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Crockpot Posole

Crockpot Posole

I recently ran across a great blog that combines the best of two worlds: food and books.  I’ve previously participated in the Novel Food challenge on Simona Carini’s beautiful blog, and was very excited to find Cook the Books Foodie Book Club.  The book chosen for August and September was F.G. Hachenbeck’s The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo.  This is a slightly odd book that fictionalizes Frida Kahlo’s life in context of a little recipe book that Kahlo might have kept.  Recipes are sprinkled throughout the book, and then there are a few of made-for-modern-taste versions of those recipes in the back.

secret-book-of-frida-kahlo-cover

I was especially excited to see a book about Frida Kahlo as the focus of this blog adventure.  I have been a Frida fan for a long time now – and funny enough, my first really significant encounter with her art is also tied to a food memory.  When I was in my late twenties, I took off for a road adventure by myself.  I was newly single and trying to find my way.  That way led to a road trip to Portland, OR and then all the way up Highway 101 to Tacoma and into Seattle.  I stayed at the Edgewater hotel in Seattle and walked everywhere, including the Seattle Art Museum, which was having a spectacular exhibit of both Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s work.  I was transported by Kahlo’s paintings – in life, they are even more stunning than in photos.  After spending hours wandering through the exhibit, I went across the street and stumbled into a Vietnamese restaurant and ate Pho for the first time.  Different cultures, different foods, different times, but for me, soup and Kahlo are inexorably linked in my memory because of that trip.

I’ve read other books about Kahlo, but I will say I enjoyed this venture into magical realism.  Like Kahlo’s paintings, the book merges the real with the surreal and takes us to the very personal relationship that Kahlo had with death.  And with food, of course.  This book is filled with rich description of food and the rich relationship that the characters have with food.  I doubt the truth of some of the book, but do like the thought that Frida Kahlo had such a rich life full of so many interesting people coming and going.

My book is now very sticky-noted with all the possible recipes I may yet try to adapt.  For this particular blog post though, I decided to go with Posole, largely because it hits that note of comfort food that rings for me when I think of my encounter with Kahlo’s paintings.

Not so long ago, I ran across directions for making hominy through nixtamalization – the process of turning maize into hominy.  I think it may be something I try someday (this is a farm fantasy moment – that day when I can grow my own maize, have chickens and goats, and so on).  For now, I’m sticking with buying hominy in the store.  I advise using dried white corn posole.

white-corn-posole-package white-corn-pre-soak

This adds a step (the white corn posole needs to be soaked overnight), but also gives the soup a better flavor than canned hominy.  I’ve added a few more ingredients than what is called for in the book and have also gone with a pork loin roast (rather than a pork head or other parts, as advised in the book).  This is a great Sunday Supper meal, as it can be tossed in the crockpot in the morning and can cook all day.  It also makes a good freezer meal.

Here’s a picture of the pork loin all rubbed in spices:

spiced-rub-pork-loin

And then the end result, seven hours later.  This is definitely a soup that will be added into our winter crockpot meal rotation.

posole-2

Crockpot Posole
Serves 6

White corn posole, soaked overnight
1 chopped onion
2 roasted Anaheim peppers, peeled and deseeded
1 can diced tomatoes (15 ounces)
4 cups chicken broth (or 2 cups chicken broth and 2 cups water)
Pork Loin roast – between 1 and 2 pounds
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon oregano or Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ancho chili powder

Combine the seasonings and rub on the pork loin roast.  Add any remaining seasonings, the pork loin roast, and all other ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or until the pork can be easily shredded with a fork.

Serve with wedges of lime, chopped up cilantro, and sliced avocado.  Enjoy!

cookthebooks

Chicken, Broccoli, Cheddar Calzones

Chicken, Broccoli, Cheddar Calzones

For this week’s Sunday Supper, I want to share one of my comfort foods: chicken, broccoli, cheddar calzones.  Calzones are such a perfect food – dough and filling.  Best yet, they are very, very freezer friendly, so, though they can take a bit of time to put together, they work well for super easy weekday meals: pull the calzone out of the freezer and toss it in the oven (still foil wrapped) for 45 minutes or so at 350 degrees.

