Succulent Pork Roast with Apples and Onions

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I had to empty out my old, stainless steel refrigerator in preparation for the arrival of the new, white refrigerator.  Though tedious, it gave me a chance to find out exactly what I had in the freezer.  While most of the frozen items were uninteresting, quite a few were okay and serviceable.

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Like this cute little pork roast.  I just happened to have 2 red apples left behind by my husband and fading in the crisper.

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Roasted pork with fruit and vegetables is one of my favorite things, so I trotted out my green tajine and filled the bottom.

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Child’s play!  Pork sandwiches tomorrow with coleslaw.

Succulent Pork Roast with Apples and Onions

2 apples, cored and sliced into about 6 wedges

3 small carrots, cut into chunks

2 small onions, quartered

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tbsp butter, diced

Leaves from 3 fresh oregano sprigs

3 lb pork roast

Salt and pepper

Dried thyme

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

Mix the fruit, vegetables and butter together, then place in the bottom of a roasting pan. Sprinkle with the oregano leaves.

Season the roast with salt, pepper and thyme, then brown in the olive oil and butter.  Place the browned roast on top of the vegetables and roast in a 400 F oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Fruit, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Fish Soup with Leafy Green Vinaigrette

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Well at last I’ve found a decent source for fresh fish in Scranton.  The name of the shop is South Side Seafood, owned by Carl and John Pazzaglia Jr.  My neighbor Caroline was kind enough to introduce me to this source for non-fish farm fish.  Thank you Caroline.

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Craving a fish soup, I decided on wild salmon, cod and shrimp for this take on fishermen soup a la Brittany.

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I like making this vinaigrette for fish soup.  It’s easy and is an unforgettable compliment to the soup.

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I shall never run out of Amora Dijon mustard.  I have a lot of jars and they are all big 😉

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My husband bought this Le Creuset casserole as a Christmas present for me.  Thanks Honey 🙂  Eat this with good bread and butter.

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Fish Soup with Leafy Green Vinaigrette

6 garlic cloves

1 handful of roquette

1 handful of cilantro leaves

Juice of one lemon

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

6 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp water

Pepper

1 large onion, halved then thinly sliced

1 leek sliced

1 celery branch sliced

3 tbsp butter

1 tomato, seeded and chopped

1 fish bouquet garni

8 cups fish stock

2 small carrots, sliced

2 large potatoes, cut into cubes

1lb  cod fillet, cut into large cubes

1 lb salmon, skinned and cut into cubes

1 lb shrimp, shelled and cleaned

Chop the garlic, roquette and cilantro in a blender, then add the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, oil, water, pepper.  Blend well, then refrigerate until ready to use.

Saute the onion, leek and celery in the butter until the vegetables are soft.  Add the tomato, bouquet garni and fish stock.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the carrots and potatoes and continue to cook for 12-15 minutes.  Add the cod and salmon and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes.  Add the shrimp and continue to cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the flame and serve with the vinaigrette and country bread.

 

 

Posted in Cooking, fish, Food and Wine, French, Main dishes, Recipes, Soup | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Old School Easy Chicken and Noodles

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I was thinking about a woman I met in Niger.  She was from some southern state, I don’t remember which, but she made the best chicken and noodles I have ever tasted, better than my mom’s.  Normally this epitome of comfort food is made with reserved chicken necks and backs boiled with aromatics(onion, celery, garlic), bones and skin removed and broth reserved.

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I didn’t have any backs and necks but I did have 5 abnormally massive, unlabeled chicken thighs in the freezer with that Perdue mad scientist look.  My husband probably got them on sale 🙂  For the aromatics, I used what I had because I had to stay home waiting for workers and the man who wants to purchase my stainless steel refrigerator.

My chicken and noodles, though not the best, were good and easy to make.

Chicken and Noodles

6 large chicken thighs

2 branches celery, sliced

1/2 onion, chopped

4 scallions, sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 large bay leaf

1 tbsp oregano

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp flour

8 -12 oz egg noodles

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp chopped parsley

Place the chicken thighs, celery, onion, scallions, bell pepper, bay leaf, oregano, salt and pepper in a 5 1/2 quart pot and cover with water until 2 inches from the top.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 hour.  Remove the chicken pieces from the broth, remove skin, bones and unsightly fat, then chop into chunks.

Measure out about 1 cup of chicken broth and blend with the flour, pour the mixture, stirring, back into the pot and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add the chicken and the noodles to the pot, bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Stir in the butter and parsley, then serve.

