Category: Meat / Poultry

How To Sauté Chicken Breasts

finger test

Skinless boneless chicken breasts are so versatile. Here’s a simple way to sauté chicken breasts with only salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Pouring a vinaigrette or a little fresh citrus juice over the chicken as soon as it comes off the heat to rest quickly and easily infuses flavors into the chicken.

Make sure you pound the chicken breasts to even out the thickness and they’ll cook evenly. If you have time, let the chicken sit on the counter for 30 or 40 minutes to warm up a bit.

finger test

Check out the “Finger Test” video  to test for doneness when you don’t have a thermometer handy.

Watch the How To Sauté Chicken Breasts Here

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How To Sauté Chicken Breasts

sauteed chicken breast

Skinless boneless chicken breasts are so versatile. Here’s a simple way to sauté chicken breasts with only salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Pouring a vinaigrette or a little fresh citrus juice over the chicken as soon as it comes off the heat to rest quickly and easily infuses flavors into the chicken.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Saute

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 whole skinless, boneless chicken breast, split
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Pound each breast to even thickness for even cooking with a meat pounder or heavy-bottomed pan. Be sure to cover the chicken with film first to prevent splattering.
  2. Season each breast, both sides, with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil over high heat in a skillet large enough to hold all the chicken, or cook in batches.
  4. Lay the chicken breasts in the pan and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Turn and cook for 2 minutes.*
  6. Be sure to rest the chicken; then slice on the bias or serve whole.

Notes

Timing will varie depending on the thickness and temperature of the chicken.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4

 

 

Bacon Spinach Quiche

Quiche

Quiche is simply an omelet in a pre-baked pie shell. It makes for a different presentation than what we usually eat for breakfast and you don’t have to make toast, the crust is a delicious alternative. See our post video on how to blind bake a pie crust.

NOTE: Since taping this video, I now prefer to completely blind bake the crust and not partially as suggested in the video.

Watch the Quiche Video Here:

Quiche is also a wonderful way to use leftovers. Dice up the remains from a charcuterie platter, sharp cheese, salty spicy salami, dice some onions and garlic add in some fresh herbs and you have an improvised quiche. Leftover steamed or roasted vegetables are also great starters for quiche.

Quiche

Use your imagination when you go to the store; look at the fresh produce and select what strikes your fancy and don’t forget some fresh herbs. Pick a cheese, almost any cheese works, that pairs well with your produce or suits your mood that day. The possibilities are endless.

Quiche

Quiche is delicious served hot out of the oven, but it’s also great at room temperature and it travels well. Pack it for lunch for the kids or for yourself at work.

Quiche

Watch the Quiche Video Here
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Bacon Spinach Quiche

quiche

A quiche is simply an omelet in a pastry shell. The possibilities for fillings are endless. Use leftovers or your imagination to create an unending variety!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 mins
  • Yield: 1 ten-inch pie 1x
  • Category: Eggs
  • Method: Baking

Ingredients

Scale
  • One single pie crust
  • 6 large eggs (1 cup)
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoons coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ¼ cups diced Gruyere cheese (1/4-inch dice)
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, squeezed dry
  • ½ cup finely diced cooked bacon, about 5 ounces
  • ½ cup minced shallot

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the eggs in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until foamy.
  3. Whisk in the half and half, salt and pepper.
  4. Strew the cheese, spinach, bacon and shallots over the bottom of a half blind-baked pie shell.
  5. Pour the egg mixture over all. And put on a foil line baking tray.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is set.
  7. Let sit for 10 minutes for slicing.

Notes

Line a baking tray with foil or parchment and place the quiche on this for baking. If the quiche leaks, the baking tray contains the mess and keeps your oven clean.

The quiche needs to rest before slicing to allow the eggs to finish gelling.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 8 portions

How to Finger Test a Chicken Breast for Doneness

Finger Test

Here’s a quick tip on how to finger test chicken breasts for doneness with your finger.

Sometimes we find ourselves without the proper tools at hand and need to improvise. Perhaps you’re at a friends house cooking or camping and don’t have an instant read thermometer. Here’s a little tip to help you out.

Finger test

Cutting the breast is an alternative, but it releases all those precious juices and dries it out. Use this method as a last resort if you’re still unsure.

