Tag Archives: butter

Roasted Chicken…and sides (Bacon Creamed Corn / Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes)

Hey everyone, I know it’s been a few weeks since my last major post or update. I have been absolutely swamped and haven’t made anything other than a quick meal here and there. I would have posted any of those if I thought they were anything post-worthy, since I know it helps to sometimes have recipes for things that take very little time during a work week, but I didn’t even take any pictures along the way.

I wouldn’t claim myself to be a master cook/chef by any means, but besides how expert chefs may make an egg or an omelet, some people also think that one who can make a simple roasted chicken well must also have some skills to pay the bills.

I’ve done this very few times in the past, mainly because before I was a bit nervous that I would end up with an overcooked bird outside, but still clucking inside. Thankfully, none of that happened back then or now. I would say that the major reason is time. This can take a couple hours of prep and cook time, so it’s not really a convenient weeknight meal. I think it’s suitable for people who have those extra hours, or for a family dinner on a weekend. Done well, even with few ingredients, it can amaze and surprise your guests. 

I didn’t do too much with this one. Just gave the chicken a wet spice rub with some butter, paprika, oregano, thyme, rosemary, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. One of the tricks is to not only get the outside skin, but also underneath the skin, so that the seasoning can get into the meat of the bird. I also put some lemons into the cavity, as well as some salt and pepper inside to make sure all parts of the chicken were seasoned well.

 I served the chicken with some roasted garlic mashed potatoes, as well as some bacon creamed corn.

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What You’ll Need:

 Chicken and Spice/Butter Rub

– 1 roasting chicken, about 3-4 lbs

– zest of one lemon

– 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened (I accidentally over warmed the butter and melted it, but it was ok)

– 1 Tbsp smoked paprika

– 1 tsp dried oregano

– 1 tsp dried thyme

– 1 tsp dried rosemary

– ½ tsp garlic powder

– 2 tsp Kosher Salt (adjust for your taste)

– 1 tsp ground pepper

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

– 2 lbs red potatoes, cubed into one inch cubes

– 2 heads of garlic, halved horizontally through the cloves (see picture)

– ¾ cup sour cream

– ¼ cup milk (or heavy cream if you really want it to be rich….this measure is approximate depending on how you like the consistency. More milk/cream for thinner potatoes, less for thicker ones)

– 2 Tbsp unsalted butter

– Salt and Pepper to taste

Bacon Creamed Corn

– 2 ears of fresh corn, shucked and corn cut off the cob (approximately 1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels)

– 3 slices of bacon (I used center cut, with less fat in it)

– ¼ cup of heavy cream

– 1 tsp smoked paprika

– small amount of cayenne pepper, depending on your heat preferences

 The How-To:

** Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit while you prepare the chicken

Chicken

1- Place chicken in a baking dish or roasting pan. Season the inside with salt and pepper

2- Combine all of the ingredients listed after the chicken and mix well

3- Using your hands, spread half of the mixture on top of the skin, all over the chicken

4- Use your hands to separate the skin from the chicken breast and spread evenly the rest of the rub mixture under the skin, over the flesh of the chicken. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze some juice into the cavity, and place both halves into the cavity.

5- Tie the chicken legs together as seen in the picture

6- Cook the chicken until the skin is golden, and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (not touching a bone) registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit, between 1.5 to 2 hours. If the skin starts to brown or burn before the inside is cooked, cover it with some foil.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

1- At the same time you put the chicken into the oven, you can roast the garlic for the first hour. Cut the two entire heads of garlic in half, then place in some foil, sprinkle with salt, and a little oil. Close up the foil packet. Garlic will be done when it is golden brown, soft, and sweet smelling/tasting. 

2- Place the cut potatoes in a saucepot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Cook until a fork goes through the potato with no effort, or taste and see when done.

3- Once the potatoes are done, turn off the heat, drain well, and put the potatoes back into the pot over the warm stove to dry any excess water.

4- Mash or rice the potatoes (I mashed since I had the skins on), then add in salt, pepper, roasted garlic, cream/milk, and sour cream. Season to taste, and make sure the garlic is completely mashed in.

Bacon Creamed Corn

1- Another thing to do while the chicken roasts and the potatoes cook is slice the 3 slices of bacon, and cook in a skillet over medium heat until it starts to render the fat out and begins to become crispy.

2- Shuck and cut the corn, then add to the skillet with the bacon and bacon drippings. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until it begins to soften a little, about 5 minutes.

3- Add the heavy cream, paprika, and cayenne pepper, and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Season appropriately with salt and pepper if needed.

After the chicken was done (it had a pop-up timer, but I didn’t trust it since it was either broken, or will only pop when the chicken is shoe leather), I broke it down by removing the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. I served it with the sides above, which were great. The corn was awesome, try it out!

I hope this works out for you all. It wasn’t very difficult, and the longest time was the roasting time.

