Tag Archives: garlic

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf


Look at that tight bacon weave

It’s bacon! Sometimes I just need to wrap things in bacon.  I learned about bacon tapestry when I made a bacon explosion for my husband’s birthday. Sometimes I need my food in loaf form. This meal satisfied both of these desires in a big way. I made this loaf with a combination of turkey and hot Italian sausage because that is what I had in my fridge and because I thought it would be awesome. Turns out, it was awesome.

 

 

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

Ingredients:

1 tbs butter

1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 lb ground turkey

1 lb hot Italian sausage

6 oz tomato paste

1 tsp white wine vinegar

Meatloaf raw next to the less successful porcini mushroom meatloaf.

2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

4 tbs Worcestershire sauce

2 large eggs

3/4 cup ground flax seed

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 pound bacon

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Over medium heat, in a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and butter until the butter is melted.
  3. Add the onion and heat until they are translucent and tender.
  4. Add the garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, and cumin and saute until fragrant about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the tomato paste and mix with the other ingredient. Saute for another 30 seconds to add some caramel flavor.
  6. Finally, mix in the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Remove the mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
  8. In a large bowl, mix the meats, eggs, ground flax seed and skillet ingredients. I use the tips of my fingers so I don’t over squish the meat and make the meatloaf dense.
  9. On a sheet pan or in a lasagne pan, form the meat into a loaf.
  10. You can either weave the bacon on top or just place it to cover the loaf.  The weave does look cooler though.
  11. Sprinkle the bacon with smoked paprika and some grinds of black pepper.  This would be the appropriate time to take pictures for facebook, twitter, or to text your friends your dinner to make them feel jealous.
  12. Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 55 – 60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. If the bacon is not crispy enough for your taste, turn on your broiler and cook for 3 – 5 minutes.
  13. Allow to cook for 10 minutes. This would be another good time to take pictures.

I loved this meatloaf. LOVED! This would pair well with roasted veggies and a salad.

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Flax-seed Crackers


Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Flax seeds are tiny powerhouses of nutrition.  They are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and soluble and insoluble fiber. I buy whole seeds and grind them in my trusty coffee grinder. Ground flax can be used in many baking applications, such as muffins, breads, brownies, and crackers.   Whenever I have made something with ground flax, I am always amazed at how bread-like is the final product.

The final mixture for this product is paste-like and sticky.  I discovered that I should wet my fingers before spreading out the crackers to avoid club fingers. The final product is crunchy and makes a good vehicle for nut butters, dips, and tuna or salmon salad.

Flax Seed Crackers

Ingredients:

1 cup ground flax seed

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tbs garlic powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/2 cup water

2 tbs whole flax seed (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flax seeds, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add water little by little until the mixture forms a paste.
  4. On a silicon mat or parchment paper lined pan, spread the mixture out to 1/8th of an inch. I used my fingers, but you can use a spoon or a rolling-pin. I remove the ragged edges so they won’t burn.
  5. Sprinkle the tops of the “dough” with the whole flax seeds.
  6. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the “dough” to the desired size.
  7. Cook the dough for 15 – 18 minutes.  This varies depending on humidity. Keep them in the oven until they are crisp.

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Olive Oil Mayonaise and Aioli


Image courtesy of wikipedia

Mayonnaise in an emulsion of eggs, oils, vinegar or lemon juice, and mustard.  The lecithin in the egg yolks stabilizes the mixture.  The first time I tried to make mayonnaise I used a whisk and I think that my arm was going to fall off.  Making mayo this way was a two person job. Since then, I have used a blender to easily make this concoction.

Olive Oil Mayonnaise

Ingredients:

1 large egg

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp whole grain mustard

1 tbs lemon juice or white wine vinegar

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine the egg, garlic, lemon juice and mustard in the container of a blender or food processor.Blend until smooth.
  2. Blend on low speed while pouring oil into the blender in a fine stream as the mixture emulsifies and thickens.