It’s started to rain again in my part of the PNW, so I have little desire to do much beyond sit around, read, and cook comfort food.  With this weather, I’m also much more likely to want to cook something “fancy” on the weekend, so you’ll likely see a few posts like this one this fall and winter.  I also can’t resist roasted garlic – so if you aren’t a fan, feel free to leave it out.  Calzones are so very versatile – I highly encourage you to think of other great combinations for the filling and use the dough as a base for your own creations.

baked-calzones cheesy-broccoli-and-chicken-calzones-both-sides

 

Chicken, Broccoli, Cheddar Calzones
Serves 6

Calzone Dough
2 cups warm water
2 packets active dry yeast (or 4 ½ teaspoons yeast)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups flour

Cheese Sauce
Roasted garlic from one head roasted garlic
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup half and half
¾ cup shredded cheddar or gruyere cheese

Filling
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head broccoli
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place chicken thighs into an oven proof dish and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with one teaspoon salt.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.  Once thighs are cooked, set aside.

While the chicken is cooking, make the dough.  Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let sit for a few minutes until the yeast becomes foamy.  Add the olive oil to the yeast, and then one cup flour and the salt.  Mix.  Continue to add flour until the dough comes together in a shaggy ball.  Turn out on a well-surface and knead for 6 to 8 minutes.  The dough should be a bit sticky still but not so much so that it sticks to your hands or to the surface.  Let the dough rise for an hour in a bowl covered with oiled plastic wrap or a few clean tea towels.  Punch the dough down and let it rise for another hour.

Reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees.

In the last half hour that the dough is rising, prepare the cheese sauce. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and add the roast garlic.  Stir a few times and then whisk the flour in a little bit at a time.  Once the flour is fully incorporated, let cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for a minute.  Add the half and half slowly, continuing to stir until it is fully incorporated. Continue to stir until the sauce starts to thicken.  Take the sauce off the burner and stir in the cheese. Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Chop the broccoli into small pieces. Sauté in a non-stick pan for five to seven minutes to slightly soften. Chop the chicken into small pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, broccoli, sauce, and remaining shredded cheese. Stir well.

Punch down the calzone dough and split into six pieces. On a well-floured surface, roll out the first piece into a circle. Place 1/6th of the chicken and sauce mixture in the middle of the circle and fold half over the filling. Crimp down around the edges and place the calzone on the parchment lined baking sheet. Do the same with the remaining dough and filling.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the calzones are golden brown on top and bottom. Enjoy!

I’m pleased to have this recipe on the Saucy Saturdays Blog Hop.  Please take a minute and check out the links to the hosts’ websites – these are some of my favorite blogs and Instagram feeds!

La Petit Chef
Mid-life Croissant
Take Two Tapas
The Flavor Blender

 

Blackened Salmon Fish Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa and Watermelon Radishes

Blackened Salmon Fish Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa and Watermelon Radishes

My blackened salmon fish tacos with tomatillo salsa and watermelon radishes hit just the right spot for culinary happiness this time of year.  I’ve been thinking about cooking salmon for a while now.  Salmon is one of those foods that only I eat in our household.  Clay is convinced that salmon is just too fishy – I, on the other hand, am a fan.  In the past year, I’ve been playing around with salmon recipes that are lunch friendly.  In other words, they either don’t need to be heated up in the microwave or they can be heated up very quickly so that I don’t leave the break room smelling like fish.

I decided the way to go with the salmon this time was to spice it up, blacken it, and serve it with tangy tomatillo salsa.  My original plan was to serve these with a bit of shredded red cabbage.  However, as we were wandering the produce section of Whole Foods, I remembered that Whole Foods has a variety of spicy radishes that are in season right now, including watermelon radishes.  Watermelon radishes are about the size of a small turnip, have a pale green skin and are intensely pink (like a watermelon) on the inside.

interior watermelon radish watermelon radish slices

They are a type of daikon radish, so can tend toward spicy, though not overwhelmingly so.   I happened to have extra lime on hand, so sliced half of the radish into sticks and doused it in half a lime and a bit of salt.  The result was divine – the lime brings out the sweetness in the radish and the spicy compliments the salsa.  If you can’t track down watermelon radishes, red cabbage would definitely do to add the crunchy note to these fish tacos.

Just for fun this week, I also took some photos of how I packaged the components for these for my lunch.  I wanted to get everything into one dish, but the corn tortillas were just a bit too big, so they ended up in a plastic bag.  Here’s the sequence of how everything got stacked, as well as what assembly at my desk looked like:

salsa and watermelon radishes salsa and watermelon radishes covered

parchment paper to separate salmon blackened salmon

salmon fish taco office assembly salmon fish taco in action

And the final product looking pretty:

blackened salmon tacos with tomatillo salsa and watermelon radish with watermelon radish on the side

Blackened Salmon Fish Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa and Watermelon Radishes
Serves 2
Makes 6 Tacos

Blackened Salmon
1 pound salmon
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander

Preheat the broiler.  Place the salmon skin-side down on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil.  Combine all spices in a small bowl and stir well.  Spoon the spice mixture evenly over the salmon and pat into the skin.  Broil the salmon for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is flaky throughout.

Tomatillo Salsa
6 tomatillos, skins removed
1 small pepper (jalapeno or similar)
Juice from 1 lime
½ red onion
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped finely
½ teaspoon salt

Dice the tomatillos, pepper, and red onion into small pieces.  Add the lime, cilantro and salt and combine.  Set aside.

Assembling the Tacos
Blackened Salmon, flaked into small pieces and pin bones and skin removed
Tomatillo Salsa
1 watermelon radish or ½ head of red cabbage
Juice from ½ lime
½ teaspoon salt
6 corn tortillas

Chop the watermelon radish into matchstick size pieces or chop up the red cabbage.  Combine either vegetable with the juice from the lime and the salt.

Warm up the corn tortillas for a few seconds in a microwave or for a few minutes in an oven set to the lowest temperature.

Divide the blackened salmon among the six tortillas. Place the watermelon radish or cabbage over the salmon and then spoon tomatillo salsa over both.  Enjoy!

Beet Ravioli in Wonton Wrappers

Beet Ravioli in Wonton Wrappers

This beet ravioli in wonton wrappers demonstrates my truce with beets.  I know I’m not the only one who was forced to eat beets as a kid and found the absolutely revolting.  It wasn’t until Clay and I joined a CSA when we lived in Southern Oregon that I even realized that beets come in more varieties than the boiled-to-death red kind.  I also discovered through that experience that beets can be very versatile – they can be used in chocolate dishes (which masks the intense mineral flavor pretty well); they can be sliced thinly and eaten raw; and then can be baked into beet chips.  They can also be part of many pasta dishes – from gnocchi to orecchiette to ravioli.

I used salt roasted beets with rosemary from Alexandra Cooks as the base for this recipe.  The rosemary gives this a heavy hit of flavor.  The recipe itself is fairly quick to put together, not counting the time it takes to roast the beets.  I strongly advise cooking just a few of the ravioli at a time, as they can be a bit fragile and you don’t want to lose all of the beet filling.  While the beet ravioli in wonton wrappers can be sauced with pesto or another pasta sauce, I’m fond of serving them with a drizzle of olive oil, a handful of walnuts, and some freshly grated parmesan.

just beets

beets in salt prebake

beet ravioli filling

beet ravioli with one filled

beet ravioli with wonton wrappers up close

Beet Ravioli in Wonton Wrappers
Serves 4

2 large beets, roasted or boiled (link to how to salt roast beets here)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
18 wonton wrappers

With a potato masher or fork, mash the beets until they become a smooth mix.  Add the grated parmesan cheese and mix well.

Place 9 wonton wrappers on a flat surface.  Place 1 tablespoon of the beet filling in the center of a wonton.  Repeat with the remaining beet filling and wontons.

Place a small bowl of water next to your work area.  Have 9 more wonton wrappers nearby. Using your finger, moisten a ¼ inch around the edge of a wonton.  Take a second wonton wrapper and place it over the wonton/beet filling.  Press around the edges to ensure a good seal.  Continue with the remaining wontons/beet filling.

