OVEN ROASTED CHICKEN WITH VEGGIE’S

Vacationing for an extended period? Renting a home? Get tired of eating out? Here’s a quick and inexpensive meal, that is full of flavor. It’s not just for vacation. It’s also a great meal when you get home from work.  I know the feeling. All you want to do is relax and get dinner over with. Right???!!!

We immediately went to the grocery when we arrived in Aruba. The food and restaurants here are amazing. Everything edible is treated with such reverence. I must admit though, there are times when I just want to cook and stay in. Chicken is so versatile and affordable. This is actually all done on a sheet pan. All you have to do is prep the veggies, throw them onto the pan. Top the vegies with chicken and roast.

I used boneless, skinless, chicken legs cut into large pieces. While I’m not usually a leg fan, this was pretty darn good. I would have preferred boneless skinless thighs. Alas, none were to be found in the grocery we were in. I used red skinned potatoes, carrots, chopped garlic and green onions for my vegetables. Everything was heavily seasoned with salt and pepper. I used olive oil to help with the roasting. I also added some white wine for flavor.

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My husband kept saying “oh my” and eating all the while. To say the least,  it was a warm, comforting, meal. So easy to fix while on vacation or at home. Use any chicken parts you like. You could also use any combination of vegetables. Sweet potatoes are particularly good in this dish. In fact, root vegetables in general are excellent.

You don’t have to wait for vacation to enjoy this one; it’s good any time. It’s a great, easy, meal for company or guests as well.

OVEN ROASTED CHICKEN AND VEGGIES

  • Servings: any amount needed
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

  • Potatoes, cut in half, large slices
  • Carrots, peeled and slice on the diagonal about 2 inches
  •  Green onions, large slices cut on the diagonal (you can use any amount)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, large dice
  • Boneless, skinless, chicken parts (any amount needed)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C white wine
  • Olive oil, enough to drizzle over the veggies and chicken to aid in roasting
  • 1 Tbsp dried rosemary, can use fresh as well to taste
  • Generous amounts of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Set the oven to 375.
  2. Prepare all the vegetables and place them on a sheet pan.
  3. Generously salt and pepper and sprinkle over the rosemary. Drizzle olive oil all over and the white wine. Using your hands toss until everything is well coated.
  4. Clean your chicken pieces and generously salt and pepper. Drizzle a little olive oil over the pieces and rub in with your hands. Put on top of the vegetables.
  5. Bake in the oven until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is completely cooked.
  6. To serve, place a good amount of vegetables on your dish and top with the chicken.

Enjoy

Til next time

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

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BASIC WHITE BREAD

Well…..I find myself in sunny Aruba again. This is where ATBB first started 2 years ago. Football playoffs are on so we are hanging out at the old hacienda today.

I’m not as enthused with Football as my husband. The Baltimore Ravens made it; they are playing the Chargers today. So in support of our local team I am logging a little bit of time. Since the TV is in the kitchen / sitting area I decided to bake and watch.

I am a big fan of my Kitchen-Aide mixer when it comes to making dough. Unfortunately, there isn’t one here. So what’s a baker to do??? Make it by hand of course. Yes, old school, kneading from beginning to end. It was actually kind of fun. It yields 2 loaves so I will have one for our guests arrival.

It has basic ingredients. All purpose flour, yeast, salt, water, oil, and a sweetener. I love using honey in bread. It gives it a nice mellow sweetness. You could use sugar if you like. Just remember, yeast loves sugar.  Sweet is essential for the rising process to occur. I used olive oil because that’s what I had. You could use vegetable or canola or any oil of your choice. They all work!

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The first rise takes place in a greased bowl. The dough is then divided in half and shaped into a loaf. The second rise takes place in two greased loaf pans. I put it in the oven with the oven light on. Cover it with a lint free towel. Dough loves warm places, free of drafts.

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Once the loaves have doubled in bulk it’s time to bake them. Bake for 30-45 minutes in a 375 degree oven. When done they should sound hollow when tapped with your finger and golden in color.

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That’s it! Go bake some bread. The biggest challenge will be waiting long enough to let it cool to eat.  You’ll be tempted to never buy store-bought bread again.

