Sunday, October 24, 2021

Potato Chip Chicken {Family-Friendly and Gluten-Free}

My son and I have been binge watching the latest season of Locke & Key on Netflix. We have literally been waiting years to catch season 2, thanks to the pandemic. Let me just say, if you have older teens, this does not disappoint. 

I wanted to make something quick, but also something we could watch while binging episodes. Half-Baked Harvest's Potato Chip Chicken fits the bill. It couldn't be any easier, it's kid-friendly, it's delicious, and it's perfect for dipping and dunking while you watch TV.

All you need to do is dip chicken tenders in melted butter, then coat them in a finely crushed combo of cornflakes and potato chips and bake! I love the idea of using various kinds of chips: tortilla chips, BBQ chips, sour cream n' onion chips...you name it! 

We loved these potato chip chicken tenders served with some steamed broccoli and some super cheesy and comforting au gratin potatoes. The potato chips give the chicken a light and flaky crispety-crunchety delicious flavor. They are SO GOOD! This is one of those meals that will go on repeat! 

Potato Chip Chicken

Adapted from Half-Baked Harvest Cookbook

by Tieghan Gerard

Serves 6

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted

2 cups finely crushed potato chips

1 cup finely crushed cornflakes

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenders

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F. Put the melted butter in a shallow medium bowl. Put the potato chip and cornflake crumbs in a separate shallow medium bowl and stir to combine.

Working with one piece at a time, dip the chicken in the butter, allowing the excess to drip off, then dredge through the potato chip-cornflake crumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Place the coated chicken on a baking sheet as you work. Season with seasoned salt and pepper.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden and the chicken is cooked through. Serve warm. 



Sunday, October 17, 2021

Half-Baked Harvest's Baked Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls

Everyone in my house loves every single buffalo chicken recipe. Buffalo chicken wings, buffalo chicken tacos, buffalo chicken dip, buffalo chicken pizza, and Baked Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls!

These are the perfect tailgate recipe for football season and guess what, they are really pretty healthy! Tieghan of Half-Baked Harvest packs the buffalo chicken filling with TONS of flavor! It starts with shredded chicken and then she adds buffalo sauce, greek yogurt, and lots and lots of herbs like: chives, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, and parsley. Then there's cheddar cheese and blue cheese. I'm telling you, that filling is like a flavor bomb! 

Then you just place some filling in the egg roll wrapper and wrap it up! It's easy peasy. Tieghan bakes her egg rolls, making them much healthier (and every bit as crunchy) as fried egg rolls. These turn out so delicious and flavorful and are great dunked into some more buffalo sauce and/or some ranch.

Best of all, the egg rolls stay hot/warm for a really long time. They are best served straight from the oven while still hot, but they are still delicious when warm or at room temp. We loved them!


Baked Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls

Adapted from Half-Baked Harvest

by Tieghan Gerard

Makes 20-22 egg rolls

1-1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken

1/3 cup plain greek yogurt

1/2 cup buffalo sauce, plus more for serving

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons dried parsley

2 teaspoons dried dill

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

20-22 square egg roll wrappers

Preheat the oven to 425F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. 

In a bowl, combine the chicken, yogurt, buffalo sauce, chives, parsley, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. Stir in the cheeses.

To assemble, spoon 2 tablespoons of filling onto each wrapper. Brush water around the edges of the wrapper, then roll up and place on the baking sheet. Brush each roll lightly with olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, then flip and cook another 8-10 minutes more, or until the rolls are crisp.

Serve the egg rolls with fresh herbs, buffalo sauce, and plenty of ranch for dipping.




Tailgating Treats @ IHCC

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Pumpkin Spice French Toast with Cider Syrup {Cooking w/ Tiegan Gerard @ Half Baked Harvest}!

 

Each and every single time Tieghan Gerard of the Half Baked Harvest fame posts something, I pretty much want to stop everything I'm doing and make that recipe right then and there! I own both of her cookbooks and pretty much stalk her on social media, waiting for the next new recipe.

I am so happy we will be cooking along with Tieghan at I Heart Cooking Clubs for the next six months because it will give me the push I need to cook some of the recipes I've bookmarked over the years. You see, I bought both of Tieghan's cookbooks and I've pinned tons of her recipes on Pinterest, but I haven't really made any. I'm somewhat of a procrastinator like that. I kinda need a deadline.

