This is a crazy easy dish to make and tastes pretty damn fine for having so few ingredients.The only oddball thing is that you will need to search out some tuna packed in oil.

1 12 ox box whole-wheat rotini or penne
2 cans oil-packed tuna
2 Tbs whole grain, spicy mustard
2-3 cups frozen veggies, thawed (I used peas and corn)



Cook the pasta until al dente. When done, drain the pasta and reserve about a cup or so of the pasta water.

While the pasta cooks, drain the tuna’s packing oil into a small skillet and flake the fish into pieces.  Add the mustard to the oil and heat over med-low heat.

After draining pasta return to the pot and add the veggies and the oil and mustard mixture.  Add some of the reserved pasta water and cook over medium heat until the mustard oil and pasta water form a sauce that begins to cling to the pasta.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Posted by Mike on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 06:32 PM
Filed in: EntreesFish & SeafoodPasta • ◊ Permalink
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since being funemployed I’ve had a lot more time on my hands which I normally would have filled by cooking but until yesterday it was too damn hot and the diet I’ve been on didn’t allow for much playing with my food. Since it was cold, cloudy and rainy, today was the perfect day to cook.

Sriracha-soy roasted chicken with vegetables*
For The Marinade
1/4 cup soy sauce


1/4 cup Sriracha
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For The Roast
8 chicken thighs
6 ribs celery, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 medium yellow onions, quartered
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut in 1½-inch pieces
1 small cauliflower, broken into 1½-inch florets
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

oven ready

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a large bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Coat all over the chicken, including between the skin and meat. Transfer chicken to a roasting pan, skin-side up, leaving any excess marinade in the bowl. Add vegetables, olive oil, salt and pepper to the same bowl. Toss to coat. Scatter the vegetables around the chicken in the roasting pan. Bake in oven 30 minutes.

Remove pan and, using tongs, carefully turn chicken over in pan, breast-side down. Continue roasting 20 minutes. Remove pan and turn chicken over once again, breast-side up. Continue roasting until thoroughly cooked and juices run clear from thigh when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer chicken to cutting board. Tent loosely with foil and let rest 15 minutes before carving. Stir vegetables in the pan with the juices and keep warm. Serve chicken with vegetables and reserved juices.

Serves 4
*Adapted from a whole-chicken recipe found on NPR
China: Rose Garden by Lenox


Posted by Mike on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 at 07:41 PM
Filed in: EntreesPoultry • ◊ Permalink
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So in a pleasant series of events, my sister gave me some produce from her garden, including a nice, but not huge zucchini at about the same time that Andrea over at Food Embrace posted a recipe for vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini.  Her recipe was scaled for a monster zucchini and the one I had was only about a 10 inches long and not bloated like a zeppelin, so I had to scale it down a bit and of course I made substitutions because I wasn’t about to make the 25 minute round trip to the store.

Andrea’s Stuffed Zucchini


  • 1 HUGE zucchini, (literally like a foot in length, or as big as you can find)
  • 1/3 C Uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 1/2C Chicken Stock (or veggie broth)*
  • 1/2 Cup, chopped onion
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Carrot
  • 1/2 cup baby asparagus, chopped

  • 5-8 Grape Tomatoes, quartered

  • 1tsp Garlic Powder, or to taste
  • 1tsp Italian Seasoning

  • Shredded mozzarella or provolone (optional)

  • Olive Oil for sauteeing

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking dish by rubbing some olive oil around it. In a small sauce pan, heat over medium high heat and add about a teaspoon of olive oil to it.  Add in the uncooked quinoa and sautee for about 2 minutes.  Add in the stock and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until the millet is cooked and has absorbed the liquid.  You may have to add a bit more stock if it evaporates before the quinoa is completely cooked through.

    zucchini hollow

    Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the insides being careful not to scoop down too far.  You want to create a long dent in the zucchini so you can stuff it later.  Place zucchinis in the baking dish once they have been fully scooped out.

