All posts by LynnHoll

About LynnHoll

I have been an artist and designer all my life incorporating graphic design for websites, gardens, publications, fabrics, interior design and cooking. I am now retired from my professional job, but still create artistic visions in all forms on a daily basis.

Green Enchiladas with Chicken and Cheese (Enchiladas Verdes)

We were looking forward to making these enchiladas because Mexican cuisine is a fave, and a good green sauce can’t be beat. From Milk Street, we noticed right quick that we’d make some changes. Starting with a small rotisserie chicken, we picked off and chopped a little over two cups worth of meat, using the entire amount instead of just the 1 1/2 cups originally called for. In the same vein, we increased the whole-milk mozzarella cheese from 6 ounces to 8. Altogether it was the perfect amount of filling for eight tortillas.

In Step 2, the directions indicate to cook the veggies until well-browned and beginning to soften, 5 to 8 minutes. With all of that liquid in the pan, the veggies certainly softened, but did not brown, so we went ahead anyway. As an added pop of color, we topped the enchiladas with shredded Mexican cheese and placed the uncovered baking dish back into the hot oven for a final five minutes. All of our changes are included in the recipe below.

To make the filling for these enchiladas, use leftover roasted or grilled chicken or meat from a store-bought rotisserie bird (our choice this time around). You also can poach your own chicken. To do so, place 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a medium saucepan, cover with water or chicken broth, bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to low, cover and cook until the thickest part of the meat registers 160°F, about 20 minutes. Let the chicken cool in the liquid until just warm to the touch, then finely chop the meat.

Of course poaching your own chicken will add time to the process. Speaking of which, Milk Street noted the entire start to finish was supposed to be 45 minutes. No way, José. It took us at least twice that amount of time! There is a lot of prep work which took a good thirty minutes in itself. Oh, but they were so worth it!

Tortilla Tip: Don’t skip the step of brushing the tortillas with oil and briefly warming them in the oven. If the tortillas are filled and rolled straight from the package, they will crack and tear. But take care not to overheat them, which will dry them out and make them too brittle to roll.

Green Enchiladas with Chicken and Cheese (Enchiladas Verdes)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium poblano chilies (about 12 oz.), stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lb. tomatillos, husked, cored and chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 8 oz. whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp. hot sauce (see note)
  • 8 6-in. corn tortillas
  • 4 oz. shredded Mexican cheese fr topping (optional)
  • Lime wedges, to serve

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the middle position.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil, the poblanos, tomatillos, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are well-browned and beginning to soften, 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the cilantro and continue to process until smooth, about 1 minute. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Spread 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish; set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss together the chicken, cheese, hot sauce, 1½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; set aside.
  6. Brush both sides of the tortillas with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet (its fine to overlap them slightly). Cover tightly with foil and warm in the oven just until soft and pliable, about 3 minutes.
  7. Uncover the tortillas; reserve the foil. Lay the tortillas out on a large cutting board or clean counter. Divide the chicken mixture evenly among the tortillas (about 3 heaping tablespoons each), arranging and pressing the filling in a line along the bottom edge of each tortilla.
  8. Working one at a time, roll up the tortillas to enclose the filling and place seam side down in a tight row down the center of the prepared baking dish. Spoon ½ cup of the sauce over the enchiladas. Cover tightly with the reserved foil and bake until the cheese begins to melt out of the ends, about 15 minutes.
  9. Uncover and spread ½ cup of the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with the shredded Mexican cheese. Return to the oven for 5 minutes uncovered.
  10. Serve with lime wedges and the remaining sauce.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe for Milk Street

Tres Leche Cake Adventure

It was son David’s 29th birthday and he requested a Tres Leche Cake as his dessert choice. Well, neither of us had ever made one, but you know how we enjoy a culinary challenge—and boy, were we thrown a curve ball or two…

Since there were going to be only four of us for dinner (and one of us doesn’t eat dessert), the ability to easily halve the ingredients was a game changer—after all, the full recipe feeds up to 16!

So the half-cake batter was made exactly as noted in the directions and put in the preheated oven. After 25 minutes, it was no where near done. At 30 minutes, the center was still jiggly and The Hubs used a toothpick to test for doneness—still too wet. We added another 10 minutes which rendered the cake a light golden color, but also caused the middle to sink 😦

Several other reviewers mentioned that when they made the half version, they also experienced sunken centers. We think perhaps poking it for doneness caused it to deflate, maybe? The Hubs first inclination was to deep-six it and start over but that would have meant a trip to the grocery store for more ingredients. So after some quick rethinking, we decided to move forward.

The milk amounts were cut in half too, and most of the combination was poured over the cooled “forked” cake. Because of the inward slope, the liquid was drizzled around the top edges and the pan was tipped and turned to try and keep as much of the moisture near the top instead of all gathering in the sunken center. We used the majority of the milk mixture to fully saturate the cake, tossing the remainder. Into the fridge it went for a good nights rest.

The whipped topping would not suffice if we made only half of the amount because of that sunken middle, thus the decision to make the entire amount. Fiasco number two. The cream never got stiff, in fact, after switching from a hand held mixer to the mighty Kitchen Aid with whipping attachment, it only got more watery, so down the drain it went, and to the grocery store The Mister went.

