whee!

Chicken stuffed with Asparagus and Herbed Garlic Chevre

April 18, 2014 - Written by Diana

Since it’s National Garlic Day on April 19th, I wanted to come up with a dinner that had some nice garlic flavor.  Originally I was going to make a salad with garlic chicken and asparagus, but while I was at the store other thoughts entered my mind and I went with it.  I grilled asparagus on a grill pan first, but maybe it doesn’t really need it.  We loved the whole meal and I will definitely do it again when my daughter’s home, she enjoys it when I come up with something delicious. Chicken stuffed with Asparagus and Herbed Garlic Chevre is something your family would enjoy too.

Chicken stuffed with Asparagus and Herbed Garlic Chevre Ingredients:

Dollop the Herbed Garlic Chevre on the flattened chicken breast and place 4 spears of asparagus on top.  Roll the chicken up around the asparagus.  Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese, Salt, Garlic Pepper and Herbs. Place in glass pan, or casserole dish, and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake in the oven on 350 until Chicken is done.  About 10 minutes before it will be done take the aluminum foil off.

 

Herbed Garlic Chevre

Sauté garlic in oil to soften.  Peel parsley, basil and thyme off stems and coarsely chop.  Put it into bullet or other small processor or chop finely, and chevre, and whirl to combine.  Use this to dollop on the chicken breasts.

Chicken stuffed with Asparagus and Herbed Garlic Chevre
 
Stuffing the chicken with Asparagus and Herbed Chevre is a delicious spring meal, for when those asparagus are just starting to poke through the ground.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Ingredients
  • 2 large chicken breasts – sliced in half, then pounded flat.
  • 16 spears of asparagus
Herbed Garlic Chevre
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Herbs – basil, parsley
  • Salt
  • Garlic-Pepper
Instructions
  1. Dollop the Herbed Garlic Chevre on the flattened chicken breast and place 4 spears of asparagus on top.
  2. Roll the chicken up around the asparagus.
  3. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese, Salt, Garlic Pepper and Herbs.
  4. Place in glass pan, or casserole dish, and cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake in the oven on 350 until Chicken is done.
  6. About 10 minutes before it will be done take the aluminum foil off.
Herbed Garlic Chevre
  1. Sauté garlic in oil to soften.
  2. Peel parsley, basil and thyme off stems and coarsely chop.
  3. Put it into bullet or other small processor or chop finely, and chevre, and whirl to combine.
  4. Use this to dollop on the chicken breasts.

You could really smell the garlic in the kitchen while it was cooking and taste it in the cheese.

I served this with resmashed potatoes.  I added a little cream, some gouda, and parmesan, salt, garlic pepper and herbs.  Place in ramekins, sprinkle with garlic pepper, then parmesan cheese – It will have a nice cooked brown parmesan top to it when it’s ready.  Throw it in the oven with the chicken for about 20 minutes (place in pan with water).

Dinner was a success.  Though the chicken didn’t need a sauce or gravy – it wasn’t dry, the bottom of the pan was filled with good stuff my husband and I kept scraping, so maybe deglazing the pan and making a sauce with it is something I might try next time.

 

 

Braised Lamb Neck Stew over Polenta

April 4, 2014 - Written by Diana

Braised Lamb Neck Stew Over Polenta - Cookerati

The lamb neck is often an overlooked piece of lamb that people don’t ask their butcher for. I went to a lamb cutting class and when asked which part of the lamb was the favorite, I don’t remember what my response was, but I remember the response of another person, because he said lamb neck.  The butcher said it was one of the lower costing and under-valued. My Braised Lamb Neck Stew Over Polenta is a delicious way to prepare this under utilized part of the lamb that is so delicious.

Lamb neck is a very fatty piece, with a lot of bones, because of this the meat is full of flavor. It also means, that it’s more of a stew piece instead of a steak or thick roast. After you cook it, you have to wade in with your fingers, pull the meat out and the bones and also drain all of the grease to get to the flavor filled stock.  It’s a bit of work, but really worth it. I served it over polenta this time, but a nice root vegetable mash or potato mash would be great. Serving it over a nice thick Sourdough would work well for sopping up that great gravy.

This is not a quick and easy worknight meal.  You can put it into the crockpot, but the meat has to cool, so that you won’t burn your fingers. The gravy will need to cool a little also before you whirl it around in the food processor.

Braised Lamb Neck Stew over Polenta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Lamb Neck is an often forgotten but very economical piece of meat that is great for stew.
Author:
Recipe type: Lamb Neck Stew over Polenta
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 lamb neck
  • 3 tbs cooking oil
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp paprka
  • 1 pint lamb or chicken broth
  • 4 carrots sliced into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 large turnips quartered
  • 3 large tomatoes (or a can of stewed tomatoes)
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • (as needed)
  • 1 cup of water
  • cumin
  • all spice
  • garlic
  • pepper
  • paprika
Instructions
  1. Using a dutch oven, heat the cooking oil.
  2. Sear all sides of the lamb neck.
  3. Throw onions, garlic, sprinkle with cumin, all spice, ginger and paprika.
  4. When the onions are soft, add 1 pint broth and simmer for about an hour.
  5. Add in the carrots, turnips and tomatoes and simmer until the vegetables and soft and the meat is ready to come apart.
  6. Place the meat on a plate to cool so that you can work with it.
  7. Place the cooked vegetables (except tomatoes and onions) in a bowl with a cover.
  8. Drain the stock into a gravy separator.
  9. Using the wine deglaze the dutch oven and turn the heat off.
  10. Pour the gravy without the grease into a food processor along with the tomatoes and onions or use an immersion blender to make the sauce smooth.
  11. Add water to thin and spices to taste and return to dutch oven if you used a food processor.
  12. Pull the meat off the lamb neck and discard the fat and bones then add the meat to the dutch oven.
  13. Slice the turnips and carrots into smaller bite size pieces and add to the dutch oven.
  14. Simmer on low the vegetables, lamb neck meat and sauce.
  15. Prepare the polenta.
  16. Boil 4 cups water.
  17. Add in cornmeal.
  18. Stir until the cornmeal seems suspended and no longer falls to the bottom of the pot.
  19. Place lid on and give it a stir every so often until thickened.
  20. Ladle the polenta into a bowl, place a serving of lamb neck stew over the center.

 

Chicken, Chard, Bean and Butternut Squash Soup

February 5, 2014 - Written by Diana

I told you I was going healthy for the Superbowl.  We brought this  – Chicken, Chard, Bean and Butternut Squash Soup.  We also brought some berries and greek yogurt with honey – plus vegan chocolate avocado cupcakes.  We did splurge though because my sister in law made some awesome queso with sausage that was great with chips and they also had some Buffalo Wild Wings.  It was a small gathering, but there was plenty of food and even though our favorite team disappointed, we had a good time (well most of us).

I bought my butternut squash last fall at the farmer’s market.  We put them into baskets and stored them on shelves in the unheated basement.  The food doesn’t freeze down there, but it does get rather nippy downstairs. Last year I tried storing them in a warmer spot, but some of my squash went bad.  This year, they are in perfect condition and not even drying out.  I’m thrilled that we put up a nice shelving unit to use for winter storage.

Anyway, I also have been trying to work with beans more, but dry beans not canned beans, and so that was the start of this soup. I roasted most of the vegetables in a glass pan in the oven until almost cooked.  I also baked the chicken breast rather than fry it up.  I wanted the broth to be clear when I served it and not muddied, which is why I did it this way.  And to give it a nice bright taste, I grated lemon peel and squeezed lemon juice into it.  This soup is one of my best tasting, I recommend it for family dinner, or a gathering of friends, or just the two of you.

Ingredients:

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Turkey Soup – from your home made Turkey Broth

November 29, 2013 - Written by Diana

So you’ve cooked those turkey bones and created the wonderful Turkey Broth, now what.  Here’s a 30 minute (or less) recipe for one of those work or run out quick nights. The key to making it quick is to cut the pieces small enough that they will cook quickly, while at the same time a it needs to be a nice size tasty morsel in your mouth. You can swap out the veggies for ones you like better and customize it.  Crusty whole grain bread with some nice butter would go well with this.

Turkey Soup     Ingredients:

Directions:

Heat Olive Oil in Pan.  Sauté Onions, garlic, turnips and carrot.  When they seem almost al dente, add the broth.  After the broth heats to a simmer, add in the turkey and potatoes. Throw in the herbs. When the potatoes are the correct texture it’s ready.

