Chef Lidia Bastianich’s inspired Chicken Caccitore

Photo credit: Debra M. Kirsch ©2020

We came across a wonderful cooking show the other night, and it inspired me to jump up and make this wonderful fall meal, Chicken Cacciatore. It was actually quite easy and though I didn’t have any mushrooms on hand, the dish was absolutely delicious!

Here is the direct link to the recipe, check it out and enjoy! https://www.mastercook.com/app/Recipe/WebRecipeDetails?recipeId=22287214

Spatchcock Pesto Chicken

Photo credit: ©Debra M. Kirsch 2020

I saw perfectly sized whole young chIckes at the market the other day so I grabbed one. I love to dress these in this manner, it really results in an evenly cooked bird that is flavorful and juicy, and it cooks in less time.

If you have never spatchcocked a chicken, it is quite easy, here is a quick step by step guide to it. https://www.aspicyperspective.com/how-to-spatchcock-a-chicken-in-3-steps/

Once your chicken in ready, just pat dry, place skin up on a roasting pan. Next, use your finger to lift the skin from the meat, but don’t remove it, this is so the pesto can be placed under the skin. I used pesto from the refrigerated section of the store, if you want to make your own, go for it! Stir up the pesto so it is easy to spoon, and insert it under the skin, working it all over the meat of the breast, thigh, and leg the best you can. You can rub some on the top to give the skin some yummy flavor, it will crisp up beautifully.

Place the chicken in a 425°F for 45 minutes, it will crisp up and cook evenly. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5-8 minutes, a great time to pull together some stir fry, or your favorite, veggies. This recipe can be adjusted to use herb butter under the skin with the the chicken surrounded with all kinds of vegetables, for a great one pan meal.

Photo credit: ©Debra M. Kirsch 2020

Enjoy this on a crisp fall night with a glass of wine and you are sure to impress your family or friends.

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Photo credit: ©Debra M. Kirsch 2020

I saw this recipe in a Facebook group that I’m in, a group for bakers to share during these crazy times of Covid-19. It looked really good and fairly straightforward so I gave it a go, it is originally from The New York Times. One of the best things of the “Covid Era” has been the amount of time I have been able to spend in Michigan, surrounded by plentiful fruit stands and local markets. The heirloom tomatoes have been beautiful, and my favorite stand has lots of produce grown by local Amish farmers, so I grabbed a few and gave this a try.

I was a little lazy and used a store bought crust, which necessitated a bit more custard filling, so this came out more like a quiche than a true tart, so next time I’ll go all in and break out the tart pan. Here’s the recipe, jump on the bandwagon and give it a try! https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1021252-heirloom-tomato-tart

The best thing about Taco Tuesday is leftovers for Taco Salad Thursday

Photo credit: ©Debra M. Kirsch 2020

The best thing about making turkey tacos, are the leftovers! Everything thrown together makes a fast, easy, and delicious lunch later in the week.

I just chop up some romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado, and use up any leftover diced white onion, then toss it all on a plate. Top it with some warmed up leftover taco meat, and some shredded cheese, and dress with taco sauce. BAM! Perfect on a fall day and very easy clean up, too!

Copy Cat French Silk Pie!

Photo credit: Debra M. Kirsch 2020

After seeing this recipe shared by a friend on Facebook, I just had to try it. French Silk pie from Baker’s Square, formerly Poppin Fresh in my high school days, has to be my all time kryptonite. In HS we used to buy a whole pie, and grab a couple of forks, and watch it disappear. Of course, today’s metabolism is not what it used to be so one slice is my daily limit.

I brought this over to our neighbors’ house for dessert and it was extremely well received! So lucky there is another French Silk fan so close!

This is the recipe, and it’s pretty spot on.

https://amandascookin.com/homemade-bakers-square-french-silk-pie/

If you are concerned about the use of raw eggs, they can easily be pasteurized first. My local grocery didn’t have any already pasteurized eggs, and they are more expensive. Directions for that are I’m edged in the recipe, but basically you put your large eggs in a pan, cover with water, and bring them up to 140 degrees F and hold that temp carefully for three minutes. The eggs hold the same consistency as raw, do this does not effect the recipe at all.

©️Debra M. Kirsch 2020

Enjoy!!

“Gobble ‘em Up Turkey Burgers” & “Clean out the Fridge Pasta Salad”

Photo credit: ©Debra M. Kirsch 2020

Anything poultry seems to fly in our house. (Ok, that was bad… ) We really like turkey burgers on the grill all year round, but particularly in the summer when the side dishes can be garden fresh.

My “Gobble ‘em Up” turkey burgers are just a couple of ingredients, but in my opinion, they are the best when made from 99% lean ground turkey breast. The burgers are firm and juicy, not soft or mushy as I have found with the less lean grounds. And a couple of add ins make all the difference.

Turkey Burgers:

In a large bowl, combine a one pound package of ground turkey, about a 1/4 cup diced red onion, 2 oz, or +/-half a package, of crumbled Feta Cheese, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, pinch of salt, and some ground pepper. All measurements can be to your taste, there is no real magic formula. You can even just do a package of turkey, some onion, and 1 or 2 Tablespoons of Italian or Greek salad dressing. Mix everything together, and form into 3 or 4 patties.

Grill patties over medium-high heat until cooked through, top with a slice of Swiss or Provolone cheese, and serve on a fresh bun with hummus spread on the top half of the bun, and 3 or 4 slices of ripe avocado. YUM!

