Poultry

Friday Instagram Round-Up 5

Hello! So, I missed last week’s round-up. But, I only had a couple of photos (what with a week of late work nights and eating out), so I thought I would roll last week’s into this week’s. So here we go!

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I am currently trying to grow out a pixie cut while trying to avoid that whole Justin Beiber/mullet look. I find dark red lipstick helps.

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Sunday movie night: Bernie with Jack Black and curried kobucha squash and quinoa and kale soup.

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Easy Dinner 1: chicken and sweet pepper stir fry over rice.

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Easy Dinner, The Sequel: penne and pork tenderloin in tomato sauce.

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Saturday night, couple’s dinner with Kat and Kris: veggies with hollandaise.

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Me. Instagramming Kat. Instagramming dinner. Meta.

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Pork and cucumber meatballs with yogurt sauce. The best.

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And, of course, boeuf bourguignon to finish us out.

Have a great weekend friends!

Follow me on Instagram @thehumblegourmet

The Best Roasted Chicken

The Best Roasted Chicken

You know what I love?  I love a meal that seems really fancy and involved and adult, but it really isn’t.  It’s really super simple, but delicious and grown-up and all kinds of impressive.  Roasted whole chicken, ahoy!

Roasted Chicken with Green Beans and Potatoes

Roasted chicken is the perfect meal for someone who is new to cooking and looking to impress.  You prep it, you stick it in the oven and you leave it.  And then you have juicy, crispy, aromatic deliciousness.  Some roasted potatoes and steamed green beans and you know what you have then?  Sunday dinner.  Good ol’ fashioned Sunday dinner.  Especially with this recipe.

The Best Roasted Chicken

There are a few specific but simple steps to get this extra crispy, extra juicy chicken just right.

First things first, wash the chicken really well, inside and out.  I know some people are a little squeamish dealing with a whole raw chicken; deep breaths, you can do this.  I’ve found it helps to sing the Super Chicken theme song.  You know, Super Chicken?  This guy?  Totally helps with the eww-factor.

Sidenote: Most chickens come with a bag of giblets, usually stuck in the cavity.  BE SURE TO REMOVE THIS BEFORE PREPARING YOUR BIRD.  The last thing you want is a plastic bag of giblets roasted into your chicken.  THAT would ruin Sunday dinner, trust me.

After you wash it, you’ll want to dry it thoroughly.  Bone dry.  Inside and out.  This is going to help the skin crisp up quicker without needing butter.  Just dry that bird out good.

I like to stuff the bird with a combination of fresh herbs and citruses.  Lemon and rosemary are a classic mix, though I usually toss an orange in for a little sweetness and fragrance.  Before stuffing the cavity, be sure to do a light salt and pepper rub.  I like to do a fresh, coarsely ground pepper and sea salt combo; it helps for a nice salty crust.  Grind a bit in a small bowl and combine for your rub.

After stuffing the bird, run your finger between the skin and meat to create a pocket on both sides of the breast.  There should be a small opening near the bottom of the breast on either side; just gently separate the skin from the tissue without puncturing the skin.  In a small bowl, combine lemon zest, salt, pepper, fresh chopped rosemary and thyme and a little bit of olive oil to a paste.  Rub this paste under the skin, on top of the meat.  You can massage the outside of the breast to get the herb rub to distribute evenly.  It’s amazing how flavorful the skin and breast will get from this rub; insane.

When dressing the bird, tie the legs together tightly with twine.  I do a figure 8 between the two legs with a couple of knots to make sure it stays tight throughout the roasting.  Tuck the wings in close to the body, sticking the ends between the thigh and body to keep them in place.  Keeping the body tightly packed will help it crisp up even more so. 

Before roasting the chicken, let it sit with the aromatics and citruses in it for about an hour.  This will allow the flavors to really seep into the chicken before baking; it will make all the difference in the flavor.  Bake it at a high heat for about 30 minutes to develop the crisp skin then lower the heat to continue roasting all the way through.  After lowering the heat, I like to baste the bird every 15 minutes or so to keep it juicy.  This is a really important step to keep it from drying out.  If you don’t have a baster, you can just spoon the juices on top of the bird.  Be sure to get all areas; the breast, wings and legs.    You’ll want to roast the bird until a meat thermometer reads 160º in the breast or 180º in the thigh or leg.  This is the minimum temperature to serve chicken safely at; be sure it roasts for long enough.

