Showing posts with label roasting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roasting. Show all posts

23 September 2017

Cookbook Club!

A few months ago, I started a cookbook club at my new library. My supervisor suggested I start a nonfiction book club and a cookbook club seemed like a natural fit, considering my own interests and the patron base I was working with. I'm not sure cookbook clubs are quite on trend, anymore, but registration has maxed out every month and everyone who actually turns up has been really happy to be there and shown great creativity with their dishes.

The requirements are simple:
  1. Make a dish fitting the month's theme using a library cookbook
  2. Make copies of your recipe to share
  3. On the appointed day, at the appointed time, bring your dish and copies to the library
  4. Discuss your dish and the cookbook you used with fellow club goers
  5. Eat
The club started in July and so far we've done "Fresh Cooking with Local Produce" in June, "Cool & Refreshing Summer Salads" in July, and "Picnic Foods: Dishes to Make & Take" in August. September is "Fall Flavors," but with the hot weather we've been having and the general weirdness of the growing season, I really think it's a bit early for fall flavors. Well, that's what I get for setting the schedule three months in advance!

"Spring Coleslaw" from Cooking from the Garden: Best Recipes from Kitchen Gardener

Since I'm working, I need dishes that can be prepared in advance and then happily left alone in the fridge or on the countertop until serving. So far, I've made a spring slaw, a Middle Eastern vegetable salad, and a tray of s'more brownies. I think the slaw was the best of the three, but the brownies did not last the evening so clearly dessert is something to bring more often.

"Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad" from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?

However, I am not bringing dessert this month. No, I found the perfect way to use some of my scarily huge beets! I made beet hummus from Cara Mangini's The Vegetable Butcher. It's a really simple, straight-forward recipe with only five ingredients. Just wrap the beets in foil and roast them, scrape the skin off when they're cool enough to handle, and blend with salt, lemon juice, tahini, and olive oil until smooth. Adjust the seasoning to taste -- this is important as the recipe as published is a bit bland, imho. The finished hummus keeps in the fridge for five days and is simply beautiful to look at. If you like beets, I really recommend giving this recipe a try.


Roasted beet "hummus" from The Vegetable Butcher

Can't wait to see what everyone else brings to the meeting -- "Cool Weather Comfort: Soups, Stews, & Bread" in October!



21 September 2017

Baba Ghanoush

Last week, I brought home two beautiful inky-purple eggplants from the CSA. I usually avoid cooking eggplant, because I don't have much experience with it and find it intimidating. But part of the point of joining a CSA was to experience new fruits and vegetables and extend out the borders of my culinary comfort zone. And, thus, eggplant in my kitchen.

Way back in the stone age, we'd served baba ghanoush at our wedding reception and, while I hadn't eaten it since, I remember really liking it. But now I had two eggplants -- which meant I had one backup eggplant if the first batch was terrible -- so why not try to make my own baba ghanoush? I looked at a few recipes and decided to go with Betty Crocker's "Baba Ghanoush" as it was very straight forward and used ingredients I already had on hand.

Basically, you roast eggplant and chickpeas in the oven until the chickpeas are shrunken and golden and the eggplant is worryingly charred. The chickpeas will cook faster than the eggplant, so even though you're using a timer, it's good to check on them regularly.


Once the eggplant has cooled enough to handle, you'll scoop the flesh from the eggplant and whiz it around in your food processor with the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic (I doubled the amount of garlic), black pepper, and tahini. The flesh of the eggplant may look rather unappetizing, but it will all turn out yummy.


Sprinkle the baba ghanoush with smoked paprika and serve. Pita chips are a very traditional accompaniment but I ate mine with pretzel squares, because that's what was in the cupboard. The recipe says it serves eight, but I'd say six is more likely.


Admittedly, I don't have much experience with the stuff, but I thought this recipe made really good baba ghanoush. It's creamy, garlicky, and slightly tangy-sweet. Definitely very moreish.

