Saturday, March 5, 2016

Slow Cooker Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

I wanted something light, but hot! Although it hasn't been a particularly cold winter this year, rather mild actually, I feel as if I am always cold. I was perusing pinterest as I think we all have been known to do from time to time, and happened upon a recipe for Slow Cooker Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. I thought to myself, self, do you have all of the ingredients?

Chicken (check)
eggs (check)
Garlic (check)
Celery (check)
Onion and celery (check check)
Pasta (check)
Lemon juice (check)
Homemade chicken stock (doubly check!)

Well now...where is my slow cooker!  I altered a few of the ingredients and the result was a creamy, light, refreshing soup that my hubs was oohing and aahing over. I hope you all agree!

Ingredients

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 large stalk celery, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
½ cup small pasta, orzo if your have it
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
4 eggs

salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, onion, celery, garlic, stock, water, 1 tablespoon, and ½ teaspoon pepper in your slow cooker. Cook about 5 hours on low. Since I didn't have orzo, when the soup had about 30 minutes left to cook, I stirred in my pasta. The orzo would have held up much better, but definitely don't try this with regular pasta. It will disintegrate. 

When the chicken is done, remove it from the slow cooker and allow to cool slightly. Chop into chunks and place back in the slow cooker. Place the eggs in a medium bowl and beat lightly. Whisk in the lemon juice until combined. Place about 1 cup of hot soup broth in a measuring cup, and add a few droplets at a time to the egg-lemon mixture whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Continue adding the hot broth in a slow, steady stream while whisking constantly. After all the stock has been added, add the egg-lemon mixture to the soup in the crock pot and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve, and enjoy!


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Grilled Flank Steak and Nectarine Salad

I am a big Food Network person. Love watching the cooks, chefs, everyday people prepare food and share recipes with the viewer. I have recently gravitated to The Pioneer Woman, and Ree Drummond as one of my favorites. Her food, although it could definitely feed an army, is good, stick to your ribs cooking, and doesn't take you a day to prepare. One show, she prepared this Grilled Nectarine Salad, and I had to try it. I added a couple additional ingredients too it, but it was as yummy in real life as it looked in TV land. I hope you all enjoy it as much as D and I did.


Ingredients

Steak
3 lb Flank steak
3 tbsp raw green peppercorns, crushed

Dressing
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons strawberry, garlic infused vinegar (I used my homemade infused vinegar), or whatever vinegar you wish
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

Caramelized Onions
1 small onion, sliced
1 tbsp butter

Salad
2 whole nectarines, halved and pitted
Olive oil, for drizzling
6 ounces, weight (1 bag or box) salad greens (good spring mix) or arugula
1 large Crimini mushroom, sliced
2 ounces, weight Stilton blue cheese
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Instructions

Marinade the flank steak. Take the green peppercorns and crush them. Put half of them on one side of the steak and half on the other. Let marinade at least for 2 hours. For the caramelized onions, quarter the onion and slice small strips. In a small pan, add a tbsp. of butter. Add the onions. You will want to let these go for at least 10 – 20 minutes on medium to medium/low. You want to bring the sugars out. Periodically stir them so they don’t burn. Cook them until they become a golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside. Take the steak out of the fridge and bring up to room temperature. Grill to your liking, as in rare, medium rare, etc. I am not listening temp here, because the temperature for the inside will differ based on the “doneness” of your meat. When it is done to your liking, place on a plate, cover and let rest. While the steak is grilling, prepare all of your other ingredients. Half the nectarine and very gently, twist apart from the stone. Dig out the stone. Drizzle nectarine halves with a little olive oil. Grill cut side down for 2-3, turning midway to achieve those beautiful grill marks. Granted, mine are a little non-existent. Set aside. In a bowl or a cruet, combine the Dijon, vinegar, honey, and olive oil to emulsify. Add salt and pepper and mix. In a large bowl, toss lettuce with enough of the dressing to lightly. Toss in the almonds the caramelized onions, mushrooms. Divide the lettuce among two plates. Place a nectarine half on each serving. Slice the flank steak across the grain in about ½ inch slices and arrange on the salad.  Drizzle with a little more dressing. With a fork, cut blue cheese into chunks and distribute among the two plates. 




Monday, November 23, 2015

One Pan Ranch Chicken and Veggies

Yes, I have been a cooking fool the last couple/few days. I love being creative in the kitchen and the last few days, the creativity bug has bitten. As most everyone does, I have had a few inspirations come from Pinterest and this latest recipe is one of those. 

When looking for something crazy/different to do with Chicken thighs, I stumbled upon this beauty from Damn Delicious's website: One Pan Garlic Ranch Chicken and Veggies. I made a few alterations/modifications based on what I had on hand, and also the fact that the hubs likes his chicken REALLY crispy...and I mean really. The pics you will see actually look like the skin is burned. I can assure you it isn't, but the brown sugar did get a bit over done for my liking, but when you are trying to please the taste-buds of your husband...you go with it :)


Ingredients

8 teaspoons brown sugar, divided
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 medium yams, cubed
3 large carrots, halved, then halved again

10 Brussels sprouts, halved
1 small onion, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Ranch seasoning mix (you can use the Hidden Valley package, but I didn't have any so I made my own; recipe is below)
7 cloves garlic, left whole
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


Ranch seasoning mix:

1 tbsp chives
1 tbsp dill
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Instructions

For the ranch seasoning mix, combine all ingredients and mix well. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray. Using your fingers, work the brown sugar, about 1 teaspoon per thigh, onto both sides of the chicken.
Place chicken on top of the veggies onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Ranch seasoning mix  and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place into oven and roast for about 25 - 30 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.* Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until caramelized and slightly charred. 

**Please note, depending on your desired consistency for the veggies, you may want to start cooking the veggies first, for about 10 minutes, then add the chicken for 25 - 30 minutes more. We like the veggies cooked on the crispy side, my parents like them very soft...so it is your personal preference!