I fussed and fussed over which recipe to choose to share first. Tieghan loves burrata cheese and I pretty much live for burrata so at first it was going to be something burrata. Then I was going to make one of her festive and amazing fall cocktails, like this "I Put a Spell On You" Poison Apple Martini (....it's the edible gold glitter for me). I was even tempted to make one of her pasta dishes. But then I got around to looking at her breakfast recipes and well, breakfast is my very favorite.

Everything was making me swoon in total delight, but it's October, and I'm nearing the end of my Fall Break from school, so some celebratory breakfast was in order. Pumpkin Spice French Toast with Cider Syrup....yes, the french toast is stuffed with cream cheese. Yes, it is a total splurge. Yes, it is totally knock-you-out delicious and worth every single last bite.

I made my annual fall trip to Trader Joe's a week or so ago and I bought all the fall things, including a can of pumpkin and their brioche bread. I like to keep that brioche in the freezer for the sole purpose of making french toast. Now, I don't know about you, but I keep apple cider stocked in my fridge all fall season. So I had all the things I needed to make this french toast. I guess it was fate.

I started by making the apple cider syrup. I was a little worried it wouldn't cook down to a syrup consistency but it did. It's so good. I wish I would've doubled the recipe. If you make this, go ahead and double the recipe. I definitely will from now on.

Then I mixed up the custard for the french toast: eggs, milk, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Tieghan says that you can cut into your french toast and stuff it with cream cheese prior to dunking in the custard and frying, but I chose to spread the cream cheese (needs to be room temp) on top of one piece of french toast and then sandwich it with a second piece. Either way, you can't go wrong.

THIS PUMPKIN SPICE FRENCH TOAST WITH CIDER SYRUP WAS INCREDIBLE! It had a lot going on: sweet, tangy, creamy, a little salty, and a little crispety-crunch on the edges. I ate both pieces and then I had to have a third piece. I HIGHLY SUGGEST you make this sometime this season! It's a 10!

Cream Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin Spice French Toast with Cider Syrup

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

by Tieghan Gerard

Serves 6

French Toast

1 loaf brioche bread, sliced into 1" thick slices

8 ounces cream cheese (optional)

4 eggs

1-1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon vanilla

1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

butter, for greasing

Cider Syrup

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup apple cider

2 tablespoons salted butter

Note: You definitely want to double the cider syrup recipe! It is so good! Also, you can cut into your french toast and stuff it with cream cheese, but that is a lot harder than simply spreading it onto one cooked piece of french toast and topping with another. I do it using the later method because I like easy!

For the french toast: If using cream cheese, slice 3/4 of the way through the bread to create room for the cream cheese, leaving the top portion of the bread whole. Gently smear the cream cheese inside, then gently push down to seal. It does not have to be perfect.

In a shallow, medium size bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, milk, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt until combined. Dip the stuffed bread into the egg mixture, allowing each side to sit for 1-2 minutes in the egg mixture. The bread can sit in the egg mix up to overnight, if desired (this overnight stuff never works well for me).

When ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat and coat with butter. When the skillet is hot, cook the bread in batches (do not overcrowd) until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove and serve immediately drizzled with the cider syrup. 

Cider Syrup: Add the maple syrup and apple cider to a medium size sauce pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture has reduced by half and is syrupy. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Keep warm until ready to serve or store in a glass jar and warm over the stove before serving with the french toast. 

Welcome Half Baked Harvest!

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Fettuccine Alfredo from Ruth Reichl's The Gourmet Cookbook {Total Comfort Food}!

 

So last week was an EXTREMELY tough week at school and that is an understatement. On top of that, I was exposed as a girl in my group tested positive for covid. Then I woke up sick the next day. Don't you love how literally every symptom is a covid symptom? Makes things fun, doesn't it? Even better when all the testing sites are booked up and you can't get a test anywhere. Thankfully I am on the mend, but I am still short on patience and just over everything.

I wanted to make something REALLY EASY and SUPER COMFORTING and I have been craving pasta, and loving my Ruth Riechl recipes lately, so I decided to make something super naughty!

Ruth Reichl's Fettuccine Alfredo! It couldn't be easier and....IT COULDN'T BE MORE DELICIOUS! This is the third time I've tried making Fettuccine Alfredo. The first time I made Giada's recipe and it was good. Then I made Nigel Slater's Needs Must Fettuccine Alfredo and it was also good. Then I made this recipe and it was love at first bite. I knew instantly that this was THE ONE AND ONLY!

