Category Archives: Recipes

Show-Stopper Roast Chicken

There is nothing more impressive to guests, or your stomach, than a perfectly roasted chicken. What seems like a complicated feat is actually one of the easiest and best recipes to have in your repertoire. This particular recipe is great to serve to your special guy (can you say new *engagement chicken!?) because it is wrapped in BACON! Who doesn’t love bacon? Ok, my roommate doesn’t like bacon, but I don’t need to make this for her. But any single, hungry guys out there are welcome to come over for dinner!
But seriously, how amazing does that look? Lets get into making it. You will need the following ingredients:
1 roasting chicken, about 6 lbs
Kosher salt and pepper
1 bunch of fresh thyme
4 lemons
3 heads of garlic cut in half
2 tablespoons of melted butter
1/2 lbs of sliced bacon
1 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of chicken stock
First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove chicken giblets (anything inside of the chicken) and rinse the entire chicken both inside and out. Pat the outside dry and place the chicken in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken and stuff the cavity with the thyme (saving enough to garnish the dish later), 1 halved lemon, and 2 halves of garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string (or, if you are like me and forget to buy kitchen string every time you go to the store, don’t tie them) and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Quarter 2 of the remaining lemons and place around the chicken with the rest of the garlic. Lastly, lay slices of bacon over chicken until it is covered (this is obviously the best part!).

Put chicken in the oven and roast for 1 hour. After this time, remove the bacon from the chicken and set aside. Finishing roasting the chicken for another 1/2 hour, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh. When the chicken is done, set aside and cover to keep warm so you can make the gravy.

Using the fat drippings at the bottom of the roasting pan, add the wine and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until reduced by half.

Everything is now ready to come together! Place the chicken on a nice serving dish and garnish with the bacon, roasted garlic, reserved fresh thyme, and the remaining lemon sliced. Serve the gravy on the side and enjoy!

As you can see above, I served the chicken with sides of sautéed zucchini and small roasted potatoes. The zucchini is one of my go-to vegetable sides that is easy to make and very delicious. The cute little potatoes are also great with the chicken because not only are the tasty (and of course every good chicken meal needs a potato side) but they are fun to eat because they are so small! When making small potatoes like this, the key is to buy them all in similar size so they cook evenly.

Slice up the chicken, load up the plates, and enjoy! I lucked out and the chicken breasts were perfectly juicy and moist. Ladle some gravy on your plate for a little extra flavor (I found it to be dominantly wine flavored, which I enjoyed). This simple but delicious meal will wow guests and provide ample leftovers for you to enjoy later! Enjoy your Show-Stopper Roast Chicken!

*For those of you who don’t know what engagement chicken is, it basically is a simple but amazing recipe for roast chicken. The story goes that a girl who makes this roast chicken for her significant other will soon after be proposed to because it is just that good. Hence, engagement chicken!
**This recipe is my version of Ina Garten’s Lemon & Garlic Roast Chicken
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Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Potatoes are a great go-to side dish for almost any meal. Everyone always loves a good starch. I find that a personal favorite, and crowd pleaser, is garlic smashed potatoes. The first question you are likely asking yourself is, “What’s the difference between mashed and smashed?” Well, the big difference affects both the texture and aesthetic of the dish. When making smashed potatoes, you leave the skin of the potatoes on and then mash, as opposed to peeling them. This adds an extra layer of texture that contradicts the creamy-smooth potatoes, and also a nice bright color (if you use red potatoes).

The recipe is super easy and doesn’t take much work at all, and the ingredients are as follows:

1 head of garlic

EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

2 lbs of red potaotes

Salt and pepper

5 tablespoons of butter

1/3 cup of milk

First things first, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Take the garlic and slice off the top of the head. Drizzle the garlic with EVOO, wrap in tin foil, and bake in the oven about 30 minutes or until tender and fragrant. Slicing the top off helps the garlic roast better, and makes it easier to remove the cloves from the skin.

