First in the oven are the potatoes. The sweet potatoes are sliced and tossed with red pepper flakes and olive oil. The recipe called for 1-1/2 pounds of potatoes, sliced. Be warned, that you may want to use two sheet pans so the potatoes lay in a single layer and cook evenly. I overloaded my pan and wished I either had less potatoes or used to two pans.
While the potatoes are cooking, the pork is seared on the stove-top. The potatoes are removed from the oven and a space is cleared in the center of the pan for the pork. The glaze is brushed on the meat and on the potatoes. The pork is roasted until the internal temperature registers 145°. Lastly, a delicious sauce is made from the drippings with a little shallot and broth…yum. What a delicious meal! Some of the potatoes could have used a bit more time in the oven, but as I said, I had too many potatoes in the one pan. With 20 minutes of prep and a cook time of approximately 40, dinner is done in an hour.
The next meal involves a spatchcock chicken. This recipe is by Melissa Clark and was found on the New York Times Cooking app. A spatchcock chicken has its backbone removed allowing the chicken to lay completely flat. Whole Foods was running a special one week, so I grabbed one and did I mention that a spatchcock will cook faster than a roasting chicken? Besides the chicken, you’ll also need dark brown sugar, kosher salt, ancho or New Mexico chili powder (I used regular chili powder), sweet paprika, dry mustard powder, dried oregano, black pepper, ground allspice, bay leaves (I have several bay leave trees) and lime or lemon wedges. The dry rub should be applied at least two hours or up to 24 hours before cooking. (I only had an hour’s worth of time.) The chicken is roasted in a 425° oven for approximately 40 to 50 minutes. That’s enough time to bake a russet potato or sweet potato to help round out the meal. Add a tossed green salad or a green vegetable and dinner is done. Make sure you allow at least 10 minutes of rest before carving the chicken.
The chicken was very flavorful, the blend of spices wasn’t overpowering; it had a nice balance of flavors. I would even recommend this as a rub for chicken wings. Give it a try for your next tailgate or football watching party.
Recently The New York Times had a special supplement in the Sunday paper, “Fast Flavor, 24 Low-Fuss, High-Reward Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less.” A working family’s dream! The first recipe I tried was by Ali Slagle, Skillet Hot Honey Chicken with Hearty Greens. It just so happened that in a recent Dreyers Farms CSA box, I received a bunch of escarole. For this recipe you’ll need bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (I used skin-on, boneless breasts), extra-virgin olive oil, a hot chili (jalapeño, Fresno or Serrano), a bunch/head of hearty greens (e.g., escarole, mustard greens or kale), honey and apple cider vinegar. This recipe is prepared in 30 minutes and has a delicious flavor. I removed the ribs and seeds from the jalapeño so there wasn’t any heat (Should have left some of the ribs on for a bit more punch).
On Instagram, my daughter follows Claire Saffitz, who is a freelance recipe developer and former Senior Food Editor at Bon Appétit Magazine. One day in her Instagram story highlight, she gave a description of a lasagna she was preparing, Roasted Eggplant Lasagna. While she did mention the ingredients she was using, no specific measurements were given. The new thing in the food world is “no recipe recipes.” Here’s what she used: 3 pounds of eggplant., a head of garlic, a jar of marinara sauce, DeCecco lasagna, fresh ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, kosher salt, pepper, fresh basil and heavy cream.
This dish calls for regular lasagna noodles that aren’t precooked. You’ll to need purchase fresh ricotta cheese available at a gourmet specialty store or Italian market (comes in a metal container). As fresh ricotta contains more moisture than ricotta packaged in plastic containers, marinara and heavy cream in the recipe will be absorbed by the pasta; thereby softening the pasta. I purchased Biazzo Whole Milk Ricotta and cooked the pasta per the box instructions plus I was hesitant to add the heavy cream.
The eggplant is thinly sliced and is seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil and roasted on two sheet pans in a 425° oven until tender. At the same time, place a head a garlic in the oven to roast. The ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, shredded fresh basil, mashed roasted garlic and heavy cream were mixed together for the filling. Assembly begins with some marinara in the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish, followed by a layer of eggplant, cheese mixture and basil leaves. Next a layer of lasagna noodles cut to fit over the cheese layer and some marinara before starting again with a layer of eggplant followed by cheese. You finish the casserole with a top layer of lasagna noodles, sauce and dollops of ricotta. (You can find her story highlight on Instagram @csaffitz).
Somewhere along the line, I diverted from Ms. Saffitz method and did my own thing. I started with marinara sauce on the bottom, followed by lasagna noodles, a layer of roasted eggplant, ricotta cheese (a bit of sauce on top to help spread the ricotta) and shredded mozzarella. My last layer was lasagna strips topped with sauce. I covered and baked in a 350° oven for 35 minutes and then it rests for 5-10 minutes. The lasagna had a lovely creamy filling, the eggplant provides a meaty chew. Overall, a nice way to get some extra veggies into a meal. This can totally be done ahead for those busy weeknights.
I have been noticing on some food websites an interest in fruit galettes. A galette has a pastry base and can be topped with a sweet, such as fruit, or savory filling. The pastry is placed on a flat surface, filled and then the edges are folded over to create a rustic free form dessert. I had four apples from recent CSA boxes and wanted to give this dessert a try. I found a recipe on the Food & Wine website from Jacques Pépin for a Country Apple Galette. It takes just 30 minutes to prepare and the pastry is made in a food processor. Waiting one hour for the galette to bake is the hard part!
For the pastry you’ll need all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, unsalted butter and ice water. The topping consists of 4 Golden Delicious apples (I don’t recall what type of apple was in my CSA, but it was a firm, tart apple), sugar, cinnamon, honey and unsalted butter.
As I previous mentioned, the pastry is made in a food processor. Once the butter is cut in and resembles small peas, remove from bowl on to a work and shape into a disk. The disk is wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled (approximately 30 minutes). The dough is then rolled out into a 12-inch x14-inch rectangle and transferred to a rimmed baking sheet. The apples are peeled, cored and sliced 1/4” thick. They are mixed with cinnamon and sugar. The apples are placed in the center of the pastry and the edges are fold over the apples creating a 1-inch border. Some butter goes on top before it’s baked.
The galette was scrumptious! The pastry was slightly crisp and flaky and the apples were a bit tart with a hint of sweetness. This was an easy and delicious dessert! Could you use other fruit? Why not, something like blueberries or a mix of berries might need to be tossed with cornstarch to thicken the juices and pear would work fine too. A savory galette would be divine for a light lunch or brunch; there are many possibilities.
The last recipe I made was sent to me by my husband’s cousin who lives in Oregon. She found a recipe for Philly Cheese Style Stuffed Peppers” on the website “The Skinny-ish Dish.” Overall, it takes approximately one hour from start to finish. For the recipe you’ll need ground beef, olive oil, white button mushrooms, red onion, bell peppers, all-purpose flour, beef broth, Worcestershire Sauce, hot sauce, oregano, seasoned salt, light cream cheese, salt, pepper and Colby Jack cheese.
The reason I made this dish was that I happened to have a small amount of cream cheese in my refrigerator, which was perfect for the recipe. The recipe calls for 4 peppers, 3 of which are sliced in half for filling, I didn’t realize I needed an extra pepper for the filling. Despite missing an ingredient, these peppers were quite tasty, the filling had a nice creaminess and the melted cheese on top really made the dish. Both my husband and I really enjoyed this preparation.
Molasses-Glazed Roast Pork and Sweet Potatoes
From the Williams-Sonoma website and
Which they adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast,
by Kristine Kidd (Williams-Sonoma, 2011)
Prep time: 25 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes
2 pork tenderloins, each 10 to 12 oz.
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup light molasses
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lb. orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 1/2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat an oven to 400°F. Season the pork tenderloins lightly with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the molasses, mustard, rosemary and 1/2 tsp. of the red pepper flakes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, the remaining 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes and 1 1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper and toss to coat the sweet potatoes evenly. Brush a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Arrange the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer, leaving a space in the center of the pan. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the pork and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the pork in the center; set the fry pan aside. Brush the pork and potatoes with some of the molasses mixture. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast until the potatoes are tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers 145°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer the pork and potatoes to a warmed platter.
Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the fry pan and set the pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently to scrape up the browned bits, until the shallot begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining molasses mixture and the broth and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.
Slice the pork and drizzle with the sauce. Serve the pork and potatoes immediately, passing any remaining sauce at the table. Serves 4.
Spice-Rubbed Spatchcocked Chicken
By Melissa Clark, from The New York Times Cooking app and
Featured in: A Chicken Roasting Method All Good Cooks Know
Yield: 4 Servings
Time: 1 hour, plus at least 2 hours’ marinating
1 chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds, patted dry
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ancho or New Mexico chile powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
2 bay leaves, torn or cut into pieces
Lime or lemon wedges, for serving
Skillet Hot Honey Chicken with Hearty Greens
By Ali Slagle
From The New York Times Cooking
“Fast Flavor – 24 Low-Fuss High-Reward Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less”
TIME: 30 minutes
2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (4 to 6 thighs)
Kosher salt and pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small hot chili, thinly sliced (such as jalapeño, Fresno or serrano), or to taste
1 large bunch or head of hearty greens, such as escarole, mustard greens or kale (about 6 ounces)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Country Apple Galette
Food & Wine Magazine, October 2011
By Jacques Pépin
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 8 Servings
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
⅓ cup ice water
4 Golden Delicious apples
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey (preferably wildflower)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
The buttery pastry can be refrigerated overnight.
Philly Cheese Style Stuffed Peppers
From the website “The Skinny-ish Dish
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time:1 hour
1 lb. extra lean ground beef, 95% lean, raw
2 tsp olive oil
8-ounce pkg white mushrooms minced, minced, and minced some more
1 medium red onion chopped
4 medium bell peppers 1 pepper chopped, 3 peppers cut in half, destined and deseeded
2 tbsp all-purpose white flour
1-1/4 cup beef broth, low sodium 1/4 cup reserved for later
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp all-purpose seasoned salt
2 oz light cream cheese
Kosher salt & pepper to taste
2/3 cup Colby Jack cheese made with 2% milk shredded
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.