Pasta Salad:

For an always popular and fresh side dish, toss together a pasta salad with any veggies you have on hand. I boiled about 1 1/2 cups of garden rotini and added, 1/2 cup of diced peppers (assorted colors), 1/4 cup of red onion, 1 ear of corn off the Cobb, 1 cup of cut up & blanched broccoli florets, some sun dried tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes, 3/4 cup diced cucumber, really anything goes here. You can also add some crumbled Feta. To all of this I add about 1/4 cup of Italian dressing, you can add more or less depending on how you like it. Place it in the fridge until ready to serve.

Chicken with Mango Salsa & Brussel Sprouts with Bacon, onion, and Cranberries

Photo credit: ©Debra M. Kirsch 2020

I had a taste for something different, at least from what I’ve had lately, so I found this recipe at Creme de la Crumb. I used chicken thighs, instead of breasts, and it cooked up fast and delicious. The grill rub for the chicken had a nice flavor, and a little kick, the mango salsa was a perfect balance.

I made a side of Brussel Sprouts, I had them on hand, sautéed with bacon lardons and red onion, then a handful of dried cranberries tossed in at the end. This is one of my favorite sides, and find it funny that they appeal to me, since I wouldn’t touch a sprout for anything until about three years ago. I guess with age comes wisdom. No recipe needed for this one, it’s pretty much fool proof, just use what you like.

Here is what you need:

  • 4 Large boneless chicken breasts, or 6 boneless thighs
  • 2T olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t Italian blend seasoning (or mix equal parts dried basil, thyme, and oregano
Photo credit: ©Debra M. Kirsch 2020
  • 2 Mangoes
  • 1/2 red or white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch of Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 t salt
  • juice of 1 lime

Instructions:

  • In a medium Bowl stir together everything for the Mango salsa. Set aside.
  • Stir together dry ingredients for the rub
  • Drizzle chicken with olive oil and coat lightly with the seasoning.
  • Grill the chicken over medium-high heat, or bake at 375 degrees until c poked through.
  • Serve immediately with Mango Salsa on top, enjoy!

As I said, the recipe is from lecremedelacrumb.com, and it was great!! Check out the original at https://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/mango-salsa-chicken/

Morning Glory Muffins

Photo credit: Debra M. Kirsch ©️2020

All I can say about these muffins is, thank goodness I finally got around to trying the recipe!! To me, they are perfection in one hand for breakfast. Packed full of fresh and healthy ingredients, they came together quickly, made the house smell great, and made just the right amount.

I found the recipe through sallysbakingaddiction.com and had saved it for awhile. I admit that I needed to gather a few ingredients, like the flax meal and coconut oil, but everything else was on hand. I also am not a big fan of nuts in baked goods so I substituted shredded coconut and it worked flawlessly.

So give it a try, you will want these to have these on hand on a regular basis!

https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/simple-morning-glory-muffins/

Have you had a Saskatoon?

Photo credit: ©Debra M. Kirsch 2020

Well, this is my first batch, and they are very interesting! I stumbled on these berries while horse showing, over the last two years, near Traverse City, Michigan. I kept seeing signs on the roads leading to the show grounds for U-pick Saskatoons. I had no idea what these were, and last year I left town after the show and forgot about investigating. This year, same shows and same signs, so I checked it out and decided I should try some. Now I’ve noticed them at the local farmers market, too.

Native to North America, Saskatoons are actually a member of the apple family, though they look like blueberries, and have a kind of a wild and nutty flavor with an apple-like finish. They have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, more than strawberries, raspberries, or wild blueberries. Antioxidants are found to fight certain cancers, reduce inflammation and diabetes, as well as reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. They are also high in fiber, which is beneficial in defending against high blood pressure, aid in digestion, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Saskatoons are also a great source of calcium; better than red meat, vegetables, or cereals, as well as a rich source of vitamin C.

Touted by some as the next super fruit, the growing conditions in the Traverse City area have brought a robust of harvest that is making it’s name more widely known. They can be eaten raw, in salads or smoothies, or made into jams and fruit fillings. Currently there are around 20 commercial growers, with a 50 to 10,000 plants each, here in lower Michigan.

Photo credit: ©Debra M. Kirsch 2020

I tried a generous amount of these super little berries in a smoothie, along with watermelon, raspberries, banana and pineapple-coconut water and a little ice. Totally delicious and packed with good stuff, there are loads more things you could do, so get creative!

The Canadian Food Network has a bunch ideas too, from sweet to savory so that’s a good resource. https://www.foodnetwork.ca/shows/great-canadian-cookbook/photos/saskatoon-berry-recipes/#!saskatoon-berry-lentil-muffins

Bang Bang Corn! 🌽 From Delish.com

Photo credit: ©Debra M. Kirsch 2020

My current obsession is fresh sweet corn on the grill, so when I saw this recipe from Delish.com I just had to try it.

Everything the recipe calls for is likely in your kitchen, perhaps you need to add some Sweet Chili Sauce to your grocery list. That’s an easy one, you can find it in the grocery store along side the Asian sauces and marinades. Just mix everything together, paint it on the corn, and pop it on a medium-high grill, turning occasionally & basting to get it cooked all the way around. It just takes 10-15 minutes and worth every minute!

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a53994/bang-bang-corn-recipe/

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C sweet chili sauce
  • 3 T melted butter
  • 1 T sriracha
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ears corn, husks removed
  • Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish