Dinner at the McMurtrey’s

Last night Beth and I had the pleasure of dining at the home of our friends, Kelly and Lisa. They have a lovely home not too far from where we live. Kelly took the original house down to it’s foundation and rebuilt it himself. He has landscaped the yard, complete with pond, into a showcase that could be featured in a Home & Garden photo spread. But best of all, he has a man-cave garage to beat all garages. All I’ll say about it is that I have a severe case of garage envy.

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Chicken Paprikash

Chicken Paprikash has a lot of different variations, usually dependent upon the area. It can range from a creamy brown sauce to a deep red. Some variations don’t even have noodles or haluskis. Just a reminder for folks, we called our dumplings “Haluski”. I know there are dishes out there called Haluski, but what can I say. To my family Haluskis are those dumpling like bits that are almost like very large spatzel. Okay? Feel free to send letters telling me how silly I am. When it comes right down to it, there are only 2 common ingredients that exist in all variations. Chicken and paprika. So with that little intro, I give you the Gregor family version that I grew up with.

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Ribs and Collard Greens

Okay, now that I’ve reviewed one of the local BBQ places, it’s my turn for BBQ and Greens. I’m a just little hesitant to share this to be honest. Every time we’d have a cook out, everyone asked for the secret to my ribs. But I figure at this point, what the hell. To be honest. it’s really nothing more than technique, no secret recipes or anything. I do have a killer rub for ribs, but for this discussion, I’ll stick with store bought. Come on, I need to have some secrets. 🙂

Okay, this is all done at least the day before you are going to make the ribs. Got that? The day before. Not 8 hours, not 2 hours. You need at least 24 hours of prep time. First order of business is get to know your ribs. In the land of the mighty hog, there are 3 types of ribs, baby backs, which are from the loin area, close to the spine(Not from little tiny cute pigs people, baby refers to size here), and St Louis and spare ribs which are around the side and close to the belly. For BBQ, baby backs seem to be the hands on favorite, but it’s still a matter of personal preference. Once last thing to know about pork meat in general. Continue reading “Ribs and Collard Greens”

Halibut and Scallops with Ceviche

Last Saturday was an “SiS.” Stay in Saturday. I like those kind of days because it means I get to cook and try new things. It’s been a while since we’ve had ceviche, so I headed to the market with the idea of getting “fixins” to make one, and see what else looked good for the rest of the dinner. I like to experiment with new things on these days, creating dishes based totally on what looked good in the market. As usual though, I made enough for 4, so…um…we ate twice (coughs)

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Halibut Filets
Steamed in citrus juices with a pear cider reduction sauce

Gregor’s Pub Scallops
Large fresh scallops sautéed with bacon, topped with caramelized bananas and served with a coconut rum sauce

Tropical Ceviche
A squid and scallop ceviche with coconut and lychee

Roasted Asparagus Spears with Apple Wood Bacon
Roasted spears of fresh asparagus with julienned smoked bacon

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Potato Soup for the Soul

Potato soup. Man, nothing takes me back to my childhood more than a good bowl of potato soup. I remember being like 12 or so, sledding all day and then entering my grandmother’s house and the smell…oh lord the smell. It enveloped you like a warm blanket. As I got older, I paid more attention to my grandmother making the soup than I did the sledding. I’m so glad I did.

Tonight I made my potato soup, and it struck me that maybe it’s time for me to share this wonderful soup. I’ve taken some liberties over the years, but I think Grandma Gregor would be proud. For my vegetarian and vegan friends, I will offer substitutions at the end. Note that I cook by feel more than “coding” it, so you may have to bear with me. Also keep in mind this makes enough soup for about 8 people.

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