17 April 2017

Easy Easter Lamb


It was my turn to host Easter and, of course, I made lamb. Usually, I roast a boneless or semi-boneless leg, but this year I wanted to be a little fancy and roasted three racks of lamb. In total, I roasted nearly 5 lb of lamb which was, even by my own overly-hospitable standards, a bit much for four adults (even with leftovers factored in). Next time, only two racks! Or more people at the table?


Greek Rack of Lamb

Yield: 4, very generously

Ingredients

  • 3 racks of lamb (approximately 1½ lbs apiece)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp Greek seasoning blend [Penzeys]
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • About an hour before cooking, place lamb on a large foil-lined baking tray and let it come to room temperature in a cool place.
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • In small bowl, combine the lemon zest, Greek seasoning, garlic, and oil. Rub over lamb.
  • Bake 30-40 minutes or until meat reaches desired doneness (imho, that's 160° for medium).
  • Let stand 5 minutes before carving. (To carve, cut from the meaty end toward the bone).


The lamb chops went over really well and I will definitely roast more racks in the future ... although not as many at once.

22 December 2016

Garlic & Rosemary Leg o' Lamb

Roasting a boneless leg of lamb in the middle of the work week doesn't sound like the smartest idea -- it takes almost two hours to prep and cook the blessed thing -- but I had a wee 2½ lb roast in the fridge that didn't get cooked over the weekend, Wednesday was its "eat by" date, and slow cooking wasn't an option as 10+ hours in the slow cooker sounded like a terrible thing to do to lamb.

Anyway, the trick is to eat a really filling (but not heavy) lunch. And have a glass of wine (or two) while you wait for the lamb to cook. Red wine is heart-healthy, after all ...

I use my pie plates for everything. Everything.

To cook the 2½ lb roast, I stabbed the fatty "top" of the roast all over with a knife and shoved slivers of garlic into the cuts. Then I rubbed the roast with a little olive oil, slipped a few sprigs of rosemary under the netting, and sprinkled the whole things with freshly ground salt and pepper. Popped the roast, uncovered into a 400°F oven for 12 minutes, then turned the heat down to 325°F and let the roast cook for about 75 min longer. When the roast reached 145°F, I removed it from the oven, covered it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 5 minutes ... et voilà, noms.

And what did it taste like? Like lamb, obviously. But there were also definite notes of garlic and rosemary so I think I'll use this method again. Usually, I coat lamb roasts with a paste of rosemary, olive oil, garlic, lemon, salt, and pepper, and the roast looks beautiful when it comes out of the oven, but all the coating comes off as I remove the netting, leaving little non-lamb flavor behind. Stab and stuff, people. That's where it's at.

27 November 2015

Lemon & Garlic Chicken Thighs

Had a quantity of fresh parsley leftover even after the garlicky lemon-parsley sauce I made to jazz up some baked barramundi. While I wasn't quite sure what to do with the leftover parsley, I knew it had to be done soon as parsley just doesn't keep in my fridge (the whole "wrap it in a damp paper towel and store inside a plastic bag" technique doesn't work for me).

As there were chicken thighs in the freezer (when aren't there?) and I had lemon and garlic so I thought "Why not marinade the thighs and then whack them in the oven when I get home from work?" And that is exactly what I did.


I tend to buy boneless chicken thighs more often than not because I find them more flavorful and less expensive than boneless chicken breasts. They're definitely better suited to slow cooking than boneless breasts and even short, high-temp oven excursions suit them better than breasts. Or maybe I just still don't know how to cook boneless breasts properly!

Anyway, this dish is quite lemony so feel free to cut back on the juice and zest! When The Husband first tasted the chicken, he thought he wasn't going to like it because it was too lemony, but he ended up really liking it so ymmv.

Lemon & Garlic Chicken Thighs

Yield: Serves 3-6, depending on appetite

Ingredients

  • 1 large lemon
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place chicken thighs in a food-safe storage container.
  2. Zest lemon. Cut lemon in half; squeeze lemon juice over chicken. Add zest, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover container and toss to coat. Refrigerate one hour or until ready to cook.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly brush a baking dish with a little olive oil.
  4. Turn the chicken out onto the baking dish. Bake 25 minutes or until chicken reaches 165°F.

