Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

I'm beginning to notice a pretty distinct theme in the recipes I post here-- garlic... rosemary... lemon... thyme... salt... pepper... etc. Well, I like what I like, and you can't fault me for that! Here's a recipe so delicious and simple (and quick!) that you'll be oh-so happy I supplied it for you.

You will need:
A pound and a half of boneless/skinless chicken breasts
Four cloves of garlic
Four sprigs of fresh rosemary
Half a cup of chicken broth (or dry white wine, if you're into that sort of thing)
A lemon
Salt & pepper
Any other favorite seasonings
Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 450F.

First things first, dice your chicken into large hunks, chop your rosemary, and mince your garlic.

Toss the chicken into a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic, and seasonings of choice, and stir around a little to coat.

Stick in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove, squeeze your lemon over the top and add in the chicken broth. Stir around a little and return to the oven. Turn the oven off and let the chicken chill out until you're ready to serve it (at least 5 minutes, no more than 15).

Stir the chicken around a little more and serve it straight out of the pan with the juices spooned over it. We had it with green beans generously gifted to us from Tim's assistant coach's garden. Thanks, Nancy!

Feeds 4.
Takes 30 minutes start to finish.
Difficulty: 2.

This recipe goes out to a very special uniter of hearts and minds, our lovely friend Ellen, whom we hear turned 25 yesterday! Happy birthday, Ellen!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pork Loin!

Another recipe I forgot to take pictures of! My head's not in the game this week; I apologize. But this is another one of those ridiculously simple recipes that doesn't need picture instructions. I also made it up completely by accident; I bought a pork tenderloin instead of a beef tenderloin and so I just sort of went with it.

One pork tenderloin, about two pounds (or smaller, if you can find it).
Lawry's (Do you know about Lawry's? I'd never seen or heard of it until I made this recipe about a year ago, and it's never left my pantry since. I use it all the time. It's delicious on everything.)
Lemon-Pepper seasoning, if you can find it.
A couple tablespoons of whole peppercorns

Preheat the oven to 390F.

Pummel your peppercorns! Use a heavy can, a mallet, a rolling pin, or your husband's thick head to break those babies up. They don't need to be much more than cracked a couple times, but this'll still take you a few minutes.

Put your tenderloin on a baking sheet and sprinkle exceptionally liberally with Lawry's and the lemon-pepper seasoning. Roll it over to make sure you get all sides. Press the peppercorns onto the loin and stick it in the oven for about 45 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to make sure it's completely done, and enjoy the heck out of it. I got a couple bites here and there that were a touch salty for my taste, but overall, it was incredible. Moist, succulent, juicy, tender....just really exceptional. Enjoy!

Feeds 6.
Difficulty: 1.
Takes about an hour.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Breaded Baked Chicken

Tim loved this. He said it was delicious and refreshingly simple. And it's so easy! Enjoy!

One and a half pounds chicken breasts or tenders
About a cup of bread crumbs
One egg
Olive oil
Your choice of seasonings!
(I used salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme, about a teaspoon of each.)

Preheat your oven to 450F.

In a food processor, combine bread crumbs, one clove of garlic, and seasonings, and pulse till combined. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and pulse till combined. Transfer to a shallow bowl.

Scramble the egg in a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken in the egg, allowing the excess to drip off, and then dredge in the crumb mixture. Transfer to a baking sheet and stick in the oven! Bake for 12 minutes. How easy is that?

Tim thinks it's tasty!

Feeds 4.
Difficulty: 1.
Takes about 25 minutes total.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Penne & Meat Sauce

Le sigh. It's Tuesday and Tim goes back to work tomorrow. I've been sort of preoccupied all day, and thus forgot to take pictures of this recipe until I was putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Also, I'm not 100% sure where my camera is, so there you have it. BUT, this was way more delicious than I expected it to be, and so I'm thrilled. (Also thrilling me: Betty Crocker came out with some gluten-free mixes, and so far, they're available at my local grocery stores AND they're delicious! I'm a happy girl.)

One pound ground beef (on the other hand, we had LOTS of leftover pasta, but not so much leftover sauce, so doubling this might be handy if you're trying to feed more than 2 people.)
Half an onion, diced
Two cloves garlic, minced
One 14oz can of tomato sauce, or two 14oz cans of diced tomatoes. Or some combination thereof. Whatever make you smile on the inside.
Olive Oil
Thyme--ground, dried, fresh, whatever makes your heart sing.

About a pound of pasta. I used gluten-free penne,* and you should feel free to use whatever kind of pasta makes your soul take flight. Just saying.

Firstly, dice your onion and mince your garlic. Pour a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and heat it over medium heat. Toss the onion in and let it cook for a couple minutes, just until the onions start to get clear. Throw in the garlic and stir. Toss in the beef and cook until brown.

Drain the fat, sprinkle in a little salt and pepper, and add a healthy shake or two of thyme. Add in the tomatoes and cover. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer again for another 30 minutes. Cook the pasta while this happens.

Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Spoon over the pasta and serve individually. You can also stir in some parmesan, but I didn't do this for all those lactose-intolerant reasons. Tim did, and he liked it.

The sauce was incredibly flavorful and succulent. It was the exact right amount of salty and meaty; possibly the only time I've gotten the perfect salt-to-meat ratio in a sauce. Enjoy!

*The pasta I used was made with brown rice, and it was fantastic. There was no discernible difference in taste between it and regular wheat-pasta, unless I took a bite without sauce.

Serves 3 with no leftover sauce, more if you double the sauce recipe or are feeding small children.
Takes about an hour.
Difficulty: 2.