Coconut Milk Roasted Chicken

Coconut Milk Roasted Chicken

I had a couple of whole chickens in the freezer that I wanted to cook now that fall is here and I need the space in the freezer for bags of foods from my summer crops.

This recipe follows in my goal to make tasty dishes even when “there’s nothing to eat in this house” so I opened the pantry and gathered leftover produce and made a roasted chicken with tons of Thai/Indian flavors that was a huge hit at my home.

I know roast chicken and white rice isn’t the easiest to photograph BUT, this was definitely a tasty dish that took about 20 minutes to prepare (plus roasting time).

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 pound whole chicken, washed under cool water and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 tsp. each salt and black pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped lemongrass
  • 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garam masala (use curry powder if you don’t have)
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 13-ounce can coconut milk (I used light)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or 14.5-ounce can)
  • Slurry – 1 Tbsp. cornstarch whisked with ¼ cup water
  • Squeeze of lime juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Rub the chicken all over with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, combine garlic, lemongrass, ginger, thyme and olive oil to create a paste.
  4. Rub half the garlic mixture on the chicken, reserving the other half. You can use the chicken right away or store it for a day, wrapped in the fridge.
  5. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, allow the vegetable oil to warm for a minute. Add the chicken, breast-side down and brown for about 5 minutes then turn and brown the other side of the chicken for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken from the Dutch oven to a platter.
  7. To the hot Dutch oven, add the second half of the garlic mixture, the paprika, the garam masala and the cayenne pepper and cook for a minute until fragrant.
  8. Add the diced onion to the spices and cook until softened, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  9. Add the coconut milk and the broth to the onion mixture and stir.
  10. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven, cover and place in the oven. Cook for 1 ½ – 2 hours, until very tender, basting the chicken with the broth periodically.
  11. Remove the chicken from the pot to a serving dish and place the Dutch oven on the stove over high heat. When the broth is simmering, add the corn starch slurry and whisk for 2 minutes until the sauce has thicken.
  12. Carve the chicken and serve with Easy Basmati Rice and the sauce. I love adding a squeeze of lime juice to this dish, but it’s optional.

Serves 6.

 

Inspired by this recipe.

Salmon with Maple Glaze

Salmon with Maple Glaze

I’m Canadian – you know I have to put maple syrup on things! This is a VERY simple and delicious recipe for salmon, which can be a boring fish. Serve this with green beans or asparagus and you’re in business on busy weeknights.

Don’t have a grill? Live in the frozen tundra and don’t want to go outside? Sear the salmon skin side down in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat then finish in the oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped ginger
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 salmon fillets, 6 ounces each

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the brown sugar, maple syrup and butter. Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and ginger.  Let cool.
  2. Preheat grill to medium heat.  Brush salmon skin with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Place the salmon skin side down on the grill. Brush some of the glaze over the salmon fillets.  Grill for 10 to 12 minutes to medium doneness, with the lid of the grill closed.

Serves 2.

Pulled Pork on a Weber Kettle Grill

Pulled Pork on a Weber Kettle Grill

I’ve been smoking pork shoulder/butt for a few years on the Weber kettle grill since I don’t have a smoker (yet). The pork is always super moist, flavorful and delicious, but a couple weeks ago, I decided to try the method by “MNLang” he posted on Instructables – wow, amazing!!

Smoked Butt

I followed the instructions very closely and I must admit, it was some of the best pulled pork I’ve had, and god knows I get around a pork butt.

Here are his instructions: http://www.instructables.com/id/Pulled-pork-on-a-Weber-kettle-grill/

Once I had my cooked/smoked pork, I made several dishes with it, including fabulous pulled pork sandwiches lightly dressed with my World’s Best BBQ Sauce. I also made some pulled pork quesadillas with grilled onions, sharp Cheddar and Jack cheeses, cilantro and salsa verde.

I hope you try this technique if you have a kettle grill. It’s definitely not a “set it and forget it” method, but it produces some of the best smoked pork you’ll be able to make without a smoker.

Cheers,

Veronique

Easy Shrimp and Grits

Easy Shrimp and Grits

I returned from being on the road for work for nearly a week and the first thing I did when I got home was to get in the kitchen to fix myself some lunch! I miss my kitchen when I’m away (yeah, I know, rough life eating at top restaurants and getting room service) – eating out gets old fast!

Today when I got back from Boston (such a great food town by the way), I made myself a comforting bowl of grits topped with spicy sautéed shrimps. Such yumminess and comfort in a bowl.

