Did you have a good laugh at the picture of me with my hand around my eye, looking to the future on Tuesday’s blog? My daughter came to me and told me how much of a fool I looked, and I said that, that was the point. You were supposed to get a giggle out of it, I don’t mind making an idiot of myself if it helps the story along a little.
Well, on to today, for those of you who don’t know, I have decided to post on Thursdays instead of Wednesdays, and on each Thursday there will be a new ingredient, and it will be used on at least two of the recipes for that week, and at least one on the following week’s blog. The purpose of this is to let you use up those things that are new to you, so that they don’t just sit on a shelf and die of old age and never get used again, and to show you what they taste like on different things so that you will be tempted to try them on your own concoctions. I will also be posting the grocery list that goes with the recipes, I am going to try for five each week, but we will see how that goes, you never know, I might even throw in a dessert. I am only doing dinner recipes, but might I suggest, that you make enough so that you can take some for lunch during the week, that’s what my husband does.
This week’s ingredient (as if the title hadn’t already told you) is Balsamic Vinegar, and I have two recipes for you that contain it, but I wanted to mention that it makes a great salad dressing if you mix it with olive oil for salad (3 parts olive oil, to 1 part balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste). It can also be used as a dip, the Italians quite often dip torn up chunks of bread into an even mixture of both olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Even if you are off bread for now, you could probably dip veggies in it, it’s very light so it wouldn’t be like dipping them into a sour cream or mayo based dip (although I am sure the calories from the olive oil will be comparable,) you would just get the essence of the flavours.
The first recipe is:
GLAZED PORK STEAKS WITH BALSAMIC ROASTED VEGGIES
- 4 Pork Steaks or Pork Chops if you prefer
- 2 Tblsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tblsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tblsp Steak Seasoning
- 2 Tblsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Red Pepper. chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 Yellow Pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 lb Mini Potatoes
- 1 Red Onion, chopped
- 4 stalks Celery, chopped
- 1 Zucchini, chopped
- 4 Carrots, chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh Rosemary, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Turn oven on to 400 degrees
- Place foil on two cookie sheets and spray with cooking spray
- Take 1 Tblsp each of the Balsamic Vinegar and Olive oil and put it in a bowl with the Brown Sugar and Steak Seasoning and mix together
- Pour half of the mixture over the Pork Steaks, that are laid out on the cookie sheet, flip the steaks over and pour the other half on the remaining side. Really try to rub the mixture into the pork as the brown sugar will burn if left on the bottom of the tray (you are not going to be able to get all of the brown sugar off the tray, so don’t worry about it too much)
- On the other cookie sheet, put all of the chopped veggies, the potatoes and the rosemary, then pour the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the veggies. Along with salt and pepper to taste. Get in there with your hands and make sure that the veggies are all coated. Yes, your hands will get mucky, but that’s ok, they are easy to clean.
- After washing your hands, put both trays into the oven, the veggies should go on the lower shelf as the potatoes will need to be closer to the heat source to roast properly.
- Set the timer for 40 minutes.
- Serve with buns.
Recipe #2 is:
- 3 Cups Shredded Turkey Breast
- 3 Cups Frozen Mixed Veg
- 2 Carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 stalks Celery
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp Freshly ground Black Pepper
- Small Handful of Fresh Oregano, chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 3 Cups Chicken Broth
- 1 Tblsp Soy Sauce
- The day before you want the soup. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees, pull out roasting pan and spray with cooking spray
- Roast Turkey Breast in oven with salt & pepper, depending on size it will be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, don’t overcook it, otherwise it will be dry, Let it sit until completely cool and then wrap and put in fridge. The next day slice for sandwiches for work, but save 3 cups of it shredded for the soup.
- Pull out your Crock Pot or if you don’t have one, pull out your Dutch Oven and turn the stove on to 225 degrees.
