The kids have become obsessed with wings. Sticky, sweet and spicy. All of them are wanting to try things spicier, riskier, and more adult which makes sense as they all get older... However, we are not big fans of frying. While the occasional fried chicken fest is a must, weeknight dinners can not include that kind of clean up. We tinkered with some recipes and found our way to this one. This recipe has worked its way into heavy rotation in our house. We love it, the kids love it, and it is super simple to put together. We have experimented with all sorts of sauces, so feel free to wing it once you get the basic preparation down. While we don't preach health and wellness on this blog, we do love to try and make some of our favorites, a little healthier, and by baking the wings and drumsticks, we accomplish that goal. And, the clean up is way easier. Yes, there is a place and time for that wonderful spicy, fried, buffalo wing, and that time is at some awesome sports bar, watching a basketball game. For the rest of the times we want wings, this dish will do!
Baked Asian-Style Chicken Wings
serves about 6
15-18 pieces of mixed chicken pieces, wings and drumsticks
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 9oz jar of hoisin sauce (you can use plum sauce or sweet chili sauce as well)
2 tablespoons of miring
1 garlic clove, zested or minced very fine
1 inch piece of ginger, zested or minced very fine
1/2 teaspoon chili paste (add more if you like them spicier)
Preheat oven to 425
In a bowl add all ingredients but chicken and stir. Adjust for sweetness and heat. Place chicken in a bowl and pour half the sauce over the chicken, stirring to insure all chicken gets coated. Reserve the other half. Let rest in fridge for about an hour, tossing occasionally.
Arrange a baking wire rack on top of a baking sheet and place the chicken in rows. You will need two trays. If you don't have a wire rack, place chicken directly on parchment lined baking tray. Baste with sauce and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, pull chicken from oven, flip over the pieces with tongs, baste again with sauce from marinade and bake for another 20 minutes, or until juices run clear. Be sure to switch the 2 trays position as well. After this baste, throw away the marinade.
While chicken is baking, take your reserved sauce and reduce by about half in a small saucepan over medium heat. You want the sauce to thicken.
When chicken in done, take chicken and toss them in a bowl with your thicken sauce and serve! You can garnish with diced scallions or sesame seeds.
Yes, it even gets cold in Los Angeles and lately, its been downright chilly! It felt right to create some new soup recipes and this one was inspired by the husbands. Both scoff at soup most of the time, deeming it an appetizer or side dish, and always asking after where was dinner, but both love this soup. By adding the pancetta the soup takes on a heartier flavor, imparting that meatiness they love. The paprika and Zaatar take the soup out of the deli and their basic version, and elevate the soup with depth of flavor and smokiness. One child rejected the soup outright, and the other scarfed it down. Perhaps, he will follow in his Dad's footsteps and embrace the pea.... soup that it is! Serve it with a crusty baguette and everyone will feel satiated.
Yellow Split Pea Soup with Pancetta
2 cups yellow split peas (use green if you want)
4 cups chicken stock (can sub veggie stock)
3-4 cups water
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
4 ounces of Pancetta, chopped into small pieces or use pre-cubed
1 tablespoon Zaatar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a large soup pot, brown the pancetta over medium high heat. You can use a dry pan, as meat will give off its own fat. When the meat is almost crisp, remove from pot and set aside. Add olive oil to the drippings and then the onions and teaspoon of salt. Cook the onions over medium heat until they begin to soften, and then add the carrots, garlic and celery. Stir and cook for a few minutes, letting some bits begin to brown. Add in your spices and stir. Cook for one minute then add the peas. After another minute or two add in your liquids and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about forty minutes, until peas and veggies are soft.
In a blender, blend the soup and return it to the pot. Stir in the reserved pancetta and serve the soup with crusty bread!
We were lucky enough to get a whole lamb from the farmers in Idaho, and have cooked all the different cuts this past year. These lamb chops are simple and delicious and there is something about the fact that the kids can pick them up and eat them off the bone that they love! These spices are close to the traditional french way, thyme, rosemary, fennel, but they are easily tweaked in any direction. Add some oregano, and cumin, or try some ginger. Anything goes!
