Thursday, January 28, 2016

Roast chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

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To paraphrase a popular chick flick:

In winter, we eat chicken with garlic.

On pink plates.

Note: This recipe is super easy when you buy one of those huge containers of peeled garlic cloves from Costco (or whichever big-box store you frequent).



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Roasted Garlic Chicken
Chicken. Garlic. Oven. What else do you need?
Ingredients
  • 8 large chicken thighs, bone-in and skin on
  • 1 Tablespoon herbes de Provence, Italian herb mix, or any other dried herb mix you prefer
  • 1 cup fresh garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a large roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray.Lay the chicken pieces in the pan, skin side up. Sprinkle them with the dried herb mix and scatter the garlic cloves around them. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the chicken. Put the lemon halves in the roasting pan. Drizzle the chicken with the olive oil, then shower it generously with salt and pepper.Turn the chicken pieces over so the skin side is down. Put the roasting pan in the oven. Set the timer for 15 minutes. (This step crisps the skin.)After 15 minutes, turn the heat down to 350 degrees. Bake another 40 minutes or until the chicken thighs are cooked through and very tender.Serve the chicken skin side up with the garlic cloves and pan juices poured over.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

Monday, November 16, 2015

Copycat Starbucks hazelnut Frappucino

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My kids have always loved coffee.

My older son, now 16, developed a taste for coffee with milk (not milk with coffee) when he was a toddler. The Starbucks baristas gave him some funny looks when he ordered his own decaf before he could see over the counter.

My younger son, now 13, drinks his coffee black most of the time. Decaf, of course - we'll never know if the old wives' tales about caffeine stunting your growth hold water, but I don't take any chances in the height department given my five-foot-nothing stature.

Younger son, however, also has a sweet tooth. When he spent his allowance one too many times on a huge-ass blended coffee drink, with its many, many grams of added sugar, I decided to bribe him with a copycat version where I control what goes into the blender.

This copycat Starbucks hazelnut Frappucino tastes better than the original, in my opinion. I buy sugar-free hazelnut syrup via Amazon Prime. Not even the 13-year-old minds the lack of sugar.



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Copycat Starbucks hazelnut Frappucino
This hazelnut-flavored blended iced coffee drink has a fraction of the sugar and calories of the real thing. Trying to cut down on added sugar and trim your expensive coffee habit? This recipe is for you.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar-free hazelnut syrup
  • Dash of ground cinnamon
  • Whipped cream (optional)
Instructions
Add ice cubes to blender. Pulse a few times to break the ice into smaller pieces. (If your ice maker generates crushed ice, use that instead.)Add coffee, almond milk, syrup and cinnamon to the blender. Blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds.Pour into two glasses, dividing evenly. Top with whipped cream if desired. Serve immediately.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 large servings

Monday, September 14, 2015

Grain-free cheese cookies (call them crackers if you must)

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I've been cutting back on grains lately, but that hasn't stopped me from craving cookies and crackers.

And then I made a miraculous discovery.

Replace the all-purpose flour in my Parmesan Smoked Paprika Crackers with almond flour or almond meal and you end up with cheese crackers (or cheese "cookies," as I prefer to call them) that are even more delicious than the originals.

These cheese crackers are also gluten-free, grain-free, and the perfect snack for people following a mostly-Paleo or LCHF (low carbohydrate, high fat) way of eating. (Some Paleo people eat dairy occasionally,

Here's the basic recipe. I used Seriously Sharp Cheddar from Cabot Creamery, one of my favorites, but you can use any shredded hard cheese - Parmesan, Gouda, Jarlsberg, or any strong cheddar cheese. Feel free to add herbs or spices to suit your taste.

Disclosure: I received this particular block of cheese from Cabot as a gift, although I also buy quite a lot of it on my own dime.



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Paleo Cheese Cookies or Paleo Cheese Crackers
Crisp, crumbly and extra cheesy, these easy cheese crackers contain three ingredients and bake for just 15 minutes. A perfect snack for those eating a grain-free, gluten-free, Paleo or LCHF.
Ingredients
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup almond flour or almond meal
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (substitute any shredded hard cheese)
Instructions
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.Blend all ingredients together in a bowl with a wooden spoon or hand mixer, or use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix (aggressively if you're doing it  by hand) until a smooth dough forms.Roll 1-inch balls of dough between your palms and place on two lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each dough ball. Flatten the balls slightly with your fingers. Bake 15 minutes, or until the edges of the crackers start to brown. Cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then remove the crackers to a rack to finish cooling.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: about 24 crackers

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Paleo fried chicken with almond crust

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I've been trying to eat fewer grains lately. This is tough for me - no one is a bigger fan of the white starch category than I am. But hey, I'm coming up on 50. I figure it's time to make a few adjustments.

I came across a few "Paleo" recipes for fried chicken coated with almond meal instead of flour. I doubt I'll ever move all the way over to a true Paleo diet - it's pretty restrictive - but I thought I'd give almond-crusted fried chicken a try.

It. Was. Stupendous.

I went full-on Paleo and fried the chicken thighs in coconut oil, but if you're not following the Paleo diet strictly you can use any other high-heat frying oil, like grapeseed oil or canola oil.

ON THE SIDE: I served my fried chicken with my Not Ketchup fruit "ketchup" sauces, of course. Sweet and tangy, they're the perfect partner for this crispy, salty, umami-rich fried chicken. Pick up a bottle at NotKetchup.com or Amazon.com today!



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Paleo Fried Chicken With Almond Crust
Fried chicken coated in almond meal and spices and fried in coconut oil. Grain-free, Paleo and delicious!
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal or almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups coconut oil (can substitute grapeseed or canola oil)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Instructions
Crack the eggs into a medium-sized bowl and whisk until frothy. In another bowl, mix together the almond meal, garlic salt, smoked paprika and pepper until combined. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.Heat the coconut oil over medium heat in a deep, heavy pot. I use a 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven. Get the oil up to about 350 degrees F. If you're too impatient to use a thermometer (like me), wait until the surface is visibly shimmering. Dip a piece of the chicken first into the egg, then into the almond meal mixture. Make sure the chicken is coated all over with the almond meal. Drop the chicken gently into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. You'll have to work in batches, frying three or four pieces at a time (depending on the size of your pot).When the chicken is golden brown, put it on a rack set over a sheet pan (or just on a sheet pan if you don't have a rack). When all the chicken is fried, slide the pan into the oven for 15 minutes. This will ensure that even the thickest parts of the chicken are cooked through and will re-warm the pieces you fried first.Serve hot with your favorite flavor of Not Ketchup for dipping.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Perfect tomato soup {no dairy}

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Got tomatoes? I'm not growing any this year, but I often buy "second" heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market. They're a little soft and scarred, but they taste the same and they're much cheaper. And they're perfect for tomato soup.

I've seen tomato soup recipes that add sugar and baking soda to smooth out the flavors and balance the acid in the tomatoes. I don't. I want my tomato soup to taste like tomatoes. I don't add cream, either, although I guess you could. Personally, I think it's great just the way it is.



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Perfect Tomato Soup
Six ingredients, half an hour, and a good blender: That's all you need to make this perfect classic tomato soup.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated or shredded
  • 3 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped or torn (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.Add the tomatoes, chicken stock and basil (if using). Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft.Puree the soup in a blender (or in the pot using a hand-held blender) until very smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 servings