Archives for January 2013

BBQ Spinach Meatloaf, Roasted Potatoes, and Brussel Sprouts

meatloaf-servedThis is my favorite meal.  I worked this meatloaf recipe so many different ways until I got it just the way I like it (and the family too!)  The secrets are a spinach rue in the meatloaf and homemade Ethiopian BBQ Sauce on top (or your favorite BBQ sauce). Soft and delicious and just a spicy hint for complexity of flavors – or as my family teases me for saying… layers of flavor. My goal is always complex tastes with layers of flavor and they have each been asked as I work my recipes through…can you make out the layers of flavor? Now they may just say yes because that is the only right answer.

BBQ Spinach Meatloaf and the Roasted Potatoes

Step 1. The Meatloaf and potatoes need to go into the over together and they each need to cook for 60 minutes at 350.  So I make them together….

  • 1 small onion, nicely dicedmeatloaf-rue3
  • A couple pinches of Kosher Salt and Pepper (this is the only salt in the meatloaf)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder

 

cut-potatoesStep 2. While the onions are cooking (low and slow) I wash and quarter a bag of Baby Yukon Potatoes. Mix a teaspoon of each Salt and Pepper, 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, 1/8 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon each onion and garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon powdered rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder) Set to side. This is for the potatoes not the meatloaf.

meatloaf-rue-2Step 3. Back to Meatloaf prep. Once the onions are translucent, add 1/4 cup of flour and whisk it in.

Then add:

  • 1 cup milk or light cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

meatloaf-rue

Whisk constantly over low heat until it is thickened.

 

 

Then add:

  • 1 cup spinach, very finely chopped

meatloaf-rue-spinach meatloaf-rue-with-spinach

Once the spinach is incorporated, turn off the heat.

Step 4: To assemble the meatloaf, mix:meatloaf-mixture

  • 1 1/3 – 1 1/2 lbs Meat – Ground Beef (or better yet a mix of beef, pork, and veal)
  • 2 eggs
  • The spinach rue from above (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons BBQ Sauce

mixing-meatloafMix this all up well.  Really Well. Your hands are the best tool for the job, but a wooden spoon will work if you don’t want to use your (clean) hands.

 

 

Step 5: Cover a cookie tray with parchment paper. Dump the mix onto the paper.  Shape into a loaf (or whatever shape your heart desires) Set to side for a minute.

meatloaf-blob-mixed-preloaf-shaping meatloaf-loaf

Step 6: Potato Prep resumes…. Pour a few glugs of olive oil over your potatoes, add the spice mixture you made in Step 2 and cover with another bowl and shake these two like a bartender mixing a drink.

spicing-potatoes shaking-potatoes

Step 7. Reset the loaf shape to your meatloaf.

Step 8. Place both in the oven at 350. Both need to cook for 60 minutes.

meatloaf-covered-with-bbqStep 9. At 30 minutes cook time, remove both potatoes and meatloaf. Mix the potatoes. Cover or Drench the meatloaf with BBQ sauce. Place back in oven to finish cooking.

 

 

brussel-spouts-photoStep 10. Start the brussel sprouts.  I use a frozen bag, thawed and cooked in butter and garlic on low and slow.

 

 

 

Step 11. With about 5-10 minutes left give the potatoes another mix and add some French’s French Fried Onions to the top of the meatloaf as a garnish.

meatloaf-2meatloaf-almost-done

Step 12. Remove Meatloaf from oven to set for 10 minutes before serving.

meatloaf-servedSERVE your family.  They will love the meatloaf even if they don’t like spinach.

Cook On!

 

 

 

 

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

buffalo chicken servedThe kids had a crazy schedule this evening – Tuesday’s is the hard night – and Lisa still isn’t feeling great.  Thursday I am have a “dental proceedure” done and probably won’t feel like cooking and Sunday is the Super Bowl and we are bringing my favorite Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip.

 

So, I bought 4 big chicken breasts, enough to make dinner and prep for the next few days:

  • Tonights Buffalo Chicken Pizza
  • Prep the Buffalo Chicken WIng Sauce and Chicken for the Super Bowl
  • and using the water I boiled all the chicken in I used as a base for Thursday’s Chicken Soup – maybe as adventerous as I will feel.

