Chicken w/peach chutney

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What to do with the second to last jar of delicious spicy peach chutney, made with my dad’s peaches in 2010? More cheeeeecken!

With great enthusiasm I skinned and dismembered the Ironwood Farms chicken and laid it the magnalite Dutch oven roaster thing my grandma always used. Not THE same one, my sister has that one, but the same kind that I bought on Ebay. My ability to rend a chicken limb from limb surprised me. The catharsis wasn’t quite as good as pounding, er kneading, bread dough, but quite satisfying.

Dumped in the jar of spicy peach chutney, recipe from the Kerr canning book.  I have to make more sometime. It was great.

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I cut up a bell pepper and threw that in, thinking it might need a little zip and I felt like eating some cooked pepper rather than yet another raw one today.

I put on the lid and cooked in a preheated oven at 350 for about an hour and a half.  Next time I might try lower heat, longer time. I was in a rush because nap was late.

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If we still ate rice or bread, that sauce would have been GONE. Yum. The chicken turned out great, although the breast was a bit drier than I like. I shall leave the skin on it next time, perhaps.

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A salad made from Romaine lettuce and Ironwood Farm Arugula with parmesan shavings and peanut dressing went well with it, although probably had some conflicting flavors that broke some culinary rule or something. Whatever. Anything that gets us to eat more greens is good.

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Pretty darned good, although now we have too many leftovers in the fridge. Omelette time, or soup?

Steak, grilled tomatoes & asparagus

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Tonight’s dinner was not terribly inspired, but it was steak, so I couldn’t go wrong. Besides, my husband grilled it and the tomatoes, so double win! And no scrubbing pots! Trifecta!

The steaks were from a Groupon deal at Ranchline All Natural meats. Great products, but too pricey for us normally. The tomatoes were from our garden, and the asparagus, alas, from Sprouts market. They were an impulse buy, they looked so young and tender when we were picking up groceries a couple days ago…

I melted a couple tablespoons of Kerrygold butter and mixed in some natural lemon juice for the lemon butter sauce. Easy, simple stuff.

Grass-fed beef does taste much better and requires no seasoning, but a little salt is tasty. We sprayed the tomatoes with a little olive oil, and lemon butter sauce is classic for the steamed asparagus. I will add here that I’ve used our Black and Decker steamer to DEATH over the years and it is still awesome for cooking. I mean YEARS. I think my first mother in law gave me that thing in the mid-nineties. I have another one I was thrilled to pick up at Goodwill for five bucks, just in case ol’ reliable takes a hiatus. Using filtered water for the steamer has really extended its life.

Linnae ate every particle of steak, of course, but only picked at the asparagus. She claimed she liked it at first, but I think she changed her mind after it got cold. I know she’s healthy and I shouldn’t worry but it sure is hard to get her to eat vegetables.

Pork Loin Roast w/ onions

Cooked a 5.38lb pork roast in the oven. I am still getting used to cooking meats in the oven. I love my little rotisserie but it’s only designed to cook up to four pounds.

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I adapted this recipe from Betty Crocker. (I bought this cook book through the mail when I was 21. I will never get rid of it, as it ended up costing $140. You know, one of those deals where each installment costs $14.95 but you aren’t thinking gee, how many installments are there?)…

Season the roast with salt and pepper and cook it for about an hour and a half. Cook coarsely chopped onions (I used four) in some water on the stove and season with sage. I also added carrot greens, chopped celery and dried mushrooms.

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Once the onions are starting to look clear, you take the roast and rack off the pan, drain off extra grease, which I didn’t have, and mound the onion mixture on there. Put the roast on that and cook another hour. After the roast was done (I checked with a thermometer!) I couldn’t help but mess with it a little more and

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added more sage, 1 Tbsp butter, and 1/2 cup white wine, because I was already drinking some and what the heck…

Thinking we needed more vegetables, I thawed out some frozen broccoli and finished cooking it atop the onions – I didn’t cook it very long, it was still crisp.

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Linnae, for the first time ever, ate her broccoli without the threat of Ragnarok. She scarfed up the pork as well, and this was AFTER she’d had a banana before dinner. I’d like to attribute this to my cooking skills, or even our parenting skills, but I think she’s just beginning a growth spurt.

.

