Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Mediterranean One Pan Dinner

February 1, 2016

YES is all you need to say. 

Ingredients

1 small red onion

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes

1.25-1.5 lbs chicken, cubed (or you could do bone-in thighs)

1 14oz can of marinated artichoke hearts, quartered

1 14 oz can of white beans, drained & rinsed

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1/4 c calamata olives, pitted & chopped

8 oz fresh mozzarella or feta

6-10 fresh chopped basil leaves

MUST HAVE either fancy deelicious bread or pasta. 


Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the red onion into smaller individual slices and put on the pan with the tomatoes and EVOO and S+P.  Mix well and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes split and the red onion is soft. 

While that’s going, marinate the chicken chunks in just enough of the juice from the artichoke can to coat the chicken – you’ll want the rest later. 

While that’s sitting, chop the rest of your stuff, get the beans ready, etc. 

Cook the chicken mostly in a frying pan, set aside. 

By now your roasting should be done. Add the chicken, artichokes, beans, olives, garlic cloves to the pan and return to the oven for 7-10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. 

Remove and add cheese and basil. Serve over pasta, with bread, whatever carb you choose. 

Garden Fresh Tomato Basil Soup

October 5, 2015

When someone throws tomatoes at you, make this and pair with grilled cheese.  It’s knock-your-socks-off good and perfect for a fall football day. 

Ingredients

3 lbs fresh tomatoes, any kind (no need to seed or peel)

1 red bell pepper 

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1/2 yellow onion, diced

4 T fresh basil, chopped

2 T fresh oregano, chopped

1 T balsamic vinegar

EVOO

S+P

A pinch of sugar if your tomatoes aren’t sweet enough

1/3 – 1/2 cup of heavy cream to your liking

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 

Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Seed and cut the red pepper in half and add to the baking sheet. Drizzle with EVOO and some salt. Roast for 45 minutes. 

Cook the onion and garlic in the pot you’d eventually like the soup in.  

Add the onions, garlic, and all tomatoes to a blender or food processor and make it smooth.  

Pour back into the pot and add the herbs, balsamic vinegar, cream and S&P to taste.  You won’t even need to heat it back up.  

Serve!

From willlcookforfriends.com 

Benihana Fried Rice

September 1, 2015

Tastes exactly the same.  Exactly. The. Same. Serve with Shrimp Sauce.

Makes 4 dinner servings

Ingredients

3 cups UNcooked rice, (brown, white, quinoa or a mix of these) cooled to room temperature

4 tablespoons butter (softened)

2 garlic cloves, pasted (use 1 if you want a lighter garlic flavor)

3 eggs, beaten

2-3 chicken breasts, cubed

1⁄2 cup frozen peas, thawed (may omit)

1⁄2 cup frozen carrots, thawed

1 cup onion, diced

1⁄4 cup green onion (optional)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Directions

The rice and chicken could be pre-cooked the night before.  If you haven’t done this, start cooking the rice and bake the chicken to make things easier on yourself!

Make your garlic and butter compound. Put softened butter in a bowl large enough to allow you to mix the garlic into the butter. Needs to be well blended. Keep the bowl next to the stovetop for when you’re ready.

Scramble the eggs in a frying pan with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Then cut the cooked eggs into small pieces and put aside in a large bowl (that you’ll serve the rice in).

Sautee the onions, carrots, peas for 5 minutes in sesame oil.  When almost cooked, add 1 tablespoon of the garlic butter compound. Leave in pan.

Add 2 tablespoons of garlic butter compound and add the cooked chicken and then rice a handful at a time. Carefully stir everything together and keep adding rice until all the rice is added and well mixed together. At this time add 1 more tablespoons of the garlic butter compound. Cook rice for 5-7 minutes stirring often. 

Add the cooked eggs, stir well carefully. Now add your soy sauce. Mix well to distribute evenly. Add remaining salt and pepper to taste.

If you wish to add the toasted sesame seeds do so now and stir and serve. Since we used sesame oil in the recipe the seeds are optional.

Adapted From: http://www.food.com/recipe/best-copycat-benihana-japanese-chicken-rice-514982

Thanksgiving

February 14, 2015

Here’s what we did in 2014. It worked well, but the turkey needed to cook a bit more and the gravy was AMAZING.

