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Martha's Fried Chicken is Aussie Approved... click to link to the story behind the meal.
  There's nothing better than home-made-right-out-of-the-skillet fried chicken...except cold-out-of-the-fridge-the-next-day fried chicken!
     To avoid the lingering smell in the house from frying I use the burner on my grill.  This is an easy to make crowd pleaser...even the Aussie's gave it a thumbs up!


   Enjoy! XO Martha

Pantry Must Haves:
Chicken parts (Whatever you prefer. 
Skin on or off though it really is much yummier with it on!)
I bottle of vegetable oil

Marinade:
2 cups Buttermilk
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 T each: paprika, cayenne pepper, 
black pepper & salt

Coating:
2-3 Cups flour
lots of salt and pepper
 2 T onion powder
2 T garlic salt
-Wash and dry your chicken parts.  I like to trim down the skin with my kitchen scissors.  
-In one or two zip lock bags combine the buttermilk, onion and spices.  Blend together, then add chicken pieces and zip shut.  This should stand in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight.
-When you're ready to cook, heat 3-4" oil in a deep skillet or dutch oven.
-In a large brown paper bag add the flour and spices. Add 4 or 5 "wet" chicken pieces to the bag at a time. Seal up the top of the bag and give it a vigorous shake.  
-Check to make sure your oil is ready by dropping a bit of water in the pot.  If it sizzles and pops it's ready.  
-Give the bag one last shake then using tongs, drop the chicken pieces gently into the oil.
-In 4-5 minutes when the underside is golden, turn the pieces over and continue until golden brown all over.
-Remove to a cooling rack lined with 3 layers of paper towels.  Feel free to sprinkle extra salt and pepper or other spices while the chicken cools.
 
 
Here's an old recipe I dug out this weekend to make for a friend from my meat eating days. Pork is lean and this recipe is packed with flavor. It’s easy to prepare and I know you’ll love it. It can easily be doubled or tripled, and I also think it would be lovely with thyme if rosemary isn’t your thing! Here’s my twist on this recipe I adapted from Claire Robinson.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, 1 whole and one minced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, 3 smashed and 2 minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard**
  • 2 slices thick cut bacon (I like Archer Farms Thickcut Applewood Bacon)
  • kitchen twine
**I like all types of dijon mustard and I like to mix a plain dijon with whole grain, 1.5 tbsp each. Use whatever mustard(s) you like and what you have in your pantry.

In a small bowl, mix together mustard(s), minced garlic, minced rosemary, salt, and pepper.
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Place mixture into a ziploc bag with the pork tenderloin. Marinate at least 1 hour in the fridge, or up to overnight. I highly recommend overnight.

When you are ready to cook, preheat oven to 375˚ F. In a roasting pan, place the whole sprig of rosemary and the smashed garlic in the center. Cut 3 pieces of kitchen twine and place down on a cutting board. Place the pork onto the strings and top with the 2 slices of bacon. Secure the bacon by tying the string into a knot. Place the pork over the rosemary and garlic. They will act as aromatics for the pork as well as keep it from sticking to your pan. Place in the oven and cook 30-45 minutes, depending on thickness of pork, until internal temperature reads 160˚ F. Let rest for 5-10 minutes, for juices to evenly distribute to insure a juicy result.
 
 
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This recipe comes from Emeril's Lagasse's, Louisiana Real & Rustic Cookbook, with a few adjustments from my friend and kitchen king, Walt.  It smelled awesome, everyone raved about how it tasted...and I'm going to make it without shrimp (I'm allergic), so I can have some next time!  I hear it also re-heats well for nibbling all week...if there are any leftovers.
Enjoy XO  Martha

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                Pantry Must Haves:

2 T. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. chopped onions
1/2 c. chopped bell peppers
1/2 c. chopped celery
1 lb. medium shrimp peeled and deveined
4 bay leaves
1 lb. boiled ham cut into 1/2" cubes
1 can (14 1/2 oz) whole tomatoes 
                                    with the juices
1 T. chopped garlic
1 t. salt
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. dried thyme
1 cup long grain rice
1/4 c chopped green onions

1. Heat the oil in a large cast iron dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onions, bells peppers and celery and sauté for 7-8 minutes or until golden and soft. Add the shrimp and bay leaves and sauté until the shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes.  Add the ham and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes with their juice, the garlic, salt, cayenne, pepper and thyme.  Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.  Add the rice and stir to mix.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
2. Remove from heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes, remove the bay leaves.
3. Stir in the green onions and serve.
 
 
Since I am now a vegetarian, I suppose I should share my meatball recipe. Here it is - for all of you meat eaters! 
I do mine a little differently than most, but that's what makes it MY recipe, right? :-) 

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. mild italian sausage, casings removed
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
1-1/2 tsp. onion salt
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 375˚ F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, mix together basil, garlic powder, oregano, onion salt, parmesan, olive oil, and eggs. Mix this thoroughly. Add meats and mix with clean hands. Add salt and pepper and stir well. 