Easy Peasy, well it would be if there were peas.  You can add them if you like.

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Citrusy Tequila Turkey

November 26, 2013 - Written by Diana

 

 

Thanksgiving is the big kahuna of family meals so when you invite your family or your in-laws to your Thanksgiving dinner, it had better be good.  I remember going to my sister-in-law’s and how they tormented her about whether her turkey would be dry.  I felt so bad for her, but she was used to it, growing up with 5 brothers who show no mercy.  In our family the women were the forced to be reckoned with, so the dynamic was more of encouragement.  Either way, it’s nerve wracking to try and come up with a dinner that everyone will be tasting, so I’m sharing an interesting twist on turkey using one of my favorite ingredients – Tequila.  This is a sweet citrusy turkey with a little tequila kick for your Thanksgiving Dinner. I hope your Thanksgiving dinner brings you a great family meal whether or not you have a Citrusy Tequila Turkey.  Feel free to pare down the ingredient amounts based on using a smaller turkey, since this recipe is for a huge one.

Ingredients:

Tequila Turkey

Directions:

Preheat over to 325 degrees F

Wash turkey well and pat dry then set turkey in roasting bag next set into roasting pan. Stuff cavity of the turkey with 1 lemon quartered, 1 orange quartered, 2 granny smith apples quartered, and 1 white onion quartered. Add Fresh sage and thyme bundle.Pour 1 cup of honey over the top of turkey, add salt and pepper to taste, and 2 teaspoons of garlic salt to the top of turkey. Cut 2 sticks of butter into half inch pieces and place around the bottom of the turkey in the bag. Inject one cup of Maestro DOBEL tequila into the turkey. Pour one cup of Maestro DOBEL tequila over the turkey in the roasting bag.

Place turkey in a roasting pan and bake for 5 hours

Easy Gravy-Strain the juices that have accumulated in the bag, skim off any fat, pour the turkey drippings into pan, add cup of flour and salt and pepper to taste. Stir on med. Heat until all the flour is mixed well.

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Roast Chicken

May 29, 2013 - Written by Diana

Here’s a simple and easy Roast Chicken that’s practically fail-safe.  This is a reprint of one of my favorite recipes to prepare

This is a good comfort meal when you need to sit down for a family meal that anyone can prepare.  I do mean anyone.  I have a clay baker that I bake my chicken in, but you can use a roasting pan if you like.  I added some ginger and lemongrass to give it a zingy springy flavor along with garlic, cause I love garlic. I usually bake the chicken and about half way through throw the potatoes and spinach into the pan – use whatever fresh vegetables you like best.

Roast Chicken  -Cookerati    Ingredients:

Directions:

Lightly spread Olive Oil over the chicken.  Place garlic under the skin – all over.  Grate ginger and lemon grass and sprinkle that under the skin of the chicken, plus throw a little in the cavity along with some of the garlic.  Sprinkle the other herbs and spices along with salt and pepper on top.  Place the chicken into the roasting pan, or clay baker, slice an onion and place around the chicken.  Cover with foil and bake at 325.

In a bowl, places chopped up veggies and sliced potatoes, sprinkle with some herbs, salt and pepper and toss.  Twenty minutes before the chicken is done – add the potatoes and veggies to the baker and recover.  You can uncover about ten minutes before the end if you want a crispy skin, but we don’t eat the skin, so we don’t do that part. The chicken needs to be 165 deg F, but I’ll take it up to 155, and then let it sit for about ten minutes.  It will rest and go up to about 165.  A meat thermometer is one of my best friends.  I don’t cut apart the chicken to test like my mom used to, just poke it with the meat thermometer.

 

This chicken is delicious, easy and oh so good.  My husband sits and picks the bones clean, there’s never enough left for another meal.

