Thursday, March 05, 2020

Indian Butter Chicken

Added another Indian dish to my repertoire last night. Woohoo!

Indian butter chicken

This Indian Butter Chicken was so darn good. I combined the cooking method from my standby Chicken Tikka with the ingredients in For the Love of Cooking's Butter Chicken. I ended up doubling the sauce because (1) we love extra sauce and (2) I didn't see the point in saving less than half a can of coconut milk. Dump it all in!

My family absolutely loved this, which is saying a lot because they're big fans of my chicken tikka and kind of hate when I insist on trying new recipes. What can I say, I like variety.

Indian Butter Chicken
Combo of Hunt, Cook, Eat and For the Love of Cooking

3/4 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

4 tablespoons butter
2 15oz cans diced tomatoes, pureed with a blender (DON'T use tomato sauce)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 can full fat coconut milk
salt, to taste
Fresh cilantro

Basmati rice
Naan bread

Whisk the yogurt, lemon juice, fresh ginger, minced garlic, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the chicken and marinade in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the pureed tomatoes and sugar. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and cooked chicken with all the accumulated juices (don't omit that!) to the sauce and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Taste and season with salt, if needed.

Serve over basmati rice with naan for soaking up the sauce.
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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Apricot and Mustard Baked Chicken

This Apricot and Mustard Baked Chicken has quickly become one of our favorite weeknight meals. The baking time is a bit long (longer than the original recipe states) but it's almost completely hands-off. The flavor is truly fantastic - the perfect combo of sweet and savory.

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I like to serve this with mashed potatoes and a veggie (lately it's French cut green beans), but it would be equally good with rice.

Apricot and Mustard Baked Chicken
Slightly modified from Jenny Rosenstrach

6 to 8 skin-on chicken pieces (thighs or drumsticks)
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup apricot jam
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1/4 cup water
Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh thyme, minced

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line a baking sheet with plenty of foil. This is key because the glaze is sticky and you don't want to spend the evening scrubbing the baking sheet. Place a piece of parchment paper over the last layer of foil. This is also key because the chicken won't stick to the parchment the way it will stick to the foil.

Place the chicken on the lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, whisk together the jam, mustard, water, thyme, and a little salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and allow to get slightly syrupy. Transfer to a 2-cup glass measuring cup to make it easier to pour.

After 30 minutes, take the chicken out of the oven and pour the sauce evenly over the chicken. Put back in the oven and continue baking for another 30 minutes. If you have a broiler, place the chicken under the broiler on the top rack so it gets golden and crispy.
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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Pioneer Woman's Lemon Pasta Pronto

The Pioneer Woman recently posted a video of herself making this recipe for Lemon Pasta Pronto on her Instagram stories. It sounded right up our alley so I printed out the recipe (fair warning, the recipe on the Food Network site doesn't include all the ingredients/directions).

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Past experience has taught me that I can always add more lemon juice but I can't take it away so I was skeptical about using the juice of two lemons in this recipe. Sure enough, one was plenty.

We all LOVED this but I'm not sure I'll spend the extra money for the pancetta next time. Bacon would be just as good and a heck of a lot cheaper. I served this with an incredible beet, citrus and ricotta salad that I'll be blogging soon and it was just the thing to cut the richness of the pasta.

Lemon Pasta Pronto
Modified from the Pioneer Woman

Kosher salt
1 pound orecchiette
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 lb pancetta or bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 lemons, 1 juiced and both zested, divided
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 cup half and half
3/4 cup panko
1 cup grated pecorino

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

While the water is coming to a boil, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta (or bacon) and cook until the fat starts to render and the pancetta gets crispy. Add the thyme, garlic and onions and cook until the onions soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the zest and juice of one lemon, the peas and half and half. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

In a small skillet, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Add the panko and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the panko is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the zest of one lemon. Stir and then set aside.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet along with the pecorino. Toss together, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. The original recipe calls for the juice of two lemons but a lot of people said it was too lemony. If you want more lemon flavor, add more juice. Remember, you can always add but you can't take away!

To serve, spoon some of the pasta into a bowl or on a pasta plate. Sprinkle some of the crispy panko on top.
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Thursday, January 09, 2020

Chicken Pizzaiola

This chicken pizzaiola is another one of those recipes that I've looked at countless times over the years and bypassed time and time again. Who knows why; it's not like it's a complicated recipe. My only note is to make sure you use plenty of pepperoni so you can really taste the flavor.

Chicken pizzaiola

Such an easy, delicious weeknight meal. I made my own quick pasta sauce but jarred would be fine, too.

Chicken Pizzaiola
From America’s Test Kitchen, modified from Pinch of Yum

3 cups of your favorite pasta sauce (or make your own, see note)
1 cup shredded Parmesan/pecorino cheese
4 large/6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 ounces sliced pepperoni (see note)
1 cup sliced mozzarella
8 ounces spaghetti or other pasta

Heat the oven to 450. Spread pasta sauce into a 9×13 baking dish (I had 6 chicken breasts so I needed another small baking dish). Spread Parmesan/pecorino in a shallow dish.

Put one chicken breast at a time in a plastic food storage bag and pound to an even thickness. You don't want it too thin but it should be the same thickness throughout. Season all the chicken with salt and pepper, then coat with Parmesan/pecorino. Lay each piece of chicken on top of the sauce in a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes.

