You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Main Dish’ category.

I worked at the King Ko Inn in King Salmon, Alaska during my teenage years in the mid-1970s. Most of that time I was a maid, but for a few months in my senior year of high school I was a waitress. The clientele were German sport fishermen and road laborers working on the upgrade of the road to Naknek. The inn’s manager was this mountainous rough woman named Bea. She was all seeing, all knowing. She cruised through the inn like a giant tanker, trailing a wake of fear behind her. She was fiercely protective, however, of her young employees. One thing you could count on when Bea was cooking on Fridays was her Manhattan Clam Chowder. Most places, in the western United States at least, serve clam chowder on Fridays, but it is New England style. Bea’s Manhattan Clam Chowder is so memorable that I have been trying to duplicate it ever since. I finally found it here at Food 52 a few years ago.

  • Ingredients
  • 16 oz. (2-8 oz. bottles) clam juice
  • 12 oz. (2- 6 oz. cans) chopped clams, drained, reserve juice
  • 4 oz. diced bacon
  • 1-1/2 cups small dice onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped leeks (white part only)
  • 1 cup small dice celery
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/8 heaping tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups 1/2″ dice peeled potatoes
  • 28 oz. chopped canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. horseradish sauce

In a large pan, fry bacon until nearly crisp. Stir in vegetables and saute until soft. Stir in spices. Stir in clam juice and reserved clam juice, salt, pepper, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer until potatoes are cooked through. Stir in tomatoes and clams. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in horseradish sauce. Serve. Oh, yum!!!

Notes: This will serve 4 easily. I like to serve with a crusty bread or oyster crackers. If you’ve never used leeks before, make sure you clean them appropriately. I slice mine in half lengthwise and then run under cold water while I flip the layers of leek, like pages of a book. Leeks hide sand and bugs and have to be cleaned well. Then I chop them up. This is a gluten-free dish.

This is my new favorite pizza dough recipe. I’m not a pizza crust connoisseur by any means, but this crust made me pause and ask, “Where have you been all my life?” The recipe originates at babysavers.com.

  • Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup warm beer
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 package (2-1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzle
  • 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 cups flour (I have used both bread flour and all-purpose to great effect)
  • Favorite toppings

This recipe makes one 16″ pie or a couple smaller ones.

Mix beer, water, yeast and sugar together and let sit until foamy. Stir in salt and olive oil and 1 cup flour. Stir and stir and stir to build the gluten. Stir in more flour in half-cup increments until it’s a bit shaggy. If you’re using a stand mixer, keep mixing and adding smidges of flour until the the dough is smooth. If you’re doing this by hand, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes until the dough is smooth. Place the dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl and drizzle more olive oil over the top. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes or so.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare your pan(s) by covering with parchment paper or lightly greasing or oiling or spraying with non-stick spray. Prepare your toppings.

Roll the dough out to about 1/4″ and set on your prepared pan(s). BAKE FOR 4-5 MINUTES (PARBAKE)!

Remove the parbaked crusts from the oven and sprinkle with your favorite toppings. Return to the oven and bake 8-12 minutes or until crust is golden and toppings melted.

Notes: What I liked about this was the flavor coming off of the beer. I heat my beer in the microwave until it’s warm to the touch, but not scalding hot. Don’t want to kill the yeast. The beer makes for a deeply flavored crust. My 89-year-old dad said it was the best pizza he ever had, so that’s saying something. The last time I made this I increased the ingredients a little bit because I didn’t think there would be enough pizza. I was wrong because we ended up with leftovers, but it turned out well, so now I know it works. I just eyeballed and added about a third more of everything and then made one pizza on a very large baking sheet and the other one on a smaller baking sheet. I think the key is the parbaking. It means the sauce doesn’t cause the crust to get soggy or worse, remain raw.

The topping ideas are endless: Italian sausage, pepperoni, chicken, mushroom, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, tomato sauce, pesto sauce, Canadian bacon, pineapple (euw), bacon, peppers, tomatoes, onion. I remember eating a kabab pizza in Sweden, but I can’t remember what constituted the kabab. It was yummy, though. Some kind of meat with some kind of white sauce drizzled over. I really love a spicy Thai pizza with chicken and sweet chile sauce and peanuts and bean sprouts. This is making me hungry.

