Dining, Food, Fun, NYC, recipe, savory, Uncategorized

Stovetop Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken in a pot

Since I live in one of the smallest functioning kitchens in the country, I decided to conquer something seemingly impossible.  A roast chicken.  I relied on my large Sur La Table stock pot to do all the cooking.  Instead of searing then finishing in the oven, I simply seared and continued to cook on the stovetop on very low heat.

Ingredients

  • 1 3lb whole chicken
  • olive oil
  • Spice Mix
  • 1t salt
  • 1/2t pepper
  • 1/4t paprika
  • 1/4t thyme
  • 1/4t oregano
  • Chicken Cavity Filling
  • 10 Sprigs of parsley
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 7 cloves of garlic (one head)
  • Vegetables and aromatics 2C
  • Diced assortment of root vegetables ex. onions, leeks, carrots, parsnips, celery etc

Directions

Make sure chicken is thoroughly clean and patted dry. Stuff the body cavity with the lemon, parsley, and garlic. Combine salt, pepper, herbs, and paprika in a small bowl. Sprinkle it onto the chicken and rub into the skin with your fingers. Drizzle the olive oil on top and gently rub to coat the chicken.

In a 5-quart dutch oven, heat the oil.  Add the whole chicken (any side down). Brown that side of the chicken for 5 minutes. Flip over and brown the other side for 5 minutes. Repeat until all sides are brown. You may need to stand the chicken up in order to do this– use tongs and/or get someone to help you.

After all sides are brown, throw in the diced vegetables to the pot. Turn down the burner to low and cover the dutch oven with its lid. Let it cook for 40-45 minutes for a 3lb chicken. Check to see that the juices run clear when you slice the meat and that the dark meat near the bone is cooked through.

When done, turn off the burner and remove the chicken from the pot. Let it rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board. Tent the chicken with foil.

Slice and serve immediately with the veggies from the pot. Leftovers can be shredded and refrigerated to use later in chicken salad, chicken noodle soup, stir fry, etc. The bones can be used to make chicken stock.

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Food, Fun, NYC, savory, Uncategorized

Improvised Stuffed Peppers

Since there were not many ingredients at the store due to the high demand before the storm, I made an improvised stuffed pepper.  Also lets be honest it’s all about making a meal with ingredients you like or already have on hand.  In this case I bought and roasted red peppers in a 400 degree oven cut side up for 10 minutes.

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sauté in the front and simmer in back

Sauté onions, mushrooms, and kale set aside.  In another pot cook 1C quinoa with 2C water and seasoning to taste (I used chili powder and salt).  Combine cooked quinoa with mushroom mixture and sprinkle in cilantro.  Sauté ground meat (I used turkey) and once cooked stir in 1 jar of salsa (I prefer Pace hot).  Combine all ingredients and stuff in pepper.  Top with cilantro and serve.

Better yet I combined all the veggie scraps I used throughout the day to make a simple vegetable stock!  I just kept adding to the pot and let simmer a few hours before straining and portioning into separate containers.

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Food, Fun, NYC, recipe

Healthy Morning Recipe and My Return

Fried cricket and silkworm

Fried cricket and silkworm

Hi All! I have returned from an epic trip to Thailand and an exciting holiday season.  I have many recipes in “the vault” and I am so ready to get back into a routine.  I was fortunate enough to enjoy the tastes of Thai food which will surely be incorporated into my 2016 cooking.  I had the opportunity to take a cooking class and I ate everything from fried silkworm to charcoal ice cream and traditional pad thai.  One of the most enjoyable street foods was roti which is basically a fried dough stuffed with banana.  It is theatrically made and a sight to see itself.

Roti with banana and nutella

Roti with banana and nutella

cooking class

cooking class

market shopping

market shopping and long long beans

HORRIBLE plane food from AirChina

HORRIBLE plane food from AirChina

#TheRealWendy

#TheRealWendy quest continues to update, upgrade, and cost effectively change fast food meals for the better.  Since the start of a new year is usually full of healthy habits, todays quest is to conquer an easy custom made oatmeal from home.  This one is less of a recipe and more of a custom creation made for your palate.  I made a big batch of steel cut oatmeal and added different mix ins once I portioned it out for the days of the week.  All around it is better to make this at home (from being more cost efficient to avoiding unwanted additives).

