Category: Gluten-Free

Roasted Mushrooms with Fresh Herbs and Garlic

In a prior video we demonstrated how to clean mushrooms. Now that you’ve got a quick and easy way to clean lots of mushrooms, here’s a recipe for Roasted Mushrooms with Fresh Herbs and Garlic.

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Roasted mushrooms with fresh herbs and garlic is a simple dish that can be used in many ways. Serve as a starter course with crusty bread to sop up those tasty juices. Put them in a salad, warm, and use the juice in the vinaigrette. Top meat, chicken or eggs with the mushrooms. Eat them as a side dish. Use your imagination and you’ll find lots of different ways to put this recipe to good use.

Watch the Roasted Mushrooms with Fresh Herbs and Garlic here.

 

 

Fig and Goat Cheese Spread

appetizer

Entertaining in the summer should be easy. The hot days make you a little lazy and, of course, you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen when you can be outdoors! This quick and easy Fig and Goat Cheese Spread fits the bill for laid-back outdoor living.

appetizer

The sweetness of the figs is a great foil for the tart goat cheese. Use a fork to mix the fig jam into room temperature goat cheese, but don’t combine thoroughly, leave streaks throughout.

Include the spread on a cheese or charcuterie board. It’s also great in lieu of butter on a tasty loaf of bread.

The little charcuterie plate I put together here includes some Genoa salami and sopressata, the saltiness of these meats with the sweet and tart spread go very well together. Add a little fruit and some sour cornichons and pickled onions and you’ve covered all the taste profiles on one small plate!

appetizer

See out post on how to make crostini; omit the cheese step.

Happy 4th of July!

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Fig & Goat Cheese Spread

Fig & Goat Cheese spread couldn’t be easier to make and it’s really delicious. Use it on a cheese board or use on crusty bread instead of butter.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: generous 1/2 cup 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fig spread or jam

Instructions

  1. Gently mix the goat cheese and fig spread together, but don’t completely combine. Leave streaks of both throughout.
  2. Serve on crostini or crackers or crusty bread

 

 

Potato Packets

potato packets

Growing up I spent many weekends at my girlfriend Nancy’s family cottage on Honeoye Lake in upstate NY. We frequently grilled on the weekend and Mrs. D (Nancy’s mom) made these delicious individual potato packets to be grilled along with the chicken or steak.

I never forgot about them and started making them for my kids; they loved them. Over the years, I’ve adapted the recipe to include onions and other vegetables and I make them in larger packets.

potato packets

I particularly like red potatoes. Wash and cut into thin slices with the skin on. Thinly slice onion and bell peppers. Cut zucchini in slightly larger chunks; it cooks quickly. Season generously with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Toss and wrap tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil.

potato packets

Be careful not to puncture the foil, the steam aids in the cooking and the high heat creates a little caramelization.

potato packets

Turn every few minutes for even cooking. Takes about 15 minutes for large packet. Open immediately otherwise the vegetables get soggy and place in a serving bowl.

This is a great summer recipe. Make ahead and keep in the refrigerator. Grill the entire dinner and no pots and pans!

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Potato Packets

Zucchini chunks work well as do thinly sliced bell peppers, but don’t hesitate to add something you enjoy more. The flavors meld together and the potatoes are a wonderful side dish for any grilled meat, fish or poultry!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Vegan/Vegetarian
  • Method: Grilling
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 medium red potatoes, thinly sliced (about ¼-inch)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (about ½-inch)
  • 1 medium zucchini, trimmed, cut into quarters lengthwise and into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried bouquet garni, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Place two long sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil on the counter. Pour 1 ½ teaspoons oil in the center of each sheet.
  3. Place the potatoes, onion, pepper and zucchini on top of the oil.
  4. Sprinkle the vegetables with one half each salt, pepper and bouquet garni.
  5. Use the ends of the foil to help you “toss” the vegetables, by sliding back and forth, to coat the ingredients.
  6. Bring the long ends of the foil together, making flattish packets for even cooking, and fold the ends over a couple of times for a tight seal, just as if you were wrapping a sandwich.
  7. Turn and tightly crimp the ends.
  8. Use another sheet to double wrap. Place the sealed side down first, this offers a little protection if you happen to rip the outer layer with your tongs, and repeat the wrapping process.
  9. Place the packets on the preheated grill and cook for about 15 minutes, turning every 3 minutes to prevent burning. Use a fork to gently puncture the packet to see if the potatoes are soft.
  10. NOTE: The potatoes primarily steam, but some caramelization will occur if your grill is hot enough.
  11. Remove packets and open carefully, lots of steam is released. Slide the potatoes into a warm serving bowl and scrape any pieces that stick to the bottom of the packet, they’re tasty!