Our next topping attempt was going to be an altogether different recipe found in Fine Cooking, which sounded like the perfect antidote. But of course, when The Hubs got to the store (the only one that happened to be open on Easter Sunday), they were completely out of heavy cream! Defeated, he just grabbed a can of ready whip and called it a day…

David commented that “It’s best to preface this blog by mentioning that Tres Leche is not a presentation-worthy cake, but it is a delicious one, with originality and authenticity.” (Maybe if you discount that canned whipped topping.) The Hubs said “I always used to have a glass of milk with cake. This was like pouring the milk on the cake and then eating it.” And girlfriend Vikki noted “It’s like cotton candy melting in your mouth—a little more cakey, but it’s better that way.”

No lying, the cake would not have won any medals in a bake-off, but all those that ate it, loved the taste. I’ve learned in life you can’t always have a win-win, but you can learn from mishaps and move on. The Hubs is determined to make it again—next time around with a few changes.

Notes: This recipe can be halved. If doing so, bake the cake in an ungreased 8- by 8-inch baking dish and reduce baking time to 25 to 30 minutes. (Although in our case, it took 40 minutes!) Be sure to thoroughly chill the cake prior to serving. You could even pop it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes right beforehand.

Tres Leche Cake

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients (whole cake)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 (12-oz.) cans evaporated milk
  • 2 (14-oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

For the topping:

  • 2-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Combine flour and baking powder in small bowl; set aside.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer, beat egg whites and salt with whisk attachment on medium-low speed until whites begin to froth, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and beat whites until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture may look a bit thick.
  4. Add egg yolks and beat just until combined. Decrease speed to low and add flour in three additions, alternating with the milk, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as necessary. Add vanilla and beat just until combined.
  5. Scrape batter into an ungreased 13- by 9-inch baking dish (or 8- by 8-inch for a half cake). Bake until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer cake to cooling rack and cool completely in pan, 60 to 90 minutes.
  6. Once cooled, poke cake all over with fork. Combine evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and 1 1/2 cups heavy cream in large bowl. Pour mixture evenly all over cake. While cake soaks, make whipped cream.
  7. In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer on medium speed. When it begins to thicken, slowly add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat just until it holds firm peaks, 3 to 4 minutes (be careful not to overbeat).
  8. Spread whipped cream over cake and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours. Serve.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe is a mash-up between one from María Del Mar Cuadra (cake) and Fany Gerson (whipped topping)

Pasta Alla Genovese

Pasta without tomato sauce or garlic?? According to Milk Street where we found this dish, they say don’t be fooled by the name. Ironically, it is not pasta with Genovese basil pesto, nor is it from Genoa. Rather, the sauce is an onion-based ragù and a classic in the Neapolitan culinary repertoire.

Some versions of pasta alla genovese are meat-free, others include a small amount of beef or veal as a flavoring, but never as a key ingredient. Taking a cue from A Cucina Ra Casa Mia in Naples, this recipe uses boneless beef short ribs. The beef is combined, cut into chunks, with carrots, celery and a mountain of onions in a Dutch oven. The pot goes into the oven, where the heat is slow and steady, until the meat is rendered tender enough to fall apart when prodded with a fork.

TIPS: Slicing 3 pounds of onions by hand is a good opportunity to hone your knife skills, but if you prefer, they can be sliced on a mandoline. The ragù can be made up to three days ahead, then reheated gently before tossing with just-cooked pasta.

Don’t be concerned that there’s so little liquid in the pot after adding the onions and beef. Warmed by the oven heat, the vegetables and meat will release moisture that becomes the braising liquid in the covered pot. But for the second half of cooking, please don’t forget to uncover the pot. This allows some of that liquid to evaporate for a richer, more concentrated flavor and consistency.

Pasta Alla Genovese

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 4 oz. pancetta, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 medium celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 lbs. yellow onions, halved and sliced
  • 1½ lbs. boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • ¾ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2-inch piece Parmesan rind, plus 2 oz. Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1 cup)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. pasta such as rigatoni or penne rigati
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 325°F with the rack in the lower-middle position. In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots and celery, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until reduced by about half, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the onions, beef, pepper flakes, Parmesan rind, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper, then stir to combine. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 1½ hours.
  5. Remove the pot from the oven and stir. Return to the oven, uncovered, and cook until stewy and the meat falls apart when pressed with a fork, about another 1½ hours. Tilt the pot to pool the cooking liquid to one side, then use a wide spoon to skim off and discard as much fat as possible. Remove and discard the Parmesan rind. Cover and set aside while you cook the pasta.
  6. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Stir in the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  7. Add the pasta to the Dutch oven and toss to combine with the sauce, adding about ½ cup of reserved pasta water. Add the parsley and half the grated Parmesan, then toss again; add more reserved water as needed so the sauce coats the pasta. Taste and season with salt and black pepper. Serve with the remaining Parmesan.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe by  Rose Hattabaugh for Milk Street

Za’atar Chicken and Lentils

This classic Middle Eastern za’atar recipe is a one pot meal. But what exactly is za’atar seasoning?  And what goes in it? Well, the word za’atar (pronounced “zah-tahr”) literally translates to mean “wild thyme” in Arabic. But it’s better known as a seasoning blend, whose ingredients vary slightly from country to country across the Middle East.

