I was out all morning doing some errands and didn’t get home until 12:30. To say I was a little hungry would be an understatement. So it was what could I have that was real quick. My go to was a large bowl of cereal. Can imagine most people would think that isn’t much of a lunch. For me cereal is something I have for lunch often. Can’t remember the last time I had cereal for breakfast, it’s not a breakfast item in my mind. At least once a week cereal is my lunch, either bran flakes, shredded wheat, or shreddies is my choice. If there’s fruit in the fridge great, if not it doesn’t matter. Today was bran flakes and raspberries, with half and half cream. I don’t use milk for cereal mainly because what’s in the fridge is 1 percent, which I find is just coloured water. As you can see from the few posts on my lunches they are the simplest things possible. Only time my lunch isn’t super simple is when we eat out. Yes cereal is a really really good lunch.
This I guess you could say really is part of Airport rice and pork. It is where the idea of it comes from but wasn’t done just for it. But it’s part of it because it’s what the chef who created Airport rice and pork did. It was about 3 or 4 months after he started at Cara that I noticed the gravy was different on Fridays. Normally for lunch at Cara I had fries and gravy or soup, mostly it was the soup, but at least once a week fries and gravy. Friday’s it was always rice and pork. I had made it at home on the Thursday so that Friday I had fries and gravy. The first mouthful I realized the gravy was different, and it was better. Since by then I had gotten to know him. When he joined us for lunch I ask him what he had done to the gravy. He asked if I liked it, my answer was yes he should make it that way everyday. He laughed and in his Scottish accent said “that’s impossible lad”. He said you can only make everything gravy once a week. Why was what I said, this was his answer to that. That’s all the gravy we made for the last week mixed together, we keep all the leftover gravy and mix together and reheat it Fridays. He blamed it on being a Scott and not wasting anything. He said it was what he did at home, he had a jar in the freezer and every little bit of leftover gravy he had went in it. When he had enough he used it. Since there was always lots leftover gravy at Cara the jar became a pail. It seemed like a dumb idea, but the gravy was to good to say it was dumb. So to this day I do the same, but the jar is now a freezer bag. Tonight it was a little pork, beef, and turkey gravy mixed together. It’s a great idea and makes a very very good end product. It is still my favourite gravy for fries. Some really good ideas stand the test of time.
I’ll call it lazy, my wife says it’s I’ve gotten smarter. Since most of the time I am just cooking for my wife and I peeling potatoes for mashed potatoes isn’t what I do. When we have a roast for the 2 of us all I do is put the potatoes in the oven with the roast. No washing, no peeling, just straight in the oven. Fast, simple, no pot to wash, lazy right! When everything is ready I just cut them in half, scoop them out on my plate, add some butter and mash them with a fork. It seemed to me when I started doing this that it was a good idea. Last night when we were having supper my wife said “the potatoes taste better this way “. Been thinking about it, baked you don’t loose any of the flavour, or make them watery like you do with boiling. So maybe it is a little smarter when cooking for 2. If it is it’s an accident, first time I did it was because I didn’t want to wash a pot. I’ll let others decide if it’s lazy or smarter.
I had a pork loin roast in the freezer and it was time to use it. My original plan was to have it Sunday but that changed, hockey got in the way. The Jets game is Sunday afternoon and won’t be over till around 6. Also our grandson Easton has a game at 1. So it was an easy decision, have the roast Saturday. There will be leftovers so Sunday supper will be airport rice and pork. That’s easy to make and I can get it in the oven after the second period of the Jets game. Airport rice and pork is such a good meal, my wife and I both look forward to having it. So a small change of plans but easy to do. I do get a little fancy with my pork loin roasts, I score the fat cap into a diamond pattern. The reason I score the fat cap is because it renders the fat better and gives you more gravy. The reason I do, and have for years, a diamond pattern is just because it look really nice. Yes sometimes I do fancy just because I have fun doing it. With a loin roast it’s just fun to do and makes me smile a little when I take it out of the oven. I am doing this roast as simple as I can. I really like pork so sometimes simple is best.
3 pound pork loin roast
salt and pepper ( about 2 teaspoons of each, it needs to be packed into the roast. This may seem a lot but it is also going to season the gravy. )
6 cloves garlic
1 cup of water
Salt and pepper the roast and put in a roasting pan. Add the cup of water and the garlic. Place in a preheated 350 oven uncovered and roast for 2 hours. Check about every half hour and add a little more water if needed. You want the fat to brown but not burn. Check the temperature of the roast after 2 hours, when it’s at 160 remove and rest covered with foil for at least 20 minutes. I served it with dilled carrots, dill with carrots is a great way to bump up the humble carrot.