Clean the potatoes and quarter them. Put potatoes in a pot filled with cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain and put back in the pot (by returning to pot you now have an easy place to mash!). Add the garlic to potatoes and mash.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the butter until it is melted. Add melted butter and milk to the potatoes and mash up together. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste. Then actually taste it! The most important part of getting a recipe right is tasting it. Depending on what you like, you may want to add more butter or milk. Garnish with a tad of parsley (optional) and serve!


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Maple-Glazed Pork Chops

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Ingredients

·         4 teaspoons ancho chili powder

·         1 teaspoon kosher salt

·         6 (10-ounce) center cut bone-in pork chops, about 1-inch thick

·         2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

·         3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

·         1/2 cup butter maple syrup

·         1/2 cup chicken stock

·         Pecans, toasted and chopped, optional garnish

Directions

In a small bowl, combine the chili powder and salt and sprinkle evenly over both sides of the pork chops.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook until desired doneness, about for 4 to 6 minutes.

In a small skillet, over medium-high heat, add the balsamic vinegar and cook until reduced by half. Stir in the maple syrup and chicken stock. Cook over medium heat until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the maple syrup. Garnish with toasted pecans, if desired.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/maple-glazed-pork-chops-recipe/index.html

These pork chops are to die for! Super delicious and goes with almost anything as sides. A great note about this dish is that if you cannot eat regular maple syrup you can use sugar free maple syrup instead. If you do, be sure to keep an eye on the sauce because it will burn much faster than regular maple syrup. I did not use the garnish but I am sure it would be good if you like nuts. For sides with these pork chops I made roasted asparagus and roasted potatoes.

Roasted Potatoes

Ingrediants:

3 small red potatoes per person

salt and pepper

olive oil

parsley

basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut potatoes in halves or quarters. Toss all ingredients together. Lay out on baking sheet and roast in oven for about 30 minutes or until browned.

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Oven Roasted Red Snapper with Tomatoes and Black Olives

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Ingredients:

Red Snapper Fillets

Can of Crushed Tomatoes

Can of Black Olives

Any seasoning you like such as Dried Basil, Dried Oregano, Dried Parsley, Salt, Pepper, and Dried Thyme

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place Red Snapper in a glass baking dish. Season fish, pour can of tomatoes over fish, and add more seasoning. Spread olives over top. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes until fish is cooked through.

This is a great fish dish. Very flavorful, and you can season it as much as you want. Serve with rice pilaf and a fresh vegetable for a nice meal. This recipe is very simple and most people will like it because it does not have a strong fishy flavor.

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Sweet-n-Sour Pork Chops

Ingredients

·         1 tablespoon sesame oil

·         Salt  and ground  black pepper

·         4 (4-ounce) boneless pork loin chops

·         1 cup apricot preserves

·         2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

·         1/4 cup chopped scallions

Directions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork chops all over with salt and black pepper and add to hot pan. Cook chops 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Add apricot preserves, soy sauce and ginger and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer 5 minutes, until pork is cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in scallions.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robin-miller/sweet-n-sour-pork-chops-recipe/index.html

Sautéed Bok Choy

1 head of bok choy (baby is better if you can find it)

Soy Sauce

Sesame Oil

Directions

Add a tablespoon or so of oil in a heated skillet. Place bok choy in pan let cook. Add some soy sauce for flavor, and let bok choy brown a little.

The original pork chop recipe called for ginger but I do not like ginger so I left it out. These pork chops are phenomenal! Sweet, juicy, and tender. Depending on how thick the chops are, they will most likely require a longer cooking time than mentioned above. Be careful not to add the apricot preserves too early because it will burn if you let it cook too long. As a side dish I made sautéed bok choy which is really delicious and goes along with the Asian theme. If you want a starch to go along with these meal, some sort of Asian noodles would be a wonderful addition!

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Meatballs

MEATBALLS

Ground meat

Parsley

Oregano

Garlic powder

Basil

Pepper

Italian bread crumbs

Mix together with hands and shape into balls. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

This recipe is simple and delicious! For tender, juicy meatballs, place meatballs in a saucepan with the tomato sauce and let simmer before serving. The meatballs will absorb some of the sauce flavor. This dish is a crowd pleaser!

