Tag Archives: marinade

Easy Roasted Chicken Thighs, New Potatoes & Veggies

30 Jan

With the foodNURDling around, I don’t have a lot of spare time or free hands. A few days ago, however, while he slept blissfully in the early evening I headed into the kitchen to make dinner. It felt so good to be back in there after weeks away from the stove.

I had some chicken thighs, some potatoes, sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes. I didn’t want to make a lot of dishes, so on to a large roasting sheet they were to go. In a large bowl, I made a quick marinade with olive oil, paprika, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper and tossed in the chicken and halved new potatoes. In went the potatoes into a hot oven, followed by the chicken and finally the peppers and tomatoes (with just a little salt, pepper and olive oil). Forty-five minutes later I have moist, aromatic chicken, beautifully roasted potatoes that are creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside, and lovely, caramelized vegetables. There was almost no prep work and minimal clean up: perfect!

Serves 2.

Ingredients

4 chicken thighs (skin removed, if you like)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tb extra virgin olive oil
2 tb paprika
1 tb thyme
1 ts salt
1 ts black pepper
1 lb small potatoes, halved
1 sweet pepper, sliced
1 container of cherry tomatoes, scored on the top

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 425F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, oil, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Add in the potatoes and chicken and toss to coat.
3. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spread out the potatoes in a single layer on one side. After 15 minutes, add the chicken (skin-side down if you kept it) and stir the potatoes around. Bake 15 minutes.
4. After 20 minutes are up, add the vegetables to the sheet (with their own salt, pepper and olive oil) and flip the chicken over. Bake for another 15 minutes.
5. When the  last timer goes off, remove the sheet from the oven and enjoy!

chicken thighs, potatoes, veg

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Cochinita Pibil (Slow-Roasted Pork)

23 May

This one is all on Eat St. I was at home watching it and one of the food trucks had their version of cochinita pibil, a traditional Mexican shredded pork dish. For me, shopping for the ingredients was as much fun as making it. I headed off to Wychwood Barns on Saturday to get the pork from my fave farmers at Marvellous Edibles. (Best. Bacon. Ever. Go try it, people.)  Then it was off to St. Clair West to La Tortilleria for fresh tortillas and the achiote paste. It is imperative that you not substitute the achiote paste for anything else:  it is the dominant flavour in the dish. If you can get your hands on banana leaves, so much the better as the pork is traditionally cooked in them. Having said that, foil will work.

Best to get this started the day before you want to cook it. The pork should marinate in the fridge for 6-24 hours, but no more than 24 hours as the enzymes in the citrus juices will break down the meat too far and give it an unpleasant texture. It also takes 3 – 4 hours to cook, so ensure you’ve left yourself enough time to cook it!

Serves 4.

Ingredients

3lb pork shoulder, cut into 2″ pieces (do not trim fat)
1c orange juice
1/2c lime juice, (4-5 limes)
1 ts salt
3 oz of red achiote paste (also called “annato paste”)
Pickled red onions (optional), for garnish
1c cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish

Directions

1. Blend together the paste, salt, orange and lime juices in a blender. (Make sure you rinse out your blender quickly as the paste will stain.) In a non-reactive bowl, combine the marinade and the pork pieces. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 6 – 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a large casserole with a triple layer of regular foil – you want a good seal. Pour in the pork and the marinade and close the foil tightly. Put the casserole in the oven and bake 3.5 hours. At this point, remove from the oven and check to see if the meat is falling apart. If so, you’re done! If you think it could use a little more time, put it back in for 30 minutes.
3. When the pork is tender, take it out of the oven and open the foil. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a bowl, then shred it with two forks.  If necessary, pour some of the remaining sauce over the pork to make sure it’s juicy.
4. Serve with either fresh tortillas or rice. For garnish, add lime wedges, cheese, avocado, cilantro and/or pickled onions.

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Glazed Pork Loin with Pineapple Chutney

1 May

Surfing around the internets, I landed on this recipe and was enticed by two of my favourite ingredients: pork ‘n’ pineapple. I added a little more cayenne to the chutney as I like things a little spicier. Also, if you’re a bit short on time, you can skip buying a whole pineapple and cutting it up, you could get one that has already been peeled. I wouldn’t recommend getting the canned stuff, but that’s a personal preference and will certainly do in a pinch. Start this baby about 3 hours before you want to eat as it needs some time to marinate. It’s time well spent!