Aioli

Ingredients:

5 large garlic cloves peeled

Image courtesy of wikipedia

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 large egg

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

 Directions:

  1.  Mash the garlic and salt together in coffee grinder until it is a paste.  You can use the small work bowl on your food process or a mortar and pestle. In a the large bowl of you food processor or in a blender, process the egg for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the garlic paste to the food processor and add the oil in a this stream until it is fully integrated into the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before using.

You can keep this a week in the refrigerator.

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Slow-Cooker Roast Chicken with Mushroom Sauce


Chicken with Mushrooms

The finished product

After teaching all day, coming home from work and knowing that dinner will be ready is one of my great joys. This recipe is easy to put together and has a immediate taste pay off.

The night before, I marinated my chicken in the slow cooker coated with the spices and oils.  Then when I got home, I removed the chicken from the sauce to cool, thickened the sauce and added mushrooms.  While I was doing that I popped some oil-coated and seasoned brussels sprouts to the oven for roasting. When the sprouts were done so was the sauce.  How is that for timing!

Slow-Cooker Roast Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:

Chicken

1 fryer chicken about 4 pounds (This fits nicely in my slow cooker)

1 tbs curry powder

1 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs onion powder

1 tbs fresh parsley

1/4 tsp porcini powder (optional)

1 tsp kosher or sea salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 tbs olive oil or coconut oil

6 tbs butter or ghee

1 tsp honey

Sauce:

2 – 3 cups liquid from slow cooker

1/2 cup cream

4 tbs butter

2 cups crimini mushrooms sliced

1 cup button mushrooms

1/2 cup dry sherry

salt to taste

1 tbs butter

Directions:

Chicken

  1. Rinse a thawed chicken inside and out and pat dry. Place on a cutting board or other washable work surface.  Save the delicious giblets for later use; I freeze mine if I’m not going to use them right away.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the spices, olive oil, and butter into a paste.  Rub the mixture on the skin, under the skin, and in the cavity. If you are worried about the chicken falling apart, then secure with the legs and wings of the chicken with butcher’s twine.
  3. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours. The chicken will produce a lot of liquid during cooking.
  4. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with foil.  Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.

Sauce

  1. In a medium sauce pan, place the stock and cream.  Reduce the liquid by half, this should take about 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate pan, over medium heat melt the butter until it starts to bubble.
  3. Add the mushrooms in batches so not to crowd the pan and steam the mushrooms.  First, saute mushrooms until brown and crispy on one side and then saute on the other.  When the mushrooms are done remove to a bowl or plate and then saute another the other batch.  Continue this process until all the mushrooms are sauteed.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the port and reduce to about 2 tbs.
  5. Add in the reduced sauce and then mushrooms and continue cooking for 2 – 3 minutes.
  6. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and eat.

This recipe will pair well with roasted vegetables, coconut flour cheesy biscuits, and cauliflower rice.

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How to Make a Great Steak


Beef Cuts

Beef cuts image courtesy of wikipedia

I never really ate steak before I started on my low-carb lifestyle. I was afraid of red meat, fat, and apparently delicious flavor. But since I have made “the change” I can gobble down steak at least once a week with none of those previously felt qualms. I sometimes buy a beef loin and cut it into individual steaks to save money and make sure I am always flush with quality steaks.

For today’s preparation I used a sirloin steak and an enamel coated cast iron skillet. This skillet holds heat the best and heats evenly. By heating the meat over high heat (300 – 500 degree fahrenheit) creates the maillard reaction. This reaction causes a delicious crust to form on the steak, another source of all flavor. After the steak is finished, you can use the drippings and fond to create a delicious pan sauce to further flavor your steak. This preparation can also be done outside over a grill still using the cast iron pan.

herbes de provence

Flickr herbes de provence in garden form courtesy of cliff1066.

