Day 20

Crispy Baked French Fries

Image

My Thoughts

Once again, this was a last minute recipe. They were a little annoying to make because they stuck to the parchment paper, but as long as you cook them long enough, they end up coming off.

I added some soy Parmesan, which was definitely great. Even though they didn’t look as good as the other recipes, my family DEVOURED them.

Finally I cooked a potato recipe.

Image

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 organic russet potatoes (about 8 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Scrub the potatoes and cut them, lengthwise, into 10 to 12 even wedges. The trick is to first quarter the potatoes lengthwise, and then cut each quarter lengthwise into 2 to 3 wedges (I sliced mine a little too thin).
  2. Place the sliced potatoes into a large bowl and cover them with hot tap water. Let them soak for 10 minutes (this releases some of the starch in the potatoes and lets them absorb moisture, which leads to crisp outsides and moist interiors).
  3. Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper with 1/4 cup oil and sprinkle evenly with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry thoroughly with a tea towel or paper towels. Toss the potatoes with the remaining teaspoon oil and mix evenly.
  4. Arrange the fries in a single layer on a baking sheet and cover the sheet tightly with foil. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and cook another 5 to 10 minutes, until the underside of the potatoes are spotty golden brown.
  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and scrape the fries loose with a spatula. Then use tongs or the spatula to flip over each wedge (keep the potatoes in an even layer). Continue to bake until the fries are golden and crisp, about 5 to 10 minutes longer. Rotate the pan as necessary to help them brown evenly. Season with salt and pepper (thinly sliced green onions and shaved Parmesan are optional) and serve hot.

Day 19

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sandwiches

 Image

So I said next time that I made a dessert it would be ice cream but I lied. After eating tons of food with Erin and Marley we finally made a dessert, but it was past midnight. Since it was technically Monday I figured that I would use it as my recipe for today.

This is a pretty brilliant recipe if you ask me. I love cookie sandwiches, and just simply adding cookie batter is a perfect idea. They’ve done a good job at making the recipe for the cookie dough more healthy to eat but also still very similar tasting to regular cookie dough.

It’s an easy recipe, a little extreme, and really tasty.

Image

Two Peas in a Pod Recipe

Ingredients

For Cookies:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips

For Cookie Dough:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars until no lumps remain, 1-2 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and mix until smooth. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll chilled dough into smooth, tablespoon-size balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Flatten balls slightly into 3/4-inch disks. Place disks about 2 inches apart on parchment or Silpat lined baking sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until cookie edges are slightly golden brown. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

3. To prepare the cookie dough filling, beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in flour, powdered sugar, and salt on low speed until incorporated. Slowly add heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in mini chocolate chips.

4. To assemble, sandwich 1 heaping tablespoon of filling between two cookies. Press cookies lightly until filling spreads to the edges. Repeat with remaining cookies.

Note: Sandwiches can be stored refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Day 18

3 RECIPES TODAY!

Image

So in usual Mitchell fashion, I bit off a little more than I could chew with this dinner. I wanted to make a nice little spread of food for my friends Marley and Erin who were coming over. I ended up needing their help to get everything done, and we ended up eating really late.

I think my mom and I both agree that this homemade Naan will be made frequently in this house. The clarified butter that we spread on the Naan gives it an amazing flavor especially with the black pepper chicken.

Mustard seeds are dangerous; they become fireworks if you put them in oil that is too hot (that’s what I did the first time). This black pepper chicken recipe should REALLY be cooked on a low heat once you start adding the spices. It ended up being just the right amount of spicy and tasted really amazing.

The chicken skewers were pretty good but probably could have marinated a bit longer because I didn’t really taste the lime. But it was a nice contrast to the spicy chicken. Grilled mango is also great as long as the mango isn’t too mushy when you put it on the skewer.

Image

Recipe for Naan

Ingredients

3/4 cup warm water

1/4 oz dry yeast (1 envelope)

1/2 tsp sugar

2 1/4 cup flour plus more as needed

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil plus more

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

3 tbsp clarified butter

Directions

Put the warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the yeast and sugar, and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes or until mixture becomes foamy. In the meantime, sift together the flour and salt. In a separated bowl, lightly whisk together the milk, olive oil and the egg. When the yeast is ready, add the milk mixture. With the mixer in low speed, slowly add the flour and salt. Mix for 5 minutes. Flour a working surface and knead the dough with your hands adding flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking, knead for 5 minutes more. Oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat, cover and let it rest for one and half hour or until the dough has double in size. Divide the dough in 60g pieces, roll into balls. Let them rest for 20 minutes. In the meantime, heat a cast iron skillet and lightly oil it. Flour a working surface and roll the dough with a rolling pin. Cook the bread in the skillet (about a minute on each side). Immediately, brush each bread (both sides) with butter and wrap them with a kitchen towel to keep it warm ad soft.