    Once the quinoa has cooked, place in a medium sized glass mixing bowl.  Add in the tomatoes, carrot, onion and asparagus. Add in the seasonings as well.  Mix until well combined.  Stuff the millet mixture into the zucchinis, packing them tightly.  If you have leftover stuffing, sprinkle that along the bottom of the baking dish.

    Place in oven uncovered and bake until you hear the stuffing sizzling and the top is a golden brown color. The zucchinis should be cooked through by this point.  About 15 minutes.

    Remove from oven and top with shredded cheese.

    *You may want to use low sodium stock if possible.  The quinoa was tasty and chickeny but rather salty.  It wasn’t as noticeable when mixed into stuffing, but if you’re concerned about sodium, it’s worth considering.

    You can pretty much vary the veggies, herbs and spices in the stuffing with whatever you have on hand. It would probably also work well rolled into a flattened chicken breast or as a side dish.

    stuffed zucchini

    China: Wyndecrest by Lenox

    Posted by Mike on Thursday, August 04, 2011 at 10:21 AM
    Filed in: EntreesVeggies • ◊ Permalink
    Comments (1)

    Oh stop it.  Spam isn’t nearly as disgusting as you think it is though I’ll admit that its not something I immediately think of putting into fried rice.  After it’s browned up though, it’s surprisingly good.  This comes from The Sriracha Cookbook and is really freakin’ good and spicy, but not too spicy. Sorry-- no picture of this one.  My camera had issues today.

    1/4 cup Sriracha, plus more for garnish
    3 Tbs soy sauce
    3 Tbs toasted sesame oil or peanut oil
    1 brick SPAM, diced into chunks no smaller than 1/3 inch
    1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
    4 cups cooked rice, cooled (preferably day-old)
    2 eggs
    1 clove garlic, minced
    Sliced green onions, green part only, for garnish


    whisk together the Sriracha and soy sauce and set aside.

    Heat a large nonstick/cast-iron skillet or wok over very high heat until it is rocket hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the skillet and let it heat up until it begins to shimmer and wrinkle, 10 to 15 seconds. Toss in the SPAM and corn and cook until the meat begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add an additional tablespoon of oil to the pan, and heat for 10 seconds. toss in the rice, stirring to coat each grain with oil. Stir-fry for 3 minutes.

    Move the rice mixture toward the outer edges of the pan, creating a “well” in the center. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the center of the pan, and heat until it shimmers, 10 to 15 seconds. Add the eggs and garlic, stirring feverishly. Cook until the eggs are cooked through, then drizzle the Sriracha/ soy mixture over the rice. Toss everything together to combine, cooking for an additional 30 seconds or so.

    Mound the rice into bowls, garnish with Sriracha and green onions, and serve immediately.

    Notes after cooking:

    Needs more veggies!  I’d probably use 3 1/2 cups of rice (or less) and add more corn, maybe some peas and possibly some diced red bell pepper.

    If you don’t have a big-ass, high-sided wok, it’s going to be hard to get enough space at the bottom of your wok/skillet to properly and quickly cook your eggs.  Next time I’ll probably cook the eggs ahead of time and stir them in shortly before serving.

    If you’re really Spam-averse I suppose you could use ham but it won’t have the same texture and mouth-feel.

    Posted by Mike on Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 07:27 AM
    Filed in: ◊ Permalink
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    There’s about a billion variations on this recipe out there but I love the simple nature of a post-fast soup. This is traditionally made with lamb, but a few more garbanzos and vegetable broth makes it an outstanding vegetarian stew.

