Monday, August 20, 2018

Cold Oven Method Roast Chicken

This is the easiest chicken recipe using the cold oven method, which I have only recently heard about. So let's get started with your ingredients: an entire chicken (or 4 bone-in, skin on chicken breast halves), 4-5 sage leaves, 2 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs rosemary, 2 heads of garlic (peeled), one lemon (zest in strips using a vegetable peeler, pepper and coarse sea salt.

Rinse chicken, remove innards and pat dry with paper towels. Rub chicken all over with coarse sea salt, including the inside. Also slip your hand underneath the breast skin and rub salt between the breast and skin as well. Set aside for 15 minutes to "brine" and prepare your pot.

Take a lidded, oven-safe pot and coat the bottom with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Throw in all the herbs, garlic and lemon zest strips.

When the chicken is finished brining (optional: the longer the better, overnight if possible) (I used the brining time to peel all the garlic and prepare the herbs), plop it on top of your herb mixture. Squeeze the lemon juice all over the chicken and do a final sprinkle of salt and pepper over the chicken.

Put lid on the pot and slide it into the oven. Turn to 450 degrees F and bake for 45 minutes. Remove lid and bake for another 15 minutes to brown to top.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes before eating (either warm or room temperature).

The chicken was so juicy and tender this way! The garlic was melted and soft underneath, which accompanied the chicken nicely. The pan juices worked really well over rice, but you may want to skim the fat from the top first (there is possibly a lot of fat, due to the chicken skin).

I love roasting chickens but the issue I have is that you oftentimes have to put down pats of butter on top of the breast to keep it moist, as well as rub the entire chicken down with olive oil. That does give the crispy skin and texture, plus golden browning, that people are looking for in roasts - this method seems to give a more healthy, daily-eating alternative.

Give it a try and see if you like it! I am a convert for real.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Miso Pesto Ramen

So this recipe has been raging all across Instagram lately ... Bon Appetit's ramen noodles with miso pesto. I decided to try it out based on the rave reviews.

First of all, this makes WAY too much pesto for two people. We made three balls of noodles and as you can see in the photo above, the noodles were fully dressed and I only used half of the sauce. So use caution when tossing and dressing!

M didn't like it as much as I thought he would. I kept pressing him to see what it needed to make it better and he finally said ... "It needs more protein" ... SMH. A seared scallop or grilled chicken might be a nice addition if you are like M (haha).

Miso Pesto Noodles
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Serves 2

6 cups baby spinach
2 cups cilantro leaves with tender stems
1 Tsp white miso
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup grapeseed or sunflower oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt (I used sea salt)
Fresh noodles (flour or ramen, which you can find in the refrigerated section of all Asian supermarkets)
1 Tsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Toasted sesame seeds

Boil a medium pot of water and cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and do not rinse.

Meanwhile,  puree all other ingredients together, except the butter. Pour into large bowl. Once noodles are drained, add to 1/2 the amount of pesto and all of the butter. Toss together thoroughly. Add more pesto incrementally as necessary.

Divide between bowls and top with sesame seeds to serve.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Chipotle Lime Shrimp Summer Salad

Made this awesome salad the other night, which we ate while watching Terrace House (version Boys and Girls in the City) amongst all our boxes that still need to be unpacked. But we are 90% done, which is pretty good. Summer weather makes me want to minimize the amount of time spent in the kitchen.

Chipotle Lime Shrimp Summer Salad
adapted from Half Baked Harvest
Serves 2-4

1 white peach, pitted and sliced thinly
1/2 avocado, cubed
1 ear white corn, kernels cut off
Handful of heirloom grape tomatoes (whatever you have)
Large handfuls of spinach and/or arugula

1 lb shrimp, peeled
1 tsp smoked paprika (I had some from Spain!)
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
Zest of 1 lime and 1 lemon
1/2 tsp honey
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp olive oil

2 slices foccacia/ciabatta bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

1 medium avocado
1 cup cilantro
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 jalapeno, membranes/seeds removed
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
Juice of 1 large lime

Preheat oven to 350degrees F (or toaster oven, since this is just for croutons). Mix bread, oil, salt and pepper together. Bake croutons for 15-20 min, until crispy. We happened to have focaccia from Bub & Grandma's (one of the best breads around) so we used that - it was amazing.

