Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Turkey Tracks: Roasting Beets

with one comment

Turkey Tracks:  September 19, 2018

Roasting Beets

I love roasted beets.  I keep them in the refrigerator as an “asset” almost all the time, especially since I’ve read in numerous places for the past few years how healthy they are.  They contribute to “eating the rainbow” in terms of veggies for sure.

And, they are EASY to roast.  Small ones I halve and roast whole around other veggies and meat.  Bigger ones I roast as follows:

I start with this covered pyrex bowl.  Any covered bowl will do.

I wash the beets and put them into the bowl and add about 1 1/2-inches of water.  I don’t trim anything at this point.  I cook them at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.  A sharp knife can test if they are done or not.  Different pans and different ovens will cook differently.  I let them cool, often with the top closed if the beets are still a bit firm.

When they can be handled, I trim off both ends with a sharp knife and stick a fork in one end.

Rub a paper towel, or a rough cloth, over the skin.  It will slide right off.  Cut the beet into chunks or slices.

There are three kinds of beets here:  red, golden, and a white/pink striped chioggia.

Later, I had this dinner:  the last of the local summer corn I think–small ears so I had two; green haricot beans from my garden; sliced cukes with some raw onion, the beets topped with yellow sweet pepper and herbs from the garden; chicken drumsticks; and some yellow watermelon.  I drizzle a bit of really good olive oil over fresh-cut veggie salads.  I use local raw butter for the corn and beans.  And I use a local sea salt or the brand REAL SALT.  Trader Joe’s has a pink salt I keep on hand as well.  These salts all have slightly different minerals, depending on where they were mined or dried from seawater.

That all looks like a rainbow to me.

Written by louisaenright

September 19, 2018 at 11:50 am

Posted in Recipes

Turkey Tracks: Hot Weather Lunch

with one comment

Turkey Tracks:  September 3, 2018

Hot Weather Lunch

I am way, way, way behind on posting to the blog.

But life has been busy for me lately.  I’ve had a lot of lovely rich life experiences taking place.  Among them a visit from old Falls Church, VA, friends Terry and Bob Zawacki—after 14 years.  They took pictures, but I, as often happens when I am busy and happy, did not get a single one of them.  Betsy Maislen arrived the same day for her annul volunteering on the J&E Riggin windjammer boat. (She comes to me when the boat is in port.). We all had a lobster dinner here.  AND, I have been preparing to take in another dog—a rescue from Arkansas.  More on that ongoing adventure in another post.

Up here in mid-coast Maine, we think we’re truly suffering when the temps go up to 80+ and humidity rises.  Few people have air-conditioners, so the heat is…felt.   Suffered…  We do a lot of whining.

I also make “hot weather lunches.”  Here is one:

Salted ricotta cheese (find one that does not have additives), apple, beets, cukes, carrots, orange bell pepper.

Written by louisaenright

September 3, 2018 at 11:45 am

Turkey Tracks: New Grill!

with one comment

Turkey Tracks:  May 20, 2018

New Grill!

My old one was 5 years old and beyond my ability to clean up I think.  Not because I’m lazy but because I can’t do the chemicals that would clean up rust due to my histamine intolerance.  I can’t get the grill down to the garage on my own, so it is under cover, but outside.  I have to rethink this issue.

I got the same model, but it has some improvements.  It still has the fuel gauge I love. I also love the heat gauge, so I know when I should start cooking.  One shelf is fixed and serves as a kind of handle to push the BIG WHEELS around.  The weight of five feet of snow smashed the older tiny wheels down until they really did not want to turn.

And the RED makes me smile whenever I see it.  I keep it inside a cover when it is not in use.

I love flank steak.  It may be my most favorite form of steak.  It has so much flavor.  And on a hot grill, cooks super fast.  But first, the veggies:  here’s a pan full, including sugar peas that are just coming into our markets now.   My oven gas burners are really HOT (14,000 BTUs), so I can sear a pan full of veggies in no time.  When they start to sweat, I turn the heat down.  I use duck fat or coconut oil for the fat as it will stand up to this kind of high heat.

Here are the finished veggies:

My first steak on this new grill:

Slice flank steak across the grain.  Look at all the extra meat I will have–some to freeze for my quilty trip and some for leftovers.

