Planning ahead

I am back in my office two days a week. It’s nice to have the change of scenery but important to return to planning ahead. This Thai pork is a great choice – everybody likes it, it’s pretty healthy and I made the marinade and sliced the pork last night. It spent the night soaking up flavor in the refrigerator and when I got home I just needed to skewer the pork so Keith could grill it. We had ordered carryout Indian food on Saturday so we had leftover rice. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Thai Grilled skewered pork

  • 1 pork tenderloin trimmed of fat and thinly sliced into strips against the grain
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 TB coriander (cilantro) stems, chopped\
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 TB black peppercorns
  • 2 TB rice vinegar
  • 2 – 3 TB brown sugar
  • 2 TB dark soy sauce
  • 1 TB fish sauce

Place pork strips in a dish.  Grind pepper, coriander stems and garlic together in a mortar and pestle until they form a paste.  Whisk sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and fish sauce together and then add in about 1/3 cup of the coconut cream that is on the top of the coconut milk.  Pour into the mortar and pestle and stir together.  Mix well and pour over pork.  Marinate for at least an hour and up to all day in the fridge.  Skewer pork strips and broil or grill about 4 minutes a side.  Serve over rice.

Samantha had a late babysitting job so by the time we ate dinner, I was too hungry to take a picture!

Spicy grilled chicken

I’m always looking for inspiration and always looking for easy when it comes to weeknight cooking.  Often you will find recipes in magazines that sound good but unnecessarily complicated.  This spicy grilled chicken falls into that category.  The original recipe called for wrapping bricks in foil and weighting down this chicken.  That is too much effort for a weeknight meal but the marinade sounded excellent.  With a little tweaking, this turned into a delicious meal and the leftover chicken breasts made fabulous chicken salad.  I made the marinade the night before and then marinated the chicken for a few hours before cooking.

Spicy grilled chicken

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 TB assorted herbs (I used a mixture of thyme, rosemary, parsley and basil from my herb garden), chopped
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • 1 TB ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp caused red pepper flakes
  • 1 bone in, skin on chicken breast per person plus one more for leftovers

Combine garlic, herbs, lemon zest and juice and salt and pepper in a blender or food processor.  With the machine on, add oil.  then add mustard and red pepper and pulse to combine.  Marinade will be thick.

Spread on chicken and refrigerate covered for 3 – 4 hours.

Grill chicken 5 minutes over direct heat and then 20 – 25 minutes over indirect heat or until chicken is cooked through.  Let rest for 5 minutes and serve with:

Hasselback zucchini

  • 1 small zucchini per person, cut crosswise, about every 1/2 inch, slicing almost but not through zucchini
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • shaved parmesan cheese

Combine olive oil, oregano and garlic powder in a small bowl.  Stuff Parmesan shavings into each zucchini cut.  Brush zucchini with olive oil mixture.  Grill in a grill pan about 18 minutes.

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Quick and easy summer Sunday dinner

We played golf today and did not finish until near 6:00.  Since we had a late start time, I wanted a dinner that would be quick.  Since Samantha was at a sleepover last night and was tired and cranky, I wanted a dinner that was delicious.  This is one of my favorite summer combos because the parsley for the veal chops and the herbs for the salad came from our garden.  Soon the tomatoes will be coming from the garden as well (I hope!)

Grilled Veal Chop

  • 1 veal chop per person
  • 2 shallots per veal chop, finely chopped
  • parsley, one bunch finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle veal chops with salt and pepper and then top with shallots, parsley and olive oil.  Marinate for 1 hour and then grill, 12 – 15 minutes.

Grilled Vegetable Salad

  • 3/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Eggplant, sliced
  • 2 Zuchini, sliced
  • 3 Peppers (Red, Yellow or Orange), sliced
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced
  • 6 slices French Bread or your choice (I use Olive Batard)
  • 2 Tomatoes, sliced
  • Salad greens
  • 2 TB Basil, chopped
  • 2 TB Chives, chopped
  • 1 TB Marjoram, chopped
  • 4 oz. Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

Whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Brush eggplant, zucchini, onion and pepper slices with oil and vinegar mix and season to taste with salt and pepper and grill.  (Reserve remaining marinade.)  Brush bread slices with olive oil and grill.

Spread salad greens on a platter.  Top with tomato slices and then grilled vegetables.  Sprinkle with goat cheese and chopped herbs.  Pour reserved oil and vinegar over salad and grate parmesan cheese over all.  Top with grilled bread slices and serve with tongs.

Easy summer dinner

This is a great dinner option when crab is on sale – it’s easier than cooking individual crabcakes and it’s delicious.  Serve with sliced tomatoes and enjoy!

Crabcake Casserole

  • 1 lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TB Mayonnaise
  • 3 TB melted butter
  • Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine crabmeat with salt, pepper, dry mustard and Old Bay and mix well in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.  Add egg and stir.  Add panko, mayonnaise and melted butter and combine.  Tope with grated Parmesan cheese and bake for 20 -25 minutes until bubbly and browned on top.

Another summer dinner

This pasta is another one of my favorite summer dinners – it’s light, it’s easy and it’s a good way to use fresh basil and tomatoes from your garden.  You can vary the quantities based on what you like, you could also add chives, garlic or olives to the mix.   This is what I made for the two of us:

Fresh summer pasta

  • pasta of your choice (I used garlic parsley fettucini)
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 Tomato, cored and chopped
  • 2 TB fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 oz fresh mozzarella, chopped
  • ground pepper
  • 1 oz grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix olive oil, tomato, basil and mozzarella.  Drain pasta and add to mixture.  Top with pepper and Parmesan and toss.