    2 Tbs unsalted butter 1 tsp red pepper flakes or

    1 Tbs oil 1/2 tsp cayenne

    2 onions, sliced 1/2 tsp ground ginger

    2-4 cloves minced garlic 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    1 red pepper, sliced 1/2 tsp ground tumeric

    1 can whole tomatoes (28 oz) 1/2 tsp ground cumin

    3 Tbs chopped cilantro 8 cups hot water

    1 Tsp salt 1 cup lentils

    1/4 tsp black pepper 2 cans chick peas, drained

    1/2 cup angel hair pasta, broken

    into 1 inch pieces

    Heat butter and oil in a stockpot over med-high heat.  Add onions and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute or so. While onions are cooking, toss the tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

    Add ginger, cinnamon, tumeric, cumin and cayenne/crushed red pepper to the onions and cook for 1 or 2 minute more. Pour in the tomato mixture and bring to a boil.  Add the lentils and water.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

    Add the chickpeas and bring the soup up to a low boil.  Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 6-8 minutes.

    Serves 8

    2 Tbs unsalted butter 1 tsp red pepper flakes or

    1 Tbs oil 1/2 tsp cayenne

    2 onions, sliced 1/2 tsp ground ginger

    2-4 cloves minced garlic 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    1 red pepper, sliced 1/2 tsp ground tumeric

    1 can whole tomatoes (28 oz) 1/2 tsp ground cumin

    3 Tbs chopped cilantro 8 cups hot water

    1 Tsp salt 1 cup lentils

    1/4 tsp black pepper 2 cans chick peas, drained

    1/2 cup angel hair pasta, broken

    into 1 inch pieces

    Heat butter and oil in a stockpot over med-high heat.  Add onions and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute or so. While onions are cooking, toss the tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

    Add ginger, cinnamon, tumeric, cumin and cayenne/crushed red pepper to the onions and cook for 1 or 2 minute more. Pour in the tomato mixture and bring to a boil.  Add the lentils and water.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

    Add the chickpeas and bring the soup up to a low boil.  Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 6-8 minutes.

    Serves 8


    Posted by Mike on Thursday, March 03, 2011 at 01:10 PM
    Filed in: ◊ Permalink
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    I found this Filipino-inspired recipe on Serious Eats a while back and for something so simple, it’s surprisingly tasty, forgiving of substitutions (I made several, noted below) and as such probably won’t require any special trips to the store.

    2 lbs Beef eye of round or Round steak cut into 1 1 1/2 hunks*
    1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1 tsp black pepper
    1/2 cup olive oil
    2 Tbs unsalted butter
    1 l onion, chopped (about 1 cup worth)
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, stemmed & minced*
    1/2 cup tomato paste*
    1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounce can)
    2 large sweet peppers (1 green and 1 red), coarsely chopped
    1 3/4 cup chicken stock*
    3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (any kind--no need to use the really good stuff)
    2 oz grated cheddar cheese
    1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed *
    6 cups cooked white rice, for serving


    1.  Combine oil, salt, and pepper in a gallon ziplock storage bag.  Shake and moosh together to get it to blend a little, then add meat and moosh it around more to get the marinade distributed. Let marinade at room temperature for 2 hours, turning the bag and mooshing it around occasionally.

    2.  Add butter to a large pot or dutch oven and melt over medium heat. When butter has just melted, toss in the jalapeno, onion and garlic and sauté until light brown--maybe about 5 minutes. throw the beef to pan and continue cooking over medium heat until the meat is seared on all sides.

    3.  Add tomato paste to the pot and stir it into the meat and onion mixture. Add crushed tomatoes, red and green peppers, chicken stock, and peanut butter. Stir well to help break up the lumps of peanut butter then cover and let simmer on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    4.  Add cheese and peas. Simmer and stir for another 5 minutes or so to allow the cheese to melt and the gravy to thicken up a bit.  Serve over rice.

    Serves 6-8.

