Tag Archives: crushed red pepper flakes

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

27 Aug
Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

My good WP and FB friend Kat shared a video a couple of weeks ago of how to make a fresh box grater tomato sauce, and with a garden full of ripening tomatoes I knew I would be making a fresh-grated tomato sauce in the immediate future.

Hanging Tomato Plants

Hanging Tomato Plants

And of course I had to add shrimp, as my hubby and I are really enjoying our lack of daughter’s presence for dinners this summer so that we can eat this scrumptious shellfish, which is the ONLY seafood she doesn’t like.

The tomatoes in our garden are really small this year, so I didn’t even bother to slice them in half before grating. I just trimmed a tiny slice off the top, then grated away! I am sold on this method of preparing tomatoes for a sauce. Since I was planning on adding shrimp to this, I gussied everything up and cooked it for a short spell so that the shrimp would have a delicious sauce to simmer in.

Fresh Picked Heirloom Tomatoes

Fresh Picked Heirloom Tomatoes

My husband said I should put a tomato meter rating on my recipes, like the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes does, lol. With that, we give this recipe 5 ripe tomatoes! (Note: This recipe feeds two. Feel free to double as necessary.)

So what am I waiting for?! Here is the recipe:

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

4 ounces dry Linguine or other pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
Large splash of good white wine
Enough tomatoes for 1 cup grated sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt or Mrs. Dash and ground black pepper, to taste
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

Shrimp and Pasta Dish Ingredients

Shrimp and Pasta Dish Ingredients

Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, reserve about a half cup of liquid, then drain and return to pot, cover and keep warm on lowest setting. Add small splashes of reserved pasta water and stir occasionally to keep it from sticking while preparing the rest of the dish.

While pasta is cooking, slice a small piece off the top of each tomato and grate flat-handed on a box grater down to the skin. Grate enough tomatoes for 1 cup of sauce.

Grated Tomatoes and Such

Grated Tomatoes and Such

Add half the oil to a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion until translucent. Add the garlic for a minute more then add in a splash of wine. Add the rest of the oil, the grated tomato sauce, oregano, basil, and seasonings. Bring to a low simmer.

Simmering Fresh Tomato Sauce

Simmering Fresh Tomato Sauce

Nestle the shrimp into the sauce and cook for a few minutes, then flip over with tongs and cook for a few more until almost done. Last, add the chopped spinach, and simmer until wilted and shrimp are just cooked through.

Shrimp and Spinach Added to Sauce

Shrimp and Spinach Added to Sauce

Stir in the cooked pasta and additional reserved water until desired consistency. Serve on plates with a side salad and/or rustic bread.

Cooked Pasta Added to Sauce

Cooked Pasta Added to Sauce

Note how I did NOT add any cheese to this, as apparently the European world eschews cheese on seafood so I followed suit. I did not miss the cheese at all! I must say, this is the brightest, freshest tomato sauce I have ever tasted.

Oh! And if you want to see the referenced video, here it is: How to Make Fresh Tomato Sauce | Food and Wine

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

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Homemade Sweet and Spicy Chile Sauce and Shrimp Spring “Unrolls”

29 May
Sweet and Spicy Chile Sauce with Spring Unrolls

Sweet and Spicy Chile Sauce with Shrimp Spring Unrolls

I tried. I really really tried. I wanted to make shrimp spring rolls to go with this amazing chile sauce I came up with, but spring rolls were not to be. During the fourth attempt at rolling the same rice paper, it fought back and exploded in the middle, dumping the contents onto the plate below. I threw my hands in the air, added more lettuce to the mix, and used the dipping sauce as a salad dressing. Take that spring unroll!

It was quite delicious, if I don’t say so myself! I wish I made more of the chile sauce, as it really does make an amazing salad dressing and of course would go great with spring or egg rolls too. I let hubby roll his own, and he didn’t have much success either. I think we both tried to put too much in each one. But we both ended up with a lovely meal, mess and all.

