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Baked Potatoes (Hasselback style)

Hasselback Baked Potato

I just love baking potatoes using this method. So simple, so easy, so yummy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 baking potatoes, I use Russet potatoes
  • 3 Tb Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced & mashed
  • 1 Tb chopped fresh Basil
  • 1 Tb chopped fresh parsley
  • a pinch of kosher salt plus enough to sprinkle the baking dish with.
  • a pinch of ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 and sprinkle kosher salt in the bottom of a glass baking dish.

Tip: to mash minced garlic sprinkle some kosher salt over the minced garlic, then smash the mixture against the cutting board with the side of the knife blade.

In a small bowl combine the Olive Oil, mashed garlic, basil, parsley, kosher salt and black pepper and set aside.

Thinly slice your potatoes almost completely through.  Tip: I use 2 table butter knives butted up along each side of the potato to ensure I don’t cut them all the way through.

Place the sliced potatoes in the baking dish and brush the oil mixture over the potatoes. Tent with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and brush more of the oil mixture and continue to bake without the foil for 30 more minutes, basting occasionally.

Suggestions: Serve with a few thin pats of butter in a couple of the slices, a dollop of sour cream and some crumbled fried bacon and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

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2 Comments

Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Vegetables

 

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Cherry Flan (Clafouti)

Julia Child’s Clafouti, Cherry Flan

This is a Julia Child recipe, from her book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. As she has inspired many cooks she also has inspired me. Her recipes are thorough yet simple to make. Her definitions of methods and techniques are as informative as having your own cooking tutor right there in the kitchen with you. Needless to say I adore Julia. Mark refers to this recipe as the french version of a cherry cobbler. I hope you will try this one as it is out of this world delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups pitted black cherries (I used fresh cherries that I pitted myself, but in her recipe she says you could use canned which have been drained or frozen that have been thawed.)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided use
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tb vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup flour

Preheat your oven to 350 and butter a deep dish Pyrex pie pan.

Pit, drain or thaw your cherries and set aside. Using a blender place the following ingredients in the blender in this order. Milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and lastly flour. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. Pour a 1/4-inch layer of the batter in the pie pan and set over moderate heat (medium) on your stove top for 2 minutes until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish. Remove from heat, spread the cherries over the batter then sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar over the cherries. Pour the rest of the batter on top of this and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until it has puffed and browned and a knife plunged into its center comes out clean. Before serving sprinkle with powdered sugar. This doesn’t need to be served hot, but should still be warm. The Clafouti may sink down slightly as it cools.

Suggestions: I think a little bit of vanilla ice cream would be fabulous with this as a dessert.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Breakfast, Desserts

 

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Banana Zucchini Bread

Banana Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 zucchini, peeled & shredded
  • 6 Tb unsalted butter, melted & cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • about 2 Tb sunflower seeds (shelled and salted) optional

Preheat your oven to 350 and butter a loaf pan.

In a large bowl sift the flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk in the sugar so that the dry mixture is fully blended. In a medium bowl combine the bananas, zucchini, melted butter, eggs, sour cream, vanilla and whisk together. Fold this wet mixture into the dry mixture until just blended. Scrap the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle the sunflower seeds over the top. Bake for 60-70 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. The bread is done when it’s top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let the bread cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before turning it out on a wire rack to finish cooling.

Suggestions: Try using slices of this bread when making French Toast or as the bread in my “Toad in the Hole” recipe.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Breads, Breakfast

 

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Onion Lemon Saffron Brined Smoked Chicken

Smoked Chicken

I just love smoked chicken. But I have found that if you want nicely flavored chicken you need to brine it before placing it on the smoker. I enjoy creating different flavors of brine. Here’s my latest recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 onion, grated
  • juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 Tb saffron
  • 1 whole chicken, quartered

Basting ingredients:

  • about 8 Tb salted butter, melted
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

In a large container that will hold the liquid and the chicken mix the brine ingredients together, add the chicken, cover and refrigerate overnight. (Or at least for 6 hours) Place on the smoker and cook at 220 for about 5 hours.

