Scallops with Citrus Sauce

December 14, 2011

This is a recipe I make very often because it’s just so easy, but it also tastes really complex like you spent a lot of time on it!

I start with making the sauce. In a saucepan combine 1/2 tbsp butter, 1 cup orange juice, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium and cook until it is reduced to a syrupy sauce, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside.

I use about 12 sea scallops for this one. In the summer I like to grill scallops, but in the winter, I pan fry them. When you cook scallops you want to first make sure you rinse them well to get rid of grit. Then you want to peel off the little muscle on the side. Then it’s very important to completely dry them so they will caramelize.

For this recipe, I get the pan very hot and melt 1/2 tbsp butter and 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Then I drop in the scallops (which have been seasoned with salt and pepper). Be sure you have a big enough pan, so there is about an inch or so between the scallops. If you don’t, they will boil in their juices instead of caramelizing. Cook about 2-3 minutes, then flip. Cook until cooked through, another 2-3 minutes.

Remove the scallops and pour the sauce into the scallop pan. Heat the sauce, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Serve with the scallops. This is good served over rice too.


Stuffed Acorn Squash

November 2, 2011

There was a recipe for stuffed acorn squash in October Everyday Food. I was interested, but didn’t like the stuffing, so I decided to make my own.

1 acorn squash

2 ounces pancetta

1/2 cup diced sweet onion

1/4 teaspoon thyme

salt and pepper

2 cups of packed kale leaves

2 slices whole wheat bread, torn into 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoons cream

1 tablespoon chicken broth

1/4 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Cut the squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for an hour and 15 minutes, until the squash is soft.

Cook the pancetta. Remove it, leaving the drippings. Cook onion over medium high heat until soft and translucent (about 3-4 minutes). Add thyme, salt and pepper. Stir in kale, reduce heat to medium and cover for about 3 minutes, until kale is softened. Stir in bread, cream, broth, pancetta, and cheese and stir until combined. Stuff into squash and bake at 400 for 10 minutes until slightly browned on top.

I really liked this. I like acorn squash to begin with, but this added color and flavor to it in a big way. You don’t even realize it has kale in this (good if you have kids). The pancetta and cheese add a lot of nice flavor to it. Definitely something worth making!


Chicken and Biscuits

October 12, 2011

I learned to make chicken and biscuits from my mom. It’s one of her favorite dinners. She learned from my grandmother. Over the years, I’ve tweaked it and come up with my own slightly enhanced version. Everyone in my family loves this and it’s a big deal when I make it (and there’s fighting over the biscuits). This is perfect for a Sunday night supper, with some green beans and a pie for dessert.

There are two methods for making this. Usually I start with the leftover carcass from a roast chicken, and thus feel extremely frugal. You can also start with a whole chicken. Either way, the result is fabulous.

1 chicken carcass from a roast chicken plus 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts OR 1 whole chicken

1 stalk of celery

4 baby carrots

salt and pepper

big pinch dried rosemary

big pinch dried thyme

pinch sage

12 baby carrots sliced

1/2 cup frozen peas

Wondra flour

salt and pepper

Place your chicken carcass in a big pot and cover it with water. If you’re using a cooked carcass plus breasts, don’t add the breasts yet. Put in the celery and 4 whole carrots, and add the herbs. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium, so it continues to boil. Allow to cook about an hour and a half, until the joints come apart and the broth is looking rich. If you have chicken breasts to add, this is the time to add them and cook another half hour (if you’re using a whole chicken, you want to cook for a total of 2 hours).

Strain the mixture, reserving liquid and pouring it back into the pot. Allow the chicken to cool in a bowl. Once it has cooled, break it up into small chunks and big shreds and add back into the pot. Add the sliced carrots and bring to a boil, cooking until the carrots are tender. Add the peas (it’s ok if they’re frozen). Keep the mix boiling. Start whisking in Wondra flour, starting with about 1/2 cup and adding more until you get to the consistency you like. I like mine to be very thick, like a very thick gravy. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

Make the biscuits:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

baking soda

1/3 cup cold or frozen butter

2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425. Cut butter into dry ingredients with a pastry cutter, or if using frozen butter, grate it with a cheese cutter and then rub the mixture with your hands to incorporate. Gently stir in the buttermilk and use your hands to full incorporate. Pat it down to about 1 1/2 inches and cut with a biscuit cutter into 6 biscuits. Bake for 11 minutes.