Here are a few examples of fast food chains who sell morning oatmeal.  Although it is not a horrible option in most cases why not enjoy an extra few minutes at home in the morning as opposed to waiting in line? Also I have secret add ins to make an extra protein packed oatmeal.

  • Wendy’s Oatmeal bar

    dried fruit addition

    dried fruit addition

  • McDonalds fruit and maple
  • Starbuck’s perfect oatmeal
  • Au Bon Pan oatmeal
  • Jamba Juice steel cut oatmeal

I make a batch of steel cut oats (or rolled oats) according to the package and scoop out portions into a muffin tin to cool before refrigerating or freezing.  In the morning you can pop it in the microwave and add a bit of milk (any kind) to loosen to your liking.

Traditional add ins

oatmeal portions

oatmeal portions

  • Fresh/ frozen/ dried fruit
  • Sweetener- Brown sugar/agave/ stevia etc.
  • Coconut flakes
  • Chocolate chips
  • Spices- cinnamon/ginger
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts (be sure to add day of for crunch)

If you want an extra protein kick stir in egg whites, protein powder, or chia seeds.

 

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Breakfast, Food, Fun, NYC, recipe, savory

Spaghetti Squah crust quiche

Spaghetti Squash Quiche 2 ways

Quiche #1: Tofu Boo to the Avian FluIMG_3496

Thanks to the Avian Flu in Chickens, egg prices have skyrocketed and unlike past price increases, this one seems to linger.  Supposedly the flu cannot pass between humans and chickens so we are not at risk but nonetheless I cannot eat eggs daily at these prices.  I thought it would be fun to experiment with a “different” way to make eggs.  I have tried tofu as egg replacements so I gave it a try in this eggless quiche.  I based this recipe off of three different websites as well as the ingredients I could find in my pantry and fridge at the time.

Crust

  • Spaghetti Squash (about 3C or 1 small)

    tofu quiche parmesan sprinkle

    tofu quiche parmesan sprinkle

  • salt/pepper

Filling

  • 1 19oz block of tofu, drained
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1t tahini (or hummus)
  • 1/4t turmeric
  • rosemary (1t fresh or 1/2t dried)
  • 1/4C milk (I used almond)
  • salt/pepper
  • chopped chili (optional)
  • 1T cornstarch (or other thickener)

*Above is the basic recipe.  I did not have much veggies to add in, but ideally stir roasted vegetables to the tofu puree

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

    tofu slice

    tofu slice

  2. Prepare spaghetti squash.  My simple way of doing so is to poke it several times with a knife or fork and microwave 4 minutes, turn and microwave another 4 minutes.  Cut in half and scoop out seeds when cool enough to handle.  Use a fork to pull out squash and press into a greased pie dish.
  3. Combine all filling ingredients in a blender (I used an immersion blender).  Mine was the consistency of a thick pancake batter.  Fold mixture into veggies (I only had a bit of red peppers, onions, and a half a can of diced tomatoes).
  4. Pour over crust and top with cheese (optional).  I topped mine with 1/2-3/4C shredded parmesan.
  5. Bake 40 minutes or until crust is brown (why I like the glass pie dish) and tofu mixture is set.

Quiche #2 Healthy Egg White Dump QuicheIMG_3754

I call this a “dump quiche” because it is similar to a dump cake where you combine all the ingredients in a bowl and bake it.  I used the same format as above with the crust and combined some leftover sautéed veggies(brussels sprouts and broccoli) and chicken sausage with eggs (I used a carton of whites but feel free to use whole eggs).  I did not go off of a recipe on this one just simply an idea.  It is hard to mess up this recipe unless it is over or under seasoned.  I seasoned mine with salt, pepper, curry powder, and cayenne pepper.  I topped it with a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

 

sprinkling of parmesan

sprinkling of parmesan

stand alone slice

stand alone slice

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Food, Fun, Ohio, recipe, savory

Chicken Satay Cucumber Salad and Peanut Sauce

For the final installment of the Ohio cooking week, I have my favorite recipe from the trip.  I initially decided to make the dish because I knew cucumbers were growing like wildfire in the garden.   Since the trip, I have taken components of the meal and made them for other dishes.  The flavor of the chicken is perfect and pairs so well with the simple cucumber salad.  I did not stray much (if any) from the original recipe because I thought it was great as is.