Form into any-size meatballs you prefer. I like mine about the size of a golf ball, so that you can get a few bites out of each one. Line them on the tray and bake for 20 minutes. 
I really prefer the baking method. There's no need for additional olive oil and you actually end up with a lot of drippings on the pan that you can remove. Don't worry when they come out and you see the fat and drippings stuck to the bottom of the meatballs. Let them cool slightly (and to let the juices distribute evenly) then scrape off the gunk with a fork. You'll end up with a moist and delicious meatball and feel good knowing you didn't consume those extra calories and fat! Just look below and see! 
 
 
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Forget the machismo of camo or the metrosexual ascot, venturing out into the field, to hunt pheasants, my grandfather’s attire was a well-worn pair of hiking boots, a cap, and field coat; his partner was not a case of beer or a silenced cell phone but his dog and his thoughts.

To swim in his stream of conscientiousness whilst walking in the woods, one would not be accosted by water cooler drama, the state of the markets, or worries of hearth and home, but rather a registry of minute changes in the wind, the pleasure of autumn mist on his face, and his dog’s every nuance.   Tenderly walking, he astutely notices nature’s wonders all around him: the crackle of a leaf beneath his boot, the rusty, dried flowers of summer long gone, the scat of one animal, the track of another, the flight pattern of the birds over the dell.  Maneuvering the woods with keen awareness and practiced patience, my grandfather relishes nature as he waits for the dog to flush the bird. 

With reverence, I serve my family, Pheasant Stew.

A Pheasant Stew 

The day before 
Marinate pheasant in olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper & slightly crushed juniper berries for 20 min.

Cook on rotisserie grill/ or roast (turning frequently) until thermometer registers 165 degrees.  Let rest 15-20 min.

Refrigerate.

The following day
Cut up 1/3 lb uncured, pepper bacon with kitchen shears into 1” pieces.  Add a 2-3” deep skillet over medium-low heat with 2 shallots sliced into rings.  Sweat slowly.

Meanwhile, tear the pheasant into bite-sized pieces.  Cut the skin up with the scissors, and add to the bacon & shallots.

Make rice- we think a mix of wild and white long grained would be best.

When the shallots are thoroughly caramelized & bacon properly cooked, add some leftover white wine from last night (about 1/3 c) to deglaze the pan, scrape up, wait for it to nearly evaporate.  Add a handful and a half of dried cranberries & the pheasant to the skillet.  Add enough good quality chicken stock to just cover.  Bring to a simmer.

In a small pan, boil one part chicken stock to one part balsamic vinegar, swirling constantly (anywhere from 3T each to 1/4 c).  When it becomes a syrup, turn off the heat, and swirl in 1-2 T cold butter.  Set aside.

The sauce should have concentrated a bit & decreased.  Thicken the pheasant gravy with cornstarch.  I like to pull off about 1/3 c into a ramekin & whisk in 2 heaping T of cornstarch.  Slowly drizzle this mixture and stir to thicken.  You won’t need to use it all & if you like more gravy add more broth if necessary.

Throw 2 handfuls of walnut halves into the stew (Don’t be afraid!  Just do it!!) 
Dump 10 oz of fresh (salad quality) baby spinach on top & cover with a heavy lid for a few minutes until just wilted.

Scoop your rice onto a platter, leaving a well in the center.  Stir stew together, and pour onto the platter.  Drizzle balsamic syrup over the top.

Serve immediately!


This recipe comes from Little Red aka Lacey one great cook and writer!

 
 
 Open-Faced Grilled Cheese

One Slice of good quality White bread 
(one side buttered, one side with Honeycup Mustard)
Grated sharp Cheddar Cheese
Gala apple slices (horizontal)

Preheat Broiler.  Meanwhile, put bread butter side down in a med/hot cast iron pan.  Sprinkle 4 T cheddar cheese on top of mustard side, cover and turn heat to low.  In about 3 minutes, check to see if bread is grilled and cheese melted.  If the bread is crisp on bottom & melted on top, add 3 apple slices on top of cheese, sprinkle an additional T of cheddar cheese on top.  Remove pan from range & put under broiler until cheese is bubbly; about 10 seconds.  Serve.

If making several, put them on a cookie sheet to broil.
 
 
Feeding picky children is never easy. Most children will eat things covered in cheese, but what about stuffed with cheese? It's better on the eyes - looks more adult friendly, but kids will love it just the same. Here's a recipe that's quick easy and a 2 and 6 year old boy approved. :-)

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, split in half to make 4 thin cutlets
1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1/3 cup shredded or grated Parmesan 
1 cup shredded mozzarella 
1 beaten egg

Preheat the oven to 400˚. In a small dish or pie plate (pie plates are great for a breading station!) mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. In another small dish or pie plate, add the beaten egg. Pound out your chicken cutlets with a mallet, frying pan, your forehead if you've had a stressful day, to make them tender. 

