Archive for Fall Mains – Page 3

“Jerk” Pork Chops

The last time we barbecued the pork chops we both agreed; they are very, very good, quick and easy to put together and we are making them tonight! Mix up some Jamaican drinks, kick back and dream of those island breezes! You can easily increase the recipe too.

Makes 2 Servings

DSC_1133 nx2(2) ¾ – 1” thick pork chops
¼ cup chopped onion
½ small clove garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
1 tsp. Muscavado sugar, or other brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Fresh chili (use the type & amount you feel comfortable with), the rub should have some heat
½ tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 – 2 tsp. cooking oil

Prepare the barbecue.

Mince & mash onion to a coarse paste with garlic, thyme, sugar, salt & spices with the flat side of a chef’s knife, place in a small bowl, stir in the oil. Pat pork chops dry & rub the jerk paste all over them. Grill the chops 5 minutes on the first side, then 4 – 5 minutes on the second side, until cooked medium well.

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Chiles Rellenos

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Besides growing artichokes, Donna (Glen Valley Artichokes), also sells a number of other hard to find, locally grown things such as borlotti beans and fantastic poblano peppers. The coating is a lot simpler than the traditional egg yolk, beaten egg white one. You can add a bit of Monterey Jack cheese and serve with a dollop of sour cream if you wish too! You will have leftover picadillo but not to worry, I have suggestions for that! This is definitely one of our favourite late summer meals. The chiles are nice served with Arroz Rojo, a tomato based Mexican rice containing carrots, peas and corn.

Serves 4 – 6 People

For the Chiles Rellenos

DSC_8797 nx24 – 6 large poblano chilies, charred, skins removed**
1 batch of my picadillo**
2 large eggs, beaten
Unbleached flour for dredging
Stoneground cornmeal for dredging
(opt.) grated Monterey Jack cheese
Canola or other cooking oil

Garnish: cilantro leaves or chopped cilantro, sour cream

Enchilada Sauce (makes 3 cups but you can easily cut the recipe in half)

3Tbsp. EVOO
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1 ½ cups tinned crushed tomatoes with added puree or
1 ½ cups tinned tomatoes, chopped then crushed by hand
1 ½ cups low-salt chicken broth, or homemade stock**
5 Tbsp. tomato paste

Warm the oil in a saucepan; add the garlic, oregano & chili powder; stirring for a minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, stock & tomato paste; bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer & simmer for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened; season to taste with salt. Set aside until ready to reheat when ready to serve the chiles rellenos. Thin the sauce with additional stock if required & adjust seasoning.

Make the Chiles Rellenos

Heat ¼” to ½” oil in a large frying pan to 365 F. I always use my electric frying pan, it works great & I don’t have to test the oil to make sure it’s the right temperature.

Make a slit in each chili, then carefully remove the seeds, rinsing under cold water as necessary, drain them on paper towels. Fill each chili with spoonfuls of the picadillo & some grated cheese, if using, being careful not to overfill them. Place the flour & the cornmeal on plates. Dip a chili in the flour, then into the beaten eggs & then roll in cornmeal to coat.

Once the oil is at the right temperature, carefully lower each stuffed chile into the oil; fry until golden brown on one side then gently turn over & fry the other side until it’s golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain.

Place a few spoonfuls of the enchilada sauce on each plate & top with a chile rellenos.

**Suggestions for using leftover picadillo: makes fantastic empadas. I also make a taco salad with the mixture, topping with grated cheese, avocado, thinly sliced jalapenos, a few black olives, sour cream & salsa & serve with some corn chips for scooping. It also makes a great little appetizer put into phyllo cups & topped with guacamole, sour cream & some cherry tomato & cilantro. The picadillo freezes beautifully too!  Click here for the link to the crust for empadas & here for phyllo cups (see bottom of page.)

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Anne’s Pineapple Shrimp Salads

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This recipe is in homage to the lady who hired me to take over at the executive dining room of a major Canadian bank, when she retired two years later. This salad was always welcomed at the luncheons there, especially after Christmas and New Year’s pig-outs! It is very refreshing and really good. I particularly like to serve biscuits with this salad. Click on the links at the bottom of the recipe for two of my favourite biscuit recipes.

