Day two we elected to try one of the many new restaurants in Disney Springs, Homecomin’. The house specialties are moonshine and fried chicken.
We decided to start with drinks and fried green tomatoes. The drinks arrived quickly, I had a Muleshine in respect of the specialty and my husband opted for the Basil Smash. Both were good drinks, but slightly sweet.
The fried green tomatoes were simply awesome with a salad of spinach, watercress, and arugula.
My husband and I split the hangar steak cooked medium rare with a side of Southern coke slaw. The steak was cooked perfectly and they split the plate for us (just nice). Good call by the chef, the menu said asparagus and there was none on the plate; it’s out of season and would not have been as good as the tender zucchini. The slaw was crisp and fresh, but with it being Southern slaw, I was expecting a hint if jalapeño; definitely good, but no heat at all.
My boys had two different fried chicken meals, the famous fried chicken and fried chicken with doughnuts. The seasoning was good, the skin was amazing, but the chicken itself was a touch on the dry side. The mashed potatoes were creamy and buttery. My son said that the doughnuts tasted as if they were fresh from the apple orchard. (If you are not from Michigan, that is high praise.)
So, in summary, it was a good option for our late lunch/early dinner, the ingredients were clearly fresh and high quality. It won’t make my list of favorites, but it’s certainly an alternative for classic Southern food at Disney.
My motivation for dinners come from several places, tonight it was from a Facebook post my husband shared with me earlier in the week. It was almost correct and I immediately replied to the post with a few suggestions including the omission of garlic powder in favor of garlic cloves. When I went to cook it today, I realized that the recipe didn’t match the video and ultimately I made a few other changes. The recipe below includes all of the edits.
I began with prep work, ending with the chicken.
The cooking is very simple, starting with the garlic and shallots.
Followed by the chicken after setting aside the shallots.
I had also started the water for the pasta.
When I set aside the chicken, I started the pasta and the cream sauce.
1½ cups parmesan cheese, plus additional for topping
½-1 lb. farfalle (bowtie) pasta
Drain the sun dried tomatoes and reserve the oil. Slice the tomatoes into thin strips and set aside.
Season the chicken well with the salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
In a large skillet heat the reserved olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the smashed garlic and sliced shallot (if using) and cook until the garlic is fragrant or the shallots are crispy, remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Discard the garlic.
Cook the chicken in the oil on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes, until browned and cooked until no longer pink in center. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil, and cook pasta as directed.
Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.
Add the heavy cream, chicken broth, and minced garlic. Whisk over medium high heat until it starts to thicken, then add parmesan and continue to stir.
Add the shallots, sundried tomatoes, and spinach and let it simmer until the spinach starts to wilt.
Add the chicken back to the pan and then the pasta stirring to combine.
My husband saw this video on Facebook and recommended it as good food for watching bowl games. I decided it was most of a good recipe and went with it.
I got out most of my ingredients (managed to forget to put the Doritos and paprika in the pic). And started chopping my vegetables. I had already decided that I wouldn’t bake my filling, I don’t for fajitas… I started with the onions, and while they cooked I chopped the peppers and green onions. I added poblano peppers with the bell peppers for added flavor.
Once the onions were soft, I added the peppers to the skillet with a bit of cumin for flavor. I only let these cook until the peppers just started to soften. While they cooked, I peeled my garlic and sliced then seasoned my chicken.
I set aside the onions and peppers in a large bowl and then used my now nicely seasoned pan to sauté the garlic and once fragrant I added and cooked the chicken until it was just cooked through.
I added the chicken to the vegetables and stirred them together with the lime juice.
I layered the items in my cast iron skillet as the recipe indicated with a couple of modifications: Doritos instead of tortilla chips and salsa instead of tomatos. Amazingly it all fit!
I popped it in the oven as directed – perfect!
I served it with guacamole and sour cream. Chicken Fajita Crunchwrap
1 small tortilla wrap (or an additional large wrap)
3 cups cheddar, grated
~2-3 handfuls Doritos
1 bunch green onion, thinly sliced
2-4 tbsp. salsa
Heat ~2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat in a large non-stick skillet, when hot, sauté the onions until they are tender. Then, add in the peppers with ¼ teaspoon of cumin. Continue until the peppers just begin to soften then set aside in a bowl.
