Category Archives: Delicious Dinners

Finger-Licking Grilled Turkey Chops

Finger-Licking Grilled Turkey Chops

IMG_3378Growing up, lamb chops were definitely my favorite meal. We had a tradition in our house that on our birthday we could choose what we were having for dinner that night. I always chose chops and chips, and in our house that meant lamb chops and chips. We did not have turkey chops in South Africa when I was growing up, but discovered them soon after we came to live in the states almost 20 years ago to the day. Continue reading

Steelhead Trout with a Lemon and Rosemary Rub

Steelhead Trout with a Lemon and Rosemary Rub

As many of you already know I love growing my own herbs and as many fresh vegetables as I can. In the past I have grown herbs in pots on my deck, and this year Peter built me a vegetable trough – a great trough that stands at waist level for me. I have been able to grow tomatoes, grape tomatoes, peppers, jalopenos, zuccini, and eggplant. In addition, I have parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, mint, tarragon, oregano, and chives growing in the trough and some additional pots. Because the winter has been so mild, I still have most my herbs, but the vegetables are done for the season. Yet I can show you what it did look like.

IMG_2346

There is nothing better than cooking with freshly picked herbs, or making a salad with tomatoes and herbs from your own garden. This week I noticed an abundance of rosemary, so I decided it is time to cook some food using fresh rosemary. The first dish I made was Steelhead trout with a Lemon and Rosemary Butter Rub. It turned our absolutely deliciously, in fact I would go so far as to say, it was the best fish dish I have ever cooked.

Ingredients

2 filleted sides of steelhead trout
2 rounded Tbs. of butter or Can’t Believe It Is Butter
2 Tbs. fresh rosemary finely chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

Method

Cover a baking sheet with foil, and spray with cook ‘n spray – i use the olive oil one
Rinse the trout fillets, pat them dry with paper towels and then place them skin side down on the sprayed foil.
Season the fish well with salt and pepper.
Mix together the butter, garlic, chopped rosemary, lemon juice and lemon zest to form a paste.
Spread the butter mix over the fish fillets covering them with a thin layer of paste.(Best to use your hand to spread it over the fish)
Bake at 400°F for 7 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F for a further 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and let stand for 3 to 4 minutes to let the juices return to the fish.

Serve with boiled baby potatoes, a fresh green salad, and of course my tomato salad

Quick and Easy Tomato Salad

IMG_2386

Slice grape tomatoes in half. Put them isn a shallow dish, Chop some chives and put them over the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar. Either tear or julienne slice some fresh basil and mix in with the tomatoes. Best if you let this stand for half an hour or more before you serve to allow the flavors to blend.

 

No-Fry Eggplant Lasagna

No-Fry Eggplant Lasagna

IMG_3205Winter finally arrived in Atlanta this weekend. It is Sunday, December 20th and we had our first really cold weather hit on Friday night! It is unbelievable that it is mid December and we are experiencing temperatures in the early 70’s F or low 20’s C. I am not complaining as I really don’t like the cold, so having this beautiful weather has been a real treat. However, as soon as it gets cold, I want some hot wholesome food. I had an eggplant in the fridge, and I was going to make eggplant parmesan with it, but then I decided to create a new recipe and make an eggplant lasagna. Somehow this makes it a full meal for me, pasta, vegetables, sauce, cheese. What could be yummier?

I have to confess though that I did take a short cut. I used a store bought garlic marinara sauce. In the past I have not allowed myself to do this, and I have first taken the time to make my own marinara sauce, but today I gave myself permission to use a store bought sauce, and I must admit it still turned out pretty well. It saved time and effort, and I was able to prepare the entire dish in under half an hour.

I also did not stand dipping the eggplant in an egg wash, then into bread crumbs and  thereafter fryi it. Today I sliced the eggplant, placed the slices on a baking tray and pre-baked them. More details about this in the recipe. This too saved time and energy, but more importantly, it made this dish so much healthier. For those of you that know me, you know I really do try to eat as healthily as I can, so I try to cook healthily too. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did.

Ingredients

Olive oil spray and cook
1 eggplant sliced into about 1/8 inch (1/2 cm) slices
9 sheets no boil lasagna sheets
1 lb. jar garlic marinara sauce
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
1/2 cup low fat milk
2 Tbs. fresh oregano coarsely chopped
salt, pepper
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs

Method

Lightly spray a baking pan with spray and cook. Place sliced eggplant in a single layer on to tray. Spray the tops of the eggplant with the cook and spray. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop up the oregano, and set aside.
Mix the milk and Greek yoghurt together to get a smooth consistency and set aside.
IMG_3194

 

 

 

 

 

Mix the bread crumbs with 1/2 cup of the parmesan.

Coat the bottom of a 9×13″ casserole dish with a layer of the marinara sauce

IMG_3193

Place three pasta sheets on top of it, 2 next to each other, and the 3rd broken in half to fill the rest of the dish.
Cover the pasta with a layer of the yoghurt and milk mixture.IMG_3199IMG_3200IMG_3201
By now the eggplant should be ready to remove from oven, do not switch oven off as you will be returning the whole dish to the oven in just a few moments.
Place a layer of eggplant slices over yoghurt and milk sauce.
IMG_3197
Sprinkle some oregano, a little salt and pepper over the eggplant, and then generously sprinkle some parmesan on top of the eggplant.
Coat one side of the next layer of pasta with the yoghurt and milk mixture, and lay coated side on top of the eggplant covered in cheese.
Repeat the layer of marinara sauce, eggplant slices, seasonings, and cheese.
Finally place a layer of marinara sauce over the eggplant covered in cheese and top with the breadcrumb mixture.IMG_3204
Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to settle for 5 minutes before cutting out a large piece of this delicious lasagna.IMG_3206IMG_3207

Pickled Brisket with Creamy Mustard Sauce

IMG_0970

Raw First Cut Pickled Brisket

Pickled brisket is really one of my favorite meats, especially when it comes to brisket. Grillerspride.com  has the best first cut pickled briskets, and whenever I cook it, it is devoured with great enthusiasm. Who does not enjoy a corn beef sandwich on delicious rye bread with mustard and of course sauerkraut? However, I am not giving the recipe for a corn beef sandwich as you can put that together yourselves once you have cooked the pickled brisket, but I am taking it a step further and sharing with you my mustard sauce that I have finally mastered. Continue reading