Friday, September 23, 2011

Jerk Chicken

My cooking over the last couple of years has really changed. I find myself leaning towards recipes that take little prep work and leave me with only one dish to clean up after dinner. But I still enjoy great flavorful dishes. So I have been on the hunt for great recipes that are a little more than just throwing ingredients I can actually claim that I "cooked dinner."

Jerk Chicken

For those of you who actually make the real hat goes off to you. You are a true cook in my eyes. (I don't really wear hats, but if I did I would take it off if you actually made real Jerk Chicken.) And I know that I have already lost some of you. Jerk Chicken is a Jamaican dish that uses a combination of hot, sweet and warm(cinnamon, cloves) flavors. It is really tasty. But it involves a crazy amount of spices..all the spices that are probably not in your pantry. So if you got a craving for this delicious chicken you would have to go out and buy 100 dollars worth of spices just to make Jerk Chicken. Instead, you can make my version! It so simple..yet really gives you that warm spicy flavor that only comes from Jerk Chicken. Think Christmas in Jamaica.... try this one out. You'll love it. And as always you can count on it being healthy and easy! I like to serve mine with brown rice.

Here is how it's done....

1 env. Italian Dressing mix
2 Tbs Brown Sugar
2 Tbs Oil
2 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 heaping tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of Ground thyme
1\2 tsp. Ground red pepper
1-1\2 1b Boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-1\2 pieces
3 red bell peppers- chunked
1 can of chuncked pineapple

Mix first seven ingredients until well blended; pour over chicken in large bowl. Stir to evenly coat chicken. Refrigerate 1-2 hours.

Heat Grill to medium- high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Thread chicken into 12 skewers alternately with bell peppers and pineapple.

Grill 15 min. or until chicken is done, turning frequently.

If you have read my blog, than you know that I have two meal plans. One for Spring\Summer and the other for Fall\Winter. This recipe could go on either menu plan because it is a grilling recipe(summer)but it's warm cinnamon flavors are perfect for early fall. So try this one out..if you like it add it to your menu plan. And then hang on to it because in a couple of blogs I'm going to show you what to do with it!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cook with me, Learn with me, Laugh with me!

Over the past year I have focused on trying to learn how to cook out of a stocked pantry. I've always wanted to be one of those cooks who could just go in their pantry and put something delicious together in minutes. So..I figured that the only way that I was going to actually accomplish this was to teach myself how to cook. So I did...and I am still learning..and practicing. But just the little I have taught myself has given me enormous freedom in the kitchen. I no longer panic when I haven't had the time to plan out dinner. And I no longer feel like we are forced to go out to eat when something simple and nutritious would satisfy everyone even more than an expensive meal out.

I would like to offer a cooking class on some of these techniques. They will be simple and fun. We will cook, learn and laugh as we spend time in my kitchen together.

What's Cooking with Amy?

The Egg.. I'm really loving eggs right now. They are fast, inexpensive and can be simple or fancy.

There is so much you can do with an egg. I can have a class on a Saturday afternoon in September if I have enough of you that are interested. I am charging $10 a person. You will come away knowing how to create tons of dishes by just using eggs and staples in your fridge. And what are those staples you might wonder? Well, we will go over that too! I will also touch on how to create a recipe binder and the essentials of a stocked pantry.

Would you be interested in coming to my house and taking a cooking class? Let me know and I will set a date in September.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Ice Cream

I made this with the kids this morning and they had a blast. I whipped up a couple of different recipes and found this one to be the best. It's on the sweet side..but it's really for the kids! If you are hesitant to use a recipe with raw eggs in it, just make sure to use fresh good eggs. Plus, if you are concerned about the raw eggs, this may not be the recipe for you...because don't forget that you are about to dig up snow from your backyard to make your ice cream! And hey who knows when we are going to get out let's live on the wild side today!