Seriously, this recipe is simply the best and tastes even better than eating Fettucine Alfredo in a restaurant. The best part is that it is so easy as it is essentially only 4 ingredients: fettuccine, butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and heavy cream! You can have it done in the time it takes to cook pasta!

All you have to do is boil the noodles and prep your sauce ingredients: butter, cream, Parmigiano Reggiano. This is where I have some tips for you! Make sure you salt your pasta water very well as this really adds to the overall dish. Also, buy quality pasta and REAL Parmigiano-Reggiano! Lastly, be sure to save at least a cup of pasta water because alfredo has a tendency to seize up after awhile and a great tip is to use that leftover pasta water to help loosen things up.

This is an incredible one pot meal. It is definitely indulgent, but it is a great recipe that everyone in the family will love, and we all deserve a treat right now as things are a bit crazy. 

I like to serve this with a big green salad or some green veggies, but if you wanted to add some meat then you could buy a Rotisserie chicken and add some chicken to the pasta.

Please give it a try!


Fettuccine Alfredo

Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

by Ruth Reichl

Serves 4

 3/4 pound good dried egg fettuccine

1 stick butter

1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus additional for sprinkling

2/3 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Cook fettuccine in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespon salt per every 4 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water (I like to reserve at least 1 cup of pasta water - for all recipes).

Meanwhile, thinly slice 3 tablespoons butter; set aside.

When pasta is cooked, melt remaining 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter in a 2- to 3-quart flameproof gratin dish over low heat (I just used the pan from the pasta). Add pasta and toss to coat, lifting strands. Add cheese, reserved cooking water (a little at a time), cream, reserved butter, salt and pepper and toss to combine well. Sprinkle with additional cheese and serve immediately. 

*You will want to serve this immediately because the sauce will thicken quickly. I like to keep quite a bit of pasta water to help loosen up the sauce if need be. 


 


 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Cider Cream Sauce { A New Favorite}!


Ok, so for years (and I do means years...lots of years) I've wanted to make some version of pork and apples. I've never had it and it ALWAYS looks like the quintessential fall pairing. I mean who doesn't go completely nuts over pictures of pork loin cooked in apple cider with cooked apples on the side? I mean can you just imagine the aroma?

Well, I finally picked a recipe and just made it happen! I looked through my Ruth Reichl cookbooks and found two recipes: Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Brown Butter Buttermilk Potatoes OR Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Cider Cream Sauce. Now honestly, I'd rather have the Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder, but I just didn't have time for a project like that, SO...I decided to make the Brown Butter Buttermilk Potatoes and serve it with Ruth's Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Cider Cream Sauce. Let me just say right now...after tasting the pork chops, I must make the Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder sometime this fall!

This recipe is based on a French dish from the Normandy region. A Normandy sauce is made using cream, stock, butter, and Calvados and is typically served over veal. In this recipe, Ruth uses shallot; apple cider vinegar; apple cider; fresh sage; chicken stock; and cream and the sauce cooks in stages for almost 40 minutes. It is a rather complex sauce that is creamy with a hint of sweetness and a tang that I'm guessing comes from the vinegar. It is literally so good I want to eat it on everything!

I can't tell you this is a simple recipe. It does take awhile. Once the glorious sauce is complete, you simply saute pork chops in butter, then saute the sliced apples, then add the remaining stock and meat juices back to the sauce and cook the sauce down until it has a thick consistency like a gravy.

Now, the pork chops would be just fine served as is with the cooked apples, but I feel compelled to tell you that you really should make the Brown Butter Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, or just plain buttermilk mashed potatoes, or any mashed potatoes because....THE CIDER CREAM SAUCE IS SO GOOD AND YOU WILL WANT IT ON EVERYTHING!



 Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Cider Cream Sauce

Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

by Ruth Reichl

Serves 6

3 tablespoons butter

1 large shallot, minced

1/2 cup apple cider

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage or 1/4 tsp. dried

1-1/4 cups chicken stock 

2/3 cups heavy cream

6 (3/4" thick) pork loin chops (2-1/2 pounds total)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

3 Golden Delicious or Gala apples, peeled, cored, and each cut into 8 wedges or slices

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add apple cider, vinegar, and sage, bring to a boil, and boil until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes.