I used my Easy Cheesy White Grits recipe and topped that deliciousness with buttery, spicy sauteed shrimps – fabulous!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 bacon strips, finely chopped OR ¼ cup finely diced pancetta
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp. hot sauce, I used Frank’s Red Hot
  • 12 large shrimps, peeled and deveined, tails removed
  • Easy Cheesy White Grits recipe

Directions:

  1. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add the bacon or pancetta to the butter and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until just browned.
  3. Add the garlic to the bacon and cook for a minute, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the hot sauce to the buttery mixture and stir to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Add the shrimps and sauté until cooked, about 2 minutes per side.
  6. Divide the grits between two bowls and top with the shrimps and the sauce.

Makes two servings.

National Lobster Day Recipe

National Lobster Day Recipe

Today’s National Lobster Day and in its honor, I’m sharing a delectable lobster pasta recipe from a local New Jersey restaurant serving that appetizing dish.

Saffron Rigatoni with Lobster Coral Butter

Courtesy of Chef Seadon Shouse of Halifax, Hoboken

Main ingredients:

  • 3, 1 1/4 pounds lobsters
  • ½ pound royal trumpet mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup onions, small diced
  • 1 ½ cups lobster stock
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Saffron pasta dough ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 4 Tbsp. boiling water
  • Pinch saffron

Lobster coral butter ingredients:

  • 1 pound Lobster Bodies, cleaned
  • 2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ounce Fresh Lobster Coral (roe, not cooked), pureed

Directions:

For the Lobster

  1. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Salt the water as if it was ocean water.
  2. Place the live lobsters in the water and boil for 7 minutes.
  3. Remove the lobster and shock in ice water.
  4. Once cool, clean the meat out of the shells and cut into a large dice.

For the Lobster Coral Butter

  1. Melt 1lb of the butter in a medium sized pan and cook the lobster bodies in it on medium to low heat. You don’t want to brown or clarify the butter. You want it to still have the milk solids in it and be creamy. Cook for 30 minutes stirring often. Remove from heat and strain through a small holed china cap, making sure to extract all of the butter and lobster flavor out of the bodies. Cool the lobster flavored butter until solid.
  2. Combine the lobster butter with the remaining 1lb of butter and the lobster coral in the bowl of a mixer.
  3. Using the whisk attachment, whip the butter together until fluffy and smooth.

You will have more Lobster Coral Butter than you need for this recipe, but it freezes well.

For the Saffron Pasta

  1. Combine the boiling water with the saffron and let sit until it reached room temperature.
  2. Combine the egg with the saffron water.
  3. Place flour in a food processor and slowly add in the egg and water mixture until it is all combined.
  4. Remove and knead by hand until smooth and let rest, refrigerated and at least an hour before making pasta.

When making the pasta you can make any shaped pasta you like. I like rigatoni for this recipe so I make rigatoni with a pasta extruder.

To Finish the Dish

  1. Place a pot of salted water on the stove to come to a boil.
  2. While the water is heating up start to sweat the onions in a large skillet with a little olive oil.
  3. Once half way cooked add in the trumpet mushrooms and cook until golden brown.
  4. Add in the lobster stock and let reduce slightly.
  5. While stock is boiling, add in 4Tb of the Lobster Coral Butter, juice of half the lemon and some chopped parsley.
  6. Once the water is boiling start cooking the pasta. Cook until desired doneness, remove promptly and add to the skillet.
  7. Cook in the skillet for a minute so the pasta absorbs the sauce and then add in the diced lobster meat at the very end so you do not overcook the lobster.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 4.

Cheers,

Veronique

Easy Cheesy White Grits

Easy Cheesy White Grits

Easy Cheesy Grits

I make creamy polenta all the time, but for some reason, I don’t make southern-style cheesy grits that often. Some would say that polenta and white corn grits are the same thing, but for me, polenta is made using fine to medium ground yellow or white corn and southern-style grits are simply coarsely ground bits of white corn. In my polenta, I like to add Parmesan cheese. In my grits, I use sharp Cheddar.

This recipe yields four side dishes or two entrée portions of grits. You can eat them on their own of top them with sautéed shrimps and hot sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup white corn grits 
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. softened butter
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 4 tsp. softened butter, optional

Grits Cooking

Directions:

  • In a deep saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the grits in a slow, steady stream. Whisk to break up any lumps then add the salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching, then cover the pan and allow the grits to rest with the heat off for 5 more minutes.
  • Add the 4 tablespoons of butter and the cheese to the grits and stir until fully incorporated and creamy.
  • Top each of four servings with a teaspoon of soften butter, or each of two servings with 2 teaspoons, if using.