Enjoy!

– Anthony

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Warm pumpkin pudding cake with vanilla ice cream

Made this cake at the last minute while making dinner. I underbaked it slightly to have a molten/pudding like texture. Add some ice cream on top and it’s an awesome dessert, especially for the (somewhat) cold Florida weather.

I posted the recipe below. I got lucky because I did this by memory from another cake, and didn’t use the recipe when I actually made it. Below are the ingredients that I used.

 

What You’ll Need:

– 1 can pumpkin puree (not the pumpkin pie mix)

– 4 eggs

– 1 cup sugar

– 1 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup, or 8 Tbsp), room temperature

– 1 cup sour cream

– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

– 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

– 1/8 cup of vegetable or canola oil

– 2 Tsp cinnamon (more if you want a strong flavor)

– 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (add another 1/4  to 1/2 cup if batter is too thin)

– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

– Pinch of salt

The How-To (No step-by-step pics, as this was done from memory):

Note: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, grease a round 9-inch baking dish, or a cake pan.

 

1: In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl if using a hand mixer, place both the butter and sugars. Beat together on medium until it is light and creamy, probably a few minutes.

2: Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the 4 eggs. Mix until incorporated.

3: To the egg mixture, add the vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Mix briefly.

4: Add pumpkin puree and sour cream and mix again. Mix in the baking powder, and add the flour in 1/2 cup batches until it is fully added, only mixing briefly to incorporate. Don’t mix too much, as the cake may be tough.

5: After batter is combined, place into greased cake pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Check the cake at this point. If the center is still loose and shakes quite a bit, continue baking for another 10-15 minutes. You don’t want to bake this until it’s completely brown, dry, and solid. I underbaked mine just to the point where the center looked moist, but did not move anymore.

Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes, then serve warm, with ice cream or whipped cream on top.

Note: I hope this works out. I put this together from memory and didn’t have a written recipe in front of me (a baking/pastry faux pas I know, unless you’re an accomplished baker, which I am not, lol). Like I said, I lucked out that it worked out. It could’ve been a wet mess…a cake fail, or rather a Cake Wreck. You may benefit from using a cake mix and adding the pumpkin to it instead, lol. Best of luck.

If the recipe doesn’t work out, comment back, and my apologies in advance if that happens. I will use more precise recipes for future baking endeavors.

– Anthony

Edit: I had it again the day after. I just microwaved it for 30 seconds and added the ice cream on top. Still tasted great.

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Pan Seared Salmon with Capers / Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Syrup

Hello, all you faithful (and new) readers. The weather in South Florida is absolutely amazing (for me anyways). I like cold weather, and am enjoying the highs in the 50s and 60s during the day, and lows in the 30s and 40s at night. Kinda nice to feel “seasons” in Florida, lol.

Anyways, I felt like cooking today, even after a long day in work. This is a relatively quick recipe, especially if you forego the pomegranate vinegar syrup. However, the syrup is pretty key, in this recipe at least. In fact, all the flavors play off of each other well in this dish.

The salmon was nicely seared, with the richness of the butter in the sauce being cut by the acidic/salty bite of the capers and the white wine. The bitter qualities of the Brussels sprouts were in sync with the smoky bacon and the sweet/sour flavor of the pomegranate vinegar syrup reduction. In other words, pretty tasty stuff.

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What you’ll need (for 2-3 servings):

Salmon:

– 1 lb of salmon (whichever type you like, I chose Atlantic, but Pacific or Sockeye work as well)

– 1 shallot, finely minced

– 1 Tbsp Butter

– 1 Tbsp Olive oil

– About 2 Tbsp capers, and some of the brine

– Salt

– Pepper

Brussels Sprouts:

– 1 lb Brussels sprouts

– 2 strips bacon, sliced into strips

– 2 cloves of garlic, medium chop

– Salt

– Pepper

Pomegranate Vinegar Syrup:

– about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of pomegranate infused red wine vinegar

– 2-3 Tbsp sugar

– pinch of salt

 

The How-To:

1: Start with the pomegranate syrup. Mix all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, stir, and place over medium-low heat. When it comes to a boil, turn it slightly lower, and boil until the mixture reduces by a little more than half. It will be slightly thicker, but will really thicken after it cools. This should take about 15 minutes or less. Keep an eye on it, and avoid reducing so much that it’s thick while hot. It will become way too thick to drizzle on the sprouts.

2: As the syrup is reducing, place a pan over medium heat for a couple minutes. Add the bacon and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until some of the fat is rendered out.

3: Add the Brussels sprouts to the bacon and drippings and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until nicely caramelized and tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic a few minutes before finishing to avoid burning it. I added it first and it stuck to the pan a bit.

