Tag Archives: entrée

Pork Loin Roast with Gravy

Pork loin roasts up beautifully and finishing it with a little gravy made with the pan drippings adds that much more flavor. Such a perfect meal for cooler weather; make sure to have some mashed potatoes or noodles to ladle the fabulous gravy over. Given the simplicity of effort and the relatively few amount of ingredients, the depth of flavor is incredible!

A few notable tips for a perfect roast: It’s helpful to dry first with paper towels to remove extra moisture from exterior so it browns better. Don’t skip searing the pork loin for that extra added layer of flavor. It also seasons the drippings.

A pork loin should be cooked to 145 degrees in the center of the loin with a slightly pink color. Test temperature with a thermometer for doneness rather than guessing or basing it off color.; and be careful not to over-cook or it starts to dry. Finally, let rest before carving to allow juices to evenly distribute so they don’t just end up on the carving board.

To shorten the cooking time, if you have a convention oven option, lower the oven temp to 300°, and cook the meat in about 25% less time. An internal thermometer will let you know exactly when it’s done.

Pork Loin Roast

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Roast

  • 3 – 4 lb. pork loin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 3/4 tsp. dried)
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (or 3/4 tsp. dried)
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh sage (or 3/4 tsp. dried)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest or orange zest, optional

Gravy

  • 2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • Pan drippings from roasting pan
  • 1 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat (I like to use cast iron for nice browning).
  2. Dab pork loin dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet and brown pork on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, including end caps, about 12 minutes total.
  4. Transfer pork to a plate. Let cool a few minutes so it’s not too hot to handle.
  5. Meanwhile in a small bowl stir together remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil with thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic and citrus zest.
  6. Using hands spread mixture over roast (on all sides, note it doesn’t stick perfectly well and that’s ok if some falls from the sides, just sneak it under the roast to season it). Place meat back into skillet and roast with fat side up.
  7. Insert an oven probe thermometer into center of middle area of pork loin (if you don’t have one use a standard probe thermometer to test temperature occasionally).
  8. Bake pork in preheated oven until center registers 145 degrees on thermometer, about 50 to 70 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven, transfer to carving board. Tent roast with foil and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepare gravy in the same skillet.

For the gravy

  1. In previously used skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook 1 1/2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  2. While whisking slowly pour in chicken broth and drippings from roasting pan (you should have a few tablespoons, scrape up browned bits). Let cook until thickened, stirring frequently.
  3. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Stir heavy cream in at the end if using.
  4. Slice roast to desired thickness (I like to slice somewhat thin). Serve with gravy atop slices.

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Adapted from a recipe for cookingclassy.com

Citrus Rosemary Chicken

Citrusy roast chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy are my go-to comfort food, especially on a cool Sunday afternoon. The meal conjures up fond memories from my formative years growing up in Michigan. According to chef/author Suzy Karadsheh, this simple twist on roast chicken makes a dish that is at once crisp and succulent, with the perfect balance of savory, tangy, and warm flavors! Delicious and impressive with a modicum of work involved. You had me at “roast chicken.”

I say bring it on with crisp, tangy, and succulent citrus rosemary chicken, seasoned Mediterranean-style with garlic, rosemary, and oregano, and covered in a bold wine and orange marinade. It is preferable to use split chicken or chicken pieces of similar size for even cooking. We used a whole chicken split in half for this recipe, but you can also use chicken breast or thighs, and you may have to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

As wine pairings go, many people choose white wine to serve next to chicken dinners. But roast chicken is one of those rustic meals that pairs incredibly well with certain red wines, such as Pinot Noir. The beautiful red fruit notes in Pinot compliment the rosemary and citrus flavors in the chicken without overwhelming the palate. And the smooth, lengthy finish is just perfection! To elevate the flavor even more, Suzy also uses some of the wine in the chicken marinade. 

The citrus marinade in this recipe is made of a combination of wine, orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, tomato paste for color and umami, and fresh garlic, onions, rosemary, and other Mediterranean spices. The key to great flavor here is to allow the chicken a good 1 to 2 hours in the marinade (refrigerated), and make sure to lift up the chicken skin to spoon some of the garlicky, citrus marinade underneath.

When the chicken was done, we plated it and the onions on a platter covered with foil. The remaining juices were added with a quart of homemade chicken stock to a pot; then thickened with a corn starch slurry when the liquids began to boil. To complete the meal, we made Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Orange-Butter Sauce and garlicky mashed potatoes with gravy.

Please note: Since the pan will go under the broiler at the end, make sure to use a broiler-proof pan such as enameled cast iron.

Citrus Rosemary Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 ½ lbs.), split in half through the backbone
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Pinot Noir
  • 1 orange zested and juiced plus 1 sliced orange
  • 1 lime juiced, plus 1 sliced lime
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper
  • 7 to 8 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 yellow onion halved and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. honey

Directions

  1. Season the chicken with kosher salt on all sides, making sure to season underneath the skin as well. (You can do this one night ahead of time and keep the chicken in the fridge to air-chill uncovered).
  2. Prepare the citrus marinade. In a large bowl, add the wine, orange juice and zest, lime juice, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, tomato paste, spices, and a good dash of kosher salt. Add the garlic and onion. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add the chicken and toss to coat, making sure to lift the skin up and spoon some of the marinade underneath (this will give you more flavor). Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes. Alternatively, cover and refrigerate for an hour or two (for best results, take it out of the fridge and leave the chicken at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes before cooking).
  4. Preheat the oven to 425° F and adjust a rack in the middle.
  5. Transfer the chicken and the marinade to a braising pan. Roast for 30 minutes, then carefully turn the pan 180 degrees and roast for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender, with an internal temperature of the breast meat at 165°.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the honey with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Carefully remove the chicken from the oven and brush the top with the honey and olive oil mixture.
  7. Switch the oven to the broil function. Return the chicken back to the oven about 6 inches away from the broiler and cook briefly for 3 to 4 minutes, watching for the skin to turn a nice golden brown.
  8. Remove from the heat. Move chicken and onions to platter. Garnish with slices of fresh orange, wedges of lime and fresh herbs. Allow chicken 10 minutes to rest before slicing and serving.
  9. If desired, while the chicken rests, bring 1 quart of chicken stock and the pan juices to a boil, then add a cornstarch slurry to thicken the gravy.

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Adapted from a recipe by Suzy Karadsheh for The Mediterranean Dish

Spicy Chinese Beef Skewers

Spice it twice—the mantra for this flavorful beef skewer. After skewering but before going on the grill, the meat is dusted generously with the spices. Those spices toast, their flavors deepening during cooking. Once the meat comes off the heat, it’s seasoned a second time with the same spice blend, creating multiple layers of nuanced flavors from the same few ingredients.

What did we do different? In place of flat iron steak, we substituted flap meat because it was already in our freezer and it’s easier to source than the aforementioned flat iron cut. In keeping with the Asian theme, we also grilled bok choy right along with the meat skewers. They benefited from a chili oil sauce that complimented the meat rub.

Don’t trim the fat from the beef before cooking. The fat adds flavor and helps keep the meat succulent. If you’re using a gas grill, make sure to give it at least 10 to 15 minutes to heat before cooking the skewers. This ensures the meat gets a nice surface char without overcooking the interior.

Spicy Chinese Beef Skewers

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs. beef flat iron steak, sliced against the grain into ¼-inch-thick strips
  • 1 Tbsp. dry sherry or Shaoxing wine
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil, plus more for grill grate
  • 2½ Tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 2½ tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1½ tsp. sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • chili oil, to serve (optional)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the beef, sherry, soy sauce and oil. Let stand at room temperature while preparing the spice mix and the grill.
  2. In a small skillet over medium-low, toast the cumin, fennel and Sichuan peppercorns until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and add the pepper flakes. Process until coarsely ground, about 10 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in 1¾ teaspoons salt. Measure out 1 tablespoon of the mix and set aside to use as garnish.
  3. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct, high-heat cooking. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals and let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute the coals evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents and the lid vent. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high. Heat the grill, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate.
  4. While the grill heats, thread the beef onto ten 8- to 10-inch metal skewers, evenly dividing the meat and pushing the pieces together. Sprinkle the remaining spice mixture evenly over both sides of the meat, patting gently to adhere.
  5. Grill until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and grill until the second sides are lightly charred, another 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkling both sides of the skewers with the reserved spice mix, then drizzle with chili oil (if using).

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Adapted from a recipe by Laura Russell for Milk Street

Saffron-Spiked Crispy Rice with Chicken and Lemon Zest

Tahchin is a traditional Persian dish of basmati rice mixed with saffron, yogurt and egg yolks, then baked into a cake. Here however, a tahchin morgh, or tahchin with chicken is made with a shortcut by simply layering uncooked pieces of seasoned chicken thighs into the rice so they bake right into the grains.

You will need a 9-inch deep-dish glass pie plate for this recipe. The glass not only conducts heat well so the rice forms a nice bottom crust, it also allows you to monitor browning. For make-ahead convenience, Milk Street says the rice can be put into the pie plate, covered and refrigerated for up to eight hours. When you’re ready to bake, drizzle on the melted butter, cover with foil and bake as directed.