Rather than bore you with all the details of what went in my “salad,” I basically used the same recipe that I used another time a made spring rolls, but used medium whole shrimp instead of diced deli shrimp and switched up a few of the veggies/herbs. Recipe here —> Shrimp and Vegetable Spring Rolls with a Spicy Peanut Sauce. OK let’s get to the chile sauce (and double this up if you want more to grace your fridge for future use):

Homemade Sweet and Spicy Chile Sauce
Adapted from picturetherecipe.com

4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Sambal Oelek
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with same amount of water
3/4 teaspoon fish sauce

Add the sugar to a small sauce pan, then whisk in the rice vinegar and water. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil, whisking until sugar is dissolved.

Whisking the Chile Sauce

Whisking the Chile Sauce

Add the minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and Sambal Oelek. (You can substitute Sriracha if you don’t have any.)

Adding the Sambal Oelek

Adding the Sambal Oelek ~ Shhh! It’s the secret ingredient!

Turn heat down and let simmer for several minutes until it slightly thickens.

Whisk in the cornstarch slurry, then simmer at a high bubble until the sauce clears and thickens. Turn off heat, stir in the fish sauce, then set aside to cool down.

Cooling the Chile Sauce

Cooling the Chile Sauce

Once cool, store in airtight bottle in the refrigerator until ready to use. Serve as a dipping sauce with spring rolls, or as a sweet/spicy dressing to any salad.

Sweet and Spicy Chile Sauce with Spring Unrolls

Sweet and Spicy Chile Sauce with Shrimp Spring Unrolls

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

21 May
Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Recently my meals have taken on a “keep-it-simple” theme, which includes finding and making new meals that only use one pot, pan, or skillet. One day I was surfing Pinterest, pondering what to make with some fresh spring asparagus I had bought and came across this delightful food blog that offered just the ticket for a quick and easy meal. I scaled it down for two people as my daughter wasn’t eating at home that night, and also added some Neufchâtel cream cheese to double the creaminess. The meal offered everything it claimed, including only one pot to clean after. And the bonus? It only took a half hour to make! Two thumbs up all the way around!

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two
Adapted from The Nourished Peach, original recipe here

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
Ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
4 to 6 ounces asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup milk, any kind
6 to 8 ounces spaghetti noodles
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice (1 small lemon or 1/2 large)
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan chees
2 ounces Neufchâtel cheese or regular cream cheese
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Season the chicken on both sides with ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste. Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

Add the chicken and cook for about 7 minutes on one side, then turn chicken over and cook for another 7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Remove chicken to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes or so.

Browning the Asparagus

Browning the Asparagus

Meanwhile add the asparagus to the pot and cook for several minutes, stirring to evenly cook it. In the last minute or so, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Deglaze the pot with a couple teaspoons of the chicken broth and scrape up the yummy browned bits from the chicken.

Pasta and Cooking Liquids

Pasta and Cooking Liquids ~ I broke the spaghetti in half to fit the pot

Add the thyme, additional ground black pepper, chicken broth, milk, and pasta to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to medium and gently boil, stirring often with a fork to keep the noodles from sticking to each other.

Boiling the Pasta

Boiling the Pasta

Simmer for 8 to 15 minutes (we live at high altitude so pasta takes longer) until pasta is cooked to your liking.

Adding the Chicken

Adding the Chicken

Meanwhile slice the chicken into strips then cut into bite-sized pieces. When pasta is done, add the lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, Neufchâtel or cream cheese, and chicken. Stir to completely combine then top with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Serve in bowls along with a side salad. So delicious!

Note: This recipe can easily be double or tripled, use size of pot accordingly.

Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Spinach and Feta Cheese Steak Rollups

27 Feb
Spinach and Feta Steak Rollups

Spinach and Feta Steak Rollups

How on earth does my mind come up with something like this? Just out of the blue! I guess I’m just getting used to “making do” with what I have in the house as I loathe shopping of any kind. Just ask my family. I really do hate shopping.

But what I do really like is coming up with some crazy idea for dinner and think yeah, the family will like this. But then when the family not only likes it, they LOVE it, I’m pretty darned happy. Even before this was finished cooking, my hubby said, “You know we can always order pizza if it isn’t good.” See, he DID have his doubts!

But doubt no more.

Oh shoot, a back story to the salted steak first. (Many of  my long-term readers know hubby is on a low-salt diet.) And a video, but you don’t have to watch it.

