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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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Strawberry Summer Sheet Cake

I know strawberry season is long gone but if I don't blog this Strawberry Summer Sheet Cake now it'll sit in my draft folder for years and never see the light of day. So just agree to save this for next spring/summer, OK? Great.

To blog

I went through a baking phase this summer, fueled mostly by all the amazing produce (fruit) available. We'd buy way more than we could eat in a week, so by Thursday I'd be Googling recipes for overripe fruit. We shared all the spoils with friends and they seemed very happy about it, so it was a win-win.

This cake was so good. Oof. Just looking at the photo again is making me wistful. It wasn't overly sweet, which we loved. The berries really shone through and the cake itself was moist and delicate. We didn't do this, but a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be perfect on top of a slice. Or a dusting of powdered sugar. Or whipped cream.

Strawberry Summer Sheet Cake
From Smitten Kitchen

9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 pounds of the freshest, even a touch overripe, strawberries, hulled and halved
Vanilla ice cream, powdered sugar or whipped cream, for serving

Heat your oven to 350°F.

Lightly coat the sides and corners of a 9×13-inch pan with butter or nonstick spray, and fit the bottom with a rectangle of parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat butter, salt, and 1 1/2 cups of the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla and beat until combined. Add milk and mix until (updated) combined; it may look a little curdled but don’t fret, it will smooth out in a minute. Sprinkle baking powder evenly over batter and beat into batter for 20 seconds longer than will seem necessary — this ensures it’s perfectly distributed. Scrape down the bowl. Add flour and beat or stir until just combined.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Arrange strawberries cut side down, as snugly as you can get them to fit. If you have extra, nudge them in anyway. Leave no strawberries behind. Sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar — it will seem like a lot but helps the strawberries get jammy and gives the cake a great texture.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out free of wet batter (gooey strawberries are a given and doesn’t mean it’s under baked) — about 45 to 48 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into squares and serve.

Do ahead: Cake is even better a half- to a full day later, when the strawberries marry with better with the cake.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Green Tea Ice Cream

This is one of the recipes I found in my draft folder that had never been published. It was from one of the themed dinners we used to do with our friends, Chris and Tracie. I posted the other recipes from this meal back in 2015 (!!!) but not this one. I wish I knew why. It was an Asian-inspired meal and we made: Pork and Shrimp Dumplings, Fried Rice, someone brought sushi and someone else brought some sort of meat dish. Forgive me, it's been 4+ years.

This is what I wrote at the time:

One of T's contributions to our Asian meal was Green Tea Ice Cream. I've never had it before and couldn't wait to try it.

Asian night
(all photos by T. Casey)

Just look at that color - I love it!

Asian night

Green Tea Ice Cream
As seen on Annie's Eats
Yield: about 1 quart

1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream
4 teaspoons matcha (green tea powder)
6 large egg yolks

Combine the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until warmed through. Meanwhile pour the heavy cream into a large bowl and whisk in the matcha. Set a fine mesh sieve over the bowl.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and continue to cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mixture thickens slightly (it will register 170-175˚ F on an instant read thermometer). Immediately remove from the heat and pour the mixture through the mesh strainer into the bowl with the cream mixture. Whisk the mixture vigorously to dissolve the green tea powder. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.

Once the mixture is thoroughly chilled, transfer it to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

This is another recipe that I made a lot last year and apparently never found the time to blog. Sorry about that, folks. It's from the ever-popular Ree Drummond, a.k.a., the Pioneer Woman, so you might have already seen it over on her blog. It's an easy, comforting weeknight dinner that we all love.

Sour cream noodle bake

If you aren't sure how you feel about cottage cheese, never fear. It combines beautifully with the other ingredients and makes the whole thing taste insanely good. Trust me.

Sour Cream Noodle Bake
From The Pioneer Woman

1 1/4 pounds ground beef
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bag egg noodles
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13" baking dish with cooking spray.

Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Drain fat, then stir in the tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add to noodles and stir. Add scallions and stir.

To assemble, add half of the noodles to the baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted. Serve with salad and crusty French bread.
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Monday, October 14, 2019

Kofta in Pita Pockets with Cucumber-Tomato Salad

Katie is a voracious reader and while we love the beauty of inter-library loans requested from the comfort of our home, sometimes we need to actually go to the library so she can discover a new series to read. On one such visit Steve found a Weber grilling cookbook that he decided to check out. We ended up liking the recipes so much we bought our own copy. Since then we've made quite a few delicious recipes, including this one for Kofta in Pita Pockets with Cucumber-Tomato Salad.

