What’s For Dinner? Sheet-Pan Chicken With Scallions and Capers

Photo source–Con Poulos for The New York Times, Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

One of the dinners my son cooked during quarantine was a sheet-pan dish. His roasted chicken and veggie rainbow was as colorful as it was delicious! Shortly after that, I read Kay Chun’s Sheet-Pan Chicken With Scallions and Capers recipe for The New York Times and one more meal was planned. The verdict? Make it again, please!

Describing the dish, Chun says,

This one-pan chicken dinner requires only five ingredients, making it perfect for busy weeknights. Meaty chicken thighs roast on top of scallions and potatoes until the chicken is golden and juicy and the scallions are tender and sweet. Despite the short ingredient list, this dish delivers deep flavor and varying textures: The potatoes on the bottom soak up the tasty pan juices while the ones on top turn crispy. Any extra pan drippings get mixed with capers and lemon juice for a quick, tangy sauce. You could also use some of the sauce to dress a simple side salad.

Sheet-Pan Chicken With Scallions and Capers

Ingredients:
  • 12 scallions, trimmed (about 1 pound)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes (about 3 large), sliced 1/8-inch-thick (about 4 cups)
  • 8 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus 4 lemon wedges for serving (optional)
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place scallions in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl, season potatoes with salt and pepper and toss with 2 tablespoons oil. Spread half of potatoes in a single layer over scallions.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and place on top of the potatoes. Arrange remaining potatoes around chicken. Roast until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender and golden, 30 to 35 minutes.
  4. Transfer chicken, potatoes and scallions to serving plates. Scrape remaining pan juices and drippings into a small bowl, stir in capers and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over chicken and serve with lemon wedges, if using.

Yield: 4 servings

Sheet Pan Sources:  Feasting at Home, Food Network, Bon Appetit

Easy DIY Kids Crafts & Recipes: Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_3194
Perfect for a Picnic
In anticipation of a social distance get together, Hannah and I searched for a cookie recipe that was low in sugar and dairy-free. We came across these “Ultimate Healthy Soft Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies” on Amy’s Healthy Baking and switched out the raisins (picky eaters) for chocolate chips. The result? Yummy guilt-free cookies!
Happy baking, hon!
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup (100g) instant oats (measured correctly & gluten-free if necessary)
  • ¾ cup (90g) whole wheat or gluten-free* flour (measured correctly)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (I used margarine.)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120mL) honey or agave
  • ¼ cup (40g) raisins (I used chocolate chips.)
Directions:
  1. Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the agave. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in the raisins (or choc.chips). Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops onto the prepared sheet, and flatten slightly. Bake at 325°F for 11-14 minutes. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

According to Amy’s Healthy Baking,

It’s extremely important to measure both the oats and flour correctly using the spoon-and-level method or a kitchen scale. Too much of either will dry out the cookies and leave them crumbly instead of chewy.

Instant oats are also known as quick-cooking or minute oats. They come in large canisters, just like old-fashioned oats. They are not the ones in the small flavored packets of oatmeal. To make your own, add the same amount of old-fashioned oats to a food processor, and pulse 10-12 times.

For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free instant oats and a gluten-free flour blend. I recommend the following blend: ½ cup (60g) millet flour, 2 tablespoons (15g) tapioca flour, 2 tablespoons (17g) brown rice flour, and ½ teaspoon xanthan gum.

If you prefer, pure maple syrup may be substituted in place of the honey or agave. You may also substitute ½ cup (106g) brown sugar plus ¼ cup (60mL) of milk. Any milk will work.

For the best results, use fresh raisins. Older raisins will be drier, so I recommend hydrating them first. Add the raisins to a microwave-safe bowl, cover them completely with water, and top with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH for 45-60 seconds. Let the raisins sit and absorb moisture until you’re ready to add them to the dough. Drain them thoroughly before folding in.

Yield: 15 cookies

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Easy DIY Kids Activities: Gluten Free Vegan Coffee Cake Muffins

Gluten Free Vegan Coffee Cake Muffins

Rainy day? Low on staples? Running out of recipe ideas? No problem!

