Here are the best of some recipes I use regularly. As time has allowed I have added good ones as I have discovered them.
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
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.
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. Combine all ingredients except the dill pickle, and blend with an electric hand mixer. Stir in dill pickle, 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, mix dry ingredients. Make a well and pour the water in. Stir until most of the flour is incorporated into the water. Let it rest for a few minutes for the water to soak into the flour. After that, turn out onto lightly floured board and knead by hand. Dust with more flour to keep it from sticking, but don't try to force more flour into the dough you just made. Clean the bowl and grease it with butter. Place the dough in the bowl and cover it with a damp towel. Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (3/4 to 1 hour). I used to let it rise in the microwave oven with a cup of boiled water sitting next to the bowl. We got an oven with a proofing setting (100F), so now I do it in the oven according to its instructions. After an hour, punch down the dough, knead a little bit, and let it rise again.
Spread flour onto a flat surface (not your windows, silly. Use your head! No wait! Use your hands!!!) 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. Note: Now I can use 500F on "convection bake" for 11 minutes.
Note: I usually make more than this, using 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour and 4 cups "Best for Bread" white flour, with another 1/2 cup for dusting kneading surfaces. Half goes for the pizza, half is baked later into a loaf of bread at 425F for 45 minutes.
Dill Pickles, and Canning Brine
Cut ends off of cucumbers, scrub them, and soak them in water overnight. Sterilize the jars, then add dill and spices, cram them full of the cucumbers, and pour boiling brine to fill. Cap them, and watch for good seals over the next week or two. The pickles should be ready in 6 to 8 weeks.
For canning, to each one pint jar add:
Close lid, immerse in boiling water for 2 hours, then survive the Canadian winter eating vegetables from your own garden.