Sunday, March 27, 2022

Ina's Skillet-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes {One Of My All-Time Favorite Ina Garten Dishes}!!

This time next week I will be leisurely strolling down Bourbon Street in the city that has been my #1 destination for as long as I can remember. I have always, always, always wanted to go to New Orleans more than anywhere else on the planet. I am not sure why I've waited 46 years to do it.

I am currently in the midst of trying to loose at least 5 pounds so I can make up for it next week because....I AM GOING TO EAT ALL THE THINGS!! 

This time next Sunday I hope to be shoveling a Muffaletta from Central Grocery into my mouth, followed by some beignets from both Cafe Du Monde and Cafe Beignet...we have to see which one is best!

There's going to be lots of po'boys, seafood, Cajun and Creole food, drinks and desserts and I literally cannot wait.

In the meantime, I am making one of my ALL-TIME favorite Ina Garten dishes, her Skilllet-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes. I have made this dish several times and let me tell you...DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS INCREDIBLE DISH!

It is easy and simple and oh so flavorful! It is just plain succulent! I am convinced this is the perfect Sunday meal for 2! Yes, I said for 2. This is so good that it will likely only serve 2 and you will need to make another batch if you have any hopes of serving 4. 

The chicken is flavorful and oh so tender from soaking in the buttermilk. The potatoes on the bottom get crispy and and steeped in caramelized garlic and it is just heaven. 

I would recommend this dish to anyone (anyone that eats meat) and I think you will find that you will love it just as much as I do!

Plus, I have to point out that this dish is highly economical, made with ingredients you likely have on hand, easy to put together, overall quite healthy, and most of all...heavenly! It's the bomb!

This is definitely a repeat dish in my kitchen and will be on my top 10 favorites of the year. I make it again and again because it is so darn good!



Skillet-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

from Modern Comfort Food

by Ina Garten

Serves 4

4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (2-1/2 to 3 pounds total)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2-1/2 cups buttermilk, shaken

good olive oil

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon dry white wine, such as Chablis

1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1/8 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika

1 pound medium Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

At least 4 hours (but not more than 12 hours) before you plan to serve, sprinkle the chicken all over with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place in a 1-gallon sealable plastic bag and pour in the buttermilk. Seal the bag and massage it lightly to be sure the chicken is coated with the buttermilk. Place in the refrigerator to marinate.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in an unheated 12" cast-iron skillet and tilt the pan so the oil covers the bottom. Lift the thighs out of the buttermilk, letting any excess buttermilk drip off, and place them in the skillet, skin side up, in one layer. Discard the marinade. In a small bowl, combine the mustard and wine and brush it on the top of the chicken. Sprinkle with the thyme, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place the skillet in the oven and roast the chicken for 30 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate and put the potatoes, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper into the skillet. Toss to coat with the pan juices then spread the potatoes out. Return the chicken to the skillet, placing it on the potatoes. Roast 30 minutes longer until the chicken registers 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Transfer just the chicken to a plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. Return the skillet to the oven, raise the temperature to 425F and roast the potatoes for 15 minutes, until they're tender and starting to brown. Return the chicken to the pan and sprinkle with the parsley, chives, and extra salt. Serve hot from the skillet. 

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Ina Garten's Lasagna with Sausage


 It has literally been years since I've made lasagna, but the family was craving it so I decided to give Ina's Lasagna with Sausage a go!

Ina uses turkey sausage for her recipe, but I decided to use regular sweet Italian pork sausage for lots of reasons: 1) we love pork sausage 2) couldn't find turkey sausage and not sure I'd like it in lasagna  3) price of groceries is outrageous anymore and I just buy the best quality products I can get on sale. I think everyone should buy and use what they like and I also think we have to consider the price of groceries more than we have in years past. 

My family likes a sausage sauce way better than any beef based sauces. I will tell you right now that this sauce was incredible! I think a lot of it had to do with the good quality sausage I used, so try to buy a good sausage.

