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Monthly Archives: March 2012

One-Pot Chicken Parm Rice | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog

This is a good recipe for a one pot meal, and for all my gluten-free friends out there, it’s a gluten free recipe. Check it out!

One-Pot Chicken Parm Rice | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Cooking, Cooking Websites, Dinner, Poultry

 

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Back to the Kitchen For Some Fried Chicken

Hectic schedules, homework, late work days, you name it and it has a way of interfering with life in general, including cooking dinner. We ended up having leftovers the last 2 nights because of crazy schedules, doctor’s appointments and everyday life, but today I am going to get back in the kitchen and I am going to make some fried chicken.

I don’t make fried chicken too often, and when I do I usually oven fry it to cut down on the mess and all the oil needed, but tonight I think I am going to really fry it. I could use the deep fryer, but I am going to do it on the stove this time, and I am going to try a different recipe tonight, one I got from America’s Test Kitchen.

Fried Chicken

1 quart buttermilk

3 tablespoons salt

4 pounds bone in chicken pieces (halved split breasts, thighs, and/or drumsticks)

5 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

5 to 6 cups vegetable oil

Whisk 3 1/4 cups of the buttermilk and the salt together in a large bowl until the salt dissolves. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (Don’t let the chicken soak much longer or it will become too salty).

Whisk the flour, baking powder, thyme, pepper, and garlic powder together in a large bowl. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of buttermilk and rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse wet sand. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk soak and then coat thoroughly with the flour mixture and lay it on a wire rack set over a baking sheet while the oil heats.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Pour 1 inch of the oil into a large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Add half of the chicken, skin-side down. Cover and cook until deep golden brown on the first side, about 10 minutes (After the first 4 minutes, re-arrange the pieces if some are browning faster than others).

Turn the chicken pieces over. Continue to fry, uncovered and maintaining an oil temperature of 315 degrees, until the chicken pieces are a deep golden on the second side, about 7 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain for 5 minutes, then lay on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Add additional oil to the pot as needed to maintain a depth of 1 inch and return it to 375 degrees before frying the remaining chicken.

With the fried chicken, I am going to serve mashed potatoes and gravy. I have made mashed potatoes many times in the meal plan, and if you would like to see the method I use for the potatoes, you can check an earlier blog posting here. You definitely need to have some gravy with this one as well. I have posted a quick chicken gravy recipe before, but since I don’t have any pan drippings to use, I am going to use the all purpose gravy recipe that I have used in the past.

All Purpose Gravy

3 tablespoons butter

1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine

1 rib celery, chopped fine

1 onion, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken broth 

2 cups beef broth

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried

5 whole black peppercorns

Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook until softened and well browned, about 9 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly browned, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the broths and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20-25 minutes, skimming off any foam that forms on the surface.

Pour the gravy through a fine-mesh strainer (or gravy separator) into a clean saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste.

I’ll be serving all this with some simple steamed green beans. It’s just a pound of green beans (stem ends trimmed) in a steaming rack in a large pot of boiling water just touching the rack. I cover and steam the green beans for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the beans are crisp-tender.

If there are any leftovers, there’s nothing like some cold fried chicken with some potato salad for a nice lunch or dinner the next day. Tomorrow is Friday, which means we’ll be having fish. I picked up some tilapia this morning so we’ll be having a nice simple baked tilapia with some brown rice and asparagus tomorrow.   Check out the blog tomorrow so you can see how it goes. Until then, enjoy your day and enjoy your meal!


 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Potatoes, Poultry, Vegetables

 

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A Slow Day Calls for Slow Cooking

It’s been a typical Monday, so I am glad I was cooking with the slow cooker today. Today I am using a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen for Chicken and Dumplings. I’ve made this before on the stove top, but I decided to use the slow cooker method today.