Rack of Lamb
2 racks of lamb, approximately 8-10 chops, frenched
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/3 cup of olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Remove lamb from refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 425. In a small sauté pan place fennel seeds and cook on medium heat until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Place in plastic zip lock with garlic, thyme, rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add lamb and seal; mix so lamb is thoroughly coated with marinade. Place on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan. Place in oven and roast meat until it reaches 145 on a meat thermometer, (about 20 minutes) Remove from oven and cover loosely with aluminum foil, (meat will continue cooking.) Slice off chops and serve.
And, don't forget to check out our Etsy store for our Thank You Notes and Greeting Cards!
We are big lamb fans. Not only is it a source of high-quality protein, it is also an outstanding source of many vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. These meatballs are a super easy dinner that can be served with all sorts of dips like hummus and tzatziki, and pita. We like to make these into little pita pockets as the kids will eat anything that looks like a burrito! They are bright in flavor, a unique twist with the orange zest, and the spices give them just enough kick to keep things interesting. And, the best thing is they easily can be on the table in under thirty minutes!
Easy Lamb Meatballs
Makes about 8-10 meatballs
1 lb ground lamb
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon of minced cilantro
1 tablespoon Za’atar
1 tsp. salt
zest of half an orange
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix all together with your hands and scoop into 1 ½ inch round balls. Place on a cookie sheet
Bake for about 20 minutes
Serve with Pita and Tzatziki
The affinity for this dip rests primarily in its luscious color! Who can resist that shade of fuchsia as we certainly eat with our eyes! Beets are a true superfood and a wonderful way to add sweetness to any dish, that aforementioned color, and a ton of vitamin c, fiber, potassium and manganese. Using them in hummus gives a nice twist to a mediterranean classic.
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
2 garlic cloves
1 large red beet, roasted, peeled and cooled*
1 tsp of salt
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 tsp Zaatar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with chips, pita or veggies.
*to roast beets, remove stems and leaves and wrap in tin foil. Place in 400 degree oven and roast until easily pierced with a knife. Rub off skin and cool.
2017 has become the year of chili for the little boys of the family and any time we can get protein and vegetables into their growing bodies is a win. The smallest child hates anything that even looks like vegetable, so the fact that he downs this without hesitation is a wonderful wonder. The sweet potato addition is courtesy of goop and Gwyneth Paltrow's chili recipe and we like how it imparts a sweet and heartiness to the dish. We keep this chili mild as we don't want to jinx a good thing, but the combo of spices still brings lots of flavor and smokiness. You could certainly add a jalapeño to kick it up a notch, and that would be a tasty addition.
Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Sweet Peppers
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1 can of kidney beans, rinsed
1 box of diced tomatoes
1.5 lbs of ground dark meat turkey
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 gloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of turkey broth or chicken broth
1/2 cup of sweet peppers, diced (this can be a regular bell pepper)
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large sweet potato, diced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp ancho chili pepper
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp coriander
2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp salt
In a large soup pot or deep saucepan, add 1 tsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Add your onions and 1 tsp of salt and cook a few minutes until beginning to soften. Add garlic, celery, carrots, peppers, and your sweet potatoes and cook over medium heat until all is beginning to brown and soften.
Push the veggies to the side and add the rest of your olive oil. Add your turkey and spread out along the half of the pan bottom without disturbing for two minutes. Them mix all together and cook until meat is cooked through. Add your spices, the rest of your salt and mix. Add in the stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn heat to medium low and simmer for about 40 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve with cheese, cilantro, lime, avocado and sour cream, and let everyone decide!
These cookies are nutty and chocolatey, two things that are always a win. We have been playing around with different nut butters and different flours, and this cookie is a nice addition to your arsenal as it gives you the feel of a chocolate chip cookie and is good for your gluten-free friends or family. We have a version on the site with peanut butter that does not have any type of flour whatsoever in it, but the almond flour in this cookie gives the cookie a heartier bite. Maybe we can then eat them for breakfast?
