Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

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So I was at the local supermarket just browsing the produce section (that just sounds weird typing that) when I came upon a sale for brussel sprouts. This was not the first time I have seen such a sale, but this was the first time that I stopped at one. Trying to be healthier and more culinary adventurous, I decided to try my hand at them since it couldn’t be that hard right? But I knew that in order for them to be really good, I would have to combine it with bacon (obviously) so then I went to the meats section.  For my first time making these, it turned out pretty good. Definitely more enjoyable than I thought since Asian people don’t generally eat brussel sprouts I feel like.

Ingredients

  • 12-16 brussel sprouts
  • EVOO
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Few slices of bacon (who am I to judge how many you use?)
  • Shaved parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

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Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Cut brussel sprouts length wise and rinse
  • In a large bowl mix the EVOO, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic
  • Once the sprouts are dry, toss them with the EVOO and spices to evenly coat
  • Place them in the oven until tender (~20 minutes)
  • Meanwhile, fry the strips of bacon
  • After they cool, chop the bacon and toss with roasted brussel sprouts
  • Shave a few slices of Parmesan on top and enjoy!

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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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Roasted Chicken Leg

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Hi everyone. It’s been about a month since the last post now. I have been on vacation for the past month, visiting Berlin, Paris, Bangkok, Siem Riep, and Phuket. That obviously means I have not been cooking, but maybe I will post some food pictures from my travels later. Anyways, today was the first time I have cooked since being back, and I decided to roast some chicken leg quarters because they were on sale at the market (when you are gone for a month, you come back to an empty fridge). It was a simple recipe that did not require a lot of ingredients, which was well suited to my current situation. So here goes.

Ingredients

  • Chicken leg quarters (or any part of a chicken skin on I suppose)
  • Seasoned salt
  • Garlic Salt
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Olive Oil

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Directions

  • Wash and pat dry the quarters
  • Cut off the excess fat
  • Separate the skin from the meat, but leaving it still attached
  • Mix the seasoned salt, garlic salt, rosemary, thyme, pepper, and paprika together in a small bowl
  • Brush the inside meat and the outside skin of the chicken with olive oil
  • Lightly rub the seasoning mix onto the chicken (both inside the skin on the meat, as well as the outside of the chicken quarters)
  • Place onto a foiled baking pan (make sure to space them out so they cook properly)
  • Bake for 45 min at 350 degrees and then at 425 degrees for the next 15 minutes (total 1 hour)
  • Enjoy

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I paired the chicken with a light mixed salad for a relatively easy and light meal. The skin came out slightly crispy, which is how I like it and the meat was still tender and juicy. It was probably a little too salty, so in the future I would definitely use less salt. But other than that it was a good and pretty hearty meal.

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Roasted Tomato Spaghetti

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So I was trolling Yahoo! Food and came across this recipe for a slow roasted tomato sauce. With nothing better to make, I decided to try it. I realized half way through that I had no meat to pair with it, and was super close to running to the market to pick up something, but ended up doing something more unbelievable…leaving it a vegetarian meal. Both proud and disappointed at the same time, this meal was decent, but not what I expected. I followed the recipe exactly, but it ended up being a little too sweet for my taste (maybe less balsamic next time), or adding meat (the salt from meat would probably even it out).

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Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Instructions

  • Mix tomatoes and garlic in a baking dish
  • Mix EVOO, balsamic, thyme, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl
  • Pour mix over the tomatoes
  • Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour

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So after they were baked/roasted, I honestly did not know what to do with them. I tried to break the tomatoes and mix them to make a sauce, but while the tomatoes broke, the skins didn’t really reduce. So I ended up putting a few of the tomatoes in the food processor and pulsing it a bit to make a sauce that I could mix with my spaghetti. Overall, it was like I said earlier – not what I expected, but I would definitely try it again with a few adjustments.

 

Roasted Rack of Lamb

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Yesterday was mine and Jenn’s 5 year anniversary (no idea we’d make it that far), and in lieu of going out for a fancy dinner, as is usually the thing, we decided to cook (well I decided to cook).  We are going to Europe in a few weeks so we decided to keep it relatively inexpensive and tame at home for our celebration.  I had a hard time deciding what to make, but I ended up on a roasted rack of lamb for me and a halibut filet with lemon butter for her (which will be posted later). So here goes.

Ingredients (completely made up recipe)

  • Rack of lamb
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Bread crumbs
  • Olive oil
  • Minced garlic

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Instructions

  • Score the fat of the rack
  • Salt and pepper generously
  • Add thyme, oregano, and minced garlic
  • Brush with olive oil
  • Coat lightly with bread crumbs
  • In a cast iron pan sear the rack of lamb on all sides over  high heat
  • Finish cooking by baking in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes
  • Let sit for 15 minutes and then devour it