When you are done, you can either freeze the ravioli or cook immediately.  Bring a saucepan of water to a boil.  Drop each ravioli into the water gently – cook no more than four at a time to avoid them sticking together or leaking.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from the boiling water.

These can be served with pesto or with other pasta sauces.  I’m a fan of drizzling with a little olive oil, tossing on a few walnuts and grating a little bit of parmesan over the top.

Chipotle Chicken

Chipotle Chicken

Post 4th of July holiday (read: post ribs, corn with butter, and rootbeer floats), I am ready for a light and quick meal.  Lately, I’ve been experimenting with baking chicken breasts that have been spiced up and marinated for at least an hour.  They are quick and easy, in that prep time takes about ten minutes, I can wander off and read for an hour and drink a glass of wine, and then can throw the chicken breast (marinade and all) in the oven for another half hour and dinner is then served.  This latest variation, chipotle chicken breasts, can be sliced up and added to a salad or tossed into a tortilla with cheese to make an easy quesadilla.

I’ve also become slightly obsessed with ground chipotle chili as a spice.  I found it at Whole Foods in a cute little spice box and have been adding it to the marinade for these chicken breasts, as well as in barbecue sauce, as a rub for meat, and in eggs.  It’s smokier than regular chili powder and brightens up everything.

chipotle chicken

chipotle chicken salad

Chipotle Chicken
Serves 2, but could easily be doubled

2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 shallot, minced
Juice from one lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine all the ingredients from the smoked paprika to the olive oil in an oven safe baking dish.  Add the chicken and coat with the marinade.  Cover and let marinade in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  When the chicken breasts are marinated, place in the oven and bake for twenty minutes (to 170 degrees on a meat thermometer).

Easy Baked Chicken Breasts

Easy Baked Chicken Breasts

Last week was one of those weeks that I just didn’t feel very enthusiastic about anything, particularly cooking.  By Friday night, I was just tired – it had been raining all week, and as much as I love rain and love the PNW, I’m not a huge fan of this occasional season called Juneuary.  Sometimes, even a PNW girl needs some sunshine.  All of this is a long way of saying that on Friday, I just wanted to make an easy dinner, curl up under a blanket, have a glass of wine, and just be done.

Fortunately, I have just the recipe for such a situation.   Easy baked chicken breasts are just that: easy.  They can be accompanied by all manner of roasted veggie, including potatoes, green beans, cauliflower, and my personal favorite, fava beans.  I had fava beans from the farmer’s market from the previous Sunday, and I have an abundance of herbs in the garden right now, so all of these combined, along with a little bit of easy focaccia, made for the perfect weekend night meal.

parsley herbs

basil oregano

(Showing off my herb garden – all in pots and all doing better than I expected).

This is designed to be an easy meal for two, but could easily be adjusted to make more.

chicken and fava chicken fava focaccia

Easy Baked Chicken Breasts
Serves 2

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 – 3 tablespoons finely chopped herbs (I used basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme and parsley)
2 or 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
A few grinds of fresh pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine the herbs, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Put the chicken breasts on a foil lined baking sheet and spread the herb and oil combination over them with a spoon.

You can also put vegetables on the baking sheet with the chicken – just keep an eye on them as you cook the chicken as they may cook at different speeds.

Bake the chicken for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees.

Chicken, Asparagus, Roasted Garlic Pizza

Chicken, Asparagus, Roasted Garlic Pizza

chicken pizza slicesroasted garlic

One thing that has been noticeably different at the farmer’s market here in my new little corner of the PNW is that asparagus is in abundance and has been for over a month now.  It’s possible that this shouldn’t be a surprise, but in my last corner of the PNW, asparagus was available, but always at a premium – you either had to have a good enough relationship with the farmer to reserve asparagus in advance or be certain to get to the market right at the start at 9 a.m., because by 9:15, all the asparagus would be gone already.  I’ve also noticed that it is actually possible to get a bit tired of asparagus.  I seem to have used asparagus in everything, from eggs to pizza.