While the vegetables cook, season the chicken with salt, the remaining cumin, cayenne pepper, ancho chili pepper, and paprika.
In the same skillet, heat an additional 1 Tbsp. olive oil and then sauté the garlic until just fragrant. Add the seasoned chicken and remove from the heat when just fully cooked and stir into the vegetables with the lime juice.
Grease a large cast iron skillet with oil and lay down 5 of your tortillas, overlapping, in a flower formation. Put the smaller wrap in the center.
Layer 1½ cups cheese, half of the chicken mixture, and then the doritos. Flatten the doritos gently with your hand and continue to layer the remaining chicken mixture, green onions, salsa, and the rest of the cheese. Place a final wrap on top in the center and fold the rest of the wraps over. Bake for 30 minutes at 375°F.
I have always loved squash, as much as my sister hates it, so when it’s in season we tend to use it frequently. Stuffed squash is a great option for aqorn squash because you have your whole meal in one dish.
This recipe makes enough filling for 3-4 squash, I only make two (1/2 squash for each of us) and I bake the additional filling for leftovers. I start with cooking the barley and roasting the squash halves (seeds removed) with the cut side down until they are fork tender.
While they roast, I prepare the filling.
We prefer a bit of spice, so I use a seeded poblano pepper, but you could substitute with a green bell pepper for a milder flavor.
The chopped sage lends another element of fall flavor.
The sweet onion I simply chop in the food processor.
Last I dice the chicken. I use The same cutting board throughout, by doing the chicken last I prevent contaminating the vegetables with the raw chicken.
Sauté the chicken, onion, and peppers together until the chicken is starting to cook.
Then add salt, pepper, the sage, and cooked barley; continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through.
By this point the squash will be done, flip them over and fill them with the stuffing. Set any extra in a baking dish.
1 pound chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into small pieces
½ cup onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 tsp sage, dried
Salt and pepper, optional
4 Tbsp herbed goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Bring the chicken stock and barley to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until tender, about 50-60 minutes.
Scoop the seeds from each squash half and place, cut sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet or a baking dish sprayed with olive oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until flesh is tender. Remove from oven and flip to cut side up.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chicken, onion, poblano pepper, and saute 3 minutes. Add sage, salt and pepper, to taste, and cooked barley and stir to coat. Cook, stirring constantly, until chicken is cooked through and mixture is well-combined.
Spoon barley mixture into each halved squash then top with goat cheese. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned.
Notes: Quick cooking barley can be substituted to save time, if using:
Heat 2 cups chicken stock in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the barley and simmer until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Today I am going to write as I cook, I don’t know if it’s going to work, but I’m hopeful. My husband found a recipe for chicken packets wrapped in parchment. The idea sounded good but the flavor was weak. I started with 5 chicken breasts and made a marinade in a ziplock bag with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced oregano, minced garlic, pepper flakes, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon. Then I let it sit while I did the other prep work.
I cut the parchment paper in large pieces (~14 x 10″), sliced the shallots, zucchini, chopped the olives, and chopped the tomatoes.
Then I used spoons to hold the parchment open and layered the chicken, shallots, olives, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and zucchini, then drizzled the pile with a bit of olive oil.
I twisted the parchment tightly around the edges to seal them and placed them on rimmed cookie sheets. They only took 15 minutes in my oven and were perfect.
The sauce at the bottom was delicious.
Lemon Garlic Chicken Packets
Makes Serves 4 ∙ Source: The Stacey Bistro
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzle
Zest of ½ lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp coriander
⅛ tsp pepper flakes
Dash of cinnamon
½ tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 cup pitted mixed olives, coarsely chopped
1 handful cherry tomatoes, diced
1 cup quartered marinated artichoke hearts
2 small zucchini, cut in half then sliced
Parchment paper, cut in large pieces (~14 x 10″)
Preheat the oven to 450°F with the rack in the middle.
