Orange and Rosemary Roasted Turkey Breast

Entertaining, Holiday, Poultry | November 17, 2015 | By

Sliced Orange Rosemary Turkey 723

This roasted turkey breast is super easy and tastes amazing with the orange and rosemary mixture roasted under the skin.  Starting the turkey off at a higher temperature ensures that the skin is crisp and then lowering the temperature to keep the meat moist results in the perfect main course for your Thanksgiving.  

Sometimes you just don’t want or need a whole turkey so roasting a turkey breast is the perfect option.  A turkey breast is perfect for a small gathering or just for the two of you.  You’ll have left-overs but who doesn’t want that?  I know I love the left-overs!  It seems I enjoy it more the next day anyway.  Maybe because all of the frenzy of cooking a big meal is over and you can just relax!   

The first thing you’ll do is mix together the butter, garlic, rosemary, orange zest, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in a bowl. 

Orange Rosemary Butter Mixture

Next you’ll carefully separate the skin from the turkey meat by sliding your hand in between the skin and breast and working your way up to the breast bone.  It seems weird at first if you’ve never done it but hang in there…it’s easy!  Once you’ve done that you will work half of the softened butter-herb mixture under one half of the turkey breast, repeating the process on the other side of the turkey breast. 

How to get herbs under the skin of the turkey breast

Using your hands again, gently rub the turkey skin to evenly distribute butter over the entire breast.  Basically you’re smoothing out all that butter and herb mixture so it’s evenly distributed under the skin.  

Place the turkey in a V-rack sprayed with cooking spray and set it inside a large roasting pan.  Pour one cup of water into the roasting pan.  

Raw Turkey in Pan

Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue roasting turkey until the thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour longer. Transfer turkey to carving board and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Turkey Breast with Rosemary and Orange

 

Orange and Rosemary Roasted Turkey Breast
Serves 6
An easy turkey breast roasted with orange and rosemary is the perfect centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner for a small group or just the two of you.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  2. 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  3. 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  4. 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  5. ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  6. ¾ teaspoon table salt
  7. ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  8. 1 whole turkey breast (6 to 7 pounds), bone-in and skin-on, trimmed of excess fat and patted dry with paper towels
  9. 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix butter, garlic, rosemary, orange zest, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Carefully separate turkey skin from meat over breast; avoid breaking the skin.
  2. Work the butter mixture under skin on both sides of breast and rub skin of turkey to evenly distribute butter over breast. Spray V-rack with nonstick cooking spray and set inside large roasting pan. Place turkey in rack with skin side facing up; pour water into roasting pan.
  3. Roast turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue to roast turkey until the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour longer. Transfer turkey to carving board and let rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
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Fresh Succotash

Sides | August 14, 2015 | By

If the only succotash you’ve ever had was corn and lima beans, frozen in a bag and drowned in a heavy cream sauce then you have to try this recipe!  It’s so easy and quick to put together using fresh corn off the cob.  You absolutely don’t want to substitute the fresh corn in this recipe for frozen or canned.  The crisp kernels really make this a stand out dish that everyone will love. 

Fresh Succotash

I know, I know…nobody loves to take the corn off of the cob.  It can be a messy job!  I have a trick that makes removing the corn from the cob super simple and neat.  Just place the stem of your corn cob into the hole of a bundt pan and then remove the kernels with a sharp knife.  The bundt pan catches the kernels with no mess!

Remove corn from cob

To keep this recipe quick and easy I’m using canned butter beans for a creamy consistency and mild flavor, reserving some of the liquid to make a light sauce. Fresh red peppers add gorgeous color along with onion and garlic sauteed in a little butter because well…corn and butter just go together!  Adding a little lemon juice to the reserved butter bean liquid really brightens everything up, don’t skip it.  Parsley adds more freshness to the flavors and the little kick of cayenne makes this dish perfect!  It tastes like summer on a plate! 

Fresh Succotash

Fresh Succotash
Serves 4
The perfect quick and easy summer side dish using fresh crisp corn and creamy butter beans.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 (15-ounce) can butter beans, 2 tablespoons liquid reserved, rinsed
  2. 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  3. 3 tablespoons butter
  4. 1 small onion, chopped fine
  5. 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  8. Pinch cayenne pepper or more to taste
  9. 4 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs or approximately 3 cups
  10. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Stir reserved 2 TBSP of bean liquid and lemon juice together in small bowl and set aside. Melt butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add corn and beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, until corn and beans have cooked through, about 4 minutes only. Add the bean liquid mixture and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat, stir in parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Notes
  1. Do not substitute frozen or canned corn.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Two Delicious http://www.twodelicious.com/

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Easy Chicken Cutlets for Two with a Quick Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

Dinner, Poultry | March 11, 2015 | By

Chicken Cutlet with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

I admit it.  I’ve never really liked chicken breast.  My husband does however, so I set out to find a recipe that I could love too.  I wanted chicken breast that wasn’t bland and dry.  Cooks Illustrated had a recipe that was super simple with very little time investment and it turns out that’s the trick.  Cooking chicken cutlets should only take a few minutes or you start getting into that dry territory.  Having the cutlet tender was one thing but I still want flavor and lots of it!  The quick sun-dried tomato sauce is THE answer to flavorful and NOT boring chicken!  You can make the sauce during the weekend and just toss it in the fridge and when you’re ready to saute the chicken cutlets during the week you can have dinner on the table in nothing flat!  

This sauce is loaded with flavor and only takes about 5 minutes to put together.  You’ll start with oil-toasted bread and pine nuts which add richness and texture. Next you’ll add in some no-cook ingredients to build up the sauce and then finally add in fresh herbs and spices for a boldly flavored sauce.  

Prep for Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce 

For the chicken breast you’ll need to slice them in half horizontally and then pound them between two sheets of plastic wrap to about 1/4 inch thickness.  It’s easier to slice the breast if you freeze them for about 15 minutes first.   All you need for seasoning is salt and pepper and then a quick two minute saute in hot oil set over medium-high heat, don’t add the chicken until the oil is starting to smoke though.  Once you place the cutlet in the pan don’t touch them for two minutes so they get nice and browned.  Flip them over for a minute more.  Remove them to a plate and loosely tent them with foil for 5 minutes before serving.  

I’m so glad I found a chicken breast recipe that I could love!  This one’s just too easy not to try, so make it for dinner and let me know what you think!  

Chicken Cutlet with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

 

Easy Chicken Cutlets for Two with a Quick Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
Serves 2
A quick and easy chicken cutlet with a sun-dried tomato sauce that delivers bold flavor!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 min
Quick Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
  1. 1/4 slice hearty white sandwich bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  2. 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  3. 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 garlic clove, sliced thin
  5. 1/2 small tomato, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  6. 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed
  7. 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh basil
  8. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  9. Salt
Chicken Cutlet
  1. 2 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, halved horizontally, and pounded 1/4 inch thick
  2. Kosher salt and pepper
  3. 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Quick Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
  1. Heat bread, pine nuts, and 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring constantly, until bread and pine nuts are lightly toasted, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer bread mixture to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, about 5 pulses. Add tomato, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 2 teaspoons oil to food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, 5 to 8 pulses. Transfer to bowl and let stand, at least 10 minutes.
Chicken Cutlet
  1. Pat the cutlets dry with paper towels and sprinkle each side of each cutlet with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Place the cutlets in the skillet and cook without moving them until browned, about 2 minutes. Flip cutlets and continue to cook until second sides are opaque, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with sauce.
Notes
  1. Rinse the jarred sun-dried tomatoes for the best flavor.
  2. Sauce can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated in airtight container.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
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Lasagna for Two

Dinner, Pasta | February 12, 2015 | By

Lasagna for Two 1

Tom and I never go out on Valentine’s Day.  Everything is so crowded so I make something special at home.  Last year we had steak but this year I wanted something else.  My son and his wife are in Italy right now for their wedding anniversary as well as Valentine’s day…seriously, how romantic is that?!  They have sent me some amazing photos of landscapes, architecture and food and I got very inspired to make something Italian!  Here’s a gorgeous shot they took in Como. 

Como, Italy

I might not be able to eat in Italy this Valentine’s Day, maybe next year, 🙂 but we will eat like we are!  If you haven’t read our love story head over here to check it out.  I bet it’s not like most you’ve read!  Now onto the lasagna!