The Best Roasted Chicken

See that blackened rosemary?  After about 5 minutes, your entire house will smell like roasting rosemary.  It is the loveliest, most comforting scent, and it will leave you salivating for the next 90 minutes before you can actually dig into that bird.

Which, by the way, is delicious.  Super crisp skin, super juicy meat, with a lemony, herbal flavor laced in.  It is crazy delicious, and it will impress anyone you serve it to.  You don’t even have to tell them how easy it is; let them think you are an absolute culinary genius.  Mmm.  Sunday Super Chicken.  BUCK-ACK!  THG

The Best Roasted Chicken

The Best Roasted Chicken

1 4-5 lb. whole roasting chicken

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

2 medium lemons, 1 zested and both quartered

1 small orange

3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

3-4 stems fresh rosemary

2-3 stems fresh thyme

2 tsp. olive oil

Remove giblet bag from chicken cavity.  Wash bird thoroughly.  Dry completely inside and out.  Place in a roasting pan or large casserole dish.  In a small bowl, combine sea salt and cracked black pepper.  Rub a small amount to coat the inside of the cavity.  Stuff cavity with lemon and orange quarters, garlic, all but 1 stem of fresh thyme and all but two stem of rosemary.  Using your finger, gently separate the skin from the breast meat.  In a small bowl, combine lemon zest, finely chopped thyme leaves and rosemary leaves, sea salt and pepper, and 1 tsp. olive oil.  Mix well to make a paste.  Rub paste under skin on top of breast meat.  Massage outside of breast to evenly distribute the rub.  Rub the remaining 1 tsp. of olive oil on the outside of the bird.  Generously season with sea salt and pepper.  Tie legs together over breast with twine; tuck wings into the legs.  Place remaining rosemary stem between legs.  Let bird sit for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Roast bird in middle of the oven for 30 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375ºF and continue to roast, basting every 15 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the breast reads 160ºF or into the leg/thigh reads 180ºF, about 60-75 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes.  Slice and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

Mole Chicken Burritos

Mole Chicken Burrito Ingredients

I love slow cookers.

The idea that I can throw ingredients into a pot in the morning, simmer them all day, and in the evening have a ready-to-go dinner waiting for me is magical.  And with a schedule like mine, with club events and working until 8:00 some nights, not having to think about dinner is very handy.  And, if done right, what comes out of the pot is insane.  Super tender, super juicy, super flavorful.

Mole Chicken Burritos

This chicken is bursting with flavor.  Spicy, but not too hot, a rich bitterness courtesy of Guinness stout in place of chicken broth, and a smooth hint of chocolate.

Sidenote: I am loving using chocolate in a savory dish.  Seriously; it’s a pretty brilliant combination that I hadn’t tried up to this point.  Making this dinner, I was reminded of the scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s when she talks about making rice and chicken with chocolate sauce, which then proceeds to explode out of her pressure cooker.  Oh, Holly Golightly, you’re such a kook.

ANYHOO, mole chicken.  This chicken cooked in the stout and spice mixture for about 9 hours, low and slow.  It was so tender, it quite literally fell completely off of the bone.  This, my friends, is exactly what you’re looking for.  Tender, tender chicken.  Awesome.

Roasted Tomatillo and Avocado Sauce

I made a roasted tomatillo and avocado sauce to go with it.  Tomatillos roasted in the oven with a head of garlic, avocado, lime, yogurt and spices, all blended into a smooth, silky sauce.  Essentially, pureed guacamole; but the texture of this, with the creamy avocado and yogurt, is phenomenal.  I could eat gallons of this.  So good.

The idea that this meal cooked all day virtually unaccompanied is just the cherry on the pie of this dinner.  Or rather, queso fresca on the mole chicken burrito of this dinner.

What’s your favorite slow cooker meal?  THG

Mole Chicken Burritos

Mole Chicken

1 14 oz. can of Guinness stout

1/2 cup water

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 whole chicken, quartered

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large slow cooker, combine Guinness, water, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, black pepper, sea salt and cayenne pepper.  Add chicken, flipping over once so that both sides are coated.  Cover and simmer on low for 8-10 hours until chicken is cooked through and tender.

Remove chicken from slow cooker.  Remove bones, skin and cartilage; discard.  Shred chicken meat.  In the slow cooker, add chocolate to the liquid.  Whisk until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.  Add chicken back in to mixture and mix to coat.  Cook over low another hour.  Serve hot on warm flour tortillas with black beans, spanish rice, queso fresca and avocado sauce.

Serves 6-8

Roasted Tomatillo and Avocado Sauce

2 large tomatillos

1 medium head of garlic

2 medium avocados

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp. ground paprika

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Cut tomatillos and head of garlic in half across their equators.  Coat with olive oil.  Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, turning tomatillos halfway through.  Once roasted, remove garlic from the skins.  In a blender, puree tomatillos and garlic until smooth.  Add avocado and puree.  Once smooth, add lime juice and yogurt and blend to a smooth consistency.  Pour into a bowl.  Add paprika, black pepper and sea salt and mix to combine.  Serve immediately.

Makes approximately 3 cups

Zesty Grilled Chicken, Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad and Fried Polenta Cakes

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

I’ve prepared dinner for you all.  Just an easy, super flavorful, super delicious dinner.

Polenta Cakes

Start with polenta.  Sweet roasted garlic mashed into a paste.  Pecorino Romano cheese, sharp and salty.  Fresh thyme. sea salt and pepper.  A touch of olive oil for body and flavor.  You may want to just scoop this straight out of the bowl.  But wait.

Fry squares in a thin layer of oil; crispy and golden brown on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside.  This alone could be your meal.  Oh.  So.  Good.

Raw Vegetables and Quinoa

Roast some vegetables.  Potatoes, peppers, romaine lettuce; whatever you want.  Toss them in olive oil, a little ground mustard.  Roast them nice and crispy.  These would be great on their own; but we’re not done yet.

Roasted Vegetables

We’re making quinoa.

Now, I know that quinoa can sound very sort of “crunchy granola hippie”.  But trust me, it’s great.  Very similar in texture to couscous, but with an earthier, grainier taste.  Yum.

Zesty Chicken, Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa and Fried Polenta Cakes

Toss the vegetables and quinoa together while they’re both still warm.  A simple vinaigrette of roasted garlic paste, red wine vinegar, thyme and olive oil.  That’s it.  Simple, delicious.  Like good old-fashioned comfort food, but healthy.

Zesty Grilled Chicken

And the chicken.  This chicken is so juicy and flavorful.  A super simple marinade of equal parts Worstershire sauce and lemon juice.  Just douse those babies and let them sit.  When they’re ready, just plop them on the grill top.  Done and done.  And delish.

Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

This dinner is great to make ahead of time.  The chicken marinade and the polenta cakes can all be made the night before and refrigerated.  Very easy, very yummy and very healthy.  If you put that whole “fried and cheesy” thing aside.

Smile
  THG          

Empty Plate

Fried Polenta Cakes

1 whole head of garlic

1 package pre-made polenta

1 cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped

Sea salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsp. canola oil

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Cut the head of garlic in half widthwise.  Coat the cut ends in olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil.  Roast in the oven until garlic is golden brown and soft, about 30-35 minutes.  Squeeze the garlic out into a small bowl.  Mash to a smooth paste. 

Microwave the polenta in a large bowl for about 30 seconds until softened.  Add 2/3 of the garlic paste to the polenta and mix well (reserve the remaining 1/3 for the salad vinaigrette).  Add the cheese, olive oil, thyme, sea salt and pepper to the polenta and mix well.  Brush the bottom of a baking sheet with olive oil.  Dump the polenta onto the baking sheet and press into the sides, spreading the mixture evenly across the pan.  Refrigerate to set for at least 2 hours.

In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat.  Cut out two 2 1/2” squares of the polenta and add to the oil.  Fry until golden brown and crispy on the outside, about 3-5 minutes per side.  Drain on a paper towel.  Repeat with the remaining polenta.  Serve warm.