28 October 2015

Sorta Fancy Lemon-Garlic Salmon

Picked up a piece of absolutely beautiful wild-caught sockeye salmon at the fish counter yesterday, splurging a little on the price because it's been yonks since I made salmon for supper and the neighboring tuna steaks just didn't "speak" to me.

Who's the prettiest piece of salmon? You are! Yes, you are. So pretty!

I wanted to do something "fancy" with the salmon, but at the same time knew I'd be running on fumes after work and completely incapable of anything too grand. I need faux fancy. I needed butter. And herbs.

All dressed up and ready to visit the oven.

My initial idea was to soften the butter, not melt it, but I wasn't paying enough attention (don't unpack a very exciting Zazzle delivery while trying to cook after a tiring day in the library mines) and so melted butter is what I ended up with. I threw in all the usual flavors -- garlic, lemon, salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary -- and then decided to add some marjoram for that extra bit of something. A dash of je ne sais quoi, if you will.

The finished dish turned out quite deliciously. The salmon was, at ten minutes, perfectly cooked to our tastes and the lemon-garlic-herb butter was bright and flavorful in a completely complimentary-not-overwhelming way. I'd worried I'd gone too heavy on the lemon for The Husband, but he was perfectly happy and left nothing behind.

Lemon-Garlic Roasted Salmon

Yield: 2-4, depending on greed

Ingredients

  • 1 lb salmon fillet
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Brush a pie plate or baking dish with olive oil.
  3. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel. Cut the salmon into two to four (I did two, because I'm a greedy so-and-so) similarly-sized portions. Place them, skin-side down, in the pie plate.
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Spread butter mixture over salmon pieces, trying to distribute it evenly across all pieces.
  5. Roast salmon, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily and has reached 145°F.

Yum!

23 October 2015

Perfect Pot Roast (It's Beer Wot Does It)

This pot roast is my easy-peasy, totally not fancy but fabulously delicious go-to recipe. I've been making it for years, but never bothered to blog about it properly because it seemed ... too easy. Too not-special-enough for the interwebs. And yet. I've made this pot roast nearly a dozen times now, which means it must be good and good is always worth sharing, right?


This pot roast always cooks up delicious. Sweet and tender. Beefy and rich. Quite definitely the best pot roast I have ever made and I think the mildness of the beer had a lot to do with it. Previously, I always used bottles of Heineken in this recipe because Heineken's what I had on hand. Except, this time, we were all out of Heineken and I ended up using one of the pint bottles of Bud Light Platinum one of The Husband's poker buddies left behind. It's a mild, innocuous beer which is exactly what I want in this pot roast. Combined with the meat juices and the vegetables, the beer creates a mouth-watering smell which always leaves me desperate to lick the oven door long before the roast is ready.

Perfect Pot Roast

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lb beef chuck underblade pot roast
  • Garlic powder, salt, and pepper, as desired
  • 1 bottle pale lager beer
  • 8 small potatoes, halved (I used a mixture of red and yellow)
  • 1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
  • 5 carrots, cut into large chunks (peel if you're fussy)
  • 4 ribs celery, cut into large chunks
  • Penzeys Tuscan Sunset or McCormick Salt Free Garlic & Herb Seasoning (or similar salt-free seasoning), as needed

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Heat olive oil in bottom of French/Dutch oven. Liberally season roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Sear all sides of beef roast. Turn off burner.


  • Put carrots, celery, and potatoes around beef. Scatter onions over beef. Pour a bottle of beer over it all. Sprinkle liberally with your favorite salt-free seasoning.


  • Cover tightly and bake for 3 hours. Serve with pan juices or make a gravy from them.



Before I owned a fancy pot, I used to make this in a broiler pan tightly covered in foil, so don't worry if you don't own a French/Dutch oven. An oven-safe covered casserole would work fine, too, if you have one.