To blog

The time I took this picture we opted to serve the patties as a platter with the salad, couscous, hummus, yogurt sauce and pita on the side. I think I prefer it this way but the pita pockets are delicious, too, if messy.

Kofta in Pita Pockets with Cucumber-Tomato Salad
From Weber's Greatest Hits

1 cup chopped cucumber (skin and seeds removed)
1 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup finely minced red onion
kosher salt

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon turmeric

3 pita breads, with pockets
olive oil
yogurt sauce (see below)

In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, tomatoes and onion. Season with salt and stir to combine. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix together the ground beef through the turmeric. Use your hands to make sure everything is well incorporated. Gently shape the mixture into six patties of equal size, about 3/4-inch thick. With your thumb, make a shallow indentation about 1-inch wide in the center of each patty. This will prevent it from doming as it cooks. Refrigerate the patties until you're ready to grill.

Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium-high heat.

Lightly sprinkle the pita with water and wrap them in foil, sealing the packet closed.

Brush the cooking grates clean. Brush the patties on both sides with canola oil. Grill over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to medium, 7 to 9 minutes, turning once. At the same time, warm the pita packet over indirect heat for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once. Remove from the grill.

Cut each pita in half. Scoop about 3 tablespoons of the salad into each pita half. Spoon some of the yogurt sauce on top and then place a patty into each pita half. Top with more salad and dressing, if desired.

Yogurt Sauce

1 cup plain greek nonfat yogurt
1 cup shredded cucumber (skin and seeds removed)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small garlic clove, grated
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients together and let sit so the flavors can meld.
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Friday, October 11, 2019

Pizza Friday: Philly Roast Pork with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe

I try not to label something as "the best" or "the ultimate" because everyone's tastes are different. Plus, it feels like a major cop-out as a writer to use so many superlatives. That being said, this roast pork and broccoli rabe pizza is probably one of the best pizzas I've ever made.

Pizza to blog

I also try not to go into long, rambling stories when all people want to see is the recipe but hear me out. I'll be quick. We used to go to a local restaurant every Saturday for their roast pork with broccoli rabe sandwiches. They were amazing. The pork had just the right amount of seasoning and a nice kick from hot peppers. It was the highlight of my week. Long story short, the place went downhill and we haven't gone there in years. But I still dream about that sandwich. This recipe - both the sandwiches and the pizza - remind me of the heyday of that restaurant. And that makes me very, very happy.

The original sandwiches, which I made back in May and never blogged (ooops), were delicious but the pizza was even better. In fact, Steve said we should make another pork roast just for this pizza. As I often do, I squirreled away a bit of the meat for just this occasion. I happened to find it in the freezer last week and this pizza was born. Katie thought there was a wee bit too much broccoli rabe, but Steve and I disagreed. As always, use however much you like.

I'm including the instructions for the sandwiches and the pizza below since you'll have quite a bit of meat.

Philly Roast Pork with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe
From Cook's Country

Pork and Jus
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (4-pound) boneless pork butt roast, trimmed
2 cups chicken broth, plus extra as needed
8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

Broccoli Rabe
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch red pepper flakes

8 (8-inch) Italian sub rolls, split lengthwise
12 ounces sliced sharp provolone cheese

1/2 ball of pizza dough
olive oil
1/2-lb grated mozzarella cheese
4 slices of sharp provolone
dried oregano and red pepper flakes, to taste

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine salt, rosemary, thyme, oregano, fennel seeds, and pepper flakes in bowl. Tie pork with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals. Sprinkle pork with salt mixture and transfer to large Dutch oven. Pour broth around pork and add garlic to pot. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until meat registers 190 degrees, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Transfer pork to large plate. Transfer braising liquid to 4-cup liquid measuring cup; add extra broth, if necessary, to equal 3 cups. Let pork and liquid cool completely, about 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate both for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Heat oil and garlic in Dutch oven over medium heat until garlic is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broccoli rabe, salt, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl.

About 20 minutes before serving, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove twine and cut cooled pork in half lengthwise to make 2 even-size roasts. Position roasts cut side down and slice each crosswise as thin as possible.

Spoon solidified fat off cooled jus and discard. Transfer jus to Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, add pork, cover, and cook until pork is heated through, about 3 minutes, tossing occasionally. Cover and keep warm.

Arrange rolls on 2 rimmed baking sheets (4 rolls per sheet). Divide provolone evenly among rolls. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until cheese is melted and rolls are warmed, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, divide pork and broccoli rabe evenly among rolls (about 1 cup pork and ⅓ cup broccoli rabe per roll). Serve, passing any remaining jus separately.