Note: The chicken breasts should be white and juices should be clear (no red); pounding the chicken breasts to an even thickness helps and aids in more precise cooking.

Here’s our post on how to sauté chicken breasts.

Watch the “Finger Test” Video Here.

 

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

A wilted salad is typically an unappealing one, with old, brown leaves. An intentionally wilted spinach salad, however, gently “cooks” the leaves with a warm vinaigrette and is delightful to the eye and palette.

I prefer baby spinach in general, because it requires less work. The stems are delicate, edible and usually less sandy than their mature counterpart. Mature spinach needs a thorough wash and rinse and the tough stems have to be removed. A tedious job.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

The best way to cook bacon is in a cold pan to prevent sticking and promote even browning. Place the bacon in the pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

The bacon, scallions and vinegar release aromas that are smoky, savory and tangy all at once. For added texture, don’t hesitate to add toasted or seasoned nuts for an added crunch.

Watch the Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette Video Here

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Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

A wilted spinach salad gently “cooks” the leaves with a warm vinaigrette and is delightful to the eye and palette.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x
  • Category: Salads

Ingredients

Scale

Bacon Vinaigrette

2 slices bacon, diced
4 sliced scallions, green tops included
23 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
a pinch of coarse salt

a few cranks on the pepper mill

Spinach Salad

6 cups baby spinach
2 cups, about 6 ounces, button mushrooms, washed, woody stems removed and thinly sliced
½ cup thinly sliced red onions, rinsed and dried
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

Bacon Vinaigrette

Place the bacon in a cold pan over medium-high heat and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the scallion and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk.

Spinach Salad

Place the spinach, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes in a salad bowl.

Whisk the hot dressing one more time and pour over the salad.

Toss and top with the blue cheese.

Notes

Use as much olive to the bacon fat to make 1/4 cup.

The best way to cook bacon is in a cold pan to prevent sticking and browns evenly. Place the bacon in the pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

Keywords: warm salad, spinach salad, spinach, bacon, mushrooms, spinach and bacon salad, dairy-free, gluten-free, bacon vinaigrette, warm vinaigrette, salad dressing, warm salad dressing

 

Braised Country-Style Spareribs with Red Cabbage and Apples

Country-Style Spareribs

Country-style spare ribs are moist and tender when braised low and slow and taste delicious accompanied with red cabbage and apples.

When I was a kid, we had spareribs and sauerkraut a few times a year in fall and winter. I was never a fan of the regular spareribs. Too greasy and not enough meat. Somehow, those spareribs taste better when cooked low and slow on the barbecue with a tangy red sauce.

My mom mixed up the type of meat she used throughout the season and I was happiest when she chose country-style spareribs. These are thick and meaty and when cooked properly, fall-apart tender.

Country-style ribs are more pork chop than ribs. This cut, which  is very meaty and less fatty than spareribs, is from the front end of the baby back ribs and are an economical cut. Cook low and slow, known as braising, which melds the delicious flavors of the meat and vegetables. Braises are best made the day before; defat the top before reheating.

Tip: I rarely brown my meat before braising anymore. I really can’t tell the difference with low and slow cooking. Lots of flavors are released during cooking that more than compensate for not browning.

Country-Style Spareribs

For this recipe I chose to use fresh red cabbage and Granny Smith apples with thinly sliced, caramelized onions, stock and apple cider. Caraway seeds and juniper berries (use a disposable tea filter bag for easy removal) nicely complement the pork and the vegetables. Five minutes before serving, add the vinegar and dill, stir and serve!

Country-Style Spareribs

Watch the Country-Style Spareribs with Red Cabbage and Apples Here.

 

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Braised Country-Style Spareribs with Red Cabbage and Apples

Country-Style Spareribs

Cook this either in a slow cooker or on the stovetop. If you have the time, cool and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to meld.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Slow Cooking

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 ½ pounds country-style spareribs
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1 red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 1 cups stock or water
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Generously season the ribs with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a heat-tolerant slow-cooker insert or large Dutch oven. Add the onion to the hot pan and sweat for 5 minutes, Continue cooking until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes more. Watch the heat, don’t burn the onions, add a little water as needed to deglaze the pan or loosen the caramelized onion juices from the bottom of the pan. This is what colors and flavors the onion.
  3. Stir in the cabbage, apples, garlic, caraway seeds and juniper berries, stock and apple cider. Tuck the ribs into the vegetables and bring to a boil.
  4. Slow Cooker: Remove the insert to the slow cooker, cover and set on low for 6-8 hours, the timing will depend on the amount of heat your slow cooker generates, until fork tender. Turn the pork half way through cooking.
  5. Stovetop: Reduce the heat to low (barely a simmer), cover and cook for 2-3 hours, until fork tender, checking to make sure the liquid is not boiling.
  6. Remove the ribs to a warm platter and cover.
  7. Stir in the vinegar or lemon juice and dill and cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes.
  8. Add the cabbage to the platter and serve.

 

Watch the Country-Style Spareribs with Red Cabbage and Apples Here:

 

 

 

Osso Buco Milanese

Braised Veal Shanks/Osso Buco Milanese

Fall is officially here and I’d like to share one of my favorite braising recipes, Osso Buco Milanese. These braised veal shanks are tender, moist and flavorful. What makes them “Milanese” is the parsley, lemon zest and garlic topping, called gremolata.

Braised Veal Shanks

To make Osso Buco Milanese use either the stovetop or a slow cooker. I have a slow cooker with an insert that goes from stovetop to slow cooker, saving me an extra pan to wash.

Stovetop Method

Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, just an occasional bubble or two; the ideal temperature is 180 degrees F. Cover and cook for 3 hours or until fork tender. Be sure to check occasionally that the braise is not boiling. If so, lower the temperature or use a heat diffuser.

Slow Cooker Method

Place prepared ingredients in slow cooker base, cover and set to low and cook for 6 hours or until fork tender.

You’ll notice the difference in cooking times with different appliances. The stovetop is harder to control and cooks at a slightly higher temperature than a slow cooker. You should check the braise periodically to make sure the simmer is under control. If you don’t have a low pilot light for braising or stewing, consider getting a heat diffuser, which lifts the pan further from the flame.

The oven is an option, but I find that it cooks at temperature that is almost impossible to maintain a gentle simmer. The higher heat cooks the meat too fast making it tougher and drier that the other two methods.

Braised Veal Shanks

White Braise

This is a white braise, no need to brown the meat, and uses a dry white wine. I often substitute a dry rosé instead of the white wine, as I frequently (always) have an open bottle on hand.

Place the shanks on a sheet pan and secure the meat to the bone with butcher’s twine. I like to tie the shanks like a present, top to bottom, instead of around the middle. The meat shrinks and the tie around the middle doesn’t hold them to the bone as well. If you have a large shank, you may want to tie again in a different direction as shown below.

Braised Veal Shanks

To season the meat and keep the salt and pepper from strewing around your kitchen counter, place the baking sheet in the sink and sprinkle the salt and pepper from above.

Braised Veal Shanks

The traditional mirepoix, onions, celery and carrots is a must for almost any braise. We’ve added diced pancetta for a richer sauce.

Braised Veal Shanks

Use a traditional bouquet garni, a couple of parsley stems and thyme twigs, a bay leaf or two and a few peppercorns wrapped in cheesecloth. I like to use a Bouquet Garni herb blend from Penzeys. It doesn’t have to be removed and adds great flavor. The blend contains savory, rosemary, thyme, Turkish oregano, basil, dill weed, marjoram, sage and tarragon.

If at all possible, make any braise or stew a day before to allow the flavors to meld overnight. Notice how the sauce gelled over night – all the gelatin from the bones makes for a very rich sauce. The fat rises to the top and hardens for easy removal.

Braised Veal Shanks

I know the liquid seems minimal, maybe even sparse, but the vegetables and meat expel juices creating more liquid, which keeps the flavor of the sauce intense. Simply tuck the shanks into the braising liquid, cover and cook.

Braised Veal Shanks

Serve this delicious Ratatouille as a side to the Osso Buco Milanese!