Gluten Free Chocolate Almond Cookies
Makes about 1 dozen cookies
1 cup almond butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350
In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, then add the rest of the ingredients. Once dough comes together, roll into about inch size balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes depending on your oven. Let cool on the sheet pan as cookies are crumbly when they are removed from the oven.
This gives everyone a little of what they want. The kids get their cheese and pasta fix, the adults get a little lighter version of a lasagna, and any gluten free eaters have a hearty main dish. When the kids were little this actually could pass as noodles, wink wink, but they have gotten more savvy over the years. Substituting the squash for the pasta lightens up the dish and also provides a nice sweetness.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole
3 spaghetti squashes, cut in half with the seeds removed
2-3 cups tomato sauce or Bolognese sauce depending on preference
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil plus 2 tablespoons more for tossing
Preheat oven to 400. Using 2 tablespoons olive oil, rub cut side of squash and place face down on a baking sheet. Bake until squash are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Let cool and then using a fork, scrape flesh from skin. When all the squash resembles noodles, toss with remaining olive oil and set aside.
Drop oven temperature to 350. In a small bowl mix ricotta, salt, pepper and nutmeg. In your casserole, place a few ladles of sauce, then scatter about half of the squash. On top of squash, spread most of the ricotta leaving a few tablespoons to drop on the top, and half of the remaining sauce. Scatter half of the mozzarella then the remaining squash. Add the remaining sauce, mozzarella, and scatter over the top the parmesan, basil, and the rest of the ricotta.
Place in oven and cook until cheese and sauce is bubbly, about 30 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, loosely place tin foil over the top and continue cooking. When cooked, remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Makes one 11 x 13inch casserole
This dish is in heavy rotation in our house as all generations enjoy it. It can be made in under thirty minutes so makes for a great weeknight meal. Get the kids involved in separating the lettuce leaves and mixing the sauce. The grown-ups like to add a little heat in the wrapping process. We like this meal as for kids it has lots of veggies, good protein and usual the plates come back clean.
Minced Chicken in Lettuce Cups
1 lb. ground chicken meat
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 small zucchinis, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 scallions, diced
¼ tsp salt
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely minced
Lettuce leaves, either iceberg, butter, or Boston Bibb
2 tsp. plus 2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Mirin
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tsp. marmalade (orange, apricot, lemon)
½ tsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. sesame seeds
In a small bowl mix 2 tsp. sesame oil, the rice wine vinegar, Mirin, soy sauce, marmalade, and brown sugar. Set aside.
Sautee garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil, then add zucchini, carrots, and scallions. Add salt. Sautee until everything begins to brown and begins to get tender. Push all the vegetables to the side of sauté pan and add the remaining sesame oil, then the chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked all the way through then mix the veggies and chicken together. Add sauce and cook for two minutes until sauce thickens and reduces slightly.
Serve in lettuce cups with rice.
This is one of our go to proteins for any special occasion. We just made it for New Year's Eve and didn't have one slice left! It maybe a bit decadent in terms of cuts of meat, but it is a crowd pleaser everytime. So easy and simple to make, you just roast and leave to sit and finish cooking, then slice! Done! We keep the spices simple, but you could certainly take this tenderloin in any direction, using whatever dried spices are your favorite. Serve with chimichurri or a horseradish sauce.
Serves 12 or 8 with leftovers
1 3-4 lb beef tenderloin, at room temperature
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil to cover about 1/4 cup
Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
Rub tenderloin with olive oil, Kosher salt & ground pepper. (Or whatever other spices you like for your meats.)
Roast 40 min at 450 F.
Let stand 20 minutes outside of oven tented with Aluminum foil before slicing.
*you MUST let the tenderloin rest, this is where the cooking finishes and all the juices return to the meat.
