Monthly Archives: October 2012

Time For Some Roman-Style Chicken

I had seen this recipe on Food Network a week or two ago and had been planning to cook it since then but I haven’t had the opportunity to do it until tonight. It is a recipe from Giada de Laurentiis for Roman-Style Chicken. It looked pretty good when she was making it and it certainly didn’t look difficult to do, so since I had everything in the house tonight, I thought I would give it a shot, and I am glad I did.

Roman-Style Chicken

4 skinless chicken breast halves, with ribs
2 skinless chicken thighs, with bones
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Season the chicken with a 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a heavy, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until it is browned on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the peppers and prosciutto and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, and herbs. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.

If you are serving the meal immediately, add the capers and the parsley. Stir to combine and serve. If you are making this ahead of time, transfer the chicken and sauce to a storage container, cool, and refrigerate. The next day, reheat the chicken to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the capers and the parsley and serve.

I did make a minor change to the recipe. Since I didn’t have prosciutto, I used a couple of slices of bacon in its place and it turned out just fine. I also used only chicken thighs for the recipe, mainly because that is what I had on hand and ready to cook. I think it would turn out great with any chicken parts you decided to use. You get a great sauce from the tomatoes, stock and wine that goes well with some rice or potatoes. It’s a quick and simple recipe to make for a weeknight dinner any time you are looking for something to do with some chicken.

That’s it for tonight. I’m not sure what I am going to make tomorrow night. I have a number of choices on hand with some shrimp, some pork chops and even some boneless leg of lamb, which I think I will save for the weekend. We’ll have to wait and see what I can come up with for tomorrow.

Hopefully everyone who had to deal with Hurricane Sandy is okay and you have been able to start some kind of clean up and recovery from whatever effects you may have incurred. We were lucky in that we never lost power here and really only had to deal with very high winds. There is lots of debris down in the area and many people here lost power and their phones. The schools have been closed all week as well, but hopefully by next week everything will start to restore itself to some normalcy. Thank goodness for all the responders and help that so many people have been able to benefit from. I am not sure where New York and New Jersey would be without them.

Until next time, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry


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3 Tips for Roasting Vegetables | The Feed

3 Tips for Roasting Vegetables | The Feed.

I love roasted vegetables. I think it is my favorite way to make vegetables overall. You can get so much more flavor out of them through roasting than you can by steaming or making them in the microwave. Anyway, here are some tips from America’s Test Kitchen about the best way to approach roasting some of your favorite vegetables. Check it out!


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9 Things To Do To Avoid Boredom During A Hurricane | Food Republic

9 Things To Do To Avoid Boredom During A Hurricane | Food Republic.

If you’re dealing with Hurricane Sandy (and let’s face, if you live in the United States you are, one way or another), here’s some great tips from Food Republic on ways to help you pass the time during the storm itself. Stay safe, stay dry and enjoy each other’s company! Check it out!

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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Cooking, Cooking Tips, Cooking Websites


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Five Autumn Soups for the (Coming) Cold Weather « Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Five Autumn Soups for the (Coming) Cold Weather « Chef Marcus Samuelsson.

As Hurricane Sandy heads our way here in New York, it certainly makes you feel like you might need a nice bowl of soup to keep you warm. Here’s a selection of 5 soups designed for fall weather from chef Marcus Samuelsson. I am a little skeptical of spicy coconut lentil, but hey, if you like it give it a try. The others all sound like they would be great to sit down next to a a roaring fire and enjoy. Check it out!

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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Cooking Websites, Soups & Stews


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Let’s Have a Snack: Homemade Egg Rolls

I had seen some egg roll wrappers on sale in the supermarket this week and thought I would give this a try. I did need to pick up a few things along the way for this, but none of it was hard to find; it was all basic stuff that I would normally buy or had in the house. I actually found a use for that oyster sauce I bought to make the Thai dinner the other night!

Egg Rolls

1 package of egg roll wraps

1 pound ground pork

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

2 cups cabbage, finely chopped

1/4 pound bean sprouts

1/2 cup carrots, shredded

3 green onions, chopped

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable and heat until shimmering. Add the pork and the ginger and heat until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots and green onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the oyster sauce. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely.