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Osso Buco Milanese

Braised Veal Shanks/Osso Buco Milanese

Osso buco milanese is a rustic dish of braised veal shanks in a rich sauce served with gremolata, chopped parsley, lemon peel and garlic.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions 1x
  • Category: Meat (veal)
  • Method: Braising

Ingredients

Scale

6 veal shanks (2 inches thick), patted dry
2 teaspoons coarse salt
lots of freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms, such as cremini
4 ounces pancetta, small dice
2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon minced cloves garlic (about 4)
½ teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons bouquet garni herb mix
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup stock, such as veal, chicken or vegetable

Gremolata

½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of coarse salt

Instructions

Tie the veal chops with butcher twine and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Put the mushrooms in the hot pan in a single layer and sear, stirring once after 2 minutes.

Add the pancetta, onion, carrots, celery, garlic and salt; sweat for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the herbs and stir for 15 seconds.

Note: You can use a tradition bouquet garni (a couple of parsley stems and thyme twigs, a bay leaf or two and a few peppercorns wrapped in cheesecloth). I like to use a Bouquet Garni Herb Blend from Penzey’s. It doesn’t have to be removed and adds great flavor. The blend contains savory, rosemary, thyme, Turkish oregano, basil, dill weed, marjoram, sage and tarragon.

Add the wine, bring to a boil and reduce by one-half.

Stir in the stock and tuck the veal shanks into the vegetables.

Stovetop Method

Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, just an occasional bubble or two. Cover and cook for 3 hours or until fork tender. Be sure to check that the braise is not boiling occasionally. If so, lower the temperature or use a heat diffuser.

Slow Cooker Method

Bring to a boil, cover and set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours or until fork tender.

Remove the veal shanks to a warm platter. You have two choices with the sauce: Rustic – keep the sauce in its natural state, or Refined – puree the sauce.

Pour a little sauce over the veal and serve the remainder on the side. Strew the gremolata over the shanks and serve.

Gremolata

Combine the parsley, lemon, garlic and salt in a small bowl.

Notes

Make a day ahead to let the flavors meld.

Keywords: braised veal shanks, braised veal, braising, stew, veal stew, slow-cooked veal, slow cooking, gremolata, gluten-free, dairy-free

 

 

Chicken Liver Pate

Chopped Liver

Chicken liver pate wasn’t something I was familiar with growing up. My mother made calves liver for dinner often (TOO often). It was slightly overcooked and chewy with that livery taste. I was frequently left at the table because I hadn’t finished my dinner. I eventually learned to cut it into tiny pieces and swallow it whole with my milk – kids always find a way!

Aunt Roz

My husband’s Aunt Roz recently passed away. She was the one who made chopped liver for the Jewish holidays. I was at her home once when she was preparing the pate and I got to see firsthand how she made it. I only remember butter, onions and livers. I didn’t have the foresight then to know how important it is to to write down family recipes. So, left to my own devices I’ve created a recipe I think works.

Chopped Liver

Saffron Pickled Shallots

I reproduced Bobby Flay’s saffron pickled shallots, which he serves with one of his small plates Mussel and Clam Salad topped with saffron pickled shallots at his restaurant Gato. It’s absolutely delicious! I thought what a great way to top the chicken liver pate in addition to the grated egg white and egg yolk.

Chopped Liver

Sam

After my mother-in-law passed away many years ago, my sister-in-law and I split the Seder and Rosh Hashanah holidays. As the shiksa (a non-Jewish woman), I opted for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. No dietary restrictions on the menu.

One year I decided to think outside the box. I researched the holiday and found that sweets were “traditional.” I did know not to put raisins in the Challah, which would upset my father-in-law Sam; but it never occurred to me not to use sliced apples (a traditional Rosh Hashanah ingredient) for the pate instead of crackers or bread. A tart, crisp Granny Smith apple is a great foil for the rich pate.

Chopped Liver

Well, my father-in-law pulled my husband over and said to tell me not to do that again. Chopped liver went on crackers! I never served apple slices again, but it is an interesting and delicious way to diversify the pate.

So, thank you Aunt Roz and Sam for setting me straight on the ABCs of chopped liver!

 

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Chicken Liver Pate

Chopped Liver

Push the egg white and egg yolk, separately, through a fine sieve for best results. Try the pate on tart apple slices for something a little different.

