Hoisin Chicken Thighs and Carrots over Organic Soba Noodles with Spicy Sprouts
I’ve been cooking a lot of heavier fare lately with a lot of stews, pasta dishes, and soups and breads.  So, this evening I wanted to create a lighter dish and switch flavor profiles as well.  I marinated 6 organic chicken thighs in hoisin sauce for a few hours.  To create the dish, I seared the chicken thighs in a bit of grapeseed oil, then I added some organic carrots to the skillet.  I drained a small can of pineapple mixed the juice with some of the reserved hoisin sauce, covered the carrots and chicken in the sauce, put the lid on them and put them in the oven to bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.  To make a sauce for the soba noodles, I took a couple of heaping tablespoons of organic miso paste and added some of the hot and bubbling hoisin sauce to it from the pan in the oven.  I whisked that together and added some sesame ginger dressing to it.  I cooked the soba noodles and drained them, then tossed the sauce with the noodles.  To plate it up, I put the sauced soba noodles in the bottom of the bowl, added some pineapple chunks to the bowl, added a few chicken thighs and the carrots, topped everything with a few spoonfuls of the hoisin sauce and some spicy sprouts (radish, clover, and alfafa sprouts).  My husband, Brian, loved it!

Hoisin Chicken Thighs and Carrots over Organic Soba Noodles with Spicy Sprouts

I’ve been cooking a lot of heavier fare lately with a lot of stews, pasta dishes, and soups and breads.  So, this evening I wanted to create a lighter dish and switch flavor profiles as well.  I marinated 6 organic chicken thighs in hoisin sauce for a few hours.  To create the dish, I seared the chicken thighs in a bit of grapeseed oil, then I added some organic carrots to the skillet.  I drained a small can of pineapple mixed the juice with some of the reserved hoisin sauce, covered the carrots and chicken in the sauce, put the lid on them and put them in the oven to bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.  To make a sauce for the soba noodles, I took a couple of heaping tablespoons of organic miso paste and added some of the hot and bubbling hoisin sauce to it from the pan in the oven.  I whisked that together and added some sesame ginger dressing to it.  I cooked the soba noodles and drained them, then tossed the sauce with the noodles.  To plate it up, I put the sauced soba noodles in the bottom of the bowl, added some pineapple chunks to the bowl, added a few chicken thighs and the carrots, topped everything with a few spoonfuls of the hoisin sauce and some spicy sprouts (radish, clover, and alfafa sprouts).  My husband, Brian, loved it!

Roasted Garlic & Red Potato Soup and Batter Bread with Organic Butter and Cherry Jelly

The foundation of this soup started with roasting three heads of garlic (that first picture above shows the addition of the wonderful caramelized garlic paste that I created from the roasted cloves of garlic).  I use this method: Take each head of garlic peel off the outer skin and cut off the top of the head to expose the garlic cloves.  Use a muffin tin and put a square of aluminum foil in one of the cups, place the garlic head in cut side up and then cover all of the exposed garlic with olive oil.  Use your fingers to make sure all of the exposed garlic is covered in oil and the seal up the aluminum foil into a packet.  Place all 3 in the oven at 400 degrees and roast for about 35 to 40 minutes.  Once they’ve cooled, you can squeeze the garlic cloves out easily, or use a cocktail fork to slip them out of the skins.  Then mash them with a fork and set aside.

To make the soup:  Dice up about 3 1/2 lbs of organic red potatoes and set aside.  Finely chop 6 shallots and about 1/2 a white onion, and slice 4 stalks of celery.  Start by sauteeing the shallots and onion in butter and bacon fat and sprinkle them with wild porcini infused sea salt, then add the celery and continue sauteeing.  I continue to add butter as needed while I’m sauteeing, and I’m not shy about it ;-).  Lighthouse makes a freeze-dried poultry herb blend that I love and use a lot for soups like this, it has the following in it:  onions, thyme, sage, marjoram, spring onions, garlic, and rosemary.  I add a few handfuls of that and some fresh cracked pepper.  I add in a bit of organic free-range chicken stock, and then start to stir in the roasted garlic paste.  Once the garlic paste is incorporated, I add in the diced red potatoes and the rest of the chicken stock.  Then just simmer on a low heat for a few hours, adjust the seasoning/salt as needed during the simmer, and the soup will thicken as the potatoes cook down.  Super easy and so yummy!