I always cook my lasagna noodles to al dente, but Ina had me trying a new method. Ina says to soak your lasagna noodles in hot tap water for 20 minutes. If you like your lasagna noodles very al dente then this would be a great method for you! My husband loved how toothsome the lasagna noodles were. They were a little too toothsome to me and I'm looking forward to the leftovers b ecause I think the noodles will soften as they sit overnight and soak up the sauce.

All in all, this is a wonderfully classic lasagna recipe! The flavors are all on point and we all really loved it. I think this would be a wonderful dish to deliver to friends and family and I can definitely see myself keeping this recipe in my backpocket. I truly think it's a recipe that everyone would like. 


Lasagna with Sausage

Adapted from Food Network

by Ina Garten

Serves 8-12

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 chopped yellow onion

2 chopped garlic cloves

1 chopped red bell pepper 

1-1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage or turkey sausage*

1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes in tomato puree

1 (6oz) can tomato paste

1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, divided

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

salt and pepper

1/2 pound lasagna noodles

15 ounces ricotta cheese

3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled

1 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling

1 egg

1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

*Notes: Ina directs you to soak your noodles in hot tap water. If you enjoy a more toothsome noodle then this would work wonderfully for you. If you enjoy a softer noodle, then go ahead and boil your noodles and follow all the other instructions. I spiced our lasagna up with a heavy dose of red pepper flakes, but feel free to spice yours up how you like!

Preheat the oven to 400F. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes over medium low heat, until translucent/soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9x12 inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one third of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan (or amount to your liking). Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

Everything's Coming Up Green @ IHCC

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Jalapeno Garlic Butter Shrimp


This week I'm doing some spring cleaning in the kitchen; cleaning out the fridge, the freezers, and the pantry. I have lots of shrimp in the freezer that needs to be used, as well as a huge bag full of hot peppers from a friend's garden last summer. A quick peruse through my Half Baked Harvest books and I found just the recipe to help me use up some ingredients, Tieghan's Jalapeno Garlic Butter Shrimp. 

I mixed up a quick marinade for the shrimp: olive oil, honey, garlic, jalapenos, lime juice, and lemon juice. I did give pause here because I know that lemon and lime juice cooks fish and seafood and I've never marinaded any seafood or fish before.

Tieghan says to marinade the shrimp for 15-30 minutes. I marinaded my shrimp for exactly 15 minutes before searing them in a very hot cast iron pan. The shrimp cooked quickly, but after searing them she says to add the marinade into the pan. I followed the directions and as soon as all that liquid hit the pan I regretted it. Instead of sauteing, the shrimp were now boiling and steaming in the marinade, not necessarily the vibe I was going for.

I pulled a shrimp out and tasted it. It was overcooked. My guess is adding the marinade which made the shrimp boil and steam, turned them into rubber. It was either that or marinading the shrimp in lemon and lime juice, or a combination of the marinading and the steaming/boiling. The flavors were ok, the jalapenos gave the shrimp just the right amount of heat, but I also didn't care for the addition of the honey. 

Half Baked Harvest struck out last week and is striking out again this week. I am definitely going to cook with a different chef next week.

As far as shrimp recipes go, I think I will definitely stick to my very favorite shrimp dish of all time, Rick Bayless' Quick Fried Shrimp with Sweet Toasty Garlic, because the garlic is front and center and the shrimp are cooked to perfection. I still remember the first time I made this and accidentally inhaled the entire dish straight out of the pan.

Jalapeno Garlic-Butter Shrimp

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest Super Simple

by Tieghan Gerard

Serves 4

1 pound large, raw tail-on shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

4 to 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lemon

4 tablespoons butter

 salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large zip-top bag (or mixing bowl if you don't use bags), combine the shrimp, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the honey, garlic, jalapenos, lime juice, and lemon juice. Turn to coat Marinate in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, use a slotted spoon to scoop the shrimp and garlic out of the marinade, reserving it, and transfer them to the skillet. Cook until the shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes per side. Add the reserved marinade, butter, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the garlic turns light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cilantro.

