Four Foods On Friday #57

28 11 2008

I hope everyone is enjoying the post-Thanksgiving meals… Thanksgiving leftovers are about the only leftovers I actually enjoy. (I admit to being a leftovers snob. Sue me.).

As I said yesterday, I’m driving all over the state of Virginia just because I love traveling on the holidays – oh wait that’s a lie. But the answers to these Four Foods On Friday questions are all true 🙂 Enjoy.

#1. What’s your favorite carbonated beverage?

I LOVE COKE. Regular coke only. Not Diet, not Coke Zero, or Cherry Coke. Regular Coca-Cola Classic. I can’t even convey in words how much I love coke. If I see a commercial or a billboard I automatically want one. Sometimes I just like a sip or two and the first sip is always the best. It kinda burns on the way down. Man, I want one right now…

#2. What’s your favorite spicy food?

Hmm, I’m kinda picky about spicy foods. I guess salsa?

#3. How do you handle hot dishes? Oven mitt, pot holder, towel?

Normally a an oven mitt, but if it’s like a hot lid or something on the stove top, I usually go for the towel.
#4. Ice cream. How do you like yours?

My favorite ice cream ever is Chocolate Fudge Brownie from Ben & Jerry’s. But I also love just plain old vanilla ice cream with loads of chocolate syrup on top. Gosh I want some ice cream now too!





Mexican Chicken Soup — Barefoot Bloggers

27 11 2008

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Gosh I love scheduled posts. I wrote this up a couple days ago knowing that as you read this I’d either be driving to my families home in Virginia, eating turkey, or getting ready to drive to see WH’s family on Friday before heading back to my parents house on Saturday… gosh I love dual holidays. I think instead of Pre-Nups regarding financials, couples should have to draw up holiday schedule contracts before they get married. I don’t even want to think about what’s going to happen come Christmas.

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So today is the posting day for another Barefoot Bloggers recipe. And I’m on time!! Go me. I made this soup a few weeks ago. Boy was I nervous. I’ve never cooked with bone-in chicken before or even jalapenos. We all know my experiences with cumin and let’s just say this recipe had all the makings of a big disaster.

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Thankfully, I impressed myself. I did make a few mistakes here and there and had to tweak some ingredients to match what I actually had (or didn’t have, in this case). I forgot to crush the whole tomatoes so we had some bigger chunks I was able to separate with the wooden spoon. I also realized I did not have any tortillas to add to the soup, but I don’t think too much was lost. And finally, in true French Kitchen form, I misread my recipe notes when I halved the ingredients and put in twice the amount of cumin. OH MAN I panicked. But everything turned out well and WH thought the soup could be a little spicier next time.

Next time? Well hot dog, another winner.

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Oh, PS.  Like I said, never used jalapenos before.  I know that you have to be careful with the oils because it will burn your eyes if you rub them, etc.  Well, somehow I got the oils under two of my fingernails and could not get it cleaned out.  My fingers burned for an entire 24 hours.  And to top it off, I scratched the corner of my eye.  Burn.  Lovely.  I’m pretty awesome.

Thanks to Judy of Judy’s Gross Eats for choosing this recipe.

Mexican Chicken Soup

Serves 3 to 4

Stuff you need:

  • 1 split (1 whole) chicken breasts, bone in & skin on
  • good olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery
  • 1 c. chopped carrots
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 & 1/4 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade (That’s really funny Ina…)
  • 14 oz. can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro leaves

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan.
  3. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat 1 & 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven.
  6. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown.
  7. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  8. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapeno peppers, cumin, coriander, 1 Tbsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, and the cilantro.
  9. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
  10. When the chicken is done, remove and allow to cool until able to be handled.
  11. Discard the skin and bones and shred the meat.
  12. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste.
  13. Serve the soup hot topped with a dollop of sour cream and grated cheese.

Source [FN]. Find the original recipe here.





Slow-Cooked Pulled Barbecue Chicken

26 11 2008

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Last weekend WH and I headed up to Blacksburg to see our beloved Hokies (barely) win against Duke. It’s the first game I have been to this season (and probably last) and of course it had to be frigid. Absolutely frigid. When I was a student I loved being in the stadium cheering and shouting and cursing and feeling like I was part of the team, down on the field blocking kicks and scoring points. In fact, there is only one game I can remember really not enjoying and unfortunately, it has served to decrease my interest in attending all other games. Including Saturday’s game.