Notes

Prepare the packets in advance, just refrigerate until ready to grill. Cook an extra 3-4 minutes to compensate for the cold temperature.

 

 

 

Garlic Rosemary Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb

Boneless leg of lamb

Try this  Garlic Rosemary Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb or your next special occasion, such as a birthday!

Boneless leg of lamb

Sear to brown all sides.

Birthdays in our family were relatively low key, unless you were my brother. We didn’t have parties, unless you were my brother. We didn’t get presents, unless you were my brother. What we did get, unless you were my brother, was the dinner of your choice. My father and I have birthdays that are only a few days apart and we both wanted leg of lamb, always. We’re also a pie family, unless you’re my brother, so homemade fresh peach pie was also our choice. Our birthdays are late September/early October – peach season!

My brother on the other hand, likes to celebrate his birthday. He would go around the neighborhood and invite all the kids to his party. On the day of his birthday, he’d tell Mom that all these kids were coming over. You’d think that Mom and I would have caught on after a while, but we were always blindsided

Boneless leg of lamb

Rub the marinade all over.

Tom, my brother, who by the way still celebrates his birthdays in big ways, has a July birthday. The bakeries in Rochester were closed in July back in the day. There were no big supermarkets that had bakeries either. Mom and I were always running around to the penny candy store looking for goody-bag fillings and trying desperately to get a cake, a Carvel ice cream always fit the bill. Somehow we always managed to pull it off and had fun doing so. It became comical.

Boneless leg of lamb

Roast low and slow. Cover and let rest 10-20 minutes before slicing.

Dad and I stuck to our leg of lamb and peach pie routine for many years. I was reminding them  about this recently, but they are both 90 and seem to have forgotten that tradition and my brother’s birthday antics. I’m visiting him soon and am going to see if he remembers!

Boneless leg of lamb

Don’t forget to remove the butcher’s twine!

This is my favorite version of a leg of lamb. I love the flavors of the rosemary, garlic and Dijon mustard with the slight gaminess of the lamb. This cooking method is low and slow. As you’ll see in the video, the outcome is an evenly cooked roast that is very juice. My mouth is watering just writing about it!

Boneless leg of lamb

Slice and move to a warm platter.

Click here for meat and poultry roasting chart and safe minimum cooking temperatures.

Watch the video for Garlic Rosemary Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb here.

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Garlic Rosemary Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb

Boneless leg of lamb

This low and slow method of roasting provides an evenly cooked and juicy roast. I found that 25 minutes per pound worked well at the 275 degrees F. My four-pound roast was medium rare (135 degrees F) after 1 hour 20 minutes. I had left the roast on the kitchen counter for 2 hours before roasting.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 mins
  • Yield: 10 portions 1x
  • Category: Lamb
  • Method: Roasting
Scale

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 6 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 four-pound boneless leg of lamb
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Garnish
  • Several fresh rosemary sprigs

Instructions

  1. Line a 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking sheet with foil.
  2. Combine the oil, mustard, rosemary and garlic in a small bowl.
  3. Roll and tie the roast with butcher twine, or ask your butcher to do it for you.
  4. Generously season the roast all over with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat a skillet large enough to hold the roast over medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and swirl across the bottom. Lay the fatty side of the lamb on the bottom of the pan and sear for 3 minutes.
  6. Turn one quarter and sear 3 minutes, repeat 2 more times with a quarter turn each.
  7. Place a good dollop of the marinade on the lined baking sheet and then place the lamb, fatty side up, on the marinade. Scoop the remaining marinade on top of the roast and spread all over the remaining 3 sides.
  8. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  9. Bring the lamb out of the refrigerator about 2 hours before roasting. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F about 15 minutes before cooking.
  10. Place in the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours for medium rare. Use a thermometer to check internal temps.
  11. Let rest for 10-20 minutes. Tent with foil if the weather is cool.
  12. Slice, place on a warm platter and garnish with rosemary sprigs.

 

 

Licorice Chicken Kabobs

chicken kabobs

I make a roast chicken with tarragon, lemon and garlic that is one of my all-time favorites. I wondered about doing something similar on the grill with kabobs but thought the marinade would need a boost to intensify the licorice flavor. The logical addition seemed to be a licorice liqueur, I used Sambuca. I wondered what to call this recipe, Licorice Chicken Kabobs came to mind and I Googled to see if I was crazy, but lo and behold there are a few licorice chicken recipes out there!

chicken kabobs

I chose  zucchini and yellow summer squash in lieu of the ubiquitous bell peppers. On the first try, the squash pieces were undercooked. The next round I steamed the squash for a few minutes. Please don’t boil; these vegetables have a high water content and get soggy when cooked directly in water.

chicken kabob

The best size is one-half inch slices. If the slices are larger than a half-dollar, cut in half horizontally. The squash I had on hand were of varying sizes, from small to gargantuan, and therefore I had a mix of round and half-moon squash pieces. It worked just fine.

Kabob recipes generally call for one-inch cubes of meat. I find this too small. Timing both the meat and the vegetables on the same skewer is tricky and slightly larger pieces of meat are better. I cut the breast into two-inch pieces. The thighs are thinner and I cut each into four pieces and then doubled up when placing them on the skewer. This worked well in terms of getting both the meat and the vegetable cooked through without drying out the chicken.

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This is not a highly acidic marinade and can be made and applied to the chicken up to a day in advance.

chicken kabobs

To soak or not to soak the wood skewers.

I’ve tried it and it fails miserably. The skewers are thin; they dry out quickly and burn. Keeping a lower temp keeps them from charring up too much and helps you control the cooking of the chicken.

chicken kabobs

I’ve recently seen flat skewers, genius idea, and can’t imagine what took so long for someone to invent them! If all you have are the skinny round ones, double up and the kabobs won’t twirl when you turn them over.

Temperature is very important when grilling kabobs. Yes, you want to get a tasty initial sear on the meat, but these kabobs need a little time on the grill to cook through and remain moist. I started with a hot grill (about 500ºF). As soon as I put the kabobs on the grill, I set the temp to low (I’m using a gas grill) and left the top open. I did get some nice searing, and the chicken was cooked through and moist and the vegetables were tender with good texture, not mushy. I turned the kabobs about every minute or so for about 12 minutes.

Try our macaroni salad with these kabobs!

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Licorice Chicken Kabobs

chicken kabobs

Fire up the grill and skewer yourself a tasty dinner for any night of the week with our Licorice Chicken Kabobs and lots of veggies! While the kabobs rest, raise the heat on the grill and cook some corn on the cob. These are great at room temperature – so pack them up for a picnic.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 6 portions 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Grilling
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons licorice liqueur, such as Pernod or Sambuca
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken meat, cut into two-inch pieces
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices (two per skewer)
  • 1 small summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices (two per skewer)
  • 1 small red onion, quartered and separated (two per skewer)
  • 1821 cherry tomatoes (three per skewer)

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the oil, tarragon, liqueur, garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Toss the chicken pieces in the marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. This is not an acidic marinade and an overnight soak is okay.
  3. Place the squashes in a steamer basket of salted water, bring to a boil and cook for three to four minutes, until the squash gives a little when poked with a fork.
  4. Drain and rinse with cold water, toss onto a baking sheet lined with paper towel to soak up the water. Place the tomatoes and onion sections on the sheet as well.
  5. Use two, eight-inch wood skewers about a half an inch apart and begin to slide on the meat and veggies. You can do this in any order you like. My preference is have a cherry tomato on each end and in the middle, purely for esthetics. The onion goes on next, place the concave side facing in so it hugs the chicken. After the first piece of chicken, slide on summer squash, more chicken, zucchini, tomato, zucchini, chicken, summer squash, chicken, onion and tomato.
  6. Lay the skewers on a baking sheet and drizzle with any remaining marinade.
  7. Preheat your grill to high. As soon the kabobs are on the grill, set the temp to low and leave the top open. Turn them about every minute or so for about 12 minutes.
  8. Remove to a serving platter, cover and let sit for a few minutes. Long enough to grill some corn on the cob, but jack up the heat first!