Use 2 tablespoons of filling per egg roll. Place the filling diagonally on the wrap. Fold the bottom corner over the filling and roll snugly half-way to cover the filling. Fold in both side corners snugly against the filling; moisten the edges of the last flap with water. Roll the wrap up tightly and seal the top corner. Lay the egg roll flat side down until they are ready to cook.

If you want to fry them, In a large skillet heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Place the egg rolls flap side down, a few at a time, making sure not to crowd them in the pan (you’ll have to do this in batches if you are making a lot). Turn the rolls occasionally and cook until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve.

If you want to bake them (which I did), heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the rolls on a baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray. Lightly brush the tops of the egg rolls with olive oil and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

I wanted to try baking them to avoid all the extra oil and I think they turned out great. Sean and I loved the way they came out. The great thing about egg rolls is that you can fill them with whatever you want. You can choose to just use vegetables, use chicken, beef, shrimp, really anything you want. The options are endless.

Just a couple of things about this recipe. I bought a bag of cole slaw mix and used that instead of shredding the cabbage and carrots myself. It was much easier and still turned out well. I did end up adding more cabbage then the recipe called for because it was cooking away so rapidly, so you may want to watch that. I also think it could use some flavoring, so you may want to make a little sauce to use instead of just using the oyster sauce. Also, this recipe is designed to use all the egg roll wrappers. The package I bought has 20 wrappers, which is a lot of egg rolls. I only made 8 and we still have 6 leftover. Once you open the package of wrappers, you either should use it in 7 days or freeze it and it should be good for about 2 months, which gives you time to make more later on. It’s a great recipe to do some experimenting with.

That’s it for tonight. We have another wedding to go to tomorrow, so there’s no dinner tomorrow, but we are planning to make beef stew or beef barley soup Sunday, so check back for that recipe. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Appetizers, Cooking, Pork



Good Eats Meatloaf and Roasted Green Beans

I love meatloaf. I know I have said that on here many times, but it’s always worth repeating. When we got out somewhere, if it’s on the menu I want to try it. Of course, some times I am disappointed by the results, but hey, you still have to try, right? So tonight when I decided to make meatloaf, I turned to a recipe from Alton Brown and his “Good Eats” program. I like a lot of the things he makes (and he’s great to follow on Twitter if you are on there) so I figured this recipe was a no-brainer. It got a lot of good reviews from people on Food Network’s website also, so I had to give it a try.

Good Eats Meatloaf

6 ounces garlic-flavored croutons
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and broken
3 whole cloves garlic
1/2 red bell pepper
18 ounces ground chuck
18 ounces ground sirloin
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg

For the glaze:
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon honey

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.


In a food processor bowl, combine croutons, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and thyme. Pulse until the mixture is of a fine texture. Place this mixture into a large bowl. Combine the onion, carrot, garlic, and red pepper in the food processor bowl. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, but not pureed. Combine the vegetable mixture, ground sirloin, and ground chuck with the bread crumb mixture. Season the meat mixture with the kosher salt. Add the egg and combine thoroughly, but avoid squeezing the meat.


Pack this mixture into a 10-inch loaf pan to mold the shape of the meatloaf. Onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, turn the meatloaf out of the pan onto the center of the tray. Insert a temperature probe at a 45 degree angle into the top of the meatloaf. Avoid touching the bottom of the tray with the probe. Set the probe for 155 degrees.


Combine the ketchup, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and honey. Brush the glaze onto the meatloaf after it has been cooking for about 10 minutes. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes, covered, after removing from the oven. Slice and serve.

This recipe is great. The meatloaf and the glaze have a nice combination of bite from the hot sauce, cayenne and chili pepper and a sweetness from the honey. We all loved it and I’ll definitely be making this one again.

I decided to serve this with some boiled potatoes and green beans. I love green beans too, and I am always looking for a new way to make them. I came across this recipe from Williams-Sonoma that is simple and tastes great from the roasting.