Defrost the pork you squirreled away and make another order of the garlicky broccoli rabe. Preheat your pizza stone in a 500-degree oven for at least an hour.

Sprinkle a square of parchment paper the size of your pizza stone with flour and roll the dough into a 14-inch round. Drizzle some olive oil on top and rub to coat all the dough. Top with the mozzarella. Arrange the four slices of provolone so they cover as much of the mozzarella as possible.

Reheat the pork so it's lukewarm. Distribute evenly on top of the cheese. Do the same for the broccoli rabe. Add a shake or two of dried oregano, if desired.

Transfer the parchment paper to the preheated baking stone and 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 from the oven and add more red pepper flakes, to taste.
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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I went through a phase a few summers ago where I made these cookies every few weeks. They're just that addictive. I don't know about you all, but I love a good mash up of salty and sweet. That's where these Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies shine.

Salted chocolate chunk cookies

Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Smitten Kitchen

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon (1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon) fine sea or table salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 pound semi-or bittersweet chocolate, cut into roughly 1/2-inch chunks with a serrated knife
Flaky sea salt, to finish

Heat oven to 360°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beating until incorporated, and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in salt fine sea or table salt and baking soda until combined, then the flour on a low speed until just mixed. The dough will look crumbly at this point. With a spatula, fold/stir in the chocolate chunks.

Scoop cookies into 1 1/2 tablespoon mounds, spacing them apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with a few flakes of sea salt. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until golden on the outside but still very gooey and soft inside. Out of the oven, let rest on baking sheet out of the for 5 minutes before transferring a cooling rack.

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Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Red Kidney Bean Curry with Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes and Cucumber Scallion Raita

Well that title is quite the mouthful, isn't it? If I'd thought about it, I would have taken photos of each of these items separately, but alas.

Indian food vegetarian

This is a vegetarian meal that Steve actually enjoys. I've been really into homemade Indian food lately because it's the only way Katie can enjoy the delicious flavors safely. These two dishes - Red Kidney Bean Curry and Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes - go perfectly together. We don't even miss the meat. The cool raita brings it all together.

Red Kidney Bean Curry (Rajma)
As seen on Smitten Kitchen

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large green chili, chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 plum tomato, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a deep sauce pan over medium heat for one minute. Add ginger, onion, garlic, and green chili, and let sizzle for one minute. Add the salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne and toast until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and cook for an additional five minutes, stirring frequently.

Add red kidney beans plus 2 additional cups of water, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and let cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro. Serve over rice with naan on the side.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes
As seen on Smitten Kitchen

1 (1 3/4-lb) head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets
1 1/4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño, including seeds
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup water

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and place a shallow baking pan on rack. Preheat oven to 475°F.

Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then stir in roasted vegetables. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

Cucumber Scallion Raita

1 small cucumber, peeled and seeded, finely chopped
1 thinly sliced scallion
1 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix everything together and chill overnight for the flavors to combine.

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Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Spaghetti with Crab

This is another draft post I never published. At least this is more recent - late summer 2017. My mom had been down the shore with her sisters and she brought home a bunch of steamed crabs. I find picking crabs to be so therapeutic and I had a blast getting every last morsel of meat from those beauties. And then I whipped up this delicious Spaghetti with Crab.

Crab pasta

Spaghetti with Crab
Slightly modified from For the Love of Cooking

1/2-lb lump crab meat
1 lb spaghetti, cooked per instructions
3 tablespoons salted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
3 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
Drizzle of olive oil
salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Fresh Parmesan, grated
Lemon wedges, for serving

Pick through the crab meat carefully to remove any bits of shell. Set aside. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water.

Heat the butter in the large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and the crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the crab meat, fresh parsley, lemon zest, a drizzle of olive oil, and season well with sea salt & freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Add the drained pasta along with some of the pasta water, and toss to coat evenly.

Pour into a serving bowl and serve with fresh parmesan and lemon wedges.
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Monday, October 07, 2019

Fish Chowder

I was going through all the draft posts I never published and came across this one for Fish Chowder from a few years ago. You can tell because the soup pot is sitting on the table I used to use for my blog photos when we still lived in our townhouse. We moved to our new house in April 2017, so my best guess is this is from sometime in 2016. Better late than never, right?

Fish chowder

I remember I wanted to find a recipe for fish chowder because I was reading a book where they talked about fish chowder. This was absolutely delicious and I'm scratching my head as to why I never remade it. Maybe because I'm not the world's biggest soup fan? Who knows. With the arrival of fall and cooler weather likely here to stay, this is a great, hearty meal with a salad and some crusty bread.

