Later On

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Repeat of Pork, Apple, Red Cabbage and Black Rice GOPM

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I remade this GOPM, altering the recipe to accommodate lessons learned. Here’s what I did this time:

As usual, I list the layers in the order in which they were put into the pot (from the bottom up, in effect).

Rub 2.25 qt Staub cast-iron round cocotte (or other ≈2 qt cast-iron dutch oven) with olive oil, then add the following, all of which are 0 WW points except as indicated:

Layers
1/3 cup black rice (aka “Forbidden Rice”) (7 WW points)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 Tbsp = 1 WW point)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
6 oz boneless pork sirloin, cut into chunks (3 WW points)
1 Honeycrisp apple (or other apple), cored and cut into chunks (don’t peel)
light sprinkling of ground cinnamon
6 oz boneless pork sirloin, cut into chunks (3 WW points)
3/4 cup chopped or shredded red cabbage

Pour-over
1.5 Tbsp olive oil (6 WW points)
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (1 WW point)
2 tsp tamari sauce

Put the lid on, put into pre-heated 450ºF oven for 45 minutes, remove, let sit 15 minutes and enjoy.

Total the way I made it is 20 WW points, and for us this is 4 servings, thus 5 WW points per serving.

Result

The rice was more nearly cooked, but still a little al dente. Next time I make it I’ll try it with pot (Scotch) barley. Regular white rice would probably work well.

I found in the earlier recipe that the pork as it cooked welded itself together into a solid chunk, so this time I split it into two batches, and with each I spaced out the pork pieces somewhat, with the apple layer between the two pork layers. This worked out very well and the pork remained in small chunks.

I didn’t use ginger, but that was fine. There was still more liquid than I expected. I might skip the tamari next time.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 April 2018 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Food, GOPM, Recipes

Instructive GOPM failure: black rice, pork, apple, and cabbage

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Not an absolute failure, but the rice was greatly undercooked and the pot had too much liquid. However, I figured out the problem and will repeat the dish to verify that my analysis is correct.

Here’s the recipe I followed, listing the layers in the order in which they were put into the pot (from the bottom up, in effect).

Rub 2.25 qt Staub cast-iron round cocotte (or other ≈2 qt cast-iron dutch oven) with olive oil, then add the following, all of which are 0 WW points except as indicated:

Layers
2 shallots, chopped <- the problem: rice should go in first—see comment below
6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 Tbsp = 1 WW point)
1/3 cup black rice (aka “Forbidden Rice”) (7 WW points)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper
12 oz (3/4 lb) boneless pork sirloin, cut into chunks (6 WW points)
sprinkling of dried thyme
1 Honeycrisp apple (or other apple), cored and cut into chunks (don’t peel)
light sprinkling of ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped or shredded red cabbage

Pour-over
1.5 Tbsp olive oil (6 WW points)
1 Tbsp Enzo apple balsamic vinegar (1 WW point) or 1 Tbsp sherry or red-wine vinegar (0 WW points)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (1 WW point)
juice of 1/2 lemon

Put the lid on, put into pre-heated 450ºF oven for 45 minutes, remove, let sit 15 minutes and enjoy.

Total the way I made it is 22 WW points, and for us this is 4 servings, thus 5.5 WW points per serving, which counts as 6 WW points.

Comment
If the rice is added first, it is on the very bottom, where it gets hotter and where the liquids accumulate to cook it. By putting the rice atop the shallots, it did not rest in liquid but was steamed—and for not long enough.

I’m going to make it again, but put the rice in first. I think that’ll do it.

UPDATE: Better, but not perfect. Still perfectly edible and healthful.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 April 2018 at 11:26 am

Posted in Food, GOPM, Recipes

My current diet advice

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I’ve tinkered with my diet over the years, trying this and that, and here’s my current approach. I think it’s now worth considering (the reason I’m posting it). It takes a couple of weeks to get the hang of it, so I would recommend you stick with it for two months and then take stock, evaluating it in the light of your own experience.

Weight loss is almost totally driven by food choices (which foods and how much of them). Exercise is important for overall health, including stamina and strength, but in terms of weight loss, exercise is neither necessary nor sufficient. In contrast, good food choices are both necessary and sufficient to lose weight.