Finally I have decided what I am making for Christmas breakfast. Found by accident today what will be a different and special breakfast dish. Every year it seems to be the same, I think of different dish I could make, then boom it’s something different. This year I had it down to 2 choices, both would of been great. I was in a gift store today, my wife was in the checkout line and as usual I was looking at cookbooks as I waited. Was a British cookbook and a recipe in it jogged a memory of a dish I haven’t had for over 45 years. For this Christmas it is the perfect dish, since I have been walking down food memory lane. I remember it clearly and know everything that was in it. It was one of the best breakfast dishes I have ever had. All these years since I had it and I have never made it, pretty dumb of me. So now I am just down to how my wife and I will decorate the plates. Honestly this is a first for me, have a plan that won’t be changed, this early in December. One year it was 2 days before Christmas. Since it’s a surprise for the kids and grandkids it will be after Christmas before I put the recipe on here. Will tell you the 2 that this one beat out.
Third place was a breakfast wrap that was filled with a ham, egg, red and green pepper hash baked with red and green salsa spooned over each one. Could of been made the day before and then reheated with the salsa in the morning. Would look good and taste great.
This one was my wife’s favourite and would of likely won out. Plan was to take a potato and cut it in half. Then scoop out the potatoes leaving about a 1/4 inch, baking them cut side down. When they come out of the oven brushing the inside with a mixture of melted butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. This could be done the day before. On Christmas morning put an egg in each one and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes. They could be served on a bed of hash made with ham, red pepper, and spinach or Swiss chard. With this you have your ham and eggs and sort of hashbrowns.
Guess this whole Christmas breakfast odyssey that I go on every year kind of shows how warped my mind is. If I am totally honest it is just pure fun exploring how to make a simple thing like breakfast into unique experience. This year the hunt is done, now I get to think about next year.
Shepherds pie is on my menu for supper tonight. This is a good thing for another reason than it is just delicious. It is a good thing I make most of the recipes on my blog more than once. Awhile ago I decided it would be a good idea to clean up my media file. That was a huge mistake. When I deleted the pictures from the media file it to my surprise deleted them from my posts. Learned a great lesson, since then I ask my son Ian before I do stuff with my blog. I have gotten to replace some pictures already and because I am making shepherds pie I get to replace another. It’s a good side affect of having a really good supper. Shepherds pie is a simple dish to make and it a complete meal in one dish. The recipe I make is already on the blog and now the picture is back also. If you have never made shepherds pie you definitely need to give it a try. If you like lamb make it with ground lamb, if not use ground beef like I do. I promise you will not be disappointed with the meal it makes.
Chicken breast is something that can be very dry and over cooks quickly. Chicken may not be my first choice for a protein, but that doesn’t mean I don’t take care in cooking it. For my wife chicken is her first choice. So over the years I have cooked a lot of chicken. The main thing with chicken breasts is not to over cook them and dry them out. I have seen and tried so many recipes that are done in the oven. Not many turn out as described in the recipes. Doing the complete cooking in the oven usually means an outcome that’s ok but not great. Most oven recipes add a lot of things to give some kind of flavour. Browning chicken breasts gives flavour so why wouldn’t you brown it. Some have sauces and cheese and you cook them in the oven so the cheese melts. Here’s the trick, cook the chicken quickly in a frying pan, top it with the sauce and cheese and put it under the broiler to heat the sauce and melt the cheese. You get the flavour of the browning and the flavour of the sauce and cheese. This recipe is a simple one that gives you a moist and flavourful product. You can change the sauce and cheese to anything you like. The way it’s cooked works even with just sliced tomatoes on the chicken breasts. The what I have part is because I was to lazy to go to the store. This is me taking part of 3 different recipes and making my own topping for the chicken. The end result was something that tasted great.
For the chicken
2 flattened chicken breasts ( you want them about 1/3 inch thick)
1 and 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Mix corn starch, salt and pepper together. Flatten chicken breasts and dust with corn starch mixture. Place in the fridge on a plate keeping them separate for at least an hour.
For the sauce
1 and 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper pepper
1/2 teaspoon grainy mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 and 1/2 tablespoons grated mozzarella cheese
1 and 1/2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
Mix everything together in a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
For the frying pan
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
Preheat a frying pan on medium heat with the butter and olive oil. When butter is melted add the chicken breasts. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Check to see that they are cooked. Put the sauce mixture equally on each chicken breasts and place under the broiler. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes until the sauce has become browned and bubbly. Serve with rice and green beans or anything else you like.