Fish Chowder
Simply Recipes

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 cups clam juice
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Old Bay (optional, can use a little paprika and a dash of cayenne)
1 1/2 to 2 lbs cod*, or other firm white fish, pin bones removed, fillets cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil and butter in the bottom of a large pot (6-qt) on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and turn up the heat. Cook, uncovered, until the wine reduces by half.

Add the potatoes, clam juice, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper, and Old Bay. The potatoes should be just barely covered with the liquid in the pot. If not, add water so that they are. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium and cook, covered, until the potatoes are almost done, about 10-15 minutes. In a separate pot, heat the cream until steamy (not boiling).

Add the fish to the pot of potatoes and add the heated cream. Return to the stove. Cook on low heat, uncovered, until the fish is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Keep your eye on the heat to avoid curdling.

When the fish is just cooked through, remove from heat. Mix in the parsley. The flavors will improve if the soup rests 30 minutes before serving. Serve with crusty bread or oyster crackers.
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Saturday, October 05, 2019

Roast Chicken with Warm Bread Salad and Crispy Potatoes

After years of cooking, I'm rarely intimidated by anything in the kitchen. But I'll admit to being a wee bit nervous before I spatchcocked this chicken. It ended up being a piece of cake and now I can't imagine roasting a chicken any other way. Crispy skin, moist meat...what's not to like!

To blog

The original recipe calls for letting the chicken sit with salt overnight. I forgot to do that and it turned out delicious so I'm going to go ahead and say skip that step. I also added potatoes to the roasting pan so they could soak up some of the chicken fat while they cooked. It was an excellent idea, if I do say so myself. A version of this meal will likely be a weekly staple in our house as the weather continues to get cooler. In fact, I'm making it again tonight!

Roast Chicken with Warm Bread Salad and Crispy Potatoes
Modified from America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated

1 (6-7-pound) roasting chicken, giblets discarded
Kosher salt and pepper
4 (1-inch-thick) slices country-style bread (8 ounces), bottom crust removed, cut into pieces
2-3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chicken broth
8 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons dried currants
5 ounces (5 cups) baby arugula

Place chicken, breast side down, on cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut through bones on either side of backbone; discard backbone. Do not trim off any excess fat or skin. Flip chicken over and press on breastbone to flatten. Brush 2 teaspoons oil over chicken skin and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tuck wings behind back and turn legs so drumsticks face inward toward breasts.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Spray 12-inch stainless steel skillet with vegetable oil spray. Toss bread and potatoes with broth and 4 tablespoons oil until pieces are evenly moistened. Arrange in skillet in single layer. Place the chicken on top of the bread and potatoes.

Roast chicken until skin is deep golden brown and thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, 45 to 50 minutes, rotating skillet halfway through roasting. (I can't find roasting chickens smaller than 6 lbs, so I roasted mine for 70 minutes).

While chicken roasts, whisk vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper together in small bowl. Slowly whisk in remaining 1/4 cup oil. Stir in scallions and currants and set aside. Place arugula in large bowl.

Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes. While the chicken is resting, put the pan with the bread and potatoes back in the oven to stay warm and keep crisping (the oven should be off but the residual heat will do the trick).

Carve chicken and whisk any accumulated juices into vinaigrette. Add bread, potatoes, and vinaigrette to arugula and toss to evenly coat. Transfer salad to serving platter and serve with chicken.
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Friday, October 04, 2019

Sausage, Pepper and Onion Pasta

Hello there, friends! Long time no see. I'm sorry it's been so long since I posted a new recipe here on the ol' blog. Sadly, this space has become more of a recipe archive these last few years for a variety of reasons. But, for now, I'm back. I have a stockpile of photos and draft posts I never published so prepare yourselves for the onslaught.

We all love the iconic sausage, peppers and onions, so when I saw Nicole's recipe for Sweet Pepper Pasta with Sausage over on PreventionRD, I knew I could make it my own with a few tweaks. We loved this and I made it quite often this summer.

To blog

Sausage, Pepper and Onion Pasta
Modified from PreventionRD

1lb short-cut pasta (I used rotini)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
19.5 oz hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 lb multicolored sweet bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water.

While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up any big pieces, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced peppers and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the vinegar and garlic; cook 1 minute.

Add the cooked pasta and toss everything together. Stir in some of the cooking water, a little at a time, until the sauce is smooth and coats the pasta. Stir in the oregano. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper, if needed.

Add in the grated cheese and basil and toss again. Serve.
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