Kate's Cuisine

Apr 03 2017

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce

Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce

I love lamb. Like, I really love lamb. I try to buy it whenever I can when the husband isn’t here for dinner (he does not share my love of the lamb), but I always end up making it the same way. Lemon, garlic, rosemary – same way, every time. I’m just so scared of screwing it up! But this time, I wanted to do something a little different.

So I went with a leg instead of the lamb chops I usually go for; but I couldn’t bring myself to slather it in a curry rub or do something else that could possibly ruin the perfect piece of meat I’d just bought. I love it so much – what if I wrecked it? But, I still also really wanted to do something I hadn’t done before.

Then I thought, mint sauce. Why don’t I roast my leg of lamb with the same seasonings I usually do, but add a mint sauce that I already know goes so classically well with lamb? It was a good thought, but I can’t bring myself to add dollops of jelly to my dinner, either. So I grabbed a handful of mint, and turned it into a mint sauce reminiscent of chimichurri.

It gave me and the girls a different way to enjoy our lamb, it was one we all loved, and now I can say with confidence that mint really is a great accompaniment to lamb!

Ingredients:

  • 1 leg of lamb, between 4 and 5 pounds $15.45
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced $0.03
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped $0.75
  • Zest of 1 lemon $0.35
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil $0.22
  • Salt, to taste $0.01
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste $0.01

For the mint sauce:

  • 1 bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped $1.99
  • 1 teaspoon sugar $0.01
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar $0.24
  • Pinch of salt $0.01
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper $0.01

Total cost $19.08
Cost per serving $3.18

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.) Combine the garlic, rosemary, and lemon zest and rub all over the lamb. Drizzle generously with olive oil, transfer to a roasting rack and place in the hot oven.

3.) Roast the leg of lamb for 15 minutes then, without opening the oven door, turn the heat down to 350 degrees. Roast for another hour for medium to medium-rare, or another hour and 30 minutes for well done.

4.) Remove the lamb from the oven, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 10 – 15 minutes.

5.) While the lamb is resting, making the mint sauce by combining all of the ingredients and mixing very well.

6.) Carve the roast into slices and arrange on a platter. Drizzle the mint sauce over top.

7.) Serve and enjoy!

Mar 24 2017

Chicken and Potatoes One-Pot Dish

Chicken, spinach and potatoes

The girls and I spent a little over a week with my family this past March Break and I did the cooking! Cooking at my childhood home is really no different than cooking at my current home – I still play around with different recipes and try new things. I knew this one-pot chicken and potatoes dish was going to be a hit around the table, full of Parmesan, garlic and a cream sauce that made us want to lick our plates (or maybe that was just me). I wish I was still there to partake of the leftovers!

Ingredients:

4 bone-in chicken breasts, cut into pieces if they’re very large $7.35
2 tablespoons butter $0.26
1 tablespoon olive oil $0.11
3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped $3.99
1 pound potatoes, quartered $0.79
Salt, to taste $0.01
Freshly ground black pepper $0.01

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup butter $0.54
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced $0.04
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 1 cup chicken broth $0.50
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped $0.25
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped $0.30
  • 1/2 cup half and half $0.62
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese $1.49
  • Salt, to taste $0.01
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste $0.01

Total cost $16.30
Cost per serving $4.07

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly oil a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.

2.) Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear until golden brown. Turn chicken and brown the other side for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

3.) Place the spinach into the pan, stir to coat in the fat, and cook for just about 2 minutes, until the spinach is slightly wilted. Remove from pan, toss with the potatoes and set aside.

4.) To make the sauce, melt 1/4 cup of butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 or 2 minutes. Whisk in flour until it’s fully incorporated into the fat and cook for 1 minute.

5.) Gradually whisk in chicken broth, fresh thyme and basil. Cook, whisking constantly, until fully incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and half and half. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir until cheese and cream are fully incorporated.