- Combine all the ingredients in the Crock Pot or Dutch Oven, mix well
- Put the lid on, and cook for 6-8 hours on the low setting of the Crock Pot or at 225 degrees in your oven.
- Serve with buns or French bread.
Recipe #3 is
CURRIED BEEF AND RICE
- 1 1/2 lb Ground Beef
- 1 Tblsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Curry Powder
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed and chopped
- 1 Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 1/2 Cups Beef Stock
- 1 1/2 Cups Rice
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Pull out a large frying pan and put it on the stove
- Put the Olive Oil in the pan and turn the heat on to High
- Once the oil has started to heat add the curry powder and cook for a minute or so, just until you can smell the curry
- Add the ground beef, garlic, and onions and cook until meat is browned
- Turn the heat down to Medium Low
- Add the tomatoes, broth, and rice along with the salt and pepper
- Cook until the rice is done
- Serve with a Green Salad
My Green Salad is more like the American style than it is the British, the British take it seriously when they say Green Salad, they mean a salad made up of just greens. My salad, has lettuce, of course, but it also has cucumber, radishes, carrots, celery, green onions, along with cheese sometimes, or sometimes it’s croutons, or sometimes it’s dried cranberries. Your salad is your salad so you put whatever you like in your salad. I then dress the salad with the salad dressing that I mentioned before, 3 parts oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar, and salt & pepper to taste.
Recipe #4 is
CHICKEN KABOBS WITH BALSAMIC VINEGAR
AND MAPLE SYRUP
- 10-12 Boneless Skinless Chicken thighs or 6 Chicken Breasts (my family prefers dark meat, so that’s what I go for, but if you prefer white, go for the breasts), chopped into chunks
- 1 Green Pepper, chopped into one inch pieces (2.5 cm)
- 1 lb Mushrooms, cleaned (the proper way to clean a mushroom is not to run it under cold water, that makes them tough, just brush them off with a damp paper towel)
- 2 Tblsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tblsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Tblsp Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
- 1-2 Cloves of Garlic, minced (this is enough garlic for us, but if you really like it add more, or if you are sort of ho-hum on garlic just add one, don’t leave it out all together, it definitely makes a difference.)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- If you are using bamboo skewers make sure that you pull them out at least half an hour before you begin so that they can soak in cold water. I prefer the metal ones.
- Alternately place chicken, pepper and mushrooms on the skewers
- Mix together the Balsamic Vinegar, the Maple Syrup, the Lemon Juice, garlic, salt and pepper
- This one is up to you, you can either do them on the BBQ (if you do, make sure you put foil down on the grill before hand because the juices dripping down will make the chicken burn on the outside while still raw on the inside, if you put foil down on the grill, you can lay the chicken skewers on it and none of the juices run down and catch fire), or you can use the broiler in your oven, pull out a cookie sheet and cover with foil and cooking spray and then do your skewers under the grill.
- Baste the skewers turning every few minutes with the sauce until the chicken is done (make sure they are cooked right through before you pull them off the BBQ or remove them from the oven), the skewers will look a dark brown but they won’t be overdone, it’s the vinegar that colours them that way.
- Serve with rice, and the remainder of the Green Salad from the night before. I think this time I would just use oil and lemon juice on the salad.
Recipe #5 is:
MAPLE GLAZED SALMON
- 4-6 Salmon Filets, if you can get them without the skin great, if not, make sure you take the skin off before they are cooked. (Or, if you like skin, like my family does, just leave it on, OK I know a lot of you are going ewww, but trust me, if you can get the skin crisp, you will be amazed how good it is)
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup (now of course it’s up to you, I know it’s expensive, but I always buy the good kind of Maple Syrup, the real deal ones, not the Aunt Jemima’s or any others, it truly does make a big difference to the flavour)
- 1/4 Cup of Soy Sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Enough spaghetti to serve your family as a side , for me that means when I pull it out of the package it has to form about a two-inch circle in my hand, do remember though, I am feeding a 6’5″ monster who could quite literally eat me out of house and home, and a husband that knows how to put away food.)
