Archive for December, 2012

December 29, 2012

Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Kale Sauté

yum

First of all, I hope everyone had an excellent Christmas/Holiday and enjoyed some time with family. I didn’t really post anything Christmas related this month, but here are the things I made:

Brownie Covered Oreos (Ok to be honest, only my husband and I ate these. I guess we didn’t want to share!)

Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies

Muddy Buddies

Killer Granola

Roasted Rosemary Almonds

I think it all turned out pretty good! I still need some practice with my baking skills but I had a fun time in the kitchen and that’s important right? Right. Unless things turn out to be inedible, then you may have a slight problem.

After all the cookies, prime rib, ham, snacks, pie, drinks, eggnog… maybe you are thinking it’s time for something a little healthier. Enter brussels sprouts and kale. Today, brussels sprouts seem to be making a comeback. In fact, it appears they have already made their comeback because I see different recipes popping up all over the place.

I have always been a fan of the b-sprouts. NO they do not taste good when they are boiled and mushy. That seems to be the picture in most people’s head when they think ‘brussels sprouts’. But think about it, nothing is good when prepared that way. Unless you are a teeny baby or possibly an elder person sans teeth, then it is completely unnecessary to eat mush.

I usually slice mine in half and enjoy them sautéed in a pan or slow roasted in the oven, but this time I decided to shred them. I also had kale on hand so I decided I might as well shred that up too. Oh and I might as well throw in some onion! We like things spicy (rawr!), so I added a couple dashes lot of red pepper flakes. I’ve seen different variations of brussels sprouts in shredded form and I love how versatile it is. Bacon next time? Ok.

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Honestly, I didn’t think this would be that great…brussels sprouts, kale and onions? Hello boring side dish. However, I am happy to report that it turned out great! It came out really crunchy and flavorful with a nice kick from the red pepper flakes.

If you need convincing to give brussels sprouts or kale a try, this is a great place to start! We served it alongside our beer can chicken and it paired very nicely.

I realize it’s not very photogenic but please believe me when I say this is one great side dish!

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Ok I’m done blabbing. I’m going to work on writing about more exciting things in 2013. Happy New Year!

Here’s the recipe!

Shredded Brussels Sprouts And Kale Sauté 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb brussels sprouts
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cups kale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional – I used 1/2 tsp for quite a bit of heat)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Trim ends off the brussels sprouts and shred in a food processor (or thinly slice by hand). Remove thick stems from the kale and shred. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium high. Add onions when the oil begins to shimmer and cook until they begin to soften. Approx. 2 minutes.

Add shredded brussels sprouts, kale, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to pan. Cook, stirring often, for approx. 5-7 minutes, until wilted but still crunchy. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.

**Print this Recipe**

 

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December 23, 2012

Beer Can Chicken

Or “Beer Butt Chicken” or “Chicken with a Beer Can in it’s Butt”…whatever you would like to call this. Don’t let the strange title turn you off from making this, it is so good! The beer helps create a chicken that is incredibly moist. Yes MOIST. I’m tired of people saying they dislike this word. I used to be one of those people, but then I read this article and moist just makes the most sense when describing certain foods. “This chicken is very hydrated” – NO.

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I read a few recipes that mentioned placing a lemon wedge into the top of the chicken so the steam won’t escape. I didn’t feel like cutting up just one wedge of a whole lemon, so I decided to just close it up with a toothpick! Also, I was afraid the lemon flavor might be overpowering. I might give it a try next time.

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Not only is this an easy and awesome way to make a roasted chicken, but it is also fun to prepare. Or at least I find it a comical way to make a roasted chicken.

In case you were wondering, the hat was not placed into the oven along with the chicken. I don’t think melted plastic would really taste well with the prepared seasonings.

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When you move the chicken to (and from) the oven, be careful! It would be such a bummer if the chicken toppled over onto the floor, spilling the beer from your can. Of COURSE the chicken can be picked up off the floor and plucked of all hairs and dirt, but it is impossible to save a spilled beer.

We used a delicious cheap, nasty Coors Light… but beer is beer! Am I right?

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Ok, so I know I just finished a rant about not wasting beer but do not feel tempted to drink the beer after the chicken is finished! It is not wasting at this point, it has served it’s purpose.

You could try to drink it but I’m not sure how hot, flat, beer would taste. Especially since there are two crushed cloves of garlic in it. MMMMMMmmmmmmmmmm. Cheers!

