Thyme, Celantro, Oregano, Garlic Grilled Chicken

Thyme, Celantro, Oregano, Garlic Grilled Chicken

The spring brings some of my favorite things asparagus, winter hardy herbs popping into life. I love cooking a whole chicken stuffed, no jammed packed, with fresh thyme, orange, garlic and lemon wedges. I love cooking with the fresh herbs and have no objection to picking out the leaves and stems before using. So I was off to the garden to pick a handful of this and that.  This is the kind of meal you can use over and over in salads, sandwiches and other dishes throughout the week you can even freeze a chicken breast or two for a quick meal later on.

This can actually be made with rosemary or any other herbs you might have ready to pick.

Ingredients

  • 6 skinless boneless chicken breast
  • A handful of oregano maybe 1/4 cup chopped
  • A bunch of sprigs of thyme leaves only
  • A handful of celantro about 1/2 cup chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic smashed in 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Fresh ground pepper

How

In a plastic bag combine all ingredients and cover chicken

Place in refrigerator for at least at an hour turning occasionally

Grill on medium heat for about 6-8 minutes preside until it is about 164-50

Remove from heat loosely cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes before slicing or severing.

Ingredients  Let's Eat

We served this with mashed sweet potatoes, broccoli. and apples and cinnamon roasted on the grill in tin foil.

We go about 4 oz. of protein about half a breast each and pile up on the veggies.

Green Bean Salad with Mustard Seeds,Tarragon and Feta

Green Bean Salad with Mustard Seeds,Tarragon and Feta

I can remember the rows of peas I used to plant in my garden that never made it into the kitchen they were as I called it my reward for toiling with the soil I would stand or sit there cracking one after another open running my finger down the spine popping the sweat treats into the palm of my hand popping them into my mouth one pod after another a virtual pea eating machine.  I love beansand pea salads especially when the peas and green beans are picked of the vine but when my wife showed me this recipe I could not wait it is still a month away before the peas might even be close so we were off to the grocery store and we found everything but fresh peas so frozen it was.

Adapted from here.

After we made we added the feta and decided we like it so i incorporated in the recipe below. (pictures do not show feta cheese)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup green beans
  • 2 1/4 cups snow peas
  • 1 3/4 cup green peas
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds, roughly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 mild Peppadew finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • Pinch of Red hot pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed Myer lemon juice
  • 1 cup baby lettuce
  • Crumble feta cheese – if you don’t like feta just use a shake or two of sea salt

 How

Prepare an ice bath (a large bowl of cold water and ice).  Set aside.

Fill medium saucepan with cold water and bring to a boil.  While you are waiting for the water to boil, trim green beans and snow peas. Blanch the green beans for 4 minutes.  Lift them from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice bath. Then blanch the snow peas for 1 minute.  Transfer snow peas to the ice bath.  Blanch the green peas in the same pot for just 20 seconds (if using frozen peas just put in ice bath to defrost).  Transfer green peas to the ice bath.  Drain all beans and peas, dry thoroughly then place in a large mixing bowl.

Place the crushed coriander seeds, mustard seeds and olive oil in a small frying pan and warm over medium heat.  When the seeds start to pop, pour the oil and spices over the beans and peas.  Toss, then add red onion, Chile, red pepper flakes, garlic, lemon zest and tarragon, mixing to combine.  Gently fold in baby lettuce and season with flaky sea salt.

green bean salad  green bean salad

 

green bean salad

This is the receipe I adpated from

Makes 4 servings.

Some Signs of Spring

Some Signs of Spring

Spring brings red breasted robins, cardinals, asparagus, winter hardy herbs, and soil turning preparing the garden….. Last year the neighborhood ground hogs discovered our garden and there was no stopping them, one of the bad sides of now being a petless household. The fish just don’t patrol outside as the dogs did. I love the signs of spring don’t you? Anyway…

Over 10 years ago we moved from 14 Yale drive to the quiet woodsier side of Milford. The houses were more than a house height apart and when we moved in there was only 1 other family in the neighborhood. Yes perceived quiet? Now it is full of neighbors and the kids fill the warm summer like temps with their laughs and screams. As we laid in bed last night I said to Lyn that this is going to be a loud summer all the kids are now or fast approaching the teenage years.  Even as we lay in bed listening to some girls walk past “OMG you sat in his lap, I can’t believe she did that OMG…giggle…giggle like I mean…..as they faded down the street they were slowly replaced, no drowned out by our favorite sign of spring. Missi used to call it the poor man’s nature sound track.

