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Too Hot To Cook: Polynesian Ribs Dinner Menu

Polynesian Ribs 3a

It’s been much too hot to cook over the last two weeks and with the fairly consistent afternoon showers, grilling is out. So I pulled out the slow-cooker and have been making some nice main courses. I had a craving for a roasted chicken (can you imagine?! It’s 101 degrees out and I want to roast something!), so I put thighs (bone-in, skin on) in the slow-cooker, on high, with some seasoning and in 4 hours had nicely ‘roasted’ chicken. Served with a fresh salad and tomato slices.

After that, I decided that a slow-cooker meal would be a nice idea for this week’s dinner menu. This one is full of exotic flavors and fresh vegetables. I put green beans on the menu, but whatever catches your eye in the garden or farm stand would do just as well.

And if you have peaches available, use them instead of tropical fruit cocktail.

On the board tonight:

  1. Island Ribs
  2.  Marinate overnight, Slow-Cooker
  3. Pineapple Pilaf
  4. Green Beans
  5. Tropical Fruit w/coconut and ginger ale 

Island Ribs

Slow-Cooker

  • 5-6 lbs pork ribs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 to 3 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ to ½ tsp red pepper flakes (opt)

Slow-Cooker

Night before, rub salt and sugar on pork ribs and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, put ½ cup water in slow-cooker along with ribs.  Mix together remaining ingredients and pour onto ribs.  Cook according to manufacturer’s directions (usually 8-10 hours on low) until meat is tender and pulls from the bone.

Note: Depending on your slow-cooker size, you may have to cut the ribs into sections that fit.

Pineapple Pilaf

  • 1 cup rice
  • drained pineapple juice and enough water to make 2 cups
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 8 oz pineapple chunks, drained

saucepan, skillet

Add rice and liquid to saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until all water is absorbed.

Heat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, walnuts, raisins, salt & ginger; cook and stir 2 to 4 minutes or until onions are tender. Add rice and pineapple; stir and heat thoroughly. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Tropical Fruit w/coconut and ginger ale – drain fruit then toss with ginger ale and coconut.

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Copyright 2014 What’s 4 Dinner Solutions Cookbook: Spring Edition

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Dinner Menu: Grilled Pork Chops and Peach Chutney

I linked to the grilled pork chops with last Friday’s Recipe Exchange, but thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and post the full menu today. For more peach recipes, check out Friday’s post here.

Grilled Pork Chops
Peach Chutney
Green Beans
Couscous
Sliced Melon

Grilled Pork Chops w/Peach Chutney:

  • 4 pork chops, medium thickness
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup Peach Chutney

Mix together garlic, salt, pepper and oil and brush over both sides of chops.  Grill over medium-high coals for 5 to 7 minutes on one side, turn and top with ¼ of chutney on each chop.  Grill additional 5 to 7 minutes, until cooked to desired doneness.  Serve immediately, with additional chutney if desired.

Peach Chutney:

  • 2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • salt to taste

small sauce pan

Add all ingredients to sauce pan, heat to boiling – stirring constantly, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, until slightly thickened.

Shopping list:

  • 4 boneless pork chops (medium thickness)
  • 2 large peaches
  • 4 green onions
  • 4 oz golden raisins
  • 16 oz green beans
  • couscous (usually a 6 oz box works fine)
  • favorite melon –  Cantaloupes are in season right now here

Also: crushed garlic, olive oil, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, ground ginger, chili powder

Friday Recipe Exchange: Peaches and Strawberries

Peaches and Strawberries 2

It’s that time of year again. Palisade peaches are ripe and ready to eat. This year’s crop took a hit with a late snow  in the spring, but still the stores and farm stands are full of them, though probably for a shorter time than previous years. As usual, they are deliciously sweet and juicy.  I don’t necessarily need to do anything special with them – I usually just halve them and eat them with a spoon.

But when you buy a large box of them and you’re not fond of canning, it’s time to get creative. That’s why a few years ago I began to experiment and made two of my favorite things, Peach Chutney and Peach Salsa, the featured recipes tonight.

Now the strawberries…I couldn’t help it, they were sitting there, all red and fragrant, right next to the peaches. I had to buy 3 lbs. As always happens, before I can finish off all of them, they become overripe and then it’s time for this:

Strawberry Bread (recipe here). Quick, easy and oh, so full of strawberry flavor. But before things get that far, I am really enjoying just slicing peaches and strawberries and serving them together, tossed with a touch of sugar.