Exercise is not necessary for weight loss because even someone who is quite sedentary (me, for example) can easily lose weight by making good food choices (which foods and how much), and exercise is not sufficient for weight loss because even someone who exercises daily can consume enough high-caloric and unhealthful foods that they will not lose weight—for example. As that indicates, good food choices are both necessary and sufficient for weight loss.

Sugar, along with other simple starches (white potatoes, rice, and foods made with flour—bread, bagels, pasta, pancakes, boxed cereals, etc.) disrupt the metabolism, as described in Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It, by Gary Taubes. Also, his excellent book Good Calories, Bad Calories summarizes the research that demonstrates that not all calories are the same: 100 calories from refined sugar or white bread affect the body in a very different way than 100 calories from, say, extra-virgin olive oil or a boiled egg. That’s why those who focus only on calories—”just consume fewer calories than you burn”—miss a vital point: the nature of the foods that carry the calories is extremely important, and you cannot (without consequences) ignore the nature of the foods and look only at the calories they contain. Indeed, the foods you eat (apart from the calories) can even affect the health of your skin.

Excess fat (adipose tissue) is bad for reasons other than appearance and stamina. Fat, particularly excess fat, acts as a gland, secreting enzymes that affect your body, including (among other things—search “excess fat body damage” for more) causing chronic inflammation, which in itself is destructive and may even be linked to depression: see this article on the depression epidemic, which discusses the possibility that depression is caused by inflammation in the brain—and note that the increase in obesity in the US has been accompanied by an increase in the number suffering from depression. Search “depression and inflammation” and you’ll find many hits. The book The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression will soon be available in the US. Getting rid of excess fat is an important health priority: New evidence that fat cells are not just dormant storage depots for calories (and click the link at the beginning of that article for the original research report). Update after comment: Also see “Biochemistry of adipose tissue: an endocrine organ.

I follow a diet that severely restricts carbohydrates and totally eliminates the simple carbohydrates mentioned above. Unlike fats and proteins, there are no “essential carbohydrates,” so minimizing carb intake runs no risk of a deficiency disease. The calories lost by eliminating the carbs are replaced by calories from fat, which is digested more slowly and thus prolongs satiation, meaning that one tends to eat less and/or less often. See A low-carb diet for beginners and A Low Carb Diet Meal Plan and Menu That Can Save Your Life for an introduction. If you’re concerned about eating fats, I highly recommend the book The Big Fat Surprise, by Nina Teicholz. (Book links are to inexpensive secondhand copies.)

Protein intake is not increased: carbs go down, fats go up to replace those calories lost, and protein remains the same. The reason for keeping protein at the same level is that higher levels of protein intake can be hard on the kidneys. See “High-protein diets: potential effects on the kidney in renal health and disease” and “Dietary protein intake and renal function.” Unless you’re building new muscle at a good clip (as in an adolescent or a weight trainer), protein intake should be kept at normal levels—see: “How much protein do you need every day?.”

I should note that I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which is why I switched to a low-carb, high-fat diet. That did in fact put my diabetes in remission and I have maintained an HbA1C of 5.7%-5.8% for years now. (If you also have type 2 diabetes—it is unfortunately not rare—I highly recommend The Other Diabetes, by Elizabeth Hiser)

It’s important to note that the LCHF diet is not intended as a weight-loss diet; its purpose is to address metabolic issues. Weight-loss diets require calorie restriction. Many do lose weight on the LCHF diet (because the increase in satiation results in eating less), but that’s not true for everyone, and I was one who did not lose weight on the LCHF diet.

However, when I combined the LCHF diet with the online Weight Watchers Freestyle program, the pounds dropped away easily. I like that program because I can do it online (no meetings) and I have to do very little counting because an enormous number of foods have zero points (though obviously one should not be a glutton in any event). And, best of all, the transition from weight loss to weight maintenance is very easy: you change the setting on your Weight Watchers page from “lose” to “maintain,” and points allowances are adjusted accordingly—there is no change in the way you eat.

Some people go on odd diets—the celery and water diet, for example—to lose weight fast, and then once they reach their weight goal, they return to their normal diet—and so, of course, they regain the weight they lost, since it was their normal diet that resulted in that weight in the first place. What they need is a comfortable and satisfying way of eating that can be a permanent diet. That’s what I describe.

