Prawn Stir Fry with Asparagus and Bok Choy

20120518-145825.jpgI’m a fan of light meals consisting of seafood and vegetables.  I make these simple inexpensive meals by buying fresh seafood from my local butcher and fresh vegetables from a local produce store.

  • One Pound of Prawns
  • One bunch of Asperagus
  • Three bunches of Baby Bok Choy
  • Five Cloves of Garlic Cloves
  • Dash of Soy Sauce
  • Tablespoon of Olive Oil for Prawns
  • Tablespoon of Olive Oil for Vegetables
  • Juice from One Lemon for Prawns
  • Spices: Cayenne, Pepper, Salt – sparingly

First I de-veined the prawns and put them in a bowl with a little lemon juice, added pepper and a tiny dash of cayenne. Simply done. I cooked them for about 10 minutes until done.20120518-145845.jpg

I cooked the vegetables seperately from the prawns. The veggies and prawns often cook differently and I wanted some veggies to be crisp and others cooked, so I did them in the following order:

  • Heat up oil and garlic
  • Then add onions
  • Then the baby boy choy
  • Then added a dash of soy sauce and water
  • Sautee for a few minutes
  • Then finish by adding salt, pepper and spice to taste

I removed the veggies and added the asperagus to the same pan with a little butter, retaining some of the juices but stirring often. I cook them and remove them from the pan and serve.20120518-145859.jpg

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Crockpot Corned Beef

20120518-145645.jpgI love Corned Beef and Cabbage. I made some for St. Patrick’s Day this year and decided to take the easy route and let the slow cooker cook my meat, while I cooked everything else seperately on the stove top.  I bought a monster of a corned beef brisket and opted for the faster cook method.

  • Add Corn Beef to the Crockpot
  • Cover with water completely
  • Add spice packet
  • Add peppercorns

Set Crockpot to High for 4 hours. About 3 hours into the cook, add sliced apples. These are absolutely amazing when they are done20120518-145712.jpg20120518-145730.jpg

Classic Beef and Vegetable Stew

20120518-133623Hearty Beef Stew is a great soup to make for cold days. I use a basic recipe that I learned online. I’ve adapted it over the years based on different ingredients.

  • 3 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup flour with salt
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound medium onions (about 2), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound small white or red new potatoes (about 6), well scrubbed, halved if large
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. In a dish, add flour and pinch of salt. Stir with a fork and dip the meat cubes in them to lightly flour the outside.
  2. In a large stock pot, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add meat to pan and brown on all sides. Cook about 5 minutes, 1/2 way to done. Remove the meat, but leave any oil/meat drippings for the next step.
  3. Heat butter and add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, tomato sauce and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover  and cook until meat is fork-tender, 1 1/2-2 hours. Remove bay leaves and, if desired, season with salt and pepper before serving.

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Rogue Chocolate Stout and Bacon BBQ sauce

Rogue Chocolate Stout and Bacon BBQ Sauce

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 ½ cup of Rogue Chocolate Stout
  • 6 pieces of chopped bacon cut into bits

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add pieces of chopped bacon to pot. Stir to cook the bacon until half way cooked, then mix together with the ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, wine vinegar and butter. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Add beer and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for up to 20 minutes. For thicker sauce, simmer longer, and for thinner, less time is needed.20120518-133511.jpg20120518-133520.jpg20120518-133540.jpg

Grilled Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

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I love simple tacos. During the summer, I like to make these simple tacos. They are easy to make and reheat, so they make good leftovers or lunches.

Grilled/Pan Fried Fish

  • 2-4 filets of Tilapia, Sea Bass, Halibut or any white fish.
  • Add your choice of: Cracked Salt, Cracked Pepper, Garlic Powder, Cayenne and Squeeze of Lemon. I often use a bit of them all.

Oil flat grill pan or frying pan and grill one side of the fish almost completely, so that it’s browning on the bottom before flipping. You can use a top to steam and cook faster.

Cabbage Slaw

  • 1 cup cabbage, chopped thin
  • Diced Onion
  • Diced Tomato
  • 1 whole lemon squeezed
  • 2 teaspoons of white vinegar
  • Salt, Pepper, Optional: Lemon Pepper, Cayenne or Hot Sauce

Mix all ingredients together for a nice fresh cabbage slaw. Serve with nice handmade corn tortillas.

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Refried White beans

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To make the refried white beans, you need to pre-soak your beans overnight. Change the water every few hours and replenish with new water.

Refried White Beans

  • 1 package of white beans, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 teaspoon of italian herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

In a large stockpot, add pre-soaked beans, cumin, cayenne, italian herbs and water. Bring to a Boil, then reduce to low heat for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until tender. Drain beans, leaving some of the water.

Blend beans in a food processor or mash by hand. The blender will make them smoother without adding more oil or overcooking the beans.

Heat a large pan with olive oil. You can add finely diced onion or garlic for more flavor. Then fold in the mixed bean. Refry the beans to make a smooth, flavorful consistency.

To get the perfect refried bean, it really has to be based on your individual taste and whether you want more or less oil/fats. I start with the basic recipe and then stand over the pot, stirring to make it smooth, add olive oil to loosen it up and adjust the spice, salt and pepper levels.