This makes turkey, stuffing and gravy for 25 people.
22 lb turkey
2 c salt
2 c sugar
4 oranges, quartered
4 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
6 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs sage
4 gallons water
4 cups ice
1/2 c canola oil
2 c milk
2 c flour
1 half pound loaf of stuffing bread (half white and half sourdough or all sourdough is preferred), cubed and dried out from the air or oven
1 stick butter
2 onions, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 granny smith apples, diced
2 T chopped flat leaf parsley
3/4 lb Italian sausage, browned
1 c chicken stock
1 c Craisins

lots of S+P on hand

Day before Thanksgiving
Turkey 22lbs for about 25 people.
The night before, put the turkey in a brine. Use the blue cooler and keep ice in it as well as keeping it in the garage.
Brine:
2 c salt
2 c sugar
4 oranges, quartered
4 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
4 gallons of water
4 cups ice

Dissolve the salt and sugar in hot water over the stove. Add to the cooler and put outside to get cold. Add the rest of the water cold into the cooler. Tie up the herbs in twine so you can place them in the turkey when cooking.

Once the brine is ready in the cooler, remove the giblets and stuff. Rinse the turkey in cold water and submerge the turkey breast up until you go to bed. Just before bed, turn it breast down. Make sure it’s as submerged as you can get it.

Chop the bread and toast in the oven and leave it out.
Chop the rest of the veggies, herbs for tomorrow. Brown the sausage for the stuffing.

Thanksgiving Day!
1. 8am Remove the center rack in the oven & preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse in cold water.
3. Pat dry with paper towels while still in the sink.
4. Insert the herbs and a couple lemons and oranges into the cavity from the brine.
5. Take out a triangle of aluminum foil and fit it to the breast of the turkey for later. Grease with canola oil and set aside. 6. Grease the outside of the turkey liberally with canola oil and tuck the wings underneath.
7. 8:30am Roast the turkey at 500 degrees for 20 minutes to crisp the skin.
8. 9am Insert probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and set to 165 degrees. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and put on the aluminum breast plate.
— DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN OR TOUCH THE TURKEY until the alarm goes off–
> 12:30pm Make the stuffing: (turkey should be around 130 degrees)
Melt the stick of butter in a large pan with tall sides. Add 2 c chopped onion, celery, apples, parsley, 1 T salt and 1 t pepper. Sauté until soft, then pour that over the dried bread cubes already in a bowl. Add the sausage browned, 1 c chicken stock and 1 c craisins and mix in the bowl. Pour into a 9×13″ baking dish. Ready to go into the oven!

> Get ready for gravy time: 2 c Flour, 1 c Milk, salt, pepper, 3-4 c chicken stock and 2 stems chopped sage and 1 stem chopped rosemary ready to go.

2pm people start arriving (turkey is at about 155 degrees)

9. About 2:15pm When the turkey hits the 165 degree mark remove from the pan onto a cutting board and cover with a large aluminum foil tent for 15-20 minutes before carving.

–> 2:15pm This is when you can put in the stuffing and any other dishes that need to be warmed. Stuffing is 30 minutes at 300.

10. Take the pan drippings and put them into the gravy maker to separate. Pour the drippings with only a little fat back into the large pan over low heat (2 burners). You don’t need that much.
11. Stir in the herbs first, then thicken with flour until it’s a paste. Add the milk and stock until it’s the desired consistency and taste. S+P as necessary.

2:45pm Carve turkey, take other dishes out of oven
3pm EAT!

From:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe.html#lightbox-recipe-video
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/brined-herb-roasted-turkey-recipe.html
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/sausage-and-herb-stuffing-recipe.html

Spaghetti Squash

October 31, 2014

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds. Place in a baking dish face down with 1/2″ water in the preheated oven for about an hour.

Take them out and let them cool a bit. Use a fork to flake the ‘noodles’ out and use as you would regular pasta!

Lobstah

October 31, 2014

For those rare occasions when we cook lobster, here’s the preferred way! Buy lobster tails that are not frozen. Previously frozen is fine. Get the females and the ones with meat coming out of the tail – super tasty (says the local Costco fishmonger).

Preheat the oven to 375. If your lobsters are not defrosted in the fridge, put them in cold water for 30 min.