This is super easy to put together and even though I don’t usually use no-boil lasagna noodles, I did in this dish and it really turned out great!  Just go through the list of ingredients and get everything prepared ahead and the recipe will come together much easier.  I used my food processor to chop the vegetables and shred the cheese.  

mise en place

mise en place

Next, you’ll heat the oil until it shimmers and saute the onion for 5 minutes before adding the garlic, cook for another minute or until the garlic is fragrant.  Toss in the ground meat and brown it until no longer pink.  Stir in the cream and keep cooking until the liquid is evaporated.  Stir in the tomatoes, reserved juice and tomato sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes.  Taste it and add salt and pepper, I added an 1/8 tsp of each.  In a separate bowl combine the ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, egg, basil and 1/8 tsp of both salt and pepper.  

PREP

Spread 1/2 cup sauce over bottom of loaf pan that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.  Lay 1 noodle in pan, spread one-third of ricotta mixture over noodle, sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella, and top with 1/2 cup sauce; repeat layering 2 more times. Lay remaining noodle in pan and top with remaining sauce, remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella, and remaining 2 ­tablespoons Parmesan.  I had quite a bit of sauce left-over at the end to pour on top and you might too.  Don’t be worried, just pour it all on and it will be perfect!  I also wanted a bit more mozzarella on top so I sprinkled a little more on top, I like it ooey and gooey!  

Wrap it all up in aluminum foil and bake it at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake it for 10 more minutes or until the cheese starts to get brown in spots.  Let it stand for 20 minutes before diving in.  That’s the hard part but you can do it!  🙂  Set the table, light the candles, pretend you are in Italy! Buon Appetito!  

Lasagna for Two

Lasagna for Two
Serves 2
An easy, classic lasagna recipe perfect for two!
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Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Sauce
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, chopped fine
  3. Salt and pepper
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 8 ounces meatloaf mix
  6. 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  7. 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained with 1/4 cup juice reserved
  8. 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
Filling
  1. 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  2. 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus 2 tablespoons, grated
  3. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  4. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  5. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  7. 4 no-boil lasagna noodles
  8. 4 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)
Sauce
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in meatloaf mix and cook, breaking up meat, until no longer pink.
  3. Stir in cream, bring to a simmer and cook until liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and reserved juice and tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook about 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.
Filling
  1. Combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, egg, salt, and pepper in bowl.
Assembly
  1. Spread 1/2 cup sauce over bottom of loaf pan. Lay 1 noodle in pan, spread one-third of ricotta mixture over noodle, sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella, and top with 1/2 cup sauce; repeat layering 2 more times. Lay remaining noodle in pan and top with remaining sauce, remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella, and remaining 2 ­tablespoons Parmesan.
Bake
  1. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray. Bake until sauce bubbles lightly around edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until hot throughout and cheese is browned in spots, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped basil if desired.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
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Pasta with Cauliflower, Bacon, and Bread Crumbs for Two

Dinner, Pasta | January 31, 2015 | By

Pasta with Caulifower, Bacon and Breadcrumbs for Two

It’s 19 degrees outside right now with snow covering everything, but inside it’s toasty warm and smells like bacon and herbs.  Smelling fresh herbs in the winter makes me happy!  Smelling bacon ALWAYS makes me happy!  🙂

Pasta with Caulifower, Bacon and Breadcrumbs for Two

Easy weeknight meals also makes me happy but I also don’t want to sacrifice flavor for ease.  This recipe delivers on both.  Pasta, nutty cauliflower, meaty bacon and crispy bread crumbs are a wonderful combination and the flavors are so well balanced.  The lemon juice at the end really helps to brighten it all up.  Browning cauliflower in a skillet develops its flavors and cooks off some of the water to keep it from becoming mushy. 

Bacon, Breadcrumbs, Cauliflower

Cooking the pasta in a small amount of water skips the draining step and makes a creamy sauce as the pasta cooks. Topping the pasta with bacon-flavored bread crumbs adds texture and another layer of flavor.

