah!

I had previously made some roasted chicken and had leftovers. I had them for lunch and it was delicious! (I really can't get over how yummy that darn roasted chicken is). But anyway, we had some drippings but it was so good and with the bears all around lately, I didn't dare throw it out. Instead, I just put it in a little bowl and put it away in the fridge for the next day when I would defrost a couple of chicken breasts from the freezer and make chicken pot pie with soup. :D

I gotta warn you guys. Hubby and I LOVE love puff pastry, so I used a whole sheet for our four little pies. See how pretty the tops are? Please ignore the bottom cuz there was a little overflow in the oven. Whoops. At least I'm not stingy on filling? LOL!

This recipe is enough to feed 2 people if you're only having pie but with soup and/or salad, it'll feed 4. :)

Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie
(serves 2 or 4 with sides)

  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cubed (or equivalent in leftover chicken)
  • 3 small carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 3 Tbsps flour
  • 2 Tbsps butter
  • 1 tsp sage & bay salt
  • 1 cup leftover chicken drippings + chicken stock
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 sheet of packaged all butter puff pastry

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter on medium high heat. Brown chicken in butter.
  3. Add onions and carrots. Cook until onions have soften. 
  4. Sprinkle in the flour, whisking constantly.
  5. Gradually add in enough chicken stock and leftover chicken drippings to make 1 cup of liquids, whisking constantly. The gravy should be pretty thick but add more stock if you want it more liquidy.
  6. Season with sage & bay salt and black pepper. Turn off heat and add frozen peas. Mix well.
  7. Spoon pie filling into four 9 1/2oz ramekins, or a 1 1/4qt casserole dish. Set aside.
  8. Lay the puff pastry flat on a floured surface or on the parchment paper it comes with. Use a knife to cut into whatever shapes you want the puff pastry to puff up to - I cut it into 9 squares and then cut the 9th square into fours for my 4 ramekins. Dock with a fork and lay over top of the ramekins or casserole dish.
  9. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the pastry puffs up and is a nice golden brown colour.
  10. Serve by itself or with soup and/or salad.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Korean Chicken Stew

Korean Chicken Stew
Sometimes I totally crave some Korean food but am too lazy to drive out there to get some. I hadn't made this stew in a while and was wanting to make some, so that's what I did. It's spicy, so K isn't allowed to eat much. Although he did he some carrots and potatoes. That kid loves carrots. Hubby on the other hand prefer different flavours.

It's a challenge trying to find some sort of Korean dish that he likes other than pork belly wraps, BBQ and sashimi, but meh. Sometimes I just make foods that I like and he has to deal with it. And he does. He's awesome. :)

Korean Chicken Stew
(serves 4-5)

  • 1 whole chicken, broken down into 8 pieces
  • 1 bunch green onion, cut into 2 inch pieces & white parts separated
  • 1 inch knob ginger, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsps gojujang
  • 2 Tbsps hot pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat sesame oil on medium high heat. Add in ginger, garlic, white parts of the green onion, sliced onions, gojujang, and hot pepper flakes. Stir until fragrant.
  2. Toss in chicken until well coated with the spice mix. Deglaze with soy sauce and water, scraping up all the bits on the bottom and sides of the pot.
  3. Add in carrots and potatoes. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Uncover and stir. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender and chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Turn off heat and mix in green parts of the green onion.
  6. Serve with a side of rice with sesame seeds sprinkled on top of everything (optional).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cheddar & Potato Perogy Soup

Cheddar & Potato Perogy Soup
I wanted to make a baked potato soup, but I think it ended up being more like a perogy soup because of the cheddar. It turned the soup into a beige/light orange colour. It's very filling, that's for sure. Perfect for cold Fall/Winter nights. :)

K really liked the soup. The little weirdo didn't care for the bacon so he would spit it out. Otherwise he ate everything that was in his bowl (see picture) and more! Note to self: don't let him feed himself soup. It's a mess waiting to happen. =|

I have bacon fat again from making this. I'm so happy. It's liquid gold man. LIQUID GOLD!

Cheddar & Potato Perogy Soup
(serves 6)

  • 1 lb bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 4-5 large russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup sour cream or french onion dip
  • 1 bunch green onion, finely diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon until crispy. Transfer bacon bits onto a paper towel lined bowl or plate. Set aside.
  2. Pour out all but about 1/4 cup of bacon fat.
  3. Whisk in flour to form a roux. Add onions and garlic. Cook until roux and onion mixture is golden in colour.
  4. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and then milk. Add diced potatoes and simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
  5. Use a potato masher and roughly mash potatoes. Turn off heat. Add cheddar cheese, sour cream (or french onion dip), green onions and reserved bacon bits. Stir until cheese has melted. Season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.
  6. Serve with salad, sandwich, bread or by itself.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Jerkless Chicken

Jerkless Chicken
Hubby loves to call this my "Jerkless Chicken" so hence the name. It's got the seasonings (kind of but not really) but I oven roast it instead of putting it on a grill and turning it over and over and over again until it's cooked through. Lazy? I know...but it's how I cook! And it tastes good enough that Hubby wants it weekly so it's all good.

