Archive | September, 2012

Flat-Roasted Chicken with Tomato Jus

27 Sep

Every cook has a method for roasted chicken–and just about every cook will tell you what a simple yet important recipe it is. Roast chicken is almost never bad, but it can be truly incredible if you do it right. There are a lot of great ways to make it. My method is a combination of a few key tips from some of my favorite roast chicken recipes, (namely Zuni Cafe’s and Mad Hungry’s) plus a lot of practice roasting of chickens over the years. While the roasting method is basically always the same, you can finish the dish a number of ways. Here, I’ve made a simple tomato pan sauce, creating a nice summer-into-fall kind of dinner. Continue reading

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The Best Steak Marinade

25 Sep

One of the keys to cooking at home is to have an arsenal of easy, go-to recipes that you can pull off dependably and quickly with ingredients that are almost always on hand. I’ve recently came up with a steak marinade that fits the bill. It’s simple and delicious–great with the the flavorful “bargain cuts” that I usually grill, such as hanger steak and tri-tip (I can’t even tell you the last time I bought a ribeye or strip steak–meat has gotten so insanely expensive, no?).

This marinade is best made with a mortar and pestle, but you could also just chop everything up very finely if you don’t have one.

Garlic-Thyme Marinade
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
5 whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Place garlic, thyme leaves, salt, and peppercorns in the bowl of a mortar; mash to a paste. Stir in vinegar and olive oil. Season steaks with salt and pepper and place in nonreactive dish or sealable plastic bag. Add marinade and coat well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours, turning meat occasionally. Let meat sit at room temperature for an hour before grilling.

I made hanger steak this way for dinner the other night, along with some chocolate pudding for dessert. When I asked my 3 y/o son if he was ready for his pudding he said, “Yes, but can I have some more steak first?” It’s a keeper!

Potato, Kale, and Roasted Garlic Chowder

19 Sep

This soup turned out so well, I have to share the recipe with you–but please keep in mind that it’s rather inexact, as I wasn’t thinking I’d need to reproduce the recipe for anyone else as I was making it. Some mixed baby kales from Earthbound Organic had caught my eye at the market. I still hadn’t done anything with them a week later, and needed to use them up before they went bad, so I used what few things I had on hand, and made this. It was so great–and (bonus!) my kids loved it, too! Read on for an approximate recipe…

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Caponata

1 Sep

As I mentioned, I was in Sicily on vacation for the better part of August. My husband’s parents live there, and have a great five-unit place right across from the beach on the Southeastern coast. We had our own little apartment with a full kitchen and a washing machine (unfortunately, dryers are rare!), so I was able to cook a lot, and made a lot of Sicilian dishes while I was there. My mother-in-law stocked our fridge before we arrived–so I had all the ingredients to make classic caponata. (This cracked me up, since many of the ingredients–like salted capers–would almost surely require a special trip to the market in the US, but here, they’re staples. That’s how you know you’re cooking the right things while abroad!) Continue reading