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Spice Rubbed Beef with Crispy Roasted Vegetables

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I went into the Super Duper Market yesterday to look for some beef.  I avoid Weiss Supermarket because they seem to have a lot of expired fresh vegetables and other products.  As you know, I prefer my vegetables to expire and wither in my own refrigerator and can then decide whether to use them or not, depending on the fond memories I have of their  youthful beauty when I bought them.  In addition, Weiss has labeled nearly all of their beef “Black Angus” and I don’t believe that, especially because the prices are reasonable for regular, good beef but implausible for authentic, ridiculously expensive, Black Angus.

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Anyway, yesterday the Super Duper reminded me of the supermarket meat bins in New Orleans; pork, pork, pork, pork, chicken, pork, pork, pork, beef, pork.  Lamb and veal missing in action probably because no one wants to pay for or eat a baby animal.  I think I’ll have to do my meat shopping at the German butcher here in Honesdale or the IGA in Hawley.

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I did find a “top round” beef roast, a cut I’m not very familiar with and speaks to me of a pot roast that I didn’t want to make.  Instead, I gathered up the dregs of refrigerator vegetables bought by my husband when I was still in France and before he left for Haiti to avoid being retired and make a bunch of money.  The bunch of money is good for me because I’m going to replace the stainless steel, French door refrigerator I have now with a white, French door refrigerator because 1)  The water and ice dispenser is on the inside of the stainless steel refrigerator.  2)  The stainless steel reflection from this huge monster does not for pretty pictures make.  That’s probably not even English 😀

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But where was I?  A made an interesting fennel and coriander rub for the meat and also sprinkled some on the vegetables with olive oil.  I had enough of the rub leftover for a future porky roast or grill.  The weather is starting to warm a bit and I’m starting to think of barbecue.

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My husband found this little pan, I think in Haiti, years ago.  I like to use it to toast spices and to fry a single egg with tomato and cheese on top.

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A coffee grinder is such a civilized way to grind spices!  Yes, I have a mortar and pestle also but, hey, this isn’t the Flintstones 🙂  I found a set of these measuring spoons with the grapes on top in a small Missouri town on the Mississippi river.  I’ve forgotten the name of the town but it was charming and so were the people.

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If you want the roast a bit rarer, I did, cook it about 15 minutes less.  The vegetables will still be cooked correctly.

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Spice Rubbed Beef with Crispy Roasted Vegetables

2 1/2 lb top round roast

2 tbsp coriander and fennel rub (see below)

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

2 parsnips, chaos cut

1 carrot, chaos cut

2 branches of celery, chaos cut

3 shallots, quartered

12 baby new potatoes, halved

1 bulb garlic, whole with the top cut off

1 tbsp coriander and fennel rub

2 tbsp olive oil

Mix the 2 tbsp of rub with the 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and rub all over the roast.  Allow to rest for 1-2 hours.

In the meantime, mix the vegetables with the 1 tbsp rub and the 2 tbsp olive oil and place in the bottom of a roasting pan, garlic cut side up.  Top the vegetables with the roast and place in a preheated 400 F oven, roast for 1 hour, remove, stir the vegetables, then continue to roast for an additional 30 minutes (15 if you like it rarer).  Serve with Dijon mustard or horseradish.

Coriander and Fennel Rub

1/3 cup fennel seed

1 tbsp coriander seed

1 tbsp white peppercorns

1 tbsp salt

Toast the seeds and peppercorns in a skillet, then add the salt and grind all together to a powder.

 

 

 

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Snow Day

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Well no Dorothy, we’re not in Burgundy anymore.  We’re in Wayne County Pennsylvania where schools are many times closed because of the winter weather.  However, Snow Days are only for school children, adults go to work on these days and are on time because “we’re used to driving in any kind of weather.”  The school bus drivers must be recruited from clueless winter driving places like Washington, D.C.  Anyway.

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Japanese, zucchini spaghetti, quick pickle sounded good to us and gave Jade an opportunity to use one of my newest gadgets.

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This is a tasty, quick pickle that should work with your choice of vegetable as long as it’s finely/thinly sliced.

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Lacking a winter, “hell bent for leather” driver we chose to hang out in the kitchen for the day, making food we liked with whatever we had.  Jade and I simply adore spicy Asian eggplant. Normally I make it with ground pork or veal, but unable/unwilling to go to the store, I used some ground lamb from Quails are Us that has been in the freezer since I went to France last year.  It was still good.  We ate the eggplant almost immediately (after the picture) with hard-boiled quail eggs.

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On a roll, I quartered a small, center cut pork roast and marinated it in char siu sauce for several hours, although overnight is better.

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My “S” hooks were happy to see me and I them 🙂

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“S” hooking pieces of char sui pork in the oven is something you can brag about or at least I do.

Them:  So Rose, what did you do yesterday?

Me:  I “S” hooked some char sui pork in the oven.

