Sunday, January 20, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Apples

FOUND IT: On, via Pinterest.

22-year-old me would have laughed out loud if you'd told him that 29-year-old me LOVES Brussels sprouts. I'm becoming the guy I hated when I was a kid, who hears you think you don't like something and makes you try them again his way.

I've already handed this recipe out a couple of times now to people like me who just recently discovered that sprouts don't suck.

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, with the stems trimmed off, halved lengthwise and with the loose leaves removed.
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced (the original recipe calls for Fuji or Braeburn)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans (original recipe called for walnuts)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Toss the sprouts, apples, oil, salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through. They're done when they're fork-tender and browned on the edges.

In a large bowl stir together the cooked sprout mixture, cranberries, walnuts and maple syrup.

Crock Pot Cashew Chicken

FOUND IT: On, via Pinterest.

I did my best to make this a little healthier, and served it to rave reviews.

  • One pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs.
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms (I used white), chopped small
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup 
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • Two cups steamed broccoli (optional)
  • About two cups cooked brown rice.
Chop the chicken into small bite-sized pieces. Combine the flour and pepper in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, then add the chicken and shake to coat. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the chicken. Add the cooked chicken and the mushrooms to your slow cooker.

In a bowl combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes, then pour this over the chicken and stir. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, then stir in the cashews and serve with the broccoli and rice.

Chicken Marsala

FOUND IT: On, via Pinterest.

One of the reasons I've been neglecting this site a bit lately is the fact that I've been spending a lot of time pinning and trying recipes from Pinterest. I think I've finally got a few of them from there that I'm ready to share.

  • Four boneless chicken breasts, trimmed.
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 ounces pancetta, cut into small pieces.
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet Marsala wine
  • 4 1/2 tsp lemon juice (the juice of one small lemon was a little more than I needed)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Slice the chicken breasts in half the long way, then cover them with plastic wrap and pound them down to about 1/4 inch thick. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, then season with the salt and pepper. Place the flour in a pie plate, then dredge the chicken in it.

Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and place half the chicken in there. Cook them about three minutes on each side until they're golden brown, then transfer them to an oven-safe plate and repeat the process again with the other chicken, starting with more oil. Once all eight cutlets are cooked, tent aluminum foil over the plate and place it in a 200 degree oven while you make the sauce.

Cook the pancetta in the now-empty skillet over medium heat until it's crispy, then remove it to a paper towel-lined plate. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook the mushrooms until softened and lightly browned, around 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste and pancetta and cook for a minute or two, then remove from the heat and add the Marsala to deglaze the pan. Scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, then return the pan to the heat and bring it to a "vigorous simmer" for about five minutes. The sauce should reduce down to around 1 1/4-1 1/2 cups.

Remove the sauce from the heat and add the lemon juice, then whisk in the butter one piece at a time. Pour this sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.

Pulled Pork

FOUND IT: In a Penzey's catalog.

This was so good I ate it four times in a span of six meals and was still happy to see it the fourth time.

  • One ~4 lb pork shoulder or butt roast (I used a 3 lb shoulder)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced.
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Premade coleslaw (optional)
Layer the onions in the bottom of a roasting pan. Combine the brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl and rub this onto the roast, then place the roast on top of the onions.

Combine the vinegar, crushed red peppers, sugar, mustard powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper in a bowl, and drizzle about a third of this over the roast. Cover and refrigerate the rest.

Cover the roasting pan and bake at 275 for 5 hours. At this point, drizzle another third of the vinegar mixture over the roast, then cover it again and return it to the oven for another 30 minutes.

Remove the meat and onions from the roasting pan and shred the meat in a serving bowl. Before serving, pour the rest of the vinegar mixture over the meat.

I like to serve this on a bun with the coleslaw. I also ate it reheated on a bun with a slice of cheese and barbecue sauce.