Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stovetop Roast Chicken with Lemon-Herb Sauce

Another recipe from America’s Test Kitchens. I love chicken and the easier to make the better! I think I will be trying this soon.



3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (split breasts cut in half, drumsticks and /or thighs) trimmed

Table salt and ground black pepper

1 TBS vegetable oil

3/4- 11/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Lemon-Herb Sauce:

1 tsp. vegetable oil

1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)

1 tsp. unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 TBS. minced fresh parsley leaves

1 1/2 TBS. minced fresh chives

1 TBS. juice from 1 lemon

1 TBS. unsalted butter, chilled

Table salt and ground black pepper


For The Chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch non stick skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken pieces skin side down and cook without moving until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes.

Using tongs, flip the chicken pieces skin side up. Reduce heat to medium low, add 3/4 cup of the broth to the skillet, cover, and cook until the thickest part of the breast registers 155 degrees and the thickest part of the thighs/ drumsticks registers 170 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 10 to 16 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, skin side up.

Pour off the liquid from the skillet into a 2 cup measuring cup and reserve. Wipe the skillet out with paper towels. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat over medium high heat until shimmering. Return the chicken pieces skin side down and cook undisturbed until the skin is deep golden brown and crisp, the thickest part of the breast registers 160-165 degrees, and the thickest part of the thigh/drumstick registers 175 degrees, 4 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and tent loosely with foil. Using a spoon, skim any fat from the reserved cooking liquid and add enough broth to measure 3/4 cup.

For The Sauce:

Heat the oil in the now empty skillet over low heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium high, add the reserved cooking liquid, and bring to a simmer, scraping the skillet bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits. Simmer rapidly until reduced to 1/2 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in any accumulated juices from the resting chicken; return to a simmer and cook for 30 seconds. Off the heat, whisk in the parsley and chives, lemon juice, and butter; season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce around the chicken and serve immediately.


When browning the chicken to avoid getting oil everywhere use a spatter guard. Also, you could make this with all white meat chicken or all dark meat chicken as you prefer.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Garlicky Shrimp Pasta

Again this is a recipe I got from America’s Test Kitchen Season 10. I have yet to make this but see it in the future for sure!


1 pound extra large shrimp (21to 25 per pound), peeled, deveined, and each shrimp cut into 3 pieces

3 TBS. olive oil

5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 5 tsp.), plus 4 medium garlic cloves, smashed

Table salt

1 pound of mezze rigatoni, fusilli , or campanelle (see note)

1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flake (see note)

2 tsp. unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine

3/4 cup clam juice

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

3 TBS. unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces

1 tsp. lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving

Ground black pepper


Toss the shrimp, 1 tablespoon of the oil, 2 teaspoons of the minced garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Let the shrimp marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Heat the 4 smashed garlic cloves and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the garlic is light golden brown, 4 to 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic from the skillet; discard garlic. Set the skillet aside.

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

While the pasta cooks, return the skillet with the oil to medium heat; add the shrimp with the marinade to the skillet in a single layer. Cook the shrimp, undisturbed, until the oil starts to bubble gently, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir the shrimp and continue to cook until almost cooked through, about 1 minute longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a medium bowl. Ass the remaining 3 teaspoons minced garlic and the red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook until fragrant. About 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute; stir in the vermouth and cook for 1 minute. Add the clam juice and parsley; cook until the mixture starts to thicken, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and lemon juice. Add the shrimp and sauce to the pasta and adjust the consistency of the sauce with the reserved pasta cooking water. Season with black pepper to taste. Serve immediately, passing the lemon wedges separately. 


Marinate the shrimp while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Any short tubular or curly pasta works well in this recipe. If you prefer more heat, use the greater amount of red pepper flakes given. I used to omit them entirely but found that it adds a nice dimension to the dish, if you don’t like spicy,try the least amount on the recipe and I don’t think you will be disappointed!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Apple- Upside Down Cake

This is a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Season 10 DVD. I actually own this and just got around to watching all the episodes and since apple season is pretty much upon us, I wanted to post this.



4 TBS. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, plus extra for the pan

4 Granny Smith apples ( about 2 pounds), peeled and cored. (see note)

2/3 cup packed (4 2/3 ounces) light brown sugar

2 tsp. juice from 1 lemon


1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 TBS. cornmeal (optional, see note)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. table salt

3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed (1 3/4 ounces) light brown sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

6 TBS. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract


For the topping:

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch wide by 2-inch high round cake pan; set aside. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Halve the apples from pole to pole. Cut 2 apples into 1/4 inch thick slices; set aside. Cut the remaining 2 apples into 1/2 inch thick slices. Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 1/2 inch thick apple slices and cook, stirring two to three times, until the apples begin to caramelize, 4 to 6 minutes. (Do not fully cook the apples) Add the 1/4 inch thick apple slices, brown sugar and lemon juice; continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the apples are coated, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the apple mixture to the prepared pan and lightly press into an even layer. Set aside while preparing the cake.

For the Cake:

Whisk the flour, cornmeal (if using), baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk the sugars and the eggs together in a large bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in the butter until combined. Add the sour cream and vanilla; whisk until combined. Add the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly over the fruit. Lightly tap the pan against the countertop two or three times to settle the batter. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick  inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.