I wasn’t so sure that I’d be bowled over by this recipe, but after a few bites I realized just how good it was! We omitted the currants, but kept everything else the same. Even though it is a one pan meal, it uses numerous bowls and containers to prep the ingredients, so make sure you have a dish washer on hand 😉

NOTE: Don’t use a metal baking pan or a ceramic pie plate. Neither will brown and crisp the bottom crust as well as glass. Also, be sure the oven rack is in the lowest position, as proximity to the heating element will assist with browning.

Saffron-Spiked Crispy Rice with Chicken and Lemon Zest

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron threads, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp. boiling water
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1- to 1½-inch pieces
  • 3 tsp. grated lemon zest, divided
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 Tbsp. dried currants
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter, melted
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve
  • Roughly chopped roasted pistachios, to serve

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the rice with enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up 12 hours. Drain the rice in a fine-mesh sieve, then rinse under cool running water and drain again.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the saffron and boiling water; set aside. Heat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the lowest position. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch deep-dish glass pie plate with 2 tablespoons of the oil.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest, the garlic, ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of the saffron water. Stir until the chicken is evenly coated; set aside at room temperature.
  4. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the yogurt, egg yolk, remaining 2 teaspoons lemon zest and remaining saffron water; whisk until well combined.
  5. When the water reaches a boil, stir in the rice and 2 tablespoons salt. Return to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes; it will not be fully cooked. Drain the rice in a fine-holed colander or large fine-mesh sieve, shaking to remove excess water. Add the rice to the yogurt mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
  6. Add about 1½ cups rice mixture to the prepared pie plate, gently pressing it into an even layer over the bottom and about halfway up the sides. Stir the chicken mixture and the currants into the remaining rice mixture, then transfer to the pie plate and distribute in an even layer; do not compact the rice mixture. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over top. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour. Carefully remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottom is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes.
  7. Run a silicone spatula around the edge to loosen the rice from the pie plate. Invert a serving platter over the pie plate. Holding the platter against the pie plate, carefully invert the two together. Carefully remove the pie plate. Sprinkle with parsley and pistachios.

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Adapted from a recipe by Courtney Hill for Milk Street

Grilled Pork Chops with Plum Mostarda

Absolutely delicious, this pork chop dinner was both slightly sweet and slightly spicy, with neither profile overwhelming the other. The Hubs is typically not fond of stone fruit, so when I mentioned that I’d like to make this recipe from Bon Appétit, he hesitantly got on board. After the first bite, he, and I, were amazed how much we plum loved it!

No doubt this will get on our rotation for company in the near future. The plum mostarda can easily be made ahead and rewarmed the evening of the party. All the host would have to do is season and grill the chops. The arugula gets mixed with a little of the sauce, and a simple side dish, such as a corn sauté completes the meal.

These grilled pork chops keep things simple—which is great when you are entertaining. Pop your seasoned plums onto the grill just before you add the meat. Then once everything is good and charred, toss the plums in the zingy dressing inspired by the flavors of mostarda, a sharp, heavy-hitting Italian condiment of candied fruit and dry mustard (used here is whole grain and Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and shallots).

Not able to source pork rib chops at the grocery store, we opted for loin chops—just make sure they are at least an inch thick. For the rub, we mixed together and pimentón and brown sugar then added 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper before sprinkling on the meat.

Grilled Pork Chops with Plum Mostarda

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped oregano
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large ripe plums, halved, pitted
  • 2 1”-thick bone-in pork rib chops
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 4 oz. mature arugula, tough stems removed (about 4 cups)

Directions

  1. Whisk together shallot, vinegar, whole grain mustard, granulated sugar, and Dijon mustard in a medium bowl. Gradually stream in ½ cup oil, whisking vigorously until emulsified. Whisk in oregano and season with salt and pepper. Set vinaigrette aside.
  2. Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; oil grate. Grill plums, cut side down, until charred and fruit releases easily from grill, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool.
  3. Season pork chops all over with salt and pepper and sprinkle with brown sugar and paprika. Grill, turning occasionally, until deeply browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone registers 140° (internal temperature should climb to 145° as chops rest), 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cut plum halves into 2 or 3 wedges each and add to reserved vinaigrette; toss gently to coat. Season plum mostarda with salt and pepper.
  5. To serve, toss arugula with some plum mostarda in a large bowl to coat; transfer to plates. Spoon more plum mostarda over pork chops; serve chops with arugula salad alongside.

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Adapted by a recipe from Tiana Gee for Bon Appétit

Flank Steak with Tomato-Eggplant Ragù 

This dish borrows some of the flavors of Greek moussaka for a quick-one pan meal. Seared flank steak is finished with a wonderful rustic sauce-like side of eggplant, tomatoes, garlic and herbs. Crumbled feta cheese adds briny notes that contrast nicely with the sweetness of the vegetables and the richness of the beef.

We paired ours with rice pilaf doctored with herbs and olive oil.