I love Buffalo Chicken Wing Sauce but I am not a fan of Chicken Wings.  A little carnivorous for me.  I went about 20 years without eating any meat on the bone.  So Buffalo Chicken Pizza is one of my favorites.  All the great Buffalo Chicken WIng flavor without the bones!!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Step 1. Boil Chicken and Prep the Buffalo Chicken Sauce

While the Chicken is boiling I make Buffalo Chicken Wing Sauce:

Melt one stick butter in pan

add and mix well:buffalo chicken wing sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Granulated Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Granulate Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (for mild, for my hot sauce I use 3 Tablespoons)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce (for the hot sauce I use 3 Tablespoons)
  • 1 Jar or Frank’s Hot Sauce (it is easy to make but the family likes Frank’s)

Cook the Buffalo Chicken Sauce while the Chicken finishes cooking.  Low heat for 15-20 minutes. Stir/Whisk often.

chicken - cutStep 2. While the flavors marry in the buffalo chicken sauce, remove the chicken (when cooked to proper temp) and let cool for 5 minutes or so.  Then dice the chicken into nice small pieces.

 

 

preppeing chicken wing dipStep 3. Once your chicken is diced, turn the heat off under the Buffalo Chicken Sauce and Mix the two together.  I do this in a large ball jar.

 

 

Step 4. Pizza dough is easy to make but I usually use the fresh dough from Price Chopper.  It is awesome. I pre-cook the pizza dough at 425 until golden.  This keeps the dough from being soggy.

pizza dough pizza dough cooked

buffalo chicken - wing sauce and chicken mixStep 5. Cover the precooked dough with the Buffalo Chicken Wing Sauce and Chicken Mixture.

 

 

 

buffalo-chicken-parm-cheeseStep 6. Layer with some fresh grated Parmesan, Cheddar, and Mozzerela Cheese.

 

 

 

buffalo chickenStep 7. Bake for 10-15 Minutes at 450 until the cheese is nicely melted.

 

 

 

buffalo chicken servedStep 8. Let set a couple of minutes and then Serve! Enjoy. Cook On!

 

 

 

 

 

Cream of Spinach, Red Peppers, and Garlic Soup

cream-of-spinach-red-peppers-and-garlic-soup-plated-photoCream of Spinach, Red Peppers, and Garlic Soup

This is a variation of the Cream of Broccoli Soup I made on New Year’s Day. Lisa isn’t feeling well and stayed home sick.  I thought about making Chicken Soup but I was afraid it was too close to last night’s French Onion Soup.   So, to help my Lee Lee B feel better I thought about a Garlic Soup.  Lots and lots of fresh garlic will help anyone feel better.  I looked around and garlic soup, while I am sure it would taste FAB, didn’t look very nice in any of the pictures/recipes I found online.  They all ended up looking like a grey soup.  Not very appealing to the eyes, despite what the mouth might say.

The cold day had quickly turned snowy, so off to the market I went with a recipe in hand.  Not a recipe I loved, but something just the same.  I walked into Price Chopper to see a big beautiful display of red peppers on sale and thought they might be just the thing to cheer up a soup that otherwise looked as dreary as the weather outside.  As soon as I was bagging a beautiful red pepper my mind raced to spinch.  Spinach, fresh red peppers and garlic.  Now that would be both tasty and yummy for the eyes… so the deal was set.

Getting it started:

1. Just like with the Cream of Broccoli, and most of my “cream soups” we start off with nice little chicken stock rue: (for pictures of these steps click here)

  • 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons Celtic Sea Salt or Kosher Sea Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

I simmer these ingredients for 10 minutes or so on really low heat to let the onions get translucent and the flavors marry.

To complete the rue, add:

1/4 cup flour and stir until clumpy and well mixed

then add:

4 cups salt-free, NO-MSG, or low-sodium chicken stock (or veggie stock to make vegetarian version)

Boil this mixture and bring back down to a simmer. Stir fairly often and let it thicken some. It might not thicken like a traditional flour and milk rue but you will notice it will get thicker in 10 minutes or so.

Meanwhile:

  • Peel 3 full bulbs of garlic – don’t be afraid, just do it…. (what, you chicken??)
  • Cut each clove in half and lightly toast in the toaster over or oven at 400 degrees until they just turn golden brown.