Typically I'll use lime juice in place of (really sour) orange juice and some sort of hot chili pepper in place of the Sriracha, but I didn't have any so I just experimented with this instead. It seems to have been well received. Good thing too cuz that bag of oranges I got that other day was just way too sour. I had to figure out how to use it up before they all went bad. :\

Jerkless Chicken
(serves 4)

  • 4 skin on boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 large bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsps brown sugar
  • 2 tsps Sriracha
  • Juice of 1 small sour orange
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves

  1. Place chicken breasts in a large Ziploc bag. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, puree everything else until smooth(ish) to make a marinade. Pour into the Ziploc bag over the chicken. Zip up and massage to get everything coated. Marinade for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F.
  4. Pour everything into a baking pan or low sided casserole dish, with chicken skin side up - I use a 8" x 8" square Pyrex dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Serve with rice.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Cheddar Mac & Cheese
I'm sorry, but Hubby and I don't really eat mac and cheese. We did need another side dish to go with the ham for Hubby's birthday dinner so I went with this! It was a lot more liquidy after I made it, but it sat for a few minutes before everyone started eating so that's why it looks so much more stiff.

It's pretty good. Very rich says my Sis. Meh. That's what mac and cheese is supposed to be, right? Lol. Who knows. I'm the type who would rather eat the Kraft kind in a box than ones made from scratch. Blasphemy (is what most people would say but I don't care)!

Cheddar Mac & Cheese
(serves 6-8)

  • 4 cups dry macaroni pasta
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 5 cups cheddar cheese, grated (or more if you want)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (more to taste, if needed)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp mustard powder

  1. In a large pot, cook macaroni in salted water until al dente and drain.
  2. In a separate large pot or dutch oven, melt butter on medium low heat. When butter has melted, whisk in flour to make a paste. Sprinkle in nutmeg and mustard powder. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes or so.
  3. Slowly pour milk in a bit at a time while whisking constantly to break up any lumps. Add salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth and mixture has thicken (sauce will leave a trail when you dip a spoon in to drizzle sauce on top of the sauce in the pot). Reduce heat to low.
  4. Stir in cheese and mix until all the cheese has melted. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Pour in the cooked macaroni and mix until every piece is well coated. Add more milk if it's too dry.
  6. Serve immediately if you like it very creamy, or let it sit for a few minutes, if you like it less creamy.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sweet Honey Mustard Glazed Baked Ham

Sweet Honey Mustard Glazed Baked HamHam ham ham! That's basically what Hubby said (okay maybe not with that sort of excitement) when I asked what he wanted for his birthday. The guy loves ham. I'm not sure why. Sure it's juicy, tender and is a big honk of meat but it's ham. It almost always feels like I'm just having the ham from my sandwiches but thicker and warm. Okay, fine it's pretty glorious. Lol.

Don't mind the burnt fat on the top picture. I actually just sliced all of it off. It was only fat anyway. Only. All the important parts were moist and juicy. Yum. I'm so making this for Thanksgiving this year.

Sweet Honey Mustard Glazed Baked Ham
(serves 8-10)

  • 1 smoked pork picnic shoulder (approximately 7-9 lbs), rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard

Sliced Sweet Honey Mustard Glazed Baked Ham
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Line a 9" x 13" pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
  3. Using your fingers, separate the tough skin from the fat of the picnic shoulder. Remove the skin and discard. Place picnic shoulder on the pan with the fat side up. 
  4. Using a sharp knife, make a crosshatch pattern on the fat. Try not to cut into the meat.
  5. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, honey and mustard to form a paste. Using your hands, smear it all over the top side of the picnic shoulder, making sure to get into the crevices.
  6. Cover the picnic shoulder using aluminum foil, making sure to seal the pan well.
  7. Roast for 20 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature registers 140F. Uncover and roast for another 10-15 minutes until everything is nicely caramelized.
  8. Let the ham rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
  9. Serve with mashed/scalloped potatoes and veggies.

I'm bad. Because we like meat just barely cooked, I will take it out once it hits 135F and then let it cook in the oven to get to 140F uncovered. That's why sometimes it'll turn out all burnt on top. Mind you, you can always loosely cover the top with foil if that happens. I just forgot. Whoops...absentminded much, eh? =\

August 17, 2014 Update: Updated the picture to a much prettier one. I didn't even need to uncover it this time! But forgetful me mixed up the measurements too so I ended up with 1/2 cup of brown sugar with 2 tablespoons each of honey and mustard. Lol. :D