The Great(est?) Steak

Ingredients

1 steak (sirloin or filet mignon) 2 – 3 inches in thickness

kosher or sea salt

freshly ground pepper

garlic clove

2 tbs butter or ghee

chopped herbs (parsley, tarragon, oregano, thyme, herbes de provence, etc.) optional

Directions:

1: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

2. Heat your pan over high heat until water droplets dance across the pan before also immediately evaporating. Use a cast iron skillet that has been well seasoned, an enamel cast iron skillet, or an oven safe stainless steel skillet. Do not use non-stick.

3. While your pan is heating, put sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the steak.

STEAK!

My steak dinner with roasted brussels sprouts and asparagus sauteed with leeks and bacon.

4. Rub each side of a garlic clove.

5. Lightly sprinkle the herbs onto the steak.

6. Place the steak on the pan and sear for two minutes. This will create smoke, a lot of smoke. If there isn’t smoke, your pan is probably not hot enough.

7. Turn over and sear the opposite side for two minutes.

8. Put pat of butter on the steak and place in the oven for 10 minutes for a medium to medium-well steak. You can also put an herb compound butter in the steak.

9. Check the temperature of the steak with an thermometer.

rare 125, medium-rare 135, medium 140, medium-well 145, well 155

10. Remove to a warm plate and place another pat of butter on the steak. Cover loosely with foil for 5 – 10 minutes.

Pan Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 cup shallot, onion, or leek

1 cup good red wine this can be replaced with 1/2 cup water and 1 tbs tomato paste

2 tbs Dijon mustard

2 crushed cloves garlic

1/2 cup fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, oregano, tarragon, basil, etc)

1 tbs butter

Directions:

1. Over low heat, add the shallots, cook until softened.

2. Add garlic and saute for one minutes.

3. Deglaze the pan with red wine.

4. Mix in the dijon mustard and herbs.

5. Heat for two minutes until heated through.

6. Turn off heat and finish with 1 tbs of butter.

You can pour this sauce over the steak or veggies. It is especially good with sauteed mushrooms.

Beef cuts image courtesy of wikipedia.

Herbes de provence image courtesy of cliff1066.

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Slow-Cooker Chicken and Sausage Ragu


My family loves this recipe and I make it once a week. It is delicious, easy, and rewarding. It also takes me back to my

Delicious

Sausage and Chicken in the slow cooker - a family favorite.

Italian roots. This recipe reminds me of Neopolitan ragu or the Sunday meat sauce my grandmother would make with baciole, but this can be done in the slow cooker when I am at work. I love coming home and having my house smell like grandma’s.

Slow-Cooker Chicken and Sausage Ragu

Servings 6

Ingredients:

6 chicken thighs with the skin removed

6 hot Italian sausages cut into 1 inch medallions if you choose

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil

1 tbs dried pepper flakes

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 small onion grated or sliced thin

2 cloves garlic chopped

1 medium carrot grated

1 6 oz can tomato paste

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (or 2 fresh with seeds and skin removed)

1 tbs anchovy paste

1/2 fresh ground pepper

1 bay leaf

Directions:

1. Remove skin from the chicken and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion power.

2. Bind the chicken thighs with twine. This step is optional, but it will keep the thighs together making them easier to remove and serve. You can also cut up the sausage into 1 in medallions if you choose.

3. In a bowl, mix the spices, pepper, tomato paste, anchovy paste, diced tomatoes, carrot, and onion.

4. Cover the bottom of the cooking vessel in sauce.

5. Layer in the chicken. Mine just fit in my slow cooker, but it is huge.

6. Cover with sauce and place on the bay leaf.

7. Layer in the sausage.

8. Pour on the rest of the sauce.

9. Cook on low for 7 – 8 hours.

10. Remove the chicken and sausage to a platter and cover.

11. Remove the bay leaf and reduce the sauce to desired thickness.

12. Taste and adjust seasoning.

13. Cover the chicken and sausage in the sauce.

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