Use kitchen scissors to cut the top of the shell in half all the way to the tail. Crack the shell open so the meat is exposed. Separate the meat from the shell on the bottom so it lifts out easily once cooked.

Season with S+P and butter. I would also spray with a misto (EVOO) next time to make sure there are no dry edges that are missed with butter. Cook 12-18 minutes. They’re done when they’re not translucent anymore.

One of ours was pink and the other white – either way – they’re cooked! Serve with melted salted butter for dipping.

Photos and lots more to learn here: http://m.wikihow.com/Cook-Lobster-Tails

Butternut Coconut Curry Recipe

October 18, 2014
  • Prep: 35 min
    Cook time: 4 hours
    Makes 9 servings

    Ingredients

    1 small onion, chopped

    1 T EVOO

    1.5 t brown sugar

    1.2 t curry powder (or 4 T curry paste)

    1 garlic clove, minced

    1/2 t ground cinnamon

    1/4 t ground ginger

    1/8 t salt

    1 medium butternut squash (about 2.5 lbs), peeled and cubed

    1 cup chicken/veggie broth

    1 can coconut milk

    1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice, jasmine rice or quinoa (or cook separately)

    3 cooked, cubed chicken breasts

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, saute carrots and onion in oil until onion is tender. Add the brown sugar, curry, garlic, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
  2. In a 3- or 4-qt. slow cooker, combine the butternut squash, broth, coconut milk, rice and carrot mixture. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until rice is tender.

Adapted from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/butternut-coconut-curry#ixzz3GX37wGql

Chia Seed ‘Tapioca Pudding’

June 21, 2014

I just eat this plain…with a straw.

Makes 2-3 servings.

2 c unsweetened milk
1/2 c chia seeds
1/2 t vanilla extract
1.5 T pure maple syrup or honey
Topping: seasonal fruit or nuts as desired. Blueberries and sliced almonds anyone??

Directions: stir together until it thickens a little, let sit for 4 hours or more. Stir again.

Keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.

From: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/healthy-and-delicious-chia-seed-recipes

RIBS!

May 10, 2014

Good for beef or pork ribs. Soooo good.

Ingredients
4 lbs pork ribs
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon hickory smoke salt (I used regular salt, all was good)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes
2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce (recommended: Sweet Baby Ray)

Directions
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Peel off tough membrane that covers the bony side of the ribs.

Mix together the sugar and spices to make the rub and apply on all sides.

Lay ribs on two layers of foil, shiny side out and meaty side down.Lay two layers of foil on top of ribs and roll and crimp edges tightly, edges facing up to seal. Bake for 2-2 1/2 hours or until meat is starting to shrink away from the ends of the bone. Remove from oven.

Heat broiler. Cut ribs into serving sized portions of 2 or 3 ribs.Arrange on broiler pan, bony side up, brush on sauce. Broil for 1 or 2 minutes until sauce is cooked on and bubbly.

Turn ribs over. Repeat on other side. Alternately, you can grill the ribs on your grill to cook on the sauce.

From: http://www.food.com/recipe/beths-melt-in-your-mouth-barbecue-ribs-oven-107786?oc=linkback

Quiche

April 12, 2014

This is great for bringing to friends that need a meal.

Ingredients
Stuff that goes into the eggs (you can sub whatever you want, most people do cubed ham and cheese but personally that bores me).
6 strips bacon
1/2 onion diced
1/2 red pepper diced
1/2 t diced garlic
2 handfuls of fresh spinach and some kind of cheese (1/3 cup).
14 Eggs
2 cups heavy cream
S+P
Crust: I used 1 sheet of puff pastry that was in my freezer, but you can make your own or get a pie crust from the grocery store (frozen). In the last case you would only do 6 eggs and dial it back on the bacon, etc.
Pan: 9×11″

Directions
Cook the and chop the bacon.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Make sure you leave a little grease to sauté the onion and pepper for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic and spinach and cook until wilted (less than a minute!). Transfer to a bowl to cool in the fridge.

Put your crust in the 9×11″ pan. Spray any place where the crust doesn’t cover where you think the eggs may touch. Put the sautéed goodies (that have cooled) and cheese in the bottom.

Stir up the eggs, cream and S+P and pour over your crust and goodies. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the middle does not jiggle.

Freezes, refrigerates and transfers well.