lemon garlic pork

foodwithpictures lemon garlic pork

 

This post is unlike most of my other posts in that there is only one photo. About a month ago while making this I took lots of photos of each step in the process, but the photos were of such bad quality that I could not post them here. I do make this often (almost weekly lately) so I will try to remember to take more pictures next time. (I made it tonight for dinner, but completely forgot to grab my camera. Bad food blogger…. Bad.)

 

P.S. This recipe is super similar to the garlic lemon baked chicken I posted a few months ago. That one has much more lemon and oregano, and the chicken is baked rather than grilled like this pork. (Have you realized yet that I love the flavors of lemon, garlic, and oregano? Yes … yes I do!)

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Lemon Garlic Pork

A few hours before dinner, combine these ingredients in a shallow baking dish or pan:

about 1/4 cup olive oil

the juice of one lemon

lots of minced garlic

salt

a generous amount of black pepper

lots of oregano

Place 2 pork tenderloins in this mixture and roll them around to coat well.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least one hour.

When ready to cook, remove from fridge, then grill the pork.

Slice and serve on a pocketless pita with tomato, lettuce, red onion, and feta. Or, skip the pita and serve over a large salad of romaine, tomato, red onion, cucumbers, and feta (this makes it gluten-free).

cod fillets with curry powder

Today I made a small change to the pan seared cod fillets recipe, and it was delicious! I added 1 teaspoon curry powder to the flour, salt and pepper. So good!

And it disappeared too quickly to get a photo taken, so instead here is a photo from the original post. Just use your imagination to add a little curry powder to the fish.  🙂

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garlic lemon baked chicken

garlic lemon chicken step 5

In my recipe binder, I have an old recipe that was torn from a newspaper. The recipe is called Bainbridge Island Vineyard Greek Garlic Chicken and it was printed in the Washington Post. I’ve had it in my binder since cutting it out of the newspaper in 2007 yet have never made it. Over six years and it just sat there… waiting.

A couple days ago, as I was planning my weekly meals and making a grocery list, I searched through my binder to get inspiration and to remember old forgotten favorite recipes when I saw this one. Why hadn’t I ever made it? It’s got all the ingredients I love and that I use often: Garlic, olive oil, chicken. I added it to the weekly menu, purchased the chicken and the lemons, and today was the day. This chicken was what’s for dinner.

I didn’t follow the recipe 100%, since I am who I am and find it impossibly hard to follow a recipe exactly as it’s written (thanks Mom!). First of all, I didn’t use 5 pounds of chicken. I’m not sure I’ve ever used 5 pounds of chicken in one recipe. Also, when squeezing the lemons, after the second one I didn’t think it would need the juice from the third lemon, so I left it out (though next time — and there will be a next time — I will try it with three lemons). And then when I finished the sauce, before coating the chicken pieces, I realized it was a lot of sauce, so I put half of it aside to try in another recipe (maybe on a pork tenderloin for souvlaki … yum!).  Finally, instead of using just water, I used milk and some flour to thicken it. (See note below regarding these additions.)

The recipe below is what I made, which is based on the original.

P.S. When I finished the sauce I cut a bite-sized piece of chicken, dipped it in the sauce, and pushed it into my husband’s mouth. Was it good? Did he like it? Did it need anything… more salt or pepper? Here’s what he said after moaning with happiness, “You could put this sauce on a shoe and I’d eat it.” Yeah, so it’s pretty good.

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Garlic Lemon Baked Chicken

3 heads garlic, peeled and chopped and/or crushed (I did half each way)

the juice from 2 lemons

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon course ground sea salt

1 1/2 to 2 pounds chicken thighs and/or legs (skin on, bone-in) or boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon flour* (optional … see note below)

1 cup milk or water* (see note below)

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Heat oven to 375F.

In a bowl, stir together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, pepper, and salt. *You’ll only need half of this sauce, unless you decide to use double the amount of chicken that is listed above.*

garlic lemon chicken step 1

garlic lemon chicken step 2

garlic lemon chicken step 3

In a large baking dish, place the chicken pieces coated with the sauce in a single layer. (You can coat the pieces in a deep bowl, or by placing the chicken and the sauce in a plastic zipper bag.) If using pieces with the skin on, place them skin side up.

garlic lemon chicken step 4

Bake for 20-30 minutes if using skinless, boneless chicken. Bake for 45-55 minutes if using chicken with bones and skin.

Remove chicken from baking dish to serving platter.

Pour sauce from the baking dish into a small sauce pan over medium heat. *Note: If you don’t want all those bits of garlic in the sauce, use a mesh strainer for this step of the process.

If you’d like a thickened sauce, in a small bowl or glass measuring cup, add the flour to the milk or water, and whisk well. (If you want it thinner, or to keep it gluten-free and dairy-free, use water only.) Pour this into the sauce pan and whisk to combine. Heat thoroughly while whisking often. It should thicken quickly.

Serve sauce on the side or drizzled over the chicken on the platter.