Makes 4 – 6 Servings

DSC_8695 nx2For the Salad:

1 to 1 ½ lbs. cooked shrimp
2 medium sized pineapples (the “Gold” ones are the sweetest)
2 heads butter lettuce; red butter lettuce would be very colourful

Make The Dressing:

1 cup canola oil or other light tasting oil
6 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. grated fresh ginger, or more to taste
¾ cup mayonnaise (Hellman’s light is fine)
1 ½ Tbsp. ketchup (4 ½ teaspoons)
¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 to ¼ tsp. Tabasco
1/8 tsp. freshly ground white pepper

Garnish: 2 lemons cut into 8 wedges each,
cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Combine the oil, lemon juice, paprika, sugar & ginger in a jar & shake well. Place the shrimp into a large bowl. Pour half the dressing over & marinate in the fridge for an hour to blend the flavours. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the remaining dressing, mayonnaise, ketchup, Dijon mustard, Tabasco & white pepper; put aside in the fridge until ready to assemble the salads.

Remove the skin from the pineapples; quarter & remove the cores. Cut the pineapple into bite sized cubes. Tear the lettuce into pieces & arrange on individual dinner plates. Arrange the pineapple cubes in a mound on top of the lettuce; drain the shrimp & place on top of the pineapple cubes. Either drizzle with the dressing or pass dressing separately. Garnish with cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, green onions & lemon wedges.

**I particularly like this salad with Anne’s bran biscuits but my homemade buttermilk biscuits are equally good.

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Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

The blueberries are in season and we’re making a batch of this barbecue sauce to slather onto pork chops, ribs, burgers, chicken, turkey or even fish! It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and can be easily frozen.  In fact, I have doubled the recipe just so I could have a stash in the freezer!  Gelderman Farms has delicious, juicy blueberries grown organically. If you would like to get some of their berries, see Some of My Favourite Sources.

Makes Approximately 3 Cups

DSC_7922 nx21 cup blueberries, preferably fresh
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup water
½ medium onion, chopped
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup blueberry or cider vinegar (I’ve even used blackberry vinegar)
2 Tbsp. fancy molasses
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
1 tsp. dried marjoram, crumbled
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined & finely chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. Cool for 15 minutes then puree in the processor or blender until smooth; season to taste with salt & freshly ground black pepper.

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Chicken Breasts or Turkey Cutlets With Irish Whiskey Sauce

A quick sauté of the chicken,  finished in the oven, make a simple pan sauce and you have dinner!  Turkey cutlets are excellent too!

DSC_6905 nx2Makes 6 Servings

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
or 6 Turkey cutlets
1 – 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Salt & pepper
EVOO & butter

For the Sauce:

1 head of garlic, roasted & pureed
1 to 1 ½ cups of chicken stock, low salt or homemade**
1/3 cup of Irish whiskey
2 to 4 Tbsp. stoneground Dijon mustard (to your taste)
½ to 1 cup whipping cream (I like Avalon brand)
Salt & pepper to taste

Place the head of garlic on a piece of tin foil; drizzle with EVOO. Wrap up & place in a preheated 350 F oven for approximately 45 minutes or until very soft. Remove from the foil, cool then remove cloves from their skin; place on a small plate & mash with a fork. Set aside until ready to make the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Pound chicken with a mallet until the breasts are somewhat flattened & of equal depth; season with chopped rosemary & salt & pepper. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp. each butter & EVOO. Sauté chicken until golden on both sides, remove to a baking sheet & place in the oven for approximately 10 minutes.  Check to ensure the chicken is done by cutting a small slit into the thickest part of the chicken to make sure no pink remains but is still nice & juicy.

A tip for prepping this ahead a bit would be to brown the chicken, place on a baking sheet, then finish in the oven at 375 F until cooked through.

To Make the Sauce:

Deglaze the sauté pan with the whiskey, scraping up any brown bits. Boil until reduced by half, then add 1 to 1 ½ cups of stock, depending on how much sauce you want. Bring back to the boil; reduce by half. Add whipping cream, starting with ½ cup, this should be enough unless you really like lots! Just before serving whisk in the garlic puree & the stoneground mustard, season to taste with salt & pepper & a bit more chopped rosemary. Place the chicken breasts on either warmed individual serving plates, top with the sauce or for family style, serve on a large platter.

I really like serving things family style these days, it’s so much more casual!

A nice accompaniment would be a barley pilaf.  For the recipe for the pilaf, click here.  I also really like to  serve the chicken with Colcannon, for the recipe, click here.