Hubby and Son ventured to the grocery store over the weekend and found out that a) no one in New Jersey is allowed to enter a grocery store without a face mask and gloves and b) eggs are being rationed (think Easter and Passover). That means they returned with two dozen eggs for six of us…and it’s Passover. Want to bake during Passover? You need eggs. Don’t know what to eat? You need eggs. Love Matzoh Brei? You need eggs. You get my drift! A little searching turned up a recipe for Gluten Free Vegan Coffee Cake Muffins on Sarah Bakes Gluten Free that doesn’t use eggs and are surprisingly moist and delicious. My daughter tried one and said, “Is it okay if I have a second?” Yes!

Sarah says, The fluffiest vanilla muffins are topped with a layer of crisp, cinnamon crumb topping. Every bite is sweet, scrumptious and so satisfying. Have one for breakfast and another one for dessert.

Happy baking, hon!

Gluten Free Vegan Coffee Cake Muffins
Ingredients:
Crumb Topping
  • 1/2 cup Sarah’s gluten free flour blend  (I used rice flour.)
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar (I used regular sugar.)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons dairy free butter, cold (I used butter since I didn’t need the recipe to be dairy-free.)
Vanilla Muffins
  • 1 3/4 cups Sarah’s gluten free flour blend (same as above, used rice flour)
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla or plain almond milk*
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup grape seed or sunflower seed oil (I happened to have sunflower seed oil in the house, but vegetable oil would work, too.)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Additional ingredient: Since I didn’t need the muffins to be dairy-free, I added 2 Tablespoons of vanilla yogurt.)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To make crumb topping, stir together 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Add dairy free butter and mix with fork until topping comes together. Set aside.
  3. In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add almond milk, water, oil and vanilla. Whisk batter until smooth.
  4. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin. Top with even layer of crumb topping. Bake 21-23 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Remove muffins from muffin tin and place on cooling rack to cool completely.

FYI: My first batch are yummy, but crumbly. Plate and napkin needed!

Yield: 12 muffins

Delicious and Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake

You only need a small slice of this dense, fudgy flourless cake. I’m re-posting this recipe because it came out great again, and it was a great compliment to the Passover Apple Cake.

Happy holidays, hon!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 pound unsalted butter (16 Tablespoons or 2 sticks)

1 1/2 cups sugar (I used about a cup.)

6 large eggs

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus additional for dusting

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter a 10-inch springform pan, line bottom with a round of parchment or wax paper, and butter paper.
  3. Melt chocolate with butter in a medium metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth.
  4. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in sugar.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
  6. Sift cocoa powder over chocolate and whisk until just combined.
  7. Pour batter into pan.
  8. Bake until top has formed a thin crust and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out with moist crumbs adhering, 35-40 minutes.
  9. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove side of pan.
  10. Invert cake onto a plate and reinvert onto rack to cool completely.
  11. Dust cake with cocoa powder before serving. (or dust with confectioner’s sugar)

Serves: 10-12

Tips: serve with berries and whipped cream, add espresso powder for a mocha taste, freeze some slices for a future chocolate craving

Source: Genius Kitchen

Related Posts: Flourless Chocolate Torte, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies, Gluten Free Pie Crust, Gluten Free Spinach Tomato Cheddar Quiche

Roasted Tomato Soup

Roasted Tomato Soup

Sometimes I run out of things to serve for dinner (believe it!) and I resort to breakfast-for-dinner (scrambled eggs or French toast) or soup-and-sandwiches. Nothing wrong with either!

Here’s an recipe I found on allrecipes.com Roasted Tomato Soup. It was easy, healthy, yummy and, when I had extra, no problem to freeze. I just defrosted the soup and re-blended it with a hand blender.

Happy cooking, hon.

