Category Archives: olive oil

Kitchen Tip Thursday ‘Pantry Staples’

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It’s Thursday, so that means it’s Kitchen Tip Thursday! Today’s tips are all about Pantry staples. These are items you should have in your pantry. 

Garlic: Slice, dice it,  mince it, crush it, roast it, sauté it, grill it. You can buy fresh garlic in whole cloves or already chopped in a jar if you don’t want to do the work. 

 Extra Virgin Olive Oil: EVOO as some call it. You need some type of fat to cook in. This has antioxidants that help lower cholesterol and give your food flavor. 


Stocks or Broths: Use broths in place of water to add some zip to your dishes like rice, string beans or cabbage.

Spaghetti Sauce:  Great shelf life, buy a variety of flavors to have on hand. Quick meals, just add pasta.

Dry Pasta: Yes pasta, all shapes and sizes. Just add spaghetti sauce or EVOO and you have a meal. You can add vegetables, seafood, poultry or beef.

Rice: Quick-cook, whole grain, long grain, flavored. Brings a variety to your meal, just add veggies or some meat.

Canned Tuna or Salmon:  Mix eggs and breadcrumbs and you’ll have some patties. Quick sandwich to put together, add some cheese. On a Summer afternoon mix together with some pasta for a quick salad. Choose water-packed tuna.

 Dry Beans: Dry beans taste better than canned beans. Allow time for beans to soak. If you are new to beans start with black, kidney and pinto beans in your pantry. You can always have canned beans on hand, especially if you are in a rush.

Peanut Butter: Great on sandwiches but get creative. Add to dishes to create an Asian flare. Use it as a snack with crackers or veggies. Also great for cookies!

Canned Tomatoes: Salsa, pasta, potatoes. Fresh tomatoes are nice but when they are out of season these are next in line.

 Baking Soda and Powder: Baking recipes call for them. Helps with cleaning and keeps your fridge fresh.

 Onions: Red or Yellow. Great for sauteing meats, add to pasta dishes or salads. Gives off a great flavor.

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Use stock instead of water when cooking vegetables and deglazing pans.

Convection Oven: An oven equipped with a fan that provides a continuous circulation of hot air around the food.

Pinch: The amount of dry ingredients you can hold in a pinch (between your thumb & forefinger). It’s equivalent to 1/16 teaspoon

Out of brown sugar, mix granulated sugar and molasses together.

Spray measuring cups or spoons with cooking spray before measuring honey or molasses.

Broccoli stalks, carrot tops, onion peelings, and celery stalks can be added to soups and sauces to give flavor.

If you need only 1/2 an onion, save the root half. It will last longer.

Roasts should be allowed to “rest” 10-15 minutes after being removed from the oven. This allows the juices to settle before carving.

Leave a thin layer of fat on steaks and roasts during cooking to preserve juiciness.

When boiling eggs, add a pinch of salt to keep the shells from cracking.


Foodie Friday’s: Shrimp & Grits

It’s Friday, we’ve made it through another week. The weekend is here and you can relax. This’s week’s recipe is definitely a favorite of mine. I grew up eating this dish almost every weekend. To me it was viewed as a treat because seafood was involved. As kids we all knew Friday & Saturday were seafood days in our family.

Friday nights at grandma’s house was a full-blown Fish Fry, which included Porgies, Whiting, Red Snapper, Salmon or whatever my grandparents had in the freezer from their fishing trips. Saturday mornings were filled fish & grits, shrimp & grits, crab cakes, fried green tomatoes, okra, and what ever else the grandkids asked for. So today I thought I would share one of the many Shrimp & Grits recipes that I have. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.

Simple Shrimp & Grits

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup yellow stone-ground grits or Quaker Grits
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (or your favorite seasoning)

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Stir in the grits, and reduce heat to low.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until silky, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until tender, then toss in shrimp. Season with Old Bay, and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink.
  4. Stir shrimp mixture into grits, and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 4 Servings

Add-In’s:

  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Bacon
  • Green Onions
  • Sausage
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The Taste of Now: Apple & Sage Pork Chops

Christmas is almost here and while I need to finish shopping I also need to pack. Spending the holidays with family is very important to me. Holidays always bring about food memories. One of those memories is watching my grandma use the apples we picked and cook them with pork chops. Since the weather is getting chilly we decided on pork chops for Sunday dinner.

We don’t usually post our Sunday dinners but we decided to try something new. Sunday dinners are a really big thing in my family. Even though I’m hours away from them my sister and I make sure that we keep the tradition going for Pumpkin and Snickerdoodle. This may become a weekly thing for us. We cut the recipe in half so it will make 4 servings.

Apples and pork chops go well together so we decided to combine them add a few other seasonings to the mix. This sweet and savory combination is will make your taste buds very happy. The aroma of the seasonings while cooking is amazing, if your windows are open you just might make your neighbor jealous.

Apple & Sage Pork chops

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

3 tsp. rubbed sage                                               2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. crushed thyme leaves                                 1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp. paprika                                                      2 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. salt                                                            4 pork chops, 1-inch thick ( about 1 1/4 lb.)
2 tbsp. olive oil                                                   1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 red apples, thinly sliced                                1 cup apple juice
2 tbsp. brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, all the spices and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Season both sides of pork chops with 1 1/2 tbsp. of seasoned mixture. ( You will use the rest later)
  3. In a large skillet, cook pork chops in hot oil on medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Remove pork chops from skillet.
  4. In the same skillet, add onions ; cook and stir 3 minutes, or until tender. Add apples; cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in apple juice, brown sugar, and remaining seasoned mixture until well blended. Return pork chops to skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until desired doneness.

Note: You don’t have to use pork chops, you can try chicken too.

Once you try the recipe, come back and let us know what you think. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (s_rootskitchen)

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Taste Test Tuesday: Saute Express from Land O’Lakes

Happy Tuesday Everyone!! We hope you are enjoying your day. Today we are going to sample Saute Express from Land O’Lakes. Yes, they are the people who make butter. After sending out a tweet on Twitter and asking our Facebook fans what they would like to see on our blog, a few people asked if we would try out this product.

saute

 

Saute Express is a combination of olive oil and seasoned butter. They come in four different varieties:

  • Italian Herb
  • Garlic & Herb
  • Savory Butter & Olive Oil
  • Lemon Pepper

Each of these packets brings a unique flavor. We tried out the Garlic & Herb version. It was very simple to use. Using some boneless skinless chicken breast our test kitchen began cooking.

2013-04-15 16.32.53Wash and pat dry your chicken.

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Since we were only using two pieces of chicken we used one spat of the Saute Express.

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When the bubbles start to form, we added the chicken and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side.

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After turning the chicken only once, we had a nice golden brown color. The seasoning itself was good, you could taste the garlic and smell it. Your kitchen will smell like garlic while the butter is sauteing. Since we didn’t season the chicken with additional seasoning we could taste the garlic, herbs and spices, the chicken was juicy and moist. The next time we do it, we will probably season down our chicken with some other herbs. But seasoning preferences really depend on you and your family.

Do you have something that you would like us to try for Taste Test Tuesday be sure to let us know.