To Make your own stock, click here.

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Braised Beef With Star Anise

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Cubes of braised beef enrobed with a garlicy, gingery, star-anise sauce, does it get any better? We don’t think so! You can serve the beef with either steamed rice or Chinese noodles that have been boiled until al dente then fried in a bit of oil until hot and some crispy stir fried veggies.  When making an Asian meal, it’s nice not to have to do everything in a wok at the last minute and this dish fits the bill nicely.  I have been known to turn the leftovers into an Asian noodle soup too…tasty!

Makes 6 Servings

DSC_6793 nx22 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 lbs. stewing beef, cut into 1 ½” cubes
3 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, slivered
¼ cup light soy sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 tsp. grated fresh gingerroot
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
3 or 4 whole star anise
2 long strips orange rind (rind only, no pith)
1 fresh or a dried crumbled Thai chili
Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water

Garnish: 1 cup diagonally sliced green onions

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Heat the oil in a large deep sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat; blot the cubes of beef dry & brown in batches (making sure not to crowd the pan); adding more oil if necessary. As the meat browns, remove to a plate. Reduce the heat if it is getting too hot as you don’t want to burn the goodies on the bottom of the pan. Once the meat is browned, reduce the heat to medium & sauté the onions & garlic, stirring for about 3 minutes. Return the beef to the pan along with the soy sauce, sugar, ginger, molasses, vinegar, star anise, orange rind, chilies & 2 cups of water, scraping up brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil; cover & simmer, place in the oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until beef is tender stirring every 30 minutes. Remove orange rind & star anise; season with salt & pepper to taste. Blend cornstarch into 1/3 cup of water & stir half into the pan; cook until liquid thickens, adding cornstarch mixture if required. Place the beef & the sauce on a large serving platter & garnish with the green onions.

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Braised Oxtails With Chorizo

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Unctuous oxtails with a Spanish twist. I think of them as Matador oxtails and think the Spanish must eat a lot of them, considering. A saffron scented rice would go very well with the oxtails, or if you are feeling lazy, then some crusty bread.

Makes 3 or 4 Servings

DSC_6707 nx23 lbs. (2 – 3” pieces) meaty oxtails
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. EVOO
2 oz. mild Spanish chorizo, cured not fresh chorizo, casing removed & finely chopped
½ large onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ bay leaf
1/8 tsp. each hot & sweet Spanish smoked paprika
½ cup dry white wine
14 oz. whole tomatoes, in puree, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. each chopped flat-leaf parsley & cilantro
1 ½ tsp. Sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar

Equipment: A very large deep saucepan with a lid, Dutch oven such as Le Creuset or a roasting pan so long as the pan or pot will accommodate the oxtails in one layer.

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Pat oxtails dry & sprinkle with salt & pepper. Heat the EVOO in the sauté pan over medium to medium high heat unto oil is hot but not smoking; brown oxtails in batches without crowding, turning and browning on all sides. Transfer the oxtails, as they are browned, to a plate. Continue browning the remaining oxtails in the same manner & place on the plate with the previously browned oxtails.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan/pot; place the pan or pot over medium heat.

Add the chorizo, onion, carrots, garlic & bay leaf to the fat in the pan/pot & sauté until the onion is softened, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes; add the paprika & cook, stirring for about a minute maximum; add the wine & bring to a boil, stirring & scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan; add the chopped tomatoes with their juice & bring mix the mixture to a boil; add the oxtails; cover pot & place in the oven for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until the meat is very tender, turning the oxtails over after 1 ½ hours of cooking. If the oxtails are cooking too rapidly, turn the oven down to 300 F as you don’t want the sauce to evaporate. There should be enough liquid after the oxtails have cooked so there will be a generous amount of sauce for each serving; Remove oxtails from the oven, skim the fat; stir in parsley, cilantro, vinegar & salt & pepper to taste.

Note: You can make the oxtails the day before; not adding the parsley, cilantro & vinegar until they have been reheated. Cool the oxtails, cover with a piece of either wax paper or baking parchment, then a lid. Remove oxtails from the fridge, remove any fat & reheat until hot, adding the parsley, cilantro & vinegar before serving.

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What’s Up In My Kitchen


The pots have been bubbling away with all sorts of comfort foods lately!  Stew is such a good thing to have while watching the Winter Olympics!  But you don’t have to wait for them to roll around again to make some of these recipes!  Enjoy…

Something scrumptious to snack on:

This is one of the yummiest stews…beer in a stew, how can you go wrong?