BASIC WHITE BREAD

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/4 C warm water (110-115 degrees) if you aren’t sure use a thermometer
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 3 Tbsp honey, or sugar
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt, or sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, or oil of choice
  • 6-7 C of all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. (if if is too hot it will kill the yeast. It can be cooler,  it will just take longer for it to bloom.)
  2. With a wooden spoon add 3 C of flour the sugar, and the salt. Beat well until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour a cup at a time until if forms a soft dough.
  3. Flour a surface and knead until smooth and elastic. You may need to add more flour if it is sticky. Continue to knead until it is no longer sticky and when you poke the dough and make an indent it should spring back immediately. Form into a ball and place into a well-greased bowl, turning over once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft free place until it has doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
  4. Once doubled, punch straight down into the center of the dough with your fist. Turn out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Shape each into a loaf and place each in a greased 9×5 loaf pan. Cover with a lint free towel and let rise until doubled again, about 40-50 minutes.
  5. Bake the loaves at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown. The loaves should sound hollow when tapped. Remove the loaves from the pans to a wire rack to cool.

This also freezes well. Just wrap tightly in plastic wrap and again in aluminum foil. When ready to use just remove it from the freezer and let it thaw to room temperature in the wrapping.

Til next time

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

RADISH BROWNS AND OVEN BAKED EGGS

When exploring healthy options and lower carbohydrate recipes I discovered radishes. Yes, that’s correct, radishes.  I only used to use them for color in my fresh salads and a little heated bite. I’ve made radish roses for decoration on a crudite’ plate. I never thought of cooking them and using them as a potato substitute.

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The French use them as a nibble with sweet butter and salt and a nice baguette. Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, has a recipe you can find on the web. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/radishes-with-butter-and-salt-recipe2-1945613. While I like them this way, cooking them has been a revelation.

My dear friend at  http://thecoastalcrushstyle.com/ sent me an article about weight gain. It got me thinking about carbs and how I could eliminate them. The article was actually very good. You should give it a read! Check it out on Instagram. (see references below)

I love hash browns. Who am I kidding; I love potatoes. One of my favorite breakfast meals is a frittata. I use Ore Ida’s Potatoes O’Brien for that dish and it’s amazing. That is actually where I got this idea from. I must admit, it made me very happy this morning.

I took a large bag of radishes and peeled them. Then I boiled them until they were just easily pierced with a knife. I strained them and returned to the hot pan, off the burner so it would help absorb the moisture. Once they were cooled I diced them into a small dice. I added some banana peppers from our garden and a bit of diced onion. So this morning Radish Browns were born.

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You will want to make sure your diced radishes are dry. The drier they are the less time it will take to brown them. Keep an eye on them and turn them several times to prevent burning and sticking. The end result is wonderful.

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I topped mine with some cracked eggs and stuck the pan under the broiler. I broiled it until the egg whites were set and the yolks were still slightly runny. Watch it carefully, it only takes a few seconds. Of course if you don’t like runny eggs, leave it under the broiler until they suit you.

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When radishes are cooked they take on a potato flavor. You can also roast or bake them. It’s one of those vegies that has a surprising flavor when they are prepared differently. Don’t take my word for it; give this one a try!

RADISH BROWNS AND OVEN BAKED EGGS

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 oz whole radishes, peeled
  • 4-5 banana peppers, seeded and sliced (can use any type pepper you like)
  • 1/4 medium onion, large dice
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 4 eggs

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Boil the peeled radishes for about 5-8 minutes or until a knife inserted pierces the flesh easily.
  2. Drain and return to the hot pan off the burner to absorb some of the moisture.
  3. Let cool and dice into cubes, as for hash browns.
  4. In a medium skillet that is oven-proof, add the olive oil and heat over med-high heat.
  5. Add the radishes, peppers, and onions and cook until the radishes begin to brown. Turn occasionally so they don’t burn and brown throughout.
  6. Once browned, season with salt and pepper.
  7. Spread the mixture flat and crack 4 eggs in different areas over the top.
  8. Place under the broiler until the eggs are set to the desired doneness.

Note: you can also, whip the eggs and add a bit of milk, and cheese and pour over the top instead of the cracked eggs.

A bit of fresh chopped basil would be good on top with any style egg.

Reference:  http://thecoastalcrushstyle.com/

https://instagram.com/shawnakaminski?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=4mfk6eaf651r

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

 

 

 

BAKED EGGPLANT STACKS

Everybody in my household loves eggplant Parmigiano. Our local farm stand had some beautiful specimens so I brought one home. While I like Parmigiano, I wanted to do something a little different. Baked eggplant stacks became my focus.