So somehow I came across a poor man’s video guide on the interwebz to make any tough meat tender. So, here is the video (sorry if you have to watch an ad first):

Watch here —> Poor Man’s Filet Mignon

And I also happened to watch it with hubby a few days before I made this. THEN (even with a little less now than a quarter cow in the freezer) I picked up some thin-sliced eye of round from the 50% off bin. I am a sucker for meat deals. Of course I froze it immediately. When I told hubby I brought home some store-bought beef and that it was a very tough cut, he actually got excited instead of rolling his eyes. He wanted us to test out this meat tenderizing trick.

Now, let me present to you my riff on a beef rollup stuffed with all kinds of yum. I would have liked to grill this, but it was freezing outside. Make note to cook this again on the grill when the weather is better. And yes, it came out very tender, more so than I expected! (And p.s. the family loved these!)

Spinach and Feta Steak Rollups

For the steak glaze:

Splash of olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 sprig fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried leaves
1/2 cup beef broth, preferably homemade

For the steak rollups

3/4 pound thin-sliced eye of round or any other thin-sliced steak (8 to 10 slices)
Coarse sea salt
8 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 ounces crumble Feta cheese
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil or other high-heat tolerant neutral oil

Salting the Beef

Salting the Beef

If you have a tough cut of beef, follow the method in the video. But if you don’t want to watch it, basically add some course sea salt to the top of the steak and let it sit on the counter for 1 hour for every inch. This steak was so thin we did less than 10 minutes. But even in that short time I could see the steak sweating out and breaking up the fibers! Then you rinse the steak thoroughly of the salt. Pat dry and set aside ready for the stuffing.

But meanwhile you can make the steak glaze.

Making the Steak Glaze

Making the Steak Glaze

Add a splash of oil to a saucepan or skillet over medium heat and cook garlic until fragrant, just a minute or so. Add the rest of the glaze ingredients and cook and stir until reduced by about half. Remove rosemary sprig if not using dried. Take off heat and set aside.

Spinach and Feta Cheese Stuffing

Spinach and Feta Cheese Stuffing

Next, take your thawed and squeezed-dry spinach (you did that already, right?) and add to a bowl along with the Feta cheese, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice and mix until thoroughly combined.

Glazed Steaks

Glazed Steaks

Brush the steak slices with the glaze with a pastry brush, (if you used dried rosemary, don’t worry as it just gets stuck in the brush anyways).

Adding the Spinach Stuffing

Adding the Spinach Stuffing

Grind a bunch of black pepper over the steaks. Top the steak slices evenly with the spinach mixture. Roll up and secure with twine or toothpicks. I found twine to be convenient since I wasn’t grilling.

Brush any remaining steak glaze you have over the rollups. Grind more black pepper over them again, to taste. I am kind of a ground black pepper freak.

Rolled and Stuffed Steaks

Rolled and Stuffed Steaks

Heat a large cast iron or heavy bottom skillet over very high heat with two teaspoons of neutral high-heat oil. With tongs, add the rollups (in batches if needed) to the skillet and cook on all sides until browned. Just a minute or two on each side, rolling often. Remove to a plate and serve with a side vegetable of choice. I chose steamed asparagus. I suppose some kind of bread could be in order but I’m trying to lose weight. 🙂 Happy dining!

Spinach and Feta Steak Rollups

Spinach and Feta Steak Rollups

 

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

9 Aug
Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

We had about a half-pound of tri-tip beef leftover that my hubby cooked up on the grill earlier in the week, the daughter was gone, and I needed to come up with something for dinner that was quick and easy. I also had a partial bag of sugar snap peas left in the fridge and a half bag of bean sprouts in the freezer. (Did you know you can freeze bean sprouts? But they need to be cooked after freezing, they won’t be good in a salad or sandwich.)

A quick search on the internet gave me this super-easy meal that was on the table in less than thirty minutes! It’s so quick you’ll want to start cooking your rice before making this, unless you are super-fortunate to also have some leftover rice in the fridge.

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas
Adapted from Beef with Snow Peas, Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

1/2 pound leftover barbecued tri-tip beef (or any other cooked beef)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 ounces fresh sugar snap peas
4 ounces bean sprouts
3 green onions, cut into inch pieces on the diagonal
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 cup low sodium or homemade chicken or beef broth
Cooked rice, for serving.