Combine the basting ingredients and in the last hour of smoked baste the chicken a couple of times.

Suggestions: Serve with a nice “Summer Harvest Salad” and any kind of “Beer Bread” and you have a nice meal on a hot summer’s evening.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Chicken

 

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Vegetable Casserole (Ratatouille)

Ratatouille

Ingredients:  serves 4 people

  • 2 Tb Olive Oil
  • 1 Tb salted butter
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow potato, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow summer squash, sliced thickly, about 1/4 inch thickness
  • 1 tomato, sliced thickly, about 1/4 inch thickness
  • Kosher salt to season
  • cracked black pepper to season
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Heat oven to 375 and butter a deep baking dish.

In a small skillet melt the Olive Oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until softened. Place half of the sautéed onion and garlic in the bottom of the baking dish. Place half of the sliced potato over the onion and garlic. Then layer the summer squash followed by the tomato slices and the remaining potato slices. Season with the Kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Layer with the orange bell pepper and the remaining onion/garlic/butter/olive oil mixture then sprinkle with the chopped fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover or lid and bake an additional 30 minutes.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2012 in Paleo recipes, Vegetables

 

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Breakfast Skillet Enchiladas

Breakfast Skillet Enchiladas

I remember as a young cook I was scared to just throw something together. Worried it wouldn’t be edible. But now as a seasoned home cook I have come to realize you can make anything out of everything. Just relax and let your imagination take control….or maybe just let the ingredients sitting in your refrigerator and pantry pave the way.

Ingredients:  Serves 2 people, I’m guessing

  • 3 bacon slices, cut in half
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp yellow mustard
  • 2 Tb Half & Half
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Using a 10 inch skillet fry the bacon slices. Remove skillet from the burner and adjust the slices so they are evenly placed along the bottom of the skillet. (Don’t wipe out the bacon grease, you need this for seasoning in this recipe. It won’t be that much anyways and adds great flavor.) Place the 4 corn tortillas over the bacon overlapping each other. Add the slices of onion. Whisk the eggs, mustard and half & half together, season with salt and pepper then pour over the onions atop of the tortillas. Now place the tomato slices on top of the mixture and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese. Return to the burner, cover and cook over medium low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the eggs are set and fully cooked and the cheese is melted.

Suggestions: Serve with your favorite hot sauce for a wonderfully spicy breakfast skillet enchilada.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Breakfast, Casseroles

 

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Roasted Whole Chicken

Roasted Chicken

Truly measuring ingredients is over rated. This is another one of those recipes I just was lost in getting dinner into the oven and forget to measure any ingredients. For those of you that are new to cooking I promise you can do this, just take a leap of faith. Those of you who cook all the time, well you probably already have a similar style of roasting a whole chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 5 pound whole chicken
  • 1 lemon, cut into half
  • Olive Oil
  • fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • fresh lemon sage, finely chopped (can’t find it, use regular sage)
  • a couple of garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into wedges
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper
  • red wine (don’t like wine, use a chicken broth)
  • salted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400.

Rinse and pat dry your chicken. Rub with half of the lemon.  Combine the fresh rosemary, fresh lemon sage, minced garlic and Kosher salt in a pestle and mortar and blend them all together. Don’t have a pestle & mortar set, using a food processor. Rub a spoonful or so of this mixture in the cavity of the chicken, add the lemon wedges and red onion wedges into the cavity also. Rub the entire chicken with some Olive oil, then rub the remaining herb mixture over the entire chicken. Place breast side up in a baking dish, roasting pan or dutch oven, sprinkle with garlic salt and black pepper. Pour some of the red wine in the pan, probably about 1/4 inch in-depth. Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. After the 1 hour mark, remove any liquid from the pan. I do this with a turkey baster. Then I baste with melted butter twice during the last 45 minutes of roasting. The chicken is done when the juices run clear. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before serving.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Chicken

 

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