Combine shrimp with smoked paprika, chili powder, lemon/lime zests, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside to marinade while making the rest of the salad.

Blend all ingredients for dressing in a food processor or blender. Adjust for seasoning. Since my avocado was small, I threw in another 1/2 avocado. The dressing should be thick but not too thick. Think the consistency of bleu cheese dressing (the kind from the bottle).

Grill shrimp, either outdoors or on an indoor grill pan - about 2 min on the first side and 90 seconds on the second side. Be careful not to overcook. Toss together with vegetables and croutons, then put in about 1/2 cup dressing. Toss thoroughly before adding more dressing - you want the greens flavored but not soggy. Eat and beat the heat!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Braised Corned Beef Hash

St Patrick's Day is for drinking Guinness and eating corned beef hash and cabbage. So what's better than combining all that together into a hearty meal ... paired with another bottle of Guinness. AND on top of that, all of those items are usually on sale this time of the year so you'll save money on top of that. The perfect combination.

Braised Corned Beef Hash
Serves 4

1 corned beef hash, point cut
1 Tbps olive oil
2 medium onions, cut into quarters
6 medium carrots, cut into thirds
6-8 medium Yukon gold potatoes, halved
3 bottles Guinness beer

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove corned beef hash from packaging. If the beef is unseasoned and comes with the spice packet, rub it over the fatty side of the meat. Season all over with pepper and just the slightest sprinkling of salt. Remember the corned beef hash is sold already brined and salted.

Heat a large, oven-safe Dutch oven over high heat. Sear corned beef for 5 minutes on each side. Remove onto a plate and throw in the onions. Stir for a couple minutes to pick up some browning. Throw in the carrots and stir for a couple minutes more, and then the same with the potatoes.

Nestle the corned beef amongst the vegetables, along with any pan juices that may have collected onto the plate. Pour in all three bottles of Guinness. You may have to nestle the meat a bit more but the liquid should cover everything about 3/4 of the way.

Cover and oven for approx 1 hour per pound. Remove the lid for the last hour or so. I had a 2.41 corned beef so I cooked it covered for 2 hours and then uncovered for about 30 minutes. When you stick a fork in the meat, it should pierce easily.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before removing the meat and slicing. Serve on a large platter surrounded with the vegetables and some pan juices on the side. Whole grain mustard and horseradish optional.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Portuguese Kale Potato Soup

I haven't been here forever!! But I just made my own spin on the traditional Portuguese soup (caldo verde) and it's too good not to post. What makes it awesome are these tiny Korean Berkshire sausages. There are a few brands out there and I cannot seem to find a picture of the one that is my favorite, but it basically looks like this:

The sausage I prefer has a happier cartoon sausage on it but they're about the size of Vienna sausages. I like them because the skins/casings are really crisp and have a great snap when you bite into them. Sometimes it's easy to also just pan fry up half a package. No oil needed, just a hot pan over medium high heat - shake the pan until the sausages brown.

Portuguese Kale Soup
Serves 4 as main course

2 Tbps butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 bunch kale, curly or lacinato, shredded
2 large russet potatoes, quartered lengthwise and 1/4" sliced
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 package Korean Berkshire pork sausage, cut into 1/4" coins

Melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes, with a large pinch of salt, stirring occasionally.

Once the onion is translucent and sweated out, add kale, potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring a few times. As the potatoes cook down, they'll break up and make the soup creamy.

Add sausage and heat through (should only take a couple minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

* vegetable broth and omit sausage to make this vegetarian
* use any sort of garlic-y sausage, diced into 1/4" cubes