I baked beer batter bread as well, which I do often, and served it with the soup topped with organic butter and some cherry jelly (fig butter was also an option for the bread).

TWO Pasta Dishes the other night:

Chiocciole Pasta Bake with Grass-fed Organic Ground Beef & 6 Cheeses, and a Cheesy Pasta Bake with Creamy White Sauce

All of the kids (young and old) were happy with this dinner.  I made a delicious, rich tomato-based sauce with grass-fed organic beef for the first dish and baked the al dente Chiocciole with layers of 6 different cheeses.  The other dish had a creamy and rich white sauce with 8 different cheeses - including mascarpone, organic cream, and organic butter.

Ingredients and process for the tomato-based one -

  • Sauteed red and white onion in organic butter with porcini infused sea salt and vintage merlot infused sea salt.
  • Added 1 1/2 lbs. organic ground beef and browned.
  • Added garlic paste, basil paste, sun-dried tomato paste, dried basil, and dried oregano.
  • Added and a few cups of chopped cremini mushrooms sauteed in imported Irish garlic-n-herb butter with a splash of lemon juice.
  • Added 2 15oz. cans organic tomato sauce, and then simmered the sauce.
  • Mixed the sauce with the cooked Chiocciole pasta and then layered it in a baking dish with grated Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan, Provolone, Romano, and Mozzarella cheeses.
  • Baked at 400 for 20 minutes, until golden brown on top, and then let rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Ingredients and process for the white sauce one -

  • Made a roux with organic butter and flour, added a bit of chicken stock and whisked.  Started adding both organic heavy cream and half-n-half, and some salt and pepper.
  • Whisked in grated Parmesan and about 1/2 a carton of mascarpone, and added a little bit of American cheese too.
  • Mixed the thick, creamy white sauce with the cooked Chiocciole pasta and layered it in a baking dish with with grated Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan, Provolone, Romano, and Mozzarella cheeses, and topped the middle and top layer with American cheese.
  • Baked at 400 for 15 minutes, until golden brown on top, and then let rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Mmmmmm PASTA. :-)

Organic Grass-Fed Beef Stew

On Friday, I made this organic beef stew for dinner and baked homemade bread topped with whipped honey butter. I simmered the stew on low for hours. It had great flavor and the meat was tender and delicious. So good for a chilly winter evening meal. :)

Chicken Tetrazzini

Last night I made Chicken Tetrazzini for dinner. This is a long-time favorite recipe of mine. There are 4 separate steps and you end up using 3 pans and a baking dish, but it’s so worth the prep work and dish clean up. :-)

The recipe:
Cook one package of spaghetti pasta, until al dente.

Rinse, pay dry, and cut up 4 organic chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Heat some butter and olive oil in a skillet and squeeze in some Gourmet Garden garlic paste and basil paste, add the chicken to the pan and begin to cook over medium heat. Season the chicken with the following - porcini infused sea salt, rosemary infused sea salt, onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil, fresh marjoram, and fresh thyme. Once the chicken is cooked and tender, set it aside in a bowl and cover with foil.

Keep the chicken juices and garlic/spice paste mixture in the pan for the start of the sauce. Add butter to the pan and then add flour to make a roux. Then add some organic chicken stock and stir with a whisk, and begin whisking in heavy whipping cream and half-n-half alternating with Parmesan cheese until you have a thick rich sauce, careful not to let it break.

In another pan sauté some mushrooms in butter and as they’re finishing add some lemon juice to them. The lemon juice brings out a delicious bright flavor in the dish.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Add the sauce and chicken to the drained pasta and stir to combine and coat the pasta with sauce. In a baking dish, add a layer of the pasta/sauce/chicken, then put 1/2 of the sautéed mushrooms over that first layer, then sprinkle with grated Asiago, Parmesan, Fontina, and Provolone cheese. Add a second layer of pasta, top with the second 1/2 of the sautéed mushrooms and the grated cheeses. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until bubbling and the cheese is a golden brown.