Makes approximately 8 cakes

Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

6-8 medium red potatoes

1 red bell pepper

1 head romaine lettuce

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp. ground mustard

2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, plus 1 Tbsp. minced thyme leaves only

Sea salt and pepper to taste

1 cup uncooked quinoa

remaining roasted garlic

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Dice potatoes and bell pepper into 1” pieces.  Toss, including full romaine lettuce head, with olive oil, ground mustard, 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, sea salt and pepper.  Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Roast in the middle of the oven until slightly soft, about 20 minutes.  Add the bell pepper and romaine lettuce to the baking sheet and roast another 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.

In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup uncooked quinoa and 2 cups salted water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer, covered, until water is completely absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.  Let stand off heat 5 minutes and fluff with fork.

In a small bowl, whisk roast garlic paste, red wine vinegar and fresh thyme leaves until smooth.  While whisking, drizzle in olive oil.  Whisk until emulsified.

In a large bowl, combine roast vegetables and quinoa.  Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

 

Zesty Grilled Chicken

1/2 cup Worstershire sauce

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts

 

In a small bowl, whisk together Worstershire sauce, lemon juice and garlic.  Set aside.

Rinse and dry chicken breasts.  Place between two sheets of saran wrap and pound thin.  Place in a shallow dish.  Pour marinade over top, making sure all chicken breasts are completely submerged.  Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  When searing hot, brush with olive oil.  Remove the chicken from the marinade, being sure to wipe off any excess garlic.  Grill until cooked through, about 7 minutes per side.  Remove from heat.  Slice on the diagonal and serve immediately over polenta cakes.

Serves 4

Grilled Chicken and Olive Salad

Baby Heirloom Tomatoes

The other night, it was just my parents and me. Shawn and Caiti were both off with friends. We had been babysitting for a friend during the day, running errands. I was tired. And busy. I did not feel like making a hugely elaborate dinner. I wanted something that was quick, and familiar, and delicious. So, I made my Grilled Chicken and Olive Salad.

Grilled Chicken and Olive Salad

You know those staple meals? The dinners you come back to constantly, that you can make without any kind of recipe or guidance, the ones you can make in your sleep. This is one of my staple meals.

So simple, so filling, creamy, salty, deliciousness. Shawn and I have been making it for years now. It’s evolved a lot over time: started as a grilled chicken salad with ground olives on top. That turned into tapenade on top. Then I made it with cheese stuffed olives. The creamy texture turned it much more dressing-like, so I began tossing it into the salad. Now, I make it with a couple different type of olives and cheeses, depending on my mood. The other night, it was Lucques green olives, no pimentos, with blue cheese.

Lucques Green Olives and Blue Cheese

It really could not be easier. All the dressing ingredients in the food processor, pureed into a bowl of thick, creamy happiness. This also makes an excellent dipping sauce for bread, which I highly recommend snacking on while grilling the chicken. You can tell yourself you’re not ruining your appetite; you’re just eating your dinner in phases.

Grilled Chicken and Olive Salad

I usually do a very simple salt and pepper coating on the chicken before grilling it. Sometimes lemon pepper, sometimes flower pepper. Just depends on my mood, really. The salad part usually consists of romaine lettuce, heirloom tomatoes and English cucumber. But, feel free to mix it up. That’s the brilliance of this salad; it’s so simple, there’s really no wrong way to do it. Try jalapeno-stuffed olives with queso fresco; toss some grilled corn and jicama into the salad for a little south of the border action. Try kalamata olives with feta and fresh lemon zest for a Mediterranean vibe. Try a different protein with it; grilled tuna, grilled steak, maybe some lime marinated shrimp. It’s also so good, you really can’t go wrong. Just be sure to have a lot of fresh bread on hand for mopping up the briny, vinegary, cheese dressing; I really like herbed focaccia with this salad, such a great compliment.

Grilled Chicken and Olive Salad

See? Easy, simple, quick, without ever sacrificing taste. There is definitely a level of “gourmet” to this dish, all depending on the type of ingredients you go for. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have half a loaf of bread and a small bowl of dressing calling my name J THG

Grilled Chicken and Olive Salad

Grilled Chicken and Olive Salad

4 chicken breasts, trimmed of skin and fat

Salt and pepper to taste

6 oz. pitted green olives, unstuffed

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese, packed

1 Tbsp. olive brine

2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil, plus 1 Tbsp.

