Friday, February 25, 2011

Spicy Potatoes and Peas with Chicken

I've been getting Everyday Food Magazine for two months now and really love the 5 Great Meals, 1 Short List section. Like Rachel's Week in a Day show, I pick and choose what I actually want to make, but usually love what I've chosen.

This was no exception. While I am not big on overly spicy foods, this recipe for Spicy Potatoes and Peas with Chicken did not disappoint. The lemon juice and peas helped to mellow the spice and brought the dish together perfectly. You will definitely get a punch of flavor in every bite. I was very impressed with how well the cumin, coriander and cayenne mixed with the potatoes. If you are looking to spice up your everyday chicken dish, you have got to try this!

1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 3/4" pieces
coarse salt and pepper
1 10 oz bag frozen peas
2 tsp evoo
4 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs (I couldn't find any boneless so I went with bone-in, skin on thighs. Very delish!)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves for serving.

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together cumin, coriander and cayenne. In a medium pot, bring potatoes to a boil in salted water over high and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Return water to a boil, then cook peas until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain peas and set aside.
2) Meanwhile, in a large ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and cook, skin side down, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Flip and transfer to oven; roast until chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
3) Remove chicken from skillet and pour off all but 1 tbsp of fat. Add potatoes and 1 1/2 tsp of spice mix and cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are golden in spots, 7 minutes. Stir in peas, lemon juice and chopped cilantro; season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, place chicken on top of peas and potatoes and garnish with cilantro.

Recipe Courtesy of: Everyday Food Magazine

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Roasted Pepper and Eggplant Marinara

I spent alllll day Sunday glued to The Food Network or The Cooking Channel. I literally was in a trance. After weekend after weekend of doing this, I have fallen in LOVE with Rachel Ray's show "A Week in a Day."

Rachel make 5 nights worth of dinners in one day. I would have to imagine it is one loooong day, but the girl does it! It's impressive. I have actually not found a full show that would entice me to prepare everything, but have definitely found a few recipes that I'd like to cook.

This Sunday, I make Rachel's Roasted Pepper and Eggplant Marinara. This recipe called for quite a few firsts for me. I have never made a pasta sauce from scratch yet, never roasted a red pepper over my stove burner, never roasted a full head of garlic and have never cooked eggplant (or eaten it for that matter.) This was definitely an exciting recipe for me! (Dorky, I know.)

The recipe made quite a bit of sauce so we were able to eat it for dinner, lunch then dinner again, but it was great. You definitely get that sauce feel to it, but an unexpected kick of flavor on top of it. I would highly recommend this one. (And if you have kids, this would be the perfect way to hide veggies!)

2 large red bell peppers
1 Holland chile pepper or Fresno chile pepper (I left this out...not a huge fan of heat)
1 large head of garlic
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped (I used dried rosemary)
1 medium, firm eggplant
EVOO for brushing the eggplant
Salt and pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1 28oz can of Italian tomatoes
2 fresh basil leaves, torn
1 sprig of fresh oregano, leaves picked and finely chopped (again, I used dried oregano)
1 lb fusilli pasta (the most fun pasta I have ever eaten!)
Flat leave parsley, finely chopped (No surprise - I used dried parsley)

1) Char the skins of sweet and hot peppers to black under a broiler with oven door slightly ajar, to prevent steam build up or place directly over stovetop flame. Cover the charred peppers and cool, peel, and seed. Reserve. 2) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 3) Cut head garlic to expose the cloves, dress in extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Press the garlic into the chopped rosemary and coat the cut cloves. Wrap the garlic up in foil and roast 40 to 45 minutes, until soft but still moist. (I combined this with step 4, roasting the garlic and eggplant together.) 4) Halve the eggplant lengthwise and brush with extra-virgin olive oil. Season the eggplant with salt and pepper and place cut-side down on baking sheet and roast to very tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool the eggplant until easy to handle, then scoop the flesh away from skins and add to a food processor with roasted garlic and roasted sweet and hot peppers, then puree. 5) In saucepan, heat the stock and tomatoes. If the tomatoes are whole, break them up. Stir in the eggplant-pepper mixture and add basil and oregano, salt, and pepper, to taste. 6) Simmer sauce to combine flavors. Boil long, curly pasta in salted water to al dente, toss the pasta with sauce and serve with cheese and a sprinkle fresh parsley.

This may sound like it's a lot of steps, but it is honestly very easy and you will love it! I loved it even more topped with freshly grated parm served with parm covered garlic toast. :)

Recipe Courtesy of: Rachel Ray / The Cooking Channel.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Special Valentine Meal(s)

My love for food is evident in my daily life. If I am not watching Food Network or the Cooking Channel, I am reading food magazines or looking up recipes. I couldn't let Valentine's Day pass me by with out expressing this love for my loved one. :)

I let my boyfriend know ahead of time that I'd be cooking a special meal for him in Sunday night since he had Monday planned for us already. I was so excited! I've had filet mignon in my freezer and thought this was the perfect time to prepare. I really wanted to make this a memorable meal so I decided to serve the steak with LOBSTER TAILS!!! YUM! Who doesn't love a little surf n' turf for a special occasion? Plus, I've never cooked lobster before so I was down for the adventure.

After watching video on YouTube for how to prepare lobster tails for broili
ng I set out on my new adventure. I have to say, it was pretty easy. If lobster was a little cheaper priced, I'd probably make it more often.

I served my surf n' turf over roasted asparagus with mushrooms. Boy, were we stuffed! It was one of the best meals I had eaten yet! Well.... until Valentine's day.

What I didn't know on Sunday was that my boyfriend had planned on cooking ME dinner!! He has watched me in the kitchen for almost two years now trying new recipes and making delicious meals for him and wanted to take the time to return the favor.

He chose to prepare Rack of Lamb with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Shallot Vinaigrette. He found this recipe on under holiday dishes. And guess what? This dish also happens to be from "The Best of Detroit!" Which is where I am from, if you didn't know.

Watching my boyfriend cook was one of the cutest things I have ever seen. He was so excited to be cooking for me and paying extra close attention to detail to make sure he did not mess anything up. (AND he wouldn't let me help at all...which was tough on me.)

Once the meal was finished, I was in heaven!! He made the most succulent lamb chops I have ever had in my life! They were so tender and flavorful. I could have eaten them all. We really had a great Valentine's Day (or two) this year and I couldn't have been happier that it revolved around cooking!!

For the Lamb recipe, click here to visit Food Network's Recipe. (Please excuse my awful photos!! I was way too excited to eat to pay attention to the photo quality. Sorry!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Perfect Valentine Treat

I absolutely love baking, as you can tell, and was thrilled to see a slew of Valentine themed desserts on Annie's Eats blog. While cupcakes are my specialty, I wanted to branch out and try something new and absolutely fell in love with her Red Velvet Whoppie Pie Recipe!

What is not to love about little red heart shaped cupcake-like cookies? They were incredibly soft and perfectly sweet. I could have eaten a dozen! Since I obviously could not, I brought them to co-workers fell in love with them. (Even though Valentine's Day is over, I would still suggest baking these! Just make them round instead.)

For the recipe, check out Annie's Eats blog post. Her photos are much better and I ran into issues when piping my hearts because I did not have a large enough tip. Really... check out her blog post. You'll understand. ;)

Here are some of my photos.

Recipe Courtesy of Annie's Eats.