In a ziplock bag, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, oregano, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
Add the chicken and marinate for 10 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Open up the parchment pieces and lay them flat. Then I used spoons to hold the parchment open and layered each with the chicken, shallots, olives, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and zucchini, then at the end drizzle each pile with a bit of olive oil.
I folded the other half of the parchment over and twisted the parchment tightly around the edges to seal them and placed them on rimmed cookie sheets.
Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken registers an internal cooking temperature of 165°F. (Use a meat thermometer, poke through the paper.)
This past week, both of my son’s lacrosse games interfered with karate, so I wanted to ensure that I had some time for myself to practice on my own. I selected a meal that would require minimal effort, and with snow flurries randomly appearing through the day I also wanted to stay inside – it’s May this is crazy!
Roasted chicken is certainly one of the easist meals to make, while it can be as simple as salt, pepper, and butter, I selected one with artichokes and lemon and updated it with some cremini mushrooms.
As usual, my first task was dessert, Strawberry Pazzo Cake With Herbed Crème Fraîche. The topping is best if you let the rosemary meld with the Crème Fraîche for at least 4 hours in the fridge; the sugar is the other ingredient for the topping, but it isn’t used until you whip it.
Mix it all together and let it chill in the fridge.
And then onto the dinner drink – my husband made sangria.
I hope you’re fans of my favorite school, but if not you are forgiven. The ingredients we show here are more suggestions than. Any sort of a fixed recipe. I don’t think it’s ever the same…
We always strain the juice when adding it to the pitcher on top of the sliced fruit.
Some simple syrup and cranberry juice add some sweetness. (We do normally make our own simple syrup; I really wanted a margarita on Cinco de Mayo and he said he didn’t have time).
Everything goes into the pitcher, and again, this is best if you prepare it at least a few hours in advance.
Final, after my practice I moved onto dinner. The first thing to make is the Gremolata (in layman’s terms: lemon garlic herb butter) and for that I had softened my butter earlier.
Note the pictures have double what the ingredients call for in the recipe below; I am using the extra chicken to make sandwiches later in the week.
This is my standard tool for zesting a lemon, the important thing is not to get the white pith, which is bitter, in your zest. The garlic and the zest go on top of the butter.
And then it was time to clean and chop the parsley and add it to the butter mix.
Add salt and pepper.
To really flavor a chicken, it is good to get your mix above and below the skin; for best results dry the skin with paper towels. I placed both chickens in my large cast iron skillet.
For the butter that will go on the chicken, I put it in a separate bowl so that I could repeatedly stick my hands in it and not get any of us sick.
And then I thoroughly salted and peppered the skin.
I used canned artichoke hearts which need to be rinsed well, and I cut them in half.
I surrounded the chicken with the artichoke hearts and set it in the oven.
I also prepped the cremini mushrooms and the rest of the parsley to add later.
Back to dessert…I cleaned and halved a pound of strawberries.
As with many cakes, you first mix the dry ingredients.
And cream soft butter with two kinds of sugar.
And then add the wet ingredients.
Finally, mix in the dry ingredients.
The batter is poured into the pan and then you press the halved strawberries down into the batter and then it goes into the oven.
While it baked, I prepped my asparagus and basted the chicken.
With only 20 minutes left on the chicken, I added the mushrooms and the parsley and stirred them into the artichokes.
As it continued to cook, I made the balsamic glaze for the cake; still simple, it has three ingredients boiled together.
And immediately after the cake comes out of the oven, 2/3 of the glaze goes directly onto the cake (do not over bake it!).
Time for dinner and a glass of the sangria. Serve over ice (especially in the summer).
My mother-in-law made another beautiful salad.
And dinner is served.
Just before serving dessert I whipped the Rosemary crème fraîche with a heaping teaspoon of sugar. It. Will still be very thick, just beat it to stiff peaks to avoid making butter. To serve, drizzle with the remaining glaze.
