Thursday, February 12, 2015

roast chicken

I keep tweaking the way I roast chicken, and I reinvent the wheel every time when I can't remember what oven temperature to use and how long it should bake etc. etc., so I'm writing it down here. (This is the recipe I always look at online but don't follow exactly.)

Oven at 425.

Chop a bunch of veggies -- carrots, onion, potatoes, celery, fennel -- and spread them in a single layer in a 9x13 glass dish. Add in many sprigs of thyme. Toss with salt, pepper, olive oil.

Wash the chicken (ideally about 4 lb.) inside and out. Place it with drumsticks down in the dish. Cut a lemon in half and put it inside the chicken along with more sprigs of thyme. Melt 2 T butter or Earth Balance and pour it over the chicken. More salt and pepper.

Put it in the oven for 55 minutes, then check to make sure top isn't burning. Back in for 25 more minutes and check temp inside. When it's 170, it's done!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

mushroom pasta bake

A variation of Smitten Kitchen's mushroom marsala pasta bake (varied largely because I had some open red wine and not marsala)...

Prep time: 30 minutes, tops
Cook time: 30 minutes, tops


Servings: 4 really generous or 6 slightly more moderate ones [[I doubled and it fit into two medium-sized glass dishes. I froze one.]]



1/2 pound (8 ounces or 225 grams) pasta of you choice, such as a ziti or twisty shape

1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil


3/4 pounds (340 grams) fresh mushroom, sliced [[when I doubled this, I used two boxes of the sliced mushrooms from TJ's -- one white button and one portobello]]


1 small-to-medium yellow onion, halved and sliced thin


Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1/4 cup (60 ml) dry marsala wine [[I used pinot noir]]


3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter


3 tablespoons (25 grams) all-purpose flour


1 1/2 cups (355 ml) stock or broth (chicken, vegetable or mushroom)


1/2 cup (50 grams) finely grated parmesan cheese


4 ounces (115 grams) mozzarella, cut into small cubes


3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley [[I omitted]]


bread crumbs for the top [[I added]]

A tip: If we play our cards right here, this can be made entirely in one dish. I used a 4-quart Staub braiser (Happy Hanukah to me!) but any 3-to-4 quart stovetop-to-oven type dish will work.

Cook the pasta: Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 1 to 2 minutes before perfect doneness. Drain and set aside.

Heat oven: To 400 degrees.

Make the sauce: Reheat your empty pasta pot over high heat. Add oil and once it is hot, add mushrooms and cook until they’ve begun to brown and glisten, but have not yet released their liquid. Reduce heat to medium-high, add onions, salt and pepper and saute together until the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until it has almost or fully evaporated (depending on your preference). Add butter, stir until melted. Add flour, and stir until all has been dampened and absorbed. Add stock, a very small splash at a time, stirring the whole time with a spoon. Make sure each splash has been fully mixed into the butter/flour/mushroom mixture, scraping from the bottom of the pan and all around, before adding the next splash. Repeat until all stock has been added. Let mixture simmer together for 2 minutes, stirring frequently; the sauce will thicken. Remove pan from heat.

Assemble and bake dish: If you’re cooking in an ovensafe dish, add cooked pasta and stir until combined. (If you’re not cooking in an ovensafe dish, transfer this mixture to a 2-quart baking dish.) Stir in half the parmesan, all of the mozzarella and two tablespoons of the parsley until evenly mixed. Sprinkle the top with remaining parmesan and breadcrumbs, and spritz with olive oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until edges of pasta are golden brown and irresistible. Sprinkle with reserved parsley and serve hot. Reheat as needed.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

fish tacos with broccoli slaw

J's birthday dinner this year, based on this recipe.

Fish:
1 pound flaky white fish fillets, such as haddock, halibut or cod
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
sprinkle of cumin
Kosher salt
 
Slaw:
1 bag broccoli slaw (recipe calls for 1/2 head savoy cabbage, shredded)
3 scallions, sliced thinly on the bias
1 jalapeno, minced, optional
1/4 to 1/2 cup rice vinegar (recipe calls for white)
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup canola oil
Kosher salt
 
8 flour tortillas
 
Fish:

Cut the fish into strips. Combine the fish with the lime zest and juice, garlic, oil, cumin and salt, to taste, in a medium bowl. This can be done a day ahead, covered and refrigerated.

Slaw:

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, honey and oil. Add to the broccoli, scallions and jalapeno and toss until well dressed. Season with salt, to taste. If using within a couple of hours, let it sit at room temperature; if making this ahead, refrigerate until ready to use.

To cook and assemble:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap the tortillas in foil.

Put the fish strips on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Put the fish and tortillas in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

While the fish is in the oven, taste the cabbage for seasoning and adjust, if needed.

Remove the fish and tortillas from the oven. Put some fish in the center of a tortilla, top with a couple of avocado slices and finish with some of the cabbage slaw. Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve.

maple baked peaches

I made this up!

3 ripe peaches, halved and pits removed
some maple syrup
some butter or Earth Balance
some cinnamon/clove/nutmeg mixture, or any one of the above

Preheat oven to 350. Put the peaches, cut side up, in a glass baking dish or on a cookie sheet or whatever. Put a sliver of butter in each hold, drizzle maple syrup on top, and sprinkle the spices over everything.

Bake for 45 minutes or until everything is melted and hot. Serve right away with ice cream or without.

Friday, August 01, 2014

cheater bechamel sauce

This is soooo cheating and also so good.