Of course, it wouldn’t be our house without pasta at least once a week (frankly, I could have it every day!)

Not the normal version you would expect, but so good!

Let’s not forget a little something for dessert:

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Phyllis’ Veal Stew

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I love a really good veal stew. We buy a veal freezer pack of non-milk-fed veal from Columbus Meats** every year which includes different cuts from scaloppine to veal ribs, stew meat,  shanks and ground veal. I always like to dream up different ways to cook the veal. Here is one of them! If you change up the bacon to an equal amount of pancetta and add some soaked, dried, chopped Porcini mushrooms, you now have Italian Veal Stew! This stew would be delicious with mashed potatoes or colcannon.**

Makes 4 – 6 Servings

DSC_6601 nx23 lbs. stewing veal
Canola oil or EVOO if doing an Italian version, to brown the meat
2 shallots, chopped fine or a small onion, chopped fine
1 cup pearl onions or 8-10 small cippolline onions, blanched & peeled**
2 – 3  slices bacon, preferably gammon or double smoked, cut into ½” pieces
2 large carrots either diced or cut into large chunks
2 stalks celery, diced
3 – 4 Tbsp. flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 ½ bay leaves
2 cups 6 oz. veal stock or a combination of beef & chicken stock** or half beef & chicken no-salt broth
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, or ½ tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp. salt + more if needed
¼ to ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, to your taste

**You can use frozen pearl onions if you prefer.  Add them to the stew for the last 1/2 of cooking.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the veal cubes lightly with salt & pepper. Brown the cubes, without crowding, in the hot oil. Remove the cubes to a plate as they brown. Brown the remaining cubes in the same manner.

Add the bacon to the pan & sauté until browned, but not crisp. Turn the heat down to medium-low, then add the chopped shallots or onions, carrots & celery. Sauté the veggies until the onions have softened but not browned. Add 3 Tbsp. flour to the pan & stir to combine, sauté, stirring for a minute or so. Add the white wine & stir up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let simmer for a few minutes; add the stock or broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to simmer & let cook for 1 ½ – 2 hrs., or until tender. If the sauce seems a bit thin, combine a tablespoon or two flour with some stock to make a slurry. Stir into the stew & let cook for 10 minutes to cook out the taste of the flour.

TIP: my favourite way to thicken things at the end, is to use potato starch & a bit of water. It thickens quickly & you only need to cook a couple of minutes longer to thicken.

**If you would like to see how to blanch the onions, please see Blanching Vegetables.

**If you would like to make the colcannon, please see to Colcannon.

**If you would like to make your own stock, please see to How to Make Stock.

**For location of Columbus Meats, please see to My Source List.

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Dynamite Chinese Chicken Thighs

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My husband gives these his “two thumbs up.” You can absolutely substitute approximately 2 lbs. of chicken wings. The chicken can be cooked in the oven on a rack, or are perfect for the barbecue, just make sure when you barbecue them to use the “indirect” method or you’ll end up with burnt wings!  Wings would made  finger-licking good appetizers!

DSC_6561 nx26 – 8 large chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)

Make The Marinade:

2/3 cup plum sauce (we like Lee Kum Kee brand)
¼ cup liquid honey
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. peeled, finely grated fresh ginger
¼ tsp. Chinese Five-Spice Powder**
1 Tbsp. Chinese chili sauce (we use Maggi brand)
2 tsp. finely grated fresh orange rind
½ cup light soy sauce
½ cup dry sherry

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a medium sized bowl with a whisk. Place the chicken into a large glass dish & pour the marinade over top. Turn the chicken over a few times; cover with plastic wrap & place in the fridge overnight; turning the chicken over in the morning.

year of the horsePreheat the oven to 375 F. Prepare a broiler pan with a rack; oil the rack or spray with non-stick cooking spray. If cooking on the barbecue, place a drip pan in the middle of the barbecue with the charcoal on either side; place the chicken over the drip pan; cover with the lid; cook for 15 minutes, turn the chicken over & cook for approximately 12 minutes more or until the juices run clear.

Serving Note:  The chicken can be served with Chinese noodles or steamed rice & stir fried veggies.

**If you would like to make your own fragrant, delicious, home-made Chinese 5-Spice Powder, please see Chinese Five-Spice Powder.

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