Cool the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a small knife around the sides of the cake to loosen. Place a wire rack over the cake pan. Holding the rack tightly, invert the cake pan and wire rack together; lift off cake pan. Place the wire rack over a baking sheet or large plate to catch any drips. If any fruit sticks to the pan bottom, remove and position it on top of cake. Cool the cake 20 minutes (or longer to cool it completely) then transfer it to a serving platter, cut into pieces and serve.


We like the slight coarseness that cornmeal adds to the cake, but it is fine to omit it. Golden Delicious apples can be substituted for the Granny Smith apples. You will need a 9-inch non stick cake pan with sides that are at least 2 inches high; anything shallower and the cake will overflow. Alternatively, a 10-inch ovenproof stainless steel skillet (don’t use cast iron) can be used to both cook the apples and bake the cake, with the following modifications: Cook the apples in the skillet and set them aside while mixing the the batter. (It’s okay if the skillet is still warm when the batter is added) and increase the baking time by 7 to 9 minutes. If you don’t have either a 2 inch high cake pan or an ovenproof skillet, use an 8-inch square pan. This recipe serves 8 people.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pasta Carbonara with Bacon

Again I got this recipe from the Pillsbury website. I also thought that Carbonara was always made with bacon or pancetta (Italian bacon). It sounded good so I will try this eventually.


6 oz. uncooked fettuccine or spaghetti

4 slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (1/4 lb.)

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. black pepper

4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

3/4 cup chopped plum (Roma) tomato (1 medium)

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion (8 medium)

1 container (6 oz.) Yoplait Greek fat free plain yogurt


Cook and drain fettuccine as directed on the package. In 10-inch skillet, cook bacon and garlic until crisp. Drain; remove from skillet, and set aside.

In small bowl, slightly beat egg. Beat in milk, Parmesan cheese and pepper. Place cooked Fettuccini in skillet. Add milk mixture, spinach, tomato, and green onions. Cover; cook about 5 minutes over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until spinach is tender.

Stir in yogurt; cook over low heat just until heated through.


Usually when a recipe calls for milk they mean whole milk. It really gives it more body than the 2% or low fat. You of course could leave the onions out or even the yogurt. When trying a recipe for the first time I will make it as it is written just to get a feel for it then the next time I will add or leave things out. Of course the first time I make this I will be leaving the onions out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Easy Apple Pie Foldover

This is another recipe from my favorite website. I have not made this one yet, although I think I will soon, with apple season around the corner.


1 1/2 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (1 1/2 medium apples)

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 TBS. water

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 TBS. all-purpose flour

1 TBS. granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 TBS. butter or margarine

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts

1 egg


in 2-quart saucepan, mix apples, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of the water and the lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender.

In small bowl, mix flour, granulated sugar and salt. Gradually stir into apple mixture, cooking and stirring until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Cool 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 degrees. Let pie crust pouch stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Remove pie crust from pouch; unroll crust on ungreased cookie sheet. Spoon cooled fruit mixture evenly onto half of crust to within 1/2 inch of edge.

In small bowl, beat egg and 1 tablespoon of water; brush over edge of crust. Fold untopped half of crust over apple mixture; firmly press edge to seal. Flute edge; cut small slits in several places in top crust. Brush top with remaining egg mixture.

Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve warm or cool.


You can also sprinkle the top with granulated sugar after brushing with egg mixture to give it a bit more sweetness. You can also serve this with vanilla ice cream as well.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Personalized Individual Pizzas

This recipe only gives three variations, but you could make this anyway you wanted. This is good if you have kids who don’t like the same toppings on pizza or if you are having a sleep over. It can also be used for a small gathering of friends as well. It is pretty much a do it yourself kind of thing, so all you need is the dough and any toppings you want.


Cornmeal, if desired

1 can (13.8 oz.) Pillsbury refrigerated classic pizza crust

2 tsp. olive oil

1/4 cup pizza sauce

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (2 oz.)

1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz.)

Italian Sausage Pizza:

1/8 lb. bulk Italian sausage

1/2 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)

1/2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano, if desired

Margherita Pizza

1 TBS. shredded Parmesan cheese

3 to 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices plum (Roma) tomato (about 1 medium tomato)

1 TBS. thin fresh basil strips

Pepperoni Pizza

8 to 10 slices of pepperoni (from 3 oz. package)


Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray, sprinkle with cornmeal.

Do not unroll dough. Cut roll of dough into 4 equal pieces; shape each piece into a ball. Roll or press each  ball of dough into a 5-inch round making edges slightly thicker to form a rim. Place the rounds on the prepared cookie sheet; brush each with oil.

Bake 6-8 minutes. Top each round with 1 of the variations above. Bake 10-13 minutes longer or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Monkey Bread

I made the monkey bread today and I have a few pictures of the process, so here they are!


This is the beginning, before I realized I missed a few ingredients!


This is all the ingredients. It really is not complicated.


Granulated sugar and cinnamon


How the biscuits are cut up.


Beginning to layer the sugar coated biscuit pieces with raisins


Layered sugar coated biscuit pieces with raisins, melted butter and brown sugar on top


Just out of the oven after 30 minutes


Finished product, turned out of pan after cooling 10 mins. Looks yummy!


So you can see, it is not difficult. Maybe a bit time consuming, but on a weekend or day off it is perfect! Not to mention to smell of cinnamon in your house. Yum! I am now going to have some. Have a great day! Ciao!!