Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma

If I'm being honest, this--THIS!--is the recipe that motivated me to post on my food blog again.  I discovered it a few months ago and we have made it at least four times already.  It was our Easter dinner.  It was our meal when we had friends over.  It was our church-is-over-and-we're-starving meal.  We usually double it because of my family of two adults, two children, and one baby can eat it all in one sitting, and we like to have leftovers.  If I'm being honest, I think I like the onions more than the rest of my silly family, so we often only use half an onion instead of a full one.  I have tinkered with some of the amounts of spices, but finally decided that it is actually best as written, so I don't mess with it anymore.  This is definitely a new family favorite and one that will stay on our rotation!

Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma
(from New York Times)
Printable Recipe
Serves 4-6

2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Pinch cinnamon
Red pepper flakes, to taste
2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 large red onion, peeled and cut into large chunks

1) Prepare marinade for the chicken: combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and red pepper flakes in a large bowl, then whisk to combine. Add the chicken and toss well to coat. Cover and store in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
2) When ready to cook, heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a rimmed sheet pan. Add the chopped onion to the chicken and marinade, and toss once to combine. Remove the chicken and onion from the marinade, and place on the pan, spreading evenly.
3) Put the chicken in the oven and roast until it is browned, crisp at the edges and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to rest 10 minutes, then slice or shred. Serve with pita, tomatoes, cucumbers, tzatziki sauce, olives, feta, rice, hummus, tabouli, or whatever else you choose.  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ok, I get it.  I've neglected my food blog.  The funny thing is, I have all sorts of recipes to share, but they've been sitting in draft for months on end.  Take this recipe for snickerdoodles as an example.  It's been sitting in draft since last Christmas.  So...let's try and remedy that, shall we?

I know I mentioned snickerdoodles in a post several years ago, but let me just retell the story: The church congregation we attended when we lived in Germany asked me to bring "something American" for a party.  Even though I know it wasn't our Christmas party, somehow snickerdoodles became a Christmas cookie for our family thereafter.  As a result, this year when we finally got around to giving plates of cookies to friends, snickerdoodles were on the plate.

I have tinkered with many recipes since we lived in Germany, but I think I finally found our favorite with this one.  Soft and chewy, with the right proportions of cinnamon and sugar, I'll be using this recipe from now on.

Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies
(from Love From the Oven)
Printable Recipe
Makes about 3 dozen

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon

1) In a large bowl or mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and mix well.
2) Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cream and tartar; stir together until just combined.
3) Cover bowl and chill for at least two hours (up to 24 hours).
4) When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the topping ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
5) Form the dough into 1 inch balls.  Roll each ball of dough into the cinnamon and sugar topping to coat well.
6) Placed on a greased baking sheet and bake 8-9 minutes.  Do not over bake.  Allow to cool on baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.  Store extras in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Gourmet Hot Dogs: JDawgs Copycat Recipe

I hope you know how sincere I am when I say, I'm sorry.  This recipe has been in draft form for months and it is absolutely inexcusable that I never published it.  Because this recipe?  It's been a game changer for me.

So indulge me while I give some background.  In college there was this amazing hot dog place.  People would use their entire lunch break (me included) waiting in line for one of these hot dogs.  Fast forward 10 years and I've eaten a lot of hot dogs in a lot of places and I still miss those hot dogs from college.

Luckily, one of my good friends--and old college roommate--has a food blog (check it out!) and her recipe is as close to the real deal as I've had.  The two missing pieces were the marinade, and that sweet and tangy sauce.  Using just the marinade or just the sauce will result in a great tasting hot dog (or sausage!), but both combined are key.  

This is the only way I make hot dogs now.  If we're invited to a bbq, we bring the hot dogs pre-marinaded and with the prepared sauce and toppings.  I never thought I was a hot dog lover before, but this is the only way I'm going to make them from now on.

Gourmet Hot Dogs
(adapted from Heather Likes Food)
Printable Recipe
Makes 8

8 quality hot dogs or sausages
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup apple cider
1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup chili sauce (found in the ketchup aisle)
1/4 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1) Prepare marinade by combining garlic, apple cider, and brown sugar; whisk together until sugar is dissolved.  Set aside.
2) Score hot dogs with an x-pattern and place hot dogs in marinade for 30 minutes or up to overnight (longer is better).
3) While hot dogs are marinading, mix together sauce ingredients.  Set aside.
4) When hot dogs are ready to cook, remove from marinade and grill until hot and slightly charred.
5) Serve hot dogs in toasted buns with prepared sauce, chopped onions, dill pickle spear, sauerkraut, and banana peppers.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Toasted Pasta with Caramelized Onion and Broccoli

For the first year of our marriage, my husband and I were both college students and were still eating as such.  Well, my husband was no longer eating corn dogs on a daily basis, but the fast, processed foods were our staples.  Things like rice-a-roni were reserved for Sunday dinners when we had a little extra time.  It seems funny to me now what was once considered fancy.

I haven't bought or eaten rice-a-roni in a lot of years, but this recipe reminds me of what I liked about those little boxes: fast, easy, with a great toasted flavor.  All similarities end there, though.  This pasta is delicious!  Plus, I will pretty much eat anything if it has caramelized onions in it.  My family devoured this recipe!

Toasted Pasta with Caramelized Onion and Broccoli
(adapted from Bakeaholic Mama)
Printable Recipe
Serves 4

2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 onion, halved and sliced
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups fresh broccoli
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1) Place 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add onion and cook on low for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden and translucent.  Remove onions from pan and set aside.
2) Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in the pan over medium low heat.  Break pasta in half and add to the pan, stirring frequently.  Toast pasta until about 1/3 of the noodles are golden.  Add garlic to saute for 1 minute.
3) Add about 1 cup broth, stirring occasionally, until pasta has absorbed the liquid, and then add another 1 cup broth.  Continue to stir and add broth until pasta is tender and then stop, even if you do not use the entire 4 cups broth.  When pasta begins to get tender (about 15 minutes into the cooking process), add broccoli.  Cook until pasta is soft and broccoli is fork tender.
4) Toss in caramelized onion and top with Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Spanish Rice

Growing up, my mom made her own version of Spanish rice which I faithfully made for the first few years of my marriage.  When we moved abroad, several years ago, I stopped making my mom's recipe and sort of forgot about it.  And then we moved to Texas and I've eaten more Tex-Mex in the past two years than the rest of my life combined.  All that to say, I needed a Spanish rice recipe like the ones I've been eating in the restaurants and not like the one I grew up on.  So for the past year I've been making this recipe anytime we have Mexican food for dinner and we've loved it.  (And--funny thing--it wasn't until I started making this recipe that my husband admitted that he never liked my mother's recipe in the first place!)

Spanish Rice
(adapted from Simply Recipes)
Printable Recipe
Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups basmati rice
1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 green pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
1-2 cloves minced garlic
2 2/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro (optional)

1) Heat olive oil in large skillet on medium/high heat. Add the rice and stir it so that the rice is lightly coated with the oil. Cook on medium high heat, stirring often, until much of the rice is golden. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently another 3 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and bell pepper, cooking until the onions are translucent and softened, about a minute more.
2) Add the broth, diced tomatoes, salt, oregano and dried cilantro (if using) to the rice. Bring to a simmer, cover the pan, and lower the heat to barely maintain a low simmer. Cook for 15-25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is soft. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.  Enjoy!


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