Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lemon Chicken and Croutons

Another from Barefoot in Paris....

This is quite possibly the MOST delicious chicken I have EVER eaten in my life! And, truth be told, I've eaten a lot of chicken.


I was worried that it would be dry. It wasn't.

I was worried that it would be tasteless. It wasn't.

I was worried that there was no gravy to go with it. It didn't matter.

If you're looking for something that is actually SUPER SIMPLE but unbelievably delicious I HIGHLY recommend this dish.

Lemon Chicken with Croutons

1 (4 to 5 pound) roasting chicken * I used one that was just over 6 pounds. There were 4 of us and we had a fair amount of leftovers.*

1 Large yellow onion sliced

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

2 Lemons, quartered *I only used one. I couldn't get two into the cavity.*

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

6 cups bread cubes *I cubed a French baguette, crust and all!*

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees

Remove giblets, etc. from chicken and wash chicken inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. If there is any visible fat on the chicken remove it and make sure chicken is clean. IF you get a Perdue ovenstuffer or something like that you really don't have to worry about trimming it.

Toss onions with some olive oil- one to two tablespoons- and place in the bottom of small roasting pan.

Place the chicken on top of the onions and sprinkle the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place quartered lemons inside of chicken cavity.

Make sure the outside of the chicken is dry then brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

You can tie up the legs at this point. I did not. That's only because I didn't have kitchen string. Plus, I really don't think it makes a whole huge difference!

Roast for roughly 1 1/2 hours. When the timer popped out of my chicken it was definitely done!

Remove from oven and tent with tin foil and allow to sit at room temp for at least 15 minutes.

Once you remove the chicken from the oven and tent it, heat a large skillet and add two tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Add the bread cubes and lower heat to medium. Saute the cubes, tossing frequently and adding olive oil as necessary. You don't want them to be greasy but you don't want them dry. Season with salt and pepper during sauteing, as well. I also added a little garlic powder and onion powder for extra flavor.

Once cubes are nice and toasty arrange on a platter. Slice the chicken and lay the slices over the croutons. Season with a little bit of salt and serve.

Here is the important part that the Contessa didn't do....take the pan drippings and the onions and spoon over the chicken and croutons. It is a lovely mix of lemon and onion and chicken flavor. It was UNREAL!!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Barefoot in Paris: Cheese Puffs

These were good. Very good. Easy to make. And easy to add to.

I served them "as is" but I suggest splitting them open and adding a seafood salad or chicken salad for a brunch or filling with soft goat cheese to make a delectable appetizer.

From the Barefoot Contessa's Barefoot in Paris:

1 cup milk- I used 1% and it was fine!
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt- I used regular because I forgot to buy kosher.
Pinch of nutmeg
1 cup all purpose flour
4 extra large eggs- I used large
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water for egg wash- I forgot this step and they came out perfectly ok!!

Preheat the over to 425 degrees.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. I used my silicone baking mats- had to be cleaned whereas parchment just gets tossed!

In a saucepan heat milk, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg over medium heat until scaled- or just before boiling point. Add the flour all at once and immediately stir vigorously with a WOODEN spoon. Everything will begin to come together and look like a dough. Continue to stir constantly until the dough/flour mixture begins to coat the bottom of the pan. It looks like a thin film almost. It takes about 2 minutes.

Dump the hot mixture into your food processor and immediately add the eggs and the two grated cheeses. Pulse until the eggs are incorporated and the dough is smooth and thick.

You now have two options, you can put the mixture into a piping bag with a simple round tip and pipe out mounds onto your prepared sheet pans or you can use spoons to plop rounds on to the pans. I chose my cookie scoop and it created puffs that were large enough to split open and fill but not too large to eat simply.

Once on the pan brush with egg wash and sprinkle with extra cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes or until outsides are golden brown and insides are still soft. I started mine on the bottom shelf and left them for about 8 minutes and then switched them to top shelf to finish.

Serve hot.

If you plan on filling them, they should cool for a bit first. You can always reheat by placing on a warm stove or back in the oven for a few minutes!