Dice and Saute: (cook low and star-veggies-photoslow)

  •  a glug or two of olive oil in a pan on low heat
  • a pinch of good salt
  • 1 bag of spinach – (thaw if using frozen or lightly steam and remove water from fresh)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 stock of celery, small with lots of leaves
  • The garlic – roasted above – and now cooled and chopped.veggies-saute-photo

 To this mixture add:

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspon spanish hot paprika

Pafter-immersion-blending-photouree! Happy to be using immersion blender I got for Christmas!! If you don’t have one then use a food processor to puree the veggies – not to mush, just nice and small.

 

 

Add:

  • 1.5 cups Greek Yogurtfinished-soup-photo
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino/ramano/parmesan cheese or other strong hard cheese.
  • 2 Tablespoons White Wine Cooking Sherry (or white wine you have around)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar

Mix well.  Once I add milk products I try not to boil it but get it close and keep stirring.

simmer for about 60 minutes, stirring often. Many recipies call for very little simmer time. I like to let things like soup and chili simmer several times for a while to really let the flavors marry together. Many times soups and chilis tasted better the second day so I decided to try letting things simmer longer and in most cases it now tastes as good on the first serving!

orzo-photoAdd about 15 minutes before serving:

  • 2 cups Cooked Orzo

 

I served this will french bread roasted with garlic and parmesan cheese.

Cut a bagette and top with drizzeled butter, oregano, basic, parmesan cheese, and more cut roasted garlic.  Bake until golden and serve hot!

 

 

Cook On!

French Onion Soup and Roast Beef Sandwiches

As a foreign exchange student in France for my Junior Year of high school I learned one thing very quickly; If a food has “French” in it, it is either not French or we make it much different than the French.

French Fries… actually from Belgium / French Dressing… they call it American Sauce and use it on Fish not Salad / French Toast doesn’t have maple syrup as the French think Maple Syrup is gross.

french-onion-soup-serving-suggestion-photoOne exception may be French Onion Soup which we decided was the “key element” for dinner tonight and added the Roast Beef Sandwiches as a compliment to the soup.

Because the French traditionally get a baguette of lovely bread each day and the bread is stale by the next day, they keep the old bread.  It is called “Lost Bread” and many things can be done with it, including French Onion Soup.

My first French host mother insisted that real French Onion Soup is served with the onions strained out.  We love onions though, so this recipe combines both styles into one yummy!! soup.

French Onion Soup Recipe

french-onion-soup-onipons-cookingStep 1. Cut up 6 small-to-medium yellow onions.  Leave the pieces pretty big at this point.

Step 2. Melt 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil and 4 Tablespoons butter in a soup stock pan.  Add the onions, salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon thyme powder and 1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh crushed thyme. Cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes mixing and stirring frequently so they don’t burn.

french-onion-soup-onion-straining-photoStep 3. Remove the onions to a large strainer and let them strain over the stock pan to save all the oil, butter and onion juice. SAVE ONIONS to the side.

 

 

french-onion-soup-photoStep 4. De-glaze the pan with 1 1/2 cups cold cooking sherry (de-glazing is getting all the nice brown flavor chunks off the bottom of the pan and mixed in nicely, cold liquid works best to list the flavor off the pan bottom.)

 

 

Step 5. Add 8 cups beef stock (or veggie stock), 2 teaspoons onion powder, 2 teaspoons garlic powder and bring to a boil.

Schopped-onions-phototep 6. Place about 1/2 the cooked onions in a food french-onion-finished-stock-photoprocessor and chop into small pieces. Stir back into soup stock and bring to boil.  Reduce to simmer until ready to serve.

 

 

stock-freezers-bag-photoStep 7. If you make your own broth, keep a bag of veggie scraps in the freezer, place the excess onions into your veggie scraps freezer bag.

 

 

french-onion-soup-serving-suggestion-photoStep 8. Place a few scoops in a soup dish, add “lost bread” or homemade bread croutons, and top with baby Swiss cheese or Gruyere cheese or a combo.  Broil at 450 until cheese is nicely melted.

Step 9. EAT!!!!

 

This made enough for four generous portions, plus I canned 5 – 8oz. single servings with the leftover.

