After asking for and receiving some excellent advice on how to use my new convection oven, I decided to jump in and test it out. Roasting a chicken seemed like the most logical choice. If I ruined it, I could turn it into chicken salad. Sonoma Chicken Salad to be exact, found here.
This time of year, recipes seem superfluous – farm fresh corn, zucchini from my garden and sliced tomatoes need little embellishment. But I do have Tomato-Pasta Salad, here, that changes up the usual flavors.
For dessert, those plums needed to be used, so I went with a Plum Crumble (or as my cousin christened it, Plumble), recipe here. I used the convection feature, which helped the crisp brown evenly. Bonus Bixby inspecting the plums here.
I don’t have any recipes from JeffreyW this week, but that could because this guy is keeping him busy:
That’s the most adorable, Gabe, getting himself into a bit of trouble. I am looking forward to seeing how JeffreyW’s figs turn out, hopefully abundant enough for homemade fig newtons. But if not, just fresh off the tree. I love figs! Photos of his fig progression are here.
What’s on your menu this weekend as summer winds down? My grapes are starting to ripen, and of course I’m overrun with plums, so does anyone have some good plum or concord grape recipes they want to share? What else is cookin’ tonight?
Tonight’s featured recipe is pretty simple, since what I wanted was to test out how the convection oven treated my ingredients. I started with a local chicken, zucchini from my garden, potatoes from my dad’s garden and local corn.
I mixed together 2 tbsps of butter with dried, crushed rosemary and basil, along with crushed garlic and rubbed it under and over the skin of the chicken. I then rubbed more of the herbs and garlic inside the cavity.
I put the chicken and the sliced potatoes into the roasting pan. I roasted them at 425 degrees, until the breast meat registered at 165 degrees and the thighs at 170 degrees. The high temperature, combined with the convection created a crisp skin that quickly sealed in the juices. Total cooking time was one hour for a five pound bird.
I added the sliced zucchini about 15 minutes before the chicken was about to come out of the oven, so everything finished up nicely. The corn was microwaved for two minutes an ear (for a total of six minutes) with the husks on. If I had been more confident with my oven skills, I would have popped the ears into the oven just a bit before the zucchini and roasted them in the husks.
I am over the moon with what the convection feature can do – the potatoes were perfectly roasted, the chicken crisp and moist, the zucchini tender. The flavors were great and the herbs really permeated the meat.
That’s it for this week. I’m sitting here watching the welcome rainstorm drench my very thirsty yard, while contemplating my long list of things to do this weekend. Have a great weekend! – TaMara
I nearly ruined this one, I set the oven to pre-heat to 350 but it somehow got bumped up to 425+. Fortunately I checked it at the 20 minute mark and saw the egg wash starting to burn. This is with the Kroger ready to go pie crusts. The bottom crust didn’t quite have enough to cover the rim of the deep dish pan so I tried tucking the top crust in around the edge rather than leave a single layer to burn up. It seemed to work OK.The sauce was made with a flour/butter roux with chicken stock added when the roux was cooked through, adding half a cup or so of milk to thin it a little. It made a tasty gravy.
I wanted to make this dish to try out that gallon of Marsala cooking wine I bought. I had low expectations for it but wanted to save some money over buying the real stuff. This met my expectations in that it isn’t nearly as good as the real wine but it does add some Marsala flavor to the dish so it wasn’t a total bust. I took the dinner as an occasion to also try out some Mexican rice from a box mix that has been showing up at the local Kroger store:The rice mix had some dried corn kernels that floated to the top when I poured in the water, I scooped those out and added some fresh off the cob sweet corn. I probably should have left them in to make the trial a fair one but I have a recollection of biting down on a hard little rock of a corn kernel once. The mix turned out pretty well – I will chop some fresh peppers into it next time, though.There was leftover chicken and rice from the Marsala dish so I added more broccoli and turned it into a creamy cheese soup by adding the leftovers to chicken broth and blending in cheese and heavy cream. It made an excellent lunch today.Bonus kitteh! This is Spots, a cute little tortie awaiting adoption at St Francis.
Bixby turned two on Thursday and I felt that justified a Bixby Diaries post. So for the pet lovers, you’ll find lots of new and old photos, plus video of the Beast here. For the rest of you, it’s a grilling themed recipe exchange.
First up, Grilled Chicken and Papaya, recipe here. I noticed in the stores that mangoes were plentiful, and I can’t imagine why you couldn’t substitute – I would add a dash of lime to it all with mangoes.
Speaking of mangoes and papayas, how about Grilled Fish with Mango and Papaya Salsa, recipe here.
A couple of nice sides to round things out. But don’t think you need a recipe, fresh veggies from the garden, tossed in olive oil and grilled in a grilling basket can’t be beat.
Grilled Vegetable Salad, click here, can be a meal in itself or a hearty side.
Greek Grilled Potatoes, recipe here, are a nice, tangy change from regular potato packets.
What’s on the menu this weekend? Anything special planned for Father’s Day? What’s your favorite food to take out of the kitchen and make on the grill?
Tonight, I combined two favorite recipes. I love the pinwheels because they are so showy (and tasty). I thought it would be a great recipe for Father’s Day weekend. Then I ran across my spicy sauce and thought, yum, that would work. If you don’t want spicy, here is the original Pinwheel Recipe. And if you don’t want pinwheels, here is the original Spicy Grilled Flank Steak recipe. I got you covered.
Grilled Spicy Flank Steak Pinwheels
- 1 tbsp chili garlic paste
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 lb flank steak
- 8 oz sliced provolone cheese
- 1 bunch washed and dried spinach leaves
- 8 wooden skewers
- olive oil
You can ask the butcher to butterfly your flank steak, which is what I did. But it’s fairly easy to butterfly. You want the grain running up and down in front of you and then you’ll slice it in half, NOT slicing all the way through. When you’re done you’ll lay it open, flat, basically making a larger, thinner steak.
Once you have it laid out flat in front of you with the grain running left to right, you’ll want to tenderize it, pounding it thin.
Keeping it flat, place into a ziplock bag, add marinade and coat completely on both sides. Marinate flat in refrigerator 1 hour. Remove from marinade and assemble.
Layer the spinach over the meat. You want it to be several leaves thick, because it will reduce as it cooks.
Next layer the provolone cheese slices, two to three slices thick, over the meat.
Now it’s time to roll. Roll tightly in the direction of the grain. Add a skewer every 2 inches and then slice between the skewers, so you have 2-inch thick pinwheels.
Heat grill and oil grates well – alternately you can cook in a cast iron skillet (heat 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil in it) on the grill. If using a gas grill – heat one side to high for searing, turn the other side to about medium to finish cooking. For coals – place coals toward center of the grill, leaving the edges cool for finishing cooking.
Add pinwheels to the grill, flat side down. After a minute, using the skewer (you may also need a metal spatula to get all the cheesy goodness) flip over, sear additional minute. The usual method of waiting until the meat moves easily to flip will not work with this because the cheese is sticky. So just do one minute each side, it will be fine.
After the second side is done, move steaks off of high heat to the cooler grates and let the steak finish for about 10 to 15 minutes for medium rare. These are thin and don’t need a lot of cooking time and you don’t want the cheese to burn.
Remove to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes, so the cheese isn’t molten lava.
My steak made 4 large pinwheels.
That’s it for this week. I don’t know how many recipe exchanges I’ll have in me while I’m packing, but stay tuned. Have a great weekend! – TaMara
A little change up for this week’s lunches. A big batch of soup as we wait for the big rain/snow storm.
Chicken Alfredo Tortellini Soup
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
- 4 boneless chicken thighs, cubed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 6 cups water
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 4 oz sliced carrots
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 sprigs parsley, snipped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp garlic
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 20 oz bag cheese tortellini
- ½ cup half & half
- ¾ cup grated parmesan, plus additional for garnish
In saucepan, heat oil, add chicken and brown lightly. Add remaining ingredients, except cream & Parmesan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer over medium heat for 20-minutes. Add half and half & Parmesan simmer 2-3 minutes; stirring constantly to make sure Parmesan doesn’t stick. Serve hot and garnish with additional Parmesan.
This is a great recipe to grill (or bake) – the tangy yogurt marinade keeps chicken moist and creates a flavorful outer coating that zings. Serve with couscous and citrus chunks for a winter break.
Yogurt Dill Chicken:
2 cups plain yogurt
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp dry dill, crushed
½ tsp thyme
4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded*
large shallow covered dish, broiler or grill
Mix together yogurt, mustard, dill, thyme. Place pounded chicken in dish, spoon yogurt mixture over, cover and let marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Grill or broil for 10-15 minutes each side, until fully cooked at center. If you’re broiling, place rack one level from the top most setting.
*The easiest way to pound chicken is to wrap in plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet. Keeps meat from splattering.