Pasta with Caulifower, Bacon and Breadcrumbs for Two

Pasta with Cauliflower, Bacon and Breadcrumbs for Two
Serves 2
Pasta, nutty cauliflower, meaty bacon and crispy bread crumbs come together in this recipe for an easy week-night meal.
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Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 slices bacon cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  2. 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  3. 2 tsp vegetable oil
  4. 1/2 head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch florets
  5. 1 onion chopped fine
  6. 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  7. 1/2 pound ziti rigati (or any ridged pasta)
  8. 2 3/4 cup chicken broth
  9. 1/4 cup dry white wine
  10. 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  11. 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add panko and 1/4 tsp pepper and stir until browned and well coated, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out skillet.
  3. Add 2 tsp. oil into empty skillet and heat until shimmering, add the cauliflower and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until browned in spots and crisp-tender, 7-10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cover and keep warm.
  4. Heat 1 tsp of oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Increase heat to high, add pasta, broth, and wine, and bring to simmer. Cook pasta, stirring often, until most of liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from heat; stir in parsley, lemon juice, and cauliflower. Taste to see if additional salt and pepper is needed and serve, passing the bacon-breadcrumb mixture.
Notes
  1. If the pasta seems dry add 2 tbsp of hot water.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
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Farmhouse Vegetable Soup

Dinner, Soup | January 12, 2015 | By

Farmhouse Vegetable Soup

As I was peeling potatoes for this soup I thought of my Grandmother peeling a potato.  She could peel an entire skin of a potato in one long, curling peel!  I’ve tried, I just can’t do it!  That got me to thinking about my parents house where she lived and where my parents still live.  Tom and I just spent a wonderful Christmas there with my family and I loved it! 

The house…it’s a large old frame house with huge old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss.  You have to drive down a winding dirt road canopied with those old oaks to get to the house.  My children call it “The Farmhouse”.  We have had a lot of fun there, and the house has seen many seasons. My family likes to laugh and we have had plenty of silly times!  They have had large vegetable gardens, roosters, chickens, (did you know that chickens will peck your toenails if you have a bright polish on them?!) geese, and lots of cats have come and gone. It is in the country in the middle of Florida and the acreage it sits on is lush and green and pretty wild.  Some of the elephant ears are so large you could set up camp under them!  The mosquitoes will carry you off in the summer but still, I love it!  Sitting on the steps on the front porch sipping my coffee first thing in the morning surrounded by all those old oak trees is about my most favorite thing to do.  The birds are happily singing, the tree frogs are chirping and we even saw a fox run across the yard on this last trip! 

Rooster and Goose at the Farmhouse

Oak Tree swathed in Spanish Moss after the rain

Inside, there are old hardwood floors, scuffed and scratched from lives lived on them and really just perfect like that.  All of the windows are old double hung windows with sash pulleys to raise and lower them.  The windows in the front of the house are said to be salvaged from some old governor’s mansion and they are unique and so pretty.  A cozy fireplace graces the living room which is an unusual thing to have in Florida but it gets chilly once in a while in the winter and gets put to good use then. 

Governor's mansion windows

I love the reflection of the oak trees in the glass.

I mentioned cats and funny times, well one memory comes to mind.  We had an old cat named Pixie, who died peacefully in her sleep one night and my oldest son Donnie, who was about 8 or 9 at the time, decided that he wanted to be in charge of the burial so he set off with a shovel and thought a nice place would be right under one of the lovely old oaks.  Well, if you have ever tried to dig a hole under an oak tree you know that the roots and the ground around it are pretty unyielding!  He was gone for quite a while before he came back in and asked us to come on out and pay our last respects.  Well, I guess he got pretty tired trying to dig through all those roots and only dug a small hole.  When we went out to have a look, all four of poor Pixie’s paws were sticking up out of the ground like some kind of kitty paw plant sprouting through the dirt!  I know it sounds awful but it was the funniest thing!  I tried not to laugh but you just couldn’t help it!  (my Dad re-buried Pixie later so don’t worry 🙂 ) 

Azalea

The house has hosted weddings, parties and holidays and ALWAYS centers around good ole’ southern food!  Which brings me back to this Farmhouse Vegetable Soup that is simmering on the stove.  It’s full of all kinds of good things that comfort and nourish the body and soul.  It reminds me of home and my Grandmother and what on earth more could you ever want from a humble bowl of soup? 

