Thursday, November 19, 2015

Braised Chicken With Autumn Vegetables

Autumn is my favorite season.  It is the culmination of the growing season.  It is the time that the farmers bring their produce out to fill the roadside stands that are so abundant in my area.  Each stand has a special something that the one a mile up the road doesn't have.  Some have corn, some have potatoes, some have squash.  Well, they all have squash...and apples.

This season, on my forays to the stands, I was drawn, like a bear to honey, to Pryputniewicz Farm in Paris Hill, NY.  It was almost decadent!  The brussel sprouts still on the stalk, potatoes (the best ever), broccoli, wagon loads of squash, and mounds of cabbage.  Picked up a bit of all.  Spent one entire day blanching and freezing the sprouts.  The next day went to blanching and freezing a boat load of broccoli.  And Monday was a day of shredding cabbage into a large crock to make sauerkraut. (A post for another day) Even put up some kvass and pickled beets because they looked to good.

Once the haul is in and taken care of, it is time to partake of the goodness that was gathered.  I wasn't going to post this meal, but it was so delicious that I had to do something, just so I would remember what went into it.

I used Blue Apron as the inspiration for this meal.  In my weekly box I got some chicken breasts, a sweet potato, and brussel sprouts.  I looked at the recipe and decided that it wasn't what I wanted tonight.  I tossed the little chicken breasts into the freezer, grabbed a generous breast purchased at a local grocer - Chanatry's - along with a bag of the sprouts that I had put in the freezer a week ago, and a lovely squash...yellow and green on the bottom right of the wagon.  And, in the back of my fridge was a quart of apple cider from Old McMarley's Apple Farm.  What follows is the result of this bounty!

You will need:
2 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts
3 1/2 cups apple cider
chicken demi glaze
1 vidalia onion
1 jalepeno pepper (optional)
3 cloves of garlic
1 winter squash
almond flour
pork rinds, pulverized
Brussels sprouts
coconut oil

You might want a salad as well - but for that you are on your own.

Once you have gathered your bounty together in one place begin by preparing the apple cider reduction.  It is so simple...

Grab a wide, shallow pan, like a saute pan, pour the cider in, and bring to a simmering boil.  Ad the demi glaze, salt, pepper, and a pinch of rosemary and let it reduce to a syrupy consistency.  Taste it once it is syrup, to make sure it is seasoned to your liking.

While the cider and heat are working their magic, prep the meat and veggies.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel the onion and large dice.  Quarter and deseed the jalepeno if you are using it and slice.  Mince the garlic. Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks.  Place the almond flour and pork rind into a large Ziploc bag along with salt and pepper to taste.   (Again, taste it to make sure it is seasoned to your liking).

Toss the chicken with the almond flour mixture and set aside.

Place the squash and sprouts on a foiled lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cumin. Dot with coconut oil and pop in the oven.

In a large skillet, melt about 2 tsps oil and saute onions and peppers until caramelized, remove to a bowl and set aside.

Just before the squash is done, work the chicken...

Add a bit more oil to the skillet and saute the chicken until just done - you don't want to over cook it or it will be dry, dry, dry!

Remove chicken to large plate and keep warm.

Pour cider reduction into skillet and deglaze the pan.  Add onion/jalapeno blend to skillet and stir.

Now plate your dish!

On each plate put a ring or two of squash, a few sprouts, and the chicken.  Drizzle the cider reduction over it all and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Chorizo Tortilla With Arugula Salad

Mexican food is one of my favorite things.  I love the complex flavors, the spice, the heat.  About a year ago I decided to go Paleo and thought I would have to say goodbye to my favorite food.  But, whit a little imagination and actually letting go of my "Mexican" food rules, I was able to bring those flavors to my table.

Here is what is going on tonight's plate.

Chorizo Fritata

7 oz chorizo
1 Leek
1 large jalepeno pepper
1 dozen eggs
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

Prep:  Thinly slice leek, including as much green as you can.  Half and deseed jalepeno pepper and thinly slice.
Combine eggs with coconut milk, salt and pepper.

Pre Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Place first three ingredients in a large cast iron skillet and saute over medium heat until chorizo is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
Turn off heat and pour eggs evenly over mixture in skillet.
Place in oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until eggs are set.

Meanwhile, prepare salad.

Arugula Salad with Guacamole Dressing

1 Ripe Avocado
6 Cherry Tomatoes
1 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbs White Balsamic 
1 tbs Coconut Water
1/2 Lemon (for zest and juice)
1/8 tsp Cumin
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
pinch Salt
4 cps Arugula

Wash and spin Arugula.
In large bowl, mash avocado.  Large dice tomatoes. Using zester or vegetable peeler, remove peel from the lemon, avoiding white pith; mince finely.  Remove seeds from lemon and squeeze juice over avocado.  Mix everything except arugula together.

When Tortilla is done, plate your dish and enjoy!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Creative Kitchen Muse Devises A Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad

I have been so bored with my kitchen lately.  Haven't come  up with anything new is so long that I was beginning to wonder if I had lost my kitchen MoJo.  This was a really traumatic thing for me to contemplate!  What was going on?  The same meals week after week after week.  Not boring ones, mind you.  Just not the normal creative "explore the spice cupboard" ones that were the norm.

Flash forward from my last post to today.  The Creative Kitchen Muse returned and prompted me to prepare this wonderfully different salad.

Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad
serves 4 to 6

2 medium to large sweet potatoes, boiled in skins until just fork tender.
1/2 small sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tsps each, cumin and garam masala
1 tsp each, powdered ginger, marjoram and thyme
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs red wine vinegar
2 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves

Peel potatoes and cut into large cunks.  Add remaining ingredients except spinach.  Fold gently to keep potatoes intact and place in covered container in refrigerator until ready to serve.
To serve, divide spinach onto plates and top with potato mixture.

I must give thanks to my Kitchen Muse for this recipe.  If not for her (I think it is a her) I would still be languishing with my chicken caesar salad and broiled salmon.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stuff This!

I just made up a new stuffing recipe.  And I did it just in time to be too late for anyone else to try it for their Thanksgiving bird.  But, Christmas is coming up so there is a second chance.  This stuffing is one that will be loved by those pepper heads out there.  It is full of black pepper!  Not just a sprinkling or a pinch or a teaspoon, but a whole tablespoon of the peppery goodness.  Then, to make it even more of a peppery delight, add a bit of Penzey's Bicentennial rub to the mix.  This will send your tastebuds into orbit!  All this pepper is finally calmed with the addition of a touch of sweet in the form of dried currants.  Give it a try.

Currant Cornbread Stuffing

1/4 lb sausage of choice

1/2 onion, chopped

1/4 stick butter

1/4 cp coconut oil

1 1/4 cp water

1/2 14 oz bag cornbread stuffing

1/2 cp dried currents

1/2 cp pine nuts

1 tbs black pepper, or less to taste

1 tsp Pensey’s Bicentennial Rub

1 tsp poultry seasoning

1 tsp marjoram

Saute sausage and onions with butter and coconut oil until saugsage is cooked through. Add water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and add cornbread. Toss until evenly moist. Add remaining ingredients and toss until well blended. Stuff your bird or bake as is!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sour Cream & Chive Potatoes

Sometimes the diet wagon needs to move on down the road. Sometimes we just need to say "NO!" to that little voice that tells us that what we desire is "bad, bad, bad." Sometimes we must coddle our inner child and partake of what we love.

When those time strike around here, at least for me, I prepare my favorite dish...Potatoes. Russet, red, purple or gold, this humble tuber just sets my heart a quiver and my mouth watering.

Last nigh was one of those nights. A great steak seared to perfection, a pound or so of green beans cooked in garlic and broth and the object of my culinary dersire - Yukon Gold potatoes with sour cream and chives. This dish isn't for the faint of heart when it comes to calories and fats. Of course you could use low fat substitutes, but it just wouldn't be the same. If you are going to do it - dive right in to the deep end and do it! So here we go...

Sour Cream and Chive Potatoes

4 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes (or any type you have on hand)
1 chicken bouillion cube
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbs butter
1 tbs dried chives
1/4 tsp white pepper
Kosher salt to taste
1 tbs bacon cooked and crumbled (optional)

Scrub potatoes and cut into bite sized pieces (do not peel!). Place in pot and cover with water. Add bouillion cube and bring to boil. Cook until potatoes are tender. Drain. In same pot, melt butter. Return potatoes to pot and stir to coat with the melted butter. Add sour cream, chives, pepper and bacon if desired. Stir until potatoes are creamy and resemble chunky mashed potatoes.

Now, sit back and enjoy one of lifes little pleasures.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spinach & Mushrooms

Last night was a left over night. But even leftovers deserve a fresh vegie to accompany their second appearance. The night before, our pasta was accompanied by a spinach and mushroom salad. The second appearance of the pasta was in the form of a baked casserole. The remainder of the spinach became something with an interesting flavor that is worth repeating.

Spinach & Mushroom Saute
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
6 t0 8 mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped
1 bag fresh spinach washed and de-stemmed
2 tbls brandy
1 tbls balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste.
Heat olive oil in large heavy pan until hot, add onions and saute until golden. Lower heat and add mushrooms, sauteing until all liquid is evaporated. Add spinach and cover. Cook, stirring occassionally until spinach is tender.
Remove lid, add brandy and cook, stirring constantly until all liquid is once again evaporated.
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Comfort Food, Mexican Style

Chicken Mole Enchilada

Mexican food has always been my comfort food. It is warming, it is filling, it is "curl up in front of the television with a good movie and veg" food. And, alas, I am making this big dish of comfort for the staff of my Boyfriend's office. (see my sad face).

The menu consists of the inevitable pairing of rice and beans. Can't do Mexican without the rice and beans. Then, the main course, my own pride and joy recipe:

Dried Currant Mole' Enchildas

2 to 3 quarts Mole'
1/4 cp dried currants
4 cps stewed chicken, shredded
1/2 cp diced onion, sweated until transparent
2 packages, soft corn tortillas (try to find La Tortilla Factory brand)
Grated Jack, Colby or blend of both cheeses for topping
Pour mole into large skillet and add currants. Heat to just below boiling. Turn off heat. Meanwhile, mix onions into shredded chicken.
Coat 2 - 13x9 baking dishes with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Soften tortillas in warm mole until pliable. Remove to plate and put approximately 2 tbls of chicken mixture down center of tortilla. Roll tightly and place in baking dish.
Continue in this manner until both baking dishes are full. Top both with enough mole to cover each enchilada. Top all with a sprinkling of cheese to desired depth (some like more, some like less cheese, it is up to you). At this point you can freeze one pan, covered well, if you like.
Place enchiladas in preheated oven and bake until cheese melts and has a nice golden layer - about 30 to 35 minutes.
Find a good movie, a tall glass of milk, and be comforted!