Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lazy Woman Chicken Skewers

It's been cold here and it's making me extremely laaazzzyyyy.  Seriously,all I want to do is curl up in bed with a book and stay there until the temperature gets a little more reasonable.  Needless to say I was pursuing my dream by reading a magazine in bed last night when I decided it would be a great idea to make the adorable rosemary chicken skewers that I saw in this month's Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine. Excellent use of ingredients I already had, cute dinner, everyone's happy, excellent plan!

Slight problem though, once I got out of my comfort coccoon, I had absolutely zero motivation to spend my night threading chicken cubes onto rosemary sprigs.  Soooooo I took the lazy route by chopping up the rosemary and mixing it in with all the skewer ingredients.  Let me tell you, the end result was delicious....didn't even miss the skewers. Plus I didn't have to worry about accidentally shooting chicken across the kitchen while extracting it from the skewer. Score! I love it when I'm rewarded for laziness. Plus this dinner involves a delicious dipping sauce, seriously, who doesn't love a good dipping sauce?

Lazy Woman Chicken Skewers
½ c. mayo
¼ c. mustard
1 lemon, juiced then sliced
1 shallot, chopped in wedges
1 package chicken, cut in pieces
1 package cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp rosemary, roughly chopped
Ground pepper

1.       Mix together mayo, mustard, juice from the lemon and pepper to taste
2.       Put chicken pieces, shallot wedges, cherry tomatoes, rosemary on a foil lined cookie sheet. Pour half  of mayo mixture over top and mix.
3.       Broil for 15 minutes, stirring a few times during cooking.
4.       Serve with reserved mayo mixture for dipping.
Adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know, I'm late but I had important partying to do......and more important party recovery. I don't know about you, but I had a great time ringing in the New Year with friends at a bar in Manhattan. Even if the cab situation can be a challenge from Brooklyn, it's totally worth it to be able to relax, enjoy some libations and catch up with friends after all the craziness and office parties in December.

During my post New Year's Eve convalesence (referred to by normal people as New Year's Day), I did manage to get the obligatory pork chops and sauerkraut in the crockpot. If you're not familiar with the tradition, Pennsylvania Dutch custom is to make a meal of pork chops and sauerkraut (duh) on New Year's Day for luck.  Apparently the cabbage of the sauerkraut is supposed to represent greenbacks (a.k.a. money, big fortunes in the New Year) while the pork means that you will move forward confidently in the New Year (since pigs move forward).  My own guess though is that those old timey PA Dutch folks enjoyed a little too much of the old timey celebratory meade on New Year's Eve and needed some old timey stick-to-your-ribs recovery food. To me though it was always just something my Mom made while we watched the Philadelphia Mummers Parade.

Whatever the case, we had ours this year with horseradish mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. I also recommend making some mulled wine to counteract the sauerkraut smell. No picture for this one (again the convalesence) but I did leave you with a festive New Year's pic at the end of this post. Enjoy!

New Year’s Lucky Pork Chops and Sauerkraut
·         4 bone in pork chops
·         1 lb. sauerkraut
·         1 apple, diced
·         1 onion, diced
·         1 tsp caraway seeds
·         2 tbsp brown sugar
·         ¼ c. apple cider

1.       Brown pork chops in frying pan over high heat about 1-2 minutes per side.
2.       Add pork chops to slow cooker, top with sauerkraut and remaining ingredients.
3.       Cook on low 7 – 8 hours or until chops are fork tender and falling off the bone.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Southwestern Blizzard Stew

Not sure if you've heard, but we've had a blizzard here in NYC.  Luckily, I was able to get back from Florida in time to miss this and this. Whew, what a relief! Poor Mr. Officer though was not so lucky and had to work his emergency response magic in the terrible storm.  The weather was so bad that he had to leave his car at work and walk part of the way home through waist deep snow which made from one grumpy guy.  Well at least he had this soup waiting for him after a hard day's work!

Southwestern Blizzard Stew
·         1 lb ground meat
·         2 carrots, diced
·         2 shallots, diced
·         ¼ c. bourbon
·         1 can fire roasted tomatoes with chiles
·         1 can diced tomatoes
·         1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
·         2 cans corn
·         1 can beef broth
·         1 packet of taco seasoning
·         1 packet of ranch dressing seasoning
·         Salt & Pepper
·         1 tbsp olive oil
·         Shredded cheese (for garnish)

1.       Brown meat in dutch oven over high heat. Remove meat from pan and drain on paper towels.
2.       In same pan, heat oil over high heat and brown carrots & shallots with salt & pepper for about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with bourbon and continue to cook the veggies 1 – 2 minutes more.
3.       Add both cans of tomatoes and corn (with liquid) as well as the black beans and beef broth.  Stir in the seasonings packets and bring soup to a boil.
4.       Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about an hour, stirring approximately every 20 minutes. Garnish with shredded cheese and serve with crusty bread.
Psst - don't mind the terrible photograph, I'm still getting the hang of this thing and obviously have zero future as a food stylist.