Most home chefs won’t necessarily have za’atar seasoning on hand, nor did we, so The Hubs found a version on “Gimme Some Oven” website—now isn’t that a clever name! The three main ingredients are thyme, sesame seeds and sumac. It’s very versatile and can be used on anything from meat, fish, veggies, dips, salads, soups or even popcorn!

What’s nice about this dish if you have diners in your household who have different preferences regarding both white and dark meat, like us, it’s interchangeable. Even though the original recipe calls for only dark meat, we used a combination of 4 thighs, and 2 breast halves that were chopped into two pieces each (producing 8 pieces total, 2 more than the recipe calls for).

We only used 2 tablespoons of the za’atar seasoning to sprinkle on the chicken, which was more than plenty. The remaining one tablespoon was added to the pot after the onion and carrots were cooked down.

A little trick we learned when braising both white and dark meat, is to set the white meat on top of the thighs for a majority of the cooking time. This helps ensure the breast pieces will not overdone and rubbery. Then nestle them into the liquid for the last 15 minutes or so.

Za’atar Chicken and Lentils

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, thighs and/or breasts, excess fat trimmed
  • 3 Tbsp. za’atar (see recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 cup bite-size pieces carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 ½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup pitted green olives, such as Castelvetrano, whole or halved
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh thyme sprigs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Season chicken with za’atar. In a deep oven-going skillet or 5-quart Dutch oven heat oil over medium-high. Add chicken; cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until brown. Transfer to a plate. Don’t crowd the pot, you may have to do this in two batches.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and carrots to pot. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute.
  3. Stir in broth, lentils, and tomato paste. Return chicken and juices to pot. Bring to a simmer. Cover; braise in oven 45 to 55 minutes or until chicken is fork-tender (at least 175°F).
  4. Transfer chicken to a platter; keep warm. Strain remaining mixture, reserving liquid.
  5. Add lentils and vegetables to chicken on platter; cover.
  6. Return liquid to pot. Boil over medium-high 10 to15 minutes or until reduced by half. Pour liquid over chicken and lentils.
  7. Top with olives, lemon zest, and thyme.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Source: Better Homes & Gardens

Za’atar Seasoning

Za’atar Seasoning

  • Servings: Yields 5 Tbsp.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. ground* dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. sumac
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp. fine Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until combined.
  2. Use immediately, or store in a sealed container for up to 3 months.

*If using traditional dried thyme (that is not ground), add in an extra 2 teaspoons dried thyme.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Braised Sweet Potatoes with Orange and Olives (and Pork Tenderloin)

Here, we first decided on our side of Braised Sweet Potatoes with Orange and Olives before we committed to the main course of Sear-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary, Coriander and Mustard. Nothing boring about our penchant for Mediterranean cuisines where the flavors are big and brash, heavy on citrus, spices and bold ingredients used with abandon.

The vegetarian sweet potatoes dish was in a recent copy of Milk Street magazine who noted it originally came from German food blogger Meike Peters. So the challenge was to find a main course that would stand up to the bold flavors. In Molly Stevens’ “All About Roasting” cookbook she wrote an article on basic sear-roasted pork tenderloin that lists four different flavor options.

Our first choice, orange- and thyme-rubbed, would have been a perfect “plate-mate,” however the pork had to be seasoned for 4-24 hours ahead of time, a luxury we didn’t have. So choice number two was seasoned with rosemary, mustard and coriander—a spice also in the potato recipe. This mustard-based paste turned the simple pork tenderloin into something fragrant and special with little effort.

Now about that side dish. First, cook the potatoes with a small amount of orange juice and water until tender, then stir in candied citrus zest and chopped black olives, which provide depth and pops of briny flavor. This recipe resonated not only for its bold flavors, but also for its use of a low-liquid braise, a technique that concentrates flavor. 

In Milk Street’s version, you’ll get plenty of citrus notes from the coriander and juice, and this keeps the recipe a one-pot preparation, woohoo! Then the onions are browned more for a slightly deeper flavor and cayenne pepper adds an extra bit of savoriness.

BUT, and it’s a big one, we instinctively knew that there was no way those potato chunks would be tender in 8-11 minutes. And they were not. Plan on adding another 10 minutes to this step.

TIP: Don’t use a narrow saucepan or pot for this recipe. The wider diameter of a Dutch oven allows the potatoes to be distributed in a thinner layer, which results in more even cooking.