 

Lemony Chickpea & Spinach Soup

soup

This Lemony Chickpea and Spinach Soup is chockful of vegetables: onions, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and spinach. The chickpeas offer a little heartiness and the lemon a light, refreshing finish.

We’ve come to the end of Lesson 1 and you’ve learned how to mince and dice lots of vegetables. If you’ve been actively following along, you now have the ingredients needed to make our delicious
Lemony Chickpea & Spinach Soup!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Soup

Watch the soup ideo!

 

 

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Soup

The soup is gluten free and dairy free (just skip the cheese garnish). This is a great soup to send the kids off to school with and don’t forget to take a thermos along to the office!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Soup

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Lemony Chickpea & Spinach Soup

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Soup

This Lemony Chickpea and Spinach Soup is chockful of vegetables: onions, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and spinach. The chickpeas offer a little heartiness and the lemon a light, refreshing finish.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Yield: about 2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Vegan/Vegetarian
  • Method: Soup
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups minced onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 cup minced carrots (4 carrots)
  • 1 cup minced celery (4 stalks)
  • red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced cloves of garlic (about 2 large cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cans (x ounces each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ten-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach
  • Garnish
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven pan over medium heat.
  2. Stir in the onions, carrots, celery, pepper, salt and pepper flakes. Cover and sweat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally; if the onions are browning, lower the heat a bit.
  3. Stir in the garlic and jalapeno and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the stock, chickpeas and spinach, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest.
  6. Garnish each bowl with a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional.

Notes

Don’t add the lemon juice during cooking – the flavor cooks away.

 

 

How To: Caramelize Onions

Caramelized onions

It’s not a complicated process to caramelize onions, but it does require your full attention. Don’t be alarmed by the number of onions this recipe calls for, once the onions are cooked, they reduce by
three quarters: 16 cups or 4 pounds of raw onion become four cups of caramelized onion!

A heavy-bottomed pan is best, it holds the heat, creates a barrier from the direct flame and cooks the onions evenly. Heat up the pan, pour in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, slide the sliced onions into the pot, add 2 teaspoons coarse salt and stir to combine.

Caramelized onions

Cover the pot and sweat over medium heat, which allows them to expel some of their natural water content and soften. Because of the amount of onions, sweat for 10 minutes, stirring three times.

Caramelized onions

It isn’t always necessary to cover the pot to sweat vegetables, but because of the volume of onions, it makes the process go a little faster.

Fill a measuring cup with cold water and place it next to the stovetop. Remove the cover, raise the heat to medium-high and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, to evaporate the water. This may take another 15-20 minutes. At this point the natural sugars in the onions begin to stick to the bottom of the pan creating a fond – that delicious brown caramelized sugar that gives color and flavor to food.

Caramelized onions

This happens quickly and adjusting the heat and deglazing the pan with a little cold water occasionally to dissolve the fond and incorporate it into the onions are essential to prevent burning. Once the onions are soft and golden in color, remove from the heat.

Caramelized onions

These four cups of onions are just the right amount for French Onion Soup.

Other uses for caramelized onions are omelets, mashed potatoes, topping a burger or sausage sandwich. Add a little vinegar and a pinch of sugar and make an onion jam!

Caramelized onions freeze well. Freeze in small amounts for various uses in the future.