Back to the peaches. There are quite a few peach on the blog, all of which can be found here.

Three I’d like to highlight are:

Mrs. J Makes a Peach Pie (click here), Kirk Spencer makes Peach Fish (recipe here) and finally, all the way from India, Tes’ Peach Lemonade (click here).

DSC_6399 [1600x1200]

Mrs. J’s Famous Peach Pie

Tonight, besides asking what’s on your menu for the weekend, I’d also like make a request for some gluten-free recipes. I have a couple of friends who have been asking me for some and while I have a few, my recipe box is limited. If you’d email me (whats4dinnersolutions at live dot com) your recipes or post them in the comments, I’d like to do a future recipe exchange featuring gluten-free ideas. So hit the comments with your favorite peach and strawberry treats and any gluten-free ideas you’d like to share.

And finally, here are tonight’s featured recipes:

Either of these go well with chicken, fish or pork. The chutney goes especially well with grilled pork chops.

Peach Salsa

  • 2 cups diced peeled peaches (2 to 3 peaches)
  • 4 thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, about 1 medium lime
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons finely minced hot or mild green chile pepper, or to taste
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • dash ginger
  • dash garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon orange or pineapple juice
  • dash freshly ground black pepper

Mix together and let meld together for about 30 minutes or more before serving.

Peach Chutney

  • 2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger or 1 tbsp minced fresh
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • salt to taste

small sauce pan

Add all ingredients to sauce pan, heat to boiling – stirring constantly, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, until slightly thickened.

See you next week….

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Oven Baked Chicken

Chicken à la noir.

Chicken à la noir.

I thought we’d covered oven baked chicken before, but it turns out we have not. Since this is one of my favorite ways to make chicken, I was surprised. So that’s tonight’s theme. There are many different ways to go about making crispy baked chicken, I like Italian bread crumbs and panko for mine. Sometimes I soak the chicken in buttermilk for an hour and use that instead of egg to get the breadcrumbs to adhere. But if I’m in a hurry, it’s just the traditional recipe that I’ve posted below. And by traditional, I mean the one I grew up with, although my mom used rice crispies and cut up chicken pieces.

To change things up, you can add ingredients, like parmesan cheese, sesame seeds (there’s a recipe for that below), corn flakes or rice crispies. I saw a very interesting recipe recently that used toasted pecans, breadcrumbs and panko as the coating. I’m going to recipe test that one when I have a chance.

If you want something a little different, one of my favorites is Crispy Potato Chicken (recipe here).

Craving a Crispy and Spicy Chicken Sandwich?  Here’s a recipe that comes close to a famous fast food joint.

And for something completely different, how about Baked Chicken with Peaches? (recipe here)

If you’re looking to barbecue chicken that’s not all scorched on the outside and raw inside, either on the grill or in the oven, I have some simple tips here.

Grilled, baked, fried or barbecued, what’s your favorite style of chicken? Do you have one of those favorite childhood foods you just have to make once a week or so? Share some recipes in the comments.

On to tonight’s two featured recipes:

Oven Fried Chicken

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 bonelss chicken thighs
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup water**
  • salt & pepper to taste (at least 1/8 tsp each)

large mouth bowl, large plate and baking sheet lined with foil or parchment

Wash and pat chicken dry. In a large bowl, add water, eggs, oil, salt and pepper and beat well. Mix together and spread Italian breadcrumbs and panko evenly on large plate. Take chicken pieces one at a time and dip in egg wash, coating completely, dredge  in bread crumbs until lightly coated on all sides. Place on baking sheet. Bake  at 375 degrees for 30 minutes with foil covering the chicken, uncover and cook additional 15 minutes.

If you want to punch up the coating, you can add additional dry herbs to the breadcrumb mixture, I usually add some extra garlic and onion powder, a touch of cayenne, a bit of dried basil and rosemary.

This next recipe is great when the kids want chicken fingers, or it can be used with breasts and thighs as well, but you’ll need to increase the portions of breadcrumbs and sesame seeds to equal 3 cups.

Sesame Chicken Fingers

  • 1/2 cup stone-ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp limejuice
  • salt & pepper
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil or olive oil
  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs chicken tenders

baking sheet, greased or lined with parchment or foil

2 bowls and 1 plate

Mix mustard, honey & limejuice in bowl, set aside. On plate mix salt, pepper, breadcrumbs & sesame seeds. In second bowl, add egg, water & oil. Dip chicken in egg wash then dredge in breadcrumbs. Line on baking sheet, bake at 425° for 10 minutes, turn, and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, should be crispy on all sides. Serve with mustard dipping sauce, waffle fries and a fresh vegetable tray for a quick and easy dinner.