Them:  Radical!

Me:  Yeah, I know 😀

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Quick Japanese Zucchini Pickle

2 large zucchini, cut into spaghetti or ribbons or just thinly sliced

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1 tsp salt

3 tsp sugar

Mix together the vinegar, salt and sugar until the crystals are dissolved.  In a bowl, mix the marinade and zucchini together,  then place in a jar and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Spicy Eggplant with Lamb

2 large eggplant, quartered vertically and cut into chaos chunks

2 tbsp sambal oelek

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp sake

1 tbsp sugar

7 tbsp peanut oil

1/2 lb ground lamb

2 tbsp garlic, grated

2 tbsp ginger, grated

Scallions, sliced

Mix the soy sauce, sambal, vinegar, sake and sugar together.  Set aside.  Divide the peanut oil into 3 small bowls (3 tbsp, 3 tbsp, 1 tbsp).

Heat 3 tbsp oil to a wok, add half the eggplant and cook until it begins to brown.  Remove.  Add another 3 tbsp oil to the wok and cook the other half of the eggplant.  Remove.  Add the last tbsp of oil to the wok with the lamb, garlic and ginger.  Stir fry for about 1-2 minutes.

Return the eggplant to the wok along with the chilli mixture, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes.

Sprinkle the sliced scallions on top and eat immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Asian, Cooking, Food and Wine, Japanese, Main dishes, Recipes, Sandwich | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Pinto Beans

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I’m back in Honesdale, Pennsylvania.  My bathroom in France is still not finished.  I just kicked everyone out, locked the doors and hopped on the plane, hoping to forget that nightmare until it’s time to go back, fire the renovation company and find another one. There was other annoying stuff that happened also but I can’t be bothered to go into it.

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It’s been a long time since I’ve made or eaten pinto beans, although they were a staple in our family when we were growing up.  The smoked pork neck bones I found at the Super Duper Market inspired this recipe 🙂  I never expected to find neck bones in Pennsylvania. I always think of neck bones as Southern cuisine, but apparently smoked, they are also a favorite in German inspired recipes.  Who knew?

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So, I rummaged through the pantry in search of likely suspects to go with my beans and neck bones.  Quite a lot of useful things in the pantry but you should see the stuff in the freezer!  As soon as my back was turned, my husband bought MARGARINE and frozen, breaded fish fillets!  I didn’t know where to look and neither did he 😀  I’ve got to think of something to do with all those prepared frozen foods he bought besides throwing them in the garbage.  He’ll never know, he’s in Haiti avoiding retirement 🙂

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Like a man with two wives, I always try to treat each of our houses “equally and fairly”, so I was obliged to do the right thing and buy another Cuisinart ice cream maker for Honesdale.  I laugh in the face of overkill;  ha, ha, ha 😀

This recipe has an old school,  Mexican taste enhanced by the smokey flavor of the neck bones.  Do use Mexican chili powder.

Pinto Beans with Smoked Neck Bones

1lb dried pinto beans soaked overnight in water 2-3 inches above the beans

1 nugget of butter

1 large onion, chopped

4 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 large green pepper, diced

1 tbsp oregano

1 1/2 tsp cumin

2 tbsp Mexican chili powder

1 small can tomato paste

3 cans Rotel diced tomatoes and green chillies

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 lbs smoked neck bones

Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the onion, garlic and pepper until just soft.  Add the oregano, cumin, and chili powder, then continue to saute for about 2 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and stir for 3 minutes.  Add the canned tomatoes and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the bay leaf, then add all to the pot of soaked beans and water, along with the neck bones.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 2 hours.

 

 

 

Posted in Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Mexican, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Christmas Day

Christmas dinner Honesdale

The above meal was the first Christmas dinner ever, made by my children and spouse in Honesdale, PA.  Gorgeous feast!  Photo taken by our son with his iPhone.  Of course I’m still in France.  We won’t discuss the unfinished bathroom.  I plan to go home later in January.

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I wanted to make some tender, pan fried guinea fowl supremes (breast with the little wing drumstick attached)  for dinner but the voracious French had bought them all, leaving just the legs for those of us not in the know 😦

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The guinea fowl supremes cook rapidly in the pan but the legs take a bit more time.  I cooked them in the oven with a bread crumb/flour coating and butter.

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I wok-ed some lardons, carrots, celery, garlic and thyme, added some shredded cabbage and it was good.  I used coarse lardons that comes in a big plastic bag.  This lardons was a lot like bacon scraps you can buy in some American grocery stores.

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You could just eat a big bowl of this and save the guinea fowl for a sandwich later.  I did 🙂

 

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, side dish | Tagged , , , , , , | 21 Comments