Large Bowl of Clean Snow
2 Fresh Eggs
5 Ounces Evaporated Milk
1 1\2 Tablespoons of Vanilla
1 1\2 Cups of Sugar - ice cream is pretty sweet, may want to cut down on the sugar if you don't like things as sweet.
Dash of salt
1 cup of Milk (whole works best, Or a mixture of Milk\Cream\Half-and-Half)

In a large mixing bowl stir together eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla, sugar, salt and milk until combined. Stir in snow in cup fulls at a time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Spicy Tuscan Soup

LOVE...this soup. I served this during the holidays and everyone loved it. It is fast and full of flavor. Don't let the "spicy" part of the soup scare just adds interest and tons of flavor. Enjoy this soup with hot crusty garlic bread. As with most of my recipes..this one is fast, easy and very rewarding.

1 pound Spicy Breakfast Sausage
1 whole Medium Red Onion, diced
2 slices of bacon, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
4 red potatoes
1 quart of warm water
3 cubes Chicken Bouillon
1/4 bunches of Kale, Roughly Chopped
1/2 Heavy Cream - MUST use heavy cream...don't substitute.
Salt and Pepper

Crumble sausage into a dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until cooked through. Drain and set the sauasage aside. Add bacon and onion to dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium and cook until onions are clear. Add minced garlic and cook one minute.
Slice potatoes in half and then cut in half shaped moons. Add warm water, bouillon cubes and potatoes to the Dutch oven and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until potatoes are almost done. Add remaining ingredients as well as the sausage and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Let cool and serve with crusty bread.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Saving the Bubbly!!!!

Have you all heard of the cool spoon trick when it comes to saving leftover champagne? Well, if you place a silver spoon in a champagne bottle and then stick it in the fridge it will amazingly last for another 2-3 days. The problem is finding a spoon that will actually fit inside of the champagne bottle.
My brilliant mother came up with this concept of using a meat thermometer instead of a spoon to save the bottle...and guess what? It works! We had bright and bubbly champagne the next day.
So next time you and your hubby break open a bottle and know that you won't finish it all, pop in a meat thermometer and then stick it in the fridge. You pay enough for that champagne you should be able to enjoy a mimosa the next day right?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pear, Apple and Cranberry Crisp

This amazing crisp is from The Barefoot Contessa. Her recipes are fabulous and like American Test Kitchens they seem to be well tested. This crisp has a surprising hint of orange which makes it different from your traditional apple crisp. The addition of pear and cranberry gives it a gourmet twist ...try this one and I promise that it will be your new favorite.

Pear, Apple and Cranberry Crisp

2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)
2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 apples)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel and core the pears and apples and cut them into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and toss with the cranberries, zests, juices, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch baking dish.
For the topping:
Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.
Place the baking dish on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream And let fall begin!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Brew Pub Pork Chops

These pork chops are delicious! First, you brine them in beer which makes them moist and juicy...and (you'll like this) impossible to dry out! The pork chops are then smothered in a rosemary - garlic aioli. This dish is easy gourmet at it's best.

Since this is a Brine...not a marinate, it is important to not leave them in the brine for more than a hour to an hour and 1/2. They will be too salty if you leave them in the brine for too long.

What you will need:
1 cup Beer
1 cup Water
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Salt
4 Bone-in pork chops
1/4 cup Mayo
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh Rosemary

Mix first four ingredients until sugar is dissolved; pour over chops in a shallow dish. Turn chops over to evenly coat both sides of chop. Refrigerate 1 hour. You can leave them for 30 more if you like.

Meanwhile...mix together remaining ingredients. Divide into two dishes. One for basting while grilling, and the other to pass at the table with the cooked chops.

Remove chops from brine, discard brine. Grill chops 5 to 6 min. on each side or until done(160F), brushing occasionally with mayo mixture. Serve chops with remaining sauce.

I like to pair this dish with Roasted Red Potatoes because they work really well with the aioli. And it gives everyone an excuss to eat more of it!