Simply Good Food

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The Big Green Egg

My husband and I both like to grill. We’ve had a JennAir gas grill and a Weber charcoal grill for years but recently we decided to purchase the Big Green Egg.
The first thing we grilled was steak and it really was one of the best steaks that we’ve ever done.  There is a learning curve with the grill but the effort is well worth it.  We are particularly looking forward to using it in the winter at our vacation home in Big Sky, MT.  Because the grill is ceramic, it holds the heat even in freezing temperatures.

Greek Favorites

My husband and I were fortunate to be able to visit our daughter and her family when they lived in Crete. One of the highlights of our travels has always been enjoying the local cuisine and we found the Greek food was fabulous! One of the reasons that it is so good, of course, is the quality of the ingredients. Fruits and vegetables are locally raised on small farms. The pork, lamb, and chicken are free range animals frequently pastured in the olive groves to keep the grass and weeds down.

Farmers Market Crete 300x168 Greek Favorites

The Greeks love babies!

Farmers Market Crete 2 300x168 Greek Favorites

Buying cheese at the Farmers’ Market

Farmers Market 3 168x300 Greek Favorites

I like to try to reproduce some of the foods that I’ve enjoyed while traveling. Last night I made horiatiki (the Greek village salad), chicken souvlaki, and tzatziki. The meal was completed with pita bread warmed in the oven. The bread wasn’t home made but maybe next time we enjoy Greek food I’ll attempt to make the bread, too.

Horiatiki                            Chicken Souvlaki                                  Tzatziki

Pork Tenderloin with Smoky Paprika Rub

Pork Tenderloin with Smoky Paprika Rub
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4

This is an easy one skillet dinner with a perfectly seasoned pork tenderloin.
  • 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1-2 tablespoons smoky paprika rub
  • 2 large or 4 small red potatoes, peeled and diced to ¾ inch
  • 1 onion, rough chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. Pat tenderloin dry with paper towels.
  2. Rub both sides of tenderloin with generous amount of smoky paprika rub.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Quickly brown tenderloin on both sides (3-4 minutes per side).
  5. Turn heat down to lowest setting and add onion and diced potatoes.
  6. Cook for 30-40minutes until potatoes are cooked through and crusty and pork tenderloin is cooked to 145° internal temperature.

imggrocerylist Pork Tenderloin with Smoky Paprika Rub

Fresh Salmon

My husband, Paul, and I have just returned from a trip where we joined old college friends to visit Seattle, Mt. Rainier and Victoria, B.C.  Some members of the group took three days to journey deeper into Vancouver where they fished for salmon and halibut while other friends enjoyed Victoria.  While the fishing was not as good as expected,  Victoria was delightful.  The salmon used in Cedar Planked Salmon was fresh and delicious!

Lemonade on the front porch

My husband and two fly fishing friends met at our home this evening to try out their bamboo rods.  The heat has been stifling for the past few days and I knew they would need a drink so I prepared lemonade from scratch.  Usually we invite friends to have a glass of wine or a beer on the front porch but when the heat index is over 100°,  it’s too hot for alcohol so a refreshing glass of lemonade is just the thing!

Chicken Marbella

Chicken marbella Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6

Even people who do not like prunes or dried apricots will love this dish. It’s great served with couscous and can be prepared ahead of time making it a wonderful option for entertaining.
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
  • ¼ cup dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pitted prunes or dried apricots
  • ½ cup pitted Spanish green olives
  • ½ cup capers with a bit of juice
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ¼ cup Italian parsley or cilantro, finely chopped

  1. In a large bowl combine chicken quarters, garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes or apricots, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.
  2. Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.
  3. Bake in a 350° oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices.
  4. With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes or apricots, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.
  5. To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If chicken has been covered and refrigerated, allow it to return to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juices over chicken.

Recipe adapted from Silver Palate Cookbook.  

imggrocerylist Chicken Marbella

Quick tip for peeling garlic clove:

Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Bread Pudding

Pork tenderloin with mushro1 300x300 Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Bread Pudding

Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Bread Pudding
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • ½ pound mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ pound crusty bread, cut into ½ inch cubes (about 1 quart)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⅓ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 eggs, beaten to mix
  • ⅔ cup half and half
  • 1 pork tenderloin

  1. Heat oven to 325°.
  2. Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with Pam.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over moderate heat.
  4. Add onion and celery and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
  5. Increase the heat to moderately high and add mushrooms and thyme.
  6. Cook until mushrooms begin to brown.
  7. Remove pan from heat and stir in bread cubes, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  8. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
  9. Stir together broth, eggs, and half and half.
  10. Pour mixture evenly over the mushroom bread mixture.
  11. Put dish in lower third of oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  12. Meanwhile heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the frying pan over moderately high heat.
  13. Season the tenderloin with remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  14. Add the tenderloin to the pan and brown well, about 4 minutes per side.
  15. Remove bread pudding from oven after 25 minutes and set pork tenderloin directly on top.
  16. Return to the oven and cook until the meat is done and the pudding is just set., 10 to 15 minutes longer.

Egg substitute and fat-free half and half may be substituted to reduce the calorie count.

Grocery List

Two Days in Carpinteria

We drove to the central coast of California to stay two nights in Carpinteria–the little town that California forgot.  It is small, quiet, and charming.  No big hotels or resort complexes here so we stayed at the Best Western which is a bit worn around the edges but has a certain charm.

This morning, after a breakfast of oatmeal with raisons and walnuts (not exciting, but healthy and delicious) at the Worker Bee Cafe on Linden Avenue, we walked from our hotel to the seal rookery on the bluffs near the south end of town, a distance of several miles.

Later, we stopped for Fish Tacos at Reyes Market on Carpinteria Ave, a favorite of our daughter and her husband.