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I’ve made this with many different types of seasonings and rubs. I happened to come across a recipe online and had all of the ingredients on hand so I made this rub and it turned out great. Feel free to experiment with what you have on hand, premade ones or just use something simple such as salt and pepper! After all, it is about the moisty moist-ness of the moist chicken isn’t it?

Beer Can Chicken {Slightly adapted from here}

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 lb whole chicken
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 can beer
  • Oil, for brushing

DIRECTIONS:

Place oven rack in the lowest part of the oven (remove the second rack completely to make room).

Preheat oven to 350°F

Remove and discard the inner parts of the chicken or save for another use. Wash the chicken inside and out with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken on a shallow dish and brush lightly with oil, set aside.

Mix the dry ingredients in small bowl. Using hands, rub seasoning all over the chicken evenly. Sprinkle some on the inside also. Using a wedge of lemon or a toothpick, seal the top of the chicken.

Open a can of beer, chug about half! Drop the smashed garlic into the can.

Place the can of beer onto the center of a rimmed baking sheet and carefully set the chicken on top of the can so it is “sitting” on it. Using two hands, place the baking sheet onto the bottom rack in the oven. Cook for approx. 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours (depending on the size) until 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, in the thickest part of chicken.

Once out of the oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice chicken and discard bones.

Serve immediately.

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December 17, 2012

Red Curry Chicken & Vegetables

I woke up this morning to quite a lot of snow!

IMG_3815IMG_3821-horzIt is continuing to snow as we speak. I didn’t have to go anywhere today so I have been enjoying it from the inside of the house. Unfortunately my husband had to go to work tonight, so I do feel terrible about that. Poor fella’…

Speaking of my husband, this meal was all his idea. For our last grocery trip, I came up with the pasta idea and this was his. The pasta came out really well but he may have picked the tastier dish. I wasn’t actually going to post about it because I thought it was too simple but after we made it I knew it would be a good one to share.

When out at a restaurant or ordering take out, I never think to order a curry dish. I always enjoy it, but for some reason I always order other things. Don’t you worry though, I help myself to my husbands when he orders it. Next time I will venture out of my comfort zone and get wild with some curry dishes! …Huh?

Anyway, all we had at the house was rice and coconut milk but luckily the ingredients were fairly cheap. We only had to buy chicken (we used boneless, skinless tenders), curry paste, basil and frozen vegetables. I almost said no to the basil because of the cost but in the end it was worth it! Reminder: I need to buy a basil plant again.

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Let’s talk about veggies for a moment. Like most people, I try to buy whole, fresh vegetables when possible. For this meal we knew we wanted a variety so instead of going through the produce area and hand picking a bag of mushrooms, a bag of broccoli, a bag of carrots (you get my point) we went to the frozen aisle and found a mixture of the stuff we like. This one had broccoli, mushrooms, onions, red peppers and carrots. We thawed it under running water when home and had our veggies all chopped up and ready to go! We often buy frozen vegetables for situations like this, just stay away from the ones that have weird seasonings or butter in them.

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I apologize for this next picture, chopped up raw chicken doesn’t look very appealing but I’m leaving it anyway!

Gross.

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We loved preparing this meal because it only involved this one pan and a rice cooker! Easy.

Oh and by the way, we love spicy food so we definitely added in a hefty amount of red pepper flakes!

Once the curry paste was added to the coconut milk, it turned into a lovely golden hue. 

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Serve over rice when finished!

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I am not too familiar with curry dishes, and maybe they are supposed to have more liquid/less rice but this was fantastic and we really loved the outcome. The flavor was really great and I look forward to experimenting with different flavors and veggies! Maybe swap chicken for shrimp next time…hmmmmm. Or should I say MMMMMM!

Red Curry Chicken And Vegetables
makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, onions, etc)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
  • 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cut into bite sized pieces
  • White or brown rice, for serving. (We used 2 cups, cooked)

DIRECTIONS:

Place frozen vegetables in a colander and thaw with cool, running water. Set aside.

In a large skillet, bring coconut milk to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the red curry paste and brown sugar, bring to a boil. When it begins to boil, reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the chicken pieces to the mixture and continue to cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Add the mixed vegetables and cook until heated through, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the fresh basil and red pepper flakes. Serve over rice.

**Print this Recipe**

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