This dish screams fall. While it hasn't been very cold here, we were still craving a hearty dinner showcasing some fall veggies. The squash and pancetta combination gives you that ideal sweet and savory taste that makes the time it takes to make risotto in the first place, worth it. Yes, there is a lot of stirring but this is where you can enlist a child over ten or a husband to get in the game and help out. Creamy, salty, sweet, delicious.
Acorn Squash Risotto with Pancetta
1 small yellow onion, diced
5 slices of pancetta, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 ½ cups or Campanini or Arborio Rice
2 cups peeled and diced acorn squash
½ cup white wine
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt plus more salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
Place stock in a pan and warm.
In a Dutch oven or deep pot brown the pancetta then remove. Add olive oil, onions and 1 teaspoon of salt and sauté on medium heat until softened, about five minutes. Add squash and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, and then add one ladle of warm stock and cover for about 5 minutes until the bottom of the pot is dry again.
Add the rice and stir, toasting the rice for about 2minutes. Then, add the wine and stir until liquid is absorbed. Then, continue adding one or two ladles of stock in at time, stirring continuously only adding the next one when all the liquid has been absorbed.
After about 20 minutes rice should be done, there will be no more bite left in the rice, tender. If you run out of stock and rice still needs more time add a little warm water and continue stirring.
When rice is cooked stir in half of the cheese and the pancetta and then serve with the remaining cheese and parsley sprinkled on top.
We are always experimenting, trying to find new ways to spice up a salad. Lately, we have been obsessed with grilling some of the vegetables and combining them with raw. It gives the salad a nice combination and texture of soft versus crunchy and the char on the grilled veggies imparts a nice smoky flavor. What really though turns this salad on in the vinaigrette. Sweet, floral, spicy, tart, and tangy. It hits all the right umami notes. Try leftovers in a rice bowl with some steamed spinach and baked salmon.
Kale, Grilled Vegetable and Grilled Chicken salad with Coconut Lime vinaigrette
3 cups kale, stemmed and sliced fine
2 cups red leaf lettuce sliced or shredded into bite sized pieces
1 small eggplant sliced into ¼ inch rings
5 scallions with tips removed
1 zucchini sliced long ways into ¼ inch thick pieces
1 yellow squash sliced long ways into ¼ inch thick pieces
1 firm stone fruit, diced (can be plums or peaches)
¼ cup radishes thinly sliced
2 Persian cucumbers, diced
1 chicken breast
½ -1 cup coconut lime vinaigrette
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
On the grill or in a grill pan, grill eggplant, squash, zucchini and scallions until tender, then dice. Set aside.
Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and grill in pan or on grill. (About 5 minutes per side.) Remove from heat and dice.
Dress kale with ½ cup dressing and massage. Let kale sit for at least five minutes.
Toss all ingredients together and add more dressing to your liking.
Coconut lime Vinaigrette
Makes about 2 cups
Juice of 3 limes
Zest of 3 limes
6 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons of fresh mint, minced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1-cup full fat coconut milk
3 cloves garlic minced
1 Serrano pepper, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, garlic and brown sugar until sugar dissolves. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until mixed.
Serve with rice bowls or as dressing for any salad including the Kale, Grilled Vegetable and Grilled Chicken salad.
Every generation in our house loves take-out Orange Chicken, so that inspired us to try to make our own. This dish is lighter then your normal delivery as the only breading you have is a light coating of cornstarch and it is pan fried, not deep fried. It has a sweet and sour flavor that hits those citrus notes, with a subtle heat from the ginger and chili flakes. If you are making this for kids, you may want to skip the chili flakes and add some at the end for the grown-ups.
Make-In Orange Chicken
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. orange zest
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ tsp. red chili flakes
½ inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
3-4 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
Canola oil for frying
Scallions or sesame seeds for garnish( about one scallion and 1 tsp. sesame seeds)
In a small saucepan bring orange juice, zest, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, chili flakes, ginger and garlic to a boil. Then, turn heat to medium and simmer until reduced by half.
