I really enjoy a gyro, lunch or dinner it really doesn't matter and Loraine puts up with me when I go into a gyro craze. However, the problem with the gyros, that are sold at fast food restaurants, is what they may be using as the beef and lamb portion of the product. I'm sure it is not the highest quality or antibiotic and hormone free meat that is available.
After a lot of experimentation I developed a recipe for gyro meat that I believe is as good if not better then what you get in a fast food restaurant and I can control the quality of the beef and lamb that I use.
We have been making our version of beef stroganoff for longer than either one of us cares to remember. Over the years it has changed a bit, but for all intent purposes it is the same simple and very easy to make recipe that we started out with.
One thing that has changed is the type of pasta that we use. We used to purchase freshly made fettuccine pasta, when possible, or used a good quality dry fettuccine pasta as a substitute. Now we use a traditional German twisted egg pasta, which is dry, made from durum semolina and about an inch long. We think the German pasta has a nice flavor. The size of this noodle makes it easier to mix into the stroganoff and eat.
Every foodie has their favorite Bolognese sauce recipe and we are no different. This recipe is Marcella Hazan's classic Bolognese sauce, without modification.
If you are not aware, Marcella Hazan was an Italian-born cooking writer whose books were published in English. Her cookbooks are credited with introducing the public in the United States and Britain to the techniques of traditional Italian cooking. She was considered by chefs and fellow food writers to be one of the foremost authorities on Italian cuisine.
Every now and then you stumble upon a creation that overwhelms ones palate. For me (not Loraine) this is one of my favorite dishes, it is my true comfort food and we have it often (probably more often than Loraine likes). Loraine eats it, but not with the enthusiasm that I do. The recipe was inspired, many years ago, by a Knorr recipe, but I have changed it so much that the original recipe is no longer recognizable. It is a somewhat unique recipe for me, in that I use Knorr Homestyle Chicken stock and Campbell's Chicken Broth as the primary flavor ingredients for the recipe - yes I cheat.
It also serves as my lunch the next day.
This is an absolutely delicious chicken recipe, that is very simple to make. Loraine and I have perfected this as a dinner for two, using our leek recipe as the side dish. The combination of wild morel mushrooms with the white truffle oil layered over a boneless, skinless chicken breast that has been poached in a cream, mushroom and vermouth sauce can't be beat!
Loraine and I like sea bass and every now and then we treat ourselves. Please don't get yourself into a knot over the fact that we eat Chilean Sea Bass we have read numerous articles regarding whether or not it is an endangered species and there is a lot of disagreement.
I consider my fish monger to be a responsible purveyor of seafood products. As long as he sells it, I will continue to purchase it.
Considering the price per pound for Chilean Sea Bass is more expensive than the best beef tenderloin, we only have it 3 or 4 times a year!
Loraine and I tried duck breast for the first time when we saw Laura Calder cook a duck breast on her Food Network television show, French Food at Home. She cooked hers with a peppercorn sauce. We do ours with a maple glaze.
The duck breast recipe is easy and takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. A one pound duck breast will serve the two of us.
This recipe can be easily doubled to serve 4.
What can we say, sometimes you just crave a perfectly cooked fillet mignon, without a lot of frills. We procure all of our meat from a butcher who only deals with local farmers who, in the summer use pasture for feed and do not abuse the use of antibiotics. The fillet mignon were so tender that they literally melted in our mouths.
As a side, we steamed some fresh asparagus from Peru, we happen to prefer the flavor of Peruvian asparagus over the Mexican or even the fresh asparagus from Ontario.
The fillet mignon with a gratin of mushrooms is a take-off of a Gordon Ramsay YouTube video. He does not provide the actual recipe, you watch the video and create the amounts and directions on how to make it from what you see. Our recipe is the result of numerous attempts to hone the quantities of the individual ingredients and the method of creating the dish.
What is glop? That's an excellent question.