Chicken and Dumplings

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 onions, minced

2 celery ribs, sliced 1/4 inch thick

6 garlic cloves, minced

1  tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup dry sherry

4 1/2 cups chicken broth, plus extra if needed

4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 bay leaves

1 cup frozen peas

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

For the Dumplings:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

3 tablespoons butter

Dry the chicken with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half of the chicken lightly on both sides, 5 to 8 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 1 tablespoon more of the oil and the remaining chicken; transfer to a bowl.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, celery, garlic, tomato paste and thyme, and cook until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Whisk in 1 cup of broth, smoothing out any lumps; transfer to the slow cooker.

Stir in the remaining 3 1/2 cups of broth, carrots and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Nestle browned chicken with any accumulated juices into the slow cooker. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender, 4 to 6 hours on low setting.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, allow to cool slightly, then shred into bite size pieces. Let the stew settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from the surface using a large spoon. Discard the bay leaves. Stir the shredded chicken, peas and parsley into the stew, and season with salt and pepper to taste (Adjust the stew consistency with additional broth if necessary). Cover and cook on high until simmering, or transfer to a Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

For the dumplings, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Microwave the milk and butter together until warm, about 1 minute, then whisk to melt the butter. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until just incorporated and smooth. Drop golf ball size dumplings on top of the simmering stew, leaving about 1/4 inch between each dumpling (you should have about 18 dumplings). Cover and cook until the dumplings double in size, 25 to 35 minutes. Serve.

It’s a delicious meal. The dumplings come out just right and the chicken just falls apart and tastes wonderful. Here’s a picture of how it looks when it’s done:

Tomorrow night’s meal will be the Spaghetti and Meatballs that I never got to last week. Work schedules and homework just got in the way last week, but this week we shouldn’t have any problems (fingers crossed). I have made spaghetti and meatballs before, and if you want to see the previous recipe, you can check it out here. I think I am going to try to vary it a little bit this time. Check back tomorrow and see how it looks. Until then, enjoy the last day of winter (it was 74 here in New York today) and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Slow Cooker Meals

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Leftovers

What do I do with all these leftovers from the St. Patrick’s Day feast? It may seem like a daunting task, but an easy thing to do with some of the items is to make breakfast for dinner. my family loves Corned Beef Hash, and it’s very simple to make. I use my cast iron frying pan for this one. It helps put a great crust on the hash, which is the best part of the hash, if you ask me.

Corned Beef Hash

1/2 stick butter

2 cups small diced yellow onions

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 1/2 pounds corned beef, cooked and diced

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, blanched and diced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large oven-proof skillet or cast iron frying pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and corned beef. Continue to saute for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using the back of a large spoon or spatula, pack the mixture firmly into the pan. Place the pan in the oven. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and a crust forms on the bottom of the hash. Remove from the oven and serve.

You can use the leftover corned beef and any leftover boiled potatoes you may have to make this dish. It goes very nicely with eggs over easy or poached eggs. Another use for any leftover boiled potatoes would be to make some home fries, which would also go well with the corned beef hash. if you don’t have any leftover potatoes, I have included making the potatoes in the recipe itself.

Home Fries

2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped fine

Salt and pepper

In a large microwave-safe bowl, toss the potatoes with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the bowl (without removing the plastic wrap) to re-distribute the potatoes every 3 minutes. Carefully remove the plastic wrap, transfer the potatoes to a colander, and drain thoroughly.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes to the skillet and using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, distribute them evenly over the pan. Cook undisturbed until the potatoes are golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Carefully turn the potatoes to ensure even browning and add the onion to the skillet. Continue cooking, turning the potato and onion and mixture every few minutes, until the potatoes are well browned and the onion is softened, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

If you want to make the home fries a little spicy, you can add some red pepper and jalapeno to the pan with the onion, and then toss in some chili powder, cumin and cayenne for a little kick. You could also add some paprika to the dish instead for some flavor and color.

I am using the leftover Colcannon and simply making some Colcannon Cakes. I form the leftover Colcannon into cakes, much like you would make potato cakes with leftover mashed potatoes, and saute them in some butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Turn after about 5 minutes to make both sides a golden brown, and they are all done.