30 September 2015

Garlicky Chicken Tenders & Vegetables

This simply isn't a very exciting dish. Definitely not the kind of thing to make for company, no. But it makes an easy one-pan-throw-everything-together-and-go meal, which is sometimes what you need on a Sunday night when your monkey mind is too busy obsessing over tomorrow being MONDAY to deal with fancy cookery shenanigans.


I would really like go back to having proper Sunday dinners and not these catch-as-catch-can meals centering around speed and the opportunity to use up iffy ingredients -- like the spongy zucchini and sprouting potatoes in today's chicken dish. But my life is a bit topsy-turvy at the moment and, really, I suspect I should just be happy the chicken wasn't off!

Garlicky Baked Chicken Tenders with Vegetables

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins
  • 6 small red potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp salt-free poultry seasoning
  • Salt & pepper, as desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. While oven is preheating, add butter to a large baking dish or pan and place in the oven to melt.
  2. When oven is at temperature, remove pan and stir garlic and onion into melted butter.
  3. Add chicken and vegetables to butter mixture, toss to coat, then spread out in pan, trying not to crowd.
  4. Sprinkle chicken and vegetables with seasonings and bake, uncovered, at 400°F for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from oven. Give everything a good stir 'round and baste the chicken with pan juices. Return to oven and continue baking for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from oven and serve.

If you have a thing about butter, you could certainly use olive oil in this recipe. I happen to have a bunch of random cuts leftover from various baking projects and they keep falling off the "butter and egg" shelf and beaning me on the head when I yank open the fridge door. Yes. I'm blessed, I know.

18 September 2015

Roast All The Things: Chicken Thighs & Summer Vegetables

End of the week, no idea what the weekend may bring, and the crisper drawers still hold far too much highly perishable produce. What to do? Roast them. With some chicken. Because not everyone wants a big plate of roasted vegetables for supper. Weirdos.

The package of boneless skinless thighs I used contained five thighs -- we had two apiece for supper and I enjoyed the remaining one with a bunch of the leftover vegetables for lunch the next day. Obviously, serving sizes are arbitrary so ymmv.


Roasted Chicken Thighs & Summer Vegetables

Yield: 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small yellow (crookneck) squash, sliced into thick coins
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into thick coins
  • 4 oz quartered small red potatoes
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and thyme
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Brush baking pans with olive oil. Distribute chicken and vegetables among pans, trying not to crowd. Season generously.
  2. Roast, uncovered, in 45°F oven for 25-30 minutes or until chicken has reached 165°F and potatoes are tender.

25 June 2015

Lazy Oven Kabobs

Brown and lovely oven-baked chicken-vegetable kabobs. Yum!
Kabobs! In the oven! Because Weather. (Also, maybe, laziness?) Last Saturday started as a beautiful late Spring day with big fluffy white sheep of clouds scudding across deep blue skies ... but, by the time lunchtime had rolled around, the sun was skulking behind dark clouds of dooooom, the wind kicked up, and it began to rain. The whole family wandered back into the house and the kabobs went in the oven.

Chicken-vegetable kabobs, marinating
And they were good! I'd bought these ready made, unseasoned chicken kabobs at the grocery store and then marinated them overnight, skewers and all, in Italian dressing. (What can I say? I am my mother's daughter and Italian dressing remains my go-to marinade). To cook them in the oven, I just decanted the container onto a baking tray and baked them at 450°F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. As you can see, they came out looking pretty much just like they came off the grill -- charred edges and all.

Chicken-vegetable kabobs ready to go in the oven

15 April 2015

Quick Roasted Salmon Fillet

Since I used Penzey's Sunny Paris salt-free seasoning blend, which is comprised of dehydrated shallots, chives, green peppercorn, dill weed, basil, tarragon, chervil and bay leaf, I'm tempted to call this "Parisian salmon." But that sounds like I'm trying too hard!


