Some unknown person is always tinkering with my recipes? This time I made that someone (?) write down what he did. It was incredible and very moist! What can I say??? This was supposed our takeout and movie night vicariously with friends, during COVID-19, but we stayed in and he cooked. With these garlicky green beans the meal was awesome.
- 2 pounds of ground beef and pork
- 3 strips of bacon for topping the meatloaf
- ¼ cup of tomato pesto for topping the meat loaf
- 3/4 cup of crushed pork rinds
- ½ medium white onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 2 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp rosemary, chopped
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce (I use Weber hickory)
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- Lightly spray a 5 x 9-inch loaf pan with oil and line with parchment.
- Add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp of water to a small fry pan, add in the onion and garlic and caramelize over low heat. When caramelized, add in the herbs. Set aside.
- Place the meat in large bowl. Set aside.
- Mix the sauce ingredients well and then stir in the caramelized onion mix and the crushed pork rinds.
- Pour mixture over the meat and blend well using your fingers.
- Put into loaf pan and pat down.
- Cut bacon into short pieces and place on top, then add the tomato pesto over the loaf.
- Bake at 350 degrees F, covering lightly with foil after 45 minutes. Meat thermometer should register 165 degrees F. (about 1 hr. to 1 hr. 15 min).
- When meat is done, juices will be clear. Drain any fat and let sit about 10 minutes before slicing.
Our Canadian friends who are “snowbirds” recently had us over for lunch overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. She served a wonderful cucumber and mango salad, not unlike this recipe. She and her husband love to experiment in the kitchen with whatever ingredients they have on hand. The cucumber and mango salad was wonderful!! We ate it all and this sent me looking through Pinterest for a similar recipe. Hope you will be able to give this one a try…
Cucumber Mango Salad
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 c.)
- 2 mangos peeled and diced
- 1/2 c. diced red onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 lime (about 3 Tbsp.)
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/16 tsp. red pepper (more if you like it spicier)
- 1/4 tsp. coriander
- 1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 1/3 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
- Toss together the cucumber, mango, red onion, and garlic in a medium sized bowl,
- In a separate small bowl or jar whisk together the lime juice, honey, cumin, red pepper, coriander, and black pepper. Pour over the cucumber-mango mixture and stir gently.
- Fold in the chopped cilantro.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for later
The following recipe includes making your meatballs from scratch and I was tempted as none of the stores, including Costco, have been stocking frozen meatballs for several months! Fortunately, my fav grocery store here, Superama, a Walmart subsidiary finally got some in and I bought several packages for the freezer.
So…I skipped the homemade meatballs and just prepared the sauce while heating the meatballs in the oven. It is now a KISS recipe! For those new to my blog…KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid! Hope you will enjoy it served with a great yellow rice.
Hoisin Asian Meatballs
- 1-pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 cup Panko*
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 large egg
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef, sesame oil, Panko, ginger, egg, garlic and green onion. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-11/2-inch meatballs, forming about 18-20 meatballs.
- Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or until all sides are browned and meatballs are cooked through.
- To make the hoisin sauce, whisk together hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and ginger in a small bowl.
- Serve meatballs immediately with hoisin sauce, garnished with green onion and sesame seeds.
Finally got together with our two new friends from Vermont and since I had a lovely pork loin roast in the freezer, some very fresh cauliflower and four sweet potatoes, it was a no-brainer! Bonus – after thawing the roast I didn’t have to marinade it! Start it off with a crisp Caesar salad…actually this meal would be great for Easter...
Honey Dijon Pork Loin Roast
Servings 8 serves
- 3- pound pork loin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside.
- Pat dry pork loin with paper towels.
- In a small mixing bowl combine paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.
- Lightly spray pork loin with cooking spray. This will make it easier for the spice mix to stick.
- Take the spice mix and rub it all over the pork loin.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat and sear the pork loin until browned on all sides; about 3 to 5 minutes per side.
- Transfer pork loin to previously prepared baking sheet, fat-layer side up; set aside.
- In a bowl, combine garlic, honey, soy sauce, mustard and oil; whisk until well combined. If too thick, add a bit more oil or soy sauce.
- Brush remaining honey mixture over the pork loin.