Sinfully Spicy Recipe

Murgh KaliMirch –BlackPepper Chicken

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2″ cubes
  • For garnish – chopped cilantro, scallions
  • Fresh lemon/lime juice (to taste)

To marinate :-

  • 2 tbsp thick plain yogurt- I used soy yogurt
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh lemon/lime juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2″ fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For tempering :-

  • 2 tbsp mustard oil (substitute with sunflower/vegetable/canola oil)
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 Serrano chillies, chopped (adjust to tolerance)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt (to adjust)

Method :-

Marinate the chicken in all the ingredients listed for 20 minutes, refrigerated. Once ready to cook, take out the marinated chicken from the refrigerator & let sit on countertop.

In a thick bottomed, wide-mouthed pan, heat up the oil on high.If using mustard oil, heat it to a point when it’s slightly smoky.For other oils, heat up till you see ripples on the surface. Meanwhile, using a mortar & pestle, coarsely grind the coriander & cumin.Once the oil is heated, reduce the heat to medium & wait for 2 minutes. Add the mustard seeds & let them crackle.About 10-15 seconds. Also, add the chillies next & let them crisp up for another 10-15 seconds. Tip :- Be extra careful, mustard seeds & chillies splutter a lot when added to oil. 

Next, add the coarsely ground spices to the oil & stir for about 30-35 seconds or till you smell the aroma. Start adding marinated chicken 5-6 pieces at a time to the pan and  stir-fry over high heat for few minutes, tossing continuously.Repeat with another batch of chicken pieces. The idea is to lightly brown the outside of the chicken but still keep it juicy inside.Lower the heat once all the chicken has been added.Add the leftover marinade(if any) & stir frequently. Cook on low heat till the oil separates on the sides of the pan and the chicken is cooked. About 12-15 minutes. You can cover the pan for last 3-4 minutes of cooking. Adjust the salt, toss well and remove.Let sit covered for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Garnish with chopped cilantro or scallions, squeeze fresh lemon juice & serve hot.

Notes:-

  1. The cooking times will differ depending on the size of chicken pieces and the cut used. If using chicken breasts, the cooking time will be about 6-8 minutes for 2″ cubes.
  2. If you like dish less hot, de-seed the chillies before you mince them.

Image

Recipe for Mango Chicken Skewers

Joshua Trent Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 ripe but firm mangoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes- just 2
  • Bell peppers, optional- just 1

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the spices, and lime juice. Immerse the chicken and mangoes in the mixture and marinate for 2-4 hours, covered, in the refrigerator.
  2. Prepare a hot grill, line the grill with a strip of foil on one end to prevent the bottom of the skewers from burning.
  3. Take the skewers and alternately place pieces of chicken, mango and peppers.
  4. Arrange the skewers evenly on the grill. Turn them once while cooking and cook until cooked through and nicely charred. 6-10 minutes. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Notes

You can marinate the mango with the chicken but if you’re marinating a while they may get mushy so feel free to leave them out.

Day 17

Blackened Salmon Sandwich with Homemade Aeoil and Arugula on Garlic Tuscan Bread

Image

So for those who know me, I have never been into seafood or fish. I figured it was about time I try to face my fear and make something for the blog. I guess if I want to keep working on my cooking, I’m going to need to like fish.

This salmon was… SO SO SO SO SO SO SO good. I’ve always loved a good aioli so drenching the salmon with it definitely helped. I was also surprised how spicy this blackened seasoning was, but it ended up being great. I used a homemade recipe for creole seasoning, which worked perfect.

There’s something fun about cooking salmon because it’s so pink and also really fragile. Once you cut into the salmon it flakes so nicely and you can really see how moist it is.

I’m going to have to try salmon again and explore seafood/fish more.

Image

Image

Use Real Butter Recipe:

Ingredients

3 tbsps cajun or creole seasoning
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp paprika
dash of ground pepper
4 tbsps melted butter
4 pieces of salmon (about 3-4 ounces each)
sandwich buns (something soft)
arugula
aioli

Directions

Prepare your grill on high heat. Combine the cajun or creole seasoning with the thyme, paprika, and ground pepper in a shallow bowl. Place the butter in another shallow bowl. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel and dip each piece in the melted butter to coat completely. Then dredge each piece through the spices, making sure to press the spices to any bare spots. Grill the salmon for 6-8 minutes over high flame, flipping once half-way through the cooking time (nominally around 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Set one piece of salmon on the bottom of a sandwich bun. Top with aioli, arugula, and the top of the sandwich bun. Serves 4.