Quick Roasted Salmon

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 6 oz portions skinned boneless salmon fillet
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • Penzey's Sunny Paris salt-free blend

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  2. Pour a little olive oil into the bottom of a baking dish or pie plate. Place the salmon fillets in a baking dish and rub around in the oil, flipping to make sure both sides are coated.
  3. Season generously with salt, pepper, and Sunny Paris. Bake 12 minutes or until fish has reached 145°F flakes easily with a fork.
We ate the salmon over Sidemates Tuscan Medley pearl couscous with steamed veggies and it was pretty darn tasty. The salmon was moist and flaky and omnomnom.

30 March 2015

Easy One-Pan Salmon & Asparagus

This is an easy way to cook salmon and frozen asparagus that only takes minimal ingredients and time. And the pan is lined in parchment, so clean up is a breeze! A great lazy day supper that looks like you tried harder than you did.


Roasting frozen vegetables like asparagus and brussels sprouts gives them a much texture than steaming frozen vegetables as they retain some firmness and the oven's heat crisps their edges. I like crispy edges!

One-Pan Roasted Salmon & Asparagus

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • ½ lb wild-caught Alaskan salmon
  • 10 oz frozen organic asparagus (DO NOT THAW)
  • olive oil, as needed
  • zest of one lemon
  • Herbes de Provence, as desired [Penzeys]
  • salt and pepper, as desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Line a jelly roll pan or baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Place the salmon fillet on the pan with the frozen asparagus stalks. Drizzle everything lightly with olive oil and season with lemon zest and Herbes de Provence.
  3. Bake 12-15 minutes or until fish has reached 145°F and flakes easily with a fork.

My recipe calls for half a pound of salmon, but I cooked a full pound this time so that I would have leftovers to top tossed salads later in the week. Therefore, I roasted the salmon for 10, added the asparagus, and continued roasting for another 10.

14 November 2014

Baked Chicken & Vegetables

This started out as something a bit more complicated that required the use of multiple pans and separate timers, but I came home from work TIRED and HANGRY and just slung everything into the oven and it was ... probably just as good as the original recipe. Chicken, vegetables, olive oil, lemon, herbs. You can't go wrong.


Pound some boneless skinless chicken breasts until they're all of similar thickness (something so calming about going all "Hulk SMASH" on the innocent chickies) and plop on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.


Chop up a bunch of vegetables (I used zucchini, mushrooms, red bell pepper, red onion) and scatter them around the chicken. Season everything liberally with your seasoning blend of choice (I used Penzeys Greek seasoning), drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and roast in a 400°F oven for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.


We ate this with purple mashed potatoes, because I can't seem to stop buying purple potatoes because they're PURPLE, for heaven's sake. (They look a little grey in the photo, because of the terrible light in my kitchen at this time of the year).

18 October 2014

Easy Lemony Roasted Broccolini

Stopped at Trader Joe's the past weekend to stock up on frozen bricks of grass-fed organic beef ... and, of course, picked up a bunch of tempting-but-not-on-the-shopping-list items. Like a package of fresh broccolini ("baby broccoli"). It's good stuff, but I'm the only one who eats it so it means taking broccolini to work all week. That's no hardship, but I have to make sure I've cooked it in a way that microwave reheating it won't turn it mushy and 'orrible.

Roasting to the rescue. Well, under-roasting so that the broccolini is cooked but still a bit crunchy. Al dente broccolini, if you will. It kinda-sorta worked ... the broccolini was delicious straight from the oven but reheating still did some damage.

Easy Lemony Roasted Broccolini

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 05 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.

Total time: 20 mins.

Ingredients

  • 15± fresh broccolini stems, washed and trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Salt and pepper, as needed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spread broccolini on large jelly roll pan and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon zest.
  3. Roast for approximately 15 minutes or until stems are crisp-tender and tops are slightly browned.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool. When reheated and ready to serve, sprinkle with a little lemon juice.