4: Season the salmon filets with salt and pepper. Heat another skillet over medium heat until hot. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

5: When the oil is shimmering, and before it smokes, add the salmon seasoned sided down, and sear for about 2-3 minutes on one side. Season the other side while the first side is cooking.

6: Wait until the salmon releases. That’s when you know it’s ready to turn. Do not try to force it if it sticks too much, or it will fall apart. Flip the fish over and sear the other side for another 3-4 minutes.

7: Remove the salmon, and set aside for a couple minutes. Drain the oil, and add 1 Tbsp of fresh oil and the 1 Tbsp butter. Let the butter melt, then add the shallot, and cook for a couple minutes.

8: Then add the white wine, capers, and caper brine and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Spoon over the fish.

9: Plate the Brussels sprouts, then drizzle them with the pomegranate syrup.

Chow down!

Enjoy folks. Let me know what you think.

– Anthony

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Garlic-Lemon Shrimp and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

No time for a cheesy title today, Lol. Gotta get some work done, but I wanted to post this first. While at the grocery store, I decided to make something quick, somewhat affordable, and not deep fried or take-out for dinner tonight. I saw some shrimp at the seafood counter, and they looked fresh (and smelled like the ocean). If they have a strong seafood/fishy smell, they aren’t that fresh.

This is a quick and easy meal, requiring probably 30 minutes or so if you prep/cook the shrimp while the potatoes are cooking. It has a good, but not overpowering, garlicky taste. Add some red pepper flakes to the shrimp to add a little heat. You can also add a little white wine to the oil/butter before adding the shrimp, but I didn’t have any available.

What you’ll need:

Shrimp:
– 1 lb of shrimp of 41-50 count shrimp (this means that there will be about 41-50 shrimp in each pound in this size)
– Juice of 1 medium lemon
– Zest of the lemon
– 6 (or more) garlic cloves, finely chopped
– ½ teaspoon dried oregano
– ½ teaspoon garlic powder
– red pepper flakes (to taste)
– kosher salt
– black pepper
– 1 ½ Tbsp butter
– ¼ cup olive oil

Potatoes:
– About 5-6 medium red potatoes, cubed (peeled or not, depending on your preference)
– 6 whole garlic cloves (3 for the milk/cream, 3 to boil in the potatoes)
– ¼ cup sour cream
– 1 cup milk, ½ cup cream (may or may not need all of it)
– 3 Tbsp of finely chopped chives
– 1-2 Tbsp butter (or more if you desire richer potatoes)

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The How-To:

Potatoes:
1: Cube the potatoes, and place in a medium sized saucepot
2: Add enough cold water to cover the potatoes, and add the 3 garlic cloves
3: Place over medium heat and let cook until it comes to a slow boil. Keep cooking until the potatoes are fork-tender (can be pierced with a fork with no effort)
4: Strain the potatoes and add back to the hot pot, put over low heat for 30 seconds to dry up any remaining water.
5: Mash the potatoes to your desired consistency (try to avoid overworking them, or they may become gluey)
6: Add the sour cream, butter, and chives. Stir the potatoes.
7: Add the milk/cream mixture slowly while stirring, until the potatoes are the consistency you’d like
8: Season to your taste with salt, pepper, and even some extra garlic powder if you’d like

Shrimp:
1: While the potatoes are heating, make sure the shrimp are deveined and the shells are removed
2: In a bowl, add the shrimp, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and toss until evenly coated
3: Heat the skillet over medium heat, then add the olive oil and butter for a minute
4: Add the garlic, and sauté over medium heat for a minute or so, avoiding turning the garlic too brown (it will get bitter if it gets this far)
5: Add the shrimp and lemon zest to the pan, cook until they are opaque and change color all-over, about 3-4 minutes. Make sure to stir or toss them, and remove from heat to avoid overcooking the shrimp.

Serve the shrimp with the potatoes, spooning some of the oil and butter mixture on the plate.

Enjoy, and good eating!

– Anthony

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Sweet Tooth Satisfied: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I finally made the brown butter chocolate chip cookies that I posted about a while ago. I got the recipe from Macheesmo.com, which he got from another website, The Recipe Girl. See: “Share the wealth…” from October 3rd, 2010.

They were awesome! They took quite a bit more time to make than conventional cookies, but were very much worth the effort! They were soft and chewy in texture. I modified the recipe a bit to use both semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips. I didn’t have time to photograph the step-by-step process this time around, but hopefully next time. I did get a snap of the finished product. Check ’em out below!

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Share the wealth…

From time to time,  I will be posting recipes or ideas that I like that I’ve found on other blogs or from other resources (TV, magazines, etc)  in order to share the wealth with you all.

For example, one that sounded simple, yet amazing, was a recipe for Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I saw the recipe on Macheesmo, and he adapted the recipe from The Recipe Girl’s recipe.

Click the picture or link below to see the recipe on Macheesmo.

Click HERE to see the recipe.

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