This recipe is the last hurrah for me with asparagus.  I’m on to binging on strawberries from here and getting ready for the inevitable surge of later summer vegetables.  This is also one of my go-to cook once and eat twice recipes for when I have leftover roast chicken. 

chicken pizza going in oven
chicken pizza complete

Chicken, Asparagus, and Roasted Garlic Pizza

Serves 6

Pizza Dough

1 cup warm water

2 ¼ teaspoons yeast (or one packet)

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups flour

White Sauce

1 tablespoon butter

1 head roasted garlic – roasted garlic squeezed out into a paste

2 tablespoons flour

¾ cup half and half

¾ cup shredded cheese (I usually use a combination of parmesan and mozzarella)

Toppings

½ pound asparagus, chopped into small pieces

1 cup diced roasted chicken

¼ cup finely chopped herbs (some combination of rosemary, thyme, chives, oregano, parsley)

1 cup shredded cheese

Start by making the pizza dough.  Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let sit for a few minutes until the yeast becomes foamy.  Add the olive oil to the yeast, and then one cup flour and the salt.  Mix.  Continue to add flour until the dough comes together in a shaggy ball.  Turn out on a well-surface and knead for 6 to 8 minutes.  The dough should be a bit sticky still but not so much so that it sticks to your hands or to the surface.  Let the dough rise for an hour in a bowl covered with oiled plastic wrap or a few clean tea towels.  Punch the dough down and let it rise for another hour.

When the dough has risen for the second hour, prepare a baking sheet by oiling thoroughly.  Spread the dough out on the baking sheet, gently pulling and rolling, letting it rest several times.  When the dough is the size you want your pizza to be, cover with a tea towel and set aside while you make the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and add the roast garlic.  Stir a few times and then whisk the flour in a little bit at a time.  Once the flour is fully incorporated, let cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for a minute.  Add the half and half slowly, continuing to stir until it is fully incorporated. Continue to stir until the sauce starts to thicken.  Take the sauce off the burner and stir in the cheese.

Spread the sauce over the dough.  Spread the toppings evenly over the sauce and sprinkle the cheese over the top.  Bake at 450 degrees for twenty minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden and the crust of the pizza dough is golden.  Let rest for five minutes and then serve.

I’m linking this post to a blogging challenge: Cook Once and Eat Twice hosted by Corina at Searching for Spice.

cookonceeattwice-2

Open Face Meatball Sandwiches and Home Made Sub Sandwich Rolls

Open Face Meatball Sandwiches and Home Made Sub Sandwich Rolls

I’m at that time of the year when I’m working frantically to use up everything that I canned from last year to make way for the upcoming produce season. Last year, I canned nearly one hundred pounds of tomatoes. By no stretch of the imagination was this particularly intentional: we planted eighteen tomato plants last year with the intention of trying to grow around sixty pounds of tomatoes. However, we got the plants in late in June and by August, I had no faith that they would ever bother to ripen, so went and picked around fifty pounds of tomatoes to can at one of our u-pick farms.

Given that here in the PNW, we have a growing season for tomatoes into late September, it should have been obvious to me that the tomatoes I’d grown would all ripen up right around the first part of October, leaving me with slightly more than fifty pounds of home grown tomatoes with which to content. I was glad for the surplus, though. With the u-pick tomatoes, I’d made Bloody Mary mix and ample jars of marinara. With the home grown tomatoes, I made basic diced tomatoes, so I have my bases covered for all recipes that involve marinara, as well as using diced tomatoes to make soups, stews and, chicken tikka masala.

This recipe is part of the effort to use up the canned goods before August rolls around again. It’s a bit of a two in one, though really, the meatball sandwich component takes minimal work compared to the rolls.

sandwich_rolls

Sub Sandwich Rolls
Makes 6 rolls

1 cup warm water
2 ¼ teaspoons yeast (one package of active yeast)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon salt
3 ½ cups bread flour

In a medium sized bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for about 10 minutes while the yeast becomes bubbly and creamy.

In a small bowl, combine one cup of the flour, the butter, and the salt. Crumble with your fingers until the butter is mixed in and creates small crumbs. Add this mixture, one egg, and the remaining flour to the water and yeast. Stir to combine.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead the dough for six to eight minutes. Return the dough to the medium sized bowl and cover with plastic wrap or several tea towels. Place in a warm spot in the kitchen and let rise for an hour.