Serve this shrimp by itself, or over rice, or stuff into tacos and finish it off with your favorite slaw!


Spring Cleaning (the fridge, freezer, and pantry) @ IHCC!

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Half Baked Harvest's Farmhouse Cheddar and Angel Hair Frittata


This frittata has a lot in common with the week I had, it's got a lot going on, and none of it is good.

I wanted to make this Instagram-worthy frittata ever since I first set eyes on it in the Half Baked Harvest Cookbook a few years ago. The colors, the flavors, the way the frittata just jumps off the page with all the lovely garnishes on top. I love eggs, so surely I would love this beautiful frittata, right? 

Well, wrong. 

It did seem like it was meant to be. After all, I had leftover pesto from my egg sammies last week, along with leftover yogurt from Ina's lemon cake I made two weeks ago. In fact, I had a lot of the ingredients just waiting to be used up.

I started to question the ingredients as I was putting the frittata together. One and one half cups yogurt mixed into the eggs? Dill in the same recipe as sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto? Italian flavors like pesto with sliced avocado? Sharp cheddar cheese instead of Italian cheese? I began to realize this was just a hodge podge of flavors that didn't really seem to go together, but I am in a mood this week, so I went ahead with it all.

I made some substitutions. I subbed the last bits of fettuccine instead of angel hair. I didn't have sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, but I did have sun-dried tomato pesto. I didn't have prosciutto, but I did have shaved ham. I had leftover pancetta so I sauteed that up along with the broccoli and roasted red pepper. I felt fine with all those substitutions.

The frittata cooked beautifully and I set about decorating. I drew the line at the avocado (and we still can't get them here). I used cherry tomatoes, shaved ham, sautéed broccoli, basil pesto and a sprinkle of Parmesan. 

I slice the frittata and notice the pasta is a little dark from the cast iron pan. Not a fan of that. I taste the frittata and it's not inedible, but it's not great. I knew anything tomato-based didn't belong in a cast iron pan (but Tieghan uses one in her cookbook I lament to myself). I taste overwhelming flavors of cheese that don't mingle well with pesto and dill that just doesn't belong. I taste an overwhelming amount of tangy yogurt and wish that I had used milk, half and half, or even cream. I am unimpressed and it occurs to me that some of these gorgeous dishes are made solely to be Instagram-worthy only, even down to the cast iron pan which should never be used with tomato.

Did I know better? Yes, I did. I kinda felt like testing the limits and seeing how things unfolded. Do I believe a frittata can be made Instagram-worthy and still be delicious? Of course! I think it best to find a classic frittata recipe with mild flavors and then decorate the top with ingredients that meld well together. This one missed the mark.

I'm a fan of a total failure. If we're not failing, then we're not learning.


Farmhouse Cheddar and Angel Hair Frittata

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest Cookbook

by Tieghan Gerard

Serves 8

salt and pepper

1/3 pound angel hair pasta

8 large eggs

1-1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup olive oil

1 bunch broccoli or broccolini, chopped

1 roasted red bell pepper sliced

1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

1/4 cup basil pesto, store-bought or homemade

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

6 ounces torn prosciuto

1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced

Preheat the oven to 450F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, dill, and red pepper flakes. Stir in half the cheese.

In a large ovenproof skillet (I used cast iron), heat the olive oil over medium. When it shimmers, add the broccoli or broccolini and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender. Season with salt and black pepper. Add the pasta, roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto and toss to combine. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the skillet, using a spatula to evenly coat the veggies and the pasta. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the eggs begin to set around the edges, then remove the skillet from the heat.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the eggs are just set.

Top the frittata with the cherry tomatoes, proscuitto (or shaved ham), avocado, broccoli or broccolini, pesto, etc. Have fun with the decorating. Serve immediately!