I ate this for the first time at a local German restaurant a few years ago. I’ve made it myself several times since then. The recipe I was using online ceased to exist, so I switched to this one from Kimberly Killebrew. I think I like it better anyway. Thinking about making this the first couple times seems a rather daunting prospect, but it’s much easier to do than you would think. I believe you could use wild game instead of beef steak, as long as the piece was sliced thin enough. You’re going to need toothpicks, lots of toothpicks. This is easily a gluten-free dinner if you use a corn-starch thickener instead of flour and serve it over something like polenta or potatoes.

When I last made this, I only made 4 beef rolls (instead of 8), but the full complement of gravy. That’s to say just make the number of rolls for the number of people you’re serving. After you’ve done this a time or two, you’ll understand what I’m getting at. And the rouladen are SO tender, you don’t even need a knife!

  • Rouladen Ingredients
  • 8 slices beef steak (like round steak), about 4×6″ size, pounded thin
  • Spicy brown mustard or Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 8 slices dill pickle
  • Sliced onion
  • Gravy Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • Cornstarch or flour to make a slurry
  • Cream, optional

Spread each piece of meat with mustard and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. At the smallest end of the meat, lay a slice of bacon, pickle, and onion. Roll the meat up from that smallest end to the largest end. Secure with several toothpicks.

Heat the butter and oil in an oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven and sear the meat rolls on all sides. Remove to a plate. In that same skillet, saute the onions until they are translucent. You may need more butter or oil. Stir in the garlic and saute another thirty seconds or so. Add the carrots and celery and saute another five minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Pour red wine into the skillet with the vegetables, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Nestle the meat rolls in the liquid, cover the skillet, and place into the preheated 325 degree F oven for about 90 minutes. Remove the rouladen from the sauce to a plate.

Thicken the gravy by making a slurry of cornstarch (see note below) and water (or broth) OR a slurry of flour and water (or broth). Either way works just fine. Many cooks will either strain out the vegetables or puree them to make a smooth sauce. I don’t care about that, so I don’t bother with it. Vegetable lumps it is! You can stir in cream if you want a creamier gravy.

Once your gravy is done to your liking, pluck the toothpicks from the rouladen. They should stay in place without the picks. Return the rouladen to the gravy, turning so that they’re coated on all sides and heat through.

You can serve with spaetzle, polenta, mashed potatoes, or just use your imagination. This is easily a gluten-free dish.

Note: A slurry is taking a cold liquid and stirring in either corn starch or flour until smooth, then slowly pouring the concoction into a thin gravy and stirring over heat until the gravy thickens. A two-to-one ratio of corn starch to cold water (or broth) is a good way to start. I never measure it anymore, just make sure the corn starch dissolves, then start pouring the mix into the gravy. If it gets too thick, then I add more broth to the gravy. If it doesn’t thicken enough, I add more slurry to the gravy. I do the same with flour.

You can make this dish without using an oven, all on the stovetop. I haven’t tried it, but it would work just fine.

I don’t own a meat mallet so I do the best I can with the edge of a saucer to pound the meat without putting holes in it. Again, once you’ve done this a few times you’ll see how it works any which way, it’s not at all fussy. The flavors here are really rich.

I made this with a little of this and a little of that. It turned out awesome, so I’ll be wanting to make this again.

  • Ingredients
  • Olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed saffron threads
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 11 oz. can tomato puree (you could try same amount of passata or homemade puree)
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 lb. mixed fresh shellfish, shells removed (weight after shells removed)
  • 1/4 lb. white fish
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Crusty bread, optional

Swazz some olive oil around in a large pot. Stir in garlic and spices and stir fry until garlic is cooked, but not browned. Stir in wine and let it simmer for awhile. Stir in the tomato puree. Stir in enough stock to give a consistency that you like. Don’t forget the fish will lose some of its water into the pot and make everything a bit runnier than now, so a bit thicker than you like will be best. Let the sauce simmer for ten minutes. Stir in shellfish and white fish. Squeeze lemon juice into the pot. Remove from heat once the fish is cooked through. Serve with crusty bread. Serves 3-4.

Notes: I happen to have a case of canned tomato puree. It is not tomato paste and it is not tomato sauce. It’s a different kind of thing and you will have to make a serious adjustment if you don’t have it. Don’t know, can’t help you, sorry.

I bought a pound of fresh mixed shellfish at a local fish mart. Everything was already shelled. I think the mix was sold especially for making stew. There were squid rings, surimi, small shrimp, bay scallops, clams, mussels, and other things I probably missed. This recipe would work well with shellfish still in the shells, too, just adjust the amounts.

My brother has recently gifted us several pounds of ground moose, so that’s what I used, but ground bison or ground beef will work just as well. I’m basing my recipe on fivehearthome.com‘s. This is a really quick week-night dinner for busy people.