Prep is pretty easy because there is no need to peel the eggplant, canned tomatoes are used, and the feta cheese is already crumbled; not to mention it all happens in one skillet.

To keep the eggplant from drying out so that the pieces become silky-soft, don’t drain the juices from the tomatoes—the liquid helps form the sauce. When slicing the flank steak for serving, make sure to slice it against the grain for the tenderest texture.

Flank Steak with Tomato-Eggplant Ragù

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs. flank steak, trimmed, halved lengthwise, then crosswise
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 14½ oz. can diced tomatoes, (don’t drain, save the juices)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup lightly packed fresh mint, chopped
  • 1½ oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about ⅓ cup)

Directions

  • Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the steak and brown on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total, flipping the pieces once. Transfer to a plate.
  • In the same pan over medium-high, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the eggplant and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce to medium and add the tomatoes with juices, the garlic, oregano and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the eggplant has begun to break down, about 5 minutes.
  • Off heat, stir in any accumulated beef juices and half the mint. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Thinly slice the steak against the grain and place on a platter. Spoon the eggplant mixture on and around the steak, then sprinkle with feta and the remaining mint.

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Recipe by Julia Rackow for Milk Street

Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloins with Apple, Sherry and Smoked Paprika

The inspiration for this Spanish spin on pork and apples comes from “Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America” by José Andrés. This version from Milk Street uses pork tenderloins that get a stovetop sear and finish in the oven on a bed of lightly sautéed onion and Granny Smith apple. The onion-apple mixture softens to a jammy relish-like accompaniment that is accented with smoked paprika and dry sherry. It’s a rich, woodsy complement to slices of the mild, meaty tenderloin.

We cooked only one tenderloin for the two of us which provided three servings of meat. The amount of ingredients for the sauce was kept the same because we prefer things saucy. Our accompaniments were roasted butternut squash cubes and a simple side salad. The flavors of the meal were outstanding!

Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloins with Apple, Sherry and Smoked Paprika

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika, divided
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 1¼-lb. pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin and halved crosswise
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, halved, cored and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle position. In a small bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon of paprika and 1½ teaspoons salt. Rub the mixture onto all sides of the pork.
  2. In an oven-safe 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Place the pork in the skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, the onion and apple to the skillet. Cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, about 8 minutes. Distribute the mixture in an even layer, then scatter on the thyme. Place the pork on top, add any accumulated juices and transfer to the oven. Roast until the center of the thickest piece of tenderloin reaches 135°F or is just slightly pink when cut into, 9 to 12 minutes.
  4. Remove the skillet from the oven; the handle will be hot. Using tongs, transfer the pork to a cutting board and tent with foil. Add the sherry, broth and the remaining 1 teaspoon paprika to the pan, then cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is slightly reduced and thickened, about 4 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, then remove and discard the thyme. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and stir until melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion-apple mixture to a serving platter, leaving the liquid in the pan. Thinly slice the pork and arrange over the onion-apple mixture. Drizzle the pan liquid over the meat and sprinkle with the chives.

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Tsitsila Tabaka

Motivation for this Crispy Chicken Under A Brick recipe was inspired from the European nation of Georgia, which borders Western Asia. The technique of employing Tsitsila Tabaka is a regional tradition that often calls for foiled-wrapped bricks and starting the bird on the stovetop. However it’s done, the rendered fat in the pan typically serves as a base for a simple garlic sauce that brims with flavor.

The chicken is spatchcocked, which puts thighs and breasts on the same plane for even cooking. Georgian cooks use a brick to keep their chickens truly flat. The weight presses the chicken down, ensuring the bird makes full contact with the pan’s hot surface, which renders the fat and ensures even browning. If crisp skin is what you’re after, this is the way to get it.

For the “brick,” we used a second heavy skillet ; it’s easier and works just as well. However, if you have them on hand, you instead could use one or two clean bricks wrapped in heavy-duty foil. Don’t use a chicken much larger than 4 pounds, as it may not fit comfortably in the skillet. Don’t forget to pat the chicken dry before searing. The drier the skin, the better it crisps. After searing, make sure to drain the fat in the pan before putting the bird in the oven; this reduces splatter.

Instead of simply seasoning the meat, you build flavor by marinating it in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and herbs, such as rosemary, then searing the chicken, skin side down, with bricks (or heavy skillet) on top. Then flip it and finish it in the oven. An easy pan sauce with garlic, lemon and cilantro perfectly complements the chicken.

After roasting, use the same skillet to create the easy pan sauce. Cook garlic in butter, then deglazed the pan with chicken broth, scraping up the flavorful brown bits. Off heat, stir in cayenne pepper, lemon juice and fresh cilantro. Spooned over the crispy chicken, the cilantro and garlic in the sauce reinforced the coriander and garlic in the spice rub.