 

Leftovers Quiche – Sausage, Roasted Red Peppers, and Onions

I call this leftover quiche because I often make quiches to use leftovers or things I have too much of in the fridge or freezer.   I also usually make two sometimes the same or sometimes different depending on what I have that needs to be used up.  We eat one for dinner and then Lisa and the kids enjoy having another for breakfast and lunch.  They never go to waste. Sometimes I use true leftovers.  Other times I use a whole bunch of “almost gone” things from the fridge.

quiche-photoRoasted Red Pepper and Sausage Quiche

For this quiche, our neighbor Cathy had brought us a GIANT jar of roasted red peppers.  She had used a few and brought us a nearly full 64oz jar.  Needless to say, that is a lot of red peppers and no matter how hard I tried to use them up there always seemed to be a lot leftover.

I also had a pound of yummy ground pork from Predels and I thought that might go nicely with the red peppers and some sauteed onions.

Step 1. Cook the ground pork until done.  Drain the fat BUT DON’T CLEAN THE PAN. Set cooked pork aside.

Step 2. Cut and saute onions and garlic in the pork pan with some butter and a glug or two of olive oil.  Add all my diced roasted red peppers.

Step 3. Mix about 4 eggs per quiche with a half cup of greek yogurt and a half cup of cream or milk.  Add a cup of cheese per quiche.  Use a variety of cheese; cheddar, gruyere, swiss, parmesan… anything strong. Add some garlic power, onion powder, pepper, salt and any spices you like… beat well for about 1 minute.

Step 4. Place pie crust in pie pan.  Place layer of sausage, layer of pepper and onions and top with egg mixture.

Step 5. Sprinkle some nice spice on top of the uncooked quiche; paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, etc. whatever you like or whatever compliments the leftovers you have used.

Step 6. Cook at 375 for about 40-50 minutes.  Let set at least 10 minutes before serving.

Step 6. Serve with nice bread or a fresh garden salad.

Healthy. Yummy. And a clean fridge….

Tomato Soup from scratch, grilled cheese, and salad

tomato-soup-plated-photoWell it is another day with temperatures in the single digits so I want something warm and cozy for dinner.  My daughter Marley suggested Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Salad.

Grilled Cheese is so easy that even my father can make it – maybe. Salad is simple too, so this post will focus on the homemade Tomato Soup.  The last time I made tomato soup it tasted exactly like tomato sauce and my family had a great time teasing me about it for years.

I love to cook and I take plenty of chances in the kitchen and most turn out yummy, a few are forgetable and then a few standout as awful.  My first try at tomato soup was SO BAD that I had to throw it out and run to my local Stewart’s Shop for canned soup so dinner could be rescued.  I am hoping that tonight’s tomato soup may help me live down the ridicule I face from my wife and kids anytime someone mentions tomato soup! ;*) (Who knows, we still tease my mom about the Plattsburgh Airport and that was 35 years ago – inside story – if you are interested, see inside story details below)**

To show my confidence in my ability to bounce back from defeat I decided not only to make enough tomato soup for dinner tonight, but enough to can twelve (12) eight ounce jars so my wife and kids could have single servings to take to work and school for lunch.

Recipe:

In a large pot mix:

  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 @ 28 ounces Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 @ 28 ounces Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Coarse Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground Garlic
  • 32 ounces low-sodium (or homemade) stock (chicken or veggie stock – I prefer veggie when given the option)

Give this all a good whisking to make sure all the spices are well mixed.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer on low heat, stirring occassionally for at least an hour. I let mine simmer for about three hours.

tomato-soup-photoThen, just about 15 minutes before serving, add 2 cups milk, light cream, or heavy cream based on preference.  I used light cream.

 

 

canned-soup-photoThis made enough soup for each of the four of us to have a generous portion and I had enough left over to have 12 – 8oz single serving jars which I have canned and put away for lunches as mentioned above.

 

 

** As they were driving past the Plattsburgh Airport my mom woke my sleeping sisters to point it out thinking it would be of interest.  It was not. From that day forward anytime someone pointed something out that wasn’t very interesting they said “Well, it is better than the Plattsbugh Airport.”) (That story is about as exciting as the Plattsburgh Airport)

 

 

Pork Fried Rice – Inspired by leftover pork chops

pork-fried-rice-photoSo we had a great meal at my mother-in-laws house for Saturday night dinner.  Great food, great company, and lousy football – the Ravens won…. oh well.