Ingredients

Scale
  • Pate
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 1 pound chicken livers, cleaned and rinsed
  • ¼ cup Cognac
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Garnish
  • grated egg white
  • grated egg yolk
  • saffron pickled shallots

Instructions

  1. Pate
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Stir in the onions and cook until the onions begin to brown on the edges.
  4. Pour in the cognac, stir to release the brown bits in the pan.
  5. Add the chicken livers, herbes de Provence, salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the livers are slightly pink in the center.
  6. Scoop this into a food processor and puree.
  7. Place into 3 small ramekins.
  8. Garnish
  9. Top each ramekin with one of the garnishes: grated egg white, grated egg yellow, and saffron pickled shallots
  10. Serve with thin slices of brown bread, crostini, crackers or apple slices.

Notes

Store covered in the refrigerator.

 

Chicken Scarpariello

Chicken Scarpariello

Chicken Scarpariello is a favorite dish for both my husband and my daughter Claire. Margot and I don’t have the tolerance for spice like they do, so I’ve never had the courage to order it. For those of you unfamiliar with this dish, it’s chicken (or veal or pork) with hot (and I mean HOT) cherry peppers, fennel and in some instances sausage.

Chicken Scarpariello is also a favorite of our friends Bob & Lynn. I decided I would venture forth and make it for Bobby’s birthday because it’s one of his very favorite dishes, along with the Ricotta Cheesecake that I created for him a few years ago.

This recipe needs chicken parts with skin and bone on. It cooks up crispy and moist.

Chicken Scarpariello

When I opened the jar of hot cherry peppers and took a whiff, I gasped. The heat went straight up my nose and down my throat; I knew I was in trouble, but no turning back!

I seared the chicken, removed to a holding dish and then sauteed the fennel, onions, sweet bell peppers, garlic and oregano in olive oil. Once the vegetables softened, I added white wine and 1/4 cup of the bottled pepper juice and some red potatoes. The chicken went back in the pan with half a jar of the peppers strewn across the pan.

Note: I omitted the sausages because Lynn doesn’t eat them. To include, just give a quick sear to brown in the pan after searing the chicken, then set aside with the chicken. Add back to the pan with the chicken and cherry peppers as instructed above.

The dish can be made ahead up to this point and held, covered, in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Let the pan sit on the counter for an hour before roasting to warm up a bit.

Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes or a little longer if refrigerated. The chicken is done when the internal temperature registers 175ºF on a meat thermometer.Chicken Scarpariello

Remove the chicken to a warm platter and boil the sauce to reduce it for about five minutes. Check your potatoes to see if they need a few minutes more. Add the vegetables to the platter with the chicken.

Stir in the butter off heat and whisk until melted.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and peppers, garnish with fennel fronds.

WARNING

The sauce is very spicy. I served it on the side. The chicken and vegetables are flavorful and have tolerable heat, but the sauce brings the heat to another level; I wasn’t able to handle it. Everyone else couldn’t get enough of it. I though my husband was going to drink it!

 

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Chicken Scarpariello

Chicken Scarpariello has fennel, sweet bell peppers and hot cherry peppers. It’s a one dish meal, just add some potatoes! Cook and serve in the same pot.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Chicken

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole roasting chicken cut into eight pieces
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 sausages, such as sweet or hot Italian or Chorizo
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 each yellow and red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons dry oregano
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup hot cherry pepper juice
  • 1 pound tiny red potatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 jar hot cherry peppers
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Garnish: Fennel fronds

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat.
  2. Season the chicken, both sides, with the salt and pepper.
  3. Sear the chicken for three minutes, skin slide down. Don’t crowd the pan, sear in batches as needed.
  4. Turn and cook for one minute more.
  5. Remove the chicken to a holding dish.
  6. Sear the sausages, if using and remove to the dish with the chicken.
  7. Stir in the fennel, onion, garlic and oregano and sweat for 3 minutes.
  8. Pour in the pepper juice and wine, bring to a boil and deglaze the pan by scrapping the fond with a wooden spoon. Reduce the liquid to one-quarter cup.
  9. Add the chicken stock and then return the sausage and chicken to the pan, skin side up. Add the cherry peppers.
  10. Note: The chicken can be made ahead to this point. Cover and refrigerate. Take out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before roasting.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or a little longer if refrigerated. The chicken is done when the internal temperature registers 175ºF on a meat thermometer.
  12. Remove the chicken to a warm platter and boil the sauce to reduce it for about five minutes. Check your potatoes to see if they need a few minutes more. Add the vegetables to the platter with the chicken.
  13. Stir in the butter off heat and whisk until melted.
  14. Pour the sauce over the chicken and peppers, garnish with fennel fronds.