We paired our chicken with the most silky Braised Asparagus and crispy/creamy Paprika-Parmesan Smashed Potatoes. We were practically licking the plate when done. I’ll post those blogs in the near future.

Crispy Chicken Under a Brick

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 4-lb. whole chicken
  • 1 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the coriander, granulated garlic, 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Place the chicken breast down on a cutting board. Using sturdy kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone, end to end. Remove and discard the backbone (or save it to make broth). Spread open the chicken, then turn it breast up. Use the heel of your hand to press down firmly on the thickest part of the breast, until the wishbone snaps. Season all over with the spice mixture, rubbing it into the skin. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the lowest position. Thoroughly pat the chicken dry with paper towels. In a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until just smoking. Place the chicken breast down in the pan. Lay a small sheet of foil over the chicken, then place a second heavy skillet or pot on top. Reduce to medium and cook until the skin is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, removing the weight and foil and checking every 4 to 5 minutes to ensure even browning.
  3. Using tongs, carefully transfer the chicken to a large plate, turning it breast up. Pour off and discard the fat in the skillet. Slide the chicken breast up back into the pan and place in the oven. Roast until the thickest part of the breast reaches 160°F, 25 to 35 minutes. Carefully transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest while you make the sauce.
  4. Set the skillet (the handle will be hot) over medium-high and cook the butter and garlic, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits, then cook until the garlic is softened and the mixture is lightly thickened and reduced to about ¾ cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Using a silicone spatula, mash the garlic until almost smooth and mix it into the sauce.
  5. Off heat, stir in the cayenne, lemon juice and cilantro, then transfer to a serving bowl. Carve, then serve with the sauce.

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Recipe from Courtney Hill for Milk Street Magazine

Roasted Lamb Loin Chops with Charmoula

Charmoula may be best described as Middle Eastern pesto. Chef-author Molly Stevens version is packed with fresh herbs like parsley, mint and cilantro and enhanced with smoky paprika, toasted cumin, and plenty of garlic. Some of it is used to marinate the lamb, and the remainder is served at the table as a finishing sauce.

While the lamb chops cook in a high heated oven for only 11 minutes, they need to marinate in the charmoula for at least 4 hours (up to 24 hours) and sit at room temperature for an hour before roasting.

This recipe paired the lamb with asparagus and shallot, however we had kale and red onions on hand and therefore opted to make a roasted side dish out of them instead.

Roasted Lamb Loin Chops with Charmoula

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

CHARMOULA

  • 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups (lightly packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup (lightly packed) fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup (lightly packed) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 3 sweet smoked paprika (pimentón dulce); or sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

LAMB

  • 8 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch-thick lamb loin chops (about 2 2/3 lbs.)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

FOR CHARMOULA

  1. Heat small skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and toast until aromatic and slightly darker, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Transfer to processor.
  2. Add parsley leaves and next 6 ingredients to processor. Using on/off turns, process until coarse paste forms. With machine running, gradually add 4 tablespoons oil.
  3. Transfer 2 tablespoons charmoula to small bowl; whisk in lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
  4. Cover and chill to serve with lamb.

FOR LAMB

  1. Transfer remaining charmoula to large resealable plastic bag. Add lamb chops; seal bag and turn to coat well. Chill at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
  2. Let lamb and charmoula sauce in bowl stand at room temperature 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 500°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place rack on prepared baking sheet. Place lamb on rack and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until thermometer inserted into center registers 130°F for medium-rare, about 13 minutes. Transfer lamb to platter. Tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes.
  4. Place 2 lamb chops on each of 4 plates. Drizzle lamb with charmoula sauce, passing remaining sauce alongside.

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Original recipe from All About Roasting by Molly Stevens

Umbrian-Style Chicken alla Cacciatora Revisited

Did you know that Umbria, in central Italy, is home to a tomato-free version of Chicken alla Cacciatora? Rather, the rustic braise gets it character from lemon, olives, garlic and herbs. Capers also are customary, but this version uses pancetta instead to build rich, savory depth. Finally, alternatively to cutting up a whole chicken, which is what we usually do, here we substitute bone-in, skin-on thighs.

Strips of lemon zest are simmered into the sauce to infuse the dish with subtle citrusy notes. For easiest results, use a sharp vegetable peeler to plane off wide strips of zest from the fruit; each piece should be roughly 2 to 3 inches long. You will need a 12-inch oven-safe skillet for this recipe, our 3-quart Le Creuset “Baby Blue” enameled cast-iron pot was perfect.