Dirt lane

On to the recipe!  I found this recipe on Cook’s Illustrated who I trust since they test their recipes so thoroughly but this one missed the mark for me.  It was just too bland and watered down for me so I adapted it by substituting chicken broth for the water and leaving out the soy sauce which was just weird to me in this soup.  I loved that they used humble ingredients though like turnips and cabbage along-side fancier ingredients like white wine and porcini mushrooms (I used morel because that’s all I could find) but honestly you can really play with this recipe and make it your own. 

herbs and ground mushrooms

Leeks and Carrots

Substitute whatever you have on hand.  I’ve used onions instead of leeks. I’ve left out the wine and replaced it with chicken broth.  I’ve left off the powdered mushrooms altogether and honestly didn’t miss it much.  You can sub all of the broth for vegetable broth if you like.  My favorite way to eat it is with crumbled bacon on top! 

Farmhouse Vegetable Soup for Blog

Farmhouse Vegetable Soup
Serves 6
A hearty winter vegetable soup to warm you up and nourish the body and soul!
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/8 ounce dried porcini mushrooms or morel which I used since I couldn't find any porcini
  2. 8 sprigs fresh parsley plus 3 tablespoons chopped for throwing in at the end.
  3. 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  4. 1 bay leaf
  5. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  6. 1 1/2 pounds leeks, white and light green parts sliced 1/2 inch thick and washed thoroughly
  7. 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  8. 2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  9. 1/3 cup dry white wine
  10. Salt and pepper
  11. 10 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  12. 1/2 cup pearl barley
  13. 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  14. 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  15. 1 turnip, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  16. 1 1/2 cups chopped green cabbage
  17. 1 cup frozen peas
  18. 1 teaspoon lemon juice (don't leave this out, it really makes a difference for such a small amount)
Instructions
  1. Grind porcini with spice grinder or blender, which is what I used, until they resemble fine meal, 10 to 30 seconds. Measure out 2 teaspoons porcini powder; reserve remainder for other use. Using kitchen twine, tie together parsley sprigs and thyme, tie in the bay leaf too if you can, I couldn't so I just tossed it in when I tossed in the herbs.
  2. Melt butter in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, celery, wine, and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and celery is softened, for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add broth, barley, porcini powder, herb bundle, bay leaf and garlic; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes.
  4. Add potatoes, turnip, and cabbage; return to simmer and cook until barley, potatoes, turnip, and cabbage are tender, 20 minutes.
  5. Remove pot from heat and remove herb bundle and fish out the bay leaf. Stir in peas, lemon juice, and chopped parsley; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve this up with crumbled bacon or cheddar cheese. It's also good with homemade croutons!
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Two Delicious http://www.twodelicious.com/

 

 


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Pasta with Bacon, Butternut Squash and Sage for Two

Dinner, Pasta | December 6, 2014 | By

Butternut squash and sage are two ingredients that say winter to me and I love them both, but together they are a marriage made in heaven! Add bacon and you’ve got a happy little family of yummy flavors!

Cooking the sage in the rendered bacon fat makes the perfect herb infused oil for sauteing the squash. 

Sage

There are a few tricks to coaxing the most flavor out of butternut squash and one is caramelizing it. It helps to dry out some of the wateriness of the squash and brings out some of its inherent sweetness, adding butter and sugar help to bring out the sweet nutty notes of the squash even more.
The scallions add some brightness to the dish and the nutmeg adds just the right spice or earthiness to the dish. Adding parmesan and a little lemon juice at the end along with toasted almonds for some textural crunch really brings the whole dish together!