  • The original recipe called for goat.  I like goat, but would have had to drive a 3 hour round trip to a specialty market to get some. Lamb was too expensive, so beet it was.
  • I didn’t have a jalapeno and didn’t want to go to the closest store 6 miles away for just that, so I subbed in not quite 1 Tbs dry crushed red pepper
  • I was also out of tomato paste.  I subbed in a small can of tomato sauce and cut back on the chicken broth by 1/2 cup so it wouldn’t be too soupy
  • the amount of peas called for in the recipe seemed almost useless so I used a whole 1 pound bag of peas

  • kalerata

    Posted by Mike on Monday, February 14, 2011 at 03:25 AM
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    I’ve had something like this once or twice before and it’s usually very minimalist; often not much more than broth, potstickers and perhaps some chopped green onion. I wanted to make it a little more substantial without wrecking the simplicity that lets every ingredient speak. Add some egg rolls and you’ll have a fairly nice, light meal.

    2 small onions, chopped
    1/4 cup carrots, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced
    2 Tbs canola or sesame oil
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 box vegetable broth (32 oz)
    1 cup frozen peas
    1 box potstickers (I used vegetable/vegetarian ones) with sauce packets*
    2-4 green onions, thinly sliced

    Heat the oil in a saucepan over med-high heat until shimmery.  Toss in carrots and onion and saute for about 3-4 minutes, until onion starts to get translucent.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two.

    Add the peas and saute an additional minute, then add the broth, potstickers and sauce packets. Bring to good rolling simmer for about 3 minutes or until potstickers are warmed through before serving.  Garnish with sliced onions.

    *If the potstickers don’t have sauce packets, use 3/4 tsp each of sesame oil and soy sauce.

    serves 4-6

    potsticker soup

    Posted by Mike on Tuesday, February 01, 2011 at 05:05 AM
    Filed in: EthnicSoups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
    Comments (1)

    Originally I was going to make a Carribean inspired soup that my dear friend Krista had shared with me, but I was missing several key ingredients so I took a tour through my fridge and pantry and came up with this.  The measurements aren’t particularly exact.  If anything, they probably err on the side of being less than what I actually used. 


    Forage through the fridge soup

    2 Tbs olive oil, divided
    2 lbs pork, cut into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes (chicken or even extra firm tofu would work)
    1 large onion, chopped
    4 ribs celery, chopped
    1 cup chopped carrots
    3-4 cloves minced garlic
    8-10 red skin potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
    2 28 oz cans whole, peeled tomatoes; cut up and with juice
    2 cups chicken broth and/or white wine
    1 tsp ea. rosemary, thyme, marjoram & basil
    salt and pepper to taste

    Heat 1 Tbs oil in a big ass dutch oven. And add the cubed pork and brown on all sides (don’t cook through).  Remove to a bowl and set aside. Add the other Tbs oil and toss in the onion, celery and carrots. Saute until onion starts to get tender, about 5 minutes, add the garlic and saute for another minute or so.

    Throw the pork back into the pot along with the potatoes, tomatoes and juices, broth/wine and herbs.  Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes; until potatoes are tender and the pork is cooked through.

    Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with a bit of parmesan cheese

    Serves 6-8

    Notes:  It was really tasty, but very soupy. Next time I’ll probably dredge the meat in flour and coarsely ground pepper before browning in hopes that it thickens the broth a scosh. Garbanzo, canellini or great northern beans would make a great substitute for the spuds and any saute-able veggies such as squash, bell peppers or even green beans could be tossed in with the onions and carrots.

    Picture details:  Soup bowl-Tuscan Orchard by Lenox; Spoon-Mayfield Satin by Kirk-Stieff.

    Posted by Mike on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 10:32 AM
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    I cut this recipe out of a newspaper ages ago and keep making it because it’s tasty and throws together easily with stuff i usually have sitting in the freezer and pantry.  I sub in dried fruits like cherries and cranberries because I loathe raisins and have made it vegetarian by adding extra garbanzos and using extra firm tofu in place of the chicken.  As it is, it’s got a Moroccan/middle eastern vibe but changing the spice mixture and the type of beans can get you to a Mexican or Italian-style meal… Cajun is pretty easy to do as well.