These stacks are stuffed with a whipped goat cheese and topped with a smoky tomato chutney and caramelized onions. I plan on making a tarragon vinaigrette and having a nice bibb lettuce salad to go with it. TARRAGON VINAIGRETTE

I sliced the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. I then set up my dipping stations. One bowl was all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. Next I took two jumbo eggs and some buttermilk and whisked them together. The third bowl was a combination of Italian bread crumbs, panko, and grated parmesan cheese.

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Beginning with the flour I coated both sides of the eggplant slices. Then dipped them into the egg-wash and gently shook off the excess. Last, they were dipped and coated in the crumb mixture. I painted the bottom of a foil lined sheet pan with olive oil, using a brush. The slices were placed on the sheet pan and lightly brushed with olive oil on the top. Baked at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes on each side or until they come out a golden brown on both sides. I set them aside to cool.

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While they were cooling I made my whipped goat cheese. Using a combination of soft goat cheese, 1/3 less fat cream cheese and buttermilk. It was whipped until light and fluffy. I stirred in some chives for extra flavor. Then it was put it in the fridge until time to assemble.

The tomato chutney is cooked on the stove top using a cast iron skillet. When finished cooking I allow it to cool. It then gets stored in a mason jar in the fridge for future use. This chutney is exceptional on lamb burgers and also with eggs.

The caramelized onions were done ahead of time too. Once you have everything prepped the assembly is a piece of cake…..or should I say stack!

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Now all you do is assemble and bake as directed. My mouth is watering just smelling them!

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This might look like a lot of steps but it goes quickly. It is well worth the effort too. One stack is one serving. Have a simple green salad alongside. It’s an excellent meal.

BAKED EGGPLANT STACKS

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Print

FOR THE WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 oz softened goat cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese softened, I use 1/3 less fat
  • 1/4 C non-fat buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives

DIRECTIONS:

With a hand mixer, blend the cheeses together with the buttermilk. Stir in the chives. Put in a container and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

FOR THE CARAMELIZED ONION:

Slice one large onion into half moons. Place in a large skillet over medium-low heat and cover with a lid. DO NOT SEASON THEM YET! Check in 10 minutes and turn. Continue to cover and cook checking often. Once they are golden brown, season with  kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Set aside.

FOR THE CHUTNEY:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of grated garlic
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 t Cajun seasoning
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle chili, diced
  • 1 can, fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
  • Kosher salt to taste

DIRECTIONS: In a Cast Iron skillet

  1. Heat the skillet over medium-low heat and saute the onion til soft, stir in the grated garlic, do not allow it to burn.
  2. Add smoked paprika, Cajun spice, and the tomato paste. Cook on low until the paste begins to darken, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and chipotle chili and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for 30 minutes stirring frequently.
  4. Remove the cover and simmer until thickened.
  5. Season with salt to taste. Allow to cool. Any unused portion can be put in a jar and kept in the refrigerator up to one month. Set aside.

FOR THE BAKED EGGPLANT:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 C all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1/4 C non-fat buttermilk,
  • 1 C Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 C panko
  • 1/2 C freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
  • olive oil in a small dish with a pastry brush

DIRECTIONS:

Set up dredging stations:

Bowl 1: Mix the flour and salt and pepper.

Bowl 2: Beat the eggs together with the buttermilk until light and fluffy.

Bowl 3: Combine the bread crumbs, panko, and the grated Parmigiano.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil and brush over the surface with olive oil.
  3. Beginning with the flour dredge both sides of the eggplant slice.
  4. Dip in the egg mixture to coat both sides, shake lightly to remove excess.
  5. Dredge in the crumb mixture, shake lightly to remove excess.
  6. Place the slice on the greased pan and continue with the rest of the slices.
  7. Using a brush lightly dab the top of the slices with olive oil to assist in browning.
  8. Once complete, place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, remove and turn to the other side and continue to bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.

ASSEMBLY:

  1. Starting with a larger slice, place on a baking sheet, put a dollop of whipped goat cheese on top. Using a slightly smaller slice place on top of the first slice and dollop with another layer of goat cheese. Using a slightly smaller slice than the last, top with a dollop of chutney, and a few of the caramelized onions.  Continue with the rest of your eggplant until all of it is stacked.
  2. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot!

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Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D