Watch the How to Caramelize Onions Video Here

 

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How To: Caramelize Onions

It’s not a complicated process to caramelize onions, but it does require your full attention. Don’t be alarmed by the number of onions this recipe calls for, once the onions are cooked, they reduce by three quarters: 16 cups (4 pounds) of raw onion become four cups of caramelized onion! A heavy-bottomed pan is best, it holds the heat, creates a barrier from the direct flame and cooks the onions evenly. Other uses for caramelized onions are omelets, mashed potatoes, topping a burger or sausage sandwich. Add a little vinegar and a pinch of sugar and make an onion jam! Caramelized onions freeze well. Freeze in small amounts for various uses in the future.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: How To
  • Method: Saute
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup cold water

Instructions

  1. Heat up the pan, pour in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, slide the sliced onions into the pot, add 2 teaspoons coarse salt and stir to combine. Cover the pot and sweat over medium heat. When we sweat vegetables, it means we’re simply allowing them to expel some of their natural water content and soften. Because of the amount of onions, sweat for 10 minutes, stirring three times.
  2. It isn’t always necessary to cover the pot to sweat vegetables, but because of the volume of onions, it makes the process go a little faster.
  3. Fill a measuring cup with cold water and place it next to the stovetop. Now remove the cover, raise the heat to medium-high and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, to evaporate the water. This may take another 15-20 minutes. At this point the natural sugars in the onions begin to stick to the bottom of the pan creating a fond – that delicious brown caramelized sugar that gives color and flavor to food.
  4. This happens quickly and adjusting the heat and deglazing the pan with a little cold water occasionally to dissolve the fond and incorporate it into the onions are essential to prevent burning. Once the onions are soft and golden in color, remove from the heat.

 

One-Pot Chicken Dinner

This may be the best chicken I ever made! I used a peculiar method of mixing two totally incompatible cooking techniques: roasting and braising. Crazy right? But it worked. And, it’s a One-Pot Chicken Dinner!

Nothing is more satisfying than making a meal in one pot. A One-Pot Chicken Dinner is even better! Cooking the chicken on the bone with the skin on creates a very moist chicken. And using a herb butter mix and both under and over the skin of the chicken delivers outstanding flavor.

I’ve recently come across a few recipes for roasting a chicken in a heavy-duty pot such as a LeCreuset Dutch oven, which is an iron pan with an enamel coating. An excellent braising vehicle. The idea of using it to roast seemed a bit odd at first. Usually you want a roasting pan that has lower sides to allow the heat to reach the chicken and brown the skin. The problem with this method is that the breast is done before the thigh meat and continued cooking makes the breast meat dry.

It’s Really an Uncovered Braise

I thought I’d give this method a try and see what happens. My take is that it’s an “uncovered braise.” Leaving the cover off allows the top to get some color, but the cooking environment is still quite moist and the skin doesn’t crisp all over like a roasted chicken. However, the flavor and the moistness of the chicken is by far the best I’ve ever had! And, most importantly both the thigh meat and the breast are done at the same time. The intensity of the heat from the high sides of the pot accomplishes this beautifully and those high sides also keep moisture in the pot, preventing the chicken from drying out. A win win!

DSCN5059

I chose to use a lower cooking temperature than I saw in some recipes. I did start out at 475 degrees F for the first 20 minutes. The chicken gets a little color on the top and the pan heats up quickly. I then chose 300 degrees F for the cooking time vs. 350 degrees recommended in other recipes. This is more of the braise approach – low and slow.

Add vegetables to this for a one-pot dinner. Start with onions and garlic as the base, some thinly sliced red potatoes and anything else you like. I included some chopped chard, both stems and leaves. Don’t forget some fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and/or parsley, salt, and pepper.DSCN5066

Rub a combination of melted butter, more of the herbs, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper under and over the skin and pop a quartered lemon into the cavity with a little salt and pepper.

DSCN5068

Cooking the chicken on top of the vegetables and letting all the flavors marry is a wonderful way to get dinner done in one pot. Check to make sure your potatoes are completely cooked. If not, finish on the stovetop while the chicken rests and then stir in the coarsely chopped chard leaves to wilt.

DSCN5070

Place the vegetables on a warm platter and top with the carved chicken.

The entire recipe can be prepared in advance, just take it out of the refrigerator an hour or so before roasting to let the pan warm up or add 5-7 minutes to the initial cooking time.