When I reheated the broccolini in work's microwave, the stalks stayed fairly firm ... but the lovely crisp tops went limp. Next time, I will pack in glass instead of plastic and try reheating the broccolini in the toaster oven. Perhaps they will retain their crispness a bit better that way?

07 June 2014

Cooking With My Love: Crunchy Garbanzo Beans

Bopping around the grocery store together one weekend, The Husband asked if we had any garbanzo beans at home. I stopped dead, confused, because this is not the sort of inquiry I would expect from The Husband. "Do we have any cherry Coke? Do we have any Seriously Sharp? Do we have any microwaveable tomato soups?" Those are expected queries. Garbanzo beans ... what? Why?

Turns out one of his coworkers shared a link to a recipe for "Roasted Chickpeas," saying it was an easy and delicious snack everyone likes. And hence the perfectly reasonable question about garbanzo beans. Of course, it took us nearly a month to get ourselves together and roast the beans, but we finally did it ... and no-one shouted or got a bit stabby or told the other s/he was doing it wrong. A success, really.

The Husband skillfully stirs the beans.
Ingredients: 1 can drained and rinsed garbanzo beans, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 scant tsp garlic powder, 1 scant tsp salt.

Verdict: "Dunno. Garlic's not a strong as I thought it would be and I can taste the 'Cajun-style blackening'. I thought they would be crunchier."

We took the garbanzo beans out of the oven after eight minutes and a bunch had already burnt. Those that remained did not seem evenly roasted -- some were quite crunchy and dark gold while others were pale gold and still a bit squishy inside. I'm guessing we should have roasted the garbanzos at a lower temperature and stirred the pan after four minutes.

Roasty-toasty blackened beans :(
Will we make them again? Yes, but we'll use Alton Brown's recipe for "Roasted Chickpeas" because Alton has yet to fail me.

05 April 2014

Easy Roasted Drumsticks & Vegetables

I got an excellent deal on chicken drumsticks a few weeks ago and my freezer is now well stocked them. Drumsticks aren't usually something I buy, but The Husband really likes fried chicken and I figured I would oven-fry some of them ... but, ummm, I keep forgetting to.


But, hey! They roast really well! Add some chopped vegetables and supper is in the oven in just minutes. I used an Italian seasoning blend, but I'm guessing poultry seasoning or lemon pepper would work pretty well, too.

Easy Roasted Drumsticks & Vegetables

Ingredients
1 pkg drumsticks
3 carrots, cut into chunks
2 ribs celery, cut into chunks
1 small onion, cut into chunks
Italian seasoning blend
olive oil

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place drumsticks and vegetables in a shallow pan, trying not to crowd. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Bake for 30 minutes. Stir vegetables 'round. Bake for another 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve.

While the drumsticks were deliciously crispy and tender, the roasted veggies really stole the show. Seriously, roasted celery! Where have you been all my life?

16 March 2014

(Almost) Spring Lamb

Spring officially starts on Thursday and, although I know Mother Nature doesn't keep the same calendar, the few recent 40-ish blue-sky days have got me in the mood for daffodils, asparagus, and lamb. While it's a bit too early for daffs and the price of asparagus makes me say inappropriate things, there was a nice piece of butterflied lamb in my freezer so ...

Sunday Supper

Lemony Greek Butterflied Lamb

Ingredients
1½ lb butterflied leg of lamb
Olive oil, as desired
Penzeys Greek Seasoning blend, as desired
1 lemon, halved

Instructions
Pat meat dry with paper towels and score fatty side in a criss-cross pattern. Rub thoroughly with olive oil. Rub generously with Greek seasoning. Squeeze lemon over lamb and let sit at room temperature for about an hour.

Butterflied Lamb

Preheat oven to 425F° degrees. Place meat, fatty side up, on a baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes (medium rare) or until desired level of doneness is reached.

Remove from oven, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Sunday Lamb

I served the lamb with celery-mashed potatoes and buttery parslied carrots and it was good. I'm guessing it would, in a few months times, also be really good on the grill.