Braised Sweet Potatoes with Orange and Olives

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs. orange-flesh sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ⅔ cup orange juice
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup black or green pitted olives, or a mixture, chopped

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven over medium-high, cook the oil and coriander seeds, stirring, until fragrant and sizzling, 2 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes, orange juice, cayenne, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and ½ cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until a skewer inserted into the potatoes meets no resistance, 8 to 11 minutes. (It took ours 20 minutes until tender.)
  4. Uncover and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has almost fully reduced and the potatoes are glazed, about 2 minutes.
  5. Off heat, stir in the olives. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

The inspiration comes from a recipe in “365,” a cookbook by German food blogger Meike Peters; reimagined by Courtney Hill for Milk Street

Sautéed Snapper with Green Beans and Tomatoes

Sometimes there is nothing more satisfying than a meal that is not only good for you, but is art to the eyes and music to the taste buds—plus, comes together quickly with a short list of ingredients. Here, Milk Street riffs on Laura Calder’s recipe for a simple yet elegant one-skillet, six-ingredient (not counting the salt and pepper) sautéed fish supper from “French Food at Home.”

This version yields a slightly more substantial vegetable accompaniment to serve with the fillets but is equally easy to prepare. Green beans are used, but if you prefer, use pencil-thin asparagus instead. However, Milk Street notes it serves four, and while we halved the amount of snapper for the two of us, the full amount of green beans and tomatoes was kept intact, yet we consumed all of them between the two of us. If serving a starch such as rice or potatoes, it probably won’t be much of an issue.

Red snapper is a mild, firm-textured white fish that holds up nicely to sautéing. Flounder is a good alternative, as it typically is of the same thickness as snapper. Halibut works nicely, too, but the fillets are thicker (and more expensive!) and therefore require a few more minutes in the pan. One misstep on our end was forgetting to remove the fish skin which caused the fillets to curl in the pan.

Tip: Don’t fuss with the fish once it’s in the skillet. Allowing the fillets to cook undisturbed for a few minutes gives them a chance to develop a well-browned crust. To flip each one, slide a metal spatula underneath and, as you turn it, support the fillet your free hand. Gentle handling helps prevent the flaky flesh from breaking.

Sautéed Snapper with Green Beans and Tomatoes

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 6-oz. skinless red snapper fillets (½ to 1 inch thick)
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz. green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter, cut into 2 pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the beans and cook, stirring only once or twice, until spottily browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to char and burst and the beans are tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter.
  2. In the same skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add the fillets skinned side up and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a wide metal spatula, flip each fillet, then add the butter while swirling the pan. Cook over medium-high, occasionally basting the fish with the fat, until the fillets are opaque throughout, about another 3 minutes. Using the spatula, place the fillets on top of the vegetables.
  3. Set the skillet over medium, add the vinegar and cook, stirring to combine with the fat, just until heated through, 30 to 60 seconds. Pour the mixture over the fish.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted the recipe by Courtney Hill for Milk Street

Russ’ Rustic Ham & Navy Bean Soup

Super flavorful and hearty, you’ll be wanting more of this soup after just one spoonful. The key to its success is homemade ham broth, not something most home cooks have readily available, but Russ gives you step-by-step directions below. That being said, the ham broth is essential. If you don’t have any, it becomes an altogether different soup, both in taste and process.

It is a huge time commitment, so pick a day where you have a large chunk of it to work with. And if you also need to make ham stock, do that a day or two (or week) ahead of time.

Whole-grain cracker strips made a nice rustic accompaniment.

This is a good recipe to use after a large ham dinner such as at Easter, or some other family gathering or pot luck party.

Russ' Rustic Ham & Navy Bean Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dried navy beans, soaked in 4 quarts of water with 3 tablespoons of salt for 8-24 hours
  • 4 thick slices bacon, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 ham bone
  • 2 1/2 -3 cups ham, shredded or diced
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 8 cups ham broth (see recipe below)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. pimentón dulce (smoked paprika)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Rinse beans under cool water and remove any small stones or debris. Add 4 quarts water and 3 tablespoons of salt to a large pot and stir until salt is dissolved. Add the rinsed beans and soak at least and up to 24 hours.
  2. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add the diced bacon, and cook until bacon has released its fat and is fully cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and sprinkle with a large pinch of salt. Sauté the vegetables until the onions begin to soften. Drain and rinse the soaked beans and add to the pot, then add the bay leaf, ham bone, and ham broth*. Turn heat to high and bring mixture to a simmer (be careful not to boil it to avoid bursting the beans), then lower heat to a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. 
  4. Once beans are tender, stir in the ham and cooked bacon and continue to simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and thyme branches. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add the pimentón and parsley.  Serve.

*Note:  If you don’t have pre-made ham stock, you can make your own easily following the instructions below. 

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Ham Stock

Ham Stock

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. smoked ham hocks or smoked pork necks or a mix, lightly rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed (no need to peel it)
  • 1 large stalk celery with leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. whole peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 quarts water

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large soup or stock pot over medium-high.  Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot and sauté them until they are caramelized.  Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits in the bottom of the pot, and boil until the wine is reduced by half.
  2. Add the ham hocks and/or smoked pork necks and the remaining ingredients, including the water, and bring the pot to a simmer over high heat.  Immediately lower the heat to medium-low or low and continue to simmer the stock, uncovered, until it reduces by a half, skimming any foam or scum that rises to the surface (about 2–4 hours). Do not stir the stock while it simmers.
  3. Strain the stock through a colander into another large pot or container.  When the solids have cooled enough to handle, you can pick the meat off the shank and/or neck bones and reserve for the soup.  At this point, you can proceed with the Ham and Bean Soup recipe above.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

A South Asian Curry

Ginger-Cumin Beef Curry — Bhuna is a type of South Asian curry that’s especially intense and flavorful because the aromatics and a generous amount of spices are fried in oil and only a little liquid is added to simmer the meat. This version we found in a recent issue of Milk Street.

