Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thymely Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes

Again, these were requested over at Musing & Mutterings, but if I don't keep any & all recipes here, they're totally going to be non-findable for me later.

Thymely Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes

Peel two giant-sized, 3 regular, or 4 smallish sweet potatoes. Cut into 1/4" to 1/2" dice.  This should  be about enough to cover a 9x13"pan at pretty much a single layer.  Pour on some olive oil and sprinkle on some (fresh, preferably, but dried is fine) thyme & some (preferably coarse-grained/kosher) salt.  Bake at 350F (very adaptable to more/less heat), stirring occasionally but not too often, until sweet potatoes are soft & have acquired at least one roasted/caramelized/not-quite-burnt-but-really-brown side.

Vanilla-Brown Sugar Squash

This was requested over at Musings & Mutterings, but if I don't also post it here, I'll completely lose track of it.  Fancy name notwithstanding, I totally made up this recipe, so adapt at will!

Vanilla-Brown Sugar Squash

Cook a butternut squash.  For me, that means halve a butternut squash and scoop out the seeds. Put both halves cut-side down in a 9x13" pan with about 1/2 inch of water and cook for an hour, or until soft.  Scoop the flesh out of the skin and discard the skin.  (You can totally do this ahead of time or, as in the case of this Turkey Day feast, use leftover squash.)  Mash/mix the squash with butter.  LOTS of butter, and a fair amount of brown sugar and a decent splash of vanilla.  Mash until you deem the texture suitable, adding more butter as needed. (Julia Child note: more butter is good!). I made ours early with leftover squash & kept it warm in a minicrockpot, which worked very well.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Roasted Radishes

Yes, seriously. Roasted radishes. I know, it sounds bizarre, but they're really actually tasty. We've gotten radishes the last several weeks in our CSA box, and they've kind of built up 'cuz who has  big ol' BUNCH of radishes for a snack?! They'd mentioned roasting radishes in their newsletter so I figured, hey, why not? Good way to use up these not-so-crisp-anymore radishes filling up my fridge.

I didn't want to search through the newsletters so I just did a quick online search, which gave me what I was basically planning anyway.  This is really so very simple that it's only a mental recipe, but roasted radishes are unusual enough I wanted to share the idea.

  • A lot of radishes (Recipe says 1 lb.; I used 3 or 4 bunches, some rather not-so-crisp) Wash 'em, cut off their tips and tails, and quarter.
  • Toss with olive oil and large grain (kosher-type) salt. I did this right in the pan I was going to use anyway 'cuz hey, less dishes.
  • Roast in oven until done.  Done may mean more or less caramelized for you, but give them time to mellow and roast - maybe 30 minutes? I had them in at 325F 'cuz that's what I wanted for my roast, but you've got a lot of leeway here as long as you're keeping an eye on them periodically so they don't burn.
That's it. I know - not really a recipe, but I never would've thought to try roasting radishes without our CSA's suggestion in the newsletter.  Mr. Kluges and I found them tasty, but the girls weren't so keen. Also, beware the radish burps later. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Basic Beer-Can Chicken with All-Purpose Barbecue Rub and mental grill-roasted beets

Ok, twice now I've looked here on Recipeeps for this recipe, thinking I'd already posted it, and twice I've been disappointed.  So, here it is finally!  This is another recipe by Steven Raichlen, but this one's found in his Beer-Can Chicken [and 74 Other Offbeat Recipes for the Grill] cookbook. Occasionally I've paraphrased or added to the instructions. I often grab some beets from the garden, wash 'em, lop off their tips and tails, wrap 'em in foil, and let them roast on the side of the grill with the chicken since the grill's on so long anyway.  Pull them off shortly before the chicken, let cool briefly, and slip/easily peel the skins off while staining but not burning your fingers.

***  NOTE: If using a gas grill, make sure you've got plenty of propane before starting, hey? ***

Serves 2-4.

1 can (12 oz.) beer (You can sub fruit juice or soda, but you need to use a can anyway)
1 chicken (3 1/2-4 lbs)
2 Tbl. All-Purpose Barbecue Rub* or your own favorite rub
2 tsp. vegetable oil

He also calls for wood chips soaked in water or beer, but I never bother.  So if you want those directions added in, let me know & I'll add them.

1. Pop the tab of  the beer can and pour off half [or consume! DFFs forever!]. If cooking the chicken on the can [rather than a fancy holder with a built-in liquid holder], make two additional holes in its top. Set aside. [Edited to add - if I remember, I spray the can &/or holder with cooking spray to try to make it just a little bit easier to get them apart at the end!]

2.  Remove [and discard or keep for another use] any giblets; remove and discard extra fat just inside the body and neck cavities.  Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water, then drain and blog dry with paper towels.  [Note: you'll now be using portions of the rub. BE CAREFUL to not contaminate your big container with chicken germs 'cuz the recipe below makes a lot more than you need.] Sprinkle 1 tsp. rub inside the body cavity and 1/2 tsp. inside the neck cavity.  Drizzle oil over the outside of the bird and rub it all over the skin.  Sprinkle the outside of the bird with 1 Tbl. rub and rub it all over the skin.  Spoon the remaining 1 1/2 tsp. of rub into the beer can.  Don't worry if it foams up.

3.  If cooking on a can: Hold the bird upright, with the opening of the body cavity at the bottom, and lower it [you might need to coax it a bit] onto the beer can so the can fits into the cavity.  Pull the chicken legs forward to form a sort of tripod, so the bird stands upright.  The rear leg of the tripod is the beer can.  If cooking on a roaster, fill it with the beer mixture and position the chicken on top, following manufacturer's instructions.

4.  Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chicken's back. [I often end up securing them with a little cooking twine.]

