Here are the best of some recipes I use regularly.
Chicken & Citrus Salad
Mix the ingredients for the dressing and let stand so the flavours can permeate the oil. The longer the better.
Toast the pecan halves on dry medium heat for about three minutes, turn to the other side and toast for another two minutes. Don't overdo it because the taste can become bitter, and they'll continue to cook after being removed from the heat.
Fry the chicken breasts in oil, until cooked through, adding lemon juice, salt, and pepper while cooking.
Place the greens in a bowl, put on some of the dressing, and toss.
Place the fruit and nuts on top, space evenly for a nice presentation, and add more dressing
Serve immediately, while still slightly warm.
I know a chef who told me the secret to making a good pork roast. I have embellished the basic recipe to the following family hit:
Brown the roast on all sides in some oil in a cast iron frying pan. Remove the roast and deglaze the pan by adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. Rub the roast with your seasoning mixture on all sides. Slice into the interior of the roast with a knife and insert the four garlic halves, spaced appropriately throughout the roast. Return the roast to the pan and place onions and apples evenly around it. Add the cinnamon. Roast at 325F for 20 min/lb for rare, 25 min/lb medium, and 30 min/lb for well done. After the first 1/2 hour, remove from oven and brush the syrup that has formed all over the roast. Add an additional 1/4 cup water and repeat this kind of basting every 20 minutes until done.
When it has finished cooking, remove it from the pan. This next part is very important: Cover with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 1/2 hour. This will allow the juices in the interior of the roast to make their way back to the surface, and the whole roast will be moist and tender. No matter what the size of the roast, 1/2 hour is required.
In the meantime, remove the cinnamon sticks, add another 1/2 cup or so of water to the pan and deglaze one last time. Pour the remaining liquid into a separate container and blend if desired. It's not necessary to add flour to make gravy; this sauce is spectacular on its own. If you want to make it thicker, use the following procedure: Melt about 1/4 cup butter by microwaving it in a mug. Stir in at least two heaping tablespoons of flour to make a roux. While stirring and gently heating the sauce (still in the cast iron pan), slowly add the roux. Add more water and roux to build up the volume, but don't overdo it or you'll dilute the flavour. I also like to grind a quite a bit of fresh pepper into it, and blend it for a light, creamy, sweet gravy.
Spicy Carrot Sticks
(From a Canadian Living cookbook in my father's possession)
Trim and scrape carrots; cut to strips 1/4" x 6". In boiling salted water cook carrots and garlic until barely tender. Drain and transfer to bowl.
Dressing: Combine everything but olive oil. Pour over carrots while still warm, covering all carrots. Add more cinnamon if necessary. Sprinkle with olive oil. Refrigerate if not served immediately. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Note: I also limit the olive oil to about a tablespoon or two since this recipe seems to be a little much. Go easy on the cinnamon until you've made this recipe once.
Chop, cook (reduce) and bottle (lid on tight)
Immerse (completely) in boiling water for 20 minutes
Notes: April 2013
Notes: March 1996 -- add 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, leave out cumin; 6 jalepenos is good, 9 makes it hot
Blend everything in a food processor or blender
Add reserved chick pea juice while blending until desired consistency is reached
Go easy on the lemon juice until you've made it a few times. I use only 1 lemon
Go easy on the salt. I use 1/2 tsp salt and pickled pizza olives, and tell myself they contain the missing salt.
Peel cucumber and cut into 3/4 inch chunks. Combine with tomatoes cut into similar size pieces and chopped onion. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; whisk until blended. Pour over vegetables; toss to coat. Sprinkle with feta cheese, oregano and olives. Makes 6 servings.
Mix gelatin in 7/8 cup cold water, and set aside
In a heavy pot, mix 7/8 cup water with sugar
Boil until threads appear when dripped from a metal spoon (soft ball stage on a candy thermometer)
Add gelatin mixture, stir, and remove from heat
After 5 or 10 minutes, add to a mixing bowl with vanilla and salt
Beat until like whipped cream
Sprinkle coconut on bottom of 9"x9" baking dish
Mix in peanuts, and pour into pan
Sprinkle more coconut on top, and let set overnight
Notes: If the mixture is too warm the peanuts will sink to the bottom before it sets
Any high-sided pan is okay, but you'll be slicing the marshmallows; a non-stick surface could be damaged by a metal knife if you're not careful
Slice into substantial 2" cubes
Remove as much fat as possible, since fat will not dry and will turn rancid after awhile. Slice along the grain no larger than 1/4" thick (1/8" is best). Marinade for a minimum of 3 hours; I usually marinade it overnight. Dry in food dehydrator until beef cracks when bent (about 8 hours). Store refrigerated, up to 3 weeks (if you don't eat it all sooner! Mmmm!).
Notes: January 26, 2002 -- Used flank steak instead of eye of round. It's more expensive but easier to slice. Saves time. Used 1-1/2 tablespoons of chili flakes instead of the 5 hot peppers. Result was mild to medium hot. Recommend using much more ginger; it's a key ingredient.
Winter Spinach Salad
Very easy, very fast.
Mix the dry ingredients and cut in the butter using a pastry knife. Make a well and add the milk. Knead gently, folding six or eight times. Turn onto a lightly floured counter and roll out to about 1/4" thickness. Cut 18 to 24 disks using a cookie cutter. Brush tops with butter and bake (on a stone, if possible) at 450F for 12 to 15 minutes.
Dill Pickle Dip
Gently heat sour cream and cream cheese in microwave to soften the cream cheese.
Add spices and blend with electric hand mixer.
Add dill, and blend until cream starts to turn green (i.e. don't overdo it)
Stir in dill pickle by hand, pour into serving dish(es), and chill for several hours for best taste and texture.
I make this almost every Sunday afternoon. I don't think any of the measurements are critical, but these proportions seem to work. Call me before 3pm if you want to join us and I'll double the recipe:
In a mixing bowl, dissolve 1 tsp sugar in the water, and sprinkle the yeast into it. Let stand for 10 minutes while you're measuring the other ingredients. Add the oil to the yeast mixture.
Mix the flour, salt, and remaining sugar, and vigorously stir about 80% of it into the yeast mixture. If you stir quickly it will mix better. After that, knead by hand and slowly add flour until the dough doesn't accept more, but don't overdo it or your crust will be a bit dry. Remove it from the bowl, clean the bowl and grease it with more oil. Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (3/4 to 1 hour). I let it rise in the microwave oven with a cup of boiled water sitting next to the bowl. Punch it down, knead a little bit, and let it rise again.
Spread flour onto a flat surface (not your windows, silly. Use your head!) and gently roll the dough into a circular pizza crust. Fold in half, again into quarter, and gently lift it onto a greased pizza pan and unfold. Add your favourite toppings and brush or spray a bit of oil onto the exposed dough to keep it from burning. Bake at 475F for 12 to 15 minutes, until toppings are cooked and crust is a golden brown.