Lemon Chicken Skewers

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Today’s dish is a super simple and easy one. It is a product of being basically broke and wanting to eat healthier. I don’t think I realized that when I started all this, how expensive eating healthy can be. These skewers don’t require a lot of time, money, or preparation though, which is definitely a plus. You can make them if you are in a pinch, like me, and have little money AND little time to cook anymore. I find myself coming home from work super late and exhausted – making the prospect of cooking a daunting task. Fear not, just prep these the night before and pop em on the grill/grill pan and you are ready to go!

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into large cubes
  • Ground pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or garlic powder)
  • Parsley, finely minced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • Spinach
  • Cherry tomatoes

Directions

  • Season the chicken cubes with pepper, salt, garlic, and parsley
  • Place in a bag with lemon juice for 1 hour – overnight
  • Place chicken cubes on a skewer and grill until cooked
  • At the same time, lightly wilt some spinach with EVOO in a pan and add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes
  • Place the skewers over the bed of spinach and tomatoes and enjoy your gluten free, high protein meal!

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Mini Beef Wellingtons

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Hi everyone. Today I bring to you beef wellingtons, kind of. You see, the idea of a beef wellington (filet wrapped in pastry dough) is basically all kinds of amazing. I mean what’s not to like? Meat and pastries. So I have always thought about making beef wellingtons because they are so good, but the problem I always run into is that I don’t like mushrooms….like at all. They are some of my least favorite foods and are a key ingredient in this dish. Also, I didn’t want to make big ones as a main dish. Not sure why, but I was feeling the appetizer route. That led me to this recipe, which still included mushrooms, but I decided to change those out. I replaced the mushrooms with grilled onions and they turned out amazing. Obviously if you are a traditionalist, or a mushroom lover, go for the original, but the onions as a substitute worked just as well in my opinion.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (can use dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 16oz package frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
  • 1 lb trimmed beef tenderloin, cut into 24 cubes (about 3/4 inch each)
  • 1/3 cup Boursin cheese (I found a Boursin cheese with herbs at the market)

Directions

  • In a skillet over medium heat, sauté onions (or mushrooms) with rosemary, salt and pepper until cooked
  • Roll puff pastry out and cut into 3 in. squares (mine ended up being more triangles due to the way the dough was shaped)
  • Place one beef cube in the middle of the pastry square and add a pinch of salt
  • Top each cube with some cheese and some onions (or mushrooms)
  • Brush the edges of the square with egg wash and fold the dough over the cube to seal it
  • After you’ve completed this with all of the cubes, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg wash (I found it easier to just dunk and roll them in the egg wash)
  • Bake for ~9 minutes at 450 degrees, until the pastry is golden brown
  • Let sit for ~5 minutes and serve!

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Baked Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes

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Fall is almost over, and we are headed into winter, but before we do, this is a really Fall dish I made.  It is really simple and doesn’t take that much time to be honest.  I think I have said this before, but I like chicken thighs because they are easy to bake and are more juicy and tender (not a breast fan). Also, I am kind of a sucker for the skin. I got the recipe just randomly browsing sites (not even really sure how I got there). In the end, I definitely enjoyed this one, but next time I probably won’t use as many cherry tomatoes, as it can get kind of pricey the more you use.

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

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Instructions

  • Sprinkle both sides of the thighs with salt and place in baking pan with some space in-between each thigh, skin side up
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and mix in a bowl with garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar
  • Pour the tomatoes over the chicken pieces and arrange them so they fill the gaps between the thighs
  • Lay sprigs of rosemary over the tomatoes
  • Bake at 350 degrees for ~45 minutes
  • Skim excess fat/oil and serve with whatever you feel like
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Hawaiian Hoisin Spare Ribs and Pineapple Slaw

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Hey, so it’s been awhile (2 months) since I have last posted, which when I think about it is a really long time. It’s not like I haven’t cooked in 2 months, but I guess nothing worthwhile?  This is a recipe I did awhile back and it turned out really well.  I got the recipe for the ribs here and made both the ribs and the slaw.  They complement each other nicely with the citrus and crispness of the slaw to contrast the sweet and savory of the ribs.  However, for the slaw, the recipe requires a lot of ingredients so I left a lot of things out, which didn’t detract from it at all IMO. Also, this requires a lot of stereotypical Asian ingredients, so thankfully I have most of this at home. But if you don’t, it does require a lot.

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Ingredients:

Ribs:

  • 5 lbs spareribs/baby back ribs
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth

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Slaw:

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion/scallion
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups diced pineapple
  • 1 cup julienned red pepper
  • red and green cabbage shredded (I used the premade slaw mix from the market)

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the hoisin, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes
  • Bring to a boil and let simmer until a thick glaze. Remove from heat and let cool
  • @ 275 degrees, place a wire rack in a large baking dish and pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the dish
  • salt and pepper the ribs on both sides, wrap in foil, and place on baking rack
  • Wrap the whole pan in foil and bake for 1-1.5 hours
  • Let the ribs cool for ~15 min and then drizzle/coat the ribs with the glaze
  • Broil for ~5 min making sure not to burn the glaze
  • After removing the ribs and letting stand, drizzle a little more glaze
  • For the slaw, whisk together the honey, vinegar, and soy sauce
  • Slowly add the oils while whisking, and then add the cilantro, peppers, and green onions
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • In a bowl, mix the cabbage (or premade mix) and the pineapples
  • Toss in the dressing and refrigerate until ready to serve
  • Enjoy!