Roasted Tomato Soup
Ingredients

–3 pounds roma (plum) tomatoes, quartered

–I yellow onion, halved and quartered

–1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

–3 Tablespoons olive oil

–1 Tablespoon sea salt

–1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

–3 cloves garlic, halved

–4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (original recipe calls for 5 cups, but I used 4)

–2 teaspoons dried basil

–1 teaspoon dried parsley

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Spread tomatoes, onion, and red bell pepper in 1 layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over tomato mixture and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes; add garlic and continue roasting until tomato mixture is tender, about 15 more minutes.
  4. Bring chicken broth, basil, and parsley to a boil in a large stockpot; reduce heat and simmer.
  5. Put half the tomato mixture into a blender. Cover and hold lid down; pulse a few times before leaving on to blend until smooth, adding a small amount of the warm chicken broth if liquid is needed. Pour pureed tomato mixture into stockpot with chicken broth. Puree remaining half of tomato mixture and add to chicken stock mixture, mixing well. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Tip: When all of the soup is in the stockpot, use a hand blender to get the consistency you want.

Tip: Make this recipe vegetarian/vegan by using veggie broth.

Tuscan Rosemary White Bean Soup

Tuscan Rosemary White Bean Soup

Thanksgiving is around the corner and I’m in the midst of shopping, cooking, baking and cleaning (aka moving piles from one part of the house to another!). At our holiday dinner, I always serve Velvety Vegetable Soup instead of salad, but this year I’m changing it up. (There might be a mutiny!) Since I like the consistency of Velvety Vegetable’s  blended veggies, I wondered if I could create the same texture with different ingredients. After combining and refining two recipes:  one from Ina Garten for Food Network and one from Serious Eats, I came up with my own version of Tuscan Rosemary White Bean Soup. This yummy soup feels like Fall.

Happy cooking, hon!

Ingredients:

–2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

–3 small to medium onions, finely diced (about 3 cups)

–3 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced (about 3 cups)

–2 ribs celery, finely diced (about 1 cup)

–3 garlic cloves, minced

–2 (15-ounce) cans white beans (cannellini or great northern), with their liquid

–1 quart chicken stock (I use a low sodium “chicken stock” that’s actually parve.)

–1 teaspoon ground thyme

–1 teaspoon dried mustard

–1/4 teaspoon paprika

–1/4 teaspoon tumeric

–2 bay leaves

–2 teaspoons kosher salt

–1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

–either 1 large branch fresh rosemary (6 to 7 inches), 4 6-inch sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped and stems reserved, or 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary

–Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add chicken broth, beans with their liquid, thyme, mustard, paprika, tumeric, bay leaves, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Take soup off of heat and let cool a bit. Discard bay leaves and rosemary stems.
  4. In batches, transfer soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth (start on low speed and increase to high to prevent blender blow-out). Return to the stockpot and stir to combine. Season to taste.
  5. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with reserved chopped rosemary leaves, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve with crusty toasted bread.

Yield: Makes about 2 quarts, servings 6-8.

Tip: I’ll make this ahead of time, freeze it and, after defrosting, re-blend with a hand blender.

Delicious and Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake

Last week, I got it in my head that I must try this recipe. Ever since my college friend served this flourless chocolate cake, I couldn’t stop thinking about it (shout out to Kim!) It was so rich, I only needed a small slice to satisfy my chocolate craving. When my youngest daughter took a bite, she said, “It tastes like what you’d get at a restaurant.” I’ll take that as a compliment, hon.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 pound unsalted butter (16 Tablespoons or 2 sticks)

1 1/2 cups sugar (I used about a cup.)

6 large eggs

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus additional for dusting

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter a 10-inch springform pan, line bottom with a round of parchment or wax paper, and butter paper.
  3. Melt chocolate with butter in a medium metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth.
  4. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in sugar.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
  6. Sift cocoa powder over chocolate and whisk until just combined.
  7. Pour batter into pan.
  8. Bake until top has formed a thin crust and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out with moist crumbs adhering, 35-40 minutes.
  9. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove side of pan.
  10. Invert cake onto a plate and reinvert onto rack to cool completely.
  11. Dust cake with cocoa powder before serving. (or dust with confectioner’s sugar)

Serves: 10-12

Tips: serve with berries and whipped cream, add espresso powder for a mocha taste, freeze some slices for a future chocolate craving

Source: Genius Kitchen

Related Posts: Flourless Chocolate Torte, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies, Gluten Free Pie Crust, Gluten Free Spinach Tomato Cheddar Quiche

Italian Potato-Pasta Soup With Greens

Italian Potato-Pasta Soup With Greens

Some soups are light and refreshing preludes to a meal; others, like this one, are an entire meal in a bowl. Pasta and potatoes, like pasta and beans, are frequently combined in Italian vegetable dishes. The potatoes should be starchy, like Yukon Golds or russets, so that they lend body to the broth. Short pasta shapes add texture; onion, fennel, garlic, tomato paste and fresh herbs and greens add flavor. The soup may be made a day or so before serving: It improves in the refrigerator and reheats beautifully, but don’t add the pasta in this case until serving.