Pat chicken pieces with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
In a large bowl add salt and cornstarch and toss in chicken until all pieces are well coated.
In a large sauté pan or wok heat enough Canola oil so that the oil comes up the side of pan about ¼ of an inch. When hot, add chicken in batches, browning on all sides. About 5 minutes per batch. Remove from pan. Drain pan of excess oil. Add all of the chicken back in and pour sauce over. Heat for 1-2 minutes until all of chicken is coated. Then, sprinkle sesame seeds or diced scallions over the top and serve.
*If you want a thicker sauce add 1 tsp. of cornstarch to the sauce when you add it to the chicken.
Serve with Rice
In our family, we are always looking for ways to tweak the basic pasta sauces we always make. Everyone loves meat sauce, and this version gets a nice herby kick from the Italian sausage and dried herbs. If you are cooking for adults only, or your kids like a little bang in their bite, substitute the sweet Italian sausage with a spicy one.
Italian Sausage and Turkey Bolognese
1 pound Sweet Italian Sausage meat (uncooked)
1 pound ground Turkey meat (light or dark, your preference)
3 carrots, peeled
½ yellow onion
1 red pepper
3 cloves garlic
2-3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 cup red wine
1 small can tomato paste
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
¼ cup fresh basil, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 to 2 packages of your favorite pasta
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and then add your meats. Season the meats with 1 teaspoon of salt and the dried spices. Brown meats then remove into a bowl and set aside.
Place carrots, onion, red pepper, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until pureed. In the same pan you browned the meat, add the pureed vegetables, and if pan looks a bit dry add another tablespoon of olive oil. Sautee vegetables with remaining salt until their liquid begins to evaporate, then add the meat back into the pan. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, then deglaze with wine. After 2 more minutes add your tomatoes, parsley, and basil. Stir on high heat until the mixture begins to bubble, add balsamic vinegar and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for at least and hour or up to two hours. Serve with your favorite pasta and a hearty helping of Parmesan cheese.
*This recipe makes two dinners for a family of 4 using one package of pasta per meal, if serving more people this will make one dinner.
My dad is our toughest critic, but these beans always pass muster. They have just the right balance of sweet and savory and work well with a crowd. They have been a staple of our annual 4th of July barbecue and we rarely have leftovers.
BBQ Baked Beans
2 cans vegan beans
3 cans drained, baked beans
½ red onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ red jalapenos, minced
¼ cup green pepper, chopped
¼ cup red pepper, chopped
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ cup yellow mustard
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 325.
Saute onions, garlic, jalapenos, peppers in olive oil. Then add brown sugar, molasses, mustard, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Combine beans into mixture.
Bake for an hour to caramelize.
We have been making these meatballs for as long as we have been cooking. They are based on a Marcela Hazan recipe that has been tweaked over time. My mother prefers to cook them in a pan as the recipe below states, and I prefer to cook them in the oven as I'm usually chasing children around and not always up for babysitting the stove! Either way they turn our tender and tasty. We always make double and freeze half. Again, my mother freezes with sauce, and I freeze after baking before making sauce. A tip on freezing without sauce, place them on a sheet tray and freeze, then stack in a ziploc bag.
Meatballs and Tomatoes
A slice of good quality white bread
1/3 cup milk
1 pound ground beef, preferably chuck (can sub dark meat turkey)
1 tablespoon onion chopped very fine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoon freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, ground fresh
Panko bread crumbs
1 Cup fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped or canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, chopped up, with their juices.
Put the milk and bread in a small saucepan, and turn on the heat to low. When the bread has soaked up all the milk, mash it to a pulp with a fork. Remove from heat and cool. Put into a bowl the chopped meat, onions, parsley, basil, egg, garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the grated parmesan, nutmeg, the bread and milk mush, salt, black pepper. Gently knead the mixture with your hands without squeezing it. When all the ingredients are evenly combined, shape it gently and without squeezing into balls about 1 ½ inch in diameter. You can use an ice cream scooper.