 

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One-Pot Chicken Dinner

Nothing is more satisfying than making an entire meal in one pot. A One-Pot Chicken Dinner is even better! Cooking the chicken on the bone with the skin on creates a very moist chicken. And using a herb butter mix and both under and over the skin of the chicken delivers great flavor.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 80 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 mins
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Roast/Braise
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches rainbow chard
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 large red potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 three to four pound roaster
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon quartered
  • Garnish
  • More freshly chopped herbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. Wash the chard and separate the leaves from the stems. Trim the stem bottoms and mince. Roughly chop the leaves and save for later.
  3. Grease the bottom of the pan with the butter or pour in the oil.
  4. Add the chard stems, onion, potatoes, garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  5. Combine the melted butter, rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Lift up the skin and using one-half of the butter mixture rub all over each breast and on the legs and thighs. Rub the remaining butter on the outside of the chicken.
  6. Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with a little salt and pepper and stuff in the lemon quarters.
  7. Tie the legs and place on top of the vegetables.
  8. Place the chicken in the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees F and cook for another 25-30 minutes per pound. The internal temperature of the chicken should register 170 degrees F.

Notes

The recipe can be prepared in advance, just take it out of the refrigerator an hour or so before roasting to let the pan warm up or add 5-7 minutes to the initial cooking time.

 

 

 

Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shanks

We started March with almost summer-like temperatures in the mid-70s and now the first day of spring, we’re expecting a snow storm! I decided to take advantage of the hopefully last cold days to make Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shanks in the slow cooker. Always make a braise the day before, the flavors are much better and it gives you an opportunity to easily remove the fat before reheating.

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Eric went to Stew Leonard’s and picked up some beautiful grass-grown lamb shanks from the Amish country. For the Mediterranean flavors, I’m using sundried tomatoes, Dijon mustard, herbes de Provence, saffron and a lovely Italian red wine. I had ¾ cup of cornmeal in the cupboard and decided to make a soft polenta with some sautéd shaved Brussels as my sides.

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The snow came Sunday night and it was a beautiful sight to wake up to this morning! The sun glistening on the snow-covered limbs and a brilliant blue sky. The snow didn’t even stick to the paved surfaces and the barely three inches we got are melting away quickly!DSCN5036

 

Goodbye Winter!

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Happy Spring everyone!

 

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Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shanks

A flavorful Mediterranean Braised Lamb Shank recipe for the slow cooker. Cook the day before to allow the flavors to come together and to let the fat set for easy removal.

  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Lamb
  • Method: Stew/Braise
Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 Lamb shanks
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dried herbes de Provence
  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup stock or water
  • GARNISH
  • ¼ cup pitted and sliced Nicoise olives
  • ¼ chopped rosemary, thyme and parsley
  • zested lemon peel

Instructions

  1. Generously season both sides of the lamb shanks.
  2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the lamb shanks in batches.
  3. Add a little more oil if needed and stir in the onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring once.
  4. Add the wine, sundried tomatoes, mustard, herbes de Provence and saffron, stir to combine, bring to a boil and reduce by three-quarters.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and stock/water. Add the lamb shanks, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until fork tender.
  6. Combine the olives, herbs and lemon peel. Plate the lamb and sprinkle the garnish over the top.

Keywords: stew, braise, lamb stew, slow cooking

Veal Marsala

veal marsala finished

Veal Marsala is a quick and easy Italian dish comprised of sautéed veal scallops, mushrooms, shallots, Marsala wine, and a healthy dose of chopped parsley.

Quick Tips

Watch our video on how to clean mushrooms here.

Browning Mushrooms

Place the mushrooms in a single layer in the hot pan with the melted butter and hot oil. Cook on high heat for 1 minute and don’t stir; this caramelizes the mushrooms. Then toss and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are wilted.

Thickened Sauce

If you like, you can lightly dust the veal in 1/2 cup of flour, placed in a pie pan for ease of dredging. This does promote additional browning and thickening of the sauce. I prefer to cook the veal au natural.

As an alternative, use a cornstarch slurry, which leaves the sauce translucent, the flour makes an opaque sauce. Thoroughly combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water and drizzle into the hot sauce stirring constantly, until you reach a desired consistency; you won’t need to use the entire slurry, which would make the sauce too thick.

Cook in Batches

To avoid steaming the veal scallops, cook in batches, add a little more oil to pan as needed. Hold the cooked veal on a warm platter.

To Finish

Add the marsala wine and the sauce with mushrooms to the pan and bring to a boil; be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to release any of the delicious tidbits from browning the veal.

