Chili Pepper Trick

The best trick I learned from a Simply Ming cooking show. When using any kind of chili pepper, trim the ends, slice in half lengthwise. Then. Use a spoon to take out the seeds and veins. It’s easy. Don’t get hot stuff on your fingers. Or later your eyes. And it’s fast. You’re welcome.

Maple Chipotle Skirt Steak

In a large plastic sealing storage bag, marinate a 1 1/2 lb. skirt steak in enough Stonewall Kitchen Maple Chipotle or your favorite grilling sauce to coat the steak and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight is best. When ready to cook, take out and bring to room temperature. Wipe off excess grilling sauce.

In a cast iron skillet, brown steak on both sides 4-6 minutes depending on thickness. Goal is medium rare. Let rest on a plate. In the same skillet, brown a diced onion and then add 1 can drained black beans. Stir until blended and hot.

Slice steak and serve with beans & onions topped with salsa.

Weekend Comfort for 2

Two words. French. Toast.

Have it late morning for a brunch with OJ and/or Mimosa and/or coffee. Then. Only 2 meals on a Saturday. Serves 2, two slices each.

In a shallow bowl, beat 2 eggs with a little plain yogurt or milk & a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. Heat a large cast iron skillet with some butter. Dip Arnold’s Oat Nut bread into the egg batter coating both sides and put 2 slices into the heated fry pan. Brown until golden and crispy on both sides. Repeat. Serve with a couple pats of butter and pure Vermont Maple Syrup.

Helps get us through another cloistered day.

Spicy Chicken Thighs

In a shallow bowl, mix together 1 tsp. each turmeric, garlic powder, coriander, cardamom, ginger. 1/2 tsp. cayenne. 1/4 tsp. sea salt. Coat 4 large chicken thighs with olive oil. Roll them in the spice mix to evenly cover.

In a large skillet, brown the coated chicken thighs in a fry pan on medium high heat in a little more olive oil. Remove to a plate. In the same skillet, brown a sliced onion and scrape pan to keep drippings loose with onions. Add back the chicken thighs and place skillet in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes until chicken and onions are crispy. Serve with couscous.

Use leftover chicken for salads.

Pork Chop Stretch

Fresh Direct delivered 4 bone-in pork chops.

Making everything stretch as much as possible:

Meal #1. Season 2 chops with salt & pepper & garlic salt. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat, brown both sides with no oil until forms a golden crust on each side. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. In the skillet, add a little butter, balsamic vinegar and scrape pan to incorporate crispy cracklings. Serve sauce over pork chops with rice & peas.

Meal #2. Brown 1 chop on both sides on the bottom of a stock pot. Use a little olive oil. Add 1 can whole Cento tomatoes, season with oregano, basil, garlic salt, ground pepper, pepperoncini flakes. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer until sauce is thick and pork chops fall apart, tender and moist. Serve with pasta and grated reggiano parmesan/ romano cheese.

Meal #3. Brown the remaining pork chop and cut into small pieces. Use any leftover pork from meal #1 and cut up as well. In a large sauce pan, brown 1 sliced onion, the pork, and a sliced bell pepper and a sliced chili pepper. Add 1 can black or kidney beans. Stir. Add 1 jar favorite salsa. Stir. Season if necessary depending on the salsa with a little cumin and cayenne. Stir. Cover and simmer for an hour. Uncover until thickens for a chili dip or in a bowl with grated cheddar.

Flexible Salmon

This method is fool-proof for silky slightly rare filets for later use cold or served hot after a flash broil. And no smelly kitchen.

Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Place the fresh skinless salmon filets over the oil. Top with a favorite Asian sauce or lemon slices with pepper and garlic powder and/or capers or dill weed. Drizzle olive oil on top.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Bake the filets at 200 degrees for 45 minutes. Yes. That’s right.

For a hot dinner, remove any lemon slices and pop under a pre-heated broiler just for a couple minutes to cook more and brown on top. Or refrigerate and serve cold later with a sauce verte or in a salad.

St. Pat’s Soup

No corned beef. No cabbage. But. Have brussel sprouts. Carrots. And. Ham. So. Soup.

In a large saucepan, heat 1 large box low-salt chicken broth. Add trimmed, halved brussel sprouts, sliced carrots, sliced onion optional, and diced ham steak. Season with generous amount of crushed black pepper, not salt with ham. But taste it to see. Bring to boil and then simmer until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Sláinte

Veggie Chili

Serves 8+ dinners for corona isolation:

In a large stock pot, brown these trimmed/chopped veggies in olive oil:
1- 2 small red onions
2 zucchinis
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2-3 jalapeño peppers

Add 3 small cans each (drained):
black beans
kidney beans
white beans

Stir. Add 1 large can whole tomatoes. Stir. Add 1 large jar Desert Pepper Salsa with corn. Stir. Season with:

Garlic powder to taste
Sea salt to taste
3-4 tsps. cumin
1-2+ tsps. cayenne to taste

Stir and cover. Bring to boil then turn to low heat simmer for an hour. Stir and partially uncover and continue to simmer until thickens for another hour or more. Bring back to boil before serving.

Top with minced red onion, shredded cheddar and tortilla chips on the side.

Cabin Fever Frittata

For these hunker-down days, an easy dinner made with whatever’s in the fridge. For each serving, fork-fold 2 eggs with a little plain yogurt or milk for the base. Pre-heat oven broiler to high.

In a fry pan, melt butter and brown any of the following in proportions to taste:

diced red onion and/or scallions
diced bell peppers
diced hot peppers
other diced vegs such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini
chopped mushrooms
chopped/crumbled ham or bacon or sausage

Season with garlic powder. When everything is brown, add the beaten eggs to the pan and stir until sides and bottom set. Top with shredded cheddar, jack or Swiss. Place fry pan under the pre-heated broiler until eggs are golden brown and cheese bubbly. Serve with hot sauce of your choice. Also good with a side of roasted or home-fried potatoes.

Basted Halibut Filets

6 oz. halibut filet per person. In a skillet heat olive oil on medium high. Season flesh side of the filets with garlic powder and black pepper. Brown filets not touching on flesh side down for 3 minutes. Turn to skin side and add 3 tbs. butter and juice of 1/2 lemon. Brown for another 3 minutes, basting constantly with lemon butter sauce. Keeps fish moist and not overcooked. Skin sticks to pan, so remove skinless filets to plates and top with all remaining butter lemon sauce.

Garnish with capers.