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peanut sauce

Chicken Satay with Cucumber Salad Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder
  • 3 chicken breasts cut into long strips
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut oil
  • For The Peanut Dipping Sauce 
  • 3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. siracha hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • chopped peanuts to taste
  • For The Cool Cucumber Salad 

    skewered chicken  pre-grilled

    skewered chicken pre-grilled

  • 2 cucumbers sliced and seeded
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
  • 6 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Instructions

the completed dish

the completed dish

For The Chicken Satay: 

Mix the spices together and set aside. Toss the chicken in the peanut oil then stir in the spices.

Cover and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

Thread onto skewers and grill.

For The Peanut Dipping Sauce: 

In a small saucepan mix together the ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook 1 to 2 minutes to thicken. Set aside and bring to room temperature.

For The Cool Cucumber Salad: 

Mix everything but the cucumber, then add the cucumber in. Refrigerate and serve.

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Food, Fun, Ohio

Cooking with Dice Part 2

25386_zoom1I get to travel and spend time with friends and family a lot over the summer and this time I rolled the dice with my sister and her boyfriend.  We rolled a list of ingredients that pair extremely well together.  I was just thrilled to get to use the grill which in my three night trip to Ohio I grilled every night.  Here are the results….

Fish

Green Beans

Grilled

Oregano

Rice

Lemon

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We ended up grilling two different types of fish (the mahi mahi is not pictured) and paired it with grilled zucchini, a whole grain rice mom luckily had in the cupboard, and of course green beans.

TIP: I was thrilled to get both lemons and fish as I read that placing fish on top of lemon slices while grilling enables the fish to cook through without it sticking to the grill.

I also tend to caramelize onions when I know I will be cooking for several people as they can be used with anything from meats to a salad topper.  In this case we added them to the snapped and blanched green beans and of course added lemon and oregano because those were our special ingredients.

This was a simple meal but a lot of fun to make thanks to my foodie dice (holla cousin Amy:)

Next post is everything Ohio! and there was a LOT of cooking to be had there!

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Food, NYC, recipe

The Perfect Crepe

I have been working diligently attempting to make an easy and healthy crepe for breakfast.  I went a step further attempting a breakfast on the go method.. here’s what I found.  A basic crepe needs only three things FLOUR-EGGS-MILK (similar to making pasta).  That made testing more fun switching  ingredients easily. I found that altering the type of milk and eggs did not affect the crepe’s cooking.  That means feel free to use whole milk, eggs, and white flour, or as a lighter option you can use egg whites, whole wheat flour, and unsweetened almond milk for a crepe clocking in at only 50 calories.  I did a test run with coconut flour which failed miserably (sorry for those gluten free folks)

Crepe Folding: I used to fold in both sides to the center, but found that folding in half both directions resulted in the best filling holder.

Crepe Cooking: I have always stuck with the same format.  I lift a hot greased 10” skillet and swirl while pouring 1/4 cup batter.  I cook about 2 minutes on the first side and only a minute on the latter.

Storing and Reheating: I found they do not change texture when reheated so I enjoy making the whole batch and before filling and eating.  I even tested filling a day early and packing to reheat the next day which works very well.

Filling: For dessert I always default to berries with whipped cream, cinnamon and sugar, make syrup, powdered sugar, and chocolate chips.  For a more savory crepe I find any sort of cheese with mushrooms, herbs, spinach or sun dried tomatoes works best.

Ingredients (Makes about 6 crepes)IMG_2298

3/4C Milk

1/2C Flour

3 eggs

pinch of salt

Whisk together all ingredients to form a loose batter.

Heat and grease a 10″ skillet several minuted before adding batter.

Pour 1/4C batter onto pan while simultaneously swirling the pan with alternate pan until thinly coated.

Cook 2 minutes or until first side is golden brown and releases easily from the pan.

Repeat the process until all crepes are made and fill.

another batch of crepes

another batch of crepes

practice crepe stack

practice crepe stack

 

 

my favorite folding technique

my favorite folding technique

my idea of the most beautifully plated crepe

my idea of the most beautifully plated crepe

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