Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Roasted Green Beans

In my continual quest to find vegetables that we'll eat, I came across this recipe:

Toss fresh green beans with olive oil and some salt and roast in a 400-degree oven for 20-30-ish minutes until they're tender and slightly brown in places.

Make up a dressing along the lines of:

Black pepper

Remove the beans from the oven, coat with dressing, and yummy! This is a "simple" one, Rachelle -- not a lot of ingredients. You may could try it with Ben. Our kids at least don't despise them.

-- SJ

Monday, July 25, 2005

Summer Quesadillas

I recently did this to make a dinner out of peaches and they were a hit.

Slice peaches and add some chives and a TINY bit of brown of sugar. Add this and feta or goat cheese to tortillas and let them heat in a pan or the oven for a few minutes. They are great with a sauce of honey, lime juice, and a little lime rind peel (lemon or orange works fine too).

Thursday, July 14, 2005

What chicken can do for you

There were lots of adjectives that would have done for the title (cheap, cheery, etc.) but I dismissed them all as too cheesy (ha ha!); however, chicken is a wonderful dish and forms the building block for many a meal. So here's the overview for all the mileage I can get out of your average fryer chicken, bought in bulk on sale at $0.49/lb. and frozen for future use:

Roast Chicken
By far the simplest, cheapest, and one of Michael's favourite meals:

1 whole fryer chicken
Several cups water

Pour water over chicken in roasting pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover; cook at 350 for 2-3 hours, at which point meat should be juicy and tender. I drain the broth (of which I have a lot because of all that added water) and make a quick and simple Stovetop Gravy:

Chicken broth
1-2 Tbl. cold water
1 Tbl. white flour
Milk (optional)

Stir broth in saucepan on medium heat. Shake up flour and water in airtight Tupperware; stir in gradually to broth; add milk if desired. If there are lumps, whisk vigourously. This makes a lot of gravy so I always save the leftovers for future recipes.

I always serve at least two sides with roast chicken: mashed potatoes (I assume you all have a recipe for this) and either open a can of creamed corn or make Candied Carrots:

Several carrots, sliced
Butter (like 1 Tbl., depending on how many carrots)
Brown sugar (ditto)

Boil carrots in a saucepan until tender. Drain. Add butter and brown sugar; stir and serve.

There are always lots of leftovers with just the two of us. Cooking up two chickens works great for company (and, I assume, a small but growing family). The best method of dealing with a leftover chicken carcass is to have your husband de-bone it while you read a book aloud to him. Let's assume you have all the leftover chicken meat tidily stored away in Tupperware. At this point I have several option for yummy follow-up meals:

Chicken Casserole
Cornbread crumbs (8x8 pan's worth - I usually bake a cornbread with the chicken just because I like to be efficient with my oven)
1 medium onion, chopped
Poultry seasoning (optional)
Chopped chicken
1-3 cups chicken broth (leftover gravy)

Crumble cornbread into bottom of casserole dish; stir in chopped onions, sage, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle chicken over this; pour chicken gravy over the top. You can water it down with milk to stretch it, because it will usually thicken in the oven. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. (Not less, as the onions will be crunchy otherwise.)

Hearty Chicken and Rice Stew
Chicken broth (leftover gravy)
1 medium onion, chopped
1-3 carrots, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
Chopped chicken
2 cups cooked barley
1 Tbl. lime juice

Stir gravy in saucepan over medium heat until warmed up. Add onion and carrots and spices, and simmer until tender. Add chicken and barley; simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavours to absorb but not too long or the barley will get soggy. Add lime juice right before serving. The quantities are approximate, but this always does for at least two meals.

California Chicken Enchiladas
10 flour tortillas
Chopped chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of mushroom works, too)
1 can chopped green chilis
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese

Mix soup, chilis, sour cream, and most of the cheese. Save 1/2 cup; dice chicken and stir in to main mixture. Scoop mixture into tortillas, fold up, and place in 9x13 pan. Spoon leftover mixture over the top with the rest of the cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. (Not quite so cheap, I'm afraid, unless you get the cans on sale; but SO good!)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Moroccan Chicken and Lentils

If any of you have any simple recipes, please post. I am looking for things I can cook for Ben and the less ingredients, the greater chance that he isn't allergic to something in it. Here is a good one that is so easy and was a big hit with Ben and his dad:

1 Cup baby carrots (or chopped carrots)
1 & 1/2 C lentils, uncooked
1 & 1/2 lb frozen chicken
2 T minced garlic
3/4 t salt
3/4 t tumeric
1/2 t red pepper flakes or ground red pepper
1/2 t ground cinnamon
2 cans (14 oz) broth (chicken is recommended)

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high setting for 5 hours. Or cover and cook on high for an hour and then switch to low setting for 7 hours. Makes 4-6 servings.