Add 1 cup stock and boil until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 12 minutes. Add cream and boil until reduced to about 1 cup, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, pat pork dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides. Add chops in 2 batches and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer chops to a warm platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Pour off fat from skillet. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, then add apples, and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until golden and just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and gently toss with brown sugar.

Add remaining 1/4 cup stock to skillet and deglaze by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, for 1 minute. Stir deglazing liquid into sauce, along with any meat juices accumulated on platter and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer apples to platter with pork and pour sauce over top.

Amazing Apples @ IHCC!


 

 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Curtis Stone's Favorite {and Healthy} Potato Salad

My co-worker had potato salad for lunch the other day and it looked so good. All at once I was craving potato salad something fierce. The problem is, classic potato salad isn't the healthiest.

I've tried the versions of potato salad using yogurt instead of mayo and they are just not the same. I just can't with them. Then I found this recipe, which uses a combination of broth and a little bit of mayo, and I just kinda knew it would be great.  

What makes it healthy? Curtis does something a little different here that I've never seen before. He uses chicken broth and simmers it with the shallot, capers, and cornichons. This trick accomplishes three things. First, it softens the harsh flavor of the shallot, Second, it flavors the broth, which is then poured over the potatoes and flavors the potatoes. Third, it greatly reduces the amount of mayo you use, making the overall recipe much healthier than classic versions.

When you pour the broth over the potatoes and stir, the potatoes become flavorful and creamy all on their own. This means it is only necessary to use a very small amount of mayo. I have to say, I was really impressed with this method and couldn't believe how creamy and "classic" this potato salad looked and tasted.

You can serve this warm and it is really good that way, but I enjoyed it most when it was chilled and the flavors were allowed to marry together. I have to tell you, this is THE HEALTHY POTATO SALAD RECIPE and I am so glad I discovered it and had a chance to make it before summer officially goes away. I can have a reasonable portion size and still feel totally good about eating it!

 

My Favorite Potato Salad

Adapted from Good Food, Good Life

by Curtis Stone

Serves 8

4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2" chunks

kosher salt

8 ounces bacon (about 8 slices), finely diced

1-1/2 cups chicken broth

2 medium shallots, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

1/3 cup finely chopped cornichons

1/4 cup drained capers

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley*

1/3 cup Aioli or mayonnaise

freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender; a sharp knife should pierce a piece of potato easily and the potato should slip off the knife without falling apart.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer over high heat. Add the shallots, cornichons, and capers, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer very gently for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shallots soften slightly. Remove from the heat.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and gently shake them to release excess moisture. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl.

Add one-third of the broth mixture to the hot potatoes and, using a silicone spatula, gently fold and turn the potatoes in the hot broth for about 2 minutes, or until most of it has been absorbed. Repeat 2 more times, adding all of the solids and just enough of the broth to moisten. The potatoes should break down a bit. Set aside.

Gently fold the bacon and parsley into the warm potatoes, then gently fold in the aoili or mayo. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. 


Holding On To Summer @ IHCC


 

 

 

 

Every Sunday @ Kahakai Kitchen 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Peppers Stuffed with Feta

 

I wasn't supposed to be home this weekend. I was supposed to be up in Ohio visiting my Dad and my friends, but you know...the ruiner of all things caused problems, yet again.

This past Wednesday I got a sore throat. I thought it was allergies, but wanted to be responsible so I searched high and low for a rapid covid test. I couldn't find anything. Nothing. Nada. I finally found a place that would do a rapid test Thursday night. They were supposed to get me results within hours. That didn't happen. Then results were supposed to come in 12-24 hours. That didn't happen either.

Long and short of the story, I couldn't get results in time to leave when I needed to. When the results finally came back they were negative. It was allergies. I should've went, but I just couldn't risk my Dad and his wife getting sick so I stayed home. Covid is now enemy #1 in my house. The ruiner of all things! I realize my attitude isn't healthy and also that it has everything to do with perception. So many people have it worse than I do with Covid, but I am literally at the end of my rope with it. There is just no end to it. What is the endgame? Does an endgame exist?

I binged five episodes of Nine Perfect Strangers on Hulu and I ate several of my son's chocolate bars that he's selling for a fundraiser. I stayed in my pjs. I read books. I ate ramen noodles. I cursed. I was mad at the world.

I couldn't muster energy for any elaborate blog posts, but I have been wanting to make Tessa's Peppers Stuffed with Feta for a super duper long time, so I went with it. This was a recipe I could handle. 

Simply cut the tops off the baby bell peppers, clean out the seeds, stuff with feta, put the caps on and saute in olive oil with some oregano. Less than 10 minutes and I am actually eating the first healthy thing I've ate all weekend. These little peppers are addictive and colorful and a great vehicle for one of my favorite cheeses of all time: feta. They are so pretty and they definitely put a smile on my face for awhile. I highly recommend them if you need to smile, too!

Now I'm headed back to my chair. I've decided I need a dartboard. In the center of the board is going to be a new bullseye: an image of spiky fuzzy ball that we've all come to hate. For the first time in my life, I just might hit the target!

 


Peppers Stuffed with Feta

{Piperies Yemistes Me Feta}

Adapted from Food From Many Greek Kitchens

Serves 4

4 small red and green sweet peppers, about 4 inches long

7 ounces feta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, optional (or fresh)

Cut the tops off the peppers and carefully remove the seeds, keeping the peppers whole. Crumble the feta and stuff tightly into the peppers, then replace the tops. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the peppers over high heat (propping the peppers up against the sides of the skillet so the filling doesn't ooze out), gently turning them over, until they are lightly browned on the outside, and the feta is melted a bit but not running out (the hats may fall off, but replace when serving). Serve whole or cut into thick slices, with the oregano crumbled over the top, if desired.

 


Go Greek @ I Heart Cooking Clubs!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Herby Bread Frittata {Inspired by the Farmer's Market}

  

The farmer's market is a wealth of inspiration. One week it's the fresh ripe peaches, another week it's fresh corn on the cob, and yet another week it's a batch of spicy dill pickles. I think that's the fun of it. You just never know what's going to call to you.

This weekend I went to my local farmer's market and nothing was speaking to me. Our local market is very nice, but only about 10 small stalls, and I was feeling the whole been there, done that vibe. So, I got in the car and drove to Lexington. Their market is MUCH bigger and I hadn't been there in a few years. 

In a market of at least 40 stalls, with everything imaginable, I focused in on one booth full of the most amazing looking organic produce and THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HERBS I had ever seen! I starting grabbing up bundles of herbs: chives, sage, dill, basil, and thyme. I bought one of each! Inspiration had struck.

On the way home I was thinking of my favorite "base" ingredients that are my "go-to's" for all the things I bought at the market. What lends itself well to herbs, and onions, and peppers? 

Some things are just standby's for me, like: eggs, chicken, potatoes, any type of bread or stuffing, and homemade butters or even pesto. I started creating a menu to use up my bounty.

To start with I turned to Mark Bittman. I really wanted to make a quiche, but a frittata is much healthier. I found that he had a variety of fritatta options in his book: pasta, grains, potato, and bread. I had some wonderful sourdough bread that needing using up, so I went with the bread frittata.

The next task was to chose the herbs. I went with dill, chives, and basil. Lots of them, anywhere from 1/4 - 1/2 cup. I wanted the frittata to sing with herbaceous flavor!

Let me go ahead and say...this frittata was one of my all-time favorites! I AM SO GLAD I WENT WITH THE BREAD FRITATTA! The sourdough cubes held up to the egg but also absorbed the egg much better than potatoes and the texture was heavenly! I will be ALL ABOUT a bread frittata from now on, it is just superior in texture to a potato frittata. Plus, I always really want my potatoes fried crispy and served on the side, and this allows for that. 

The herbs were a perfect combination and I really, really loved the tang of the fresh dill with the eggs. Dill and eggs are just a perfect pairing, every bit as good together as peanut butter and jelly! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this breakfast. I will be trying more bread frittatas in the future with various herbs and veggies and cheeses. I think this is a fabulous base recipe to play around with and highly suggest it!

 


Herby Bread Frittata

Adapted from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

by Mark Bittman

Serves 4-6

1-1/2 cups cubed bread

 salt and pepper

4 tablespoons butter

5 eggs

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup feta cheese*

1/4-1/2 cup fresh herbs*

Notes: You can use any herbs here. I used a combination of chives, dill, and basil. You can also use any type of cheese, but be mindful that it goes with the variety of herbs you're using. I used Parmesan and a sprinkle of feta on top, which pairs lovely with the dill.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Get out a 10" skillet that is ovenproof (I use my cast iron skillet for all frittatas). Put the butter in the skillet over low heat.