Fantastic! The combination of flavors had so much depth, we wanted to lick our plates clean. I know we loved the previous version using an entire chicken and capers, but this riff may have raised the bar to another level…

Umbrian-Style Chicken alla Cacciatora

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup pitted green or black olives or a combination, drained and halved
  • 4 strips lemon zest, plus 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle position. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. In an oven-safe 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken skin down and cook without disturbing until golden brown on the bottom, 5 to 8 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken skin up to a large plate.
  3. Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet and set the pan over medium. Add the pancetta and onion, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the wine, bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, olives and lemon zest. Return the chicken skin up to the skillet and pour in the accumulated juices. Transfer to the oven and cook until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 175°F, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the skillet from the oven; the handle will be hot. Using tongs, transfer the chicken skin up to a serving platter, then remove and discard the rosemary and lemon zest. Bring the liquid in the pan to a simmer over medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced, 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Stir in the lemon juice and vinegar, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce around the chicken.

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Adapted from a recipe from Milk Street

Pan-Seared Thick-Cut Bone-In Pork Chops

Can’t get much simpler than this. Few ingredients, three steps, main dish done. Achieving deeply browned, juicy bone-in pork chops starts with choosing the right chop: Use 1½-inch-thick rib chops, which are thick enough to build up a browned exterior before cooking through.

Start the chops in a cold (not preheated) nonstick skillet (we used our well-seasoned carbon steel skillet) over high heat and flip them every 2 minutes so that the meat’s temperature increases gradually, allowing a crust to build up on the outside without overcooking the interior. Starting the chops in a cold pan helps the meat heat up slowly and evenly, and using a nonstick pan means that no oil is necessary.

If you have time, salt the chops for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours before cooking: Sprinkle each chop with 1½ teaspoons of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt (if using Morton, which is denser, use only 1⅛ teaspoons), refrigerate them, and pat them dry with paper towels before cooking. If the pork is enhanced (injected with a salt solution), do not salt the chops ahead. Make sure to include the bones when serving; they’re great for nibbling—it might be a battle as to who of the four diners get them though… 

Yes, quite simple. However, every 2 minutes for about 25 minutes, you’ll need to flip the meat. But it resulted in perfectly cooked pork chops without much effort or other ingredients. Our sides included Beer Braised Cabbage and Braised Red Potatoes with Miso and Scallions. Since there was only the two of us, the chops were served whole—but there was plenty of leftovers for another meal.

Pan-Seared Thick-Cut Bone-In Pork Chops

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • (14- to 16-oz.) bone-in pork rib chops, 1½ inches thick, trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper

Directions

  1. Pat chops dry with paper towels and sprinkle both sides with pepper. Place chops 1 inch apart in cold 12-inch nonstick or carbon-steel skillet, arranging so narrow part of 1 chop is opposite wider part of second. Place skillet over high heat and cook chops for 2 minutes. Flip chops and cook on second side for 2 minutes. (Neither side of chops will be browned at this point.)
  2. Flip chops; reduce heat to medium; and continue to cook, flipping chops every 2 minutes, until exterior is well browned and meat registers 140 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes longer. (Chops should be sizzling; if not, increase heat slightly. Reduce heat if skillet starts to smoke.)
  3. Transfer chops to carving board and let rest for 5 minutes. Carve meat from bone and slice ½ inch thick. (When carving chops, meat at tapered end near bone may retain slightly pink hue despite being cooked.) Season meat with coarse or flake sea salt to taste. Serve with bones.

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Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated

Spatchcock Chicken with Potatoes and Lemon

A FOODGASM. That’s what The Hubs dubbed this dinner as we sucked the bones clean. “And in the blog, you can say that I said so.” So I took him up on his offer.

If roast chicken and potatoes are in your wheel house, then you must put this on your short list. The succulent poultry, mouth-watering potatoes, and variety of alliums, paired with herbs and seasonings all melded together into one harmonious orgy on the palette.

According to Spanish chef/author Mikel López Iturriaga, getting all the parts of a roasted chicken done just right is one of the greatest challenges of roasting poultry: when the thigh is cooked to temperature the breast is usually already dry, and if you remove the chicken from the oven earlier in order to keep the breast juicy, the thigh is still raw.

As Mikel claims, there are many tricks to overcome this dilemma, but the most effective has the name of a Lepidoptera, it’s called “butterflied chicken,” also known as spatchcock chicken. It’s about cutting the bird in such a way to leave it flattened. Not only does it have the advantage of bringing together cooking times for all of the parts, but it makes the cooking process much faster. In a half-hour, you can have it ready.