  • Ingredients
  • A bit of olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, small dice
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 lb. ground beef (or other as mentioned above)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Hamburger buns
  • Butter
  • Toppings as desired (sliced cheese, sliced dill pickles, coleslaw, etc.)

Swazz a bit of olive oil around a skillet and heat it. Saute onion and green bell pepper until onion is transparent. Remove the onion and green bell pepper to a bowl and set aside. Into the skillet, put the ground meat. Let it brown. About half way to brown, add the garlic. Drain off any fat accumulation. If using lean meat this will not be necessary.

In a bowl add the tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, brown sugar, Dijon, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper to taste. Stir well. Stir in the onions and green peppers. Stir the sauce into the ground meat and garlic in skillet. Bring to a simmer and let it simmer for about ten minutes.

Butter the hamburger buns and toast under the broiler. Dollop the ground beef mixture onto the prepared buns. Add your favorite toppings. Chow down!

FYI: we used Dill Pickle Chips as one of the topping options. You can find the recipe here. These dill chips are also awesome on hamburgers and pulled pork sandwiches or sliders. Yum!

This is an easy “throw it in the oven and forget about it dish.” The recipe comes from a cookbook of my mother’s. I think it’s called Main Dishes and it was compiled by the US Parent-Teacher Association, but the cover is missing so I can’t be sure of the title. It seems like we had one cookbook for main dishes and a different one for something else, desserts? Anyway, it was probably published in the late 1960s or early 1970s. It’s 382 pages, so there’s every kind of hot dish imaginable, whole sections on Beef Stews and Ground Beef Dishes, many of them just slightly different from each other. This cookbook came in very handy when we ate ground moose regularly. I would just comb through until I found a recipe that I happened to have all the ingredients.

  • Ingredients
  • 4-5 potatoes, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Small onion, sliced
  • 1 lb. ground beef (or caribou, moose, elk, or bison–I’ve used them all)
  • 15 oz. can Pork and Beans
  • 1 cup tomato juice (or tomato sauce or vegetable juice or 12-oz can V-8–I’ve used them all)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 2-quart casserole dish (I use my Dutch Oven) with non-stick spray or grease. Place a layer of sliced potatoes, salt and pepper, then a sprinkle of sliced onions. Add ground beef (just sprinkle it around on top), then the Pork and Beans. Add another layer of potatoes, salt and pepper, and sliced onions. Pour tomato juice over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for two hours. Yield: 4 servings

This recipe calls for a small can of “Pork and Beans” and I’ve always bought Van Camps, but Van Camps’ ingredient list warns there’s a potential for soy. This may be a problem for some. I looked up how to make Pork and Beans myself and it’s essentially a soupy version of my “Ranch Beans” recipe, using small white beans and no chili powder. I haven’t tried that yet in this recipe because I’m all about easy with this dish. I love to eat Potato-Bean Casserole liberally enhanced with pickled sliced jalapeno peppers.

I’ve got one of those fancy ovens that you can set it to come on and then turn off at specific times. I can’t tell you how many times I put this in the oven with partially frozen meat, set the oven to come on and then cook for two hours, and arrived home from soccer practice to have a wonderful meal all ready for hungry people to eat. Press the easy button!

This food adventure started when I saw a FB post from my pastor saying his son like “bap” better than turkey dinner. I wondered, “what is bap?” Google and Pinterest settled that question rather quickly. Not being a huge fan of turkey dinner myself, I just had to try it. I’ve “tried” this now about five times. Please bear with me. We rarely eat meals that I don’t prepare myself, so I’ve never tried this delicious Korean dish other than what you’re reading here. Who knows if it’s authentic. It’s probably not, but do I care? It’s easy to make and tastes great. The marinade is super sweet, so if you aren’t a fan of sweet meat, best to move along. For me, the sweet meat makes the dish.

Essentially, this is a rice bowl. The ingredients are prepared separately and then placed into the bowl. It’s okay for it to be served room temperature. I use a medium skillet to stir-fry each vegetable, one after the other, then stir-fry the meat in the same skillet. I fry the egg in a smaller saute pan at the very last, trying to keep it intact as the runny egg should be considered part of the sauce.

  • Meat Marinade for Four
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion

Either pork or beef strips will do. I’ve been buying these boneless pork chops from Costco and slicing two of them (2 servings) into thin strips and then dropping into this marinade. The marinade makes enough for four servings. Let the marinade work for about an hour.