- Roast for 45 minutes or until internal temperature of the pork loin reaches 145˚F
Ok…here’s another salmon recipe just because we got a fresh supply of canned wild sockeye salmon from our Canadian visitors. Wild sockeye from the west coast is quite different from Atlantic salmon in colour and taste.
And since our friend is both gluten and lactose intolerant, this recipe from Pinterest was a great choice. We served it with some fresh steamed Brussel sprouts and a great yellow rice. Hope you will give it a try!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (coconut or macadamia oil are also great)
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 large celery stick, finely diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely grated (or 2 smaller carrots)
- 2/3 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 large clove of garlic, finely diced
- 600 g of canned salmon (3 x 213 g / 7.5 oz cans, drained with larger bones removed)
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons almond flour
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
Preheat the oven to 175 C/ 350 F.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion and celery. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring once, and then add the grated carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Add a couple of tablespoons of water when it feels like the oil has dried up. Finally add the garlic and cook together for another minute or two.
In the meantime, drain the salmon and remove any visible large bones. Don’t worry too much about the smaller bones or the skin as it will blend in just fine. Add the fish to a mixing bowl and flake with a fork or your fingers.
Add the cooked vegetables to the salmon. Grate some lemon zest, add the eggs and almond flour and mix everything together with a fork. Make sure the egg is well incorporated.
Grease a medium loaf tin with a little coconut oil (make sure to brush all sides with oil). Transfer the loaf mixture to the tin and press down until well compacted and even on the top. I like to bang the tin against the bench a couple of times to get rid of any air pockets inside the mix. Then place in the oven, middle shelf, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Where have I been? Since mid January we have had the fortune of having many guests with us here in Yucatan. Between touring, etc. there has been little time to add to the blog. As a matter of fact we just got back from 5 days in Mexico City… talk about great food!
For many years now I have been following Pati Jinich on PBS. She is originally from Mexico but now lives in Washington, D.C. Her TV program is called Pati’s Mexican Table. Her cookbook, available on Amazon, is incredible if you are interested in Mexican cooking.
Recently we were invited to a Canadian friend’s home her in Yucatan where we enjoyed some great chicken enchiladas. She was unable to find the real sauce but managed to prepare an adequate salsa verde to serve with her recipe. This led me to Pati’s cookbook to see how she prepared her sauce. FYI…this sauce is served on almost everything in Mexico in one version or another. Enchilada recipes are widely available, but take the time to serve it with Pati’s version of the salsa –
Pati Jinich’s Salsa Verde
- 1-pound tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed (little green tomatoes)
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles, or to taste
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped white onion
- 1 cup cilantro leaves and top part of stems
- 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
- 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
Place the tomatillos, garlic, and chiles in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the tomatillos change from bright green to pale green and are soft but not falling apart, about 10 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatillos, garlic, and one of the chiles to a blender or food processor. Add the onion, cilantro, and salt and purée until smooth. Taste for heat, and add more chile if necessary until you have the desired amount of heat.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Pour the salsa into the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
The sauce will keep a week in your refrigerator.
One of the most desired cuts of beef in Brazil is called (picanha) . It is also very common in higher end restaurants in Yucatan these days. What is it?
Picanha is a cut of beef called sirloin cap in the United States or the rump cap in the United Kingdom, that is popular in Portugal and Brazil. In the United States, it is little known, but referred to as the rump cover, rump cap, or culotte.
In a Brazilian restaurant it is often served on large skewers…
I chose to roast it whole.
There are THREE steps to the recipe, which involves marinating overnight in the refrigerator (see below) with a citrus-herb salt rub.
Simple Roasted Picanha Recipe
Step One – Citrus-Herb Salt Rub
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- Zest of one small lemon, approximately 2 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Score the fatty blanket on the picanha by making criss-crossing cuts into the fatty blanket covering one side of the picanha. Fat behaves differently than meat when cooked. It loses more liquid and therefore shrinks more. By scoring the fat, you can prevent the piece from curling and dis-forming while it grills.
Rub the salt mixture into the cross cuts of the fat. Refrigerate overnight.
Step Two – Preheat oven to 400 degrees, letting the picana come to room temperature.
