Archive for February, 2012


Beer Can Chicken

February 25, 2012

This is a really easy way to roast a chicken and keep it juicy. I cooked it in the oven with a skillet, but you could also put over indirect heat on a grill (with a drip pan underneath).

You will need:

  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T pepper
  • 2 T hot sauce
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1 (3 1/2 to 4-lb) chicken
  • 1 (12-oz) can of your favorite beer

Then you will…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drink half of the beer to get started.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the spices (garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt and pepper).
  3. Mix in the hot sauce and olive oil.
  4. Rinse the chicken in cold water and trim of any excess fat and skin.
  5. Rub it the spice mixture all over the chicken, under and over the skin.
  6. Sit the chicken on the beer can with its legs at the bottom and wings at the top.
  7. Place the beer can chicken in the middle of the skillet and roast 20 minutes per pound, about 90 minutes, until the juices run clear.
  8. Allow the chicken to rest at least 10 minutes before carving.





Black Bean and Mushroom Enchiladas

February 20, 2012

I posted a chicken enchilada recipe here back in 2009 that used store-bought enchilada sauce. In today’s vegetarian recipe, you get to make it yourself! It may look a bit spicy, but it is actually rather tame. I suggest making it as described and then taste testing to adjust if you want it hotter. It is also a cheap dinner full of black beans, mushrooms and broccoli. Try it and let me know what you think!

You will need:

  • 4 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped and divided
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 2 t chili powder
  • 2 t cumin
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1/2 c tomato sauce
  • 1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz broccoli florets, chopped
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and with one can mashed
  • 1 c feta cheese, crumbled
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 c shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend)

Then you will…

  1. In a large sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add 1/2 of the onion and saute about 5 minutes until tender.
  2. Stir in the oregano, chili powder and cumin and cook until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, the tomato sauce and the diced green chiles. Heat through.
  4. Using a blender, puree the enchilada sauce. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  6. In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the rest of the onion and the mushrooms. Cook until the juices from the mushrooms are cooked off.
  7. Add the broccoli and cook until just starting to soften. Stir in the mashed and whole black beans. Remove from heat.
  8. Stir in the feta cheese and about a 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce.
  9. Microwave the tortillas (out of their packaging) for about 30 seconds, until warm and pliable.
  10. Spoon filling into the middle of a tortilla, roughly a scant 1/3 cup. Tightly roll the tortilla and place with the seam down in the baking dish.
  11. Repeat until you have used up all of the filling; this should yield about 12 tortilla rolls.
  12. Pour the remainder of the enchilada sauce on top and spread evenly.
  13. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and baked on heated through and bubbly, about 20-30 minutes!


Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque

February 16, 2012

I really like winter soups, but they are usually too heavy to enjoy all that frequently. This is a really great light version of your traditional bisques adapted from a late 90’s Bon Appetit. Note of caution, it won’t freeze well once you add the milk into the soup.

You will need:

  • 1 2-lb butternut squash, peeled, cubed into 1-inch pieces(about 6 cups)
  • 5 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 T dry Sherry
  • 3 c broth
  • 2/3 c skim milk
  • 2 t dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Then you will…

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the cubed butternut squash with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the squash on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour, stirring once or twice.
  4. After the squash is roasted, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Add chopped onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add butternut squash and sauté about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and sherry and cook until almost all liquid evaporates.
  7. Stir in the broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash it very tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  8. Puree soup in blender in batches until smooth. Return soup to same saucepan.
  9. Stir in milk and thyme. Bring to simmer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
  10. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with dollop of yogurt if desired

Cinnamon Pecan Buns

February 12, 2012

I found this recipe in a Cooking Light awhile back, and it has been sitting in the back of my mind since then. It’s not a quick-to-pull-together recipe since it rises several times before baking. You will need a total of 2 hours of resting time to pull off this recipe, so plan ahead! The result is plate of sweet, sticky cinnamon rolls with crunchy pecans and caramelized glaze. Yumm!

You will need:

  • 3/4 c  skim milk, warmed (100° to 110°)
  • 1/4 c + 2/3 c sugar, divided
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 pkg (2 1/4 t) dry yeast
  • 1/4 c water, warmed (100° to 110°)
  • 1/2 c egg substitute
  • 7 1/2 T margarine, divided and melted and cooled
  • 4 c flour
  • 3/4 c dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 T hot water
  • 1/2 c finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 T ground cinnamon

Then you will…

  1. In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the milk, 1/4 c of sugar and 1/2 t salt.
  3. Stir yeast mixture into milk mixture. Add egg substitute and 3 tablespoons of the melted butter; stir until well combined.
  4. Mix in about 3 3/4 cups of the flour, stirring until smooth.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding enough of remaining flour to prevent dough from sticking to hands.
  6. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; turn to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 45 minutes.
  7. Punch dough down and turn over in bowl; lightly coat with cooking spray. Cover and let rise another 45 minutes.
  8. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
  9. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, and 2 tablespoons hot water. Whisk until smooth.
  10. Scrape sugar mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly over bottom of pan.
  11. Sprinkle sugar mixture with pecans and set aside.
  12. In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup of the sugar and cinnamon to create the filling.
  13. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; pat dough into a 16 x 12–inch rectangle.
  14. Brush surface of dough with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
  15. Beginning with a long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Cut roll into 16 slices.
  16. Arrange slices, cut sides up, in prepared pan. Lightly coat rolls with cooking spray; cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  17. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  18. Uncover rolls and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  19. Let stand 1 minute; carefully invert onto serving platter. Glaze will be very hot!

Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers

February 8, 2012

I yanked this recipe from Eating Well, because it looked really simple. I also like that the breading has almond in it for an unusual twist. This comes together quickly and is delicious.

You will need:

  • 1/2 c sliced almonds
  • 1/4 c whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t dry mustard
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/8 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 t  olive oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 lb chicken tenders

Then you will…

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with nonstick spray (or simply line with parchment paper).
  2. Place almonds, flour, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a food processor; process until the almonds are finely chopped and the paprika is mixed throughout, about 1 minute.
  3. With the motor running, drizzle in oil; process until combined. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish.
  4. Whisk egg whites in a second shallow dish. Add chicken tenders and turn to coat.
  5. Transfer each tender to the almond mixture; turn to coat evenly. (Discard any remaining egg white and almond mixture.)
  6. Place the tenders on the prepared tray and coat with cooking spray; turn and spray the other side.
  7. Bake the chicken fingers until golden brown, crispy and no longer pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes. Flip once halfway through.

Skillet Apple and Pear Crisp

February 3, 2012

This recipe is based on one by James Boyce. I cut down the topping and made a few other tweaks that I think you will enjoy as much as I did. This is definitely a comfort dessert, good for cold nights with friends or family. You could serve with some vanilla yogurt or ice cream if you wanted.

You will need:

  • 3/4 c brown sugar, packed and divided
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/4 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 c walnuts
  • 3 t cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 4 T cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 1/4 t ground cardamom
  • 1/4 c honey, scant
  • 2 T whiskey (optional)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a cast iron skillet (preferably 12-inch).
  2. Combine 1/2 up of the brown sugar with the flour, oats, walnuts, 1 t cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter in a food processor.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the apples, pears, remaining brown sugar and cinnamon, cardamom, honey and whiskey (if using).
  4. Pour the apple filling into the prepared skillet. Top with the crumb mixture.
  5. Bake 1 hour, until bubbling and golden.

%d bloggers like this: