I often laugh at myself! Both our kids live away from home, so it is just Peter and me. Yet every night I come home from work at about 7 p.m. and I cook a full meal! Am I crazy? I cannot help it, I truly love cooking and it relaxes me. So tonight I thought I would share with you some of my latest creations. The recipes from today’s blog make a great Shabbat meal, (I know this because this is what we ate last Shabbat), but they can also be made for a meal during the week. They are simple, easy to prepare, and from the feedback of our guests and my greatest fan, Peter, I believe they are very tasty. Remember you can get the best kosher meat there is from Grillerspride.com. All meats mentioned in my blog have a hyperlink directly to the website, so if you live in the US, you can place your order as you read and the meat will be delivered or shipped directly to your home. All you need to do is get cooking and enjoy.
Baked Chicken Pieces with Zesty Sauce
I like to prepare this dish in the morning or the night before and leave it in the refrigerator to “marinade” so the chicken can absorb the flavors.
1x 8-piece cut up fryer
1 cup unsweeteded Coconut Milk
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chille powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup oil (I used canola)
2 tsp. honey
Remove the skin from the chicken pieces and place in a casserole dish or a silver foil. (If the breast piece is too large, cut into two pieces).
Mix all the other ingredients together and pour the sauce over the chicken.
Make sure each piece is covered with some sauce. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the chicken to absorb the flavors of the sauce.
Bake covered with foil at 350 F for an hour. Remove foil and bake a further 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cover again with foil and let stand 5 to 10 minutes so that the flavors can be reabsorbed back into the chicken.
Delicious with rice, mashed potato, or baked barley (see recipe below).
Herb-Crusted French Roast
A French roast is a very tender cut of meat. It has very little fat and it really makes a delicious entree. I cooked this roast for 7 people, and we had plenty over to have on sandwiches during the week. It is worth the indulgence from time to time.
My mother taught me to cook a roast to perfection. She said you need to cook it over a tray of water. This allows the fat to drip out of the meat, and also the steam from the water in the oven keeps the meat moist. I usually cook the meat for 20 -25 min./lb. depending on how thick the cut of meat is.
I added to her delicious roast recipe the herb crust. This was inspired by the wonderful, fresh herbs I have growing on my deck. I love to go out onto the deck, pick a bunch of herbs and come back and create new dishes. So voila, you have one of my new creations.
1 x 3-4 lb. French Roast
4 Tbs. finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (I used basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary and oregano)
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Place the meat on a piece of heavy duty foil.
Season the roast well with salt and pepper on all sides.
Mix the chopped herbs, garlic, mustard and oil together until it forms a kind of paste.
Place half the herb mixture onto the seasoned meat and rub it over the meat, trying to get it into any crack or space on the meat’s surface.
Turn the meat over and put the rest of the herb mix on the other side and rub it in.
Wrap the meat tightly in the foil, and place in the refrigerator.
Allow to stand for at least an hour, or you can even prepare it the night before and let it absorb the herb flavors all day.
Remove the meat from the fridge and place the meat on a roasting rack that is standing over a pan filled with 2 cups of water
Roast at 375 F for the first 45 minutes, turn down to 350 F, turn meat once, and continue cooking for an additional 45 minutes. Meat should be cooked perfectly if it is medium on the ends, and medium rare on the inside. Once meat is ready, remove from oven even if you are not ready to eat it. You can always put it back for a few minutes to reheat. When you remove it, cover it with foil and allow it to stand for 10 minutes to reabsorb its flavors.
Slice the roast against the grain.
Baked Barley with Mushrooms and Onions
Sometimes it is nice to have a break from potatoes and rice as a side dish. Barley is so healthy for you and it can be prepared in so many ways. Try this one.
1 lb, pearl Barley
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1- 8 oz, punnet mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 large onion finely chopped
4 stick of celery, finely sliced
Salt and Pepper
5 cups Chicken Stock (If you don’t havhomemade stock, you can use 5 cups boiling water with 5 tsp. chicken stock powder mixed into it).
Heat olive oil in a skillet or pot.
Add chopped onions and saute till they are translucent.
Add the chopped celery and let cook for 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and season well with salt and pepper.
Stir the mix from time to time, and let the mushrooms release their natural juices.
Let mixture cook till all liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, rinse the barley and place in a large casserole dish (as barley expands when it cooks)
Pour over the five cups of chicken stock.
Add the onion and mushroom mix and stir gently.
Bake covered for an hour at 350 F.
Remove from oven and carefully remove cover.
With a fork of spoon gently loosen the barley and mix the vegetables in, Cover and let stand until you are ready to serve it. This dish can be left on a low heat for a while, it does not dry out.
This dish is a wonderful vegetarian dish on its own served with a garden fresh salad.