3 tbsp butter (or Earth Balance), melted
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 cup 2% milk
2 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)

Combine butter and flour in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add pressed garlic and milk to butter mixture; whisk well. Microwave, covered, on high for 3-4 minutes or until thickened, stirring every 60 seconds. Add cheese; whisk until smooth.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

soba noodle salad with chili oil

This was really delicious, and I threw the extra chili oil all over everything for a few days... stir fry, bread, etc. It's great.

chili oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 star anise pods [[I skipped because I don't have any, but it would be delicious]]
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup vegetable oil [[I used canola]]

soba salad
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces soba noodles
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar [[I used more]]
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup freshly torn cilantro leaves
[[I added some wilted spinach and half a bag of that broccoli slaw from TJ's]]

Directions:

chili oil
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Cook until the garlic and green onions begin to brown, then remove from heat and let cool completely. This can be stored in the fridge and made a few days ahead of time.

Season the chicken with the brown sugar, salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add the chicken and sear until golden brown on all sides. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cook the soba noodles as directed. When finished cooking, rinse the noodles under cold water and add them to a large bowl. Toss with the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and sesame oil. Add in the chicken, cucumber, radish and cilantro, tossing well. Serve with drizzles of the chili oil. This is also delicious once it sits in the fridge for a few hours.

mexican green goddess dressing

This apparently comes from Gwyneth Paltrow, by way of the Wednesday Chef... it has all my favorite ingredients in it and sounds totally delicious, so I wanted to save it.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

2/3 cup sheep's milk yogurt
¼ cup cilantro
2 scallions, roughly chopped
¼ cup lime juice (2-3 limes)
½ jalapeno, roughly chopped, or a drizzle of hot sauce
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until completely smooth. The dressing can be kept in a jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Can use it on a salad consisting of chopped romaine, avocado, tomatoes, canned black beans, corn (fresh if you've got it, and canned if you don't), more scallions and more cilantro.

Monday, March 10, 2014

red pepper alfredo sauce

This recipe is good for laziness -- worked well with those jarred bell peppers that I never know quite what to do with. (With what to do?)
  •     12 ounces linguine (or whatever pasta you like, or whatever else needs sauce)
  •     2 tablespoons olive oil
  •     2 cloves garlic, minced
  •     1 onion, diced
  •     1/2 cup milk
  •     1/2 cup heavy cream (I skipped this and just used more milk)
  •     4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  •     1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  •     1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, chopped (I did not bother chopping; the immersion blender took care of it)
  •     Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in milk, heavy cream, goat cheese and Parmesan until cheeses has melted, about 1-2 minutes. Add red peppers and puree with an immersion blender. Stir in pasta and gently toss to combine; season with salt and pepper, to taste.





(This makes a lot of sauce; I also threw a can of drained chickpeas into the pasta.)

Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan, if desired.

double chocolate cherry muffins

From All Recipes. I used frozen cherries, unthawed, and it worked just fine.
  •     2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  •     1 1/4 cups white sugar
  •     1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  •     2 teaspoons baking powder
  •     1 teaspoon baking soda
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1 cup sour cream
  •     1/2 cup milk
  •     1/3 cup vegetable oil
  •     2 eggs, beaten
  •     1 teaspoon almond extract
  •     1 1/2 cups fresh dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped (or frozen, unchopped, or TJ's jarred Morello cherries would probably be fine too)
  •     1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 12 jumbo (3 1/2-inch) muffin cups or line with paper baking cups.

Stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate large bowl, and make a well in the center; set aside. Whisk together the sour cream, milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and almond extract in a bowl until evenly blended. Pour the sour cream mixture into the well, then stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the cherries and chocolate chips. Spoon into prepared muffin cups, filling half full.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

crockpot chicken & rice soup

This is delicious and creamy -- I made it three times this winter. From Pinch of Yum.
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice (I used brown rice)
  • 1 pound chicken breasts (I've used both frozen and fresh; both are fine and you can't tell a difference in the final product)
  • 2 cups mirepoix (TJ's containers of mirepoix are magical and the best-spent $3 ever)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ½ cup butter (Earth Balance is fine)
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk (I've tried 2%; gotta say, the whole is better)
  • a few tablespoons white wine (optional) (I didn't do)
  • up to 2 cups additional milk or water (definitely necessary upon reheating)
  1. Rinse the wild rice. Place the uncooked wild rice, raw chicken, mirepoix, chicken broth, and poultry seasoning in a crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. The chicken should be cooked through and the rice should be soft. There will be extra liquid in the crockpot; do not drain.
  2. Using two forks, shred the chicken while still in the soup.
  3. When rice and chicken are done cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and let the mixture bubble for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the whole milk until a thick, creamy mixture forms. Stir in the wine (or not).
  4. Add this to the rice and chicken in the crockpot and stir to combine. Add extra water or milk to adjust the consistency as you like it. Season with additional salt and pepper.

Monday, December 23, 2013

brown butter salted caramel cookies

Made these for a work party -- they were great, but a little flat. Maybe a little more flour next time? But they looked pretty and tasted excellent.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, sliced
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
1 cup caramel squares, cut into 1/4's

For rolling the cookies:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Sea salt, for sprinkling on top of cookies


1. In a medium bowl, Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

2. To brown the butter, heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Add the sliced butter, whisking frequently. Continue to cook the butter until melted. The butter will start to foam and browned specks will begin to form at the bottom of the pan. The butter should have a nutty aroma. Watch the butter carefully because it can go from brown to burnt quickly. Remove butter from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown butter and sugars. Mix until blended and smooth. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt and mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

4. Form the dough in a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can chill the dough overnight.

5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Flatten the ball with the palm of your hand and place a piece of caramel in the center of the dough. Wrap the cookie dough around the caramel, making sure the caramel is completely covered with dough.

6. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls on a large baking sheet that has been lined with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Make sure the cookies are about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the cookie tops with sea salt.

7. Bake the cookies 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. The centers will still be soft. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, or until set. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.