While the chicken bakes, cook pasta. Drain and toss with some olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside until the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken from the oven and top each breast with a few slices pepperoni and mozzarella. Increase oven to 475 and bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Spoon some sauce from the baking dish into the pasta pot and toss to combine. To serve, put some pasta on a plate and top with a piece of chicken and some sauce.

1. It's really easy to throw together a quick pasta sauce. I usually just heat up a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes (rinse the can with some water and add to the pan so you get all the sauce from the can) and season with plenty of oregano. I had half an onion in the fridge so this time I minced that up and sauteed it in oil with some salt and pepper before adding the crushed tomatoes.

2. I hate excess grease on my pepperoni so I put three layers of paper towels on a plate and top with a single layer of pepperoni slices. Top with two more layers of paper towels and microwave 15 seconds, then another 15 seconds (don't do 30 seconds before the pepperoni can burn). Blot the grease off with the top paper towel layers.
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Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole

I'm always on the lookout for new make-ahead breakfast casseroles. I love them for holidays because you do all the work the day before and then you get to enjoy a delicious breakfast with minimal effort the next morning. Just make sure you plan ahead because most of them need to bake for about an hour. My family is always hounding me to make the hour go by faster because they're starving.

Everything bagel casserole

I have a lot of Everything But the Bagel seasoning in my spice cabinet but if you don't, just use everything bagels instead of plain bagels.

Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from Home Made Interest

5 plain bagels, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 oz. bacon, cooked and diced
8 oz. Jarlsberg cheese, shredded
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
Everything But the Bagel seasoning, to taste
8 large eggs
2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Add half the bagel cubes to the casserole dish. Top with half the bacon, half the Jarlsberg and half the cream cheese. Sprinkle Everything But the Bagel seasoning evenly over the top. Repeat with another layer of bagel cubes, bacon, Jarlsberg, cream cheese and Everything But the Bagel seasoning.

Combine eggs, half and half, salt and pepper in a 4-cup measuring cup. Whisk until thoroughly combined, then pour evenly over the bagel pieces, making sure to cover all of them.

Cover the casserole with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the cling wrap and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for 15 minutes.
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Friday, October 25, 2019

Pizza Friday: Hawaiian Pizza

We recently went to Southern California to visit my dad and stepmom. On the way home we were lucky enough to fly out of John Wayne Airport in Orange County, which despite being a very small airport has a surprising number of decent eateries. At least compared to Newark Airport. Ugh. I will never forget the truly awful, inedible bagel sandwich I had on the flight out. Blech.

Pizza to blog

Anyway. Steve and Katie decided to split a Hawaiian pizza from California Pizza Kitchen and immediately asked me to recreate it at home. I've been making Hawaiian pizza for years. It's Katie's all-time favorite and I usually make it with cubed ham and caramelized pineapple, which is freakin' delicious. But they asked for this version, with thinly sliced ham and larger slices of pineapple, so I acquiesced.

Hawaiian Pizza

1/2 ball pizza dough
1/2 cup pizza sauce (we love Don Pepino)
8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
8 pieces of very thinly sliced ham, cut in half
small can pineapple rings, each ring cut in half
dried oregano
garlic salt

Place a pizza stone in your oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Lay a piece of parchment paper the size of the pizza stone on a work surface. Dust lightly with flour and roll out the pizza dough into a 14-inch circle. Spread the pizza sauce in a thin layer over the dough, leaving a half-inch margin around the outer edges. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the top, then add the pieces of ham and pineapple. Dust with some oregano and garlic salt, to taste.

Transfer the pizza on the parchment paper to the pizza stone. Bake for 15 minutes, checking often to make sure there are no bubbles forming. I keep a poking stick handy to pop them during the first 5 minutes.

Remove the pizza from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
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Friday, October 18, 2019

Pizza Friday: Edamame with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

I've mentioned this before but one of my favorite things to do is scour the Jules Thin Crust menus for Pizza Friday inspiration. One of our favorites pies is their Veggie #12: Organic edamame, ricotta cheese, organic goat cheese, caramelized onions, fresh mint, mozzarella, lemon vinaigrette. I've been recreating it at home for awhile and this was one of the best iterations so far.

Pizzas to blog

Over the years I've decided to leave off the ricotta so the goat cheese can shine. I'm also realizing that I forgot the little spritz of lemon and/or shaving of lemon zest. I'll have to remember for next time.

Edamame with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese Pizza
Inspired by Jules Thin Crust

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1/2 ball of pizza dough
1 cup shelled edamame
8 oz mozzarella, shredded
4oz goat cheese
fresh mint, minced, to taste
zest of one lemon

Preheat a pizza stone in a 500-degree oven for at least an hour while you assemble your ingredients.

Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Allow the onion to cook slowly - you want it to get brown without burning. Lower the heat if the onions are browning too quickly. If the pan seems dry, add a splash of water. The onions should take about 20-30 minutes to turn a nice, caramel color and become soft.

Lay a piece of parchment paper the size of the pizza stone on a work surface. Dust lightly with flour and roll out the pizza dough into a 14-inch circle. Drizzle some olive oil on the dough and rub around so all the dough is lightly coated.

Top with the mozzarella cheese. Dollop the goat cheese by the tablespoon over the cheese then add the caramelized onions and edamame.

Transfer the pizza on the parchment paper to the pizza stone. Bake for 15 minutes, checking often to make sure there are no bubbles forming. I keep a poking stick handy to pop them during the first 5 minutes.

Remove the pizza from the oven. sprinkle the fresh mint and lemon zest on top and slice.
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