So today,  I am starting you with a youtube video that you should listen to. (There is no video footage, just sound). If you are not from the northeast, you are probably going to wonder what the heck you are listening to. The noise on this video is made by baby frogs – commonly called peepers around these parts. And with a warmer day they are the first signs of spring we outside of Boston get. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKV5KsoDUQg

I love this sound! For me, it means spring is on its way and summer is not too far behind – days of gardening, drinking iced tea, cutting the lawn, wearing shorts, no shoes and throwing open my windows once more. That is until the peepers get so loud you have to shut the windows and turn on the AC.

So what lesson can these peppers give you? Who cares they drive us nuts at night.

The interesting thing is that while these peppers sing like this at night, one or two still go on singing during the day. But the birds pick up just about the time the peepers go to sleep.

So the lesson is from peeps to chirps life is but a song.

Chipotle Mango Pulled Turkey Breast

Chipotle Mango Pulled Turkey Breast

I thought it would be too dry, I thought I rather use pork, I thought I would go along with her. I think she was right.  The Mangos gave you sweetness and the chipotle gave it that little heat. There were leftovers galore and my lunch salads taste mighty fine these last two days. The rest into the freezer for a quick defrost and eat meal at a later date.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless boneless turkey breast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 sweet onions (such as Vidalia), thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, seeds removed, and chopped, plus 1 tablespoon sauce
  • 2 mangoes, diced, or 2 cups frozen mango chunks, thawed set aside
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro set aside

How

Season turkey with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Brown all sides of turkey, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

In the crock pot, stir tomato paste, brown sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper into chicken broth. Add onions, garlic and chipotles. Place browned turkey on top. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

With 30 minutes remaining, add mango and re-cover.

Remove turkey, stir in cilantro.

When turkey is cool enough to handle using two forks pull /shred the turkey and return to crock pot, stir to mix and serve.

Chipotle Mango Pulled Turkey

Roast Leg of Lamb with Lemon, Garlic, and Rosemary

Roast Leg of Lamb with Lemon, Garlic, and Rosemary

The longer the lamb marinates in the seasoning paste, the better flavor you’ll have. Anywhere from 1 to 24 hours will work, but overnight is best. Slice the leftovers for pita stuffed sandwiches topped with tabbouleh.

Mike and Laurel came over for Easter but we started them off with Charoset on Matzah and some Matzah (Matzo) Ball Soup. Happy Eastover Day (The Day was for Laurels birthday we had boston cream pie for that.

From Martha Stewart – Mad Hungry, October 2010 Yield Serves 6 to 8 we served with mash potatoes and asparagus and my wife made a nice mint sauce with pomegranate molasses.

Ingredients

  • 2 whole lemons, washed, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 boneless leg of lamb, butterflied, boned, and cut to lay flat (about 5 pounds)

Note: I was handed the recipe and rolled this not realizing that it was to cook flat. I found the video today and am red-faced. I thought 45 minutes was a pretty short time.

How

  • Place the chopped lemon, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a food processor. A blender can also be used, if done in batches. If you have neither, finely chop all ingredients together.
  • Open up the lamb and lay it flat. Spread and massage the lemon paste evenly over the inside and outside of the lamb. Place in a baking dish and cover, or in a large resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate overnight to marinate, turning occasionally.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes before cooking. Place the lamb FLAT on a rack in a foil-lined roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Place the meat in the oven and after 5 minutes, reduce the temperature to 425 degrees. Roast for 45 minutes (rolled about 1 to 1/12 hrs) , or until medium rare, 140 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Allow the meat to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving and serving.