Tip: Look to all the zero-point foods and meals you can make with them. If you focus your attention on what you can eat and not dwell on what you can’t (or shouldn’t) eat, you’ll feel much more satisfied with your lot. If you constantly obsess about foods you should avoid, you’ll make yourself unhappy and undermine your will to eat well.

Since vegetables are zero points, we eat a lot more of those than we did before, and preparing vegetables usually involves a certain amount of chopping. That works best if you have a good chef’s knife. These are modestly priced but quite good:

Mercer Millennia 8″ Chef’s Knife – $13.95
Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8″ Chef’s Knife – $35.99
Mercer Renaissance 8″ Chef’s Knife – $36.45

Watch this excellent 4-lesson series: This Free Online Knife Skills Class Will Teach You Everything You Need To Know You will eventually have to sharpen the knife, but if you get a good steel you can touch up the edge for quite a while. (The knife’s cutting edge will curl over a bit in use, and the steel straightens it out.)

A good cutting board/prep surface helps a lot, and end-grain hardwood works best in providing a good surface and treating kindly the knife’s edge. I have had a variety of cutting boards, and the Ironwood Gourmet 28217 14″x20″ acacia end-grain prep station is by far the best of the lot: it’s stable (with plastic feet) and it’s large enough to provide plenty of work room. (It has a few negative reviews about a glue problem, but those are from some years back, and it seems as though the manufacturer paid attention: no problem at all with my board). I also have tried a variety of board treatments to preserve the wood, and I like John Boos Butcher Block Board Cream best. Once the food is prepped (sliced, chopped, minced, whatever), this little rimmed food scoop makes it easy to move it from the prep board to bowl or pot. I find I use it constantly.

Tip: Do all the chopping and measuring of ingredients before you begin cooking, so that everything to be used is already prepared and measured. I use various prep bowls to hold the ingredients. (Ingredients added at the same time can go into the same prep bowl.) The cooking then consists of simply dumping the contents from the prep bowls into the pot in the proper sequence and at the proper time. Rinse each bowl as you empty it, and put it into a rack to dry. Cleaning as you go means that when you finish cooking, the kitchen will be clean. (Bowls and measuring utensils that were used with oil will require a little detergent, but for other ingredients a rinse is sufficient.) By doing all prep work ahead of time, you avoid being rushed and frantic when you start cooking. (It took me too long to learn this.) “Measuring” includes weighing (particularly meat), so a digital kitchen scale (about US$10) is a good investment. I have this one and I like it a lot: the flat surface makes cleaning a snap.

You will want a good skillet, and fortunately the best (in many ways) is a carbon-steel skillet, which costs around $40. See this post for details, why you would want one, and which brand is best (Matfer Bourgeat). I have two: 8 5/8″ for breakfast eggs/scrambles and 11 7/8″ for bigger dishes, steaks, and the like.The video at the link shows how to season them and lets you see how nonstick they are. Getting that degree of nonstickness requires seasoning and some patience.

See also “How to make cooking easier.”

One very easy way to prepare meals is the technique Elizabeth Yarnell developed under the name “Glorious One-Pot Meals.” The food is layered in a cast-iron dutch oven. (She recommends using an enamelled cast-iron dutch oven; if you use a plain one, which also works, this conditioner will be a big help in seasoning it and keeping it seasoned. This one, too, is quite good.)

A 2-qt dutch over is an ample size for 2 meals (for active adults) or 4 meals (for sedentary adults, of which my wife and I are two). The food is cooked for just 45 minutes in a hot oven (450ºF/232ºC), then let rest for 15 minutes. The food is thus steamed inside the closed pot. This means that the meat is not browned, but it is tender. Very fatty meats don’t work well in this method of cooking. The best thing about the meals, beyond nutrition and taste, is that they make improvisation easy. Check out these links for:

GOPM: Explanation and template
First Glorious One-Pot Meal in quite a while
Lamb sausage one-pot meal
Time for more Glorious One-Pot Meals  

Those offer general guidance and advice, and you can see various recipes here: GOPM | Later On. Once you’ve made a couple, you’ll get the idea and then you can freely improvise. And here you don’t need prep bowls: you add each ingredient in its layer as you prepare it. The pot itself acts as one big prep bowl, then you cook the meal in it.

I have noticed a change in our foods after being on WW Freestyle for a few months. (I do all the cooking in our family.) Sources of protein now are almost entirely eggs, fish, shellfish, and boneless skinless chicken breasts, and we are eating a lot more vegetables (since they are zero points). On the whole, it’s been a healthful change. We eat very little red meat (pork, beef, and lamb) and much less cheese and butter.