If you want to use the cornstarch slurry, now is the time.

Stir in the parsley and pour over the veal.

Time your side dishes to finish up by the time you add the sauce to the pan and everything is hot and ready together.

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Veal Marsala

veal marsala in saute pan
Here’s a quick and easy dinner for a romantic dinner date at home.
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Veal
Scale

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
12 ounces cleaned and sliced mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, or button or a mix of each kind
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup minced shallots
1 cup reconstituted demi glace or stock
2 pounds veal scallops
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Instructions

Watch our video on how to clean mushrooms here.
Browning Mushrooms

Place the mushrooms in a single layer in a large hot skillet with the melted butter and hot oil. Cook on high heat for 1 minute and don’t stir, to caramelize the mushrooms. Then stir and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are wilted.

Stir in the shallots and salt and cook another minute. Add the demi-glaceor stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Prepare the Veal

If you like, you can lightly dust the veal in 1/2 cup of flour placed in a pie pan for ease of dredging. This does promote additional browning and thickening of the sauce, but I prefer to cook the vealau natural, just sprinkle both sides of each scallop with salt and pepper.

Thicken the  Sauce (optional)

The flour creates a fond on the bottom of the skillet and when you add the liquid back to the pan, scrape the bottom to release these flavorful tidbits and the remains of the flour will thicken the sauce slightly.

As an alternative to flour, use a cornstarch slurry, which leaves the sauce translucent, the flour makes an opaque sauce. Thoroughly combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water and drizzle into the hot sauce stirring constantly, until you reach a desired consistency; you won’t need to use the entire slurry, which would make the sauce too thick.

You can either leave the sauce in the pan and use another to sauté the veal, or pour the sauce into a bowl, use a spatula to scrape the pan clean. Wipe with a wet paper towel to clean out the pan so any residual sauce doesn’t burn while you cook the veal.

Cook in Batches

To avoid steaming the veal scallops, cook in batches, add a little more oil to pan as needed. Hold the cooked veal on a warm platter.

To Finish

Add the marsala wine and the sauce with mushrooms to the pan and bring to a boil; be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to release any of the delicious tidbits from browning the veal.

If you want to use the cornstarch slurry, now is the time.

To finish, stir in the parsley and pour over the veal.

Time your side dishes to finish up by the time you add the sauce back to the skillet and everything is hot and ready together.

Notes

Try our multi-grain rice pilaf as an accompaniment to the veal marsala.

Keywords: sautéed veal, Marsala sauce, veal and mushrooms

 

Working with Gluten-Free Flours


I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last few years learning how to bake biscotti with various gluten-free flours. I thought I’d share with you what I’ve learned and the flours I like to work with.

King Arthur makes gluten-free multi-purpose flour that contains both white and brown rice, tapioca and potato starches. This is a mild-flavored flour, which works well and doesn’t interfere with my flavor profiles.

Bob’s Red Mill sells a gluten-free all-purpose flour that contains garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, and fava flour. The beans and sorghum have dominant flavors. In general an increase in the amount of flavorings used, such as extracts or liqueurs is needed to offset the prominent flavors of the flour. For my recipes, this was not the best choice. I can see where it would work with bread baking or as a coating on fried foods.

Nuts.com offers a gluten-free all-purpose baking flour with garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, whole grain sweet white sorghum flour and fava bean flour, this is also a mild-flavored flour that didn’t interfere with my flavor profiles.

Almond Butter Gluten Free Biscotti

Almond Butter Biscotti using Gluten-Free Girl Flour and waiting 2 hours before slicing.

A recent new-comer to the gluten-free flour market is Gluten-Free Girl all purpose flour blend, which contains millet, sweet rice four and potato starch. The “sticky” rice flour has a higher amylopectin content, which helps the stability of the dough. Shauna Ahern, from Gluten-Free Girl, doesn’t use any additives, such as guar gum and/or xanthan gum, in her flour and doesn’t recommend adding it. This mild-flavored flour worked well with my biscotti recipes and Shauna is correct, it does not require any additives. It was on her recommendation, that I increased the cooling time for the gluten-free recipes. Though she recommended overnight, I found a couple of hours were sufficient and had only an occasional broken biscotto, the same as the regular biscotti. This cooling technique works with the other flours, too.