Pasta with Bacon, Butternut Squash and Sage Pasta for Two

Pasta with Bacon, Butternut Squash and Sage for Two
Serves 2
A perfect winter-time meal that is comforting and so full of flavor!
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 4 slices bacon, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
  2. 4 large fresh sage leaves, plus 1 tablespoon minced
  3. 1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  4. 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  5. 3 scallions, sliced thin (about 1/2 cup)
  6. 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  7. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  8. Table salt and ground black pepper
  9. 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  10. 1/2 pound penne or other short, tubular pasta
  11. 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  12. 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  13. 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove bacon and reserve.
  2. Cook whole sage leaves in rendered fat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove sage leaves and reserve.
  3. Return infused bacon fat in skillet and turn to high heat adding olive oil to make one TBSP of oil if needed and heat until shimmering.
  4. Add squash in even layer and cook, without stirring, until beginning to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until spotty brown, 3-4 minutes longer.
  5. Add butter and allow to melt, about 30 seconds. Add scallions, nutmeg, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, and minced sage; cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions are softened, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add broth and bring to simmer; continue to cook 1-3 mintues or until squash is tender,
  7. Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta. Cook until just al dente, then drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water, and transfer back to Dutch oven.
  8. Add squash mixture to pasta; stir in 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and reserved bacon-sage mixture, adjusting consistency with reserved pasta liquid. Serve with the sliced almonds and more parmesan cheese.
Notes
  1. I double this recipe for company!
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Two Delicious http://www.twodelicious.com/

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Sweet Potato and Turnip Gratin

Dinner, Entertaining, Holiday | November 23, 2014 | By

Sweet Potato and Turnip Gratin1

If you still haven’t finished up your menu for Thanksgiving or you’re supposed to bring a side and you haven’t decided what to bring yet, this one is perfect!  Sweet potatoes are classic Thanksgiving fare but this recipe adds earthy turnips to the mix which is unexpected but oh so good!  The addition of Gruyère cheese and white wine elevate it to special occasion status but it’s easy enough to make anytime! 

Sweet Potato and Turnip Gratin3

Take care to slice the sweet potatoes and turnips no more than 1/4 inch thick.  I tried my mandoline but found the slices were way to thin so I used a sharp knife instead.  Be sure to salt and pepper and add flour to each layer.  Gently pour over the chicken broth and wine, cover with foil and bake.  Add the cheese after the potatoes are tender and brown in the oven, it’s that simple!  If you’re feeding more than six  you may want to double this recipe and bake it in a 13 x 9 pan.  You will definitely want to taste the potatoes to make sure they are tender before adding the cheese.  I needed a full hour in the oven to get mine tender. 

Sweet Potato and Turnip Gratin2

If you make this, let me know what you thought!  Tom taste-tested this for me about a half hour ago…he’s now sleeping!  He taste-tested A LOT of it so I think that means he liked it! 🙂

Sweet Potato and Turnip Gratin
Serves 6
Sweet potatoes and earthy turnips are perfect partners in this festive side dish. Gruyere cheese and white wine elevate it to special occasion status.
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 pounds turnips (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  2. Salt and ground pepper
  3. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  5. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  6. 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  7. 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  8. 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (4 ounces)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In an 8-inch square baking dish, arrange a single layer of turnips and sweet potatoes, overlapping slightly.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with one-third of the flour.
  4. Repeat to make three more layers, sprinkling with salt, pepper, and flour between layers.
  5. Dot top layer with butter, then slowly pour broth and wine into dish, keeping layers intact.
  6. Cover with foil and bake until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife, 45 minutes to an hour, taste to be sure the potatoes and turnips are tender before adding the cheese.
  7. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
  8. Remove foil and sprinkle cheese over dish.
  9. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbling, 12 to 15 minutes.
  10. Let gratin sit 10 minutes before serving.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Two Delicious http://www.twodelicious.com/

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Quick and Easy Broiled Pork Tenderloin and Black-Eyed Pea Salad for Two

Dinner, Pork | November 19, 2014 | By

Quick and Easy Pork Tenderloin with Black Eyed Pea Salad

I love fast, easy meals during the week.  This recipe is healthy, low in fat, diabetic friendly, and you can have it on the table in 20 minutes!   I think the broiler is so under utilized.  I don’t know why I don’t use it more often, it’s so quick!  Toss the pork in the oven and in 10 minutes it’s done!  I also love the black-eyed pea salad and could just make a meal off of that alone!  I love how it doesn’t have any oil in the dressing, just fresh lime juice.  I have used bottled lime juice when I didn’t have any limes and it was great!  I have also substituted cilantro for the parsley when I had too much cilantro in the fridge. 