Besides my mother-in-law, there were just the four of us and she made about 35 pork chops.  Yes, I am exaggerating but not by much!  She made enough scalloped potatoes and sides to feed a small army.  The she insisted we bring the leftovers home.

Ok… but what in the world do you do with leftover pork chops????

I couldn’t think of a thing. Thank God for Google. All I had to type in is “what can you make with leftover pork chops?”   Suddenly .0288865 seconds later I had over one million solutions at my fingertips. I didn’t look at them all.  I didn’t need to.  I saw Pork Fried Rice and I knew that would be a hit in my house.  I redid my search this time with my specific dish in mind and I looked at a few but in the end… Martha won.  I selected this recipe as my guide:

http://www.marthastewart.com/340396/pork-fried-rice

I heated 2 approximate tablespoons of peanut oil in my closest wok like pan. When it was good and hot, I threw in a mixture of 3 eggs, lightly shaken with a tablespoon of soy sauce. I turned the heat down some and I let it cook until set.  Folded it up and transfered it to the cutting board to cool.

I added 2 approximate tablespoons of peanut oil, let it get nice and hot, and threw in a tablespoon of diced ginger, 4 cloved chopped garlic, a handful of diced onion, and the chopped up white part of a bunch of scallions, nice and hot mixing it up for a minute or so.  I added the infamous pork chops (chopped, although that seems like a given, into small semi-bite size pieces.) Lastly I threw in 2 handfuls of the grated carrots, and mixed it up so that everything got hot and no more.

Then I added 2 very generous cups of cooked rice – (more like 3), the chopped up egg thing I cooked earlier, and a few light shakes of the soy sauce.  A minute or so later I turned off the heat, added half a bunch of chopped green scallions and covered to set for a minute or two.

I served it with somewhat over cooked and almost mushy steamed broccoli – that wasn’t the design, but I was far too focused on mixing the pork fried rice and about two minutes after the timer went off I realized I forgot to turn off the water under the broccoli.  Darn it.

Cook On!

Doro Wat – Ethiopian Chicken Stew

doro-wat-nearly-done-photoOur son is adopted from Ethiopia and we are going to an Ethiopian Dinner Party tonight so I thought I would make a nice big pot of Doro Wat (sometimes spelled doro wet, doro we’t)

When we were in Ethiopia, our son was most anxious to share this meal with us and it is delicious.  For these reasons, Doro Wat is one of my favorite meals.

Most of the work for Doro Wat – Ethiopian Chicken Stew – is prep work.  Once all the ingredients are together, like any stew, it needs to well, um… stew.

CHICKEN STOCK: I start by making a nice chicken stock.  For this party size Doro Wat I need about 8 cups of chicken stock.  I had a leftover chicken carcass I had saved from one night this week that Lisa brought home a grilled chicken for dinner.  I placed what was left of the chicken in the pan with about 10 cups of water.  I add a couple spoonfuls of tomato sauce to help with the color, a chopped carrot, some celery if I have it, some chopped onion and some spice (garlic, onion, celery seed, celery leaf, pepper, salt, etc) and bring it to a boil and then turn it down and let it simmer for several hours. Strain everything out but the liquid.  That liquid is the best chicken stock you can get.

chicken-stock2-photo chicken-stock3-photo chicken-stock-photo

Spice Butter: Spiced butter is a staple in Ethiopian Cooking.  True spiced butter is made with clarified butter (Ghee) because it doesn’t need refrigeration.  Since that isn’t an issue for most of us, save the $10 as use regular butter.  In a small pot, heat over low heat for about 20-30 minutes until flavors seem well integrated mix:

  • 4 sticks butter, melted
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3″ piece of ginger root, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

Keep this on VERY low heat so the butter doesn’t brown or burn. Once the butter has really taken on the spice flavor, I use an immersion blender to reduce the size of the onions and really mixes the flavors together nicely.

spiced-butter-pre-immersion-blender-photospiced-butter-photo

Boiled Eggs: We like to have one boiled egg per serving, so hard boil and egg for each person.

hard-boiled-eggs-photo hard-boiled-eggs2-photo

 

 

 

Chicken: The Chicken cooks right in the stew.  Normally Doro Wat uses a full chicken cut into 6-10 pieces.

