Lifestyle

Elegance in simplicity

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As much as I like to cook, take pictures of my food and share them in this blog, every now again, it is a treat when I don’t have to cook.  Usually, that means we are going out to eat.  But in these days of isolation, I find a lot of joy when my husband cooks for me.  In our house (an probably like yours too), he is the grill-master and his favorite thing to cook is…….you guessed it…..steak!  For this simple, yet elegant dinner, what you need is good quality ingredients.  To treat ourselves, we splurged on some delicious NY strip steak and a steak of this quality only needs some good kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

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Throw it on to the grill and cook it to your liking–rare for my husband, medium rare for me.  Pair this with any side dish of your choice.  We like green beans and my perfect pee-wee potatoes to go with it.

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If you have some leftovers, you can always make some Steak Crostini, year simple and elegant appetizer to enjoy the next day–it won’t even taste like leftovers!

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Classics, Comfort food, Dinner, Poultry, Savory

Roasted Split Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

 

IMG_20181001_183729Roast chicken is a classic, but it takes time–more suited for a Sunday night.  It has its benefits too.  Plenty of leftovers for sandwiches and chicken noodle soup.  However, when it is fall and you want a hearty, comforting meal on a weeknight,  turn to this recipe.  The trick is to remember to marinade the night before and take the time to brown the chicken (preferably in a cast iron skillet).  Try it soon !

INGREDIENTS

½ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

2 large split chicken breasts

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk together all ingredients except chicken.

Put split chicken in a re-sealable plastic bag and add marinade.

Seal bags, removing as much air as possible and massage marinade around chicken to coat evenly. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. convectional or 425 degrees F. conventional.

Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Heat a large heavy bottom skillet (I use my cast iron skillet) over medium heat. Once heated, put chicken skin side down in the skillet and cook until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer skillet into the oven.

Roast until chicken is browned, meat is cooked through and juices run clear (an instant reading thermometer when inserted in the meat should read 165 degrees F.) about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow sitting 15 minutes to “rest” (this allows the juices to settle in the meat so they don’t run out when chicken is cut).

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Classics, Comfort food, Dinner, Meat

Apple Cider Pork Chops and Green Beans

Just because the weather has warmed up does not mean I am going to give up on a classic pairing such as pork chops and apples.  Here is yet again, another speedy dinner recipe that you can have on the table in 1 hr.        

Marinade pork chops with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup white wine, 2tsp ginger, cinnamon and 1tsp of crushed red pepper flakes.  Add in a bunch of rosemary, toss to combine and let it marinade on the counter for 20 mins.       

After they have marinaded, toss the pork chops in some flour (season with salt and pepper) and fry in some olive oil in a cast iron skillet.  Once the outside is golden brown, set aside.      

In the same skillet, saute 1/2 of an onion with some rosemary, salt and pepper.  Deglaze the pan with either 1/4 cup white wine, water or chicken stock.  Stir in 6oz of apple sauce.  Add the pork chops and allow to simmer till chops cook through.  Adjust salt and pepper.  If the stock tastes to sharp from the vineger, add some baking soda to it.

Serve with green beans and the spoon the sauce over the chops !  

Dinner, Poultry, Quick Dinner, Savory

Chicken sausage with roasted fennel and sweet potatoes

Like the previous post, with a little bit of planning you can have a week’s worth of dinner ready in 1hr flat.  All you need is a hot oven at 375F, sausage of your choice, sweet potatoes, fennel, salt, pepper, olive oil.  That’s it.  Infact you can cook this meal and the swordfish dinner all at once.  This is how I cook.  Delicious, home cooked food and all I have to do cook and clean once night a week.  Perfect for a busy graduate student !    

Brunch, Quick Dinner

Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Hash

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So I am back to my regular routine of working in the lab.  Which means, I need to start making lunches and dinners ahead of time.  This recipe a healthy take on a classic hash….no potatoes, no oil, no bacon–but packed with flavor ! Here goes !

Ingredients:

1, 16oz bag of frozen chopped spinach

1 jar of roasted red peppers ( choose your own size based on how much peppers your want)

6 eggs

1/2 tsp of nutmeg

1 tsp of crushed red pepper

salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F

Sauté spinach, sliced peppers and seasonings till everything has wilted.

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Crack the eggs directly into the pan and transfer then pan to the oven.

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Bake for 10-15mins till the eggs set.  This also based on personal preference.  Some people like their yolks runny and some like them set.  So adjust your back time according.

Serve family style–for brunch, lunch or dinner.  Crusty bread and a light fruit salad would complete the meal !

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Classics, Dinner, Fish & Seafood

Tarragon Tilapia in Lemon-Caper White Wine sauce

A light delicious fish entrée, simple enough for a quick-lunch yet elegant enough to be the star of a dinner party.  Serve it family style with a side of rice or plate it up with a fresh salad–this is a sure shot hit !

Ingredients:

1 lb of Tilapia

1 medium-sized lemon

1 Tbsp of drained capers

1/2 Tbsp of Tarragon

Salt and Pepper to taste

A splash of good white wine, use what you would drink-ALWAYS

Method:

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a baking pan ( use one where the fillets will fit nicely) with cooking spray arrange the fillets.

Season liberally with sal and pepper.  Add lemon zest, tarragon and sprinkle the capers.

Arrange a few lemon slices over the fish and add a splash of white wine, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, DO NOT submerge the fillets  in it.

Bake for about 15 min till the fish is cooked through and then broil for a the last 2 min to give the fillets a light golden brown crust.

Serve warm with your choice of side.

Quick Dinner

Dinner for two

Yesterday “the boy” and I celebrated 4yrs of dating.  What did we do? We cooked dinner because he wanted to take pictures of me cooking and put them up here. On the menu we have oven baked Tilapia served on a bed of pan sauted Zucchini and Summer Squash.  Also, this is my first recipe with the Zucchini that I got on sale a few days ago.  More Zucchini recipes to follow.  In the meantime, I or we share with you our Anniversary Dinner.

Ingredients

~1 pound of Tilapia

1/4 cup of Italian style bread crumbs

2 tsp of olive oil

2 zucchini

2 Summer Squash

2 Tbsp of Italian style dipping oil (the seasoned oil you get at the grocery for dipping bread)

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method:

Slice the zucchini and squash into 1/4″ inch thick discs.  Do not slice them too thin because they will wilt and melt during the cooking process.

Heat 2 tbsp of the dipping oil in a saute pan and add the zucchini and squash.  Saute till tender.  Season with salt and pepper at the very end.

The veggies will take a while to cook which is enough time to work on the Tilapia.

Preheat oven to 350F

Rinse and pat dry Tilapia fillets.  Arrange on a greased and lined baking tray.

Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Brush top side with olive oil and press the bread crumbs on to the fish.

Bake for ~15min till the fish is white and flakey in the middle.  The veggies should be done by then.

Divide the veggies onto two plates and serve the fish on top of the veggies.

And then we ate !