Saturday, April 21, 2012

Blondeez Not Daily At All Anymore Diary--Weekend Update

The week got away from me, in many ways, so I'll just catch you up on meals and recipes of note.  There weren't many.   Seriously, I was in survival mode this week.  But my parents arrived on Thursday to celebrate the kid's birthday, so we had a decent dinner that night!  I roasted a chicken and potatoes and steamed artichokes, then put together a salad with 50/50 lettuce and spinach, avocado, cucumber, and yogurt blue cheese dressing.  A bottle of chardonnay and we were a very happy bunch!  No recipes except for the chicken, which comes from my favorite basic, delicious food book.  How to Cook Everything is a great reference manual--I have often had a random thought or ingredient and looked up his instructions.  A lot of times I have another recipe in mind, but he explains technique with illustrations (like how to truss and carve poultry!) and has wonderfully simple recipes that can be dressed up or dressed down. 

Then last night my parents were at a cousin's for dinner so CJ made crock pot Beef and Sweet Potato Stew, which was a great and comforting meal after a long week.

Roast Chicken with Roasted New Potatoes (from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything)
Serves 4
Cook Time: 60-75 min
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh (or 2 tsp. dried) herbs--thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, or sage
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 whole (3-4 lb.) chicken, trimmed of excess fat, then rinsed and patted dry.
  • 1 1/2 lbs. waxy red or white potatoes, skins on a scrubbed (either baby/new or cut into chunks)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Mix together the olive oil, herb, salt, and pepper.  Place the chicken, breast side down, on a rack in a roasting pan.  Toss half of the herb mixture with the potatoes and scatter them in the pan.  Begin roasting.

After about 20 minutes, take the pan out and spoon some of the oil mixture over the chicken and potatoes, then turn the chicken breast side up.  Shake the pan for the potatoes turn and cook evenly.  Roast another 7-8 minutes, or until the breast begins to brown.  Turn the heat down to 325 degrees F and baste the chicken again with the rest of the oil mixture.  Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh read 160-165 degrees F.  Total roasting time will be 50-70 min.

Remove the chicken and test potatoes for doneness.  If the potatoes are not soft, turn the heat up to 425 degrees F and roast for a few minutes while the chicken rests.

Beef and Sweet Potato Stew (crock pot) (from The Paleo Recipe Book)
Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
  • 1 lb. beef chuck or otehr stewing cut, in 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 large onion, cut in chunks
  • 1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes
  • 8 dried apricots, halved (optional)
  • chopped parsley for garnish
  • cooking fat (we used walnut oil)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat a skillet over a medium heat, season the beef cubes to taste with salt and pepper and brown on all sides with some cooking fat in the hot skillet.

Place the browned beef, sweet potatoes, garlic, allspice, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, onion, and tomatoes in a crock pot and cook on high for 8 hours, until the beef is fork tender.  Add the dried apricots and cook, covered, for another 20 min until the apricots are soft.

Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick before serving with chopped parsley on top.

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