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Tag Archives: Olive oil

Stewed Pork Roast

1          3 – 4 lb center cut pork roast 3          qts chicken stock
½         cup Cajun seasoning (more or less) 2          cups dark roux
3          cups diced onions ½         cup garlic powder
1 ½      cups diced celery 1          tsp black pepper
1 ½      cups bell pepper 1          tsp cayenne pepper
1          cup dried oregano 1          cup dried sweet basil
½         tsp thyme 1          tsp cumin
1          tsp chili powder ½         tsp cardamom
1          bunch carrots 2          lbs potatoes
  • Rub the roast with Cajun seasoning (Tony Chacheres or equivalent) and refrigerate for at least an hour prior to cooking.
  • Using a large skillet or a griddle, sear the roast on all sides. Remove roast from heat and set aside.
  • Saute the ‘holy trinity‘ (onions, celery, peppers) with the basil and oregano until the onions begin to brown.
  • Transfer the ‘holy trinity’ into a large pot. De-glaze the saute pan with some of the chicken stock and pour the ‘dirty’ liquid, plus the rest of the stock into the large pot.
  • Add the carrots and potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the rest of the spices and stir well.
  • Use tongs to transfer the roast into the simmering pot, cover and boil for at least an hour until the center temperature of the meat is at least 160 degrees (F).
  • (You can also add other vegetables, such as squash, corn, mushrooms, …whatever you have. Add the tender vegetables late in the process, or else they will get mushy. Ten minutes is long enough to boil squash or mushrooms.)
  • When the roast is done cooking, remove it from the pot and place it on a platter. Skim off some of the spices from the pot and coat the top of the roast with them. Cover the roast with aluminum foil and let it set for a half hour.
  • Add the roux to the pot to make gravy.

They have bred the fat almost completely out of modern pork so that ‘roasting’ a roast makes it come out too dry. This is a great way to keep the meat juicy. You can use a crock pot, too; I would rather wash a big kettle and I like having everything on the stove to make all the transfers easier.

We don’t eat much ‘red’ meat, mostly because it is so much more work than seafood to prepare. This one’s a keeper, though.

Dual Purpose Chicken Pasta || Salad

This one is good hot or cold. You can toss it and eat, and then eat it for lunch the next day.

It should look like this.

  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Package of fresh spinach
  • Cup of porta bella mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ c. sun-dried tomatoes, in less than half-inch long strips
  • Can of artichoke hearts
  • Can of diced tomatoes (I like smoked flavor)
  • ½ c. kalamata olives, pitted
  • Package of feta cheese
  • Box of non-spaghetti pasta, or rice
  • Oregano
  • Minced garlic
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Olive oil

Heat an oiled skillet on medium heat while you tear the meat off the chicken. (I like to save the skin, bones and so forth to make dog food later.) Saute the chicken in the skillet with minced garlic to taste. I would probably use a half cup or more. (Note: garlic salt is crap; don’t use it!)

Heat water for the pasta or rice. I use about two-thirds the amount of water that they say on the pasta box, about two quarts instead of three. It boils sooner, and you don’t need to throw as much away afterwards. (Comes from cooking at camp, where potable water is precious.)

Pay attention to the water, because you want the pasta (rice) to finish when everything else does.

If the sun-dried tomatoes are not moist, then heat them in the juice from the artichokes now to soften them. Either way, don’t throw any juice away from anything you use– it’s just too good!

Add the mushrooms, oregano (I use around a quarter cup), basil (ditto), and thyme (don’t need much of this). Stir while watching for the mushrooms to darken. The chicken should begin to shred now.

Add the kalamata olives and some of their juice. Mash the olives with the edge of your spatula to break them into smaller pieces and release their flavor.

Add the artichokes, artichoke juice and (softened) sun-dried tomatoes. Add the fresh spinach. Stir.

You want the spinach to just begin to wilt, but you don’t want to cook the life out of it. The leaves will start to shrink and give up their moisture and when they do, bam! Add the diced tomatoes.

By now the pasta should be done. if not, then turn the heat way down on the chicken until the pasta is ready. when the pasta’s ready, dump the container of feta into the chicken but don’t stir it. You just want to heat the feta to soften it, not smear it all over the inside of the pan.

Drain the pasta, then toss in the chicken, veggies and feta. Stir and toss to mix the feta and pasta with the rest of it.

Serve with hot tea, cold tea, beer or white wine.

It’s good, hot or cold!

Crying in the Wilderness

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