Simmering the Beef and Vegetables

Simmering the Beef and Vegetables

Slice the cooked beef in very thin slices against the grain and set aside. Cut into bite size pieces too if you want. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger.

Heat a wok or other heavy bottomed skillet to medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the beef and let it sear on one side for a couple of minutes, then flip it over and sear for another minute or two. Remove meat from the pan and set aside.

Add the last half tablespoon of olive oil to the wok or skillet, then throw in the snow peas, bean sprouts, and green onions. Toss them around for a minute or two, then pour in the mixture from the bowl.

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

Next add the meat back in and sprinkle with some crushed red pepper flakes, to taste. Last, pour in the chicken broth, stir to combine, and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and serve immediately with cooked rice. Easy and delicious!

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Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

21 Feb
Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada1

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

I don’t have any prep photos of this recipe, because I was almost certain we would be ordering pizza after we tasted this. I couldn’t be MORE WRONG! It was simply amazing!! I was so astounded that I did snap a shot of my bowl of it (sans the flour tortilla for dipping, because I was still so non-plussed how great this tasted.) Then for grins I took a shot of my hubby’s interpretation of how this should be eaten.

I was going through the freezer and found a half a tube of Mexican ground chorizo sausage and decided to do something with it.  I also had two gallon bags of frozen tomatoes from our last harvest and I had to use at least SOME of them soon. I had made brined pork chops the night before, which were a total failure, I tell you. Hardly anyone touched the pork, so you won’t get any info on that except for my brining shot of it, sigh. I will not make THAT recipe again. Kitchn website, you failed me this time…

Brining Pork

Here I am brining pork, all fanchy schmancy. Little did I know….

I threw caution to the wind, and stuck the frozen chorizo, peeled frozen tomatoes, and almost a pound of the failed pork (cut up) into the crock pot, thinking if I just cook the hell out of something it might be decent. In went some chicken broth, potatoes, onions, spices and such. Just whatever sounded good. Then covered it up and cooked it all day long, hoping it wouldn’t be a last-minute pizza night.

I almost feel like I painted a masterpiece with this. Almost. This was INCREDIBLY delicious! My daughter and I couldn’t stop warming up more tortillas to slop up every last morsel of goodness. We also stirred in some cheddar cheese into the bowls, for garnish. My husband, on the other hand, made rolled up cheese quesadillas/burrito type things, stuck some of the mixture inside, and then slathered them over with more stew and mounds of sour cream. Mounds, I tell you. A little odd, but I let him do it. It’s his mouth.

Rolled Quesadillas with Chorizo Stew

Rolled Quesadillas with Chorizo Stew ~ or something like that. I really don’t know what to call this.

You may adapt however you like, because it’s not like I followed any semblance of a recipe to start with. (p.s. it is the ground chorizo that makes this recipe and sets it apart from my other Carne Guisada recipe, so at least don’t skip that ingredient!)

Hints: Whenever a recipe calls for a small amount of tomato paste or chipotle chiles, I freeze the rest (labeled) for later use. Just nuke for a tad and take what you need and refreeze. Yes, I got mine out of the freezer for this.

Now on to the (sort of) recipe!

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

1 pound of pork, cooked or uncooked, cut into small pieces
7 ounces ground Mexican pork chorizo, uncooked
2 cups diced tomatoes, frozen, from a can, fresh, whatever
1 medium potato, any kind, unpeeled, washed and diced
1/2 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium, or water
1/2 cup chopped onion, any kind (I used red)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon of sauce from a can of Adobo Chipotle peppers
Juice from 1/2 small lime (maybe a couple of teaspoons?)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder (or any other kind)
Large pinch of cumin powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish if you want)
Warmed flour tortilla, for slopping up
Grated cheddar cheese, for garnish
Mounds of sour cream, for garnish (or not)

Prep your pork and veggies and such, throw them all in a crock pot, give it a good stir to mix, and cook on low about 8 to 10 hours or high on 4 to 6 hours. Give it another good stir at the end. That’s it! Serve with garnishes. Easy, huh?