After an hour, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the dough into six equal pieces and shape into sub sandwich shaped rolls. Place these on a parchment covered baking sheet and cover with several tea towels. Let rise for another hour.

Beat the remaining egg with about a tablespoon of water. After the second rise is complete, brush the rolls with the egg and water mixture. Bake the rolls for 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls sound hollow when tapped.

meatball_sub

Open Face Meatball Sandwiches
Serves 2

Four freezer meatballs
1 16 ounce jar of marinara sauce
4 slices Swiss cheese
¼ cup shredded parmesan or Asiago cheese
2 sub sandwich rolls

Combine the marinara sauce and meatballs in a small saucepan and simmer until both sauce and meatballs are heated through. Slice the sub sandwich rolls in half and place one slice of cheese on each half (cut the cheese slices in half to get full coverage on each roll). Cut each meatball in half and place two halves on each piece of sub roll. Spoon marinara over the top and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

 

Freezer Meatballs

Freezer Meatballs

This is one of my favorite freezer meals. These meatballs are incredibly versatile – in addition to the expected spaghetti and meatballs, we’ve also used these to make meatball sandwiches (recipe coming up tomorrow), meatball calzones, and meatball pizza. I particularly like to combine these with my homemade and home canned marinara.

The ingredients are mixed together in two stages.  You can certainly chop up the onion and parsley in a food processor to create a finer dice.  The final mixed product will look something like this:

freezermeatball2

Once everything is combined, create the meatballs.  I tend to make large meatballs, generally using two to a serving for spaghetti and meatballs.  You can certainly make them smaller and spread them out on two baking sheets instead of one.

freezermeatball1

We tend to taste test at least one or two once they meatballs are cooked and frozen.

cooked meatballs

Freezer Meatballs
Makes 36 large meatballs

2 onions, finely chopped
2 bunches parsley, finely chopped
2 pounds ground beef
1 ½ pounds ground pork or Italian sausage
4 cups Panko breadcrumbs
½ cup Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 eggs
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Siracha hot sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the onions, parsley, beef, pork, Panko, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Make several indentations in this mixture and add the eggs, Worcestershire, and Siracha. Mix thoroughly.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make meatballs by pinching out a bit of the mixture and rolling into a ball. The meatballs can go on the baking sheet with very little space in between.

Bake for about an hour or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Cool the meatballs and freeze on the baking sheet. Once the meatballs are frozen, they can be stored in freezer bags until you are ready to use them.

 

 

Baked Chicken

Baked Chicken

This is one of my absolute favorite, easy go-to recipes. We often have this on a weekend night, as it is so easy to get the chicken prepped, through it in the oven, and then go off and do something else, like read a good book. I’m especially fond of the recipe, as it usually nets three or four meals, depending on what I do with the leftovers.

bakedchicken5

Baked Chicken

Serving size will depend on use – we typically get three meals out of a 15-pound chicken

1 whole chicken around 15 pounds, neck and giblets removed
1 small onion
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 sprigs of rosemary
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons coarsely ground salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the onion in half. Put one half aside for now, and chop the other to a small dice. Chop two of the garlic cloves about as finely as the onion. Take the leaves off one sprig of rosemary and chop coarsely. Combine chopped onion, garlic, and rosemary in a small bowl and add olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir. Set aside.

Slice the remaining onion into four large pieces. Place the whole chicken in a cast iron skillet or other large oven-safe pan. Gently loosen the skin on the chicken breast. Take the olive oil mixture and pour under the loosened skin, gently pushing so that it goes under as much of the skin as possible. Take the large chunks of onion, the remaining garlic cloves, and the remaining rosemary sprigs and use these to stuff the chicken’s cavity.bakedchicken2bakedchicken1

Bake the chicken for fifteen minutes at 425 degrees. Drop the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 1 ½ hours to 2 hours, depending on the size of the chicken. The chicken is done when its internal temperature hits 185 degrees. In the last half hour or so, keep an eye on the chicken – if the skin is getting too crispy, drop the oven temperature to 325 to finish baking.

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