Basic Gluten Free Recipe with Peanut M&Ms

Basic Gluten-Free Biscotti Recipe with Peanut M&Ms using Gluten-Free Girl Flour and waiting 2 hours before slicing.

Are the Gums Essential?

My initial research on using gluten-free flour was a couple of years ago and it was strongly recommended to use either guar gum or xanthan gum or a combination of both to stabilize the dough. I found the best results were using equal amounts of both with the ratio of ¼ teaspoon each per cup of gluten-free flour. The only flour I trust to use for the biscotti recipes without the gums is Gluten-Free Girl all-purpose flour blend.

Guar Gum

Guar gum is a powder that comes from the seed of a legume, the guar plant. It is also a thickening agent with a high-fiber content, however, too much of this gum produces a stringy dough.

Xantham Gum

Xantham gum is a polysaccharide secreted by a bacterium (Xanthomonas campestris), a byproduct of corn and is used as a thickener. Too much xanthan gum in a recipe may produce an unappealing gumminess to the dough, so measure carefully.

One-to-One Blends (includes guar gum and/or xantham gum)

If you want to forgo buying the gums separately, Bob’s Red Mill sells a gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour that contains sweet white-rice flour, whole-grain brown-rice flour, potato starch, whole-grain sweet white-sorghum flour, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum.

There are some other brands out there such as Cup 4 Cup, which contains xantham gum. The first ingredient is cornstarch and corn is a problem for some of my friends who are gluten-free. It also contains milk powder another common allergen. I prefer to keep to the rice grains, potato starch and more neutral flours.

Alternatively, there are many recipes out there for making your own gluten-free blend. Since celiac’s disease is not an issue for us, I prefer to use pre-made blends.

Use these few rules and good quality ingredients to get consistent results in your recipes.

Apple Cranberry Walnut Gluten Free Biscotti

Apple Cranberry Walnut Biscotti using Gluten-Free Girl Flour and waiting 2 hours before slicing.

Veal Stew with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Veal Stew

Sometimes I don’t want to work too hard to make dinner. I don’t want to go out to eat and I don’t want takeout, which is usually disappointing. The fact that it has to travel takes away from the
freshness and reheating it doesn’t make it better. When I spotted veal stew meat in the store the other day, I was in one of those moods. But, when you can use the slow cooker and take advantage of the some of the prepped vegetables, such as the peeled baby onions I spotted, it makes life very easy. I had carrots and sundried tomatoes at home. Veal Stew with Sun-dried Tomatoes!

I prefer not to brown the veal. The pieces are small and tender and browning dries it out. Peel a few large carrots and cut in 1-inch pieces and brown over high heat in butter and oil (about a tablespoon of each) with the peeled onions. Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons each kosher salt and herbes de Provence over the vegetables, add a cup of sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil) and a cup of dry wine (red or white). Bring to a boil and reduce by half. Add one cup reconstituted demi glace from More than Gourmet or stock if you don’t have demi glace, and braise for six hours on low.

Veal Stew

One of my favorite ingredients to add to a veal stew is peas, but my husband hates them. I’ll steam some haricots verts for him and make myself a side of peas sautéed in butter with scallions and tarragon – super delicious – but he’ll never know!

Serve the stew over noodles or along side some ravioli.

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Veal Stew with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Veal Stew

A easy recipe with minimal ingredients – takes only minutes to prepare, the slow cooker does the rest. Use frozen baby onions if you can’t find fresh or don’t want to peel them.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 20 mins
  • Yield: 6 portions 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup baby onions, peeled, or use frozen
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sundries tomatoes, oil free
  • 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup demi glace or stock
  • 2 pounds veal stew meat
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in the oil over medium-high heat large Dutch oven the insert of a slow cooker.
  2. Add the onions and carrots and sweat for 4 minutes, stirring as needed.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, herb seasoning, salt and pepper.
  4. Add the wine and reduce by one-half.
  5. Stir in the demi glace or stock.
  6. Add the meat, stir to combine, cover and and cook on low for six hours in a slow cooker or on the stovetop on very low heat for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Just before serving, stir in the peas and let cook for 2 minutes.