6.) Place the potatoes and spinach in the bottom of the casserole dish and pour the garlic Parmesan over top. Place the chicken breasts over top of the potatoes.

7.) Place into the oven and cook for 40 – 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are soft.

8.) Serve and enjoy!

Mar 18 2017

Ree’s Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe

My past couple of recipes prove that you never stop learning in the kitchen. First there were the deep-fried kale chips that are a massive improvement on the old roasted ones I had on the site; and today it’s a new and improved Sloppy Joe recipe. Well, it’s new for our house anyway. Probably not for Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, who’s probably been making them for years. Now I will too.

And, today is National Sloppy Joe day, so there’s no reason not to make them (and if you imbibed a bit too much for St. Patty’s Day yesterday, they’re super simple and the perfect greasy comfort food to settle a stomach!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter $0.26
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef $12.92
  • 1 large onion, diced $0.47
  • 1 green pepper, diced $0.71
  • 1/2 carrot, shredded    $0.11
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced $0.05
  • 1 1/2 cup ketchup $2.23
  • 1 cup water Free, with your water bill!
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar $0.02
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder $0.14
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard $0.05
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes $0.11
  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste $0.18
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional) $0.50
  • Salt, to taste $0.01
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste $0.01

Total cost $17.77
Cost per serving $2.22

Directions:

1.) Add butter to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard.

2.) Add onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

3.) Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and Tabasco, if using. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

4.) Pile sloppy joe mixture onto kaiser rolls, serve and enjoy!

Mar 14 2017

Kale Chips II

Kale chips

I’ve made kale chips before and to be honest, I wasn’t too thrilled with them. I put them in the oven, toasted and salted them, and out came these little wisps that were no longer green. And they didn’t taste very good either.

But, I come armed today with a new recipe for kale chips – the ultimate veggie chip that’s supposed to be both delicious and crazy good for you. I may have lowered the “crazy good for you factor” just a wee bit, when I decided to dunk them in oil this time, rather than dry them out in the oven. The difference is astounding. Now I know why people actually like and eat kale chips!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale $1.99
  • Kosher salt $0.01
  • Canola or peanut oil, for frying

Total cost $2.00
Cost per serving $0.50

Directions:

1.) In a large heavy pot (or a deep fryer) heat 2 to 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees (you will need more if you’re using a deep fryer.)

2.) Thoroughly wash all the kale leaves and dry them very well. There’s already quite a bit of moisture in kale and if the leaves are not dry when they go into the hot oil, they can sputter and cause the oil to bubble over, which can be very dangerous. Dry your kale very well!

3.) Tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. Drop 5 to 7 pieces of kale in at a time. Let the kale fry for 30 – 60 seconds only and then remove with a spider or slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels and season generously with salt. Repeat with remaining leaves.

4.) Serve and enjoy!

Mar 06 2017

Slow Cooker Pork Chops and Sauerkraut

Pork Chops and Sauerkraut

I love sauerkraut. I was practically raised on it, with heaps of the stuff accompanying many meals at my grandma’s. And while I admit, as a child I turned my nose up to it more often than not, I’m always finding new ways to enjoy it as an adult. This method of tossing it into a slow cooker to become even softer and more delicious as it acts like a blanket to the pork chops has got to be my new favourite. That is, until I find another great sauerkraut recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in pork chops (the thicker the better!) $8.39
  • 2 tablespoons butter $0.26
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil $0.11
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander $0.16
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel $0.19
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper $0.01
  • 2 cups sauerkraut $1.74
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped $0.12

Total cost $10.99
Cost per serving $2.75

Directions:

1.) In a small bowl combine the coriander, fennel, salt and pepper. Mix well and then rub the seasoning onto both sides of each pork chop.

