Chicken, Dinner

Best Chicken Dinner!

One of my favorite recipes to make is Ina Garten’s Roast Chicken. It is so easy, perfect for company or a special dinner. Ina calls it her engagement chicken and is her husband’s favorite.

I made this tonight for a dinner with Emily, her boyfriend Mike and Eric. Emily had come down for the day to help us clean out some old pictures from Eric’s mothers house. It was a great fall dinner with the oven on as the chilly nights start up, along with smashed red potatoes and peas.

Perfect Roast Chicken

1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 lemons, halved

1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise

2 large Spanish onions, thickly sliced

Olive oil

Clean and pat dry the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with salt on inside and outside. Take 1 lemon and slice into quarters. Put one half of lemon and the head of garlic sliced in half inside cavity of chicken. Place in roaster, tie legs together and tuck wings under. Drizzle olive oil over chicken and rub into skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a bowl place the remaining half of lemon and the second lemon slices in quarters. Slice the onions into thick slices. Place in bow with lemons. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Mix with hands and spread around chicken in roaster.

Bake at 425 for about an hour and a half. Check temperature and when done, remove, slice and served with onion and lemon mixture.

Dinner, side dish

Crazy Tater Tots

When we were in Hawaii back in May we would eat almost all of our breakfast in the villa we were staying in and then have dinner off the hotel property. Most of our lunches were at one of the two hotel pool bars. Pailolo was next door at the sister resort to ours. Pailolo is a Sports Bar next to one of the pools on the resort and overlooks the ocean. The menu was pretty extensive that was served out of a themed food truck next to the bar.

Lunch at Pailolo

Chicken tenders, fish tacos, salads, hot dogs, burgers and of course Maui Brewing Company Bikini Blond. These were some of the options on the menu. But the biggest draw for us was their special tater tots – Hurricane Tots! It’s tater tots with a sweet soy glaze,, furikake and green onions.

Emily at Pailolo

I haven’t figured out the complete recipe yet but found this recipe for Crazy Tots.

  • 16 oz frozen tater tots
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 strips bacon, fried and chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  1. Cook the tater tots on a baking sheet according to package directions.
  2. Once the tots are cooked, sprinkle cheddar and chopped bacon evenly over the top and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted.
  3. Immediately remove from the oven and sprinkle on the scallions and drizzle the Ranch all over the top.
  4. Serve right away, straight out of the sheet pan because it’s just delicious!

Now I am on a quest to recreate the Hurricane Tots! Maybe that requires another trip to Maui.

Beef, Dinner

French Onion Beef and Noodles

We tried a new recipe last night and I can’t wait to make it again. This was a pinterest find from The Salty Marshmallow that so flavorful. We tweaked the recipe a bit and next time will probably add some mushrooms, but the creamy beef flavor was delightful.

  • Ingedients
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Pound Beef Stew Meat
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper, To Taste
  • 1 10.5 Ounce Can French Onion Soup
  • 3 Cups Beef Broth
  • 12 Ounces Egg Noodles
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Cup French Fried Onions
Instructions
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the beefand chopped onion, and season with the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes until beef is seared on all sides. 
  • Add French onion soup an beef broth to the pot and bring to a simmer.Simmer the beef on low for 10 minutes, then add the egg noodles and simmer for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally until the noodles are tender.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in the sour cream and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with french onions as desired.
Option – add 8 oz. Sliced mushrooms with beef and onion. 
Dinner

Marinated Pork Chops with Chimichurri Sauce

We recently went out to dinner at a new restaurant (to us) and I found myself ordering a flank steak with a chimichurri sauce that was just wonderful. It reminded me of a recipe I had from years ago that came from Cooking Light. It was a great summer time barbecue recipe. In those days I would cut the recipe out of the magazine and paste them in a book I had entitled Recipe Collection which had the photo album pages behind a set of pocket files for clipped recipes.

I found the recipe this past weekend when I took on the roll of chef for Saturday night dinner. At the top of the page I had written “Excellent- Rave Reviews”. I remember making this just after we moved into our house and we had our old neighbors over for dinner. We generally liked to make comments on recipes to remind us how it came out or if it was “foodie friends” worthy.

This did not disappoint. It was excellent and quite tasty. The pork chop marinade at first looked like it wouldn’t provide the flavor it did. The chimichurri sauce was a great compliment. I have to start reviewing the old recipes again to remind my self of how much we liked them and to get back to the joy I find when making a great meal.

  • Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 drained canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 4 (6-ounce) center-cut pork chops (about 3/4 inch thick) chimichurri Sauce:
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh onion
  • Cooking spray

To prepare pork chops, combine 3/4 cup chicken broth and chipotle chile in a blender; process until smooth. Combine chile mixture and pork chops in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 2 hours. Remove chops from bag; discard marinade.

To prepare Chimichurri Sauce, combine parsley and next 7 ingredients (parsley through garlic) in a blender; process until smooth. Pour into a bowl; stir in carrot and onion. Set aside.

Prepare grill. Place the chops on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with Chimichurri Sauce.

Out entire dinner! Recipe for baked Tomatoes and Crazy tots to come!
Dinner, one pot meals

Cheesy Kielbasa Skillet

The one pot meal has become a go to this summer. It has all the dinner benefits combined together that is very satisfying. But what is even better is that it makes for easy clean up. Hubby scours Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration and before I know it we have a new recipe to try. Polish Sausage (Kielbasa) is flavorful on its own but when mixed in with a bunch of other delights you get a great one pot meal.

  • 4 tablespoons Butter, divided
  • 1 lb. Kielbasa sausage, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • scallions for garnish
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of Butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add in the onion and garlic salt and cook until onion is tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook, until lightly toasted, about 1 minute.
  2. Pour in the chicken broth and stir, breaking up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Fluff rice and add in the zucchini and both cheeses. Stir until cheese is melted into rice, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until melted. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.
Beef, Dinner

Comfort meal worth trying

When I think comfort two dishes come to mind..the first is mac and cheese and the second is meatloaf. Now hubby asked what would taste good that night for dinner as he was home early. Meatloaf can to mind instantly. This one is very moist and flavorful. Ree Drummond the Pioneer Woman has a delicious meat loaf wrapped with crisp bacon. How can you resist.
1 cup whole milk
6 slices white sandwich bread (the soft stuff!)
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
4 eggs, beaten
8 to 12 thin bacon slices
3/4 cup ketchup
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Several dashes hot sauce (more if you like)
Dash or two of Worcestershire sauce

  1. For the meatloaf: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pour the milk over the bread and allow it to soak in for several minutes. Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, salt, some pepper, seasoned salt and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the eggs. With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined.
  3. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a foil-lined broiler pan, which will allow the fat from the meat to drain.
  4. Lay the bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf to give the meatloaf some support.
  5. Next, make the tomato sauce: Pour the ketchup into a bowl. Add the brown sugar and dry mustard, and splash in the hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Stir the mixture until well combined. Pour one-third of the sauce over the top of the meatloaf.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, and then pour over another one-third of the remaining tomato sauce over the meatloaf. Bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes; the meatloaf should be no longer pink in the middle. Allow to sit 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve with the remaining tomato sauce on the side as a dipping sauce.
Dinner, one pot meals

Swiss Steak

Cube Steaks – an old standard growing up. It was always a quick and easy dinner. I decided that I wanted to break out the old Paula Deen cookbook and make her Swiss Steak recipe. It reminds me a bit of pepper steak without the asian flavors. It will come together pretty easily and when served over rice it makes a really nice supper dish.

1 round steak (approximately 1 1/2 pounds) (I used cube steaks)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper

All-purpose flour, for dusting

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 (14-1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 medium onion, cut into strips

1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips

Cut steak into serving-size pieces. Season, to taste, with garlic powder and salt and pepper. Dust meat with flour. In heavy skillet, brown both sides of meat in vegetable oil. Transfer to Dutch oven. Combine garlic, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and 1 tomato-can measure of water. Pour over steak and simmer over low heat until meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours adding water, if necessary to keep meat partially covered. Season, to taste, with additional salt and pepper. Hint: Cook this in a slow-cooker, according to manufacturers instructions, on low for a most fabulous dinner. Low heat on a slow cooker is about 200 degrees F and high heat on a slow cooker is about 300 degrees F.
Note: to ensure tenderness, it is necessary to have the butcher run the round steak through a cuber.