Image

creole seasoning
1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup granulated garlic
1/4 cup granulated onion
3 tbsps black pepper
2 tsps white pepper
2 tsps cayenne pepper
1/4 cup dried oregano
1/4 cup dried thyme
2 tsps ground cumin
2 tbsps sugar

aioli
3 cloves garlic
1/2 -1 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

Make the aioli: Peel the garlic cloves and mince. Gather the garlic into a little pile and pour the salt over it. With the flat of a sturdy knife blade, crush the salt into the garlic until you get a nice paste. Combine the paste in a bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk or beat the egg yolks together (you can also use a food processor), adding a few drops of olive oil at the start. Keep whisking and adding a little oil until it begins to thicken. While whisking/beating, pour half of the oil into the mixture in a slow and thin stream. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and continue whisking in the remaining oil until it reaches the desired consistency. Add more lemon juice and or salt to taste.

Day 16

Crispy Baked Cheesy Zucchini Fries with Sriracha Lime Mayo

Image

My Thoughts:

It’s about time that I made something fried. These were pretty excellent and I got to bring out the soy parmesan cheese again.

My mom makes stuffed zucchini often, and I’ve always loved a warm and crispy zucchini. This recipe definitely reminded me of this, and had an extra crisp to it. The Panko breadcrumbs were a perfect batter to use for this dish.

Any sauce with mayo in it is good with me, but this spicy mayo is definitely a new favorite. You can add even extra lime, because the sriracha sauce is so strong.

I keep saying I’m going to make a seafood/fish recipe soon, maybe that’ll be next?

Image

Tracey’s Culinary Adventures Recipe Adapted: fries adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride, mayo adapted from White on Rice Couple

Fries
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 lb zucchini (about 1 medium)

Mayo
3 tablespoons mayo
1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon lime juice

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place a wire rack in the baking sheet.

Add the flour to a resealable plastic bag. Combine the egg and water together in a shallow dish, and beat lightly with a fork. In a second shallow dish, mix together the Panko, Parmesan, salt, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.

To cut the zucchini into fries: Slice the top and bottom off the zucchini. Cut into about 3-inch fries – I found this easiest to do by cutting the zucchini half and then continuing to cut the pieces in half again and again.

Add the zucchini to the resealable bag containing the flour. Shake to coat them evenly. Working with one fry at a time, shake the excess flour off, then dip in the egg mixture and dredge in the Panko mixture, pressing to coat completely. Place the fries on the wire rack. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the coating is golden brown and crisp.

While the fries bake, make the sriracha lime mayo by adding all of the ingredients to a small bowl and stirring to combine. Serve the fries with the mayo. These are best served immediately (or shortly after baking).

Day 15

Ginger Peach Peppermint Juleps

Image

My Thoughts

This was a quick little mixed drink. Once again, I needed a recipe that was suitable for my laziness.

I get an iced coffee every day that has peppermint in it, and I continue to enjoy the fresh taste of peppermint in this mixed drink as well.

Mixing and crushing the peppermint and peach with the liquor and then refrigerating before adding the ice and ginger ale does make a serious difference. It gives it a much fruitier taste.

I’ve also learned that Juleps are sweet flavored drinks that are made of sweet syrup and alcohol.. good to know?

Recipe Adapted from Dirty Gourmet
Ingredients

1/2 fresh ripe peach, sliced
10-14 fresh peppermint leaves
2 oz bourbon whiskey
1 oz peach schnapps
8 oz ginger ale (to fill, depending on your glass, you may have extra)
Ice

Directions

Toss the peaches and peppermint into a tall, chilled glass.

Pour in the bourbon and schnapps, then muddle together, bruising the mint and pressing some juice from the peaches. As mentioned above, you can also prepare this ahead.

Fill the glass with ice, then top off with ginger ale. Stir.

Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Day 14

Lemon and Sea Salt Focaccia

Image

My Thoughts:

So it was my first time making bread on my own, and Focaccia at that. It’s sort of a relaxing process, with a lot of time to do other things while the dough is sitting and rising.

I wish you all could be here to smell what this smelt like while cooking. The olive oil, rosemary, and lemon mix smells so summary and is making my mouth water as I’m writing. It seems like there just CAN’T be enough olive oil in this recipe. I think it’s recommended to add olive oil about 5 times throughout the recipe, and I DEFINITELY did that.

I also didn’t use whole-wheat flour which worked out fine for me, probably would be a bit healthier with a little of it though.

The taste of the bread was tangy but also salty. I didn’t love eating the lemon with the bread, but took a tiny little bite and then just took of the rest. Luckily, the lemon flavor ends up soaking into the bread anyways.


Image

Image

“Girl Versus Dough Recipe”, Adapted from “The Kitchen”

Yields: 1 11-by-17 inch loaf or 4 8-inch round loaves

Ingredients
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for lining the baking sheet/cake pans and for drizzling
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
Leaves of 2-4 branches fresh rosemary
2 lemons, washed and very thinly sliced into rounds
coarse sea salt

Directions
In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast with 1/2 cup lukewarm water; let stand 5 minutes until foamy. Add 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water and 2 tablespoons olive oil and stir.
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or paddle attachment until just combined. Knead dough on a lightly floured countertop until smooth, about 5 minutes; OR, replace paddle attachment with dough hook and knead in stand mixer on medium, adding just a bit more flour as needed until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 3-4 minutes. Shape dough into a ball and place in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roll dough in oil and cover bowl lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Brush an 11-by-17 inch baking sheet lightly with olive oil (or 4 8-inch round cake pans) and punch down dough. Spread dough with fingers to cover the entire inside bottom of the baking sheet (or divide dough in quarters and spread in cake pans). The dough might resist a bit, but with a little persistence it’ll start to behave. Cover with a cooling rack topped with a damp towel so the towel doesn’t touch the dough (or just cover the cake pans with damp towels) and let rise until puffy, about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Uncover dough and poke lightly with fingertips to create dimples. Drizzle with olive oil and top with fresh rosemary leaves. Top with sliced lemon and sprinkle with sea salt. Drizzle on more olive oil.
Bake bread until golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Let cool slightly before slicing.

Cooking on Vacation

So I had mentioned in some previous posts that I got to cook in a pretty awesome kitchen with a beautiful view during the vacation I took with my family this past weekend.

Image

Me cooking in the kitchen, with my mom and step-aunt, Nola, doing something at the table. They got to try my strawberry crisp with basil ice cream desert this night.

Image

View from the loft above the kitchen/dining room area

ImageView from the windows in the great room/kitchen area. (Can I cook while looking at this every day?)

I also got a little experience to feel what catering was like when I went to cook the strawberry shortcake french toast again that I made on Day 2:

Image

Image

Image

All the kids seemed to like the dessert a lot… I mean it is topped with sugar, more sugar, and then a little more sugar so they better…

Just wanted to share a few pictures, today’s recipe will come soon!

Day 11

Image

Squeaky Clean Spinach & Stone-fruit Smoothie:

I know smoothies are pretty simple, but I figured I’d try something new, and it’s HOT this weekend. I’ve always been a little skeptical of putting spinach in smoothies and sort of get turned off by the dark green color of crazy healthy green smoothies. I have to say, it’s pretty good, and adds smoothness to a smoothie that I’m not used to.

Of course since there are five boys all under my age in this house, I had to make a few batches without spinach, which actually tasted pretty good too. Honestly, they’re just scared (as I was) of the dark green color.

Also, a good trick, that might seem sort of obvious with smoothies is to add ice after you’ve mixed all the other ingredients little by little. Makes for the perfect consistency.

Maybe I’d be more healthy if I made myself a fresh fruit smoothie with spinach every morning…

ImageIn Pursuit of More Recipe:

Ingredients

  • (2) fresh nectarines (can sub peaches or apricots, if using apricots up to 3-4)
  • (1) heaping cup frozen peaches
  • (1) large handful packed fresh spinach leaves
  • (1) banana
  • (1-1.5) cup mango juice (can also sub apricot, peach, or other yellow tropical combo)
  • (1) cup ice cubes (optional)

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until super smooth – about 1 minute minimum.

Depending on the strength of your blender, the time it takes to properly blend really varies.

Day 10

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto/Roasted Red Pepper and White Bean Dip

Image

This was a fun one since no one in my family could decide if i should make the dip or the pesto. I decided to cut the recipe in half so that we could try each. I’d have to say my favorite of the two was the dip, because the white beans added a little extra flavor and just made more sense to eat with a chip.The pesto was great, just really thick and needed some extra salt.

I think the key with these recipes is to roast the red peppers fresh. This also kept the dip and sauce warm so extra cooking wasn’t necessary. I just roasted them the same way I did the brussel sprouts, with olive oil and a lot of salt and pepper. I included a picture up top of the red peppers after being roasted. I secretly just wanted to eat them like that.

I’ll ACTUALLY post pictures of the kitchen that I’m cooking in soon.

Girlichef Recipe:

Ingredients (serves 4-8)

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 c. walnuts
  • 4 roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 c. cooked (or canned) and drained cannellini beans
  • 1 c. fresh basil, optional
  • ½ c. olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Pulse the garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the walnuts and pulse a few more times to break up any large pieces.

Add the roasted red peppers and basil and process, streaming in the oil as you go, until all the ingredients are well combined and as coarse or as smooth as you want them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately with crudités, crostini, or vegetable chips, or spread on sandwiches or toss with pasta.

Store in a covered airtight container in the fridge for a day or so, or freeze.