 

Roast Chicken
 
An easy but delicious roast chicken dinner.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1 whole Chicken
  • Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 onion
  • ginger
  • lemon grass
  • thyme
  • sage
  • pepper
  • salt
Instructions
  1. Lightly spread Olive Oil over the chicken.
  2. Place garlic under the skin – all over.
  3. Grate ginger and lemon grass and sprinkle that under the skin of the chicken,
  4. plus throw a little in the cavity along with some of the garlic.
  5. Sprinkle the other herbs and spices along with salt and pepper on top.
  6. Place the chicken into the roasting pan, or clay baker, slice an onion and place around the chicken.
  7. Cover with foil and bake at 325.
  8. In a bowl, places chopped up veggies and sliced potatoes, sprinkle with some herbs, salt and pepper and toss.
  9. Twenty minutes before the chicken is done – add the potatoes and veggies to the baker and recover.
  10. You can uncover about ten minutes before the end if you want a crispy skin, but we don’t eat the skin, so we don’t do that part.
  11. The chicken needs to be 165 deg F, but I’ll take it up to 155, and then let it sit for about ten minutes.
  12. It will rest and go up to about 165.
Notes
A meat thermometer is one of my best friends. I don’t cut apart the chicken to test like my mom used to, just poke it with the meat thermometer.

Pressure Cooker Brisket in a Pinch

April 25, 2013 - Written by Diana

Today I had plans for a brisket – all day in the crockpot, or smoking – plans for a slow cook.  Alas, planning isn’t any good without the follow through.  So here I had the brisket – small about a 1 1/2 lb brisket – targeted for dinner, but i was too late to go the slow way.  Brisket cooked fast is chewy and tough, it needs time, unless you have a pressure cooker.  I put that brisket under pressure, went for a walk with the dog and when we came back, it was ready to eat (the stove was attended, so no worries).  The meat pulled apart easily, and the sauce ingredients had all melded together quite nicely for a good swish at the end with the pulled meat.

I’ve used the pressure cooker many times as a way to fix a meal quickly without losing the flavor or moistness. Since there is less evaporation due to the seal, you need a little less liquid but it’s still pretty juicy.  The most difficult part for me is always when I have to wait for the little button to go down, so that I can separate the pot and lid.  It’s always amazing how the meat is ready to fall apart after such a short time.

Ingredients:

Heat up the oil on the bottom of the pressure cooker. When the oil is hot, sear the brisket on all sides, while sauteing onions and garlic.  After the meat is browned on all sides, dump all of the other ingredients in, nestle the meat  and put the lid on, and seal it.  After about an hour, take it off the heat and wait for the button to go back down.  Using two forks, pull the meat apart and swish around in the sauce on the bottom of the pan.

The chipotle seasoning can make it spicy, so you can leave that out if you think it will be too hot.

 

Pressure Cooker Brisket in a Pinch
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
When you don't have all day to slow cook a brisket on the grill, a faster shortcut is to use the pressure cooker
Author:
Recipe type: Barbecue
Ingredients
  • 1½ - 2lbs Brisket
  • 3 tbs oil
  • ½ onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can tomatoes (I used my home canned - Quart jar)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • pepper
  • salt
  • chipotle seasoning (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat up the oil on the bottom of the pressure cooker. When the oil is hot, sear the brisket on all sides, while sauteing onions and garlic. After the meat is browned on all sides, dump all of the other ingredients in, nestle the meat and put the lid on, and seal it. After about an hour, take it off the heat and wait for the button to go back down. Using two forks, pull the meat apart and swish around in the sauce on the bottom of the pan.
  2. The chipotle seasoning can make it spicy, so you can leave that out if you think it will be too hot.

 

Rosemary-Date Crusted Rack of Lamb

March 28, 2013 - Written by Diana

Serving Lamb for Easter has become a tradition in my home, and every year we knock it out of the park.  One of my favorite pairings with lamb is dried fruit and wine.  I ground up dates and added stonefruit vodka and rosemary to create a paste.  After baking in the oven, the paste set up into a crust that was chewy and went well with the lamb rack chops. Really yummy! The photo is awful – I can’t go back and fix it – but you can probably see how the crust set up.

 

Date and Rosemary Encrusted Rack of Lamb

 

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

In the magic bullet or another food processor – drop in the dates, garlic, shallot, and alcohol.  Pulse until smooth.  Add olive oil to thin out.  We want a liquidy paste.  Not too thick or thin.  Easily spreadable, but not sliding off.  Add half of the rosemary, salt and pepper, and pulse more.

Salt the outside of the lamb and sear in a hot pan- use one that can go into the oven, or use one pan for the stove and another casserole pan for the oven.

Slice down part way between the chops about one third of the way down.  You want to stuff the date mixture down into the lamb and cover the whole outside top of the rack. Chop fine the rest of the rosemary and sprinkle over top. I forgot to cover the bones with aluminum to keep it from burning and for the photo – I also forgot to sprinkle the rosemary over top this time.

