Running with kitchen shears.

breakfast, lunch, dinner, cupcakes, tastiness.

We did not do “The Chicken Dance” at our wedding. March 30, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 12:04 pm
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Roast Chicken with Vegetables

-8 whole carrots, scrubbed clean
-1 tsp. black pepper
-2 medium size yellow onions
-1 Tbs. dried rosemary
-8 small white or red potatoes (about 1 1/2″ in diameter), scrubbed clean
-1 whole chicken, about 3 1/2 lbs.
-3 tsp. kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Cut the carrots crosswise into 1 1/2″-long pieces. Cut the thicker pieces in half lengthwise as well. Peel each onion and cut into quarters. Leave the potatoes whole and unpeeled. Scatter the carrots, onions and potatoes on the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking or roasting pan. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp. of the salt and 1/2 tsp. of the pepper over them, and crumble the rosemary in your hand on top.

3. Remove the giblet and various other icky (in my opinion) parts, which are usually in a package inside the cavity of the chicken. Discard of refrigerate to use later. If there is a pale-yellow chunk of fat on either side of the cavity, pull or cut it off and discard. Hold the chicken under cold running water and rinse it inside and out. Shake off escess water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. of pepper over the outside of the chicken, rubbing them all over the skin. Set the chicken, the breast side facing up, on top of some of the vegetables, with the remaining ones surrounding the bird. Insert a dial-type (not instant read) thermometer into the breast, taking care that the rod of the thermometer does not touch any bones.

4. Put the chicken in the center of the oven. After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and, using a large spoon, turn over the vegetables that surround the chicken (don’t worry about the ones under it). Return the pan to the oven. After 30 more minutes, take the chicken out of the oven to check for doneness. Insert the tip of a small paring knife into the meat of the thigh where it attaches to the body. If the juices that run out are pink, the chicken needs to continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes. If the juices are clear, it’s done. The meat thermometer should show a temperature of 170 to 180 degrees when the chicken is done.

5. Carve the chicken. Scoop the vegetables out of the roasting pan and onto a serving platter. Remove the fat from the pan juices. Arrange the cut chicken pieces on top of vegetables, spoon some pan juices over chicken and vegetables, and serve.

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This one’s a bit involved, but SO worth the effort. The skin is crispy and delicious, and the chicken is so juicy.

I kept getting distracted by My Name is Earl while trying to prep the chicken. It was the one where Joy gets married. I don’t know why I was watching it in the first place.

If you have a Pyrex brand dial thermometer, do NOT use it. I made that mistake and discovered that the cover for the dial is not Pyrex, as one would assume (or at least as I -possibly stupidly-did), but melty, melty plastic.

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Many minis.

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 11:48 am
Tags: , , ,

Mini Crab Cakes

-1 lb. fresh or packaged crabmeat
-1/2 sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and very finely diced
-3 scallions, trimmed and chopped
-2 eggs
-1/3 c. light mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman’s brand)
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. black pepper
-1/4 tsp. dried tarragon, crumbled
-1 c. yellow cornmeal
-6 Tbs. vegetable oil

-Remoulade, recipe follows (or just purchased tartar sauce if you prefer!)

1. Pick through crabmeat in a medium-size bowl to remove and pieces of shell or cartiledge. Stir in red pepper, scallion, eggs, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and tarragon. Add 1/2 c. of the cornmeal; place remaining cornmeal in a small bowl. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes.

2. Using 2 Tbs. mixture for each, form twenty-four 2″ crab cake patties. Shape with your hands, then coat patties with remaining cornmeal.

3. Heat 3 Tbs. of the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Cook 12 of the crab cakes for 3 minutes. Flip over; continue to cook an additional 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining 3 Tbs. of oil and remaining 12 crab cakes. Place on paper towels before serving with remoulade.

Remoulade

Stir together 1/2 c. light mayonnaise, 1 Tbs. chopped capers, 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, 2 tsp. pickle relish, 2 tsp. sugar and a dash of hot-pepper sauce. 

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I love these-they’re so cute! I had been craving crab cakes for a while but couldn’t bring myself to visit Joe’s Crab Shack. Last time I made these, I didn’t chop the red bell pepper finely enough and ended up with crab cakes that didn’t stick together like I wanted them to because of the too-big chunks of pepper. My pan is too small, so I made these in 3 batches instead of 2. I’m totally serving these at the next party I have.

 

Easy peasy.

