Tag Archives: dinner

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Maple Glazed Carrots

1 May

My photography sucks even more than usual. This was taken with my phone.

I love roasting chicken.  There’s only two of us, so there is always plenty of leftover chicken to use  for the rest of the week.  (I think these leftovers are destined for chicken enchiladas.)  I normally just make mashed potatoes as a side, but I bought some cool fingerling potatoes on sale and wanted to give them a try.  They were awesome!  The little purple ones were kind of scary, but they taste just like regular potatoes.  Crisp on the outside and perfectly tender and fluffy on the inside.  I tried to sneak another veggie into our meal, but with the butter and maple syrup, it kind of negates all the health benefits of the carrots.  🙂

What You Need:

  • 1 lb bag of baby carrots
  • ¼ C Maple Syrup (the real stuff)
  • ¼ C Butter
  • Kosher Salt to season
  • (optional parsley to garnish)

Method:

Combine carrots, syrup, butter, and salt in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high.  Cook for 15 minutes, until the sauce coats the carrots.

What You Need:

  • 2 lbs fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to season

Method:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spread potatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet.  Drizzle liberally with olive oil.  Toss with garlic.  Season the potatoes with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Put them in the oven for 25-30 minutes until cooked completely.

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Filipino Chicken Adobo

28 Apr

I only garnished with the onion, because I thought it looked too much like BBQ chicken in the photo. 😛

Ever surprised that you like something?  That is how I feel about this dish.  I’m not fond of vinegar.  I hate the smell.  I don’t even like anything that’s pickled, with the exception of nacho sliced jalapeños.  So, when I first had my boyfriend ask his mom how to make this dish, I was put off by the amount of vinegar involved.  But, for some reason, I like it.  It just works.  I’ve been making this for about a year now.  It is so simple to make.  While it’s a new dish for me, this is something my boyfriend ate growing up.  I love to give him a taste of nostalgia.  There’s nothing better than when the taste or smell of something connects you to the past.

What You Need:

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Cover and marinate chicken for 1-3 hours in the refrigerator.  I usually marinate overnight, but I didn’t plan ahead this time.  After marinating, bring to boil over high heat, then lower heat. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer until sauce is reduced and thickened, and chicken is tender, about 20 more minutes. Serve with steamed rice.

*Optional* The skin is not going to be crispy, but you can place the chicken skin-side down in a skillet with oil heated on medium-high.  Only cook long enough to crisp up the skin, because you don’t want to cook your chicken to death.  While you’re doing this, you can continue to reduce the remaining sauce in the pot.

Linguine Alla Carbonara

12 Apr

Yesterday, I had a bad case of the Monday’s.  I was exhausted when I got off work, and I actually made one of those Bird’s Eye Viola! frozen bagged meals for dinner.  It was awful.  My boyfriend couldn’t believe I was actually serving that for dinner.  We ate it, but that won’t be something I’ll ever buy again.

Today I felt like I needed to redeem myself from last nights sub-par meal, so I thought I’d make something simple, comforting, and delicious.  Linguine Alla Carbonara!  My friend made it for me a couple of months ago, and I’ve been wanting to make it ever since.  So, I bought all the ingredients after work, stopped by my friend’s house for the recipe, came home, and started cooking.  The result?  Amazing.

Linguine Alla Carbonara (Recipe Adapted from Lidia Matticchio Bastianich’s Lidia’s Italian American Kitchen 2001)

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 Ounces Bacon, cut into ¼ in strips
  • 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, Chopped.  (The original recipe calls for 2 onions, but I think that’s too much, but feel free to use two if you really love onions).
  • 1 ½ Cups Hot Chicken Stock (plus more if needed)
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ¼ Cup of Heavy Cream (optional, not traditional… but yummy!)
  • ¼ Cup chopped flat leaf parsley (optional, mainly for color)
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • Salt

Method:

Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in an 8-Qt pot over high heat.

Heat 2 TBS of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add bacon strips, and cook for about 6 minutes, or until the bacon is slightly browned, but still soft in the center.

If your bacon has rendered more than 4 TBS of fat, pour off the excess.  If there is less and that, add olive oil to measure the amount missing.  Add the onions, and cook until wilted, but still crunchy, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the stock, and bring to a boil.  Adjust the heat to a “lively simmer” (don’t you just love that???  HAHA).  Cook until the liquid has reduced by half.

Meanwhile, stir the pasta into the boiling salted water, return to a boil, and cook, semi-covered, for 8 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

Ladle off a cup of the pasta-cooking water (you may need this to add more liquid to your sauce, if needed).  Remove cooked pasta directly from the boiling water, to your bacon, stock, and onion mixture.  Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, and coat the pasta with the sauce.  If there isn’t enough sauce to coat the pasta, supplement with the pasta-cooking water you reserved.  Check the seasoning, add salt if desired.  Remove the pan from heat, and add the egg yolks, one at a time, stirring well after each.  The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs.  Add the grated cheese, stir well.  Add the heavy cream, and mix well.  Season the pasta generously with coarsely ground black pepper.  Garnish with parsley (optional).  Serve immediately.

Lasagna

5 Feb

When it is cold outside, you want something comforting and hearty.  Sometimes soup doesn’t cut it.  Tonight I made a lasagna for dinner, just like my mom made when we were growing up.  Except my mom made her own sauce.  It’s not that I can’t make my own sauce, it’s just… jars of spaghetti sauce were buy one get one free, and I couldn’t pass up a bargain.  I’m definitely not a purist, anyway.  You’ll notice that I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta, which sounds disgusting, but trust me… it’s good.  I hate cottage cheese.  With all the sauce, cheese, meat, and pasta, you won’t even know it’s there, but it adds a creaminess to the dish.  Also, it’s cheaper than ricotta, and I don’t care for the graininess of ricotta.  My boyfriend, who claims not to like lasagna, really enjoyed this lasagna.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce (or if you’re feeling ambitious, homemade)
  • 1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 (5-ounce) package grated Parmesan
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 9 lasagna noodles (boiled or oven-ready)
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages shredded mozzarella

Method:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

In a large pan, combine beef, sausage, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat until meat is browned and crumbled; drain.

Return meat to pan and add spaghetti sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 to 45 minutes.  Since you’re using a pre-made sauce, you can eliminate this step, but if you have the time, it really gives you a more robust flavor.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine cottage cheese, parmesan, and eggs.

Spoon 1/4 of sauce into bottom of a 13 X 9 X 2-inch baking pan. Place 3 lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Do not overlap noodles. Spread 1/3 of cottage cheese mixture over noodles, top with 1/4 of sauce and 1/3 mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with sauce, reserving 1/3 of mozzarella cheese.

Bake 45 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and bake 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

*I know it’s hard to resist cutting into it right away, but you can’t skip this step, or you’ll have a gloppy mess.  I put the garlic bread in the oven while I was letting the lasagna rest.

Resting...