17 February 2014

Totally Unfancy Valentine's

Valentine's Day, The Husband was too sick to go out and I was still feeling a bit blarg myself, so we scrapped our plans and stayed home, watching Major Crimes and eating what was meant to be Saturday's supper -- roasted pork tenderloin with broccoli and mac 'n' cheese. It was actually a rather nice night, but every night with my sweetie (even when we're both coughing and sniffling) is a good night.

Valentine's Day Supper

  • Campbell's Kitchen's "Fastest Homemade Mac and Cheese" made using sriracha, dehydrated chives, and shredded Italian cheese blend.
  • Roasted broccoli florets -- tossed a bag of broccoli florets with olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper, and Penzeys Tuscan Sunset and roasted at 425°F for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  • Pork tenderloin rubbed with sea salt and Penzeys Tuscan Sunset and roasted alongside the broccoli.

12 February 2014

Meat & Veg. Who Needs More On A Wednesday?

I'm mostly recovered from last week's creeping crud -- although I still sound like a languishing Dickensian consumptive when I cough -- but am still not up to running amok in the kitchen, faffing about with complicated recipes. Happily, there's nothing easier than roasting a chunk of meat and pile of veg. Especially when the meat's prep has already been done by Trader Joe's.

Lazy Wednesday Supper
I was "nice" and ate all the yummy courgettes, leaving the carrots to The Husband.

I plopped one of Trader Joe's Steakhouse Seasoned Beef Filet Mignon Roast in a pan and surrounded it with chopped carrots, red onion, and baby courgettes (zucchini) I'd tossed with olive oil, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. Everything went in the preheated 425°F oven for 20 minutes, then I gave the vegetables a stir and let everything cook for another 20.

Lazy Wednesday Supper
I should have tied the meat, because it split while roasting. Oops.
And that was supper -- easy, reasonably healthful, and enough leftover for tomorrow's (probable) snow day sandwiches.

10 February 2014

Sunday Dinner for One

I love roasting Brussels sprouts, but fresh sprouts can be a little pricey. Happily, I discovered I could roast frozen Brussels sprouts pretty much the same way as fresh and therefore enjoy roasted sprouts whenever I wanted them and save myself a little money -- frozen sprouts are 17¢ less per ounce than fresh at my local Stop & Shop (and I don't even have to clean them). Fabulous!

Since I was roasting sprouts, I thought I'd do another sweet potato and then I figured why not chuck some chicken breasts in there, too? And, without meaning to, I ended up with a smashing Sunday dinner for one (with leftovers for weekday meals).

Sunday Dinner for One

First, I preheated the oven to 400°F (and made sure the top rack was in the center of the oven as I frequently forget to put it back after broiling things and moving around a hot rack is not the best fun).

Tossed the 16 oz bag of still-frozen Brussels sprouts with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper and arranged them in a single layer on a small baking tray. Popped them into the oven with a well-scrubbed-and-poked sweet potato and set the timer for 20 minutes.

Sunday Dinner for One

While the vegetables cooked, I pounded three boneless chicken breasts until they were all about the same thickness and then smeared them with a mixture of Dijon mustard and maple syrup. Plopped them onto a baking tray with a sprinkling of black pepper and set them aside until the oven timer went off.

Sunday Dinner for One

Then I shifted the contents of the oven around so the chicken could fit, gave the sprouts a stir, and set the oven timer for another 20 minutes.

At the end of 20 minutes, the chicken and sprouts were done so I removed them from the oven and tented them with a little foil so they would stay warm. The sweet potato was a little firm so I gave it an additional 10 minutes, at which point it had gone all oozy with potato juices. Yum!

I sliced the breasts and plated one with the baked sweet potato and some Brussels sprouts (I admit a bunch of Brussels sprouts got nibbled to death while I waited for the potato). The other breasts went into serving bowls with Trader Joe's Multigrain Blend With Vegetables and roasted broccoli (olive oil + sea salt + pepper + 425°F + 20 minutes) and served me well as work meals.