Ingredients

2 large cloves garlic
Kosher salt
1 tb extra virgin olive oil
2 ts finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2  ts ground coriander
1 3lb boneless pork loin roast
1 medium fresh pineapple (about 3-1/2 lb.)
1/4 c maple syrup
2 tb sherry vinegar
1 large shallot, minced
Pinch ground cayenne  -or more to taste
1 large scallion, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
3 tb chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

1. Peel and coarsely chop the garlic. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and mash it into a paste with the side of your knife. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the oil, lemon zest, coriander & 1 tb salt.
2. Put the pork on a large rimmed, foil-lined baking sheet, pat dry with paper towels, and rub all over with the salt mixture. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour, no more than 2.
3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Roast the pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 130°F, roughly 50 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, peel and core the pineapple. Cut half into small dice and roughly chop the other half. Purée the roughly chopped pineapple in a blender, then strain it through a fine strainer, pressing on the solids with a spoon. This should give you about 3/4 cup juice which goes into a small saucepan with the maple syrup. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. (The liquid will become very bubbly as it reduces; lower the heat as necessary so nothing burns.)
5. Set aside all but 2 tb of the reduced liquid as this will be your glaze. Add the vinegar, shallot, cayenne, and a pinch of salt to the 2 tb liquid remaining in the saucepan and cook over medium heat just until the shallot begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the diced pineapple and scallion whites. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pineapple softens and releases some of its juice, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
6. When the pork reaches 130°F, brush it with some of the glaze and continue to roast, brushing with more glaze every 5 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast reads 145°F, about 15-20 minutes more. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
7. When ready to serve, stir the scallion greens and cilantro into the chutney. Slice the pork into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and serve with the chutney.

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Pork Chops w/ Pineapple Salsa

6 Feb

I have an unabashed love of pork and make some mean bacon and tenderloin recipes. (Have a look around the site – you’re bound to find a few!) What I hadn’t attempted yet, however, was Homer Simpson’s favourite: pork chops. Love ’em, but never make ’em. So off to the interwebs I went and found some inspiration! You’re best to let these marinate for a couple of hours beforehand so that the flavours really soak into the meat, but no more than three hours. Any longer than that and the proteins will start to break down which means you’ll end up with mushy chops…and no one wants that.  As with all meat, let it come to room temperature before you cook it.

I also happened to have a pineapple kicking around that needed to be eaten, so I did up a quick pineapple salsa that I’ve also used with my go-to salmon dish and tossed in some tomatoes that we had in the fridge.

Serves 2.

Ingredients

2 pork chops, bone-in, centre cut
1  lime (juice & zest)
1/2 jalapeno, diced
1 tb honey
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/3 c olive oil
1/2 pineapple, diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt & black pepper
1 lime, juiced
1 handful cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
3 tb olive oil

Directions

1. Combine the  lime juice, zest, jalapeno, honey, garlic and 1/3 c olive oil in a resealable bag or container. Add in the pork chops and marinate in the fridge for roughly 3 hours, if possible.
2. When ready, heat a heavy-bottomed pan (cast iron is best, but use what you have) with a little bit of canola oil. Let the pan get nice and hot: you want a nice sear on the meat.
3. Remove the pork chops from the marinade and shake any excess off. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Carefully place the chops in the pan, cooking one minute per side. Lower heat and cover, cooking 5 more minutes per side.
5. Meanwhile, combine the pineapple, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, tomatoes and olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Let the pork rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes to allow the juices to be re-absorbed back into the meat. Then plate and top with the salsa.

Marinated & Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peanut Sauce

19 Jul

The pork tenderloin in the freezer had been calling to me: “You’ve made me the same way too many times. Try something new, foodNURD!” Who am I to argue? A friend sent this recipe along and it seemed it was high time to try it out. I marinated the pork in the creamy, smooth, sweet sauce for about eight hours which is about the maximum you’d want as you don’t want the lime juice breaking down the proteins and making the pork mushy. Anywhere from 20 minutes up to several hours will work well! I served this with basmati rice and a tangy salad of red pepper, carrot and snap peas with a white wine vinaigrette.

Serves 2.

Ingredients

1 pork tenderloin
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tb fresh lime juice
3 tb dark brown sugar
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 ts ground coriander
Vegetable oil for the grill
2 tb water

Directions

1. Combine and whisk til smooth the peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic & coriander in a large, plastic Tupperware dish or baking dish.
2. Cut the tenderloin lengthwise almost all the way through.  You want the two sides to remain attached. The pork should open like a butterfly (hence the name “butterfly cut”) or a book. If necessary, wrap it in plastic wrap and, using a meat mallet or a heavy pan, pound the pork down to 1/2″ thickness.
3. Place the pork in the marinade and refrigerate.
4. Clean the BBQ grill with some veg oil and then crank the temp up as high as it will go.
5. Drain off any excess marinade and place the pork on the grill. Cover and walk away. This should only need about 7 minutes to cook, turning once.
6. Meanwhile, place the marinade in a sauce pan with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for3 minutes. If it’s too thick, add a little more water.
7. When the pork is done, take it off the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve, pouring the sauce over it.

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