1 ½ heads romaine lettuce, washed and chopped

2 cups baby heirloom tomatoes, quartered lengthwise

½ English cucumber, sliced on the diagonal, skin on

Preheat the oven to 200°F.

Wash your trimmed chicken breasts and pat dry. Salt and pepper both sides to taste. In a grill pan, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is searing hot, transfer the chicken breasts, laying them on crosswise (so you get nice grill marks). Grill on both sides until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven to keep warm.

In a food processor, combine the olives (check for pits!), blue cheese, olive brine and white balsamic vinegar. Process until broken up and resembling a paste. With the food processor running, drizzle in the 1/3 cup olive oil, running until all is combined into a thick, smooth dressing. Pepper (no salt) and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the romaine lettuce, heirloom tomatoes and cucumber. Pour 2/3 of the dressing over top and toss the salad well to coat. Dish out the salad evenly on 4 plates.

Remove the chicken from the oven. Cut each breast on the diagonal and transfer to on top of each dish of salad. Spoon the remaining dressing over top the chicken breasts on each plate. Finish with fresh ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Green Curry Chicken with Inside-Out Samosas

Green Curry Chicken with Inside-Out Samosas

Confession: I love cooking Indian food.

All the spices and herbs, the infinite number of curries, the colors, the smells, it’s just too fun. That you can take the same ingredients and, depending on your ratios, can come up with a million different flavors and heat levels is awe-inspiring.

Green Curry Chicken Ingredients

I used to be really intimidated by cooking Indian food. Curry! So many spices! What if it tastes completely horrible? I pictured myself toasting cumin seeds to an almost burnt level, putting way too much cayenne or ginger in and singing all of my taste buds off. I thought that I would always have to rely on pre-mixed curry powder, that the spices in Indian food were way too exotic or expensive for me to get. I thought any Indian food I made would just taste like a bland, inappropriately spiced attempt at a complex and exciting cuisine. And what’s worse, I imagined my Indian-loving husband would take one bite of my Indian food and pronounce it “Blegh!”

But, one day, I decided to just bite the bullet and try my hand at it. Because honestly, how can you possibly learn how to cook something without ever attempting to cook it? I found a recipe for tandoori-style chicken (no source on this; I can’t remember where I got the recipe!) and got to cookin’.

The recipe was fairly simple: curry spices mixed together and added to yogurt, which the chicken was marinated in for several hours. From there, just broil the chicken.

After taking the crispy, blackened chicken out of the oven, I thought to myself “well, that LOOKS like tandoori chicken”. One bite, and I knew: I had successfully made Indian food. Yay!

Green Curry Chicken

I’ve become much more confident since then.  So much so, that I’ve begun to experiment and create my own curry recipes.  Like this recipe here: Green Curry Chicken with Inside-Out Samosas.

Green Curry Chicken with Inside-Out Samosas

Fresh mint and cilantro, garlic, ginger, lemon and all kinds of curry spices, ground together into a paste and folded into Greek yogurt.  So delicious.  The fresh herbs add a very refreshing flavor to the sauce; they cool down the spiciness of the garlic, ginger and ground spices.  The lemon adds a nice crispness to the sauce as well.  For the inside-out samosas, I did a mixture of Yukon gold, red and purple potatoes, just to add interest and color, as well as green peas.

Inside-Out Samosas

I marinated the chicken in the yogurt sauce for about an hour before cooking it.  One VERY important thing to note when making this dish, or any dish where you are using a sauce as a marinade: DO NOT TRANSFER THE SAUCE STRAIGHT FROM MARINADE TO TOPPING.  When you marinade meat in a sauce, you run the risk of cross-contamination and, most commonly, salmonella.  I used half the yogurt mixture to put on as a marinade for my chicken breasts, and reserved the other half to use as a sauce, so that it never came in contact with the raw chicken.  You can use a marinade as sauce after removing the meat, but you will want to boil the marinade for about 15 minutes to be sure that any and all bacteria is killed off.