Cheers,

Veronique

Salmon with Avocado Mash – Not Really a Recipe

Salmon with Avocado Mash – Not Really a Recipe

This will be the first in a new series I’m going to do called “Not Really a Recipe”. These will be non-recipe posts that just give ideas on how to fix meals that are tasty and require very little work.

This dish is one I eat often…..blackened salmon topped with my Zesty Guacamole recipe. I use good quality salmon, sprinkle blackening seasonings on it, sear in a very hot cast iron pan, squirt some lime juice on and top with the guac. Simple, low-carb and most importantly, very tasty.

Let me know if you try this!

Cheers,

Veronique

Zoodles Shrimp Scampi

Zoodles Shrimp Scampi

Yes, I’m officially on the zoodles bandwagon. Not familiar with zoodles? They’re made by spiralizing vegetables and using as you would pasta. Many grocery stores even have already-prepared zoodle packages in the produce department – mine does. Zoodles are a good way to reduce carbohydrates intake, thus reducing high blood sugar – it’s why they grace my fridge every week instead of perfectly-cooked pasta.

In this dish, I’ve made a ‘standard’ scampi recipe and topped sautéed zucchini zoodles with it. It’s very tasty and I almost forgot I wasn’t eating delicious, starchy, al dente pasta (yeah, right LOL).

I know many don’t believe in cheese over fish/seafood but, what the heck, if it tastes good, use it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 cups zucchini zoodles
  • Pinch of salt and pepper for the zoodles
  • 1 stick of butter (8 Tbsp. or ½ cup)
  • 2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound of medium shrimp, shelled, deveined and tails removed
  • ½ tsp. each salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (optional, purist, just omit)

Directions:

  1. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the zoodles and the pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick to the pan. Set aside with a lid on the pan.
  2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring to prevent scorching. Add the shrimp, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and cook for 5 minutes, turning the shrimps periodically. Add the lemon and toss one last time.
  3. Divide the zoodles between two serving bowls, top with the buttery, garlic shrimp and sprinkle each bowl with parsley and cheese (if using).

Serves two.

Cheers,

Veronique

Easy Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy)

Easy Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy)

Beef Burgundy on Polenta

Warm weather’s on its way and with that, the end of slowly simmered or roasted dishes at our home. In anticipation of warmer days, I decided to make one of my favorite cold weather dishes: Boeuf Bourguignon or just beef cooked in Burgundy wine (I actually like a heavier wine for this dish, don’t judge).

If you haven’t invested in a heavy duty cast iron Dutch oven, just do it. You’ll use it all the time. If you want to, you could make the recipe through step 4 and throw everything in a slow cooker to cook for 8 hours. Up to you….I just love the long, slow simmered cook and the periodic stirring of the pot.

For you purists, this isn’t a very traditional recipe, just go along, it’s tasty. I served this dish over my Easy Creamy Polenta.

Ingredients:

  • 9 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 1 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 3 pounds beef chuck, cubed into large bite size pieces (you can find this already done in your grocery store)
  • 4 slices slab bacon, diced
  • 1 large Spanish onion, medium diced
  • 2 carrots, medium diced
  • 3 celery ribs, medium diced
  • 1 pound Cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 cups Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry full-bodied red wine
  • 32 ounces beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme

Directions:

  1. Warm 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat.
  2. Add the salt and pepper to the flour then sprinkle over the beef. Toss to coat then shake beef pieces to remove excess flour.
  3. Sear half the beef in the hot oil until browned, about 4 minutes total and then remove to a platter. Repeat with the second half of the beef and 3 more tablespoons of oil and transfer to the first batch of beef on the platter and set aside.
  4. Lower the heat to medium-high, add the bacon and cook stirring occasionally until a little browned, 4 minutes. Add the onions, the carrots and the celery to the bacon and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute. Add the wine and broth and scrape all the brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Add the beef back to the pot with the bay leaves and the thyme.
  5. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover tightly and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to low and cook for another 2 hours, covered.
  6. At this point, you can serve the beef or cool the pot completely and refrigerate overnight. To reheat the next day, an hour prior to serving, take the pot out of the fridge and preheat oven to 275 degrees. Warm the beef in the oven for about an hour, basting the meat with the sauce every 15 minutes.

