This past week, my meals have been centered around using the fresh produce we were given on Sunday. I spent about 2 1/2 hours on Sunday afternoon shelling peas. Since fresh peas don't keep for very long, I blanched them and put them in the freezer until we're ready to enjoy them.
On Monday night, I cooked a couple steaks that had been marinating all day. Along with that, we had some of the fresh peas and sweet potato chips. The peas were delicious. I could have let them cook for a couple minutes longer, and they tasted more like soy beans to me than peas. We still have enough in the freezer for another meal or two.
With the sweet potatoes, I ran into the same problem that I encountered while cooking Thanksiving dinner - they are white! And not only that, they are pretty hard to cut. But I peeled them, sliced them as thinly as I could, and tossed them with a mixture of olive oil, cajun seasoning, paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I don't have a cookie sheet that fits in my toaster over, so I spread the chips in a single layer on the bottom of my aluminum 13x9 pan. It took a little trial and error to find a temperature that was hot enough to make the chips crispy, but that didn't burn them within a couple minutes. I threw a few charred chips away, but for the most part they turned out well. Ryan said it would be okay if I made them at least once a week.
Tuesday morning, I tried a new twist on broiled grapefruit. I had looked up new recipes using this delicious fruit, and saw several people that suggested adding some rolled oats to the brown sugar before topping the grapefruit as I usually do. However, the grapefruits down here have a lot more seeds in them than I am used to, and I don't like to pick out seeds during each bite. So I scooped out the fruit, put it into a small casserole dish, and covered it with the juice of the grapefruit (it was incredibly juicy). In a separate bowl, I mixed about a cup of oats, a little brown sugar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I poured this mixture on top of the grapefruit, and topped the whole dish with a little butter. I baked the "grapefruit oatmeal" at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. The juice of the grapefruit cooked the oatmeal, and it was delicious! It would have made enough for two people, but since Ryan isn't a huge fan of grapefruit, I ate it twice for breakfast, along with my cup of New England decaf Hazelnut coffee.
Then on Wednesday night, I tried another new recipe: Baked Chicken with Caramelized Grapefruit and Onions. It was a very quick meal to prepare, and gave us a little change from my typical way of cooking chicken breasts. I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and placed them in a casserole dish. Next, I combined grapefruit sections, grapefruit juice, red onion, green onion, brown sugar, garlic powder, and parsley, and poured it over the chicken. I baked it at 350 degrees, and the chicken was not only cooked perfectly, but it was moist and flavorful. The citrus added a bright, fresh taste that we really enjoyed.