Over the course of cooking, the liquid is allowed to reduce, resulting in deep, bold, concentrated flavors and a thick, rich sauce. According to some sources, the term bhuna refers to the cooking technique employed to make the dish. The Instant Pot is well-suited to making bhuna-style beef curry: the pressure cooker function cooks the meat without any added liquid at all and the slow cooker function simmers it gently and steadily with only a small amount of added moisture.

If you prefer more vegetables, you could incorporate carrots and/or broccoli. We simply paired ours with a side salad. Serve the curry garnished with thinly sliced red onion and with basmati rice on the side.

Don’t forget to add ⅓ cup water if slow-cooking. The liquid, added just before the pot is sealed, helps the beef mixture come to temperature more quickly, for a slightly shorter overall cooking time. The water is not needed if using the pressure-cooker function.

Ginger-Cumin Beef Curry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. ghee or neutral oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 2 serrano chilies, stemmed and sliced into thin rings
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2½-3 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1½- to 2-inch chunks
  • 1/3 cup water (unless using a stove-top pressure cooker)
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • ½ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select More/High Sauté. Heat the ghee until shimmering, then add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, cardamon, cumin, coriander, cloves, peppercorns and bay, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, chilies and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the tomatoes begin to release their liquid, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beef and distribute in an even layer.
  4. Press Cancel, lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 40 minutes. When pressure cooking is complete, let the pressure reduce naturally for 15 minutes, then release any remaining steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the solids to a medium bowl. Remove and discard the bay. Using a large spoon, skim off and discard the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid (or use a fat separator).
  6. Select More/High Sauté, bring the liquid to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 1 cup, 15 to 20 minutes. Return the meat to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Press Cancel.
  7. Stir in the lime juice, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with cilantro.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe from Milk Street

Jerusalem-Style “Mixed-Grill” Chicken

Milk Street, where this recipe hails from, explains that Jerusalem mixed grill is a popular Israeli street food, one that is said to originate in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market. The term “mixed” refers to the sundry ingredients that go into the dish—chicken meat, hearts, spleen and liver, along with bits of lamb, plus onions and spices. Now don’t get all squeamish over the innards because…

…To re-create a simplified mixed grill at home, Milk Street (MS) borrowed from chef Daniel Alt’s version at The Barbary and Omri Mcnabb’s take on it at The Palomar, two London restaurants that serve up modern Levantine and Middle Eastern cuisine. MS then limited the meat to boneless, skinless chicken thighs and seasoned them assertively with select spices. You can now let out a collective sigh.

In place of a grill, a nonstick skillet on the stovetop is used. Amba, a pickled mango condiment, is commonly served with mixed grill to offset the richness of the meat. Here however, quick-pickle sliced red onion offers a similar acidity and brightness. Nutty, creamy tahini sauce is non-negotiable, and a necessary requirement for the full experience. Serve the chicken with warmed pita.

Be mindful NOT to stir the chicken-onion mixture too often while cooking; doing so disrupts browning. Intermittent stirring—no more than every 2 to 3 minutes—allows the chicken to develop nice, deep, flavor-building char.

Jerusalem-Style Mixed-Grill Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ½ tsp. white sugar
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup tahini
  • 4 Tbsp. lemon juice, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1½ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • Multi-grain pita pickets, warmed in oven wrapped in tinfoil, (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt until the sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in 1 cup of sliced onion; set aside. In another small bowl, mix together the tahini and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, then whisk in 6 tablespoons water. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of oil, the coriander, allspice, turmeric, cinnamon and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the chicken and the remaining sliced onion, then stir until evenly coated.
  3. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil until barely smoking. Add the chicken mixture in an even layer and cook, uncovered and stirring only every 2 to 3 minutes, until the chicken is well browned all over and no longer is pink when cut into, 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Off heat, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle lightly with some of the tahini sauce and top with the pickled onion. Serve the remaining tahini sauce on the side.
Yes, these are something to write home about!

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe adapted from 177 Milk Street

Scallop Nirvana!

At nearly $30 per pound for sea scallops, you want to ensure that the end result is going to be worth your hard-earned dollars. On top of being quick-cooking and easy, there’s little more than a handful of ingredients. Plus, you’ll enjoy a crisp sear on the outside and tender, juicy insides with this Lemon Scallops recipe. And trust us, you’ll be wanting for more—we bought one pound and ate them all!

Make sure to cook in at least two batches so that you don’t crowd the pan and risk not getting that golden crisp sear on the exteriors. The recipe indicates this should take about 2 minutes per side, but in our case it was closer to 1 1/2 minutes per side. For the smoothest, velvety sauce, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to eliminate blackened bits and/or garlic chunks before adding the butter.

Paired with a Citrus Couscous Salad, it was a perfect dinner to kick off the Spring season. We both agreed, they were among the BEST scallops we’ve ever eaten—even taking into account upscale seafood restaurants!

Lemon Scallops

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 – 1.5 lbs. sea scallops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter 
  • Chopped fresh mint

Directions

  1. Pat scallops dry. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place on a plate. Chill, uncovered, for 2 hours. Remove and let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. To check when hot enough, add a large drop of water (1/8 teaspoon) to the skillet. When it rolls around the pan like a bead of mercury, it is ready. This will take 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Remove skillet from heat; add oil. Swirl to coat bottom of skillet. Return to medium-high heat. Add scallops, half at a time (don’t crowd the pan). Cook for 2 minutes or until a crust forms (be patient; the scallops will release when they’re ready to be turned). Turn and cook for 2 minutes more or until scallops are crusted on the second side and turn opaque.
  4. Remove scallops from skillet to a plate; cover loosely. Remove skillet from heat. Carefully add wine, broth, lemon juice, and garlic (mixture will spatter). Return to heat. Bring to boiling, stirring to scrape up browned bits. Boil gently, uncovered, 5 minutes or until reduced by about half. Remove from heat.
  5. Strain over a fine mesh sieve to remove any blackened bits and garlic chunks, then whisk in the butter for a velvety sauce.
  6. Spoon sauce over scallops to serve. Sprinkle with mint.

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Adapted from a recipe by Colleen Weeden for Better Homes & Gardens

Citrus Couscous Salad

The temps are warming here in southeastern PA, which starts our craving for brighter tasting food. This Citrus Couscous Salad recipe was spotted in Fine Cooking Magazine, but originated in Better Homes & Gardens from what I can surmise. Doesn’t really matter, we made numerous changes to make it our own.

Orange zest, juice, and segments brighten up this fresh take on a “pasta” salad recipe. Despite popular belief that couscous is a type of whole grain (it does have a rice-like appearance), it is actually a pasta made of semolina and wheat flour that is moistened and tossed together until it forms little balls. (Sorry keto-friendly dieters.)

Not only does couscous cook quickly—a plus for most home cooks—it is an excellent main or side dish that pleases almost anyone’s palate. While the original recipe used 6 oranges, and fed as many, the ingredients list here was halved for the most part. Although, the thyme and olive quantities remain the same, pine nuts were swapped out for the hazelnuts.

Because it can sit at room temperature, it would be a great asset at any pot luck or picnic.

Citrus Couscous Salad

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 large Cara Cara, navel, or other oranges
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1⁄2 cup Israeli couscous
  • 3⁄4 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1⁄2 cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp. pinenuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped, pitted Castelvetrano olives or Manzanilla olives
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. coarse salt
  • ⅛ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Using a vegetable peeler remove strips of zest from one orange, being careful not to remove the white pith; set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan with a tight lid heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add couscous; cook 2 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring often. Add two orange strips, broth, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat; reduce heat. Cover; cook 12 to 15 minutes or until couscous is tender and all liquid is absorbed. Let cool; discard strips.
  3. Meanwhile, using a paring knife, remove peel and pith from the other two oranges. Working over a small bowl to catch juices, cut out each segment from membranes. (Or slice into wheels.)
  4. For citrus oil: Chop enough of the remaining orange strips to get 1 tablespoon In a 10-inch skillet combine chopped strips, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the garlic, and thyme. Heat over low heat 5 minutes or until warm; set aside.
  5. To serve, on a platter combine orange segments and juices, couscous, red onion, pinenuts and olives. Drizzle with red wine vinegar. Spoon citrus oil over top. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and, if desired, crushed red pepper.

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Adapted from a recipe by Better Homes and Gardens

Lush, Velvety Risotto

Lemon and Shrimp Risotto with Fresh Basil is a lovely dish that becomes even more flavorful if you use your own homemade shellfish stock. Don’t fret however if you don’t have any, you can always create a flavorful broth for simmering the risotto by steeping the shrimp shells and strips of lemon zest in water, as suggested in the directions below.

Another option, bring two 8-ounce bottles clam juice, 3 cups water, ½ teaspoon salt and the zest strips to a simmer in the saucepan and cook, covered, for 10 minutes to infuse, then strain as directed.

Milk Street’s version of the Italian risotto di limone is finished with an egg yolk and cream that enrich a lush, velvety risotto brightened with lemon zest and juice. For citrus notes that register at every level, stir in bright, puckery lemon juice and floral, fragrant grated zest just before serving.

Our notes: We increased the amount of shrimp from 12 ounces to 1 pound, and used a large yellow onion instead of a small one. It’s up to you how much shrimp and the size of the onion to incorporate. You might even consider using only 4 cups of liquid as opposed to 5, because it was still a bit too soupy for our liking — although the next day, the leftovers had thickened.

Don’t uncover the pot for at least 5 minutes after adding the shrimp. Lifting the lid releases some of the residual heat that’s needed to cook the shrimp.