Roasted Green Beans and Carrots with Red Onion

3/4 pound green beans, trimmed
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally about 1/4 inch thick
1 red onion, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Place an 8-by-11-inch heavy roasting pan or a very large, ovenproof fry pan on the rack.

Bring a large saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add a pinch of salt and the green beans. Cook the beans until they turn bright green and are just tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the beans and plunge them into a bowl of ice-cold water to stop the cooking and drain again.

In a large bowl, toss together the beans, carrots, onion, garlic and olive oil. Sprinkle with the cumin, season with salt and pepper, and toss again to thoroughly combine. Transfer the vegetables to the preheated pan and spread them evenly. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, 45 to 55 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

It was a something different to do and I like roasting vegetables. The flavor seems a little more intense when you roast them. You could easily add other vegetables to this if you wanted to, choosing some other fall root vegetables like parsnips, turnips, or sweet potatoes.
We also made some of the all-purpose gravy I have made before, because you must have gravy with meatloaf. Overall, it was quite a good meal.
Well, I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow night, so I am not sure I’ll get a meal in, but we’ll see what happens. Until next time, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!



Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Vegetables


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7 Slow-Cooked Crockpot Lunches | Food Republic

7 Slow-Cooked Crockpot Lunches | Food Republic.

It’s that time of year again when the weather turns cool and thoughts turn back to the slow cooker to make soups, stews and chili. Here are some great recipe ideas from Food Republic about things that you can do in your slow cooker and make great lunches for these cool fall days for you at home, to being to the office or for the kids to bring to school in a thermos. Check it out!


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Let’s Have Some Lemon Roasted Chicken

I haven’t had much of a chance to do any cooking the last few days. We have been running here, there and everywhere and either haven’t been home to make dinner or have just gone for quick solutions because I haven’t had time or energy to cook. Tonight, however, I was determined to cook. We had nice whole chicken and I wanted a quick and easy recipe. I came across this one from Williams-Sonoma that is a simple one dish meal. I had to modify the recipe very slightly since the original recipe is designed to be made in a special pan sold by Williams-Sonoma that acts as a roaster, holding the bird over the pan itself so you can roast the vegetables in the bottom. I don’t have that pan (and it seems kind of pricey to me anyway) so I just roasted everything in one pan and that was it.

Lemon Roasted Chicken with Rainbow Carrots and Fingerling Potatoes

1 chicken, about 4 pounds

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

6 large, fresh thyme or rosemary sprigs

2 bay leaves

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 pounds baby rainbow carrots, peeled and tops trimmed

1 pound fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons olive oil

Remove and discard the fat from the chicken cavity. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly season the cavity with salt and pepper. Place 4 of the herb sprigs, 1 of the bay leaves, all of the garlic and the lemon inside the cavity.

Tuck the wings behind the back. Using kitchen twine, lift the neck end of the breast, then pull the twine around the wings and under the chicken. Bring the ends of the twine up over the breast and cross over at the leg end of the breast, pulling tight. Bring the ends of the twine around the drumsticks and tie in a knot. Let the chicken stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Rub the outside of the chicken with the butter and generously season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, stir together the carrots, potatoes, olive oil, the remaining 2 sprigs of herbs and the remaining bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the vegetables to the base of the roasting pan and spread evenly. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and roast, stirring the vegetables halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve the chicken and arrange on a warmed platter with the vegetables and serve.

Of course, I couldn’t find any rainbow carrots around here in any of the markets. I just used regular carrots instead, but the rainbow carrots would look great and add some great color to the dish. The chicken itself roasts up nicely and the skin was crisp. You get the faint hint of the lemon and rosemary throughout the chicken and the potatoes and carrots are roasted nicely and have great flavor. Overall it was quite a nice dish.