Here’s my Friday night dinner:

And here’s a leftover meal.  I only had these thin rice noodles.  They just soak in hot water for ten minutes.  The veggies reheat in a glass bowl in the oven in under 20 minutes.  (I gave away my microwave some 15 years ago.)  I like this kind of dinner when I’m sewing.  Easy to reheat, lovely to eat.

Written by louisaenright

May 20, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Recipes

Turkey Tracks: More Roasting

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  May 8, 2018

More Roasting

Roasting makes an easy, delicious meal.

Here are chicken breasts with an assortment of veggies.  Aren’t the Chioggia beets pretty?

I drizzle with olive oil.  Or, sometimes with melted Red Palm Oil, which is chock full of nutrients—and not part of the palm oil industrial problem.  It’s practically a medicine.  Sprinkle with GOOD salt and herbs.  And, sometimes, chopped garlic and ginger.  I roast for 40 minutes, then pull off the veggies (broccoli gets burned otherwise) and turn the heat up and the convection oven on.  It only takes a few more minutes to really brown the chicken breasts until the skin is bubbly and crispy.  You could use the oven’s broiler feature for this step as well.

Here’s my dinner.  Chicken breasts are so huge now that half works just fine.  I’ll get another meal and a whole breast for two salad lunches.

Here’s one of my salad lunches, using leftover steak.  I also had one ball of some fresh mozzerella to use.  It was too much, so I ate half and ate the other half for dinner with a roasted chicken thigh and some sauteed zucchini and summer squash added—just a simple sautee with duck fat and dried herbs and salf.  OK, I also heated some leftover smashed potatoes with loads of butter added.

Yes!  She cooks!

Written by louisaenright

May 8, 2018 at 2:33 pm

Turkey Tracks: The Joy and Economy of a Roasted Chicken

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  May 4, 2018

The Joy and Economy of a Roasted Chicken

Every now and then I roast a chicken for myself.  I will start doing it more often as the last batch of broth I made from the carcass didn’t make me sick, and I do love soup so much.  (Food cooked a long time acquires loads of histamine, which does not work for me as it makes my mast cells make MORE histamine that my body can’t process.)

Look at this beauty!  I am loving adding peeled beets (easy with a carrot peeler and no more difficult after you cut off the top and bottom rough places) to the roasting mixture.

Roasted beets are dead sweet.  I stewed some collard greens to go with my meal–a Friday night special dinner just for ME.  I added the chicken neck to the pan to give the collards more flavor–and also used smashed garlic and some onions.  I sweated the onions a bit in duck fat before adding the collards and a little liquid.

I made some rice.  I keep this brand on hand–stopping at Trader Joe’s when I go to Portland to stock up.  This rice is organic, SPROUTED (which makes its nutrients more available to us), AND is a lovely mixture of varieties.  I can eat rice and quinoa these days, but don’t do it too often as I immediately put on weight.  Grains for me are a treat food.

Here’s the pot of rice ready to be cooked:

Here’s the amount of ginger and garlic I included:

And here is my dinner!!

I took the meat off the carcass and stored it–and had one leftover meals and two big salads with some of the breast meat.  I also froze a meal to take on my quilting retreat next week.  (I have to take my own food, which is great because then I have no worries about unwanted reactions.)

The carcass and all the roasted veggies from the pan (not the beets, though next time…) that I did not eat go into a stock pot and cook for no more than two hours.  Back before my histamine issue, I would have cooked this broth for 24 hours in a crock pot and still recommend that you do so.  Add some acid:  vinegar, lemon, wine.  Something.  And add salt to the broth–real salt, not the grocery store Morton’s fake salt.  These days we are reading a lot about tiny plastic bits in real salt dried from ocean water AND in bottled water, so maybe the salt that comes from old salt deposits is better???

I strain off the spent veggies and the bones.   This time I had about 12 cups, so divided into two batches and froze one.

Now I got out my HEAVY crust pan, put in some duck fat, and started sweating veggies.  I use what I have on hand, and I keep a lot of veggies on hand.  What you see here is yellow squash, carrots, onion, garlic/ginger, cauliflower, cabbage, and celery.  Along the way I added some dried herbs:  Penzey’s and dried mint from my garden.  The dried mint gives the soup a deep sweet note.  I order a variety of Penseys dried herb mixtures in the fall, and in the summer I add fresh herbs from my garden.  I also might add some of the basil I put down in oil last fall–still bright green beneath its layer of oil.  (There is an earlier blog post on how to do this–learned from Betsy Maislen.)