Lemon and Shrimp Risotto with Fresh Basil

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp. plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve
  • 1 lb. extra-large shrimp, peeled (shells reserved), deveined and patted dry
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil, roughly chopped

Directions

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from 1 of the lemons in long, wide strips; try to remove only the colored portion of the peel, not the bitter white pith just underneath. Using a rasp-style grater, grate the zest from the remaining lemon; set aside separately. Halve the lemons and squeeze ¼ cup juice; set the juice aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium, heat 2 teaspoons oil until shimmering. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring constantly, until pink, 1 to 2 minutes. (If you are using your own homemade shellfish stock, you can omit this step.)
  3. Add 5 cups water (or your own shellfish stock), the zest strips and 1 teaspoon salt, then bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce to low and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour the broth through a strainer set over a medium bowl; rinse out the pan. Press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible, then discard. Return the broth to the pan, cover and set over low to keep warm.
  5. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes.
  6. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the grains are translucent at the edges, 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add 3 cups of the hot broth and cook, stirring often and briskly, until a spoon drawn through the mixture leaves a trail, 10 to 12 minutes.
  9. Add the remaining broth and cook, stirring, until the rice is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the shrimp. Cover and let stand until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 5 to 7 minutes.
  10. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the lemon juice, egg yolk, cream, basil, and the grated zest. The risotto should be loose but not soupy. Taste and season with salt. Serve drizzled with additional oil.

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Adapted from a recipe for Milk Street

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Chickpeas and Lentils

According to a recent issue of Milk Street Magazine, this aromatic Moroccan dish, called harira, is traditionally served during Ramadan to break the daily fast. It’s sometimes vegetarian, other times meaty, and depending on the cook, its consistency may be thick and hearty or light and brothy.

This recipe calls for lamb, but you could substitute an equal amount of boneless beef chuck. Note that the chickpeas require soaking, which we did, to cook at the same rate as the meat. For convenience, however, you can skip the dried chickpeas and simply stir some drained canned chickpeas into the stew at the end.

Speaking of those chickpeas, we felt that only 1/3 cup for those and the lentils was way too few in the end. We advise tripling both to 1 cup each to help thicken the base, which we deemed too thin. These larger amounts are noted in the ingredients list below.

We opted for the Fast version here, but Milk Street also offers directions on a Slow method if you prefer. Don’t forget to serve with lemon wedges which add a bright note, and a drizzle of grassy extra-virgin olive oil. If not counting carbs, offer crusty bread for soaking up the broth.

Don’t use brown or regular green lentils in place of the lentils du Puy. Though those varieties do hold their shape, they cook up with a softer, more yielding texture than Puy lentils, which stay quite firm and offer textural contrast to the stew.

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Chickpeas and Lentils

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 6 medium celery stalks, sliced ½ to ¾ inch thick
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. sweet paprika
  • 14½ oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 2 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder or beef chuck, trimmed and cut into ¾- to 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup lentils du puy
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, flat-leaf parsley or a mixture, chopped, plus more to serve

Directions (for the fast version)

  1. In a small bowl, stir together 2 cups water and 1½ teaspoons salt. Add the chickpeas and soak at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain and set aside.
  2. On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select Normal/Medium Sauté. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the celery, onion, garlic, ginger and 2½ teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cinnamon, paprika and 1½ teaspoons pepper, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and 4 cups water, scraping up browned bits. Add the lamb, lentils and chickpeas; stir to combine, then distribute in an even layer.
  5. Press Cancel, lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 15 minutes.
  6. When pressure-cooking is complete, let the pressure reduce naturally for 15 minutes, then release the remaining steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.
  7. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then stir in the parsley and/or cilantro. Serve sprinkled with additional herbs and drizzled with oil

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe for Milk Street

Roast Chicken with Bacon and Root Vegetables

Go ahead and make this cozy one-dish meal the centerpiece of your Sunday supper. Hailing from Molly Stevens cookbook All About Roasting, it’s not meant to be fancy or elegant—just tasty and very satisfying; and Molly doesn’t disappoint.

For the full effect you want to use a large 5-to-6 pound chicken, sometimes labeled as oven-roasters. If unable to find large chickens, use two, three-pounders, however your cooking times will be less, so cut your veggies smaller. Molly uses a unique technique to keep the breast from drying out by sneaking some diced bacon under the skin. As the bacon slowly renders its fat, it moistens the breast while imparting some smoky goodness.

Then for even more flavor, the bird gets brushed with melted butter mixed with honey and balsamic vinegar. This tangy-sweet glaze turns the breast a rich caramelly-varnish color, even though it’s roasting in a moderate oven. Make sure to use a low-sided roasting pan or gratin dish which allows more of the bird to get browned.

You can choose your own hardy root vegetables for the mix. We used carrots, parsnips and celery root, although you could substitute any of that with potatoes (sweet or regular), turnips, beets, etc. The veggies will soak up plenty of savory juices as they roast.