Tomorrow night is meatloaf night here, and I’ll be using the Alton Brown recipe from Good Eats, so check back for that one. Later on in the week I do plan to make either some beef stew or soup, I haven’t decided which yet. I also have some  chicken thighs and I have a recipe I plan to use for them perhaps Thursday or Friday. I also bought some egg roll wrappers and thought I would have a stab at making them, so check back for that recipe as well. Until next time, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, One Pot Meals, Poultry


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Time to Strip (Steak) in the Kitchen (and Some Mushroom Gravy too)

Michelle had picked up a couple of nice looking New York strip steaks the other day and today seemed like a good day to make them.There’s nothing really fancy about them or cooking them either. You can easily pan fry them or just put them under the broiler, which is what I usually do. The other thing about steak is you want to make sure you let it rest before you slice it so all the juices stay in the steak and not run out all over the plate, leaving you with dry meat. I had bought the mushrooms a few days ago and I have been looking for an excuse to make some mushroom gravy, and this was it. Mushroom gravy is great with meat loaf or Salisbury steak, but I think it can work well with other steak or just to have with some mashed potatoes.

New York Strip Steaks with Mushroom Gravy

2 New York strip steaks, about 10 ounces each

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon butter

10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

1 shallot, minced

3/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 1/2 cups beef broth

Take the steaks out of the refrigerator and sit, covered, on the counter for 30 minutes to 1 hour to allow them to come to room temperature. Preheat the broiler and position a rack about 4-5 inches from the element. Season the steaks liberally with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on an aluminum foil-covered broiler pan and place the steaks under the broiler. Heat for four minutes and then flip and heat for another four minutes. Remove the steaks from the oven to a serving dish and loosely tent with aluminum foil and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a medium skillet and add the mushrooms and shallot. Saute until the mushrooms and shallot are soft and the mushrooms are a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in the thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the broth and the Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, whisking until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on the side with the steaks.

If you want a creamier sauce, you could add a 1/2 cup of heavy cream in the last-minute of the cooking of the gravy to give you the creaminess you want. Of course I served it with mashed potatoes and some broccoli, but creamed spinach would be great with this as well to make it a classic steak dinner.

That’s it for tonight. We won’t be home for dinners the next few nights but I’ll be back on Monday with a new recipe and I have some plans for a few things next week, so check back and see what I come up with. Until then, enjoy the rest of your evening and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on October 18, 2012 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Gravy


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Let’s (Bacon) Wrap It Up

I wanted to make something easy today and just use what we already had in the house since I have a bit of a cold and didn’t feel like going out. I checked in the freezer and we had some tilapia, so that’s what I am going with today. I found a great recipe idea from Mark Bittman in this weeks New York Times Sunday Magazine that makes some great use of fish and everybody’s favorite, bacon. It’s quick, easy and destined to taste great. I mean, it has bacon in it, it has to be great, right?

Bacon Wrapped Tilapia

6 slices bacon

1 pound firm whitefish, like tilapia or cod, cut into 4 filets

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper, to taste

Parsley, to garnish

In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and warm until shimmering. Add in the red onion and saute until they are just starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, wrap the bacon slices tightly around the fish fillets and lightly season with salt and pepper. Add this fish to the pan and saute until the fish and bacon are done and the bacon is starting to crisp, turning halfway through cooking, about 8 minutes. Garnish with parsley ans serve.

That’s all there is to this one. You get the smoky flavor of the bacon added to the fish along with the bite of the red onion and you have a nice meal. I served this with plain white rice, but I also had some acorn squash on hand, so I decided to bake that and have it as our vegetable. I love the way acorn squash tastes when it has been baked or roasted, and it tastes even better when you add in a little brown sugar and maple syrup.

Baked Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash, cut in 1/2
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Freshly ground black pepper

Scoop the seeds and stringy pulp out of the squash cavities and discard. In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, syrup and salt and pepper, to taste. Rub the squash cavities and cut sides of the squash with the butter mixture and place them on a baking sheet, cut side up. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Serve 1 half per person.

There you have it, a quick meal for a Sunday, or any day, for that matter. There’s not a lot of clean up involved for this one either, and I plan to use the leftover rice with some turkey chili that I also made today to have for dinner tomorrow and lunches this week.

That’s all I have for tonight. I do have a few recipes that I plan to try this week, including a shrimp dish that I picked up this week that looks pretty tasty. We’re also heading into the soups and stews time of year, so I plan to be making more things like that in the coming weeks, so we’ll have to check for some recipes for them as well. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on October 14, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Seafood, Vegetables


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