Archive for June, 2014


Clinched and Planked Chicken Thighs Recipe

Wow, this sounds so flavorful.  Thighs are my favorite to begin with and then a brine and a basting sauce…..FLAVOR

Clinched and Planked Chicken Thighs

  • Basting liquid:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon sugar$
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Remaining ingredients:
  • Basic Brine (see below)
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, each sliced to the bone in a few places
  • 2 (15 x 6 1/2 x 3/8-inch) cedar grilling planks
  • 1 bunch thyme sprigs
  • 1 bunch rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bunch sage sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

Preparation

  1. 1. To prepare basting liquid, combine first 10 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat; refrigerate in an airtight container overnight or up to 2 days.
  2. 2. Combine Basic Brine and chicken thighs in a large bowl; refrigerate 3 hours. Drain; discard brine and solids. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  3. 3. Immerse and soak the cedar planks in water for 1 hour; drain.
  4. 4. Preheat a charcoal fire to high heat. Let burn 30 minutes or until flames subside and coals are glowing. Spread coals to an even 4-inch thickness; fan excess ash from coals with a piece of cardboard.
  5. 5. Tie herb sprig bunches tightly to the handle of a long wooden spoon.
  6. 6. Arrange thighs, skin sides down, directly on the coals; grill 2 minutes, without moving. Turn, baste with basting liquid using herb brush, and grill 2 minutes. Repeat procedure twice. Remove thighs to a platter, skin sides up, and baste. Let stand 5 minutes. Add vinegar and juice to remaining basting liquid.
  7. 7. Arrange 4 thighs, skin sides up, on each plank. Baste thighs. Place planks directly on the coal bed; cover grill. Grill 11 minutes or until juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a fork. Singe herbs for 5 seconds after final basting. Finely chop herbs; reserve.
  8. 8. Combine parsley, 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and reserved chopped herbs on a cutting board. Add thighs to oil mixture; turn to coat. Sprinkle with tarragon; let stand 3 minutes. Serve thighs with dressing.
  9. Basic Brine: Combine 5 cups water, 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon sugar, 8 garlic cloves, 3 bay leaves, and 1 halved lemon in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; cool. Refrigerate brine overnight.
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Pecan Pie Bars

ImagePecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars
1 can crescent rolls (they now make it without seems)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 350°F.
Unroll dough and press in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of a 9×13-inch pan. Firmly press perforations to seal. Bake 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour filling over partially baked crust. Bake 18 to 22 minutes longer or until golden brown (mine took exactly 20 minutes).
Cool completely, about 1 hour, and cut into bars.

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

This recipe was floating around on FB, some radio station posted it.  I have not a clue who to credit but they deserve a big thank you for creating a gorgeous pan of true comfort food.  I can’t wait to try this.  Again I post here sometimes before trying so I don’t lose a recipe. Healthy eating still reigns around here but every once in a while one NEEDS cheesy comfort food.

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

9 lasagna noodles
2 ½ cups alfredo sauce
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
oregano
garlic salt
3 cups shredded Mozzarella, or cheese of your choice

Spray an 8×8 pan with non-stick spray and pour ½ cup alfredo sauce, or just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Boil 8-10 cups water in a large pan, cook lasagna noodles until al dente. (I usually cook 1 or 2 extra just because lasagna noodles always seem to break on me when I am stirring them.)
Now this is the important part! Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water to prevent them from sticking to each other. Then, lay out each noodle individually and blot dry with a paper towel.

Spread about 2 Tbs. alfredo sauce over each noodle. (if there is too much sauce you will have a big mess on your hands!) Sprinkle oregano and garlic salt on top of sauce. Take 1/9 of the shredded chicken and spread it out evenly over each noodle. Add approx. 3 Tbs. cheese. To roll up, start at one end and roll the noodle over the toppings. You will need to lift the noodle a little to prevent squishing out the inside ingredients while rolling.

Place the roll-ups in the pan, one by one, seam-side down so they don’t come undone. Once they are all in the pan, pour the remaining alfredo sauce over the top. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted on top. I sometimes broil mine the last 5 minutes to make the cheese toasty on top.

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Cinnamon Dark Brown Sugar Cookies

1 cup coconut oil, softened

(softened to the consistency of soft butter; not rock hard and not runny or melted, see below)

2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large egg
4 tablespoons vanilla extract (yes tablespoons, not teaspoons), or to taste

1 tablespoon unsulphered mild to medium molasses

(use very dark or Blackstrap at your own risk because its very pungent and bitter for baking)

3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons corn starch

2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. instant espresso powder

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 bag dark chocolate chips

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine coconut oil, egg, sugar and beat on medium-high speed to cream until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Note – Coconut oil should be the consistency of soft butter like you’d use to cream with sugar and eggs in traditional cookies. I found that just scraping the coconut oil out of its container softened it enough to get to a soft consistency.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla, molasses, and beat to incorporate, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour, corn starch, baking soda, cinnamon, espresso powder, cocoa, dark chocolate chips and the salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Using a medium cookie scoop, form mounds that are 2 heaping tablespoons in size; or divide dough into approximately 15 to 16 equal-sized pieces. Place dough mounds on a large plate, and slightly flatten each mound. Very important to get the dough mounds in the exact shape you want to bake them in because after chilling, flattening or re-shaping them is very difficult. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours; up to 5 days. Do not bake these cookies with dough that has not been properly chilled because they will spread.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray. Place dough on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart; I bake a maximum of 8 per sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tops have just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. They firm up as they cool, but with my oven I still cooked them 10 minutes.
  5. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes before moving. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

NOTE: My baking is very entertaining anymore.  Today I wanted to try this in a bar form, baked in a 15 x 11 Jelly Roll pan.  First I doubled it and then squished a little more than half into the greased jelly roll pan.  I’m baking it at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  I also forgot to add the cocoa powder and I was out of the Instant Espresso powder.  I didn’t want to use instant coffee as the crystals are larger and I wasn’t sure what they would do when baked.  Espresso powder really is a LOVELY ingredient to keep on hand.  I throw some in every chocolate dessert I make, as it makes the chocolate flavor divine!  So go with the flavors you like.

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YES….I love the ease of making a big pan of cookie bars instead of individual cookies and this recipe worked GREAT this way.  They are still soft, but cut into bars nicely.