You could also saute the leftover cabbage with some onion, salt and pepper and have it that way, or you can make another dinner out of it on its own and follow a recipe I previously posted for cabbage and noodles.

Finally today, I have next week’s meal plan all set and I think it’s a good one. If you want to follow along and use your own meal plan for laying out your cooking and shopping plans, you can print out a meal plan right here:family_meal_planner.

Monday – Chicken and Dumplings in the slow cooker. This is our slow cooker meal this week.

Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs. Since we didn’t get to it last week, we’ll try again this week.

Wednesday: We have two recipes for our meat-free day of the week, Cheese Ravioli and Macaroni and Cheese.

Thursday: Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Friday: Baked Tilapia, Brown Rice, and Corn

Saturday: We won’t be home Saturday, so I have that down as a free day right now.

It should be a good week of dinners; none are too labor intensive and all should be tasty. If you have any questions or comments or there is a recipe you would like to see or one you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment, visit my Facebook page or send me a message on Twitter. Until tomorrow, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Breakfast, Cooking, Dinner, Meal Plan Menu, Potatoes

 

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A St. Patrick’s Day Feast

Okay, so here we go with today’s menu. I do tend to go a little bit overboard on St. Patrick’s Day, but that’s okay. We have a lot of recipes to use today so let’s get right into it. I am making two corned beefs today and am going to make each a different way. The first one will be made in the pressure cooker and done in 45 minutes, while the second will be slow cooked in a low temperature oven for 4-5 hours.

Corned Beef  and Cabbage in the Pressure Cooker

1 (4 to 5 pound) corned beef brisket, rinsed

4 cups water

1 head of cabbage, cut into 4 wedges

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

Place the corned beef in a pressure cooker and cover with 4 cups of water (or more if needed). Allow the pressure cooker to come up to pressure, and then cook at full pressure for 25 to 30 minutes. Bring the pressure down; after the pressure has come down, open and add the cabbage and carrots. Cover and return to full pressure and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the corned beef is fork tender. Remove the meat from the pressure cooker and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the vegetables and transfer to a serving platter. Slice the corned beef across the grain and serve.

I always make corned beef in the pressure cooker since it allows me to cook it in under an hour. This way I can cook one whenever I feel like it instead of just one day a year, or to make one to use for corned beef hash (tomorrow’s recipe). The next method is a little closer to traditional, although I personally have never liked just cooking corned beef in a pot on the stove. The meat comes out salty and dry and with not much flavor to it (that little flavor packet they give you does nothing to add flavor) and the vegetables, when cooked with it are usually very mushy. This method in the oven works better and tastes better, and it allows you to cook potatoes, cabbage and carrots in stages in the same pot while the meat rests after the fat has been strained from the cooking liquid.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

1 (4 to 5 pound) corned beef brisket, rinsed, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups water

8 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 onion, peeled and quartered

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

1 teaspoon whole allspice

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes

1 head green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges

Pepper

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine the beef, broth, water, 4 chopped carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme and allspice in a Dutch oven. Cover and bake until a fork slips easily in and out of the meat, about 4 1/2 to 5 hours.

Transfer the meat to a baking dish. Strain the cooking liquid through a strainer into a large bowl, discard the solids, and skim the fat from the liquid. Pour 1 cup of the cooking liquid over the meat. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and let it rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, return the remaining cooking liquid to the Dutch oven, add the butter, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and simmer until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the 4 remaining chopped carrots and the cabbage, cover, and cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter and season with pepper to taste. Transfer the beef to a carving board and slice. Serve with the vegetables.

Two quick points about this recipe: use a flat-cut corned beef, not a point-cut; a flat cut is more uniform in shape, cooks more evenly and isn’t as tough a cut as a point-cut. Second, when you cut the cabbage into wedges, leave the core intact. This will keep the cabbage from falling apart while it cooks.