    2 tsp ea ground cinnamon, cumin, coriander
    1/2 tsp cayenne
    salt to taste
    1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
    2 Tbs olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    1 tsp grated ginger
    3 cloves crushed garlic
    1 cup chicken broth
    2 cups diced tomatoes
    2 cups garbanzos, rinsed
    1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
    1/2 CUP cranberries
    2 Tbs honey
    1 bay leaf
    1 Tbs honey
    2 Tbs lemon juice

    Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.  Combine cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cayenne and salt (if using) in a big-ass plastic bag.  Add the chicken and toss around until well coated.

    Heat the oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven and add the chicken.  Saute until browned, but not cooked through, about 4-5 minutes, then remove chicken.

    Add the onion and saute until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and broth to the pan and cook an additional 5 minutes.

    Toss the chicken back into the pot along with the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for half an hour.

    Serve over couscous or rice.

    Serves 4


    Posted by Mike on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM
    Filed in: Poultry • ◊ Permalink
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    When I was a kid, we never ate sweet potatoes. It was another one of those foods that my Irish-German, Pennsylvania-born Mom considered ‘foreign,’ and therefore not worthy of cooking, along with things like lasagna, pizza and sauerkraut.  Essentially, anything that had spices, did not have hamburger as an ingredient or that wasn’t overcooked ,bland and tasteless was never served. As a result, it wasn’t until I was in college that I was exposed to a lot of the foods I now love. Yep.  College dorm cafeteria food as a taste treat. Amazing, eh? 

    That’s where I first had sweet potatoes.  Sadly for me, it was one of those vile sweet potato casseroles where the baby food consistency potatoes were drowned in way too much butter and sugar and weighed down by mountains of marshmallows which for my money, is one of the most disgusting food products invented and I’ve eaten potted meat straight from the can.  This one actually lets you taste the potatoes, but it’s still got the requisite sweetitude but with a bit of a kick.

    2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled
    2 Tbs unsalted butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup orange juice
    1/4 tsp ground cayenne
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 14x10 baking pan with cooking spray.  Half the potatoes lengthwise befor cutting into 3/4 inch thick wedges.  Cut the wedges down into 3/4 to one inch hunks before tossing into a bowl.

    Melt the butter in the microwave.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and nuke for another minutes or so until it gets syrupy.

    Pour over the potatoes in the bowl and toss to coat.  Throw the potatoes into the baking pan and spread into a single layer.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until tender and the glaze has thickened and cooked down.

    Serves 8-10

    sweet potatoes

    Photo info:
    Bowl by Lamberton China for the United States Lines

    Posted by Mike on Friday, December 17, 2010 at 08:34 AM
    Filed in: SidesVeggies • ◊ Permalink
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    I found this recipe when searching for something totally other and thought “whoah! this is like congealed trail mix!”


    For something so totally simple and easy to make, they’re crazy tasty and relatively healthy what with the oats and the no processed sugar.  One drawback to the recipe is that when the wet ingredients are combined with the dry ingredients the whole thing becomes incredibly dense. You’re going to need a very strong spoon and Popeye arms in order to stir everything together.  Also, while honey is much easier to get out of it’s container if it’s been warmed up it’s possible to get it to boil (who knew?) and the resulting mess is not pleasant to clean up.  For a bit more chocolaty goodness, add maybe 1/4-1/2 cup cocoa.  Because the mixture is so incredibly sticky, it’s also best to wet your hands occasionally whilst rolling the dough into balls.

    cookie sheet

    3 1/2 cups old -fashioned Rolled Oats
    1 cup dried fruit (I used cherries and cranberries)
    1 cup unsweetened dried Coconut Flakes
    1 cup semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
    1 3/4 cups all-purpose Flour
    1/2 cup chopped, toasted almonds
    1/2 cup brandy or rum
    1 tsp Baking Soda
    1 tsp Sea Salt

    1 cup Honey
    1 cup unsalted Butter, melted
    2 tsp Vanilla Extract


    1.  The night before making the cookies, chop the dried fruit and toss into a ziplock bag with the rum or brandy.  Remove all the air, set aside and allow to macerate overnight.