I added the meat of one-half of boneless chicken breast to the pot and froze the other half for the reserved frozen broth.

I poured in the stock (about 6 cups) and brought the veggies/meat to simmer.  Don’t overcook here–just until the veggies are getting tender.  Then I added the leftover collards and rice and just let them heat a few minutes.  Soggy, limp veggies in soup are ok, but I like them a big firmer.s  That’s why I only reheat soup I’m going to eat for a meal.  BUT, I also don’t let soup hang around the refrigerator for two reasons:  it grows histamines and the broth needs to be reheated on a regular basis.

Here’s my lunch!

No No Penny LOVES anything chicken and adores having a bit of the soup.  She, and Reynolds before her, knows when I am cooking chicken.  She smells it, she knows she will get some, and she anticipates her share as much as I do.  Would you want to eat two bowls of dried cereal with no milk–and nothing else–for the rest of your life?  No?  Well neither do dogs.

So, I got 5 meals from the roast chicken and 5 from the soup (with the addition of 1/2 chicken breast) AND I still have 6 cups of broth frozen.

I’d call that pretty darn good in the food economy planning.

Hope you think so too.

Finally, here is my favorite knife, which just came back from Acute Grinding and is sharp as can be.  A good knife makes short work of chopping veggies.  Every so often it is good to get knives sharpened by an expert.  It makes a world of difference.  Acute Grinding cut this knife a new edge, so now my sharpening will keep it sharp for a long time.



Written by louisaenright

May 4, 2018 at 9:34 am

Turkey Tracks: April 2018 on the Homefront

with one comment

Turkey Tracks:  April 27, 2018

April 2018 on the Homefront

The snow is almost gone from the Snowball slopes–where we have local skiing.  I stopped to take this picture because I love it when wispy clouds cover the top of the mountain, allowing glimpses here and there as they swirl and drift.  My world is greening up now, especially after two days of much needed rain.

I planted pansies this week.  Usually these barrels get planted much later in the spring, but they had to be moved from their winter spot due to the garage drainage project.  I love pansies, so having them planted where I see them every day is a real treat.  I’ll plant them every spring now.

The droopy plant below has recovered after two days of rain.

Dinner the other night was some scallops I found frozen at the Belfast Coop the other day.  The scallop season up here is very short and starts in December.  It’s amazing to think they are mostly collected by DIVERS who brave the cold Maine bay waters that time of year.  I made sweet potato fries to go with and sautéed some baby boy chow–a favorite vegetable of mine.  I just flash cook scallops in a good fat, or a mixture of good fats, so that they caramelize.  They are amazing with sweet potatoes.

This sweet potato is one of the white Japanese ones.  Peel, cut into fry sizes, put into an oven pan lined with parchment paper (please, please, please DO NOT use aluminum foil for any cooking), add dried herbs, minced garlic and ginger (you don’t have to peel the ginger, just chop it fine), drizzle with olive oil and toss everything around.  I used the convection oven feature to cook these at about 350 degrees.  Otherwise, use a slightly higher heat and check that you are not burning the bottom of the pieces.  Turn them over if they are getting brown.  I don’t know.  It takes about 30 minutes, depending on heat temps.  This sweet potato variety is dead sweet.

Written by louisaenright

April 27, 2018 at 3:42 pm

Turkey Tracks: Roasted Veggies

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  April 5, 2018

Roasted Veggies

I roast winter veggies frequently.  And when I do, I roast a lot so I have another meal.  Or, two.  (I have to be careful as leftovers grow histamine as they age.)

But aren’t these gorgeous?  I drizzle with some olive oil on top and on the bottom before I throw in the veggies.  One could toss the veggies around to more thoroughly coat them.  Sometimes I even do that.  I dress with salt and dried herbs.  I often add chopped fresh garlic.  Adding mint I dried last fall gives these veggies a subtle, but deep sweet flavor to the roasting.  One could also add something like curry powder or other Indian spices.

This time I tried beets (red and orange) in the mix.  I just washed them, cut off the ends, peeled them with a carrot peeler and cut them into bite-sized pieces.  They were so sweet and delicious!

Written by louisaenright

April 5, 2018 at 1:23 pm