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Last season we were beating Boston College (and I hate Boston College) — it was pouring down rain but we didn’t care because we were winning! A shut out even! The score was 10 to zip and In the last 3 minutes, Boston College scored 2 touch downs. Two touchdowns. TWO. Final score: 14 – 10. BC wins. It was awful and demoralizing and did I mention it was pouring rain? It was also pretty cold that night too. Horrible experience. Just awful.

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Ever since then I have been none too excited about games that feature weather that is “too” anything… too cold, too hot, too rainy, too windy, you get the idea. So when I heard it had been snowing for the week leading up to the game I pouted to WH for a while. It didn’t work. We piled on the layers and headed up the road. Like I said, it was frigid. And a 5:30pm kick off equals no sunlight. Awesome.

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Let’s pretend for a second that the VT/Duke game was actually carried by a viewable network. I have no desire to stand in the freezing cold, sweltering heat, pouring rain, or gale-force winds watching a game that I could enjoy from the comfort of my own temperature controlled apartment. I have a couch and food and drinks and I can sit or stand or even lay down. If I get bored with the half-time report I can change the channel. Event Security does not give me a hard time for enjoying an alcoholic beverage. It’s fabulous.

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Now, I know nothing beats the experience of being in the stadium when your team beats a huge rival, pulls an upset, or just plain out wins. But sometimes, I just want to be comfortable while I watch the game. That being said, I was pretty miserable at Saturday’s game. WH did his best to keep me warm and he did a fairly good job, but it’s hard to keep the Blacksburg cold out of your bones. I will say that we got incredibly lucky when someone gave us passes to get into some of the tower club seats. I mean, that was baller and WARM. But we were only there for the 3rd quarter and then back down to the frigid cold student section because WH complained that watching from the cushy, heated club box just “wasn’t the same”.

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Enduring the cold that night made me really want some of the delicious (and warm) pulled BBQ chicken I made the other night. I’ve been afraid to try barbecue because it seems so difficult. I finally faced my fears and tried slow-cooker barbecue chicken. I actually put a lot of this dish together the night before and dumped it all in the next morning before work. Super easy. WH, who is incredibly picky BBQ mostly because he is from North Carolina, said (I quote) the BBQ is “spot on”. Go me!

Slow-Cooked Pulled Barbecue Chicken

Serves 2

Stuff you need:

  • small white or yellow onion, chopped
  • small clove of garlic, minced
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • hamburger buns

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Sprinkle onion and garlic over bottom of the crock and arrange the chicken thighs on top.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the ketchup, cider vinegar, brown sugar, oil, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, and salt.
  3. Pour over chicken thighs.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours, until chicken is fork-tender and pulls apart easily.
  5. Remove chicken from slow cooker.
  6. With two forks, pull apart the meat into shredded chunks, return to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
  7. Cover and leave on the KEEP WARM setting until ready to serve.
  8. Spoon onto warm hamburger buns.

Source [10]





Tuesdays With [Parmigiano]-Reggi[ano]

25 11 2008

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I wish I could keep up with my fun “Tuesdays with Reggie”, but unfortunately the bulk of my Reggie pictures are on my laptop which is currently out of commission. I can’t get Windows to boot, so I can’t access anything. 😦

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This week, I thought I’d do a little play on words and post a recipe for Parmigiano-Reggi(e)ano Crusted Chicken Piccata (get it? haha i’m so clever). And yes, it’s another Rachel Ray Magazine recipe. I’m a glutton for punishment. But this recipe was a lot easier. I was actually able to cook it completely in a fairly short amount of time and without having to whine for help from WH.

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I didn’t really know what “piccata” meant before making this recipe, and considering the fact that I omitted the capers from this recipe, I’m not sure how “piccata” this dish actually is. I’ve still got the tart lemon flavor, but WH hates capers and I knew he wouldn’t even touch the dish if I added them.

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Regardless, I was quite successful with this dish, as WH brought up “the rotation” again. It’s funny because I haven’t made the same recipe twice in months (except for stuffed peppers and fajitas/tacos). Does he think the rotation is several months long? Or is he so blown away by my fabulous cooking that he doesn’t realize he hasn’t been eating the same thing twice? I’ll pretend it’s the latter 😉

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Parmigiano-Reggiano Crusted Chicken Picatta

Serves 2

Stuff you need:

  • 1/8 c. flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 c. grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • salt
  • 1/4 lb. angel hair pasta
  • 1 & 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus 1/2 sliced lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/8 c. flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 & 1/2 oz. baby spinach
  • pepper
  • (1/8 c. capers, drained and patted dry; or 6 caper berries, sliced)