Enjoy! This dish is even better as left-overs and it freezes great too.

Lemon-Lime Paprika Potatoes fried in coconut oil and topped with a Spicy Coconut Curry made with chicken thighs - dredged in an amazing blend of spices (curry powder, cumin, coriander, cardamom, fleur de sel, and garam masala), coconut milk, shredded carrots, Thai chili flakes, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and green chiles with fresh cilantro on top.

Lemon-Lime Paprika Potatoes fried in coconut oil and topped with a Spicy Coconut Curry made with chicken thighs - dredged in an amazing blend of spices (curry powder, cumin, coriander, cardamom, fleur de sel, and garam masala), coconut milk, shredded carrots, Thai chili flakes, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and green chiles with fresh cilantro on top.

Earlier this week I made organic Roasted Garlic Chicken Soup. I love soup season. :-)

Earlier this week I made organic Roasted Garlic Chicken Soup. I love soup season. :-)

Today I made extra-thick, organic Triple Bean Elk Chili. They ate the hell out of it. :-)

Today I made extra-thick, organic Triple Bean Elk Chili. They ate the hell out of it. :-)

Triple-Lemon French Yogurt Poppyseed Cake

Triple-Lemon French Yogurt Poppyseed Cake

Cheese Tortellini with Homemade Sauce, Salad, and Homemade Bread toasted with freshly made Basil Pesto.

Cheese Tortellini with Homemade Sauce, Salad, and Homemade Bread toasted with freshly made Basil Pesto.

Turn failure into YUM!

I made the mistake of baking someone else’s recipe for Nutella cupcakes on the day of the birthday party for my twin stepsons. Needless to say, we ended up swinging by the store to pick up some cupcakes on the way to the party because obviously these were an epic fail in the visual appeal department. Hideous! They tasted great though. So, I turned failure into yum and made Nutella and Fig Butter Breakfast Cake out of them.

Step One
Bake 2 dozen super ugly Nutella cupcakes.

Step Two
Break those ugly cupcakes into chunks and put them in a 9x11 pan. Mix together 7 large eggs, 2 C Milk, 3/4 tsp Allspice & 3/4 tsp Cinnamon, 1 tsp Vanilla, and 1/4 C Fig Butter (from Trader Joe’s). Pour that evenly over the cupcakes and press them down with your fingers until all wet. Then cover the pan and put in the fridge overnight.

Step 3
In the morning uncover the pan and sprinkle the top of the mixture with brown sugar, preheat the oven to 350 and bake the breakfast cake for 35-45 min. Serve it up with some butter and maple syrup.

CAKE FOR BREAKFAST. All better now! ;-)

Nutella and Fig Butter Breakfast Cake with whipped organic butter and maple syrup on top.

Nutella and Fig Butter Breakfast Cake with whipped organic butter and maple syrup on top.

Al dente Fusilli pasta with a rich tomato and beef stock sauce made with 2 sautéed onions,1 head of garlic, and baby carrots, topped with sautéed zucchini and chili peppers. I served this hearty bowl of veggies and pasta with a greens and herbs salad with crisp apples, asiago cheese, and raspberry blush vinaigrette, and Angry Orchard hard cider. For dessert we had fresh-from-the-oven zucchini bread baked with dried plums from the Saturday market and some bottled orange rind from World Market, with whipped organic butter on top. So good on an Autumn evening.

Fusilli Pasta and Meatballs, Garlic Bread, and Salad for dinner this evening.

Fusilli Pasta and Meatballs, Garlic Bread, and Salad for dinner this evening.

Pumpkin Butter French Toast

A little bit of late night prep meant delicious breakfast! This is the Pumpkin Butter French Toast I baked for my people this morning.

 
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Plating It Up

"There’s no greater gift than being able to cook well for your family. It’s got to be one of the greatest accolades in the world." - Marco Pierre White

My name is Marcy Bothwell, I'm a home cook who finds joy in plating up pretty and yummy food. Nom, nom, nom.