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Anyway, this meal was a success, I’d say. I chopped up some of the leftovers and mixed with chopped celery, mayo, & tomatoes to make a filling for chard leaves for lunch. I also froze some in portions and cut up bite size for quick snacks or Linnae. The roast made dinner for us three tonight, four lunches, three Linnae sized portions and two adult servings. I’m pleased!

Mashed cauliflower

I steamed the cauliflower then pureed it in my little Kitchen Aid processor in two batches with salt, pepper, parsely, butter, & cream. I would have added chives but we  had none in the house.  This was indeed a horrible thing but Dinner Must Go On.

I put in two cubes of Trader Joe’s frozen garlic, that was delicious. Might add crumbled bacon next time. The recipes say the drier the cauliflower after you cook it, the better and that makes sense. Wet would just make it runny.

The salad is just quartered Roma tomatoes from the garden, cut up sorrel from Ironwood Farms, and shaved parmesan, which I keep in the freezer. We COULD go through it faster and not need to freeze it, but we SHOULDN’T..

The chicken, comical looking as it is, is of course from Ironwood Farms, just salt & pepper this time. I did baste it with kerrygold butter again because it just tastes so good.

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Once again Linnae was grumbling about eating steak instead, but when we put the chicken on her plate she ate it all and had thirds. She grudgingly allowed a bit of the cauliflower to enter her mouth. She didn’t seem to hate the flavor, just on general principle. She has never liked mushy foods.

later note – garlic gets stronger in the fridge. The mashed cauliflower with garlic is tooooo garlicky now. Whew!

More Dog Food

I took about four gallon size Ziploc bags full of bones from the freezer – a couple racks of pork ribs, some pork chops, some steak bones, lots of chicken carcasses, so on, and cooked them for a good 24 hours. I also threw in some containers of fat I’d been saving for no particular reason. I cracked the bones this morning and cooked it all some more. That is one rich broth. I will be skimming the fat off when it solidifies. Not sure if the dogs will get it or if I will practice rendering it.

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I strained out all the bits, crumbled all the big pieces of bone (which is very messy and not for people with sensory issues, but cool in a macabre way) and this is what was left that I could not use:

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Amazing. Just amazing. I bet I could have gotten them softer in time but I didn’t want aspic.

I pureed the bone sludge in my little processor. I seriously want a bigger one, the little one is so messy for big jobs!  I had a quart of leftover carrot pulp from juicing (we save it to give to my mom’s horses or to throw in a broth or, in this case, dog food) so I mixed that in.

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At this point I always think I’m going to dare myself to eat some, just because it looks so yucky. I know it’s edible, it just looks gross. Or I think about ways to sneak it into our meals because I’m perverse that way and think it would be funny (like getting someone picky to eat rocky mountain oysters).  But, dog food it is. My dogs eat better food than most kids who eat school lunch, heh. Or vienna sausages.

I portioned it out in the muffin tin and now they’re in the freezer.

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I don’t know what that is worth in dollars and cents, but it is immensely satisfying to know that we consume nearly every scrap of meat. And the dogs love this as a supplement to their grain-free kibble.

Beef broth soup with onions

I used the leftover broth from cooking the lengua (the lengua had cooked all day in turkey broth) and loosely followed a French onion soup/ beef Burgundy approach.

I added a beef soup bone, caramelized onions, sliced mushrooms, thyme, a pinch of sage, dried parsely, a pinch of fines herbs, red wine and at the end I threw in the leftover greens from Ironwood. I also tried cooking turnips in there but I picked every last one of those bitter nasty little things back out. I don’t like to be wasteful but ick. Yuck. Ptooey.

The caramelized onions were deelish! The greens ended up in there because I needed something tangy to offset the sweetness of the onions.

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I grated some white cheddar in the bowls as this didn’t have pieces of meat in it. Obviously this is not Paleo. If I were going for Paleo, I’d use stew meat or if  no meat, use hemp seed.

Linnae was unhappy with the entire thing, alas. Apparently she had ”planned on steak” again. I even unbent the rules a bit and cooked some rice rotelle to put in with the broth but she ate it only with much production and protests.

Have three good sized single portions of leftovers and I used that lovely broth. Wasted two turnips but they are now appeasing the compost gods, so, all turned out well.