Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chicken Thighs in Vodka Sauce

This is a very taste and SIMPLE dish that packs some great flavor, and apparently leaves people stumped. I did not realize how many people had not heard of vodka sauce. It's not a giant pool of vodka, but a very nice balanced sauce with a nice richness to it.

Cutting Board
Sharp Knife
Liquid Measuring Cup
Large Pan
Wooden Spoon (or other stirring implement)

So, I realized a little too late that I did not get the butter in the picture.

1T. Butter
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
24oz Crushed tomatoes with juice
1/4C Vodka
1/2C Half and Half

*Salt and pepper your chicken, cook in a large pan (same pan you will use for the sauce) in 2T of grapeseed (or vegetable oil). Roughly 6 minutes on each side. Remove chicken and use the same pan for your sauce.

Add butter to pan to help get up all the little brown bits left behind from the chicken. When butter has melted add in garlic and saute until fragrant. Then add in tomatoes, juice and all. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*Add in cream, stirring to mix into tomatoes.

Pour in vodka, stirring to combine.
Allow the mixture to simmer,(stirring occasionally) for about 10 minutes. Until everything is well incorporated and the alcohol has had a chance to cook out. Add your chicken back into the pan, for a chance to heat through and absorb some of the vodka sauce.

Plate chicken and serve sauce over top.

*Normally it would be best if you add the vodka to the tomatoes, and allow to cook down for a couple of minutes before adding the cream. This prevents the cream from breaking up and getting that separated look to it. I was starving and in a hurry so I added it all at the same time. It all still tasted wonderful, it just doesn't look AS pretty on the plate.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Calabacitas Con Elote

It would seem I am on a squash kick. Tis the season of wonderful squash though, and there is so much to be done with it. This is my version (since recipes are never the same as when grandma makes them) of one of my Abuelitas dishes, that to be honest FAVORITE. The only thing that makes this dish better is if you serve it with warm (just off the pan) tortillas. What the hell, have a glass of Sangria along with it too.
Mine is served along side some roasted chicken breast...this however is a cheat! I was at Costco (shopping for pillows and a large skeleton) and decided I was feeling too tired to 100% cook my meal from scratch, so I cheated a little bit.

Cutting Board
Sharp Knife
Large Saute Pan
Wooden Spoon

1T Olive Oil
1T Butter
2-3 Onions,chopped (I used Farmers Market onions so they aren't massive)
4 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
1.5C Halved Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
1-2C Chopped Summer Squash
3/4C Fresh or Frozen Corn Kernels
2t Tomato Paste (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1-2t Garlic Powder
Dash of Chile Powder

Heat pan on medium heat and add olive oil and butter. When butter is nice and melted toss in your onions, and saute until soft then add garlic. When garlic begins to sweat and become aromatic, add in squash and corn. Toss in tomatoes after about 1 minute. Lowe heat to medium-low. Add in salt, pepper, garlic powder and chile. Cover and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or so. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. For a little something extra toss in a bit of shredded cheese.
Serve with tortillas and enjoy. It's best fresh from the pan.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Looking Into A Harvest

Ok, so there's no recipe attached to this post. I just happen to be proud of my first real harvest for the season. This was harvested about 2 weeks ago, and contains my first squash! There are also some lovely peas, some Kale,a White Onion and two hidden little peppers among the peas. I'm so very pleased with this year's garden and have almost worked out all the kinks for next year. Next up....SEED SAVING!


So Simple Summer Squash Pasta

You will be amazed how simple, quick and tasty this dish really is. This recipe serves 2.

Medium Pot
Large Saute Pan
Cutting Board
Vegetable Peeler
Wooden Spoon or Spatula

1/2 Box WW Pasta
1 1/2T. Olive Oil
2 Summer Squash, cut into ribbons (with vegetable peeler)
1 Summer Onion, thinly sliced
2-3 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced

Start your water to cook the pasta, follow the directions on the box for cooking time. Make sure to liberally salt your pasta water, this will help prevent the noodles from sticking as well as adding flavor to the pasta.

While the water is going, you can slice your onion, garlic and squash ribbons. Turn your saute pan to medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is warm, toss in the onions and stir occasionally until beginning to sweat then add in garlic and stir.

The water should have started boiling enough for you to add the past by now, so while the pasta is cooking we are going to move on to the squash ribbons. The onions and garlic should be soft and fragrant by now, so toss in the squash ribbons and stir gently until they are just cooked. Turn off and remove from heat. The pasta should be finished by now.

Drain the pasta and toss with squash mixture. Salt and pepper as needed. For a little extra feel free to grate some parm on top, or at the last moment toss some little cherry tomatoes into the pan until they pop then serve.

This dish is lovely with a nice red or white wine, and either by yourself on your porch while the sun sets or sitting with friends and family enjoying good conversation and laughs.