Economists will be interested in the effects of just a slight increase in costs (in this case, cost = WW points) resulting in substitution of lower-cost (fewer points) alternatives. Example: 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil is 4 points, 1 tablespoon of butter is 5 points. That small difference is enough that I almost always use olive oil now instead of butter (though I will occasionally use butter). And that sort of gentle nudge on all the foods gradually shifted our diet in a more healthful direction.

Sugar is particularly bad. See The Startling Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer’s and watch this video:

A very tasty low-carb dessert that we often have is a bowl of berries. I buy frozen berries, and we put them in the bowl before dinner so they can thaw. I like mixed berries (blue-, rasp-, and blackberries) and my wife likes wild blueberries. Costco sells large bags of excellent mixed berries.

Note that food cravings can be driven by the makeup of your gut microbiome. If you eat high-starch food, the microbiome tilts strongly toward microbes that prefer such foods, and the microbiome can drive food cravings if those microbes become hungry: Why you’re still hungry: 6 obstacles to healthy eating

By sticking with the LCHF diet (with or without Weight Watcher guidlines), in time your gut microbiome will change to favor other microbes, and carb cravings will dwindle. Dietary fiber is an important food source for gut microbes, so pay attention to it—see How probiotics and prebiotics team up in your gut. I take 1 teaspoon of inulin and 2 tablespoons of chia seed in a glass of water each morning. Chia seed has benefits beyond fiber, of course. (And BTW, in the LCHF diet, one counts net carbs: total carbohydrates minus dietary fiber. Chia seed has very low net carbs: 2 tablespoons has 13.1g carbohydrates and 11.2g dietary fiber, so only 1.9g net carbs.)

If you must regularly take antibiotics, which can devastate the gut microbes, you might try Floristor, a yeast-based probiotic unaffected by antibiotics.

Dietary fiber is not just for weight loss: it’s vital to our health. See Fiber Is Good for You. Now Scientists May Know Why.

I also drink 2 oz (1/4 cup) of pomegranate juice (unsweetened) each day because of its arterial health benefits. (See also “Pomegranate Juice May Clear Clogged Arteries” and this more technical report.) I buy a pomegranate juice not made from concentrate. And over the afternoon I drink a pitcher of iced white tea (again, for health reasons —and see also this post ).

Plateaus: Plateaus are important in weight loss. They are a time when the body makes changes: shrinking the skin, rearranging things internally, etc. Those who get bariatric surgery achieve rapid and significant weight loss without plateaus, but then cosmetic surgery is generally required to remove the floppy skin that results. My daughter knows a woman who did have bariatric surgery and then had to have cosmetic surgery to remove excess skin on thighs, tummy, and arms.

Knowing that the plateaus serve a purpose makes them easier to endure. She also said that, in general, each plateau lasts twice as long as the previous one. In my current weight-loss regimen, I hit my first plateau at Day 47, and then for 11 days my weight stayed at 208.x, going up and down within that range, before resuming a steady loss. I expect my next plateau will last around 22 days.

Lately I’ve been eating about an ounce of oyster mushrooms a day, usually with my breakfast egg. Here’s why: What Is the Health and Nutritional Value of Mushrooms?. For my wife, I make this recipe each week (and eat a couple myself): Low-carb breakfast on the run. Very tasty, very easy, and light on the carbs—plus she could eat it in the car when she had to commute. It also has the advantage that you cook just once to get 9 breakfasts. For myself, lately I’ve been eating this breakfast, but doubtless that will vary in time. And two scrambled eggs for breakfast takes less than minute, and this pan makes clean-up easy now that it’s fully seasoned.

An excellent way to cook chicken breasts so they are moist and tender rather than dry and tough is included in this recipe: Very satisfying dinner: Ratatouille with chicken. (You can browse recipes on my blog to get ideas: Recipes | Later On) Because bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts cost a little less than boneless skinless chicken breasts, I have started getting those. I don’t poach them, but I do cook them slowly to allow time for the thicker part to cook through without overcooking the thinner part: see recipe.

For many cooked dishes, a 1-cup serving works well: enough for a meal, and easy to calculate points. I have found a 1/2-cup ladle (the 62172 Vollrath, with a gray handle) to be extremely useful: two scoops, and you have your dinner/lunch. Highly recommended. Two 1/2-cup scoops works better than one 1-cup scoop in terms of spillage and effort.

I suggest you avoid seed oils (oils like canola (rapeseed), grapeseed, corn, peanut, soybean, cottonseed, safflower—all have bad omega-6 to omega-3 ratios). Soybean oil and cottonseed oil are mostly found in processed foods—e.g., store-bought mayonnaise and salad dressings—so read ingredients labels. (It’s easy to make your own mayo. It takes about 5 minutes including cleanup if you have an immersion blender. For a salad dressing, I put into a small jar 2 teaspoons extra-virgin oil, juice of 1 lemon, a good pinch of salt, about 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, and about 1 teaspoon smoked (Spanish) paprika and shake well: 3 WW points.) Use avocado oil for high-temperature sautéing (it has a smoke point of 271ºC / 520ºF, higher than any other cooking oil), and use extra-virgin olive oil for low-temperature cooking and as a dressing. More info here: Healthiest Cooking Oil Comparison Chart with Smoke Points and Omega 3 Fatty Acid Ratios. And regarding olive oil, I highly recommend this fascinating and informative book: Extra-virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.

Make it a game: For many routine tasks and chores, I have found it useful to work out a way to make the activity pleasurable (cf. my approach to shaving in Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving). If an activity is interesting and pleasurable, we are drawn to it rather than having to push ourselves. In managing my meals, I play a “9-to-5 work-week” game: for the Monday-Friday workweek, I challenge myself to eat so that each day I have between 9 and 5 (inclusive) Weight Watcher points left when I go to bed. It’s easier than it sounds because you can pad out the meals with zero-point foods (eggs, seafood, skinless chicken breast, beans, and vegetables) and add any points lacking by using a little extra-virgin olive oil (1 point per teaspoon). Thus, I would win a week if the points remaining during that week were 5 (Monday), 6 (Tuesday), 7 (Wednesday), 9 (Thursday), and 6 (Friday). I find some satisfaction in using all 5 possibilities (9, 8, 7, 6, 5: “9 to 5”) in the course of the week—and extra satisfaction if I use them in that order.

Now it’s your turn. 🙂

Written by LeisureGuy

15 April 2018 at 9:18 am

Chicken and barley GOPM

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Tonight’s Glorious One-Pot Meal has these layers in order of placing them (i.e., bottom layer listed first):

Rub inside of pot and lid with olive oil (just a coating). I used my 2.25-qt Staub round cocotte. Everything is zero points except as indicated.

6 scallions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup “pot barley” (aka “Scotch barley”: it looks like steel-cut barley, not pearled barley) – 6 WW points
1/2 cup celery chopped small—maybe a little more
1 large carrot, diced
1 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar poured over that
Half a large chicken breast, marinated* and cut into chunks
3/4 Japanese eggplant, cut into chunks
1 Meyer lemon, ends cut off and discarded, diced
2 bunches broccolini, chopped
12 yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced

Pour-over
1 1/2 tablespoons Enzo Clementine-infused olive oil – 6 WW points
1 tablespoon Enzo apple balsamic vinegar – 1 WW point
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce – 1 WW point
good pinch of Maldon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

Shake that well in a little jar, then pour over the contents of the pot.

*Marinade for chicken breast
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
5 smashed cloves garlic

I put an entire chicken breast in that (two halves) after pounding them flat and let them sit for an hour or two, then removed them to a dish and refrigerated. I used one of the halves in Lentils Monastery WW Style last night and the other half here.

Because eggplant, lemon, and tomatoes contain a lot of liquid, I’m thinking that the barley might not absorb it all. We’ll see.

This amount is 4 servings for us, though only 2 for Elizabeth Yarnell, who is a triathlete. So for us this is 3 WW points per serving and 1 serving is a meal.

UPDATE: The Younger Daughter suggested adding 2-3 tablespoons grated ginger. Great idea, IMO. The question is where to put it. Choices I see are:

  1. With the other aromatics in the bottom layer.

  2. Over the chicken layer.

  3. In the pour-over.

This will require experimentation.