Prepare the chimichurri sauce by mixing the following ingredients…
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons chili pepper flakes (less for milder flavor)
- 2 teaspoons minced oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Step Three – Sear and Roast the picana as follows
Heat a large oven-safe skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Sear the beef until browned on both sides,approximately 2 minutes per side.Transfer the skillet to the oven with the fatty side of the piranha facing up.
Cook the roast for 35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 128-130° for medium-rare. Remove the roast from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. The temperature will rise 10 degrees while resting!!
Slice against the grain for tender cuts.
Here is my recent attempt to duplicate that restaurant experience in our oven…in case there is too much snow to fire up the Barbie, mates. Sliced after resting with chimichurri sauce.
Just in time for News Year’s Eve! As a change this year I decided to have Oysters Rockefeller in place of the usual escargots. Alas, they were impossible to find as fresh and on second thought I did not want to have to shuck them. Third choice was either mussels or scallops. NO mussels to be found. I had to settle on frozen scallops. This recipe from Closet Cooking was not only simple, but really awesome with the mustard sauce. Since I neglected to take a photo, this is the photo which accompanied the recipe.
It was perfect with the broiled asparagus AND very perfect with the leftover mustard sauce, so much so that |I had an idea for using this sauce on Eggs Benedict some time.
Let me know if you try it! It made a great and simple romantic dinner for two.
Seared Scallops in a Cajun Mustard Cream Sauce
Prep Time:5 minutes Cook Time:10 minutes
Total Time:15 minutes Servings: 2
- 1-pound sea scallops (about 1 inch thick) I used ten scallops
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 tablespoon oil
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Cajun mustard (or grainy mustard)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- Pat the scallops dry and press on the Cajun seasoning.
- Met the butter into the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the scallops and sear until lightly golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side, before setting aside.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the heavy cream, mustards and lemon juice, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens a bit, about 2-3 minutes.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste and serve the scallops in the sauce garnished with the chopped parsley.
Option: Replace the butter and oil with bacon grease or butter yet, start by cooking 4 strips bacon, use the grease to cook the scallops in and sprinkle the crumbled bacon onto the scallops just before serving!
Option: Add 1/4 cup chicken broth or seafood broth or white wine to the pan before adding the cream and deglaze the plan by scrapping all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon while the broth simmers.
Option: Add 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese to the sauce!
I chose not to use any of the options this time around!!
Happy New Year!!
Quick and easy dinner using only a skillet, cutting board and a knife! And it looks spectacular too!
Shrimp & Sausage Skillet
- 1/4 cup avocado oil divided
- 1-pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tsp Cajun Seasoning or Old Bay seasoning
- 12 ounces sausage cut into 1/2-inch slices (I used Argentinian chorizo)
- 1 jalapeno minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 lb green beans cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 medium red pepper cut into 2-inch slices
- Salt and pepper
- Heat 2 tbsp of the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once shimmering, add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook about 2 minutes, and then flip the shrimp over and sprinkle with the seasoning. Cook another minute or two, until no longer pink, then transfer to a plate.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan. Once shimmering, add the sausage and sauté until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the jalapeño and garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Add the vegetables and continue to sauté until just tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp back to the pan and warm through before serving.
When you wake up an hour or so before your spouse you might as well make a nice breakfast, right? If you have too many eggs and spinach you might as well put them to use. “Alexa, what can I make?” Oops, I forgot I don’t use Alexa. “Pinterest, what can I make?”
Firstly if you did not already know it, a frittata is essentially an omelette which you prepare in an ovenproof skillet and finish in the oven. This can be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner…so give it a try!
I N G RE D I E N T S:
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Dash of hot sauce (optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms or whatever you have on hand, thinly sliced
- 2 cups baby spinach fresh or a small package of frozen unthawed
- 1 Roma tomato, diced
- small red pepper chopped for colour
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, basil, oregano, thyme and hot sauce; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes, reserving 1 tablespoon excess fat. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. (OR cheat and use precooked bacon)
- Add garlic and mushrooms to the skillet (adding a little oil if using precooked bacon), and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 3-4 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Stir in spinach and tomato until the spinach begins to wilt, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in egg mixture and bacon, reserving 2 tablespoons, until well combined. Cook, undisturbed, until edges are set, about 2 minutes. Top with remaining bacon.
- Place into oven and bake until top is set and golden brown, about 14-15 minutes.
- Serve immediately.