Beat the eggs with some salt and pepper in a large bowl, then stir in the bread cubes, the Parmesan, and the herbs. Mix to incorporate evenly. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, using a spoon or spatula to distribute the ingredients evenly, and cook over low for about 10 minutes. I think the secret is cooking this real low and slow for around 10 minutes. You want the egg mixture to be firm around the sides before placing the frittata in the oven. This is also the point where I sprinkled on little bits of feta cheese! Once it looks like it is cooked around the edges, you can place the frittata into the oven. Note: You are really only placing this frittata in the oven long enough to firm up and cook the middle of the frittata. This should take only a few minutes. Keep checking the frittata so that it does not overcook, and keep in mind that this will continue to cook once removed from the oven. Best to pull it out when it still looks slightly liquidy in the center. Remove and serve hot.




Sunday, August 22, 2021

Corn & Potato Chowder

 

The first week of school was incredibly intense and that's putting things mildly. 

Right out of the gate we had staff and students sick and absent with Covid. On day 2 of school we had SIX staff members out sick with Covid and on quarantine. We didn't have enough substitutes to cover the absences so I volunteered to go down to Kindergarten. 

In case you're wondering, the first few weeks of Kindergarten in a normal year are super tough. They are so little and there is SO MUCH to learn before they can even start learning!

 The first few weeks of Kindergarten during a pandemic...unimaginable! Imagine kids who have essentially spent extremely formative years largely at home. Some of these kids have parents who tried and those kids are doing ok. A lot of the kids have parents who were maybe struggling themselves. Either way, there has been no preschool. No real going out in public and learning how to behave. These kids have spent so much time inside, more than likely on electronics of some kind.

I'm not sure I have ever worked as hard as I did last week. It was all we could do to keep everyone safe, accounted for, and to the right place at the right time. It was absolutely exhausting and then at the same time...it became extremely clear to me that there is really no way we will be able to be in school all year. The virus is just too contagious and we just don't have enough staff and substitutes to keep it all running. The very thought of not being able to be in school again is so heartbreaking. I can't even go there right now.

I promised myself  I would do one thing for myself this week and make a trip to the farmer's market on Saturday morning. I'm so glad I dragged myself out of bed and went down there. I got some flowers, my favorite pickles, some fresh peaches, and some wonderful Peaches and Cream corn on the cob.

I knew straight away I wanted to make a comforting corn chowder that would just feel like a hug in a bowl. I didn't wanna spend forever looking for a recipe so I went straight to Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything Vegetarian and found a great Corn Chowder recipe with a lot of variations. 

Bittman starts his corn chowder off by making a quick corn stock with the corn cobs. I have made corn cob stock once before and I really love it. It really adds that extra kick of corn flavor! Bittman's recipe was really basic and you can certainly keep things that way, but I wanted to use up some potatoes, jalapeno, tomatoes, scallions, and bell pepper so I went ahead and added all that in.

The end result was delicious! I am really going to look forward to taking my leftover Corn and Potato Chowder for lunch tomorrow. I have a feeling I'm going to need some soothing.

Corn & Potato Chowder

Adapted from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

by Mark Bittman

Serves 4-6

Kernels from 6 ears fresh corn, cobs reserved

salt and pepper

4 tablespoons butter or oil

1/2 cup chopped scallion

2 roma tomatoes, chopped*

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped*

1 bell pepper, chopped*

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup flour

1 or 2 potatoes, chopped 1/2" dice*

1 quart milk or half and half

Optional: Bacon, chips, herbs, cheese for garnish

Put the corn cobs and 2 cups water in a pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat so the water bubbles gently, cover, and cook, checking occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Leave the cobs in the pot until you're ready to make the soup, then remove them and save the broth (I only got about 1 cup of broth from this process, you may wish to add more water and get more broth). 

Put the butter or oil in a deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When the bugter is melted or the oil is hot, add the scallion, sugar, tomato, and peppers and cook until soft and tender. Turn the heat down to medium and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly with a whisk or a wooden spoon, until the mixture starts to turn golden and the flour no longer smells raw, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the milk and the reserved broth and turn the heat up to medium-high. Stir or whisk constantly until the flour is dissolved and the soup starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the corn kernels and potatoes, if using, and bring to a boil, then lower the heat so that the soup bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn and potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning, garnish and serve.