Roast Chicken with Artichokes and Gremolata Butter
½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, chopped, divided
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 4-5 pound chicken
1½-2 cans artichoke hearts, halved
8 oz. cremini mushrooms
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix butter, ¼ cup chopped parsley, lemon peel, and pressed garlic in small bowl to blend. Season butter mixture with salt and pepper.
Place chicken on heavy large rimmed baking sheet; pat dry with paper towels. Gently slide hand under chicken breast skin to loosen from meat. Spread 2 tablespoons seasoned butter under skin and 1 tablespoon over chicken; sprinkle skin with salt and pepper. Arrange artichokes around chicken and transfer to oven; roast chicken 40 minutes, basting halfway through.
Add mushrooms and ¼ cup parsley to artichokes around chicken; baste with drippings. Continue roasting until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°F, about 25 minutes longer. Remove chicken to a cutting board for carving and stir in remaining butter and lemon juice into the artichokes and mushrooms. Carve chicken and top artichoke mushroom mix.
Cakes, Cheesecakes, Desserts, Tested and Approved!
Makes Serves 8 ∙ Difficulty Hard ∙ Source Epicurious | June 2013
1¾ cups Crème Fraîche
1 Tbsp rosemary, freshly minced
1-2 tsp. suar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more to grease the pan
1½ cups all purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp coarse sea salt, preferably gray salt
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries, fresh, hulled and halved
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
4 tsp granulated sugar
black pepper, a few grinds of fresh
For the Crème Fraîche:
Stir together the crème fraîche and the herbs. Refrigerate and let sit for 30 minutes or overnight.
For the Cake:
Butter a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or 8-by-8-inch enameled cast-iron baking pan (if cooking in the grill) or standard 8-by-8-inch baking pan (if baking in your oven). (Don’t put a standard baking pan inside your grill or over a fire.) Ignite the coals, turn a gas grill to high, or preheat an oven to 350°F.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed until the mixture looks creamy, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the egg, milk, and vanilla and mix just until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until smooth with a creamy texture.
Pour the batter into the buttered pan. Arrange the strawberry halves, cut-side down, on top of the cake batter. Don’t overlap the berries; use just enough strawberries for one layer and set aside the rest to use as garnish
TO BAKE IN A GRILL: When the grill reaches 350°F, slide in the cake, resting the pan on the grill rack, close the grill’s lid and let it bake for at least 20 minutes with the grill lid closed. Test the cake: It’s done when a skewer inserted into the center (but not in a strawberry) comes out clean and the cake is golden brown on top.
TO BAKE IN AN OVEN: Bake for 10 minutes and then decrease the heat to 325°F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes. The cake is done when a skewer inserted into the center (but not in a strawberry) comes out clean and the cake is golden brown on top.
For the Glaze: While the cake is baking, in a small pan combine the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and black pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and remove from the heat right away. Set it aside until the cake has baked. It should be the consistency of maple syrup; if it thickens too much before the cake comes out of the oven, stir in a few more spoonfuls of vinegar. As soon as the cake comes off the heat, drizzle the top with about two-thirds of the balsamic glaze.
Whip the Crème Fraîche with the sugar, making sure not to over beat.
When the cake has cooled, cut it into wedges if baked in a skillet; if baked in a standard baking pan, cut it into squares. Drizzle more balsamic glaze over the cake if you like. Top the cake with a spoonful of Herbed Crème Fraîche. Spoon any remaining crème fraîche into a bowl and set on a platter with leftover halved strawberries to pass so guests can add extra if they like.
When I made my menu this past week, the one thing I wanted on it was burgers; it’s finally gotten cold here in Michigan and neither the grill nor I are fond of it. My husband got me a cast iron grill pan for Christmas so it was time to break it in. I really have been trying to add more salads to our meals and with burgers in my head my thoughts when to other summer favorites. Asian Cole slaw came to mind; I haven’t had it in years since that little packet of “seasoning” is horrible, all salt and preservatives. I decided that someone must have solved this dilemma and set to finding an alternative.
I’m very thankful for another blog I came across, GimmeSomeOven; she solved it. I only made one intentional change: bagged Cole slaw kits don’t look appetizing to me so I shredded cabbage and carrot. I also made an unintentional change, I forgot to add the edamame in my haste.