  • 1. Prepare enough rice for the number of people you are feeding, white rice or brown rice.
  • 2. Stir-fry any of the following sliced ingredients in a little bit of oil, separately, and set aside into separate bowls: mushrooms, bok choy, carrots, cabbage, spinach, kale, chard, snow peas, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, orange squash, peppers, sweet potato, any kind of vegetable should be okay. I usually stir-fry four different kinds.
  • 3. Pull the meat strips out of the marinade. Discard marinade and stir-fry meat in oil on high heat until cooked. Set aside.
  • 4. Divide the rice, and then the stir-fried ingredients, equally between serving bowls, one bowl for each person.
  • 5. Last thing: fry one egg per person, sunny side up. Place egg gently onto top of each serving bowl.
  • 6. Make sure you have Gochujang Sauce (mine comes from the grocery store) available for each person to sauce their own bowl.

In my opinion the best way to eat Bibimbap, after it is served, is to crack the yolk and stir the whole thing up. Enjoy!

I’ve been buying these frozen chicken quarters from the grocery store in 10 pound bags. Once it arrives home, I use my vacuum sealer to split it into freezer-bags with 2 pieces in each. What I’ve learned is, one hour of roasting, uncovered, at 425 degrees will cook the thawed chicken. So the decision is what to put with it. This time I tried red onion, mini sweet pepper, grape tomatoes and a home-grown zucchini. I’ve been using this spice blend called Kahuna Garlic Salt Spice Blend by The Spice and Tea Exchange here in Anchorage, Alaska. It’s got Hawaiian red sea salt, garlic, onion, and parsley in a grinder. I’m on my third jar of it this summer. I put it on nearly everything, including this dish. Wonderful!

  • Ingredient quantities depend upon how many people you will serve
  • Red onion, sliced
  • Peppers, sliced (I used mini sweet peppers)
  • Grape tomatoes, sliced
  • Zucchini, sliced
  • Garlic salt blend (or garlic powder and salt)
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken Quarters

Layer the vegetable ingredients into a baking dish, or a sheet pan with sides, so as not to crowd them. I used a 9×13″ pan for two chicken quarters. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt blend and pepper. Run a swazz of olive oil across the vegetables, not too much, about a tablespoon. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt blend and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for one hour. Serve.

  • Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce, divided
  • 2 chicken quarters
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13″ baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray.

Layer the pineapple, bell pepper, and onion in the baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (SBJ Barbecue Sauce is great for this). Season the chicken with salt and pepper (I used a ground sea-salt garlic combo) and place on top of the barbecue sauce.

Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees F for thirty minutes. Dollop the remaining barbecue sauce over the chicken and bake another thirty minutes. Remove from heat and serve. Serves 2

A couple weeks ago I had leftover lamb souvlaki and leftover lamb chops, about three of each, that I threw into the freezer because I was tired of eating lamb. Today I pulled it out, deboned the chops, and had about 2 cups of cooked lamb. What to do, what to do. Here is what I came up with. It turned out delicious. I prepared the vegetables the same way that I do to make briam, right or wrong, whatever, it worked very well.

  • Ingredients: all approximate
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cups 1″ diced eggplant
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped bell or sweet pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 1 14-oz can tomatoes, pureed
  • 2-3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sprinkle of oregano
  • 2 cups cooked lamb, chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, sliced
  • Feta crumbles, optional

In a large saute pan over medium heat, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and stir fry the eggplant until it’s slightly brown. Remove to large bowl and set aside. To the saute pan, with more olive oil as needed, add onion and pepper. Stir fry until onion is transparent. Remove to the large bowl with the eggplant. With more olive oil as needed, stir fry the zucchini until slightly brown. Remove to the large bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the saute pan, with a little more olive oil, stir the garlic and red pepper flakes for half a minute. Stir in the pureed tomatoes and tomato paste and wine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and oregano. Stir over heat until it’s well incorporated. Stir in lamb and large bowl of vegetables.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish. Arrange sliced potatoes over the top, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for an hour to an hour and a half, depending upon the thickness of your potatoes. Serve warm sprinkled with feta crumbles, if desired. Serves 4.

Notes: I used my oven-safe skillet with high sides to bake it in, but I think a 9×9″ square baking dish is the right size. If you didn’t have the exact vegetables stated in the recipe, substitutions should be okay. This was me emptying my refrigerator/freezer. I’m thinking fresh green beans would be a wonderful addition. Remember that the vegetables will add their water to the dish as they cook down, make sure the sauce isn’t too runny at the beginning. I used three orange mini sweet peppers, sliced into rings.