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Caldo Verde (Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower)

14 Feb
Caldo Verde - Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

Caldo Verde – Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

I think I’ve said the adage “Do as I Say and Not as I Do” many times here. Please listen to this advice. Not once, but TWICE I added the sliced sausage to the mix before blending the soup. I’m a bit daft that way, sometimes. So take my advice, and DO NOT ADD THE SAUSAGE to the soup until after you’ve blended it, OK? Otherwise you have to keep fishing it out of everything and placing it in a bowl. Good, we got that out of the way now.

This creamy soup was absolutely delicious, and nary a potato in sight for it which is the usual method to make it. Instead, cauliflower is first roasted and then blended with the stock to make a rich base for spinach and sausage. The flavors in this are complex and dreamy. I will make this again and not forget my own advice. 😉

p.s. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Caldo Verde (Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower)
Adapted from “Cauldo-Verde” by Bogre on the Food52 website

1 pound of cauliflower florets (from 1 small head)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus extra for roasting the cauliflower)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
7 ounces (1/2 link) of a smoked turkey Kielbasa
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 to 6 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
5 ounce bag baby spinach
Large handful Italian parsley, chopped
Large handful of cilantro, chopped
1/8 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 small lemon)

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Smoked Paprika

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Smoked Paprika

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the cauliflower florets with cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and some good splashes of olive oil. Spread in a single layer in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping at the halfway mark. Remove from oven and set aside.

Browning the Kielbasa and Onions

Browning the Kielbasa and Onions

In a soup pot or Dutch over medium-high heat, saute the onion and Kielbasa in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until onions are tender and sausage is browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for about a minute more. Remove the mixture to a bowl. Now. Do not forget this step.

Add the roasted cauliflower and chicken broth to the pot (not the Kielbasa yet!), bring to a boil, reduce heat then simmer for about a half hour. Remove from the heat and puree in a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender, which I don’t have.)

Wilting the Spinach

Wilting the Spinach

Return the blended soup to the pot over low heat. Add the sausage and onion mixture, the spinach, and the parsley and heat for about another 10 minutes until the spinach is wilted and soft. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped cilantro and lemon juice. Ladle into bowls and serve with thick slices of crusty, buttered bread. Welcome to my mouth, you complex creamy soup!

Caldo Verde - Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

Caldo Verde – Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

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One-Pot Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

8 Feb
One-Pot Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

One-Pot Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

Well it’s about time I have a new recipe for you! I’ve been cooking all week, but cooked some of my regulars in rotation, including a nice big batch of Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup and the family-favorite Garlicky Parmesan Chicken Tenders.

Today I bring you an easy one-pot meal loaded with some delicious roasted vegetables. The original recipe didn’t have any lemon or crushed red pepper flakes in it, but whenever I cook with spinach, those two ingredients sing to me! And lemon and artichoke? Why YES! I got a neutral rating from the family — but in my defense (and theirs) — when I plated dinner, both said they weren’t very hungry. They’ve both been fighting off the crud, it seems. But I found this very tasty!

One-Pot Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes
Adapted from Baked Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes at Diethood.com

1 pound chicken pieces, cut up if large
Fresh ground pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 large carrots, sliced into thin rounds
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 14-ounce can quartered artichokes, rinsed and drained
1 8-ounce bag spinach
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 large lemon wedges
3/4 cup chicken broth

Sliced Carrots and Onion

Sliced Carrots and Onion

Preheat oven to 425. Meanwhile prep the chicken and veggies. Season chicken with pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash. The chicken can be boneless and/or skinless or not, but if the pieces are large be sure to cut them smaller.

Heat butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown the chicken in the Dutch oven on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes each side, depending on thickness. Remove from the pot and set aside, leaving the oil in the skillet.

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

Reduce heat to medium, and add the onions and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with more spices if needed. At this point, add the artichokes and cook about another 5 minutes until the vegetables are almost tender, again stirring occasionally.

Sauteing the Veggies

Sauteing the Veggies

Add the minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and half the spinach. Squeeze one lemon wedge over the spinach and stir around until reduced a bit. Add the rest of the spinach and squeeze the other lemon wedge over it. Continue to cook until all the spinach wilts, stirring occasionally.

