Butterflied chicken, aka spatchcocked chicken (which is much more fun to say), is one of the items on my list that can now be checked off. Butterflying/spatchcocking (see? more fun ) a chicken simply means cutting out the backbone so that the chicken lies flat, and as such, it cooks faster and more evenly. Last week we had a run of gorgeous early summer weather (shorts, t-shirts, and SPF 30 kind of weather – it was glorious) so I fired up the barbeque to celebrate and cooked my spatchcocked chicken on the grill.
Did you know that a true lasagne bolognese contains neither ricotta nor mozzarella? Just bolognese sauce, béchamel sauce and parmesan cheese (and pasta sheets, of course), and it is delicious.
We didn’t eat spaghetti and meatballs in my house when I was growing up – we ate lots of spaghetti with meat sauce, but not with meatballs. I didn’t make my first batch of meatballs until I was well into my twenties, and since then it seems I’ve been making up for lost time, because I could quite happily eat spaghetti and meatballs almost every day. In my recent quest to cut down on the amount of processed white flour in our diet, I looked for an alternative to the pasta part so that I could still get my fill of meatballs, and spaghetti squash seemed like the most obvious choice.
Nate and I had a pretty quiet Easter weekend at home, so instead of a big Easter Sunday dinner, I made a quiche with leek and bacon, a dish of scalloped potatoes, and a green salad (and dessert, of course – that post is coming!). I was lucky enough to have dinner with my parents on Salt Spring on Good Friday, which included not only the traditional baked ham but also a huge pile of fresh crab, caught by a family friend. It was amazing, but after all that food I was quite happy to keep it lighter for the rest of the weekend.
Every couple Fridays, Nate and I make homemade pizza for dinner. This is one of the rare times we are actually in the kitchen making dinner together (something I would like to do more often), me stretching out the dough, Nate shredding cheese and slicing toppings, deciding together what to put on each pie. We always do one Blue Hawaiian, and the second is usually a mish-mash of whatever else we have on hand – salami, olives, sautéed mushrooms and onions, chopped bell peppers… Last week at Aaron’s birthday pizza dinner, Nate and I shared the pizza special of the day, which was topped with crumbled homemade Italian sausage, fresh sliced Anaheim peppers, and cherry tomatoes on a creamy, cheesy base. It was such a good, simple combination of flavours that I knew I wanted to add it to our homemade pizza topping arsenal. I feel a bit silly posting an actual “recipe” for a pizza because I never follow one myself, so instead here’s the basic rundown for this cheesy sausage, jalapeño and fresh tomato pie.
Stretch out your favorite pizza dough onto a lightly oiled baking sheet (I love this pizza dough – I use a little bit of whole wheat flour and freeze half the dough for our next pizza night). Drizzle it with a few tablespoons of heavy cream (spread it around) and shower it with a good amount of freshly grated parmesan cheese and a few shreds of mozzarella.
Scatter it with some cooked and crumbled homemade Italian sausage, some sliced fresh jalapeños (or Anaheim peppers, if you can find them), and a few quartered grape or cherry tomatoes.
Sprinkle with a bit more mozzarella (less is more in this case – I find too much cheese keeps the crust from cooking properly) and bake in a hot oven until the crust is golden and the cheese melted and browned. Let it rest for a few minutes, then sprinkle with more parmesan and some black pepper before cutting into wedges.
Don’t you hate it when you are in the middle of making something delicious and you reach into the pantry to grab that one last (rather important) ingredient, only to discover that you are, in fact, out of chickpeas for your chicken, potato, and chickpea curry? Yeah, I hate it when that happens. (Also, I’m terrible at mis-en-place.)
Luckily, this curry is still plenty good chickpea-less, although they are kind of my favorite part. I love them and could eat then straight out of the can. Nate, on the other hand, actually preferred this dish without chickpeas, and thinks that it should be made with either potato or chickpeas but not both. However this is my blog so I’m going to suggest that you make it with both – chickpeas in particular.
Just pretend there are chickpeas in there too…
Contrary to the image that might pop into your head when you think “Canadian winter“, on the West coast of Canada it doesn’t actually get super snowy and impossibly cold – it mostly just gets super rainy and only rather cold. This means that, among other things, it is still totally possible to grill or barbeque outside through the winter. Which explains how I found myself cooking cedar planked teriyaki chicken on the barbeque on a drizzly November day. Read the rest of this post at the SeaChange blog!
Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in celebrating today in the US (or elsewhere, for that matter!)
Last weekend I made two chicken, leek and mushroom pies: one for me and Nate, and one to give to some good friends who just recently had a sweet baby boy (I also made them some Perfect Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies). They appreciated it very much, but so did I – because, while I obviously love to cook and bake, what I really love is sharing what I’ve made with people and seeing them enjoy it (or in this case, hearing about it). It’s pretty fulfilling to create something that makes other people happy, be it a piece of art, some words on a page, or a slice of chicken pie and a peanut butter cookie.
Patri of the blog, Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas! We were given two dough recipes to choose from and encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished!
It took me a little while to get into this challenge, but once I did, it was pretty fun and SUPER tasty. The empanada that we are talking about here is a Spanish dish – essentially a savoury pie (although there were some sweet versions made this month too) made with a yeasted dough. As far as I can tell, an empanada can be filled with almost anything (Patri shared her grandmother’s recipe for a traditional salted cod filling), so I took some liberties with this one.
Remember my resolution to use my cookbooks more? Yeah, it hasn’t been going so well (maybe that’s why I usually avoid making resolutions), unless you count the fact that I’ve been making these black bean burritos pretty much on a weekly basis since I got the Dinner: A Love Story cookbook. (And yes, I needed another cookbook like I need a hole in the head. It’s a
problem hobby!) Continue reading