Jul 16, 2010

Summer and comfort food do not normally go hand in hand

This recipe is one that I will set to the side and try again in the fall with a scoop of garlic mashed potatoes or some roasted vegetables. It was delicious, don't get me wrong, but I made it on an almost 90 degree day with only a small window a/c unit to help make our place cool. Consequently, by the time I was ready to sit down to dinner, I was hot sticky and not even in the mood to eat. However, it is delicious, while not seasonally appropriate. I would also file this one under comfort food.
Adapted from a recipe on

Chicken Breasts in Rosemary Brown Butter Sauce
7 Slices of bacon, chopped
1/2 C. Flour
4 Chicken Breasts
1 TBSP. Butter
1/2 TBSP Rosemary
3 Garlic cloves, smashed
1 C. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
salt and pepper

In a large skillet, fry bcon till crispy and remove with a slotted spoon to drain. As the bacon is cooking, salt and pepper your chicken to taste and dredge through the flour, making sure to get a good coating. Pour off all of left over grease with the exception of around two tablespoons. Add butter to the pan and once it has melted and then subsequent foaming has stopped, add the chicken breasts and cook until browned or it registers 160 on a meat thermometer. Remove chicken and cover to keep warm. Reduce heat to medium and add rosemary and garlic. Cook garlic until slightly browned about a minute or so and then add broth and lemon juice, making sure to scrape all the yummy bits that have accumulated in the pan from the bacon and the chicken. Continue stirring until sauce has slightly thickened and has a slightly glossy look. Return chicken to pan and spoon sauce over.

Jul 12, 2010

I believe in pink

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles." --Audrey Hepburn

I went in search of quotes about the color pink and found this instead and felt it was quite fitting in so many ways. If I let myself I would digress into a diatribe that dissects every sentence of that quote and how its applicable to life at the moment, however I wont bore you with all that. Instead, I will get straight to the food:
Tonight after work I was stressing over several different situations, and there is only one thing I want to do when I am stressing! Cook! This recipe turned out...EPIC. It was like summer exploded in your mouth and then had a spontaneous party with your taste buds. The strawberries melded with the balsamic perfectly and the mushrooms added a meatiness that was nice and filling. SA wasn't a huge fan of the red pepper flakes and I'm sure you could leave them out, but I am a firm believer in a little heat with my sweet. Besides, as I said before, I believe in pink! Pink foods are the best!

Strawberry Risotto with Balsamic Mushroom Reduction

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 C. Arborio Rice
3 C. Chicken Stock
1/2 C. Button Mushrooms sliced
1/4 c. Onion finely chopped
1/4 C. Balsamic Vinegar
1 C. Strawberries chopped
2 TBSP salted butter
1/2 tsp. Red Pepper flake
1/4 C. torn Basil
1/3 c Parmesan Cheese (Please use some quality here, folks, none of the fake stuff in the green container!)

In a large skillet heat one Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add Onions and mushrooms. Saute for about a minute or until the mushrooms start to wilt and the onions begin to get translucent. Stir in Balsamic vinegar and reduce heat to low, stirring often for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat chicken stock in a pot on stove on medium heat. Heat one Tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add rice into pan and stir for a minute, coating in olive oil. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
Keep the burner just high enough to barely simmer the stock and risotto. You must pay attention, and stir it more than occasionally, but you don't have to be a slave to the stove top.
When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, add cooked mushrooms and onions, making sure to add any liquid that is left in pan. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm. Once it is done, take it off the burner and stir in butter, Parmesan cheese, torn basil, crushed red pepper flakes and strawberries. Salt to taste.

Jul 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July! and Going Country...

Style Ribs that is!!!
Today was a pretty great day, and the start of what will most definetley be an awesome week. BBQing had to be done today, however, to celebrate the 4th and the only thing I had in the freezer was some country style ribs. I had no idea how to cook those bad boys but I knew I needed to do something to make them tender and to add the the flavor since we have a gas grill, not a charcoal grill, and I have yet to get any cedar planks or woodchips to practice with.

Country Style Ribs
8 pork country style ribs
3-4 Tbsp. Mustard
1 Tbsp. Braggs Amino Acids

1/4 C. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. seasoning salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. grated orange rind
1/4 tsp. cumin

1.Combine the Rub ingrediants, and smear ribs with mustard and amino acids. Sprinkle 1/2 cup rub mixture evenly over the ribs. Press into mustard and wrap ribs tightly in aluminum foil.
2.Now here you have two options, you can either cook them on the grill on low for 90 minutes or you can do what I did and put them in a 350 degree oven for 90 minutes. Since I was cooking with a gas grill, I really saw no point in wasting gas for that long when it really wasn't necessary.
3.Remove the ribs from foil and sprinkle the remaining rub mixture over the ribs. Place the ribs on the grill over indirect heat. Cover the grill and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the ribs so they are facing meat side up. Cover grill and continue cooking an additional 10 minutes or until ribs are tender.
You should definetley check the ribs before ten minutes because I actually overcooked my ribs a bit, but they had a great taste and the mustard did a lot to make them both flavorful and tender.
I served these with some twicebaked potatoes, and wanted to have some baked beans, but unfortunatley, we were out of beans, or maybe that will be fortunate ;).