- 2 -3 heads Broccoli, chopped into bite size pieces
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Mix the maple syrup, the soy sauce and the garlic together
- Put the salmon filets on a foil covered cookie sheet or a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray
- Pour the mixture over the salmon and turn the salmon to coat all sides leaving skin side down if you are leaving the skin on
- Let the salmon sit with the sauce on it for at least 25-30 minutes
- Fill a large pot with water and set on to boil
- Put the Broccoli into a microwave safe container, and splash just a little water into the bottom, then cover with parchment paper that you have run under the water and crushed into a ball and then tucked around the Broccoli. Put the dish in the microwave but do not turn it on until you pull the salmon out of the oven for the first time
- Once the salmon has had its thirty minute bath, put it in the oven for 15 minutes
- Put your spaghetti in the water when the salmon has 5 minutes left
- Pull the salmon out and turn the oven to broil, turn the salmon over so that the skin side is facing up if you left the skin on
- When the broiler is going put the salmon under the broiler for about five minutes
- As you put the salmon in, turn the microwave to four minutes and cook the Broccoli
- Drain the noodles and as soon as the salmon comes out, remove it from the tray and put the noodles in to soak up the rest of the sauce, toss them around on the sauce until you can’t get anymore sucked up.
- Serve the salmon, skin side up if you left it on, because it will still be nice and crispy (as long as you didn’t put it skin side down when you took it out of the oven.)
- Serve with the noodles and Broccoli
I know the instructions seem long on this last one, but it’s just me rambling on as usual. So there they are the five recipes for this week, oh wait, I couldn’t let you go without a simple and easy dessert. You can decide which night to serve it.
Tonight’s dessert is
- 2 Cups Milk
- 1 Tblsp Cornstarch
- 2 Tblsp Sugar (I know the root of all evil, but if you don’t want it, use whatever you like that you use in pace of sugar)
- 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
- Whipping Cream
- Whisk together in a medium sized pot the milk and cornstarch
- Place it on medium heat and constantly stir until it becomes thick
- Add the sugar and the chocolate chips and continue to stir until the chips are all melted and it looks like chocolate pudding
- Divide into serving glasses
- Top with Whipping Cream
Super easy, super quick and all of the meals with the exception of the turkey soup can be ready in under 45 minutes. If you are smart, on Saturday or Sunday after you have gone grocery shopping, you will make sure that you chop up all the veggies into baggies an then you will be ready to go as soon as you get home, that goes for the garlic too, do it up before hand and it will get you started so much quicker. Don’t try and marinate the salmon for longer than 25-30 minutes or the soy sauce will make the salmon inedible (way too salty), but there’s nothing that says you can’t chunk up the chicken and put it in a freezer bag ready to be pulled out the morning you want it.
DAIRY & CHEESE
- Whipping Cream
- Butter (for Buns or Bread)
- Turkey Breast Roast
- Ground Beef
- 10-12 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs or 6 Breasts
- 4-6 Salmon Fillets
- 4 pork Steaks or Chops
BREADS, CEREALS, PASTA, DRY GOODS
- Spaghetti Noodles
- French Bread
- Peppers, Red, Yellow, Green
- Red Onions
- Small Potatoes
- Rosemary, fresh
- Oregano, fresh
BAKING SUPPLIES, SPICES
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Curry Powder
- Brown Sugar
- Chocolate Chips
- Mixed Veggies
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Chicken Broth, 1 Litre Carton
- Beef Broth, 1 Litre Carton
- Soy Sauce
- Maple Syrup
Well, there we go boys and girls, 5 recipes for dinner, 1 dessert and the Grocery List for them. I hope you love all of these, and I left you two days to do what you love.
Take care and don’t forget to sign up for my email list. And if you click on the picture on the side, you will find five more recipes and the grocery list that goes with them.