Freezing is super simple, as well. Once puffs have cooled simply place in a plastic bag and stick in freezer until ready to use!!



So, I went to see "Julie and Julia" last week and I really enjoyed it. I'm not a huge fan of French cooking but I think that has more to do with the fact that I haven't really had much of it more than anything else.

I watched as food was transformed into a life changing mechanism and I just so enjoyed every bit of it. I left the theater feeling upbeat and hungry!

I knew I could never go through Julia Child's cookbook because there are just some things I will NOT eat. Plus, I'd like to not weight 500 pounds 6 months from now. And I just don't have the time.

But I have plenty of cookbooks that I have allowed to collect dust. Spines unbroken and pages immaculately clean. Wasted.

I decided to change that.

I purchased a small bookcase that now sits in my kitchen. It is the home to all of my cooking magazines and cookbooks. They are in the open now just begging to be used.

And they will be.

I have committed myself to taking at least one night per week and making at least one recipe from one of my cookbooks.

It's different. It's exciting. It's making me hungry.

I started last week with the Barefoot Contessa from Paris and the food was delicious!

The recipes are to follow.

So, rejuvenation has come to this blog. New life. New foods. New opportunities to share.

Hope you're still around to enjoy!!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Rejuvenation and recipes on their way.


I promise.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

fruit dessert with pudding and yogurt

this is a friends recipe.. its great for summer and taste great! it is light and super easy!!!

grapes on the bottom
blueberries on top of that
drained canned peaches on top of that
sliced strawberries on top of that

take one box of vanilla pudding, mix according to directions on box and then add one regular sized container of vanilla yogurt, pour over fruit and let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes covered.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Barley-Asparagus "Risotto"

This was DELICIOUS!!

I've been living on Weight Watchers for just over a month now and I'm down close to 20 pounds! During the day I live on high fiber snacks and usually salads or a frozen meal. For dinner, though, I want something filling and tasty and satisfying! Last week I discovered this dish and I was leery at first simply because the idea of barley did not get me excited. I just wasn't sure I was going to like it! Well, I did! It wasn't exactly like risotto but it was pretty close and definitely filling!!!


2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion(s), minced
1 cup(s) uncooked barley, use quick-cooking pearl variety
3 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1/2 pound(s) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup(s) chives, fresh, sliced
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in barley and cook, stirring, about 1 minute more.

Add broth, cover and simmer over low heat for 8 minutes; stir in asparagus and simmer 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, stir in chives and vinegar; season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Torta Passionata

Doesn't that look yummy?!?!
I made this recipe as a dessert for a family party. It was SUPER easy and deliciously rich!!

I used an 11 inch Tart pan, not 9 inch as the recipe recommends so I doubled the recipe. The only thing that didn't work with doubling was that I had a little bit of extra crust that didn't fit in the tart pan. Other than that, doubling it worked GREAT!!
This is NOT the doubled recipe....this is the original. Just double all of the ingredients if needed!

8 Tbsp. Butter
- 2 cups ground skinned and toasted hazelnuts (I toasted them in a dry frying pan and ground them in the food processor)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam (you can use orange, too!)
- 8 squares (1 oz. each) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (You can also use semi-sweet chips
- 2 Tablespoons Raspberry Liqueur (I used extract instead of the alcohol. If you use orange marmalade, use Orange Liqueur or Extract)
- 1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325°.

In small bowl, combine 4 tablespoons melted Butter, hazelnuts and sugar. In 9-inch tart pan, evenly press on bottom and up sides. Bake 20 minutes or until crust is golden. On wire rack, evenly spread jelly on crust; cool.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan, bring 1 cup cream just to a boil over medium heat. In blender, process hot cream, semi-sweet chocolate, remaining 4 tablespoons Spread and 1 tablespoon liqueur until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into prepared crust. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.

You can also melt white chocolate and mix with the remaining 1/4 cup of cream and serve alongside the torta.

Do not cover the Torta when you put it in the fridge to cool.

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