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Shiny Crispy Chicken Wings

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My mom gave me a Chinese cookbook a while back, but I have never actually opened it or used it. Now I cook a lot of run of the mill Chinese food, using a lot of pre-made sauces thanks to Lee Kum Kee. However, this time I decided to open the book and try a chicken recipe. This recipe is called “Shiny Chicken” and I was hesitant because of the name, but it actually turned out pretty well. It can be used as an appetizer, or serve it with some rice and call it a main dish.  However you want to do it! Have a crack at it and let me know what you think.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 chicken, or chicken wings/legs
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce, separated
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • t tsp sesame oil
  • oil for frying

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Directions

  • Wash and dry the chicken
  • Rub the chicken with 1 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • Combine the green onion, ginger, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce in a bowl and set aside
  • Heat a wok and add the oil to fry (or use a deep fryer if you got one)
  • Fry the chicken wings until skin is golden and crispy (and the meat is cooked)
  • Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and feast!

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Red Wine Roasted Chicken

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Like I said in a previous post, I pretty much spend free time trolling Yahoo Food and other food blogs/sites.  I came across this one for a roast chicken recipe and it looked good and easy, so I thought I would do it.  I have tried this dish twice now, and I have to say, the first time, I wouldn’t call a disaster, but it definitely didn’t turn out well.  Thankfully, I stuck with it and it was much better the 2nd go around.  A few of the flaws that arose were I didn’t use any potatoes and I also had way more chicken than the original recipe had.  As it turns out, you need those potatoes to soak up some of that water, and when you have about 2x as much chicken as the recipe calls for, it also takes a lot longer to cook.  Who woulda thunk?  Anyways, the 2nd time, I was much better about what I was doing ad while I still didn’t use potatoes, I put in less water and had a much better turn out. I think the one downfall this time around though was that it came out a little too oily in the vegetables from both the water and the chicken juice.

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Ingredients:

  • ⅔ cup red wine
  • 6 tbsp/100 g tomato paste
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • 3 sprigs marjoram, leaves picked, or ½ tsp dried
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (I used chicken leg quarters)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 18 oz/500 g baby potatoes, washed (Didn’t do that)
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • 6 carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • ½ cup water

Directions

  • Mix the wine, tomato paste, marjoram, thyme, and red wine vinegar
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper
  • Place the chicken in a plastic ziploc bag and pour the sauce over the chicken
  • Shake the bag to make sure each piece is well coated and let marinate for at least 30 minutes (I did about 2 hours)
  • Make a bed of vegetables at the bottom of a large baking dish/tray and pour in the water
  • Place the chicken pieces over the vegetables (skin side up) and pour the remainder of the marinade over the chicken
  • Cover with foil and roast in the oven for ~30 min at 400 degrees
  • Uncover the chicken and baste with cooking liquid and roast again uncovered for another ~15 minutes (I had to go ~30min)
  • Pour yourself a nice glass of red wine and enjoy!

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Beer Braised Short Rib

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So the slow cooker is a thing of genius when you think about it.  It’s what I always think of when I hear that guy’s phrase “set it and forget it” even though he wasn’t selling a slow cooker at all. It just seems to fit that line so much better. Because you can literally set it for hours, go to work, come back, and shabam…you can have dinner.  Now you want to make lunch, that’s a bit tougher.  But I doubt most people are using a slow-cooker for lunch.  Anywho, I decided to make a short rib because I get it a lot when I am out and don’t want to spend the dinero all the time on the steak.  It’s a tender piece of meat and I enjoy that melt in your mouth texture.  I got the recipe from Yahoo Food, which is what I do when I am bored at work. It came out well and it allowed me to go do other things in my day, which was greatly appreciated.  Overall, I am pretty happy with the dish.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless beef short ribs
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 4 carrots, cut into sticks
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 6 oz stout beer
  • 1 qt beef stock
  • 1 sprig rosemary

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Directions:

  • Reduce the beef stock in a sauce pan to ~1cup
  • Season short ribs with salt and pepper then cover them in flour
  • Cook in a dutch over (I used a cast iron pan) over med-high heat until brown on all sides
  • Add the onions and carrots as a bed in the slow cooker
  • Add the short ribs on top and add any left over pan drippings
  • Cover the ribs with the garlic, butter, herbs, salt, and pepper
  • Add the beer and the beef stock
  • Cover and cook on high for 6 hours
  • Enjoy (I put them over whipped garlic mashed potatoes)

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