Plan on 1-2 biscuits per person. Serve by cutting biscuits in half so you have two rounds, and spooning the chicken mixture on top.

Sometimes I add 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese to the biscuits to mix things up.

The chicken part of the recipe usually makes enough so that I can freeze the leftovers for another night, or feed a crowd and double the biscuit recipe.


Pappardelle with Creamy Chicken Sauce

March 8, 2011

This recipe is from March Everyday Food.

1 tbsp olive oil

7 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces

salt and pepper

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves

2 c heavy cream

1 lb pappardelle

Cook chicken with oil after seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook for 7 minutes. Add onion and cook 6 min. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add cream and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook about 15 minutes until it coats the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper.

Boil pappardelle. Reserve 1 cup cooking water. Add to sauce and toss pasta with sauce.

Ok, so that is Martha’s recipe. I used chicken breasts and substituted broccoli for half. I also added Parmesan cheese because pasta without cheese is like air without oxygen. This was good. I haven’t used pappardelle in a long time and I do like it. It definitely needed cheese though!


Martha Momdays: Sauteed Sole

February 14, 2011

I called this post Martha Momdays instead of Martha Mondays because the recipe chosen for today by Lyndsey at Tiny Skillet, sauteed sole, is exactly how my mom used to make it, or almost. The only difference is that this recipe uses a lot more butter and oil. I doubled this recipe so I could feed four with it. I put the butter and oil in the pan and melted it and it was just too much to my eye. So I scooped out about 2 tbsp. Much better. When we were in Seattle over the summer I had sole at a restaurant there and it was supposed to be sauteed, but it arrived fried to a crisp and I didn’t want to relive that experience!

The sole cooks really quickly  (after being dusted with flour) and then you mix up the quick sauce of pan juice, lemon juice, zest, sliced almonds and parsley. Quick and perfect.

I haven’t had sole in a long time, so this was a treat. I am still trying to work my way through the salmon Mr. MarthaAndMe and DudeMartha caught in Alaska and haven’t been buying much seafood, other then shrimp. I was eyeing up the grouper in the fish store, so I may have to go back and buy some of that for another night.

This is a perfect recipe for a week night when you don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, but want something delicious and full of flavor.Mr. MarthaAndMe is an especially big fan of this one.

Interested in joining Martha Mondays? Just leave a comment letting me know and I’ll add you to roster. You’ll get a turn to choose a project every couple of months and can cook or craft along with us, posting your results.

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Jamie Oliver’s Tray Chicken

February 10, 2011

The recipe for this was in our Sunday paper. I’ve never tried any of Jamie Oliver’s recipes, but this one sounded good. The little intro that accompanied it explained that Jamie likes this for Sunday dinner. In the winter especially, I do like to make Sunday dinners, so this appealed to me.

I had a bit of an oops with this one. I misread the recipe and forgot to add the broth with the potatoes. Eek. I realized it when I went to add the chicken and added it then. Of course it didn’t thicken enough and the potatoes did not cook completely either. I ended up siphoning some of the juices out and thickening them with flour and adding them back in. Don’t let my disaster scare you away though. This was really, really delicious and when I reheated the leftovers the next day (getting the potatoes cooked through) it was fab. The onion and garlic give this a real oomph of flavor. Having sweet and regular potatoes gives it color and an interesting mix of flavor. I will make this again – and this time I’ll make sure I’m awake enough to follow simple instructions!

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Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Sauce

February 8, 2011

I am a fan of pomegranate sauce. I’ve made this sauce before, for lamb. A while back, the people at Pom contacted me and asked if I would like a flat of Pom juice to use for recipes for this blog. I said I would and they sent it along. Dude Martha noticed it sitting in the garage fridge and asked if he could try it. Suddenly-poof!-it was all gone. The boy was in love with it. I couldn’t complain since I was happy to have him drinking something healthy. That left me with no Pom for recipes. So, I had to go buy some more. Finally, though I was able to make this recipe.

Roast one pork tenderloin that has been seasoned with salt and pepper at 400 degrees. It takes about half an hour. Meanwhile brown 3 tbsp butter in a sauce pan. Add 1 finely chopped clove of garlic and cook for 3 seconds. Add 3/4 cup pomegranate juice and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Add 1 tsp thyme and 1 tsp rosemary. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium, cooking until it becomes thick and syrupy, about 30 minutes. Serve sauce with pork.

The pomegranate juice is a wonderful sweet tart flavor that complements pork magnificently. The color is also just gorgeous – this would be a perfect Valentine’s Day dish.


Recipe Workshop: Chicken Chesapeake

January 25, 2011

I need your help. I recently made Chicken Chesapeake, which is from Paula Deen’s magazine. Here’s the recipe

8 oz lump crabmeat
6 boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup butter
8 oz sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
1/2 cup minced green onion
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup cream
8 oz cream cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 13×9 dish. Sprinkle crab in bottom.
Season chicken with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper then cook in 2 tbsp melted butter in a skillet 4-5 min per side. Remove and place on top of crab.
Melt remaining butter, add mushrooms and green onions. Cook for 6 min until mushrooms are tender. Add wine and cook 6 min until reduced by half. Add cream and broth, cook for 10 min until slightly thickened. Stir in cream cheese. Add remaining salt and pepper. Pour over chicken and bake for 25-30 minutes.

It sounded SOOOOO good. But it wasn’t. It actually was pretty awful. I did use a refrigerated can of pasteurized crabmeat and I cut the recipe in half. Other than that, I followed it exactly. It was horrible. The sauce tasted delicious when I was cooking it, but over the chicken it was tasteless. The crab tasted not so great. Nothing about this was good and I was so disappointed. I don’t cook with crab a lot and am wondering if I expected too much? I tried squeezing some lemon over it on my plate and that didn’t help much. Any suggestions for making this recipe work?

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Martha Mondays: Real Deal Chili

January 17, 2011

Chili with no tomatoes and no beans? Really? Yup. That’s what the real deal chili recipe is, the project chosen for today’s Martha Mondays by Steak and Potato Kinda Gurl.

I seriously contemplated dumping some tomatoes or kidney beans into this because I was worried it wasn’t going to be any good. It has paprika, cayenne, cumin, and oregano in it (no chilis you’ll notice). But after I got it going, I tasted it and it was pretty good. Plus DudeMartha is not a fan of tomatoes or beans and when I described it to him he was excited. So we went with it. It was good. I put cheese and sour cream on mine. DudeMartha added Tabasco. Mr. MarthaAndMe had just cheese. They gave it the thumbs up. I thought it was good, but it’s not the kind of thing I get nutty over.  How did everyone else make out?

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Fried Apples

January 13, 2011

Someone recently said to me that she had never had fried apples. I could have caught flies, my mouth gaped so much. It never occurred to me that this would be something unusual. I make fried apples a lot, often in the fall, and often to go with pork. My mom and grandma made them often when I was a kid too. They’re just as good as baked apples, but quicker. And sometimes when you feel like your head might explode if you have to come up with another vegetable your kids will eat for dinner, this is an excellent solution.

It is incredibly easy. For the apples in this photo, I used two apples. I cored them, then cut them into thirds (to make rings). I put some olive oil and butter in the pan (maybe 1 tbsp butter with a swirl of olive oil). Sprinkle the apples with a  tablespoon or two brown sugar and a 1/2 tsp or so cinnamon. Add a sprinkle of salt on top. Cover and cook over medium heat. Once the apples are browning on the bottom, flip them over and cover again. Sometimes I will flip a third time to get all that cinnamon-y goodness all over both sides. They’re done when the white part of the apple is soft and getting mushy.

Add more (or less) sugar and cinnamon depending on how sweet you like things. You can’t fit much more than 2 apples per skillet, so you need to do batches or cook with two pans to do more.

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