2.) Lightly rinse the sauerkraut. You don’t want to rinse it completely, but if you place it in the slow cooker with the brine, the entire dish will be too salty to eat. When done rinsing, squeeze the sauerkraut of much of its moisture. Place sauerkraut in a large bowl and add dill. Combine well and then place half of the sauerkraut into the bottom of a slow cooker.

3.) Melt butter and olive oil together in a skillet set over medium-high heat. When hot, add pork chops and sear for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. As each pork chop is browned, place it on top of the sauerkraut in the slow cooker. When all chops have been browned, spread the remaining sauerkraut over top of them.

4.) Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 hours.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

Mar 03 2017

Buttered Coffee

Cup of Buttered Coffee

Remember a couple of years ago there was a big to-do about buttered coffee? Every daytime talk show had some kind of foodie expert touting the proponents of buttered coffee, and minutes later everyone would be swilling away on coffee fixed with butter and butter alone.

I never got around to making it at the time (I really really love my coffee with two cream and one sugar!) But the other day I was at home with no car, no milk and no cream to speak of. I desperately needed a coffee and because God didn’t bless me with terrific neighbours, I had to once again reach for my resourcefulness. The time had come for me to try buttered coffee.

Now, to do it right you can’t just throw some butter into coffee and sip away. You have to blend it in order to break up the fat and get it all distributed with the coffee. Doing so will also give you a beautiful latte-like foam on top of the coffee that I just love.

But buttered coffee, not so much. While it does tone down the bitterness of the coffee, it’s a little bit greasy and if you do want a second cup, you’ll have to blend it again to break up the butter. And there’s something about walking over to a coffee pot that has congealed grease around the sides that’s just a bit unappetizing.

But, I’m still glad I tried buttered coffee just to see, and now you can too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of black coffee $0.10
  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature $0.13

Total cost $0.23

Directions:

1.) Place coffee and butter in a blender and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. You need about 1 tablespoon per cup (or mug) of coffee so if you want to do an entire pot, you’ll need to use about 1/2 cup or more of butter and blend for a little longer.

Feb 23 2017

Overnight Bread

Freshly baked loaf of bread

The people in my house love bread. Me? Sure I like it. Ya know, sandwiches are one of my favourite things, and for those you need bread (that’s right I said sandwiches, not wraps.) But I can certainly go a meal without it, while the others would prefer not to. Luckily for them, while snacking on bread might not be my favourite, baking it certainly is. And man, I have a recipe that will wow you.

It’s Overnight Bread, and it’s just as easy as it sounds. There’s no kneading at all, and all you have to do is mix the ingredients before you go to bed, and then walk into your kitchen the next morning to find beautifully risen homemade bread. After that, it’s just a matter of shaping and baking. Yep, it’s that easy.

Once it’s done and ready to be cooked, you can even pop it in the slow cooker on high for a couple of hours if you’d like. I’ve done it both ways, and I prefer the way it comes out in the oven better. But we all have days when we don’t want to focus on making bread (even if we love to do it), and this is one way in which you really don’t need to think about this bread recipe at all.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour $0.42
  • 1 package (about 1 tablespoon) dry active yeast $0.49
  • 1 1/2 cups warm (not hot) water Free with your water bill!
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten $0.17
  • 1 teaspoon salt $0.01

Total cost $1.18
Cost per loaf $0.59

Directions:

1.) Add the flour, yeast, and water together in a large bowl and mix. It will be very stringy at this point and will not be able to be shaped into a ball or loaf; that’s okay.

2.) Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for 8 – 13 hours, or overnight.

3.) When ready to bake, dust hands and a work surface with flour. Dump the dough out onto the floured work surface and divide into two. Shape each piece of dough into a loaf. Cover with the towel again and let rise for another hour.

4.) When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place each loaf of bread on a separate baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix the beaten egg with a tablespoon of water and then using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over top of each loaf. Sprinkle each with about half a teaspoon of salt.

5.) Place the bread in the preheated oven and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, until it’s browned and sounds slightly hollow when tapped.

6.) Slice, and enjoy!

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