slow cooker carnitas

I have multiple slow cooker pork recipes in my database and I have tried several. I added this one after Terry and I saw Jeff Mauro demonstrate it on The Kitchen.

carnitasI made it recently. I seasoned the pork with chipotle powder and garlic as the recipe specified. I used minced onion rather than a fresh onion. I used powdered cinnamon rather than cinnamon sticks, and I used a pork tenderloin (I had half a one in the freezer) rather than pork shoulder. I used zest and juice from an orange as per the recipe, but I omitted the orange soda. (Please!)

The online recipe specified crisping the pork under the broiler, though on the TV show Jeff used a Panini press. I did neither.

The recipe specified using tortillas. I served it with deli rolls instead.

It wasn’t the best slow cooker carnitas I’ve made, but it was quite good.

chicken and broccoli casserole

chicken casseroleI had some leftover chicken in the freezer. There was both rotisserie chicken and some leftover crock pot chicken that I had made. I was looking for a one skillet stove top recipe and I found this one for creamy chicken and broccoli casserole, even though I had it misclassified in my database.chicken casserole

I made some changes to the recipe. It called for coating the mushrooms with flour, which I didn’t do. The recipe specified using steam-in-the-bag microwave broccoli, but I used regular frozen broccoli and simply threw it in the skillet. I omitted the mayonnaise and used minced onion instead of pre-chopped. I used Romano cheese instead of Parmesan. I had the Romano on hand because the last time I had looked at Parmesan in the grocery store it was ridiculously expensive.

It was a little bit of work, but not too much. And it turned out quite well.

tacos with chicken marinade

I had a boneless chicken breast in the freezer and four corn tortillas on the counter. (We generally make our own tortillas these days, but Terry uses store-bought when she makes enchiladas.) I decided to do something different.

chicken tacoI chopped up the chicken and marinated it using a marinade that originally came from Mom on Timeout. The marinade contained soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar. rosemary, spicy mustard, black pepper, and garlic powder. Not exactly Mexican.

Nonetheless, I baked the tortillas using my mold to make taco shells and cooked the chicken in a skillet. I took both to the table along with taco toppings: olives, chopped green chilies, onion, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar, and guacamole.

It turned out well. As I said, not exactly Mexican, but it was good. And the nice thing about the marinade is that it would be easy to adjust it to get the taste that you want.

thoughts on the cancelation of The Chew

Perhaps you saw the news in late May that ABC made the decision to cancel The Chew and replace it with another hour of Good Morning America. Since I write so much about food and cooking here I would be remiss if I didn’t have something to say about that, especially since the program was, as best as I can tell, the inspiration for one of my favorite cooking programs, The Kitchen.

The Chew logoI am not a big fan of The Chew, so I am not really mourning its loss. And it’s not going away immediately. The farewell episode will broadcast Friday June 15. After that there will be two weeks of pre-taped new shows. For the rest of the summer reruns and repackaged shows will air. Good Morning America will replace the program in September.

In retrospect I suppose it’s not a surprise that The Chew was cancelled. The show’s two biggest stars are gone. Daphne Oz left on her own late last year. Mario Batali was fired after serious allegations of misconduct arose. That left Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, and Michael Symon, all of whom are extremely capable and talented, but none of whom offered the star power of the two departed hosts.

I have my Food Network and PBS cooking shows so the cancellation won’t leave a hole in my cooking or my television watching universe. The biggest question for me is what the new program will be called. The time slot in question is 1:00 pm Eastern and noon Pacific, so they’re really not going to call it Good Morning America, are they? We’ll see.

Cajun chicken and rice skillet

Cajun chicken and rice skilletI was looking for a midweek dinner using the “one skillet” search in my recipe database. I found this Cajun chicken and rice skillet recipe from 12 Tomatoes.

I pretty much followed the recipe as written, t though I omitted the onions as Terry can’t do onions. I did cut the recipe in half.

It turned out well. It was very tasty and quite filling. I could have made it with half the rice. I almost forgot the tomato paste but that got thrown in too.

It’s one that we could do again.

flour tortillas

I continue to work on my tortilla making. I have not yet figured out how to make corn tortillas that do not spilt when we have fajitas. I have tried adding more water, adding olive oil, and even adding (horrors!) vegetable shortening. All to no avail. I refuse to add lard, by the way.

tortilla makerSo, I thought, maybe try flour tortillas. I found three flour tortilla recipes which I saved. I tried this one. I cut the recipe in half and used fresh milk rather than dried. I used my tortilla press rather than a rolling pin (of course). I pressed the press as hard as I could, but the tortillas still came out thick. They didn’t split, to be sure, but they were too thick for tortillas.

I told Terry that if we make falafels again we know how to make our own pita bread.

La lucha continua. (As it does in far more important aspects of today’s society that are much more critical than my own personal tortilla struggles.)

Cajun blue cheese burgers and corn

Memorial Day dinnerWe had a very enjoyable grilled dinner for Memorial Day.

I bought 93% ground beef at the grocery store and mixed in Penzeys Cajun seasoning. I shaped the patties to match the sourdough bread we had on hand. Terry grilled the burgers and we put blue cheese on top.

Terry also grilled an ear of corn that we split. I made an orange, tarragon, and basil butter seasoning mixture which we brushed on the corn.

Perfect for Memorial Day.