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Put the flour on a plate. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Place 1/4 c. cheese on another plate.
  2. Coat each chicken cutlet with the flour, then egg, then cheese, pressing to adhere.
  3. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and then pasta. Cook until al dente.
  5. Drain, reserving a ladleful of water.
  6. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat.
  7. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until deeply golden, about 10 minutes.
  8. Transfer to a platter and cover with foil.
  9. Add the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil to the skillet.
  10. Add the sliced lemon and garlic (and capers) and cook for 2 minutes.
  11. Stir in the wine and parsley and cook until reduced, about 1 minute.
  12. Lower the heat and bring to a simmer.
  13. Stir the chicken broth into the sauce for 1 minutes.
  14. Stir the butter until melted, then stir in the lemon juice.
  15. Spoon a little sauce over the chicken.
  16. Add the spinach to the remaining sauce in the skillet and cook until wilted.
  17. Add the reserved pasta water.
  18. Stir in the pasta and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper.
  19. Add the remaining cheese and toss.
  20. Serve the pasta with the chicken.

Source [11] November 2008





Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

24 11 2008

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Easiest side dish ever? These potatoes.

You chop. You season. You cook.

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I had these going while I slaved over the Turkey Cutlets with Herb Gravy and Celery-Apple Salad. I literally forgot about them until I heard the timer. And they were perfect. Fabulous.

imgp2274Funny story: I’m pretty sure when I asked WH to shred some parmesan, he shredded asiago instead. Our palates are not advanced enough to notice that while eating (sadly). In fact I didn’t realize it had happened until I need parm in another dish and noticed how the Asiago was shredded much more than the parm. Oh well, still good. But I recommend using parm.

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Serves 2

Stuff you need:

  • 3/4 lbs. new potatoes
  • 1 & 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cut potatoes into one inch chunks.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients.
  4. Transfer to a roasting pan or baking dish.
  5. Roast, stirring once, until golden brown and crisp; about 50 minutes.
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Source [14]

RealSimple.com





“Souper” Turkey Casserole

23 11 2008

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I’m sure you know that it’s difficult to find turkey cutlets in packs of 2. So obviously, after making Turkey Cutlets with Herb Gravy, I would have some turkey leftover. I searched Cooks.com and came across a simple recipe consisting of turkey, potatoes, and cream of chicken soup. I spiced it up a bit by adding broccoli which ended up increasing the cook time from 1 hr. 15 min. to about 1 hr. 35 min. This recipe is deceivingly good. It looks so simple, but gosh it was tasty.

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“Souper” Turkey Casserole

Serves 2 to 3

Stuff you need:

  • 2 turkey cutlets cut into large chunks
  • 3 small red potatoes, sliced in thin disks
  • 1 & 1/2 c. broccoli florets
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken soup

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Quickly brown the turkey in a skillet.
  3. Place in a casserole dish.
  4. Cover with potato disks.
  5. Spread broccoli on top of potatoes.
  6. Add can of soup to the dish.
  7. Cover and bake for 1 hr. 15 minutes.

Adapted from [13] Cooks.com





Four Foods On Friday (56)

21 11 2008

#1. What’s the worst tasting food you’ve ever eaten?

It’s a toss up between brussels sprouts and beets.

#2. Share a funny or embarrassing story about a meal you’re made.

I was making tacos and trying to be fancy with seasoning. Instead of using the package of taco seasoning, I decided to use cumin. I had only used cumin once before and I had a recipe to follow. This time I was on my own to judge how much should go in. So I seasoned and served… Do you remember those steak sauce commercials where people would point to parts of their mouth and throat and say “it gets you right here… and here” and they meant it in a good way? Well, my husband and I would have been grabbing our throats saying “it gets you right here” in a bad way. Our eyes were watering and our throats were on fire… WAY too much cumin. Way. Too. Much.

I also heard from an older friend that when she was first married, she started trying her skills in the kitchen. A recipe called for a clove of garlic and she put in what she thought was a clove of garlic. Turns out she mistook a bulb of garlic for a clove and had put the entire bulb of garlic into the dish. Tragic.

#3. What food do you burn or have problems cooking most often?

Anything that has to be pan fried or seared. I can’t do it without burning it or I end up with a piece of meat that’s too thick to fully cook. I’m working on it…

#4. Name two foods you’ll be eating on this Thanksgiving.

Mashed potatoes & green beans!