    2.  Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

    3.  Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Combine all of the wet ingredients together.

    4.  Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir just until fully incorporated. Cover and refrigerated for at least 30 minutes.

    5.  Roll the cookies into balls and stagger on lined sheet pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just set.


    Picture info:
    Plate:  Mountain View by Lenox
    Glass:  Vintage BC comics gas station premium glass.  Part of a complete set bought at a garage sale.
    Posted by Mike on Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 02:40 PM
    Filed in: Cookies • ◊ Permalink
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    These have a little bit of kick from the hot sauce, though if I were making these for myself I’d add more.  Pretty good for breakfast, too.

    1/4 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
    2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
    1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
    4 tsp hot sauce
    1 Tbs kosher salt
    1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
    6 eggs, for frying

    Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place cornmeal in a shallow dish and set aside.

    Throw the beans, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, cilantro, onion, hot sauce, and salt into the food processor. Pulse until everything is mixed and beans are broken down but some whole beans remain, about 15 pulses. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula during processing.

    Form 6 (3-inch) patties and dust each patty on both sides with cornmeal. Place on a baking sheet.  cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 20 minutes to allow the patties to firm up.  Or if you have the space, put ‘em in the freezer for maybe 5-10 minutes.

    Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place 3 patties in the pan and fry until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Return patties to the baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining patties.

    Top with a fried egg.

    Note:  You can make these ahead.  To reheat, pop in the oven for 10 minutes.  Any longer and they dry out too much.

    Posted by Mike on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 12:05 PM
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    This originally came from an episode of Lidia’s Italy on PBS. If you don’t watch her, she’s awesome.  She owns and operates several (apparently very good) Italian restaurants, but she’s very much a kitchen cook.  Anyway, this is my approximation of what I saw since I only scribbled down the ingredients and added some things of my own. This would be great served with a green salad and risotto or even plain rice to help soak up the sauce.



    1 onion, chunked
    1 carrot, chunked (or a couple handfuls baby carrots cut in half)
    2 ribs celery, chunked
    1 green pepper, chunked
    2-3 cloves garlic
    2 Tbs rubbed sage (or so)
    1 Tbs rosemary
    2 Tbs olive oil
    5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    10 slices bacon
    2 cups white wine or chicken stock
    1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
    parmesan cheese to taste
    kosher salt to taste

    Toss the veggies, garlic and one Tbs sage in a food processor and pulse until minced.  Heat the oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Toss the veggies in and sweat until just starting to get soft. Remove from the skillet, place in a bowl and set aside.

    Trim the thighs of excess fat, then cover with plastic wrap and whack with a mallet until they’re all about 1/2 inch thick.  Put a spoonful of the veggie mix on each and spread almost to the edges.  Fold into thirds and press down a bit before wrapping two strips of bacon around it, one strip each way, and secure with toothpicks.

    Wipe the pan out to make sure there are no veggies left in it and heat over medium heat.  Put the chicken in, turning them when the bacon starts to sizzle and starts to render fat.  Saute for 5-6 minutes, turning to make sure that all sides are kinda seared.  While they’re browning, drop the rest of the veggie mix into the pan and around the chicken. 

    Once everything’s sizzling, pour in the wine or broth and bring to a simmer.  Cook until the wine has reduced by about half, turning the chicken once in a while. Pour the tomatoes into the pan and combine with the wine and veggies (you might need to take a few pieces of chicken out in order to mix if the pan is smallish--I did) Add the rest of the sage and rosemary and bring to a boil.  Cover, then reduce heat a bit to keep things bubbling happily and cook for about 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

    Uncover the pan. Reduce the liquid in the pan to a sauce and season with salt to taste.  Remove the toothpicks from the chicken, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and cover for a minute or 2 to melt the cheese. Serve with rice or maybe pasta.