Last, I had some leftover mac & cheese, that I modified when I made it. It was a stir and serve type of recipe and I strongly favor baked macaroni and cheese; at least in this house no one complained.
I told the boys I wanted bacon burgers and asked if they had any opinions, I got one, “can we add green onions and pepper jack cheese too?”
I started with the peppered bacon; I bake it to avoid the mess. Lay out in a single layer, place the tray in a cold oven, set the oven to 400, and bake for 12-20 minutes depending on the thickness.
Then I formed the burgers, after a quick peek in the fridge, I put salt, pepper, garlic powder, chopped green and red onions, and barbecue sauce in them.
I then set to making the slaw, starting with the dressing:
And toasting the noodles and almonds for a nice crunch. I tossed it just before we ate.
I’ve started sharing rides with another family for my son’s Wednesday training, and it has given me more time to do more for dinner. When I planned the menu, I came across a recipe for Caramel Chicken, it’s not as sweet as the name implies; the vinegar, garlic, and ginger add a bit of spice and tartness that makes it delicious. Rather than the asparagus I had on my menu I remembered that I still had some extra cauliflower and broccoli in the veggie drawer which I cut up and roasted. Roasting broccoli and/or cauliflower is fairly easy, on a rimmed cookie sheet drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then add you flavor of choice (I squeezed half of a lemon over the veggies). Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes.
By far the easiest meal on the day of eating; I made it on Sunday. I definitely recommend making this in advance, the potatoes help to thickest the soup as it rests in the fridge, and the flavor become richer. Mine didn’t have any fat to remove, but as I’ve mentioned before, I trim my beef really well.
Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad
Prep 10 mins ∙ Cook 10 mins ∙ Makes About 8 servings ∙ Source Gimmesomeoven.com
½ cabbage, shredded
½-1 cup carrots, shredded
2 (3-ounce) packages of ramen noodles, crumbled (discard the seasoning packet)
1 cup shelled and cooked edamame
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and julienned (or diced)
½ cup thinly-sliced almonds
½ cup thinly-sliced green onions (scallions)
Asian Vinaigrette Dressing
⅔ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup honey (or agave)
⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
pinch of salt and black pepper
To Make The Salad:
(Optional first step: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread the crumbled ramen noodles and sliced almonds out on a baking sheet, and stir a bit to combine. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the almonds and noodles are slightly toasted and golden. Remove baking sheet, and give the mixture a good stir to toss. Then return it to the oven and toast for an additional 3 minutes. Keep a very close eye on the mixture so that it does not burn. Remove and set aside.)
Add ingredients (including the vinaigrette) together in a large bowl, and toss until combined.
Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (This salad is much better eaten the first day, as the noodles lose their “crunch” the longer it sits, and the avocado may brown a bit.)
To Make The Vinaigrette:
Whisk all ingredients together until combined.
Green Chile Macaroni & Cheese
Prep 45 mins ∙ Cook 30 min ∙ Makes 4-6 ∙ Difficulty Medium ∙ Source Food.com | Roaring Fork Restaurant
3 fresh poblano chiles, 1 chopped
2 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped red onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-1½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
½ cup heavy cream
1 lb. macaroni, cooked
4 cups grated cheese (mexican, cheddar)
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
Panko, for topping (optional)
1. Char 2 poblano chile directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Transfer to paper bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel, seed, and coarsely chop chile. Transfer to processor; puree until smooth. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chopped chile, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add corn; stir 1 minute.
3. Add cream and chile puree, bring to boil. Add cooked macaroni and grated cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a 9×13″ pan sprayed with nonstick spray and sprinkle with panko. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F.
Makes 4 ∙ Source Bonappetit.com
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2½-3 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken legs and thighs
8 garlic cloves, peeled
⅓ cup (packed) light brown sugar
¼ cup (or more) unseasoned rice vinegar
2 slices ¼”-thick slices peeled ginger
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Cooked white rice (for serving)
Heat oil in a large wide heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and, working in 2 batches, cook until golden brown and crisp, 6–8 minutes per side; transfer to a plate. Add garlic to pot and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 2 minutes; transfer to plate with chicken. Pour off fat from pot.