Place in the oven and using a meat thermometer pull out when the rack temp is about 140.  Let it sit for 15 minutes to rest and so the temp can come up a little.

 

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
1 rack of lamb prepped for cooking Large handful of dates 1 cup stonefruit OYO vodka (or plum wine) 5 cloves garlic peeled 1 shallot diced Rosemary Salt & Pepper Olive Oil
Author:
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 rack of lamb prepped for cooking
  • Large handful of dates
  • 1 cup stonefruit OYO vodka (or plum wine)
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 shallot diced
  • Rosemary
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In the magic bullet or another food processor - drop in the dates, garlic, shallot, and alcohol.
  3. Pulse until smooth.
  4. Add olive oil to thin out.
  5. We want a liquidy paste, not too thick or thin-easily spreadable, but not sliding off. Add half of the rosemary, salt and pepper, and pulse more.
  6. Salt the outside of the lamb and sear in a hot pan- use one that can go into the oven, or use one pan for the stove and another casserole pan for the oven.
  7. Slice down part way between the chops about one third of the way down.
  8. You want to stuff the date mixture down into the lamb and cover the whole outside top of the rack.
  9. Chop fine the rest of the rosemary and sprinkle over top.
  10. Place in the oven and using a meat thermometer pull out when the rack temp is about 140.
  11. Let it sit for 15 minutes to rest and so the temp can come up a little.
Notes
I forgot to cover the bones with aluminum to keep it from burning and for the photo - I also forgot to sprinkle the rosemary over top this time.

 

Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Rack of Lamb

March 26, 2013 - Written by Diana

A rack of lamb makes an elegant display for a special meal.  It’s not difficult to prepare, but you have to watch to make sure it’s not overcooked.  The display of lollipop chops on top of polenta or even mashed potatoes is a great way to serve it individually as well.  This is a savory presentation of a rack – and one of our favorite ways to eat it.

Rosemary-Garlic Rack of Lamb Roast

Ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Your butcher should trim the rack, so that it’s ready to cook.  Sear the rack on all sides to seal the juices in.  Place all of the other ingredients into a bowl and mix well.  Then with a basting brush or your fingers, spread the herbs & spices all over all sides of the rack.  Place in a roasting pan (ours was a glass pan).  Wrap foil on the chop bones so that they don’t burn.  I used one piece cover all the bones, but you could wrap them individually if you like.

Place the roast in the oven – it should cook about 20 minutes per lb.  Check the middle of the roast with the meat thermometer, it should read about 140-145  for medium – take it out earlier if you want it less cooked.  With any roast, the ends will be cooked more than the middle.  Let it stand for ten to 15 minutes for the juices to settle.

Slice the lamb down between the chops to separate and serve.

This was so yummy good, we love garlic and rosemary together.

Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Rack of Lamb
 
This is an easy but delicious (and impressive) main dish.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Ingredients
  • I Frenched Rack of Lamb
  • 2 - 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbs of fresh rosemary (or dried)
  • 2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. The roast was trimmed in class, and ready to be used.
  3. Sear the rack on all sides to seal the juices in.
  4. Place all of the other ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  5. Then with a basting brush or your fingers, spread the herbs & spices all over all sides of the rack.
  6. Place in a roasting pan (ours was a glass pan).
  7. Wrap foil on the chop bones so that they don't burn.
  8. I used one piece cover all the bones, but you could wrap them individually if you like.
  9. Place the roast in the oven - it should cook about 20 minutes per lb.
  10. Check the middle of the roast with the meat thermometer, it should read about 140-145 for medium - take it out earlier if you want it less cooked.
  11. With any roast, the ends will be cooked more than the middle.
  12. Let it stand for ten to 15 minutes for the juices to settle.
  13. Slice the lamb down between the chops to separate and serve.

 

 

St. Patrick’s Corned Beef Dinner

March 16, 2013 - Written by Buff

This is one of my favorite meals and I get to cook it only once or twice a year – once on St. Patrick’s Day [March 17th for those not in the know] and again when either the mood strikes me or I have special guests. Well, the other day we had special guests in and not only did I make this special dinner, we actually sat at the Dining Room table!

Corned beef

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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