I was tempted to use the entire 16 inch tannour loaf as a single gyro but better sense prevailed. (Note: That photo is of a typical tannour oven of a design thousands of years old, my loaf was made by more modern methods.) This one uses 1/4 of the loaf. Note the cunningly deployed mint stem used as a toothpick. LOL I think about buying some foil/paper wraps that street vendors use to hold one together. Every time I make these things and try to get a photo I am reminded that I have yet to do so.The slices of lamb/beef meatloaf are about the best that you can do at home, a serious gyro vendor will have a vertical rotisserie going. There are recipes all over the web for the meatloaf: I’ve used Alton Brown’s recipe to good effect. His uses all lamb, I’ve gone half and half with ground beef and added a few more spices – cinnamon and allspice. I add dill to his tzatziki sauce but mint works.
Scrolling through my recipes looking for ones I pulled together by rummaging around the pantry, freezer and refrigerator and came up with this one. Quick, easy and versatile.
- 9 oz pkg. fresh linguine pasta
- 4 Roma tomatoes
- 1 green or red pepper
- 4 green onions
- ½ tbsp crushed garlic
- 2 tsp dried basil
- ½ cup olive oil
- Optional: ¼ lb sliced pepperoni or ¼ lb cubed turkey
saucepan, large skillet
Fill saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
Chop tomatoes, pepper and green onions (use greens and whites). Heat oil in skillet, add onions, garlic and pepper, sauté until onions are golden, careful not to let garlic burn. Add pepperoni and turkey. Let simmer on medium to low medium heat.
Add pasta to water while ingredients simmer in skillet. Cook according to pkg. instructions.
Once pasta is al dente, add tomatoes to skillet, sauté 1-2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or pasta spoon, transfer pasta to skillet, letting most of the water drain before transferring. There should be just enough water on the pasta to create a nice sauce. If it seems too dry, add a few spoonfuls of the pasta water. Stir and serve with grated Parmesan.
I opened a jar of habanero hot sauce a while back and there’s been a squeeze bottle full of it in the door rack of the fridge since then, I decided I had better use it on something. Turns out it works very well on a pork taco. Either I’m tougher than I used to be or the aging in the fridge has tempered the heat in this particular batch – it was a lot sweet and just a tad hot.
That beef roast we used to make the veggie beef soup yesterday was plenty big to allow for leftovers. Chili sounded good, what with the nighttime temps dipping into the 40s. I almost brought out the meat grinder for the beef but decided against it in favor of a knife. I left it in the freezer for a tad too long so it was more frozen than firm but my knife is sharp and I am able to bring a lot of weight to bear. It ended up in a 1/4 inch dice – almost a mince. I added the same amount of pork sausage, ending with 2 pounds or so in total. I wanted to try a marinade so I put the meat into a stainless bowl and drizzled in rice vinegar and soy sauce, sprinkled on garlic powder, onion powder, and various chili powders, grated in half a big onion, diced and added the remainder, several minced garlic cloves, a couple cups of chopped peppers (green bell, poblano, jalapeno), salt, pepper, dry mustard, brown sugar, and maybe a few things more, I’m sure I’m forgetting something but this is most of it and should suffice. I sealed that all into a plastic container and left it in the fridge overnight.
Cooking it down today was by far the easiest part. Cook the meat and marinade in small batches and dump those into a bigger pot. I like my Dutch oven for that. Once you have the big pot going add your favorite beans and canned tomatoes – I like the tomato bits with green chilies. I also stir in tomato paste or sauce, depending on how liquid it is, and bring out my secret weapon – anchovy paste. A tablespoon will do and it adds a nice “something” I’d have trouble describing. We’ve borrowed a word from the Japanese that covers it: umami. Let it simmer for a couple of hours on the stove top, or in a 325 oven. Add water as needed.
JeffreyW’s garden bounty
Another week just flew by and it’s time for the recipe exchange. I came home from NE with a car full of fresh vegetables from my brother’s garden. I’m afraid some of tomatoes did not survive the change in altitude very well. But I made fresh salsa with them and all was well.
I gifted my family with Palisade peaches and with the few that were left, my mom made Peach Cobbler (recipe here). At that link you can also see a photo of the 110 year old house I considered putting a bid on before heading out on my trip.
Dinner menu this week was Fajita Chicken & Vegetable Kabobs and another cobbler. For the full dinner menu, recipes and shopping list, click here.
JeffreyW turns his garden bounty into spicy Five Pepper Jelly.
Finally, JeffreyW was showing off his Five Pepper Jelly, and I wish I canned because I LOVE pepper jellies. How he transforms peppers into jelly, click here and what he does with it, yum, click here (warning, click and you’ll want biscuits and gravy).
For the pet lovers, Bixby took time out from his daily adventures to write a diary entry here.
Cooler weather has put me in the mood for fall recipes, especially soups. What are you looking forward to making as fall approaches? What is on the menu for the weekend?
Tonight’s featured recipe has to be all about the peaches again, since it’s a short two to three weeks of sweetness. This recipe is sweet and spicy, great for lunch or dinner.
Spicy Peach Dressing
- 2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and quartered
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 jalapeño or other hot pepper, halved and seeded
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Purée all of the ingredients, except oil, in a blender or food processor until smooth. Continue to blend, on low, while adding oil slowly. Mix until well blended. Refrigerate.
Spinach Chicken Salad
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1/2 small sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 lb cleaned baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
- 1 peach, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
- 3 ounces crumbled bleu cheese or chevre
Place the chicken in a plastic zipper bag with ½ cup of dressing. Marinate 2 hours in refrigerator. Remove chicken, discard marinade and grill until cooked through (165 degrees at center).
Toss the spinach, onion, walnuts and cheese with the remaining 3/4 cup dressing. Slice the grilled chicken and arrange on top of the salad.
Serving: 4 to 6
That’s it for this week. Have a good weekend and enjoy the last full week of August, I know I will. – TaMara