Return pot to medium-high heat and add ½ cup water, scraping up browned bits. Add brown sugar; stir to dissolve, then cook, stirring, until mixture thickens and turns a deep amber color, about 4 minutes. Carefully add vinegar (it may bubble up; sugar will crystallize); stir to dissolve sugar.
Add ginger, broth, and soy sauce, then add chicken, skin side up, and garlic.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Bring cooking liquid to a boil and cook until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 10 minutes. Return chicken to pot; turn to coat. Top with scallions and serve with rice.
Irish Beef Stew
Makes 4 to 6 servings ∙ Source Bon Appétit | March 2001
¼ cup vegetable oil
1¼ pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
6-8 large garlic cloves, minced
4 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
1 cup red wine
1 cup porter beer
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½” pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups carrots, peeled and cut in ½” pieces
2 tablespoons parsley, freshly chopped
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves.
Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.Meanwhile, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes.
Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes.
Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.) Transfer stew to serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Hello all! I am Shannon’s sister, Theresa. She asked me a while ago to be a guest writer on her cooking blog. I am not much of a writer and my cooking style is very different from Shannon’s. I am more of a traditional cook. My family likes meat and potatoes and pasta. I am bored with their palates. I am working on bringing new recipes into our lives. I started last week by making chicken noodle soup. This probably has a few of you laughing but in this house soups are cream based. It was delicious and went over very well with the kids. A Lady’s Chicken Noodle Soup from Paula Deen. And even though the recipe called for it, I avoided the cream and Parmesan cheese in it. ( I was sick and avoiding dairy). Well today I saw a recipe for Shrimp Creole on Facebook. It may have been a good recipe but I decided to look for recipes from a well known creole cook- Emeril Lagasse. My thoughts in going for it- I would have time to stop at the store, prep, cook, and have it served within one and a half hours. The recipe was full of flavors so that we like so I gave it a whirl. The kids gobbled it up and I personally thought it was delicious. The one thing I did differently was to use canned tomatoes. I think a longer simmering time would allow the flavors to meld more but it was a very good recipe as it was written. And it was so simple! I was able to do a couple of chores during different phases in the recipe.
My sister is my inspiration in trying new and different things, I hope you all continue to read her blog and keep cooking at home!
Chicken pot pie is on the list of ultimate comfort foods in my opinion, my husband and I both have memories of the frozen variety from our youth. I recall thinking that they could have been better, my husband’s memories are less favorable; when I first made them several years ago, he was concerned for the outcome. I can no longer recall what, if any, modifications I made. My sister had given me a gift of a subscription of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, some recipes were good as written, others were simple and needed “tweaking”.
(I’ll offer a brief interlude of thanks here to my grandmother whose birthday would have been this past week. My mother has told me that she could also look a a recipe and fix it before making it. I was looking through a few of her recipes that I have of hers this week and I can see her notes on them, similar to my own. I didn’t recognize where the gift came from until my mother told me, and I would love to go back and thank her.)
Back to the pot pie…
As with many of my recipes, it is not difficult, but it does take a bit of time. I have used a variety of types of cooked chicken from leftovers as well as making chicken to use in the pot pies. Sunday I shredded a rotisserie chicken; your selection will modify the flavor slightly, but not negatively.
Before I started the pot pies, I made the Irish Beef Stew for Thursday’s dinner, as I haven’t made that previously I’ll have to taste it before I write about it.
My in-laws are wintering in Florida and my boys have explained that their absence does not mean that salads can be omitted from Sunday dinner so, I also made an Asian Spinach Salad with Orange and Avocado, the key is a very sweet orange. The ginger and shallot mix is not for the faint of heart (or those prone to heartburn); a ginger sesame dressing would stand in well.