Another side dish for corned beef that incorporates cabbage and potatoes is the traditional dish of Colcannon. it’s an old Irish peasant dish that literally comes from the Gaelic word for white-headed cabbage. In an old Irish custom, the cook would bury charms or coins in the dish, foretelling good luck or wealth, probably in a way to get the children to eat their vegetables. I’ll skip the burying of the coins and charms and just cook the dish myself.

Colcannon

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

3/4 cup milk

4 bacon slices, cut into a 1/2-inch dice

4 shallots, thinly sliced

1 large leek, white and light green portions, halved lengthwise, rinsed well and thinly sliced

1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped

1 small head napa cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped

1/8 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

Put the potatoes in a large pot, add water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches and generously salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain well in a colander.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and milk and heat until the butter melts and the mixture is hot, 8 to 10 minutes.

Set a potato ricer over a large bowl and press the potatoes through in batches. Fold in the milk mixture in two additions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and set over a large saucepan of barely simmering water to keep warm.

Heat a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat from the pot. Return the pot to medium heat, add the shallots and leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and toss just until wilted but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and toss until tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with the mace and the bacon, and season with salt and pepper. Stir the potatoes into the cabbage mixture and serve warm.

I always serve corned beef with some mustard, and I found this recipe for Guinness mustard at Bon Appetit’s website. It sounded really good, so I am giving it a try.

Guinness Mustard

1/2 cup coarse-grained Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons regular Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Guinness stout or other stout or porter

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 teaspoon golden brown sugar

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Now, on to some dessert. I don’t make dessert often, but this recipe for Grasshopper Pie sounded perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. There’s lots of mint in this one, so I think it will be a good one.

Grasshopper Pie

16 Oreo Mint n’ Creme cookies (with filling), broken into rough pieces

3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

3 large egg yolks

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups heavy cream

Pinch table salt

1/4 cup green creme de menthe

1/4 cup white creme de cacao

For the crust, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grind the cookies in a food processor to fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with butter, and toss well. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate and refrigerate the crust until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake the crust until set, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the filling, beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Combine the gelatin, sugar, 1/2 cup of cream, and salt in a medium saucepan and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Cook over medium heat until the gelatin dissolves and the mixture is very hot but not boiling, about 2 minutes. Whisking vigorously, slowly ass the gelatin mixture to the egg yolks. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the creme de menthe and creme de cacao. Pour into a clean bowl and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until wobbly but not set, about 20 minutes.

Beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream with an electric mixer to stiff peaks. Whisk 1 cup whipped cream into the gelatin mixture until completely incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold the gelatin mixture into the remaining whipped cream until no streaks of white remain. Scrape the mixture into the cooled pie shell, smooth the top, and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours and preferable overnight. Serve, topped with chocolate curls.

Okay, we have had corned beef and cabbage, side dishes, and dessert. Now how about some beverages? There’s two that I really like any time, not just St. Patrick’s Day. I make my own version of Irish Coffee and I think it tastes pretty good, so we’ll go with that first.

Irish Coffee

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 shot Kahlua

1 shot Jameson’s Irish Whiskey

8 ounces hot coffee

Whipped cream

1/2 teaspoon green creme de menthe (optional)

Fill an Irish coffee glass or coffee mug with hot water to warm the mug. Empty the water, then place sugar, Kahlua and Jameson’s in the glass. Pour coffee into the glass and gently stir. Top with whipped cream and creme de menthe, if desired.

Traditional Irish coffee doesn’t use the brown sugar, Kahlua or the creme de menthe. I like the flavor the brown sugar adds over white sugar and the Kahlua adds a nice toasted coffee flavor to the mix. The creme de menthe is really for show more than anything else.

Another favorite, of course, is the Black and Tan. There’s really no recipe here; you can use any stout and ale you like. I choose Guinness and Harp or Guinness and Bass Ale all the time, but take what tastes best to you. Just pour in the ale and float the stout on top, and you’re done.

Last, but not least, you need a drink for the kids (and some adults too) and what’s better than a Shamrock Shake? Well’ a homemade one is much better than the sweet one you’ll find at McDonald’s.

