Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


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Butterflied Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes

I love Cook’s Country Magazine and have been a faithful subscriber for nearly a decade.  In the October/November 2016 issue I found this recipe for Butterflied Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes.  Just reading the recipe was an invitation to make it sooner than later.  It is a delicious chicken dish that I will serve again.  It is not hard to make – the hardest part is cutting the back bone out of the chicken (use poultry scissors).

Butterflied Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes

adapted from Cook’s Country Oct/Nov 2016 issue

Serves 4 | approx. 585 calories per serving (as per fitnesspal)

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4 lb- 4 1/2 lb) roasting chicken, giblets discarded
  • 1 Tbsp extra- virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced to 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chives (optional)

For the Parsley Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp capers, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Place the rack in your oven to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 F.

Place the whole chicken on the cutting board breast side down.  Remove and discard the giblets.  Use poultry scissors to cut along both sides of the backbone from tail to neck and discard the backbone.  Turn the chicken breast side up.  Dry with paper towels.  Coat the chicken with one tablespoon of olive oil and season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper.  Tuck the wings behind the bird.

In a 12 inch stainless steel skillet add the sliced potatoes, water, smashed garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Place the butterflied chicken on top of the bed of potatoes in the skillet.  Heat the skillet on the stove top over medium high heat until the water comes to a boil.  Turn off the burner and place the skillet in the oven.

Cook the chicken and potatoes in the oven at 450F for 1 hour, rotating the pan in the oven after 30 minutes. (Test chicken with a thermometer 160F for white meat 175F for dark- cook longer if necessary).

Meanwhile make the parsley sauce: in a small bowl, combine minced fresh parsley, olive oil, minced capers, minced shallot, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste

Remove the skillet from the oven and place on stove-top.  Carefully lift the chicken from potatoes and place onto a cutting board to allow it to rest.  Cook the potatoes over medium high heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon out any excess liquid in the skillet.   Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes and half and half.  Taste, season with salt and pepper if desired.

Serve the roasted chicken with the garlic smashed potatoes and parsley sauce.

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Peach Crisp

IMG_9865When I think of summer, I think of peaches.. there are few things in the world that are as good as the peaches I have eaten in South Jersey – juicy, drippy, goodness.  Well, I am in Southern California, and bought some peaches that were begging to be used up.  I found this recipe for Peach Crisp in my America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook.  Unfortunately, I did not have as many peaches as the recipe called for, because two of them had gone bad, but I used what I had: 4 large peaches. Reading over the ingredients, I found I had everything except for lemon zest to make this dish, so make it I did. And yummy it was.

Peach Crisp

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook (15th Anniversary Edition page 804)

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 3 lbs of peaches, peeled, pitted and cut up into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon, optional

Crumble Topping:

  • 6 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F

Place the peach pieces in a pie dish. Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Stir with a fork.  Add the pieces of butter and work with your hands to combine them into a crumb like topping. Stir in the pecan pieces.

Spread the crumb topping across the top of the peach filling.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.  Cook an additional 5 minutes at 400 if the topping is not browned.

Serve warm.  Great with ice cream of whipped cream.

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Cool and Creamy Macaroni Salad

IMG_9603This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen.  With Independence Day quickly approaching, I wanted to try a new recipe for macaroni salad.  The ingredients caught my attention because of the addition of lemon juice.  I followed the recipe exactly – and what I liked was that the dressing was not overly thick.  The lemon added a nice fresh flavor to the salad.  What I did not like is that it seemed to be lacking something else.  I thought the parsley was overpowering.  I would change that to something like basil – and I bought a ham steak, diced it up and added about 1 cup to the salad.  It was now much better!  It still is not my most favorite recipe, but it is a nice change from the same old same old.  I also added about 1/2 tsp of Spike seasoning to the salad.  It is a seasoning I use in my Hawaiian Potato Mac salad and really like the flavors that it adds.

Cool and Creamy Macaroni Salad

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced basil (originally parsley)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp Spike (optional)
  • 1 cup diced ham steak

Instructions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water and cook the elbow macaroni according to the package directions.  Do not overcook the pasta though, you want it to still have some texture once you add the dressing.  Drain the pasta.  Rinse the pasta in cold water and give it a quick drain (you want to keep a little of the moisture of the water in the pasta – it will keep the dressing from becoming overly thick.

Combine the chopped red onion, chopped celery, chopped basil (or parsley), lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, cayenne pepper in a small bowl and add these to the cooled macaroni salad.  Stir together and allow to sit for 2 or 3 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb.

Add the mayonnaise to the pasta and stir to combine.  Season with Spike if you think it needs more flavor.  Add the chopped ham to the pasta salad and stir. Chill until serving.

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Mediterranean Chopped Salad

IMG_8936Here is another lovely salad that I made.  I found this recipe in my America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook on page 74.  I love most of the recipes that I have tried from America’s Test Kitchen.  They are on TV on PBS as well.

Mediterranean Chopped Salad

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook pg 74

Serves 6  Calories: 180/serving

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 10 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half (I love Cherub brand cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into pieces
  • 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pitted  kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Combine the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Pour over the salad and gently toss the salad.