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Latkes (Potato Pancakes)

LATKES!!!

Yummy, who doesn’t love a Hannukah treat? This is my own recipe for latkes which is very much a guesstimation. You can easily play with this recipe to make it your own!

1 large onion

8 large russet potatoes

1 or 2 beaten eggs

salt and pepper

vegetable oil

Wash and peel all the potatoes. In a large bowl, grate the potatoes. Peel onion and grate into same large bowl. Add 1 or 2 beaten eggs to help hold together the latkes. Add salt and pepper to taste (don’t be afraid to use a generous amount of salt because you usually can’t taste it very much). Mix it up and taste the mixture, it should taste as it will once fried (so you can adjust the seasoning). In a large skillet, heat up some vegetable oil. Using your hands, take the mixture and make patties about the size of your palm. If you want them crispier, make them thinner. If you want them moister in the middle, make them plumper. Place patties in skillet and fry until golden brown. The longer you leave the the latke in the pan, the crisper it will be. Serve with apple sauce and enjoy!

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Aunt Sandra’s Stuffing

My Aunt Sandra’s Stuffing

5 lbs onions

6 or more cloves of garlic

1 lbs white button mushrooms

1 box sourdough bread stuffing mix

1 bunch fresh dill

2 eggs

Chicken stock

Basil

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Cut onions into small pieces and saute with a drop of olive oil. Cook for until transluscent and add chopped garlic and salt and pepper. Saute for another 5 minutes then set mixture aside.

Cut mushrooms into quarters. Either reusing the same pan or in a new pan add more olive oil and saute with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms get juicy.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the box of stuffing mix, mushrooms, and onion mixture. Add 2 eggs, chopped dill, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix everything together using hands. Add a splash of chicken stock to keep the mixture moist. Taste the mixture- it should taste how it will be once cooked. Adjust seasoning as needed.

In a large baking dish, sprinkle some olive oil on the bottom of the pan. Spread the Stuffing mixture in the pan. In a 350 degree oven, let the mixture bake for anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. The longer you let it bake, the crunchier the top will become.

 

 

This stuffing recipe is extremely delicious. My Aunt Sandra has been making it for as long as I can remember. It easily feeds 30 people. It is moist and full of flavor and very savory. Goes well with anything served at Thanksgiving dinner!

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Roasted Root Vegetables

Happy Thanksgiving!

Above is a photo of part of my family’s Thanksgiving dinner spread. Directly to the right of the turkey is the roasted root vegetables I made. It is super easy to make and is great for feeding many people. Another great thing is that you can easily pick and choose what you put into the dish.

Roasted Root Vegetables

Baby carrots

Parsnips

Small red potatoes

Whole garlic cloves

Rutabaga

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Parsley for garnish

Use as much of each vegetable as you desire

Cut all bigger vegetables into 1 inch chunks. Spread throughout a roasting pan and sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss vegetables. Roast in oven at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes or until tender. Garnish with parsley.

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Greek Shrimp & Couscous

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Ingredients

·         1 (10-ounce) package couscous

·         2 teaspoons olive oil

·         1 pound frozen shrimp, thawed, peeled and de-veined

·         1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes  with green pepper and onion, drained

·         1/2 cup Greek black olives, pitted and chopped

·         1 tablespoon dried mint leaves

·         1 teaspoon garlic and herb seasoning

·         1 teaspoon dried oregano

·         Salt  and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium saucepan, cook couscous according to package directions. In a separate pan, add olive oil and shrimp. Add tomatoes, olives, mint, garlic and herb seasoning, and oregano. Simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes to cook shrimp and heat through. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Pour over couscous and serve.

Recipe from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robin-miller/greek-shrimp-and-couscous-recipe/index.html

This was very delicious and simple. I made this dinner with my roomate and we both enjoyed it. We used a can of diced tomatoes but not with peppers and onion. As a side dish we had roasted broccoli which is very simple.

Broccoli:

Cut broccoli into small pieces and spread out on a baking sheet. Drizzle EVOO and sea salt or kosher salt over broccoli and put in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until done to your liking (personally, I think it is best when it is slightly burned).

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