Place 1/4 cup (or what you can reasonably fit depending on the size of your cutlets) of mozzarella cheese onto the chicken. Roll the chicken up starting with the big end and sealing it with the tiny end. Dip entire piece in the egg wash and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Try to make sure it's sealed well and everything is enclosed. Repeat with remaining pieces. 

Add the olive oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken seam side down (unless you think it's all going to fall out like my piece on the left) and cook 3-4 minutes until a crisp edge has formed and you can flip it to do the same on the other side. If your pieces are thick, you may not be able to cook them all the way through without burning them. That's why we have ovens. Once you've gotten a nice crispy edge on all sides - place them into the oven for 10 or so minutes to finish cooking. You'll end up with a moist, juicy, and flavorful chicken that's a definite crowd pleaser! 

Love,

Marlo x x 
 
 
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Amazing Moms version of Slow Cooker Corned Beef
      This dinner began innocently with a Pinterest picture of a slow cooker version of corned beef and cabbage.  It got me thinking about my version of this meal.  If I'm cooking for a crowd...with several hunks of corned beef, it's just easier to throw it all in a huge pot and boil it.  But, when I make our traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner, just for my family of 4,  I can fit the veggies and all in the crock pot.
      I looked at more than a dozen slow cooker recipes via Pinterest and they all have one thing I see as a problem: They cook the veggies all day...reducing them to mush. That's just not my thing. I'm also not a fan of the 8-10 hour slow boil.  If you need a recipe you can put in the pot at 8 AM and pop out at 6 PM for dinner, go ahead and click on the picture and follow the recipe from "Amazing Moms."  If you are like me and usually don't think about starting dinner until lunch is over...follow mine! XO Martha

Pantry Must Haves:
3-5 lb cured corned beef brisket
6 yukon gold potatoes, quartered
1 1/2 cups baby carrots
I onion, quartered
I head of cabbage, cut in 8 wedges
Water and/or beer to cover
This takes about 5 hours in my crock pot set on simmer.  I start with just the brisket, trimmed of excess fat, and covered with water or a combination of water and beer.  (My kids don't mind the way it tastes with beer, but they hate they way the beer smells when it's cooking...so my beef is just made with water these days.)  Cook the beef alone for 3 1/2 hours, then chuck in the veggies and continue to cook for another hour and a half.  You may need to add a little more water to cover it all.  I like my cabbage a little underdone, so I often wait until the last 45 minutes to add it.  Drain, slice and serve...I like mine with a little mustard and a side of soda bread!
 
 

Roast Pork with Pear and Rosemary 


Pantry Must Haves 
1 large (3 lb) pork loin with bone in 
olive oil
1 lemon
Handful of rosemary sprigs
Handful of thyme sprigs
2 Tblsns wholegrain mustard
3 firm pears (not too ripe) cut in half 
1 head of garlic
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 

Preheat oven to 350F.
Chop herbs roughly, leaving a few whole sprigs.
Zest lemon and squeeze juice.
Place pork roast in oven tray and place garlic and pears (don't worry about coring) in the tray.
Mix together chopped herbs,lemon zest, lemon juice,  mustard, salt and pepper and rub over pork.
Place in oven and roast for approximately 1 hour.
Remove from oven and pour over balsamic.  Baste with pan juices and place back in oven for a further 20 mins or until cooked through.
Serve with roast potatoes and salad leaves (eg arugula).
 
 
This divine curry and rice dish comes from our wonderful preschool friends, Angel & Shalish.  Recently a contender in the school's Chili Cook-Off, I thought it was a real winner xx Nikki
Chicken Biryani 

Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Chicken – 1 lb. (cut into small pieces)
Whole spices - 2 cardamom, 4 cloves, cinnamon
Onion - 4 large
Black pepper to taste
Ginger - 2 tbsp.
Garlic paste - 2 tbsp.
Green chilli - 1 or to taste
Tomato - 1
Handful of mint leaves & cilantro
Salt
Coconut Milk – ½ cup
Cashews
Raisins
Ghee (Clarified Butter) – 4 tbsp.
Pineapple Food Flavor – 2 or 3 drops

Biryani is made by a layering process. For that, prepare first Masala, then rice and then season Masala for Biryani.
In a pan sauté onions (diced into small pieces) until transparent. Add salt to it. Then add ginger, garlic paste, green chillies and diced tomato and sauté them until the raw smell goes. 
Meanwhile in another pan pour ghee or butter and put the whole spices and then shallow fry the chicken pieces (marinated in pepper and salt) in medium high heat and when done add the above fried onion mixture into this and mix well.  Add mint leaves and cilantro and mix well. Now add the coconut milk and let it cook for another 10 minutes.

Rice for Biryani
Boil the rice to 90% and drain off the excess water if any.

Seasoning for Biryani
Fry 1 large onion thinly sliced, cashews and raisins in ghee or butter

In an oven proof pan, layer with chicken masala and rice. On top of it add the seasoning and the pineapple food flavor. Then, bake it in oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.