Fresh Peach Lemonade from Tes

I love reading Tes’ blog. She goes on the best adventures, cooks delicious looking food and has the most adorable family and she generously shares it with us.  Today she posted a lovely peach lemonade recipe and I learned something new – it’s peach season in India, too. It looks so refreshing I had to share it with you:

Photo by Tes at Home (tesathome.com)

When peach season arrives, there are few regular routines I attend in my kitchen. I need to make a few jars delicious peach chutney, some peachy, chewy fruit leathers, and finally… there has to be this fresh peach lemonade to lighten up everything.

My peach lemonade is fuzz free, easy and quick. There’s no need of cooking the peach syrup. Everything is just fresh and raw so you will not lose any natural goodness or flavor at all.

Fresh Peach Lemonade

Ingredients: (2 Servings)

2 peaches- chopped

1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice- or to taste

2 tbsp honey (or sugar if preferred)

3 cup ice-chill water

Ice cubes for serving

Some fresh peach slices for serving

For the complete recipe, click here

Pop on over to her blog and see all the photos and the complete recipe. Then look around and for sure look for a photo of her too-cute-for-words little one.

In Case Burgers Aren’t Your Thing: Peach Week Revisited

Peaches have come early in Colorado. We have the most amazing peaches that come from Palisades on the western slope (where they also make some nice wines). I’ll be heading to the farmer stand tomorrow to pick a pretty box of peaches. Can’t wait. Nothing compares. Did I say “yum”?

If you click on the link you’ll see a bunch of peach recipes from Peach Week 2010.

Hazelnut crunch peach dump cake.

These are so easy.  We made it peach this time because that is what turned up in the freezer.  I forgot to look at the weight on the label but I would guess a pound or less.  Just right for the 8×8 pan.

Combine 3/4 cup of brown sugar with the fruit and add an appropriate juice.  We had some of those juice boxes and the choice was either punch or banana strawberry, we went with the latter.

I didn’t cook the fruit this time, and added no corn starch, just the fruit, the brown sugar, and the juice.  I warmed it to speed the thawing of the frozen peaches.

Dump the fruit into the pan and sprinkle on some rolled oats.

I suppose more wouldn’t hurt, this turned out well enough.

Now sprinkle half a box of cake mix over the oats, I tried to get it pretty even but I am not sure it is necessary.  I may go for clumps next go around.

Now distribute a stick of butter over the cake mix.  A grater like this one works well but remember to put the butter into the freezer for a while first.

Now sprinkle on whatever else strikes your fancy.  We’ve been using chopped hazelnuts to good effect.

Now pop that into a 350 degree oven, set the timer for 30 minutes, then take a look.  I gave mine more time.

You want it to toast on the top, you should see the juices bubbling up.  Serve warm with ice cream.

Enjoy!

Egg whites leftover..from what, you ask?

I was so hoping you would ask!  LOL

We made a modified dump cake with some of the local peaches we bought at the farmer’s market.  Some were still a bit hard but they ripened up nicely in the last couple of days.

The basic yellow cake recipe we found here, and followed it with the substitution of Splenda for the sugar.  We spread the batter in a buttered 13×9 cake pan, then dumped some sliced peaches that had been sprinkled with more Splenda and some Splenda blend brown sugar along with a good splash of lemon juice.  Mrs J had peeled and sliced eight peaches-we used a little more than half of them in this dessert.

We topped the batter and the peaches with a crumb mixture of one cup flour, one cup of the brown sugar blend, and one quarter cup of cold butter, diced small.  Blend the crumb mix with a dough blending tool, or use a fork.

Bake in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.

Mrs J will take most of the cake to work tomorrow and share it with her fellow volunteers at the shelter.  I’ve already had mine, never fear.

Mmm…fried pies and stuff

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Mmm…Fruit Tarts

Mrs J bought these little bitty (3″)  frozen tart crusts a while ago and I finally moped and whined enough that she made these just to shut me up.  We were off just a bit in our calculation on how much filling we would need and we ran out of the blueberry.  We did have some peach/nectarine preserves handy so she filled the last crust with that.  Very good call, there.

Enjoy!

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