Place breadcrumbs on plate, enough to cover the plate. Roll the balls lightly in the breadcrumbs. Choose a sauté pant that can subsequently accommodate all the meatballs in a single layer. You may need to do in batches. Pour in enough vegetable oil to accommodate ¼ inch up the sides. Turn on heat to medium high, and when the oil is hot, slip in the meatballs. Brown the meatballs on all sides, turning them carefully so they won’t break.
Remove the pan from the heat, tip the pan slightly and with a spoon, remove as much of the fat as possible. Return the pan to the burner over medium heat, add the chopped tomatoes with their juice, a pinch of salt, and turn the meatballs over once or twice to coat them well. Cover the pan and adjust the heat to cook steady simmer for about 20-25 minutes,. Taste, correct for salt and serve alone or with spaghetti.
Alternative cooking method: Preheat oven to 350 F- place meatballs on cookie sheet with lip after rolling breadcrumbs and bake until cooked through about 20-30 minutes. Then, add both meatballs and tomatoes to sauté pan and heat until sauce is bubbling.
Grandma Alice did not make many dishes, but the ones she did, she honed over many years. We have tweaked this slightly but it still retains her memory. The key is the sweet Hungarian paprika, which lends a smoky flavor without any heat, and the assortment of peppers. We have added the orange pepper but use what you have on hand. The meat is tender and juicy, and served over rice is a hit with all generations at our table.
Grandma Alice’s Hungarian Chicken and Pepper’s Stew
1 whole chicken cut in parts plus 2 extra whole breasts cut in half
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 orange pepper, sliced
1 large brown onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 of a cup of Hungarian sweet paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of olive oil
2 boxes of chopped tomatoes
In large pan, heat half of the olive oil and sauté all vegetable until soft over medium heat. Remove from pan and reserve. Add the remaining olive oil and heat to high. While pan is heating, rub chicken with salt, pepper and paprika. Add chicken to pan and brown on both sides, about five minutes per side. Return vegetables to pan and add tomatoes. Reduce heat and cover. Cook until chicken is tender and falling off bone about one hour.
Serve with steamed rice
For as long as we have been cooking we have been making schnitzel. While we sometimes do veal, chicken is always the favorite. My three year old devours it and leftovers can easily be repurposed into a chicken parmesan or chicken sandwich for lunch. The trick really is using panko bread crumbs as it gives it a better crunch, and seasoning all three of your components when breading, the flour, the egg and the breadcrumbs so each layer is full of flavor.
8 pounded thin boneless Chicken breasts
3 large eggs
1 cup white flour (can use gluten free option)
2-3 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 ½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons of butter
Oil for frying (grape seed, vegetable or canola)
Using 3 pie plates or other dish with a lip on the edge set up your dredging station. In first plate add flour with ½ teaspoon salt, in second plate whisk eggs with ½ teaspoon of salt. In third dish add panko, remaining salt, cayenne pepper, ground mustard, garlic powder and oregano. Using one hand take chicken breast and place in flour, coat both sides, shake off excess then dip in eggs. Coat both sides with egg then place in panko using your hand to firmly press breadcrumbs into chicken on both sides. Place on baking sheet and repeat with rest of chicken. Put in refrigerator for 20 minutes to chill. This will help your coating to stick.
Place enough oil in frying pan to come up ¼ inch on sides and depending how many chicken breasts fit your pan divide butter so each batch gets about 1 tablespoon. Heat oil and butter over medium heat until foamy at edges and remove chicken from fridge. Place chicken in pan and fry until golden brown, then flip. Remove and place on clean baking sheet. Continue until all breasts are done. Chicken can be kept warm in oven at 200 degrees until ready to serve.