If you haven’t yet tried you hand at cooking Indian, I highly suggest you give it a go.  Don’t be intimidated.  You’ll definitely be glad you did

Smile
  THG

Green Curry Chicken with Inside-Out Samosas

Green Curry Chicken

1” fresh ginger, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground paprika

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

1/2 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. ground mace

1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

1/3 cup lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon

1 cup Greek yogurt

4 boneless chicken breasts

In a food processor, combine ginger, garlic, cilantro, mint, spices, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Pulse until ground into a paste.  Spoon paste into yogurt and mix to combine well.  Divide yogurt mixture in half.  Refrigerate one half.  With the other, coat each chicken breast completely.  Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and pour marinade over top.  Cover and let sit for at least 1 hour.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Brush with a small amount of olive oil.  When the pan is hot, add the chicken breasts.  Cook until grilled on each side and cooked through, about 7-10 minutes per side.  Serve hot with the reserved yogurt sauce spooned over top.

Serves 4

Inside-Out Samosas

1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, mixed variety

1 cup frozen green peas, thawed

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2” fresh ginger, finely minced

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 tsp.ground cumin

1 tsp. ground turmeric

1/2 tsp. ground paprika

salt and pepper to taste

juice of 1 lemon

Peel the potatoes and dice into 1/2” cubes.  Boil potatoes in salted water until just tender, about 8-10 minutes.  After draining the potatoes, blanch the green peas in the salted water for 1 minute.  Immediately submerge in ice water to stop the cooking.  Set both potatoes and peas aside. 

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add ginger and garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add cumin, turmeric and paprika and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Add potatoes and peas and toss to coat with spice mixture.  Remove from heat.  Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Toss to coat.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

Avegolemono with Lemon-Thyme Potatoes

Avegolemono Ingredients

Sometimes, you just don’t have time.  Chopping takes time, marinating takes planning, baking takes precision.  There is not always time for such things.  Sometimes, you need to be able to throw open the refrigerator door and have dinner on the table in 30 minutes.

Avegolemono with Lemon-Thyme Potatoes

Chicken broth, lemon, egg, rice and chicken.  That’s it.  Ingredients we probably all have laying around the kitchen.  And in 30 minutes, Avegolemono.  A soup so flavorful, smooth, so fresh that you’ll swear you stepped straight from a boat onto a Greek isle.  Finish it off with the smoked sea salt and flower black pepper from Trader Joe’s.  You’ll thank me for it.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Roasted Potatoes Close-Up
Lemon-Thyme Potatoes

While that’s cooking, toss some fingerling potatoes in lemon zest, thyme, garlic and olive oil.  They will roast to perfection in the same amount of time it takes to make the Avegolemono.  Delightful.

Avegolemono with Lemon-Thyme Potatoes

By the way, I got Shawn a new Canon digital camera for Christmas.  I’ve been using it.  Can you tell?  (And yes, I’m totally the wife that gets her husband a gadget for Christmas and then immediately says, “Can I play with it?”)

But time.  Yes, time.  Time is not something we always have.  I usually only prepare dinner once a week since living at my parent’s, but even then I sometimes find myself scrambling at 6:00 to get something on the table.  It’s nice to have a few quick, but delicious, fixes at your fingertips for those “no time” nights.

What’s your favorite dinner quick fix?  THG

Avegolemono

Avegolemono (Greek Lemon Soup)

2 chicken breasts

5 fresh thyme stalks

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1 cup white rice

3/4 cup lemon juice

2 eggs

Salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan, add chicken breasts and thyme stalks.  Fill with water until just covering the chicken.  Add salt and pepper.  Boil chicken until cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Remove chicken from pot and cut into 1/2” cubes.

In a large saucepan, add chicken broth and 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil.  Once boiling, add white rice and reduce heat to low.  Simmer until rice is cooked through and slightly al dente, about 15 minutes.  Add chicken to the broth.

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and egg together.  Slowly add 2 cups of the broth while whisking continuously to temper eggs.  Add egg mixture to soup and whisk to combine.  Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

Lemon-Thyme Potatoes

2 lbs. fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise

2 garlic cloves, minced finely

Zest of 2 lemons

3 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

In a large bowl, toss potatoes with garlic, lemon zest, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread potatoes out on a baking sheet in one layer.  Roast in oven, tossing once, until potatoes are golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6