Makes 6 hearty servings.

Easy Beef Burgundy (Boeuf Bourguignon)
Print
Ingredients
  1. • 9 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  2. • 6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, for dredging
  3. • 1 tsp. each salt and pepper
  4. • 3 pounds beef chuck, cubed into large bite size pieces (you can find this already done in your grocery store)
  5. • 4 slices slab bacon, diced
  6. • 1 large Spanish onion, medium diced
  7. • 2 carrots, medium diced
  8. • 3 celery ribs, medium diced
  9. • 1 pound Cremini mushrooms, chopped
  10. • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  11. • 3 cups Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry full-bodied red wine
  12. • 32 ounces beef broth
  13. • 2 bay leaves
  14. • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
Instructions
  1. 1. Warm 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat.
  2. 2. Add the salt and pepper to the flour then sprinkle over the beef. Toss to coat then shake beef pieces to remove excess flour.
  3. 3. Sear half the beef in the hot oil until browned, about 4 minutes total and then remove to a platter. Repeat with the second half of the beef and 3 more tablespoons of oil and transfer to the first batch of beef on the platter and set aside.
  4. 4. Lower the heat to medium-high, add the bacon and cook stirring occasionally until a little browned, 4 minutes. Add the onions, the carrots and the celery to the bacon and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute. Add the wine and broth and scrape all the brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Add the beef back to the pot with the bay leaves and the thyme.
  5. 5. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover tightly and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to low and cook for another 2 hours, covered.
  6. 6. At this point, you can serve the beef or cool the pot completely and refrigerate overnight. To reheat the next day, an hour prior to serving, take the pot out of the fridge and preheat oven to 275 degrees. Warm the beef in the oven for about an hour, basting the meat with the sauce every 15 minutes.
Food & Wine Chickie Insider http://www.foodandwinechickie.com/
Creamy Soft Polenta

Creamy Soft Polenta

Polenta is comfort in a bowl and ultra-easy to make. It’s a perfect complement for hearty toppings like short ribs, boeuf Bourguignon or sautéed mixed mushrooms. It’s also delicious served on its own with an extra grating of Parmesan.

This week, I served my polenta with rich, delectable boeuf Bourguignon (beef in Burgundy sauce) and it was fabulous. Since it was just two of us, I simply halved the below recipe. The polenta will congeal into the shape of the dish it’s stored in so I often make the recipe below and store the leftovers in a square container in the fridge then ‘unmold’, cut into squares and pan fry slabs of cheesy deliciousness to serve with grilled Portobello mushrooms.

I use a combination of medium and finely-ground corn meal for smoothness with just a bit of texture but you can use a cup of either one instead. No need to buy two kinds of corn meal if you don’t want to.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup medium stone ground corn meal
  • ½ cup fine stone ground corn meal   
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus 1 Tbsp. for garnish
  • 1 cup white cheddar (optional but best)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Polenta on Beef Burgundy

Directions:

  1. Over medium-high heat in a heavy saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and reduce heat to medium. While whisking, add the corn meal in a slow, steady stream. Whisk vigorously for a minute, until thickened a bit. Lower heat to medium-low and cook covered for 15 minutes, stirring every minute or so in order to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add the butter and stir until fully incorporated.
  3. Add the Parmesan and stir until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the cheddar (if using) and stir until fully incorporated.
  5. Serve immediately with a dusting of pepper and the reserved Parmesan.

Makes 4 servings.

Easy Creamy Polenta
Print
Ingredients
  1. • 4 cups water
  2. • 1 tsp. salt
  3. • ½ cup medium stone ground corn meal
  4. • ½ cup fine stone ground corn meal
  5. • 4 Tbsp. butter
  6. • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus 1 Tbsp. for garnish
  7. • 1 cup white cheddar (optional but best)
  8. • Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. 1. Over medium-high heat in a heavy saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and reduce heat to medium. While whisking, add the corn meal in a slow, steady stream. Whisk vigorously for a minute, until thickened a bit. Lower heat to medium-low and cook covered for 10 minutes, stirring every minute or so in order to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan.
  2. 2. Add the butter and stir until fully incorporated.
  3. 3. Add the Parmesan and stir until fully incorporated.
  4. 4. Add the cheddar (if using) and stir until fully incorporated.
  5. 5. Serve immediately with a dusting of pepper.
Food & Wine Chickie Insider http://www.foodandwinechickie.com/