Every Sunday @ Kahakai Kitchen

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken

 

 I've been ordering organic produce from Imperfect Foods and I noticed they had pasture raised and slow raised chicken that had already been spatchcocked. I was thrilled. Spatchcocking is when the backbone of the chicken is removed and the chicken therefore lays flat, making it much quicker to cook. Spatchcocked chickens roast in about 45 minutes, making them a perfect weeknight meal.

I already knew which recipe I wanted to make. You guessed it...Ina Garten's Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken. This is so incredibly easy and quick. All you need to do is get out your cast iron skillet and slice up some lemon, onion, and garlic. Then you make an oil rub with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and ground fennel. This rub gets brushed on both sides of the chicken and then you just stick it in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes you simply take it out and pour a half cup of Pinot Grigio around the chicken and roast for another 15 minutes. When you remove the chicken from the oven you squeeze an entire lemon over it, and it is ready for the table. That's it! You have a really nice roast chicken dinner in no time at all!

This chicken was cooked perfectly. It was a wonderful golden brown on the outside and fall off the  bone tender. I didn't even have to try to cut it apart. I loved the combination of flavors from the oil rub and I really loved those cooked onions and lemons in the bottom of the pan. Everything was so delicious and succulent. Highly recommend this dish, especially for a quick weeknight meal this fall!

 

Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken

Adapted from Cooking for Jeffrey

by Ina Garten

Serves 4-6

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

salt and ground black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

1 lemon, halved and sliced 1/4" thick

1 yellow onion, halved and sliced 1/4" thick

2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 (4-pound) chicken, backbone removed and butterflied

1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 450F. Place the thyme, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a mini food processor and process until ground. Pour the olive oil into a small glass measuring cup, stir in the herb mixture, and set aside.

Distribute the lemon slices in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and distribute the onion and garlic on top. Place the chicken, skin side down, on top of the onion and brush with about half the oil and herb mixture. Turn the chicken skin side up, pat it dry with paper towels (very important!), and brush it all over with the rest of the oil and herb mixture.

Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Pour the wine into the pan (not on the chicken!) and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155 to 160 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the oven, sprinkle it with the lemon juice, cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the chicken into quarters or eights, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot with the pan juices, cooked lemon, and onion.

Tropical Delights @ IHCC

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Joy The Baker's Brown Butter Peach Cobbler Muffins

 

To say I've wanted to make these muffins for a long time is a total understatement. I received Joy The Baker's first cookbook right before my son started Kindergarten. I participated in The Joy The Baker Cook-off and made all sorts of delicious recipes. However, the one I wanted to make THE MOST were her Peach Cobbler Muffins made with brown butter. The reason...peaches are my absolute favorite!  Alas, no one else in the house cares for them much, so I'm always on my own when it comes to peaches, which is why I never made the muffins way back in 2012. No one needs to eat a dozen peach muffins all on their own. 

I NEVER forgot about those muffins. I thought about them every summer, especially in peach season, but I never made them because again, I'd have to eat them all on my own. Then a few weekends ago I went to Peachapalooza at a local orchard and bought some beautiful fresh peaches. Of course they all ripened at the same time and there I was trying to eat all 15 peaches in the span of a few days. On day three of making peaches my sole diet,  I surrendered and decided that I was using the rest of the peaches to FINALLY make Joy The Baker's Peach Cobbler Muffins with Brown Butter!

Here's where the whole story comes together. My son was still my little buddy about ready to go into Kindergarten when I put these muffins on my TO MAKE list. In fact, I can remember him standing in the kitchen with me holding his blanket and helping me make Joy's Chocolate Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Fast forward almost 10 years and now he is still my buddy, but he is no longer little, he's taller than I am (heck, he's taller than my husband) and on Monday I took him to his freshman open house for HIGH SCHOOL! Say what????

So yes, I waited an incredibly long time to make these muffins, pretty much 10 years. Once I tasted them I knew that I had been missing out all those years! There are three wonderful highlights about these muffins: first of all, the brown butter! That brown butter adds the most wonderful flavor to the muffins. It almost like a touch of caramel or butterscotch flavor. Then you have that crumb topping. Oh Joy! I like A LOT of crumb topping and there is a lot on these muffins. Last but not least, these muffins are full of ripe juicy peaches. And guess what? I didn't have to eat them on my own because my husband (who doesn't care about muffins or peaches) wanted to know what smelled so glorious downstairs and before you know it he was eating them and declaring them the best muffins I ever made (his favorite part was the touch of cinnamon in the muffins).