Homemade Shamrock Shake

1 pint mint chocolate chip ice cream (you can use vanilla if you want)

1 cup milk

1/8 teaspoon mint extract (a little goes a long way, don’t use a lot)

3-6 drops green food coloring (same with the food coloring, don’t use too much)

Mix all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Other than having some Junior Mint cookies along with dessert (thank you Girl Scouts!) I think you’re probably all set. I hope everyone enjoys their day, no matter what they are doing, and plays safely. Enjoy your day and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Beef, Cooking, Dessert, Dinner, Potatoes

 

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This is a great lunch option posted on rantingchef.com, another great cooking blog that I follow. He always has some great ideas and I really liked this lunch choice. Check it out!

Rantings of an Amateur Chef

Cooking is always interesting when you have friends or relatives staying at your house. Some people are minimalist (“let’s just order pizza”) and some go all out. I think I fall in between. For dinner, and even breakfast, I want to do something that is a just a bit impressive. I like to cook and this gives me an opportunity to provide hospitality to my guest in other ways I cannot. Diablo shrimp, roasted vegetables and mushroom risotto? Not a problem. Made to order omelets with a cheesy hash brown bake? Coming right up. Lunch? Um….who wants a hot dog?

Have I mentioned how my lunch menu options are not nearly as vast as my dinner ones? Adding a filter of low carb removes some of my favorite lunch standbys (chicken quesadilla, english muffin pizzas, meatball subs). So when I can find any variation on a common lunch item, I am happy…

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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

A Shrimp Dinner to End the Week

For the last meal of the week, we turn to our seafood meal. I decided to try something a little different this week; it’s always risky to be different with a seafood meal when cooking for a pre-teen, but I thought I would give it a shot anyway. Sean likes shrimp, but he’s never had artichokes and is not a big fan of olives, so we’ll have to see how this one goes. Tonight I am making Artichokes with Potatoes, Garlic, Olives and Shrimp. It’s a hearty, one pot meal, something we have made a lot of lately, but it struck me as something that looked good to try. If you can’t find fresh artichokes, you can use artichokes hearts instead.

Artichokes with Potatoes, Garlic, Olives and Shrimp

1 to 1/2 pounds fresh artichokes

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound waxy potatoes, peeled and cut, if necessary, into 1-inch chunks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1/2 cup dry white wine, stock, or water

1 cup small black olives, pitted

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Prepare the artichokes by trimming the stem, cutting off the pointed tips, removing the tough leaves and cutting in half; remove the choke if necessary. As each is finished, drop it into a bowl of cold water with about 10 percent vinegar or lemon juice.

Put 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain the artichokes and add them to the skillet, along with the potatoes. Cook until they’re glossy and beginning to soften; do not brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add the thyme and the liquid. Bring to a boil, cover and adjust the heat so the mixture just simmers. Cook just until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes, then uncover and raise the heat again. Stir in the remaining olive oil, olives, shrimp and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are pink, about 3 to 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then garnish with the parsley and serve hot or warm.

If you have never prepared whole artichokes before, it can be a little tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it it’s pretty easy. It’s really just a matter of getting rid any spiky tips and outer leaves and removing the furry, needlelike choke. You can steam the artichokes whole and eat the leaves one by one, scraping off the meat of each leaf using your front teeth. The closer you get to the center, the more tender the leaves, and the soft, inner leaves can be eaten whole. Just make sure to spoon out the choke before you eat the heart. Fresh tastes a lot better than canned or jarred, in my opinion, but if you are using the artichokes in a recipe, you can get away with using canned or jarred artichoke hearts.

Tomorrow is, of course, St. Patrick’s Day, and I have a great feast scheduled to cook. I’ll be posting my recipes for Corned Beef and Cabbage (I’ll be cooking it two ways),Boiled Potatoes, Colcannon, Grasshopper Pie, and of course, some Irish Coffee and Black and Tans. Check in tomorrow to check out the feast. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes, Seafood, Vegetables

 

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