Now, as is our MO, we made a few changes. We added shallots in addition to the onions, increased the potato quotient, and didn’t remove garlic or potato skins. Count yourself lucky if you have leftovers. The most difficult part was waiting the extra 10 minutes for the bird to rest before carving and serving…

Spatchcock Chicken with Potatoes and Lemon

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, (3 1/2 to 4 lbs.), spatchcocked
  • 7 oz. dry white wine, or dry vermouth
  • 2 medium onions, or combination of onions and shallots
  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 lemons, one cut in half horizontally and the other juiced
  • 1 head garlic, outer skin removed to reveal the cloves and cut in half horizontally
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, each broken into 2 pieces
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, each broken into 2 pieces
  • 2 bay leaves, broken into halves
  • 1 Tbsp. pimentón dulce, (sweet smoked paprika)
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Cut the potatoes in half, and then cut each half into three wedges. Do the same with the onions. If using shallots, cut them in half from top to bottom. Place the vegetables in a baking or roasting pan with sides high enough to allow the chicken to be placed on a rack over top of the vegetables. Add the lemon and garlic halves, drizzle everything with olive oil, mix well, and place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, mix together 6 tablespoons of olive oil, the rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, pimentón, oregano, pepper, and a generous amount of salt. Cover the chicken well with a portion of this mixture reserving the remainder to pour over the vegetables.
  4. After the vegetables have been roasted for 15 minutes, remove them from the oven and pour the remaining marinade, lemon juice, and wine or vermouth over them. Place a rack over the top of the roasting pan and place the chicken on it, skin side up. Return the roasting pan to the oven.
  5. After 15 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue roasting for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken skin is golden and juices run clear. After removing the roasting pan from the oven, allow everything to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Recipe from Mikel López Iturriaga for El Pais

Sous Vide Pork Loin Roast with Garlic Herb Rub

This recipe for sous vide pork loin roast with a garlic herb rub produces the juiciest, most flavorful pork roast you’ve ever had! Just 3-5 hours at 140 degrees F for a perfect medium roast.

FYI, if you purchase a roast bigger than 4 pounds, it is recommend you cut it in half to make it easier to work with. You can freeze the other half or vacuum seal them in different bags and cook them together.

As the water bath warms up, the pork loin gets prepped with the garlic rosemary paste and spread all over the meat. The roast is then placed in a vacuum-sealed bag and clipped to the side of the water bath container with the immersion blender.

This table below shows the time pretty much remains the same, but the temp needs to be regulated for your preferred end result. We like ours medium, so when it reached 140° out it came for the final searing treatment. Instead of trusting our not-so-popular broiler, we opted to accomplish the sear in a carbon-steel skillet, making sure to include browning the end caps. A pair of tongs comes in handy to hold the meat steady.

ResultTempTime
Medium Rare130 degrees F3-5 hours
Medium140 degrees F3-5 hours
Medium-Well150 degrees F3-5 hours
Well Done160 degrees F3-5 hours
Our sides included Red Cabbage Glazed with Maple Syrup and Sweet Potatoes with Orange and Coriander

Sous Vide Pork Loin Roast with Garlic Herb Rub

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Pork Loin Roast:

  • 3-4 lb. pork loin roast
  • Leaves from 1 sprig rosemary
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/2 tsp. olive oil, if necessary

Sauce (optional):

  • Liquid from sous vide bag
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. flaked sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat a water bath to your desired temp with an immersion circulator. 130F for medium rare, 140F for medium, 150F for medium-well, 160F for well done.
  2. Prepare the rub by adding garlic cloves, rosemary, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to a food processor (or large mortar and pestle) to make a paste. If it needs to be thinned out a bit, add olive oil and continue to process.
  3. Rub this mixture all over the pork loin roast.
  4. Vacuum seal the pork loin roast, or use another air removal method if desired.
  5. Add to water bath and cook for 3-5 hours.
  6. When the roast is done, preheat a large cast-iron or carbon steel skillet. Remove the roast from the water bath and the bag, saving the liquid, and place roast in the skillet. Sear for several minutes on all sides, including the ends, until deeply golden brown.
  7. In a bowl, whisk together the liquid from the bag, lemon juice, parsley, and flaked sea salt.
  8. Slice the pork roast into thick slices and serve with sauce.

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Adapted from a recipe by Chelsea Cole

Sous Vide Rack of Lamb

For rack of lamb that’s evenly medium-rare from edge to edge, sous vide cooking is by far the best approach. It works because slow, precise cooking followed by high heat gives you perfectly even results with a nice dark crust. Basting with butter and aromatics during searing adds flavor to the lamb.

Lamb tends to be leaner and smaller than a steak, which means that it’s even more susceptible to accidental overcooking. All of this makes it an ideal candidate for cooking sous vide, which makes overcooking nearly impossible and perfectly edge-to-edge medium-rare results the norm.

With sous vide, the doneness of a lamb rack is by and large determined by the maximum internal temperature it reaches during cooking. For instance, so long as the interior does not rise above 130°F (54°C), it will never cook beyond medium-rare—which works for us!