    China:  Royal Stafford for Air Canada

    Posted by Mike on Friday, November 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM
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    Curried chicken casserole

    This is pretty tasty as well as an awesome way to use up leftovers from a chicken or turkey dinner since you can also substitute leftover veggies like corn or green beans.  A rotisserie chicken works too, and it’s especially nice if you can catch one marked down when the supermarket deli closes. If you like your casserole a bit… soupier… use an extra half cup milk.


    casserole plated

    1 large onion, chopped
    3 ribs celery, chopped
    3 Tbs unsalted butter, divided
    1 cup frozen peas & carrots
    3 Tbs flour
    1 tsp curry powder (I used Penzey’s hot curry powder)
    1 1/2 cups chicken broth
    1/2 cup milk (skim is ok)
    2 cups cubed chicken
    2 Tbs chopped parsley or cilantro
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    2 cups mashed potatoes
    1/4 tsp paprika

    Over medium heat, saute the onion and celery in 1 Tbs of butter until just tender and fragrant.  Add the frozen veggies and remaining butter.  Cook for another 2 minutes or so.

    Stir in the flour and curry powder and cook for a few minutes more so that it forms a roux. Gradually add the milk and chicken broth. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens until it’s a bit less thick than you want it to end up.  Add the chicken, parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

    Spoon into a greased 2 qt baking dish.  Spread mashed potatoes over the top and sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes or so before serving.

    Serves 6

    Bowl:  Maddock Stoniers for Cunard Line, ca 1939-1064

    Posted by Mike on Friday, October 15, 2010 at 01:29 PM
    Filed in: CasserolesPoultry • ◊ Permalink
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    I got this from my friend Krista.  Even with the amount of ingredients, it throws together in almost no time (even less if you do some of the veggie prep while the meat is browning) and smells great when it’s bubbling away.  As an added attraction, how many dishes do you make that allows you to drink not one but two different alcoholic beverages ?



    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 1/4 lbs chuck roast, cut into 1 inch pieces+/- (don’t get anything leaner)
    6 cloves garlic, minced
    6 cups beef stock
    1 cup Guinness
    1 cup red wine
    2 Tbs tomato paste
    1 Tbs brown sugar
    1 Tbs dried thyme
    1 Tbs Worchestershire sauce
    2 bay leaves
    3 lbs russet potatoes cut in 1/2” hunks (about 7 cups)
    2 Tbs butter
    1 large onion, chopped
    2 cups peeled carrots cut in 1/2” chunks (I used baby carrots)
    salt & pepper to taste
    chopped parsley (garnish)

    Heat olive oil in a heavy dutch oven over med-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the beef and cook without stirring until browned on one side before turning with tongs. Add the garlic and saute for another minute before adding the previously browned beef back to the pot.  Add remaining ingredients down to the bay leaves and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to med-low, cover and simmer for an hour, stirring once in a while.

    While the stew is simmering, melt the butter in another pot of pan over med heat.  Add the potatoes, onions and carrots and saute until golden, about 20 minutes.  Set aside until the stew has finished it’s hour or simmering.

    Add vegetables to the stew.  Simmer uncovered until tender… about another 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves and skim off fat before serving.

    Serves 4-6

    notes:  Depending on how your grocer trims their meat, all you’ll need to do is trim out the big hunks of fat. There’s no need to get rid of it all because you can skim it off before serving.  I used more Guinness and wine than called for (about 1 1/2 cups each) and decreased the broth accordingly. A little more Worchestershire sauce and some peas would be nice too.

    Guinness stew

    Posted by Mike on Friday, October 08, 2010 at 10:22 AM
    Filed in: Soups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
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