Now to make the Doro Wat…

Once you have everything prepped the final assembly goes like this:

Put the SPICED BUTTER in a deep soup pan or crock

add:

  • 1 1/2 Red Onion, Diced
  • 1 White Onion, Diced
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom, freshly ground
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, course ground
  • 3 teaspoons carlic powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, fresh, minced
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 5 cloves or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 1/2 Tablespoons Ethiopian Berbere spice (note on making this at end)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, fresh, ground
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • juice from 1 lime

Mix all the spices up with the onions and spiced butter.  Mix well on low heat.  Allow to simmer on low heat for 15-25 minutes until the onions are soft and have taken on the flavor and color of spices.

doro-wat-photoAdd: 8 cups chicken broth and turn up heat until it is just about to boil, return to low heat

 

 

 

doro-wat-4-photoAdd: Chicken – uncooked, raw chicken – add all your chicken pieces and turn up the heat to medium low – allow to simmer for 25 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked

 

 

Add: Hard Boiled Eggs (shells removed of course)

Allow stew to simmer on very low heat for a couple of hours if possible.  This stew does not get thick like many “sauces.”  It is a very liquidy, soupy consistency to soak the injera it is served on, along with lentils, or potatos.

injera1Serve on plates with injera- the Ethiopian “bread” which is much more like a crepe than bread.

 

 

 

We have Ethiopian Berbere Spice from Ethiopia.  If you want you can order it online or you can make it very easily which I may start to do since we get such nice spices at Basic Foods.  Here is a recipe:

http://www.food.com/recipe/berbere-ethiopian-hot-pepper-seasoning-91929

 

 

Panko – Parmesan Chicken with Orange Marmalade Glaze

 

panko-parmesan chicken with orange marmalade sauceTonight’s dinner fun is a panko-parmesan chicken with orange marmalade glaze with sides of Roasted Garlic Broccoli and Rice. – wish I had wild rice but I didn’t think of it earlier.

 

 

parm-panko-chicken-before-cooking-photoCHICKEN: I got some nice chicken breasts and I will dredge them first in a mixture of Dijon mustard, thyme, cayenne, and salt.  Once nicely covered in this I will dredge them in a mixture of panko bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese (1 cup of each).  Then I will lightly spray the coated chicken breasts and bake them at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.

orange-marmelade-glaze-photoGLAZE: For the glaze I am using a homemade orange marmalade I canned a few months back with some finely diced red cherry peppers (deseeded so my family members who don’t want a lot of heat can have food to eat too.)

I will cover the nearly fully baked Chicken with the glaze and put back in the over for about 5 minutes.

garlic-roasting-in-the-toaster-oven-photoRoasted Garlic Broccoli: Roast a bunch of garlic cloves in the toaster oven until they smell nutty and before they burn.  Steam the broccoli until it is just about the way you like it, throw some butter in the pan with the chopped roasted garlic and saute for just a couple of minutes.

Rice: A simple white rice cooked with just a little butter and maybe some dried orange rind.

garlic-boccoli-photoA shot of the finished Broccoli with Roasted Garlic and Butter

 

 

Ketchup – 3 days of catch up

Well, I knew I wouldn’t be able to make or blog about dinner everynight, but I was hopeful not to get behind and let this fade away into the great kitchen in the sky.

Friday night, joined my sister’s extended family at one of our favorite restaurants, Harvest and Hearth. This is one of our favorite places to go because the indoor pizza oven creates a nice warm, cozy atmosphere on a cold winter evening.

As usual we had a great meal and great company.  We were there to celebrate our Niece’s 20th birthday and return to college in India.  (Miss her already…)

I grew up in Niskayuna, NY as as such I am a huge fan of Homestyle Pizza. To compare Homestyle Pizza and Harvest and Hearth Pizza is like comparing two completely different food products.  I spent three years working in Nice, France at an Amusement Park – Zygo Parc and pizza is a HUGE deal in Nice.  Here too the pizza is a very different product.

One of my favorite travel foods is pizza and I have eaten at probably hundreds, if not thousands, of pizza places and rarely do two places taste anything alike.

We make a lot of pizza at home and I will certainly blog about our fun making homemade pizza when we do.

What is your favorite pizza joint and why?