Roast Chicken with Bacon and Root Vegetables

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1, 5-6 lb. chicken
  • 1 medium-thick slice of bacon, diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs. mixed root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, beets, turnips, celery root and/or rutabaga, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 Tbsp. dried herbes de Provence, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 medium onion. ends cut off, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

Directions

  1. Trim and Season the Chicken — Over the sink, remove the giblets and discard or reserve for another use. Drain off any liquid and dry the chicken inside and out with paper towels. Pull off and discard any large deposits of fat form the neck or body cavity opening. Use your fingertips to gently loosen the skinover the chicken breast, starting at the cavity opening, and push the diced bacon under the skin, doing your best to spread it evenly over the breast. Season the chicken generously all over with salt and pepper. Let the chicken stand for one hour.
  2. Heat the Oven — Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat 375°F (350° convection).
  3. Season the Vegetables — Place all of the vegetables (except red beets if using) in a large mixing bowl. If using red beets, place them in a separate bowl so they don’t stain the other veggies. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and season with 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper, tossing to coat.
  4. Make the Glaze — Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Whisk in the vinegar and honey and set aside in a warm place.
  5. Roast the Chicken and Vegetables — Arrange the onion slices in a single layer in the center of a low-sided (important) roasting pan or dish (approx. 15″ x 12″). Set the chicken breast side up on the onions and tie the legs together using kitchen twine.
    Arrange the veggies all around . They should be a dense single layer if possible. Slide the chicken into the oven, preferably with the legs facing away from the door. After 25 minutes, brush the breast and drumsticks with some of the glaze and nudge the vegetables around with a metal spatula to promote even cooking. Don’t worry if you can’t stir them thoroughly, it’s nice to have some more browned than others.
    Continue roasting, brushing on additional glaze, and stirring the veggies at 20-minute intervals, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (without touching bone) registers 170 degrees.If at any point the chicken seems to be getting darker on one side than the other, rotate the pan in the oven.
  6. Rest, Carve and Serve — Transfer the chicken to a carving board (preferably one with a trough to catch the juices, and let it rest for about 20 minutes. Leave the sliced onions in the pan with the other vegetables, and give them all a good stir with the metal spatula, scraping up any browned bits and coating the pan with the juices.
    Poke a few different vegetables with the tip of a knife to be sure they are nice and tender; if not, return the pan to the oven for at least another 10 minutes to finish roasting while the chicken rests.
    Carve the chicken and add any accumulated juices to the vegetables, giving them all a good stir before serving.

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Recipe from Molly Stevens cookbook All About Roasting

Yucatecan Chicken and Lime Stew (Sopa de Lima)

Absolutely delicious, this Sopa de Lima is a classic Mexican soup from the Yucatán Peninsula. Brothy, spicy and usually chicken-based, the juice of limas counts as a key ingredient, or Mexican bittersweet limes, a variety of citrus that is difficult to find here in the U.S.

So in a clever twist to approximate the flavor of limas, Milk Street used a combination of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and standard lime juice. They tell us the credit for this substitution goes to J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats. To keep the flavors clear and bright, add the citrus juices at the very end after cooking is complete. Warm spices add complex flavor and aroma to this version using cinnamon, allspice and cumin, along with dried oregano.

Simmering bone-in chicken thighs in store-bought chicken broth yields a deeply flavorful base for the soup, however, we included our homemade chicken stock which amped up that flavor base even more! But before simmering, you need only to brown the skin side of half of the chicken thighs; which will develop enough caramelization to build depth of flavor but spares the time and mess of browning both sides of all 3 pounds of thighs.

Once the requisite amount of chicken thighs were browned, we chopped them in half. This multi-pronged approach released the marrow from the bones, plus quickened the heating process once in the pot, then the cooling down process just before shredding the meat.

Sopa de lima is garnished with strips of fried corn tortillas that, when lightly soaked with broth, take on an appealing chewy-crunchy quality that adds textural appeal to the soup. For simplicity, however, we used tortilla chips.

Yucatecan Chicken and Lime Stew (Sopa de Lima)

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

NOTE: It is highly suggested that you don’t use grapefruit juice that’s not freshly squeezed. Pasteurized juice or juice from concentrate lacks the peppiness that the soup requires. (Although since we had some already on hand and opened, we did use it.) Any variety of grapefruit—pink, red or white—works well. You will likely need 1½ grapefruits to get ¾ cup juice.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry
  • 2 large white onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground allspice
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems minced, leaves roughly chopped, reserved separately
  • 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 2 qts. low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup grapefruit juice
  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice, plus more as needed
  • Tortilla chips, to serve

Directions

  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. Add half the chicken, skin side down, and cook without disturbing until well browned on the bottom, 8 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Pour off and discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pot.
  2. Chop both the browned and and raw chicken thighs in half, set aside.
  3. Return the pot to medium-high, add the onions and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeño, oregano, cumin, allspice, cinnamon and cilantro stems. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes with juices, then the broth. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add the raw chicken and the browned chicken, along with any accumulated juices, then bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce to low and cook, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until a skewer inserted into the chicken meets no resistance, about 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a large plate and set aside. When cool enough to handle, use 2 forks or your hands to shred the chicken into bite-size pieces; discard the skin and bones. Add the shredded meat to the pot and bring the soup to a simmer over medium, stirring occasionally.
  6. Off heat, stir in the grapefruit and lime juices, then taste and season with salt, pepper and additional lime juice (if desired). Ladle into bowls and top with tortilla chips and cilantro leaves.

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Original recipe compliments of Milk Street