To start with, glop is true
comfort food. It's our personal creation. This is not and was never a recipe modified from someone else. It is a combination of cauliflower, Sweet peas, mornay sauce (made with Applewood Smoked Cheddar Cheese, produced in Somerset, England) and turkey or chicken. I think that it started off as a way to use up some leftover turkey or chicken. However, Loraine disagrees.
This recipe, if you can call it that because of the overall simplicity is one we have at least once every couple of months. Earl and I both like lamb, years ago we used to buy a side of lamb and have it butchered, but now that is just too much meat and there are a lot of lamb cuts which we don't use anymore.
A few years ago our butcher introduced us to a boneless lamb loin. Prior to that we were purchasing loin lamb chops. A boneless lamb loin is the meat of the loin lamb chops in a roll. It's so easy to cook and there is no fighting with the bones, trying to get all of the meat off!
Many years ago, Olive Garden served a pasta, Loraine remembers it as Linguine, with a creamy white clam sauce. At the time it was one of Loraine's favorite meals. We have been trying to find a linguine with white clam sauce recipe for a long time.
What's the problem, you may ask, as there are hundreds of recipes for linguine with white clam sauce on the Internet and that is true. However, very few of them use cream and that is what Loraine remembers from the Olive Garden. Recently we came across a Chef John recipe for spaghetti with a creamy white clam sauce. The difference between spaghetti and linguine is frivolous so we thought we would give it a try. Please bear in mind that we are fans of Chef John and have adapted a lot of his recipes to suit our tastes.
There is no doubt that this is by far our favorite lobster recipe. The butter sauce is totally decadent. We often serve this recipe to guests as an appetizer with a rustic Italian bread or a crusty French bread (you have to have something to soak up the butter sauce!). We also make it as a complete meal for us, served on a bed of egg noodles or steamed rice.
This recipe has been our go-to recipe for salmon for quite some time. However, it works best when the salmon is at least 3/4" thick and preferably about one inch thick in the center.
It is getting harder and harder to find wild salmon with our thickness criteria for this recipe and we won't buy farmed salmon.
We created this recipe from a Gordon Ramsay video, of course we modified it to suit our tastes. It is a somewhat unusual recipe for Loraine and I as we are really not into sweet and sour dishes as a rule. But, rules are meant to be broken and this is one of our favorite recipes. It's relatively quick and easy to make.
There are a few things that we have learned. It is important that the red pepper be very fresh and the pork chops should be about 5/8" to 3/4" thick and weigh about 4 to 5 oz. each, bone out. We commonly use a butterfly pork chop cut in half. If the pork chop is to thin it will end up very dry.
This is a sweet and savory recipe. You can easily substitute chicken, turkey or veal for the pork as all go very well with the sauce. We like the pork tenderloin because it has little if any fat and is easy and quick to cook. This recipe, from start to finish takes less than 15 minutes and it has unbelievable flavor. We like the addition of raisins in a lot of our dishes, as we both have a sweet tooth problem!
This is the perfect dinner for those cold winter days. First of all it requires that the oven be on for at least 4 hours, not the type of thing you want to do on a hot summer day! This is a slow cook recipe without the use of a slow cooker.
Second, there is something about a pot roast that is warming to the body and just makes you feel good.
We have yet to figure out how to make this work as a 2 serving meal, with no leftovers. It refrigerates well for a few days and is easy to reheat, either on the stove, in the oven or the trusty microwave.
A couple of years ago we came across a recipe for chicken breasts with mushrooms. Since then we have modified it with the result that this is an unbelievably fast and easy meal to make and requires just 2 major ingredients; chicken and mushrooms.
The recipe only requires one pan, a sauté pan that is oven safe to 400° F.
This recipe does rely on having good quality chicken breasts. We always use free range chicken that is antibiotic and hormone free.
This year, for Thanksgiving, we purchased a 4 lb. boneless, skin on turkey breast. While a 4 lb. boneless turkey breast would easily serve 6 people for dinner, we do have a couple of recipes for the leftovers; hot turkey sandwiches and glop (you'll have to click on it for the explanation) that we enjoy.
Roasting a turkey breast is quite easy and it is an item that allows a lot of creativity and flexibility with the seasoning. We find that a thawed turkey breast will roast in 20 minutes per pound in a pre-heated 350° F oven.
Loraine and I have a passion for deep sea scallops, the jumbo variety U10 (10 scallops to a pound). They have such a naturally sweet flavor, that, in our opinion, require very little seasoning. Many recipes call for the addition of cheese or numerous spices and fresh and/or dried herbs that it completely swamps the flavor of the scallops. Considering that the jumbo deep sea scallops cost more than fillet mignon it is almost a sin to hide their flavor.
Our only seasoning for the scallops is sea salt and freshly ground white pepper. We use a combination of butter and olive oil for frying, which does provide some additional flavor to the scallops.
This is one of our favorite shrimp recipes, it's easy and quick to make.
The cream sauce used in this recipe is similar to an Alfredo sauce, but we don't use any butter, it is quite rich without the butter. You could always substitute butter for the olive oil and only use Parmigiano-Reggiano if you wanted a closer version of a true Alfredo sauce.
We have been using wild shrimp, caught off the coast of Argentina, they have a really nice flavor and are easy to peel before or after they are cooked. We have stopped using farmed sea food of any kind.
Loraine and I both love shrimps, cold with a seafood sauce, or hot served with pasta, rice or with veal or beef.
This shrimp pilaf recipe really highlights the succulent flavor of shrimps. It uses wild shrimps, in this case from the coast of Argentina, that have been steamed and then embed in a rice that has absorbed the flavor of a homemade shrimp stock.
No wine is used, as we believe that the wine takes away from the natural flavor of the shrimp. We also use shallots rather than onions.
Both Loraine and I truly enjoy Steak Diane and we have this creation, a modified Gordon Ramsay recipe, at least once a month. It is very easy to prepare and unlike almost all the other Steak Diane recipes uses sirloin steaks rather than beef tenderloin, which, as much as we enjoy beef tenderloin, believe that it's wasted with the overriding flavors in the Steak Diane sauce.
We never let
just the two of us prevent us from celebrating holidays with good food. And over the last 20 years food producers have been making it even easier for two people to have holiday dinners. As an example, you can now conveniently purchase parts of a turkey such as half breasts or thighs at any supermarket or butcher. It's no longer necessary to buy a 14 lb. turkey, if you can find one that small, for 2 people and suffer leftovers for the next two weeks.
And for those who don't even want the
hassle of cooking (we have never felt that cooking was a hassle) you can purchase freshly prepared, complete Thanksgiving dinners from most large supermarkets, many even provide throw away plates and cutlery!
A few years ago, Loraine and I went to a small Italian restaurant. On the menu was a entrée that incorporated some of my most favorite items; chicken, pasta in the form of tortellini, mushrooms and spinach all covered in an Alfredo sauce. I tried it and was quite impressed with the overall flavors. We went back a few months later to find that the entrée was no longer on the menu, so we set out to create our own homemade version.
We purchase a pre-made tortellini, yes we cheat, that is filled with three different cheeses. We haven't tried to make our own tortellini yet, but I am sure that someday we will.
Now this is a recipe that tastes fantastic, but the picture truly needs work and the next time we make it, we will update the picture accordingly.
There are a few important cooking points that I would like to express. It is very easy to overcook the veal and make it into leather rather than the very tender meat it is. A similar situation exists with the shrimp. Slightly undercooked is better than overcooked as the shrimps will continue to cook after the sauce is added back to the pan.
There are numerous versions of Yakitori but the basics are all the same. Yakitori is a Japanese chicken dish that involves placing pieces of chicken on a metal or wood skewer. It is often barbecued, but we make it in a non-stick frying pan. If you like Japanese flavors you will most likely enjoy this dish.
Between Loraine and I we call it Yukitori because you will use the word
Yuk when you see the mess it leaves behind in your frying pan and sauce pot. Always use a non-stick frying pan and sauce pot to cook the chicken skewers and heat the sauce.