Notes

Serve the sauce on the side for those who are sensitive to spicy food.

Skirt Steak Fajitas

Tex Mex

Fajitas are a Tex Mex dish traditionally using skirt steak. Today there are endless variations using chicken, pork, lamb, shrimp, fish and, of course, vegetables.

Topping options include shredded lettuce, cilantro leaves, shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced olives, pico de galo and/or guacamole. Heat is easily controlled by putting hot sauces on the table and letting each dinner tap a drop or two on or just shake the bottle all over everything! Our tolerance for heat is mixed in our family.

Tex Mex

I grilled a red onion and those absolutely adorable and deliciously sweet baby bell peppers, as well as the steak, which adds a lovely smokiness to the fajitas and uses less oil. Don’t overcook, keep some texture to the vegetables, just a little crunch.

Tex Mex

I recently read that if you leave the skins on the red onion while grilling, the onion won’t fall apart, which didn’t work for me. Slide a wood skewer through the side of each thick slice to hold it together that works pretty well.

Tex Mex

Toast the tortillas on the grill, while the meats rests. Lay out all the ingredients and let everyone craft their our own.

DSCN5420

For a gluten-free version or to go carb free, put salad greens on the plate and arrange the other ingredients across the top. The pico de gala or guacamole are perfect substitutes for a salad dressing.

Skirt Steak Fajita Recipe

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Skirt Steak Fajitas

Tex Mex

For a gluten-free version or to go carb free, put salad greens on the plate and arrange the other ingredients across the top. The pico de gala and guacamole are perfect substitutes for a salad dressing.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Beef/Main Dish
  • Method: Grill

Ingredients

Scale
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds skirt steak
  • 16 baby bell peppers
  • 1 red onion cut into thick slices
  • olive oil
  • coarse salt

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, coriander, cumin, oregano and pepper flakes.
  2. Pour the marinade over the steaks in a non-reactive bowl and toss to coat well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
  3. Preheat the grill.
  4. Drizzle the peppers and onions with a little oil and a sprinkling of salt.
  5. Cook the peppers and onion slices on the grill first until al dente and slightly charred. Slice the bell peppers and separate the onion into rings.
  6. Remove the steaks from the marinade and dab to remove excess liquid, which can cause flare ups.
  7. Place the steaks on the grill and cook a minute or two per side, turning to char nicely until done. Don’t overcook, or the meat toughens.
  8. Let the meat rest for a few minutes.
  9. Toss the tortillas on the grill for 30 seconds flip and cook for 30 seconds more. Wrap in a towel to keep in the moisture.
  10. Thinly slice the meat against the grain and serve with the peppers and onions and any other condiments you like, such as pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, shredded lettuce, sliced olives and/or shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.

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

Ingredients

Scale
  • 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.

IMG_4536

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

Ingredients

Scale
  • 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!

 

How To Roast Meat

how to roast

This is the first segment in a Master Class on How To Roast Meat, which provides information on preparing, cooking, resting and serving a perfectly cooked roast.  We broke the class down into five separate videos for easy viewing. See the master class playlist here.

How To Tie a Roast

Tie a boneless roast to keep an even shape and cook evenly.

 

Factors that Affect Roasting Time

There are three factors that affect roasting time:

  • How much it weighs.
  • Whether it’s bone-in or boneless.
  • The temperature or the roast before cooking

 

How to Cook the Perfect Roast

I like the low and slow method of roasting for even cooking and juicy meat. Sear the meat first, let it sit out to warm up before putting in the oven and set your time to match the desired internal temperature, such as rare or medium rare. Click here to get a chart on cooking times per pound and here to see minimum internal temperature recommendations.

Rest the Roast for Optimum Results

Rest the meat after taking it out of the oven to maintain juiciness and flavor.

Here’s a quick recap of the important points on the roasting technique.