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Baked Brown Rice

IMG_6978Cooking brown rice has been a struggle for me.  I overcook it and it is mushy, under cook it and is crunchy.  Rice cookers have not been the solution to this problem  either.  I found this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen, which bakes the brown rice in the oven in a covered casserole!  Success at last and this method yields a nice nutty, fully cooked rice that is pure perfection!.  I added dried parsley and dried garlic for additional flavor.  I found my covered  stoneware did a fantastic job of steaming the rice in the oven, but a Pyrex dish covered in foil will do the job according to ATK.

Baked Brown Rice

adapted from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2009 page 78

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown Basmati rice
  • 2 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp dried minced garlic

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place the Basmati rice in your stoneware (one that has a lid would be perfect).  Add 2 1/3 cups boiling water to the rice, add olive oil, salt, dried parsley and minced garlic and stir.  Cover with lid (or foil, doubled to ensure a good seal).

Bake at 375 °F for 60 minutes.  Remove from the oven, remove the lid.  Fluff the rice with a fork.  Cover the casserole with a clean kitchen towel and allow to steam for 5 minutes.  Remove the towel and allow to sit uncovered for 5 more minutes and then serve.

I will be baking my brown rice from now on! This is the way to cook it.  Thank you once again America’s Test Kitchen.

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Crab Cakes and Remoulade Sauce

IMG_5100Recently, my daughter requested crab cakes for dinner.  I was actually surprised that she wanted them, I was sure it was salmon cakes she liked, but to be honest I was happy to oblige.  I like Crab Cakes.  When I think of crab cakes, I think East Coast, but as I live on the West Coast – I also think Disneyland Blue Bayou crab cakes.  They are good!  I found a nice recipe in one of my many cookbooks:  America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (page 281) I doubled the recipe because the recipe served 4 and we are a family of 5.  I took leftovers to a neighbor, who said the crab cakes rivaled those served in a fancy restaurant.  It made me smile.  This truly is a good recipe!  They make very large crab cakes though, so I probably would have been okay keeping the recipe at 4 servings and making the crab cakes slightly smaller.  I added a kick of creole seasoning (Konriko brand is my favorite seasoning, that is available through the internet).

Crab Cakes

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s Family Cookbook

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs canned refrigerated backfin crab meat (Pacific Cove is an excellent brand)
  • 6 Tbsp dried breadcrumbs
  • 8 scallions, thinly sliced (green part only)
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley (or cilantro, dill, or basil)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Creole Seasoning (optional, but if not using increase Old Bay to 1 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2  eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup flour, or more as needed
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions:

In a large bowl, using a fork gently combine the crab meat, dry breadcrumbs,  scallions, parsley (or other spices), Old Bay Seasoning, Creole seasoning.

Add the mayonnaise and gently fold it into the crab meat.  Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper if necessary.  (If you are adding creole seasoning it may not need any and if you are not using it then increase the Old Bay seasoning to 1 Tbsp.)  Gently fold in the beaten eggs.  Add more breadcrumbs if necessary.  I used less than called for.

Divide the crab meat into 8 equal portions.  Gently form them into balls and flatten them slightly. They are quite large almost fist sized.  Cover the crab cakes with plastic wrap and cool for 30 minutes or longer.

Heat 1/4″ canola oil in a non stick skillet, or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Remove the crab cakes from the refrigerator and lightly coat them in flour just before frying them in the oil.  Fry them until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side and remove them to a platter and keep warm while you finish cooking the remaining crab cakes.  Serve with lemon wedges and Spicy Remoulade Sauce if you wish.

Remoulade Sauce

adapted from: http://southernfood.about.com/od/saucerecipes/r/r90627b.htm

Yields: about 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1 tsp finely chopped rinsed capers
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • dash Frank’s hot sauce, or to taste (I used about 3 tsp)
  • salt, to taste

Preparation:

Combine the mayonnaise, chopped dill pickle, chopped capers, lemon juice, mustard, and parsley. Taste and add hot sauce and salt, until you like the taste of the sauce.

Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

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Crockpot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Orange Sauce

IMG_2817I recently watched America’s Test Kitchen’s episode of crock-pot recipes.  Their slow cooked pork tenderloin really caught my eye.  I made it and it is quite delicious.  The classic tastes of pork and cranberry really work together.  It is an easy recipe too, sometimes the recipes that America’s Test Kitchen’s put out are a little fussy- this one is not! I doubled the recipe because I wanted to share some with a friend.

My pork tenderloin looked like it was one large piece, but it was two smaller pieces, I tied them together, but this is optional, I think it would be fine with a few smaller ones.  The meat falls apart in this preparation.  I will be making it again.

Crockpot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Orange Sauce

Serves 10-12 Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages pork tenderloin (unseasoned)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 strips of orange peel (peeled with vegetable peeler avoiding the white pith)
  • 4 Tbsp cold water
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Preparation:

Pat the pork tenderloin and season with salt and pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the oil.  Brown the seasoned pork tenderloin on all sides for about 10-15 minutes total.

In the crock-pot, add the cranberry sauce, dried cranberries, orange juice, cinnamon and orange peel.  Stir to combine.  Add the browned pork to the crock-pot. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 4 hours.  Remove the pork tenderloin to a platter and cover with foil.  Pour the cranberry-orange sauce into a skillet and add a slurry of water and cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

Serve with rice and carrots or other vegetable to round out the meal.

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