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 11:36 am
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Pasta with Green Peas and Scallions

-2 Tbs. butter
-1/4 c. dry white wine
-1 c. chicken broth
-1 1/4 c. frozen green peas, defrosted in microwave
-3/4 c. chopped fresh scallions, including tender green parts
-1/2 lb. bowtie pasta
-kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat the butter in a large skillet and add the dry white wine. Cook for several minutes until the wine thickens and deglazes the pan. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

2. Add the peas and scallions, turn the heat to high for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.

3. Cook the pasta until al dente; drain and return to the pan in which it cooked. Add the chicken broth and green pea sauce, along with the mint, salt and pepper to taste (I like a LOT of pepper, personally). Toss well and serve.

Makes 3 to 4 servings.

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I absolutely love this recipe. It’s tasty, simple, and…I really have a thing for pasta dishes with peas. J didn’t even complain about the lack of meat (although you could add in leftover cooked chicken if you liked)! I believe that I may do this with vegetarian broth next time and see if it’s just as good (which I’m assuming it would be). This was enough for dinner for 2 and lunch the next day-it’s just as delicious enjoyed cold.

 

Shameless plugs…for a good reason! March 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mox. @ 7:32 pm

www.freerice.com

You can give the gift of food by using your brain and not your wallet!

www.strength.org

If you have time or money and need something to do with it, you should check out Share Our Strength in the fight to end childhood hunger.

 

Pork chops and apples(auce).

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 7:27 pm
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Apple Glazed Pork Chops

-2 tsp. vegetable oil
-1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
-1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. pepper
-1 lb. boneless center-cut pork chops
-1 small sweet yellow onion
-1 tart red apple (Jonathan), cored and thinly sliced
-1 tart green apple (Granny Smith), cored and thinly sliced
-3/4 c. apple juice
-2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper and sprinkle evenly over both sides of chops. Cut onion into 16 to 20 nearly paper-thin wedges. Cook pork chops and onions in oil until chops are well browned on both sides, 7 to 9 minutes.

2. Add apples and apple juice to skillet. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes or until pork and apples are tender. Remove chops to warm serving platter. With a slotted spoon, lift apples and onions from skillet, leaving drippings, and arrange around pork.

3. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook juices, uncovered, until they have reduced to about half of original volume, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook, uncovered, 1 minute. Spoon sauce over pork, apples and onions.

Makes 4 servings.
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J, whose job it is to pick out the onions at the grocery store, does not believe in small onions. Due to this, we usually end up with more onion that intended. The point I’m getting at is that I used a little more onion than the recipe called for. Had I realized the onion/apple relationship before making this recipe, I probably would have stuck it in the recycling bin, dooming it to a life of obscurity because I was afraid to make it. Turns out that the “marriage” of apple and onion is delicious.

 

MANicotti

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 7:12 pm
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Manicotti

– 1 (1o oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed
-1/2 tsp. Kosher salt, plus more for salting pasta water
-12 manicotti shells
-3 c. marinara sauce, recipe follows
-1 1/2 c. ricotta cheese (about 1 lb.)
-1 cup mozzarella cheese (about 4 oz.)
-1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-2 large eggs, lightly beaten
-Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
-Freshly ground pepper
-2 tsp. unsalted butter, diced

1.Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, and season generously with salt. Cook the pasta shells until al dente. Drain and pat dry.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cover the bottom of a 9×13″ ovenproof baking dish with 1 c. of the marinara sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, evenly combine the ricotta, mozzarella, and 1/3 c. of the Parmesan, the eggs, and the spinach. Season with the 1/2 tsp. sal, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Spoon the cheese mixture into the manicotti shell and line them up in the baking dish. Cover with the remaining sauce. Scatter the remaining cheese on top and dot with the butter.

3. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Marinara Sauce

-2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
-1/4 medium onion, diced (about 3 Tbs.)
-3 cloves garlic, chopped
-3 1/2 c. whole, peeled, canned tomatoes in puree (one 28 oz. can), roughly chopped
-sprig of fresh thyme
-sprig of fresh basil (the basil around here has looked like utter ass lately, so I’ve been skipping it in most recipes unless ABSOLUTELY necessary)
-2 Tsp. kosher salt
-freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the herb sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

2. Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste. Use now, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

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Pardon my absence-life’s been busy/crazy and I’ve been down with a sunburn this past week. That’s right-a sunburn. I’m a member of a race of super-pasty red-haired mutants that are weak against the sun’s rays. I’m better now, although my back is all peely and gross.

Manicotti seems to be a universal guy favorite (at least every guy I’ve ever known). J loved this, even though I tore a few of the manicotti shells while stuffing them. He threatened to burn all my flip flops if I got rid of this recipe. The marinara sauce was delicious. I really liked this meal.