Pork Tenderloin with Black Eyed Pea Salad

The first thing you’ll want to do is to set your oven to broil and raise the rack in your oven to the top.  Next you’ll remove the silver skin on the pork loin, it’s tough and can cause the pork to curl if it’s not removed.  Remove any fat as well.  Rub a teaspoon of oil on the meat and then season with salt and pepper.  I like to line the pan with foil for easy clean up.  Place the pork loin in the oven and set a timer for 5 minutes to check it and turn it if it’s brown.  You’ll want to turn the pork once for even cooking.

Pork PrepWhile the pork is cooking go ahead and rinse your peas really well.  Place the rinsed and drained peas in a bowl and add 1/2 of a diced avocado, 1 scallion, and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and fresh lime juice. 

Black Eyed Pea Salad

Check the pork if you haven’t already and flip it for another 5 minutes.  Insert an instant read thermometer.  You’ll want a temperature between 140-145 degrees.  Let the meat rest for 10 min.   Slice against the grain and drizzle the pork with any pan juices.  Enjoy!

4 Pork tenderloin

Quick and Easy Broiled Pork Tenderloin and Black-Eyed Pea Salad for Two
Serves 2
A delicious, healthy and quick cooking pork tenderloin with a black-eyed pea salad.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can (15 ounces) black-eyed peas (preferably no salt added), drained and rinsed well
  2. 1/2 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced medium
  3. 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  4. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  5. 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  6. Coarse salt and ground pepper
  7. 12 ounces pork tenderloin, excess fat and silver skin removed
  8. 1 teaspoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat broiler, with rack in top position. In a medium bowl, combine black-eyed peas, avocado, scallions, parsley, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  2. Rub pork with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Cook 10 to 12 minutes for medium, turning frequently (an instant-read thermometer should read 145 when inserted in center of pork). Let rest 10 minutes. Thinly slice pork and serve with salad and any cooking juices from sheet.
Notes
  1. You can double the salad easily if you want left-overs to take to lunch the next day. I also know the pork sizing seems a bit off for two people but I can never find a pork loin much smaller than 12 ounces.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Two Delicious http://www.twodelicious.com/

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Easy Beef Stew for Two

Beef, Dinner | November 13, 2014 | By

It’s cold out today!  When it’s cold out I immediately think of warm, comforting food and this super easy full-bodied stew is perfect for cold days!  This red wine-braised beef stew is the ultimate one-pot meal, loaded with tender potatoes and carrots. Don’t forget a loaf of crusty French bread for sopping up the rich sauce.

Beef Stew for Two

Many stew recipes call for cooking the meat and vegetables at the same time, leaving the vegetables overcooked and mushy. Instead, first braise the meat with onions in red wine and beef broth until a rich sauce develops. Then, after about an hour, add carrots, and potatoes. By the time the vegetables are cooked, the beef will be tender, then just stir in some peas if you like, for a little freshness and color.  I sprinkle a little fresh parsley in at the end.  You can also spoon the stew over buttered egg noodles.  YUMMY!

Beef Stew side

Easy Beef Stew for Two
Serves 2
This easy red wine-braised beef stew is the ultimate one-pot meal.
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Total Time
3 hr 30 min
Total Time
3 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound beef stew meat or boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  2. Salt and pepper
  3. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  4. 1 small onion, chopped fine
  5. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1 teaspoon tomato paste (freeze leftover tomato paste in a ziploc bag)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/8 teaspoon dried
  8. 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  9. 1/4 cup dry red wine
  10. 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. 1 Yukon Gold potato (8 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  13. 2 carrots, peeled and sliced 3/4 inch thick
  14. 1/4 cup frozen peas
  15. 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Pat beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in medium ovensafe saucepan over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown beef on all sides, about 8 minutes; transfer to bowl.
  2. Add onion to fat left in saucepan and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Slowly whisk in wine, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Stir in broth, bay leaf, and browned beef with any accumulated juices and bring to simmer. Cover, transfer saucepan to oven, and cook for 1 hour.
  4. Stir in potato and carrots and continue to cook in oven, covered, until beef and vegetables are tender, 2 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Discard bay leaf. Using large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of stew, if needed.
  6. Stir in peas and let sit until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and ­pepper to taste. Eat up!
Notes
  1. Serve with crusty bread or over buttered egg noodles.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Two Delicious http://www.twodelicious.com/
 Beef Stew Top-herbs


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