The down side? It takes longer. A traditionally cooked rack of lamb goes from fridge to plate in about 30 minutes. A sous vide rack of lamb will take more than an hour, though, with sous vide cooking, this time is almost 100% hands-off. We add thyme or rosemary sprigs, along with sliced shallots and garlic cloves (but no added fats such as butter or oil) to the bags with the lamb during cooking. Adding the same aromatics to the pan as you sear will bolster that flavor further.

Because sous vide techniques cook from edge to edge with more or less perfect evenness, there is no temperature gradient inside. A medium-rare rack of lamb should be 130°F from the very center to the outer edge, with only the outer surfaces hotter after searing. Thus, sous vide lamb can be served immediately after searing.

So have all of your sides ready. Our lamb was paired with the most fabulous Cheesy and Creamy Fennel Gratin and perfectly roasted asparagus.

recipe title=”Sous Vide Rack of Lamb” servings=”4″ time=”2 hr, 15 min” difficulty=”easy”]

Ingredients

  • 2 (8-bone) racks of lamb, about 2 lbs. total
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Aromatics, such as fresh thyme or rosemary sprigs, sliced shallots, and sliced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable, canola, or rice bran oil
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat a sous vide immersion circulator to desired final temperature according to chart above and in notes section. Season lamb generously with salt and pepper. Place racks in two individual sous vide bags, along with herbs, garlic, and shallots, and distribute evenly. Seal bags using a vacuum sealer, or seal plastic zipper-lock bags using the water displacement method. Place bags in preheated water bath (130°F/54°C for medium-rare) for 2 hours.
  2. Remove lamb from bags and carefully pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Add vegetable, canola, or rice bran oil to a heavy cast iron or stainless steel skillet set over the hottest burner you have. Preheat skillet until it starts to smoke. Gently place lamb, meaty side down, in skillet, using your fingers or a set of tongs. (Work in batches if pan is not large enough to accommodate both racks.) Add 1 tablespoon butter per rack, along with fresh aromatics. Sear first side, moving rack around pan and basting it with hot melted butter and herbs, until well browned, 30 to 45 seconds. Flip and brown second side, about 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet to rest, then repeat with second rack if necessary, using fresh butter and aromatics.
  4. Lamb can be immediately carved and served as directed in step 5. Alternatively, allow it to rest for up to 10 minutes while you set the table. To re-crisp, reheat pan drippings until smoking-hot, then pour them over resting lamb racks just before carving and serving.
  5. Transfer cooked lamb to a cutting board. Carve it by holding rack upright (the bones make a good handle) and slicing down after every two rib bones with a sharp knife. You’ll have to work your knife around a little bit to find the joint between the vertebrae as you reach the bottom. (Don’t force your knife through a bone, or you may chip or dull it.) Serve immediately.
A cheesy fennel gratin and roasted asparagus were the perfect side dishes.

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[/recipe]

Recipe by J. Kenji López-Alt for Serious Eats

Sausage with Cabbage and Fingerlings

This sheet pan dinner actually uses two sheets, but is quite simple and takes only about 45 minutes. It is finished with a decadent brown butter and crisp sage leaves. Any type of sausage links or bratwurst will work, so choose whatever the family prefers.

Not all of our cabbage wedges ended up with some core to hold them together, so we stuck a toothpick through the centers where needed. The directions indicate to let the excess oil drip off the cabbage back into the bowl for the potatoes, but there was hardly any extra so we just added more olive oil for dredging the fingerlings.

The garlic cloves are slightly smashed but left unpeeled. This prevents them from scorching. Afterward, you can either peel the skins and add to the platter (our choice), or discard the cloves altogether.

Sausage with Cabbage and Fingerlings

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil, more if needed
  • 1 small green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges through the core
  • 1 1⁄4 lb. fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 6 unpeeled garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 4 fresh sage sprigs
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 uncooked bratwurst or sausage links
  • 1⁄4 cup butter
  • 20 small sage leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage wedges in the oil. Lay them on their sides on a foil-lined baking sheet, letting the excess drip back into the bowl.
  3. Toss the potatoes in the remaining oil (if there is any, if not, add more oil to the bowl); again letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Set the bowl aside.
  4. Place the potatoes cut-sides down onto a second foil-lined baking sheet. Nestle three garlic cloves and two sage sprigs in each pan. Cover the pans with foil and roast for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil from the pans. Lightly prick the sausages, toss them in the remaining oil in the bowl, and add to the pan with the cabbage. Roast 15 minutes more.
  6. Turn the cabbage, potatoes and sausage and continue roasting until the vegetables are tender and golden, and the sausages are cooked through (160°F), about 5 minutes more.
  7. Transfer everything to a large platter and tent with foil.
  8. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat until foam just subsides. Add the sage leaves, and cook until the butter is brown and nutty, and the sage is crisp, 30 to 60 seconds.
  9. Spoon the sage butter over contents of platter and serve immediately.

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Recipe from Fine Cooking