UPDATE AGAIN: No excess liquid. Worked out very well. I’m already planning the next: pot/Scotch barley again (or perhaps black/Forbidden rice), and two boneless pork chops (total weight 1 lb) cut into chunks, cabbage (savoy, or red, or plain—or Napa), along with onions, garlic, celery. Maybe a carrot. And the layer between pork and cabbage some chopped apple…

 

Written by LeisureGuy

14 April 2018 at 4:48 pm

Posted in Food, GOPM, Recipes

Oriental pork GOPM

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Layers from the bottom up:

1/2 c pearled barley
1 large bunch scallions, chopped including green part
1 carrot diced
1/3 c parsley chopped fine
1/3 c chopped celery
2 pork chops, bone removed and cut into chunks
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1.5″ section of fresh ginger root, grated
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped (should have gone with the whole pepper)
1 packet of sugar snap peas, probably a little over a cup, chopped

Pour-over:

2 tsp soy sauce
1.5 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1.5 Tbsp Bragg’s Ginger and Sesame Vinaigrette
good couple of dashes of Red Boat fish sauce

In 450ºF oven for 45 minutes, remove and let sit on stove top 15 minutes, serve.

Nice and orientalish. I just realized that I could include in the pour-over things like Hoisin sauce.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 July 2017 at 6:37 pm

Posted in Food, GOPM, Recipes

Time for more Glorious One-Pot Meals

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As regular readers know, I like a glorious one-pot meal, a description that serves as the title for Elizabeth Yarnell’s book. The blog now has quite a collection of various GOPM recipes, usually made on the fly.

Fair warnings about the book:

  1. The recipes are extremely bland. Crushed red pepper can help, but the idea and approach are so simple that you will quickly be making up your own recipes to use what you have on hand.
  2. She and her husband are, I assume, triathletes. She says a 2-qt GOPM serves two. For normal people it will serve four—and indeed she for some reasons uses four servings of rice in her recipes. I don’t use rice at all, but rather pearled barley, and I use 1/3 cup of the uncooked barley for the 2-qt pot.

Although Yarnell recommends enameled cast-iron, I find that plain cast iron works well, and the Stansport 2-qt cast-iron dutch oven is $20 at Walmart. You can easily remove the two wire handles (and easily replace them if you every want to hang the pot over a fire). Season it first (rub the interior with some fat, including the bottom of the lid, and put it in a 300ºF oven for half an hour or so). I use beef fat, but you could just rub it with a piece of bacon.

The enameled pot might be easier to clean, but plain cast iron cleans up readily with hot water and the Ringer, a piece of chain mail used as a scrubber. I wouldn’t use it on an enameled pot, but on plain cast iron it works like a charm, partly because it is flexible so you can feel when there is a spot with something stuck, so you know where to scrub. I clean the pot using just hot water, no detergent. Reseason the pot as needed. You can always start over by putting the empty pot in a self-cleaning oven and running a cycle. Rinse it out well, reseason, and it’s as good as new.

Friday will see another GOPM.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 June 2017 at 4:18 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, GOPM

First GOPM in a while: Lamb with broccolini

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I use the 1.5 qt cast-iron Staub pan, but you could probably use a 2-qt cast-iron dutch oven. You would just use a few more of each ingredient—e.g., more scallions, 1/3 cup pearled barley instead of 1/4 cup, a whole diced carrot instead of a half. Since you build the dish a layer at a time, you can just add enough more of whatever to make a layer of the depth you want.

In the 1.5 qt pan, I added these ingredients, a layer of each, beginning with the scallions:

3 scallions, chopped (green and white)
good pinch of salt
several grindings of pepper
1/4 cup pearled barley
1/2 large carrot, diced
10 oz lamb flank (1 package), cut up
4 cloves garlic, minced
chopped mint
chopped broccolini
halved cherry tomatoes
salt and more pepper

I had to mash it down a bit to get all to fit. One bunch of broccolini was plenty and I had some stems left over.

Put the following in a small glass jar, shake well, and pour over:

1.5 tablespoon Crosse & Blackwell Mint sauce
1.5 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
a dash or few of mint bitters
salt
pepper

Cover, put in 450ºF oven and let cook for 45 minutes.

Remove, let pot stand, still covered, for 15 minutes.

Serve and eat. It was quite tasty.

Update: I just remembered I have mint bitters (one by the Fee Brothers). Next time I’ll add a dash or two of that to the pour-over.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 April 2017 at 6:49 pm

Posted in Food, GOPM, Recipes

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