5.  Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium.  [Wood chip stuff here, if interested.]

6.  When ready to cook, stand the chicken up in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat.  Cover the grill and cook the chicken until the skin is dark golden brown and very crisp [totally the best part! Converted my daughter back away from vegetarianism!] and the meat is cooked through, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.  If using a charcoal grill, you'll need to add 12 fresh coals per side after 1 hour. If the chicken skin starts to brown too much, loosely tent the bird with aluminum foil.

7.  If cooking on a can, using tongs,hold the bird by the can and carefully transfer it in an upright position to a platter.  If cooking on a roaster, use oven mitts or pot holder to remove the gird from the grill while it's still on the vertical roaster.

8. Present the bird to your guests. [Ooooh!  Aaaaah! Can we eat it yet?] Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then carefully lift it off its support. [Not always as easy as it sounds, but be careful & persistent.] Take care not to spill the hot beer or otherwise burn yourself.  Halve, quarter, or carve the chicken and serve!

*All-Purpose Barbecue Rub
1/4 c. coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. sweet paprika
2 Tbl. freshly ground black pepper
Mix together. Store in airtight jar away from heat and light.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Creamed spinach

This is the Julia Child version, so don't faint over the amount of dairy involved. :-)

 From frozen spinach: Thaw two 10-oz packages of frozen spinach just until you can cut through it with a heavy knife. If spinach is chopped, slice into 1/2" pieces. If whole, chop into small bits.

From fresh spinach: Blanch 1.5 lbs. spinach in salted boiling water until wilted and almost tender. Strain, squeeze out liquid, and chop. Melt 1 1/2 T butter in a heavy saucepan Add spinach

For frozen: Cook, covered, over low heat for a couple minutes until for spinach has thawed and released its juices.

For both: Cook over moderately high heat, uncovered, 2-3 minutes until moisture is evaporated. Add 1/4 t salt, pinch of pepper, small pinch of nutmeg. Lower heat to moderate and sprinkle on 1 T flour, sifted. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes Remove pan from heat and slowly add 1/2 cup heavy cream by spoonful, stirring to incorporate each spoonful as it is added. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook on low about 15 minutes, stirring frequently to keep spinach from sticking to pan and adding additional spoonsful of cream as necessary if spinach becomes too dry. Remove from heat and fold in 1 T softened butter. Serve.

Jamaican jerk chicken

NOTE: Thanks for the formatting, Ms. Huis!
I'm pretty sure I've served this to most of you at some point over the years. Made it again yesterday for a Gewurztraminer tasting, and realized I hadn't even posted the recipe here. "Everything but the kitchen sink" is a little too vague, but not far off the mark.

Combine in a large bowl:
1 T allspice
1 T thyme
1 1/2 t cayenne
1 1/2 t black pepper
1 1/2 t sage
3/4 t nutmeg
3/4 t cinnamon
2 T salt
2 T garlic powder (I often substitute fresh garlic and add it with the onions below)
1 T sugar

Slowly add:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
juice of one lime

Add: 1 habanero pepper, seeded and minced
1 cup chopped white onion
3 scallions, finely chopped

Marinate 4 chicken breasts for at least one hour. Grill, basting with marinade as necessary. Meanwhile, boil leftover marinade and serve as dipping sauce.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chicken Saltimboca with Lemon Butter Caper Sauce

Oh. My. Gosh.  I CANNOT believe I haven't given y'all this recipe before.  The lemon butter caper sauce itself is... just... oh, I would marry myself just to get it.  I got this recipe at a community ed cooking class with Chef Jeff, and I cannot overstate how awesome his classes are.  They might start a tad slow, and you might not eat until 9:30pm, but oh, the food, and OH, the RECIPES!!!  YUM!!!!!!!!

Caper Butter Sauce 
(Makes about 3/4 cup of sauce) [I strongly recommend doing 1 1/2 recipes of this 'cuz it's so good!!!]

1/2 c. Chablis [or other dry white wine- I've even subbed in a mix of cooking sherry & sake]
1-2 Tbl chopped [or smushed in the pan] capers
1 Tbl. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
1/4 lb. [1 stick] unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces

  1. In a fairly big sauce pan, combine wine, capers & lemon juice; reduce to 1-2 Tbl.
  2. Add cream; reduce by half and remove from heat.
  3. Add butter, whipping [stirring] immediately and constantly.  You may need to place sauce back over VERY low heat (in short intervals) to incorporate all the butter.  Be very careful not to let this sauce get too hot (just warm to the touch) or it will separate.  [If you must wait and keep it warm, use a double-boiler or bowl-over-water.]
 Chicken Saltimboca
(makes 2 servings) [but you might as well make 4 'cuz hello!  Too much work otherwise!]
2 six-oz. good quality chicken breasts
2 pieces [or a bit more] thinly sliced prosciutto
2 Tbl. chopped fresh sage
2/3 c. quartered artichokes (canned or frozen)
3 Tbl. olive oil
1/2 c. flour
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 c. lemon caper butter sauce [see above for awesomeness]

  1. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and fresh sage (go easy on the salt [or eliminate] as the proscuitto ham and capers are naturally salty); place proscuitto ham on top of each chicken breast.  Using a meat tenderizer [or marble rolling pin!], carefully pound the ham into the chicken until each piece is uniform in thickness (approximately 1/2 inch).
  2. Place a 10-inch saute pan over high heat.  When hot, add 1 Tbl. olive oil; lightly dust the chicken in flour; place in the pan prosciutto side down and reduce the heat to medium; saute the chicken 3-4 minutes per side or until golden in color and cooked completely through.
  3. Transfer chicken to a warm serving plate; heat the artichokes in the same pan and scatter over chicken breasts; top with butter sauce and serve.