*Note: If you omit the flour, this meal is gluten-free. Use water instead of milk, and it’s dairy-free.

cod fillets

cod 6

My dad loved to fish and we would go with him as often as possible. We caught trout mostly. I remember hours spent digging for worms, packing up the station wagon with all the reels and supplies, and driving to the nearby river. Then, after the successful fishing trip, returning back to the house and cleaning the fish outside the garage.

Those who know me now, decades later, might be surprised that I was once comfortable threading worms onto fishing hooks and later cleaning the fish we caught. Cleaning the fish involved scraping off the scales, cutting off the head, slicing the belly open, and removing the guts (after examining the insides to learn what each fish had consumed earlier in that day).

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I haven’t gone fishing in years. And not so sure I’d be comfortable cleaning fish anymore. As a child it was fun and an adventure … very Tom Sawyer-ish. But today I prefer to purchase my fish at my local market. Nice fillets, all cleaned and free of bones and ready for me to cook. Yes, that’s more to my liking now.

But I can’t purchase trout. That fish holds a special place in my memories from my childhood. There is nothing like eating a trout hours after catching it yourself. Because of this I just can’t bring myself to buy trout at the market.

Instead I purchase cod most of the time. And this recipe is adapted from the one at my local market, Wegmans. Their recipe can be found here.

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Pan Seared Cod Fillets With Lemon And Butter

3 cod fillets (about 1 1/2 pounds)

a drizzle of olive oil

2 tablespoons butter, divided

about 1/4 cup flour

salt & pepper

1 lemon, cut in half

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Over medium-high heat, put 1 tablespoon butter and the olive oil into a large pan (I prefer a non-stick skillet).

cod (2)

In a large plastic zipper baggie, combine the flour, salt and pepper.

Place each fillet into the flour mixture and shake gently to cover the fish completely.

cod (1)

Place the coated fillets into the hot pan.

cod (3)

Cook the fish on the first side about 3 minutes, until the color starts to come up the outside, and the cooked side is golden brown.

Flip the fillets and cook on the second side about 3 minutes. *Note: Cooking times will need to be adjusted due to the thickness of the fillets.

When the second side is also golden brown, place the lemon halves, cut side down, into the pan, as well as the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.

cod (4)

Turn off the heat and if possible, place a lid on the pan.

Wait 2 minutes, then remove fish to a serving platter.

Using kitchen tongs, squeeze the lemons to get all the juice out of them.

Drizzle the lemon juice and butter liquid over the fillets; serve.

cod (5)

I’m not thrilled with this photo — and it was taken before drizzling the liquid onto the fish — but I did not take any others, so this is what you get!

lemon chicken

Remember when I posted lemony chicken? Sure you do! In that post I told you how it wasn’t my official lemon chicken recipe, because in that one I used lemon juice rather than an actual lemon.

The technique for my official lemon chicken is the same as in that previous post, except that when using the lemon, you wash the lemon, then cut it in half, and place the two sides cut side down into the pan as soon as the second side of the chicken is golden brown. Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to sit like that for about 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and using tongs, squeeze the lemon halves so that all the juice and some of the pulp comes out.

With this method you get a more powerful lemon flavor than when using the lemon juice. If you want a mild lemon flavor, using the lemon may not be the way to do it. In that case use the juice instead, so that you can control the amount you use. If you’re into lemon, use the whole lemon, squeeze out the pulp, and enjoy it!

lemony chicken

This is not my official lemon chicken recipe — I’ll post that another day. This recipe is close, but it’s an imposter. I guess you could say that this is the cheater version. The “lemons were too expensive at the store” version. Or maybe the “darn it, I forgot to purchase lemons the other day” version. The taste is very similar — but it differs since it uses bottled lemon juice rather than fresh lemons — but the good news is that it can be adapted more easily for the people with “I’d rather not be overwhelmed with lemon” preferences. No matter what you call it, or what you don’t call it, this is made in my kitchen at least once a week. It’s cheap and tasty and easy and fast. And the whole family eats it. With two picky eaters in my family, that is a huge selling point for me! The whole family knows, when they ask “what’s for dinner?” and I reply “chicken”, this is what they’ll get!

Funny lemony chicken story: One time, in my first year or two of marriage, my youngest sister came to visit. For some reason my husband was cooking —  maybe I had just had my first baby? — not sure why, but it was not very usual for him to cook. When he did cook, he’d make one of two things. Lemony chicken was one. But when my sister visited, he hadn’t made it often enough to know exactly the right amount of lemon juice to add. Well, he more than quadrupled the lemon juice… instead of tablespoons, he used cups. Eating overly-lemony chicken is hard to do, but her expression was priceless and makes for a fun memory!

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Lemony chicken

In a saute pan, cover the bottom with olive oil (just enough to coat the bottom of the pan). Heat the pan over medium-high heat. Add boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders (I often use tenders, since they cook very quickly). Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook on the first side until golden brown, then turn and cook on the second side until golden brown. Turn the chicken one more time, and add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Immediately turn off heat and cover. Remove from heat and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes. Serve.