Sunday, January 25, 2009


Ok, so I'm a little slow, but I hadn't realized until now how much I cheat on my planned menus. I'm gonna attribute this little quirk to my need to be creative in my cooking, and not the claustrophobia that is induced when I feel boxed into following a schedule. This week, I took advantage of my son having dinner at a friend's house (my son has a poultry allergy, which explains the lack of chicken dinners on my menu). I had boneless skinless chicken thighs from Costco, sitting in my freezer, just waiting for such an excuse to see the light of day, and VOILA! Hawaiian Chicken, one of my old favorites. Hmmm, not even to my menu yet and I have another confession to make. When Scott goes out of town, I don't cook. Scott's out of town this week. So, I'll share the dinners I made before he left. Hopefully next week will be more inspirational.
  • Hawaiian Chicken
  • Crunchy Fried Tilapia
  • Pork Chile Verde
  • BBQ Pork Chops


chicken (you can use any kind you like, bone in or boneless-I used half a package of boneless skinless chicken thighs from Costco)


1 can pineapple chunks

small can pineapple juice

2 Tbs corn starch

4 Tbs sugar

1/2 cup soy sauce


dash nutmeg

2 dashes celery salt


Mix flour-about a cup-with salt, nutmeg, celery salt in a ziplock bag. Heat shortening in frying pan until hot. Shake chicken, few pieces at a time, in flour bag until coated. Fry until golden brown. You've got two options for finishing it off: you can either continue frying until done (which I'd recommend for boneless cuts), or you can remove chicken pieces to a baking dish and finish in the oven. To fry: when chicken is done cooking, remove to plate. Pour out shortening and wipe out pan. In a bowl, mix canned pineapple(including juice), pineapple juice, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, and 1/2 cup water. Add to frying pan; stir until thickened. Add chicken back in, stir to coat. To bake: mix sauce ingredients and bring to a boil in saucepan. Pour over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Serve with rice and peas.


tilapia fillets(I get em from Costco)

1 cup flour

1 cup cornmeal

canola oil

cajun seasoning

2 eggs, beaten(I use Egg Beaters)

Tartar Sauce:

1 cup mayo

diced onion to taste

diced dill pickle to taste

lemon juice to taste

Combine ingredients for tartar sauce. Reserve in fridge until fish is done. Combine flour, cornmeal, and cajun seasoning in pie tin. Put eggs in another pie tin. Heat oil in frying pan over med-high heat until shimmering. Dip fish fillets in eggs, then dredge in flour. Fry in oil until golden brown, both sides. We had this with corn and Citrus Fruit Salad.


1 whole canteloupe

4 oranges

spoonful frozen orange juice concentrate

Clean and cut melon and oranges into bite-sized pieces. In bowl, mix with oj concentrate.


at least 1-inch thick pork loin chops (I buy pork sirloin roasts from Costco and cut )

seasoning mix: red chile powder, granulated garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, mexican oregano

Preheat grill. Turn to low. Spray or brush chops with canola oil. Generously coat with seasoning mix. Grill until just done, barely firm in the middle when pushed.


pork sirloin, cut into chunks (I use the leftover sirloin roast from making the pork chops)

5-6 tomatillos, diced

2 cans green chiles, diced

2 soup-sized cans green chile sauce

1 onion, chopped

1/2 bunch celery, diced

bag of carrots, diced

bell peppers, diced(if you have them)

1-2 spoonfuls minced garlic

1 tomato, diced

canola oil

1 bunch cilantro, chopped(minus stems)

Season pork chunks with salt and pepper. Heat pot or dutch oven on stove over high heat until very hot. Add enough oil to cover bottom. Brown pork in small batches. Remove meat. Add onion, celery, carrots, and peppers. Saute until soft. Add garlic and tomatillos; saute for a few minutes. Add meat, green chiles, and green chile sauce. If there's not enough liquid to be visible in most places (almost but not covering meat) then add some water. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Simmer, covered, until meat is fork tender (probably about 1 hour). Stir occasionally to make sure it's not sticking to bottom and burning. Add in tomato and 1/2 bunch cilantro, and taste for seasonings. Simmer another 20 minutes. Should be nice and thick. Serve topped with cheese, sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro and corn chips.


  1. I made your beef barley soup from last week's menu - with a slight variation...I didn't have barley and where the heck do you buy that anyway? So I used lentils and it worked. Very tasty! The kids even picked through it - that's a good thing. Time's running out for soup weather around here, so I'm trying to get any good recipes in while I can. Thanks for sharing. And the Hawaiian Chicken sounds sooooo good!

  2. How is Mexican oregano different from the stuff I've got in my cupboard?

  3. Hmm,good questions. Mexican oregano has a stronger flavor than the oregano usually sold(comes from the mediterranean, incidentally), but it's not necessary. If you happen to see some at the store some time, it might be worth a try. It lends itself to the strong, smoky flavors typical of mexican cooking and chillis. The barley is usually called pearl barley; I've only seen it sold in a white box on the shelves at the grocery store, but I don't remember what aisle. I'll take a look the next time I go. Thanks for the comments!