Spinach Wilted with Veggies

Spinach Wilted with Veggies

Remove from heat, add the broth, and nestle the chicken around the vegetables. Place in the oven uncovered and bake for 18 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. In the last 5 minutes, bump the heat to broil to finish the roasting. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles, if desired.

Chicken Ready to Finish in Oven

Chicken Ready to Finish in Oven

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Best Chicken Wings Ever

9 Feb
Best Chicken Wings Ever

Best Chicken Wings Ever

No, really. These are Genius! For years, my husband has been trying to cook perfectly crisped chicken wings. He’s tried double-frying in oil, frying then baking, baking then grilling — you name it. And then there was this magical moment about two weeks ago when I hopped over to one of my favorite foodie websites and a recipe for these chicken wings popped up in the Genius Recipes column. Really? Really? Can it be true?

I immediately printed the recipe and ran downstairs to show it to my husband. He wasn’t even skeptical about it and was anxious to try this new version, and promptly put “chicken wings” on the grocery list white board. Much to his dismay he came home wingless that day from the grocery store. “I can’t believe the store had no chicken wings!” I’m a persistent shopper and would have tried a second (or even third) store, but the wings would have to wait until another day.

Cured Chicken Wings

Cured Chicken Wings

His next trip out a couple of days later and produced said wings. He was all set to cook them up for dinner when he discovered (much to his dismay again) that the recipe required a full 24-hours of prep. “Didn’t you read the recipe?” “Well, uh, I read the ingredients but didn’t read through the instructions.” Cooking Basics 101. Read the entire recipe through at least once (0r more) before starting to cook. Don’t be put off by the 24 hours though. That is mostly all hands off time while the chicken wings “cure” in the refrigerator, for lack of a better word.

I can truly attest that these are the most perfectly crisped chicken wings I have ever had in my life! Crunchy skin on the outside, and completely juicy and tender on the inside. And there is a bonus to them too! Forget the goopy, buttery red hot sauce known to adorn the ubiquitous Buffalo Wings. The recipe also included an amazing dipping sauce that is this spicy, tangy-I-can’t-put-words-to-it delicious! Without further adieu…

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

Best Chicken Wings Ever
Very slightly adapted from Maximum Flavor (Clarkson Potter, 2013) and borrowed from Food52

Vegetable oil spray for racks
3 large egg whites
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 pounds whole chicken wings
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons apple juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
1 green onion, finely sliced

Oil 2 wire racks and place them over a large rimmed baking sheet. Mix the egg whites, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir until salt and baking soda are dissolved. Dump each chicken wing, one at a time, into the mixture and coat evenly. Lift the wing from the bowl and drain off excess marinade. Place each wing on the racks. Refrigerate the wings, uncovered, overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the baking sheet of wings into the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl.

Amazing Dipping Sauce

Amazing Dipping Sauce

Flip the wings over and bake for another 10 minutes. Turn the wings over again and bake about another 10 more minutes, until nice and golden. Take the sheet of wings out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

Serve with the dipping sauce. Can you say Genius? And the second bonus is that the leftover dipping sauce can be used to marinate almost anything!

Best Chicken Wings Ever

Best Chicken Wings Ever

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Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Bake

28 Dec

I posted this almost a year ago and made it last night again for dinner (another one of many times throughout the year). This is one of my daughter’s favorite quick dinners I make, and it’s my go-to recipe for a simple and easy delicious meal! Last night I subbed out Panko bread crumbs seasoned with Italian dried season and used a jar of homemade canned tomatoes, chopped, with liquid drained. If you haven’t made this before, try it out!

anotherfoodieblogger

So simple, so colorful, and soooo good! I had a bag of fresh spinach and a pound of defrosted boneless chicken breast in the fridge. A lovely tomato sat on the counter. In my mind, that’s a no brainer. BUT! I didn’t want to stuff the chicken, it was too cold to grill, and quite frankly, I didn’t feel like spending a lot of time cooking. All the recipes I found online just didn’t “do” it for me, so I set out to combine several of them with the parts I liked, then completely improvised from there. My family gobbled this right up, and now I have yet another easy weeknight dinner I can put into my rotation.

Balsamic Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Bake

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast(s)
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, or other seasoning, to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon…

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