Raosted leg of lamb cooking flat   Raosted leg of lamb  Rosted Leg of Lamb rolled

Note: I think besides trying it roasting flat LOL, I would cut the lemon rind down to maybe 1 lemon it just had a little too much of the bitter taste, it was not overwhelming by any means and everyone else seemed to enjoy. I’m just saying. 

Matzah (Matzo) Ball Soup

Matzah (Matzo) Ball Soup

The call would come out from the kitchen how many knaydelach does everyone want.  The calls of 1, 2 or the youngest kids proudly boasting 3 please, how did the kitchen keep it straight?  Soon steaming bowls of soup with these light and fluffy balls of wonderfulness would start to appear around the table.  Matzah balls are more traditionally known as knaydelach (Yiddish for dumplings). Matzah ball soup is generally a very thin chicken broth with two or three 2 inch ball sized matzah balls (or sometimes one very large matzah ball) in it. Sometimes, a few large pieces of carrot or celery are added. Matzah balls can be very soft and light or firm and heavy (not my preference). Matzah ball soup is commonly served at the Passover Seder, but is also eaten all year round.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely minced 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons matzo meal
  • 2 Tbsp.  club soda

Soup

  • 1 small onion cut into 1/2-inch dice (for soup)
  • 1 whole chicken breast, skin removed
  • 1 celery stalk, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 carrot, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 box  (32 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • Optional pinch of red hot pepper flakes.

Note: you can form the ball, cover and refrigerate up to a day before.

How

In a small nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Add minced onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes; let cool.

In a medium bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and matzo meal. Add seltzer and cooled onion; stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 45 minutes.

If making soup right away, if not wait until ready

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine chicken, celery, carrot, and diced onion. Add broth and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook 30 minutes.

With oiled hands, shape matzo mixture into 8 balls, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 15 minutes.

Remove chicken from broth; shred meat, and discard bones. Return broth to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Add matzo balls; cover, and cook until expanded, 30 to 35 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Hint my knaydelach soaked up the salt this time so the soup got season with every bite.

My Favorite Brisket recipe

My Favorite Brisket recipe

Funny story we originally had planned on a candied brisket and went shopping on Friday night instead of our usual Saturday morning. Wholefoods was very crowed at the meat counter and I forgot to get the brisket so we looped back to the crowed counter and without thinking purely out of habit asked for a single cut brisket instead of a corned beef. To top it off it was kids night and I had to fight for the samples.

So what does one do when they get home, adapt. When it was all said and done we voted that my original Jewish style recipe was better it created thicker richer tasting gravy the meat absorbed more of this flavor. This had a soupier more wine tasting gravy which flavored the meat as such. Don’t get me wrong it was very good but could have used a little kick. Maybe more garlic and onions or some sweetness.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 5-pound brisket of beef, shoulder roast of beef, chuck roast, or end of steak
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 10-ounce can tomatoes
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 stalks celery with the leaves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 6 to 8 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
  • I added about of whole berry cranberry sauce.

How

  • Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the brisket and rub with the garlic. Sear the brisket in the oil and then place, fat side up, on top of the onions in a large casserole. Cover with the tomatoes, red wine, celery, bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary.
  • Cover and bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for about 3 hours, basting often with pan juices.
  • Add the parsley and carrots and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes more or until the carrots are cooked. To test for doneness, stick a fork in the flat (thinner or leaner end of the brisket). When there is a light pull on the fork as it is removed from the meat, it is “fork tender.”
  • This dish is best prepared in advance and refrigerated so that the fat can be easily skimmed from the surface of the gravy. Trim off all the visible fat from the cold brisket. Then place the brisket, on what was the fat side down, on a cutting board. Look for the grain – that is, the muscle lines of the brisket – and with a sharp knife, cut across the grain.
  • When ready to serve, reheat the gravy.
  • Put the sliced brisket in a roasting pan. Pour the hot gravy on the meat, cover, and reheat in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Some people like to strain the gravy, but I prefer to keep the onions because they are so delicious.

From JEWISH COOKING IN AMERICA by Joan Nathan (Alfred A. Knopf, 2001)