Monday, March 21, 2011

Three is a Charm?

Hi gang, sorry I haven't posted! I know it has been three days. Fifty lashes with a wet noodle for me huh? No excuses, just put the laundry and house cleaning on the top of the list and didn't realize there was as much to do as there was! YIKES! Who's been making all of these messes?

Ok, now we have three recipes to go over. So look at it as a bonus right? Three is a lucky number!

Friday night was recipe #50 Big Thick Hearty Thighs. Only three of us ate that night, and I didn't get the report from Seth until the next day because he took it to work, he works nights, and ate it there. But when he does that I can always count on someone else from his work weighing in on how they liked the recipe. So far they are a nice crowd to feed!
Seth, as well as his boss, like this one. I felt I may have under salted it but for some reason my taster wasn't working very well and I just kept thinking it is missing something but couldn't put my finger on it. Usually I am Johnny on the spot when it comes to salt, and I salted and peppered the thighs liberally before I put them in the pan, plus salted again a bit later on. I just kept feeling like something was missing. But Kevin said he liked it and it makes a nice broth for sopping with some crusty warm french bread yummm can't go wrong with that right? I would suggest trying this recipe but just stay on top of the salt and see if that was my issue. 

Another nice thing about the recipe is it is inexpensive. So if you are like me, and don't have a lot of money to throw around for crazy recipes, this is a good one for you! I did add slightly more garlic than the recipe calls for. My family LOVES garlic, plus the cloves Rachael has on the show are always nice and big. Mine, well, not so much. I also added and extra tablespoon of thyme leaves.

Alas, I neglected my duties of taking a picture so the recipe will have to suffice. 

Big, Thick, Hearty Thighs

2 tablespoons EVOO
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
black pepper
1 small yellow onion
5 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves chopped
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken stock
3 medium to small red  bliss potatoes, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 cup frozen peas
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves chopped

Preheat a large skillet or wide soup pot over medium high heat and add the EVOO. Season the chicken thighs liberally with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet and brown on both sides for about 3 minutes. Scoot the browned thighs to the edges of the pan, making some space in the center of the skillet. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook stirring frequently for 2 minutes.

Add the wine and the chicken stock, turn the heat up to high, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the potatoes and stir everything together. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove lid and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the peas, lemon juice, lemon zest, and parsley, and cook for 1 more minute just to heat the peas through. Serve with crusty bread. 

Chicken Thigh

serves 4

Night Number 2
The next recipe is #7 Chipotle Mac-N-Cheddar. It is a twist on the Master Recipe #4 Mac-N-Cheddar with Broccoli.
Four out of the six people that I can be feeding any given night, enjoy spicy food. I expected this one to be a bit hot with the "C" word (chipotle) in the title. I am still remembering how hot the ribeyes were and a bit nervous about making things so spicy only a few of us can eat it. It is a fine tap dance I do but I try.
Actually this one was not hot at all. Just enough spice to make it warm and yummy, but not enough to burn your tongue off. Seth, Melissa, and Kevin all said it was great and would even suggest adding a bit more chorizo to the recipe. I had it but was afraid it would be too much. They said I could have even add an extra chipotle pepper. So if you want to warm it up a bit give that a try. I will say this recipe is a nice one for people looking for something other than *yawn* Mac-N-Cheese. I love most of Rachael's spins on Mac-N-Cheese and this was just another one to add to the list.
FYI a little hint for the chipotle peppers in adobo. This comes from Rachael so I can't claim it myself, once you open the can and use the peppers you need, place the remaining peppers and sauce in a snack or sandwich baggie and roll like a tube then pop in the freezer. The next time a recipe calls for chipotles in adobo BAM you drag it out of your freezer and grate a bit off with your cheese grater. Rachael says it is about 1 tablespoon per pepper.  
Again, I hang my head in shame, no picture for your viewing pleasure.
Smokey Chipotle Mac-N-Cheddar


  • 1 pound macaroni elbows or cavatapi corkscrew shaped pasta twists
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, plus some for drizzling
  • 3/4 pound chorizo, 1 package, casing removed and diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 chipotle in adobo and their juices, chopped or 1 tablespoon ground chipotle chili
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cups shredded smoked Cheddar


Place a pot of water on to boil for macaroni. When it boils, salt water and cook pasta until a little under done, just shy of al dente.
While pasta cooks, place a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and chorizo. Brown the chorizo then add the canned tomatoes to the pan and heat them through. Remove from heat and reserve.
While chorizo begins to cook, heat a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, then add onions and chipotles and cook 3 to 5 minutes to sweat it out and turn the juices sweet. Raise heat up a bit, add the flour and whisk together until mixture bubbles up. Cook 1 minute more. Whisk in milk and stock and raise heat up a little more to bring the sauce to a quick boil. Once it bubbles, drop heat back to a rolling simmer sauce to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes.
Drain macaroni or pasta. Add cooked pasta back to the large pot.
Add cheese to milk sauce and stir to melt, a minute or so. Stir in chorizo and tomatoes and season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over cooked pasta in large pot and toss to combine. Transfer to a large serving platter, garnish with chives and serve.
serves 4

Chipotle Peppers

Macaroni and Cheese

Night Number 3
Now we are on to recipe #74 Turkey (or Chicken) Croquettes with Spinach Mashers and Pan Gravy. This recipe right off the bat reminded me of Thanksgiving. That is because I used to always make turkey croquettes from the left over turkey. I wish I had found this way to make them a long time ago! I made them with a rue and then you had to grind the turkey and let it all set in the fridge....blah blah blah. This was like a little Thanksgiving party in my mouth.
I would suggest chopping the veggies very fine. I did the "rustic" chop and that made them too big. I also felt 1 pound of spinach was too much so I grabbed a 5 ounce container and I will say that is as much as I would want in the potatoes. But that is the only negative thing I will say about this recipe. If you like "Turkey Day" make this one!!!
And YAY!! I have a picture!

  • Turkey or Chicken Croquettes with Spinach Mashers and Pan Gravy

  • 3 large starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 package (about 1-1⁄3 pounds) ground turkey breast or ground chicken
  • 2 celery ribs and their greens, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning (eyeball it in the palm of your hand)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (from 5 to 6 sprigs)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (a handful)
  • Coarse black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil (eyeball it)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2-1⁄2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1⁄2 cup cream or half-and-half
  • 1 pound triple-washed baby spinach leaves
  • Prepared whole-berry cranberry sauce, to pass at the table
Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Put a lid on the pot and bring the water to a boil. Salt the water and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. While the potatoes cook, make the croquettes. Place the turkey or chicken in a bowl. Add the celery, onions, poultry seasoning, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, and egg yolk. Combine and form 8 patties. Coat both sides of the patties in the bread crumbs. Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Cook the patties for 5 minutes on each side. Remove the croquettes to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
Reduce the heat under the skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet and melt, then whisk in the flour. Cook the roux for a minute or two. Whisk in 2 cups of the chicken stock and bring to a bubble. Thicken for a minute or so and turn off the heat. Season the sauce with a little salt and pepper.
Drain the cooked potatoes and return to the hot pot. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock, and the cream. Mash and season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Fold in the spinach leaves until they wilt into the potatoes.
To serve, pile the spinach mashers on plates and top each portion with 2 croquettes and a spoonful of gravy. Pass the cranberry sauce at the table.
serves 4
I will update the menu page and then can't wait to report to you on all the great stuff coming up this week!

Chicken Croquettes

Mashed Potatoes


1 comment:

  1. Wow some great sounding food, you have been busy. The last recipe for the turkey is all messed up all weird looking on the screen, only lines?