We came up with this recipe during a fridge clean up and it wound up being a hit. The saltiness of the bacon with the sweetness of the roasted eggplant and onions creates an ideal balance. The blended eggplant gives the sauce creaminess without adding any cream. It is also an easy, quick weeknight meal as most work is done by the oven and very kid friendly. It would be good also used in lasagna.
Bacon and Eggplant Pasta
½ pound of bacon
3 medium eggplants, diced into half inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 box pureed tomatoes
1 bag/box of dried Fettuccine or Rigatoni pasta, cooked to al dente
½ cup olive oil
Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lay bacon on baking sheet and roast until bacon is cooked through and almost crispy. Toss eggplant, onions and herbs with olive oil and lay on baking sheet. Roast until cooked through and beginning to brown. Place bacon in food processor and blend until almost a paste. Remove and reserve. Next blend the roasted vegetables until smooth. Add both the bacon paste and the vegetable to a sauce pan and stir. Add the tomatoes and cook over medium heat until bubbly. Adjust seasoning and toss with cooked pasta with one ladle of pasta water.
Top with fresh Parmesan cheese
No summer is complete without making Bouillabaisse. It always reminds my mom and dad of their time visiting the South of France, eating with friends at one of their favorite restaurants, Tatou. The fennel, the saffron, the briny seafood is ideally consumed around a table of friends, sipping a crisp rose. My children love the garlicky rouille smeared on the baguette and dunked into the warm broth.
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 leeks, cleaned, split in half, then cut into long strips, then diced
2 fennel bulbs, diced plus 2 tablespoons fennel fronds minced
½ cup of celery diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon saffron threads
2 teaspoons salt
1 small can of tomato paste
1 cup white wine
6 cups of canned whole tomatoes with their juice, broken into pieces
12 cups vegetable or fish stock
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 dozen little neck clams, well cleaned
2 dozen mussels, de-bearded and cleaned
1½ pounds of firm white fish (can be halibut, snapper, sea bass or mix)
1 dozen scallops
salt and pepper to taste
In a large Dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks, fennel, celery, and garlic. Stir and add bay leaf, fennel seeds, saffron and salt. Cook until vegetables are soft but not brown, about ten minutes. Mix in the tomato paste and cook for about two minutes, then pour in white wine. Raise heat and boil for about 3 minutes. Then add in tomatoes, stock, and red pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. This can be made the day before and stored in refrigerator. Bring soup to a boil, turn heat to medium and place clams and mussels in broth. Cover and cook for abut three minutes until shells have opened. Add in the remaining fish, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add scallops, cover and cook for 2 minutes or until all seafood is cooked. Remove any unopened shells. Serve with baguette and rouille.
Rouille (Saffron Garlic Mayonnaise)
Makes about 1 cup
¾ teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon hot broth from the bouillabaisse
1 fresh French roll with crust trimmed
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
¾ cup olive oil
Stir in a small bowl the saffron and 2 tablespoons of hot stock. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. In a food processor process roll into crumbs. Add ¾ of a cup of bread crumbs to saffron mixture and mash with fork until a loose paste forms. Add more stock if too stiff. In food processor or blender add red pepper, garlic and salt. Puree and add in the egg yolk. Pulse bread mixture in, little by little until smooth. Slowly stream in the oil until the mixture is emulsified. Check seasoning. Cover and refrigerate. Use same day.
Roasted Marrow Bones
16 marrow bones cut lengthwise butcher
Preheat oven to 450. Bring bones to room temperature, lay bones on jelly roll baking sheet or roasting pan, marrow side up. Salt and pepper bones. Roast for 25-30 minutes until bones begin to brown and marrow becomes semi translucent. If you cook too long all marrow will disintegrate. While bones are cooking, slice and gently toast rounds of the baguette. Serve hot with Marrow Bone relish
Marrow Bone Relish
1 cup finely chopped flat leaf Parsley
2-3 Shallots finely minced
Juice of 2 Lemons
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and allow to marinate. Serve with warm marrow bones. Also can be used as condiment for fish
A square meal is satisfying, nourishing, complete.
A round table includes all.