Monday, June 28, 2010

Don't Wanna Cook?

Sometimes I don't want to cook, but I still want a nice big plate of yummy goodness in front of me.  When this happens I plate up a bunch of snacks, pour a big glass of wine and plop down in front of the T.V. for a little food network action.
 What's on my plate:  water crackers, fresh apricots, brie cheese, hot salami and some sliced pepper jack.  What's in my bowl: chopped radicchio & butter lettuce topped with sliced mushrooms all tossed in some Abruzzi house dressing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Bacon Cookbook

Mr. Man bought me a bacon cook book as a gift to himself.  I really like this book.  It has tons of great info and lots of fantastic recipes.  So far I've made two verbatim from The Bacon Cookbook by James Villas.

Bacon Muffins:  Easy recipe with a nice crumb.  I thought that by just adding bacon there was not enough flavor.  My fearless testers agreed with me.   The next time I made them I added in a 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese and a couple of tablespoons of diced chives.  I think the addition of the cheese and chives really rounded out the flavor profile of the muffins.  They went along perfectly a mug of tomato soup.

Bacon Horseradish Dip:  Excellent!   I made this one during a game night at the house.  The men ate it up like no tomorrow.  They asked for seconds.  I highly recommend this recipe and wouldn't change a thing.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Roast Chicken

Mr. Man is not a big chicken fan.  He's more of a steak kind of guy.  I like chicken once in a while.  It's pretty inexpensive and you can make chicken salad with the left overs.

Easy Roast Chicken with Crispy Skin

1 chicken about 4.5 lbs
1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon seasoned salt blend your choice.  I used a garlic pepper salt blend.

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl and generously rub down your chicken. Cut up the lemon and stuff the cavity.  This will provide moisture during roasting time.  If you don't like lemons shove a cut up onion in there instead. Tie him up with some kitchen string and place in a bowl uncovered in the fridge for about 4-6 hours.  This helps the skin dry out which makes it nice and crispy.
After your bird is done hanging out in the fridge preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place birdy in a roasting rack that has been placed in a pan to catch the drippings. Roast for 1 hour and then turn up the heat to 450 degrees for another 30 minutes.  Let the bird rest for a few minutes before carving up.

I served my bird last night with some steamed broccoli, corn on the cob, and garlic roasted red potatoes.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Baking Powder Biscuits

I woke up this morning craving something to spoon the fantastic jam I brought home with me from my vacation.

If you are ever in Humboldt County I suggest you pick up several jars of Zimmerman's Jam. My favorite by far is their Apricot Jam.

I ended up making some easy baking soda biscuits. Most recipes make about a dozen or more. This one makes about 6 small biscuits. I used a juice glass to cut them out.


Preheat Oven to 450 degree

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons of butter
3 ounces of milk

In the bowl of a food processor pulse together the dry ingredients or sift into a mixing bowl.

If using the processor cube up 4 tablespoons of butter and pulse to get a wet sand appearance. Or cut in by hand using a pastry cutter.

Once butter is mixed in add about 3 ounces of milk. You can use whole, low fat or buttermilk. If your feeling really decadent go for some cream. Mix the milk in gently, careful not to overwork. The dough should be nice and sticky.

Place the dough on a generously floured work surface. Shape it into a rectangle and roll out to about 1/2 an inch thick. Fold it in half. Fold it in half again. Roll back out to about 3/4 if an inch thick and cut out 6 biscuits. The folding is what makes them nice and flaky.

Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for a 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees. If you want that nice glazed look you can brush the tops with a little butter and milk.

I ended up enjoying mine by having a wee little tea party. 1 biscuit was topped with jam and the other with butter and honey.