Sunday, February 28, 2016

Roast Chicken with Cumin, Honey and Orange

The first time I made whole roast chicken I made one chicken for four adults and two little children. I watched nervously as we cut the chicken and worried there would not be enough chicken to go around. Luckily, we had enough. I suppose having grown up eating chicken every week that I figured a chicken would be similar to turkey; endless amounts of meat with lots left over...or maybe chickens were just larger in the sixties.  Lesson learned.

I've probably roasted more whole chickens over the years, but not that many. I prefer chicken cut up into pieces; it's easier to cook and to keep track of how much I really have. However, a Mark Bittman recipe popped up on my Facebook page and it looked too delicious to resist. It features citrus and cumin. I was cooking for two this weekend so having enough was not a problem. I had all the ingredients at home.  And it's potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, so I guess this was meant to be.

The very easy recipe can be found here.  Because I am trying to use up items that have been sitting in my pantry, I used some old honey that was halfway crystallized. I was worried that it would burn, but it turned out fine.

The chicken comes out moist, but as Bittman points out, this is not because of frequent basting. The basting adds flavor. Keeping an eye on the chicken and turning it every ten minutes, keeps it moist. The chicken was really good. Although next time, I may make it using chicken pieces instead of whole chicken.

Go to IHCC to discover a variety of other wonderful recipes this week.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Beef and Mushroom Barley Soup or Stew

We've been having a warmer than usual winter here in southeastern Virginia.  There have been patches of cold here and there, but the temperature is near the 70 degree mark this weekend.  Not exactly perfect weather for enjoying a hearty bowl of stew, but it is Bowled Over! week at I Heart Cooking Clubs and because I haven't made stew in over a year, I figured it was as good a time as any.

Ellie Krieger's recipe is really a soup, but I used about half the liquid and made it more of a stew. It was tasty, filling and very easy to make.  You brown the beef, chop up and sauté a lot of veggies, pour in the liquids, spice and barley. Let it cook on the stove top and voila.

I used Trader Joe's 10 Minute Barley. Apparently, our local branch doesn't carry regular barley. No matter. I put it in 15 minutes before the stew was finished (instead of 50 minutes) and it came out fine. 
The recipe can be found in The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger. I couldn't find the recipe on-line although this one from is similar. Other warming, delicious options for soup/stew/chili can be found here.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Asian Noodle Bowl with Peanut Dressing

This is "Oodles of Noodles" week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) . This means any pasta, noodle or noodle-like dish.  As I looked through Ellie Krieger recipes both in The Food You Crave and  I thought the peanut noodles looked the tastiest and most likely to please. Peanut noodles are my favorite pasta dish and I've made many variations through the years, but I'm always game to try a new recipe for the dish.  Clearly, the dish appealed to some of my fellow cooks at IHCC, because there are already two postings for this same dish. 

Ellie Krieger has two recipes based on peanut noodles that are similar. I almost made the one found in The Food You Crave. It features broccoli, snow peas and sugar snaps. The problem is that February is a difficult month in which to find sugar snaps. This dish is probably wonderful, but better suited to late spring and summer cooking.

Asian Noodle Bowl with Peanut Dressing is better suited to year round cooking, at least in southern Virginia. As it turns out, I had all but three of the ingredients in my pantry already. The recipe can be found here. Although I only made two changes, it is a versatile recipe. The changes I made (regular pasta in place of whole wheat and crunchy, not creamy, peanut butter) were the result of what I already had on hand and could use up.

Basically, the recipe features many of my favorite flavors.
I added carrots, red pepper, snow peas and spring onion as written in the recipe. This recipe was a winner in my house. Usually, I don't add veggies or roasted peanuts to peanut noodles, but my  husband said they really added a nice crunch. The sauce on its own was a winner, too.
If you head over to IHCC this week, you'll find the other two variations, both of which look delicious.