Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sauteed Kale

I love greens of all kind, but this may be my new favorite. I think that this is very good served with a rich meat dish like the beef short ribs or osso buco.

Serves 4
1 pkg of kale, deveined and washed twice
1 onion, sliced in half and then sliced into half moons
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
salt, to taste
sugar, 1 tsp or so
1-2 tbl red wine vinegar

First, pull the kale leaves off the big, tough stems. Then place in a big bowl and fill with water. Agitate it and then lift the kale out. Discard the water and any sand. Wash it again to be sure that it's sand-free.

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion, a sprinkle of salt, and saute. When the onion is translucent, add the garlic.  Finally, add the kale, season with salt, and turn it to coat in the garlicky, oniony oil. You may need to add a little water at this point, depending on how much water was on the kale. Cover and lower the heat. Let it cook for 10 minutes or so, until the kale is tender. Check it every so often to make sure that you still have some water in the skillet.  When the kale is tender, uncover and season with salt, sugar, and vinegar. If there is too much water, turn up the heat and let it evaporate.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Easy Hot Bean Dip

I made this yesterday afternoon, while we watched the Auburn / LSU game. (War Eagle!) It's super easy, and very good. I didn't garnish it with green onion, but it would look prettier. If you don't have refried beans, you can start with pinto beans or black beans and puree them before adding the remaining ingredients.  You may also need to add more onion, garlic, and cumin.

1 can refried beans

1/2 chopped onion
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
2-4 tbl chopped fresh cilantro stem
1-2 tbl chopped jalapeno (or to taste)
1/3 jar Pace Picante sauce
1/2 or more cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp cumin powder (or to taste)
ground black pepper to taste
(chopped green onion and/or cilantro for garnish)

Stir all in a saucepan over low heat until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through. Garnish with green onion. Serve hot with tortilla chips or fritos.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Easy Chicken and Potato Bake

I made this tonight for dinner and thought that it was very, very good. It's really simple; the prep takes no time at all. I think that you could probably use whatever combination of herbs and spices that you like. You could certainly, for example, use lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano for a "Greek" take on things. It would also be nice to add sliced red peppers and garlic to the potatoes. I made this for 3-4 people, but by adding another potato and another chicken thigh per person you can increase the recipe.  Amounts are not too important in this recipe--it's the method.
Preheat oven to 375 Convect Roast or 400 conventional
For 3-4
4 chicken thighs
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
2 tbl Marsala wine
2-3 tsp dry rosemary
salt & pepper
3 Idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1/2 onion sliced

In the fridge marinate chicken thighs in oil, wine, rosemary, liberal sprinklings of salt & pepper.  Let marinate at least 1/4 hour and up to all day. (If you're using any acid, like lemon juice, limit marination to 3 hours.) Line a roasting pan with Release aluminum foil and dump in potatoes and onions.  Sprinkle on a little olive oil and season with salt & pepper.   Dump in all the thighs and arrange skin side up.  Roast for about 1/2 hour or until nice and brown.  Reduce heat to 325 and roast another 15 - 30 minutes. Serve with a tossed salad for an easy meal.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Emeril's Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

I had this last night at Joe and Mary Beth's new house, overlooking the river. It was rich and succulent--the perfect meal for a fall evening--without being heavy. Mary Beth used boneless, skinless chicken thighs to really lighten up the recipe. If you don't have a slow cooker, you could certainly finish it on top of the stove or in the oven on a 250.

4 servings

8 chicken thighs (2 1/2 to 3 pounds total)
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups yellow onions, sliced
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (28 ounces), crushed, with juices
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Cooked pasta (optional), for serving
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (optional), grated, for serving

Season the chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon of the salt, the black pepper, and Essence. Dredge lightly in 1/4 cup of the flour.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet and, when hot, cook the chicken thighs until golden on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer thighs to the slow cooker. To the same skillet add the onions, mushrooms and red pepper flakes, and cook until softened and lightly caramelized, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the garlic, oregano, rosemary, bay leaf and remaining 2 tablespoons flour and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, and remaining salt, and stir to combine. Transfer to the slow cooker, cover and cook until chicken is fork-tender, 4 to 4 1/2 hours on high.

Stir in the basil and adjust seasoning if necessary. Let sit on warm for 10 minutes, then serve over cooked pasta, garnished with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Emeril's Essence
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Mix all ingredients together and store in a spare spice jar.