I also wrapped up the meal with one of my favorite cakes. I like cakes a lot, but I’m not a particular fan of those that are covered in sticky sweet frosting. This is beyond simple and requires no frosting; the berries and and sugar form a perfect topping. My second reason for putting this high on the list is how easy it is; aside from softening the butter this goes from ingredients to the pan within 15 minutes. Last the raspberries always remind me of picking rasperries as a child, wandering through the brambles, trying to avoid the thorns; the sweetness was always the perfect reward. Yesterday I made it with blackberries instead of raspberries; they just looked better when I was at the market.
½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
coarse salt and ground pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups chicken, cooked, cut into 1″ pieces or shredded (~1 pound)
1 cup frozen peas
1½ tsp thyme leaves, fresh, chopped
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg yolk
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add onion and carrot and cook until onion softens, about 6 minutes. Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden, has a slightly nutty aroma, and is the texture of cooked oatmeal, about 5 minutes.
Whisking constantly, add broth. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Stir in chicken, peas, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Divide mixture among six 12-ounce baking dishes; refrigerate until room temperature, about 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll pastry to an 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 6 rounds, ½ inch larger than dishes; with the tip of a sharp knife, cut vents into pastry. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water; top potpies with pastry and brush with egg wash. Bake until pastry is deep golden and juices are bubbling, about 35 minutes.
Asian Spinach Salad with Orange and Avocado Makes 4 servings ∙ Source Epicurious.com INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon (generous) Asian sesame oil
1 navel orange
6 ounces baby spinach leaves
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set dressing aside.
Cut off peel and white pith from orange. Cut orange into 1/3-inch rounds; cut rounds crosswise in half. Add spinach to dressing; toss to coat. Add avocado and orange; toss gently.
Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
Cook 25-30 minutes ∙ Makes Makes 6 Servings ∙ Difficulty Easy ∙ Source Gourmet | June 2009 INGREDIENTS
1 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
⅔ cup sugar
1½ Tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ cup buttermilk, well shaken
1 cup raspberries, fresh (about 5 ounces)
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9″ round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Beat butter and ⅔ cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1½ tablespoons sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10-15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.
Over the years I have had to travel for work and one of my favorite benefits of this travel has always been that I get to try new foods. It it one of the many things that encouraged me to expand my palate and my pantry. I haven’t travelled as much frequently, but this desire has stuck with me. As I mentioned in my previous post, I returned this week to preparing menus. Skimming through Epicurious (have you figured out it’s a favorite site of mine) I came across this recipe for Moroccan Chicken. Artichoke hearts are among my favorite ingredients so it landed on the menu. I made a few changes for our benefit (seasoning the meat, canned versus frozen artichokes, and extra garlic).
It would have easily fed 8, in fact I had so much leftover I elected to share it at work today. Not only was it well received at home, but it was also thoroughly enjoyed there.
My husband called on the way home and asked if I was making a salad and if I needed bread, “No, but if you are stopping to get bread, pick up stuff for a salad.” I must commend him, not only did he pick up stuff, he did some quick research online and decided what would go with the dish. We ended up with an olive baguette and a salad with spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, chickpeas, carrots, dates (which he’d never tried before), shallot, goat cheese, and fattoush dressing. It rivaled his mother’s salads, it was delicious and a perfect complement to the stew.
Moroccan Chicken Stew with Artichoke Hearts and Carrots
Prep 45 mins ∙ Cook 30 mins ∙ Makes 6–8 ∙ Source Bonappetit.com
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
8 garlic cloves, large, minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes
2 (14 oz.) cans artichoke hearts
1 pound carrots, peeled, sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt & pepper
Lightly salt and thoroughly pepper the chicken.
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and starting to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and next 4 ingredients and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add broth and lemon zest and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; stir in chicken, artichoke hearts, and carrots; simmer until vegetables are tender and chicken is just cooked through, 10–15 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide couscous among shallow bowls; spoon stew over and garnish with parsley.
Middle Eastern Salad
Prep 10 mins ∙ Makes 4
5 oz. mixed greens (i.e., spinach, arugula, and swiss chard)
~1 cup shredded carrots
handful of mint leaves
~1 cup chickpeas
⅛ cup dates, diced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
fattoush dressing, to taste
Toss all ingredients together, serve with dressing.