These are simply the best! If peaches are your thing, don't sleep on these muffins like I did for 10 years. In fact, go ahead and make them now while it's still peach season!

 

Brown Butter Peach Cobbler Muffins

Recipe Adapted from Joy The Baker

via Joy The Baker Cookbook

Makes 12 muffins 

For The Muffins

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

7 tablespoons butter

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1/3 cup milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1-1/4 cups diced peaches

For The Topping

3 tablespoons butter, cold

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

pinch of salt

pinch of ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside. You can also use cupcake papers for this recipe.

To make the muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a medium bowl. wish together egg, yolk, milk, and vanilla. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the warm butter, making sure to scrape any brown bits into the egg mixture as well. Whisk until well incorporated.

Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture all at once. Fold together with a spatula. Once no flour bits remain, fold in the diced peaches. Divide the batter between the muffin cups.

To make the topping: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and blend together with your fingers until crumbly. Butter will be the size of oats and small pebbles. Divide the topping among the muffin cups on top of the batter.

Bake muffins for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan 20 minutes before removing. To remove, run a butter knife along the edges of the muffin pan and gently scoop out.

Muffins will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3 days. 


Sunday, August 8, 2021

Jamie Oliver's Peanut Butter & Jelly Brownies {A Perfect Treat For Back To School}!

I've been bit by the baking bug pretty hard lately. I wanna make all the baked goods right now, but I'm especially craving anything with peanut butter. When I saw Jamie's Peanut Butter & Jelly Brownies I fell in love at first sight. Not only does it look like the dessert of my dreams, but I also love the peanut butter and jelly theme because....IT'S BACK TO SCHOOL TIME!

We are going back to school the middle of next week and I can hardly believe it. The summer has  flown by. Seeing as how this is the tail end of summer, I thought a decadent treat like this was perfect!

Can I just tell you right now...these fudgy ooey-gooey brownies have a decadent peanut butter custard swirled into them? Yes, you heard me right. A creamy, dreamy, obsession-worthy peanut butter custard. Then you tuck pockets of raspberry jam into the peanut butter custard before garnishing with some beautiful fresh raspberries. It is a thing of beauty. It is dessert perfection. 

And it is a sad, sad story when you can only have one, because you're gonna want another, and another. In fact, I ate one. My husband ate two. We each saved one. Then I packed the rest up and delivered them to a friend to get them out of my sight because I knew I'd be tempted! 

YOU NEED THESE IN YOUR LIFE!!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Brownies

Adapted from Comfort Food

by Jamie Oliver

Serves 15

Custard

1 cup milk

1 vanilla bean OR 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch

1-1/2 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)

2 heaping tablespoons smooth peanut butter

Brownies

1 cup butter, plus extra for greasing

8 ounces quality dark chocolate (I used semisweet)*

1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar

4 large eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons raspberry jam

2-1/2 ounces fresh raspberries

Notes: I used semisweet chocolate because we like it better than dark chocolate, but the recipe calls for 70% dark chocolate. I also used two kinds of jam, strawberry and grape because we wanted to try some of each and because it's what I had on hand. My brownies had to bake for about 30 minutes, 5 minutes over the suggested time.

 To make the custard, put the milk into a saucepan, halve the vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds, then add both bean and seeds to the pan and lightly simmer on the stove (or use vanilla extract), stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in a bowl, use a balloon whisk to combine the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and soft butter. Whisking constantly, gradually pour the hot milk into the bowl, until combined. Return the custard mixture to the pan, place over a low heat, and stir gently for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in the peanut butter, then leave the custard to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 350F. For the brownies, grease and line (use parchment) a deep baking pan (8x12 inches). Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan on a very low heat, the snap up and add the chocolate. Stir regularly with a spatula until melted and combined, then remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Leave to cool slightly, then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until silky. Sift in the flour and mix well.

Pour the brownie mix into the prepared baking pan, then swirl through the chilled nutty custard (discarding the vanilla bean, if using). Erratically distribute little spoonfuls of jam over the surface, then poke in the fresh raspberries (or any other fresh seasonal berries that correspond with the jam you're using). Bake for around 25 minutes, or until cooked on the outside but still a bit gooey in the middle. Leave to cool for 1 hour if you can bear it, then cut into portions and serve.


Peanut Butter & Jelly Week @ IHCC