Once I read this description, I had to try the recipe. It was delicious! Happy cooking, hon!

Italian Potato-Pasta Soup With Greens

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for garnish

2 cups diced onion

1 cup diced carrot

1 cup diced celery or fennel (I used celery)

salt and pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

1 large thyme sprig (I used a couple of dashes of dried thyme)

2 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons paprika

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

3 quarts/12 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water (I used veg. broth.)

2 pounds medium-size starchy potatoes, such as Yukon Golds or russets, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks

8 ounces kale or chard, stems removed, leaves sliced across into ½-inch ribbons (about 4 cups total)

½ pound dried pennette, orecchiette or other small pasta

1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or marjoram, for garnish

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the 3 Tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add onion, carrot and celery (or fennel), stir, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened and golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the heat to prevent vegetables from browning or scorching.
  2. Stir in bay leaf, thyme sprig, garlic, paprika and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, potatoes and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a brisk simmer. Cook until potatoes are cooked through but still firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste to adjust the seasonings.
  3. Stir in kale and pasta and simmer another 10 minutes, or until greens are well cooked and pasta is done. (Soup can be made up to this point, without the pasta, cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
  4. Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and Parmesan. Drizzle each serving with a teaspoon of olive oil. Pass extra Parmesan at the table. (I didn’t add Parmesan or olive oil on top of servings.)

Yield: 6-8 servings

To make vegan, eliminate Parmesan.

To make gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

Source: The New York Times, City Kitchen by David Tanis

Crispy Potato Cake (Galette De Pomme De Terre)

Crispy Potato Cake (Galette De Pomme De Terre)

Crispy Potato Cake (Galette De Pomme De Terre)

I made this delicious dish a long time ago and wanted to make it again many times, but I couldn’t find the recipe. (I didn’t trust myself to make it from memory). When I finally organized cut-outs from newspapers, chicken-scratched napkins, and a ton of loose recipes, I found it.  Yay!  It takes some patience, but it’s worth it.

Happy cooking, hon.

Layer potatoes in a spiral.
Slowly cook potatoes until well browned.

  Ingredients:

2 pounds (about 3 medium) potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly

1 Tablespoon olive oil, or as needed

Freshly ground nutmeg

Freshly ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

Salt

Fresh thyme leaves for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Pat potatoes dry if very starchy or moist. In a sauté pan large enough to fit potato slices in just two layers, spread 1 tablespoon oil with and sprinkle with nutmeg and pepper to taste. Starting in center, arrange potato slices in a closely overlapping, attractive spiral. When pan is filled, repeat to make second layer.
  2. Place pan over medium heat and cover. Slowly cook potatoes until well browned on underside, about 15 minutes, occasionally shaking pan gently to avoid sticking. Wipe inside of lid as needed to keep it dry.
  3. Press potatoes down with a flat spatula and remove from heat. Place a larger platter over pan and flip it upside down, transferring potatoes to the platter. Check pan to make sure it is clean and has enough oil to keep potatoes from sticking.
  4. Slide galette, raw side down, back into pan, and return to medium heat. Cover and cook until browned, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a persillade by combining parsley and garlic in a small bowl. To serve, slide galette onto a serving platter, season to taste with salt, and garnish with persillade or thyme.

Yield: 4 servings.

Source: “A Culinary Journey in Gascony” by Kate Hill

 

 

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas
Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

Winter puts me in the mood for hearty soups, and this one is practically a meal. Serve it as a soup or over quinoa, brown rice or polenta. Yum.

Happy cooking and stay warm, hon!

ITALIAN STEW with WINTER SQAUSH and CHICKPEAS

3 cups chopped onions

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 Tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/2 teaspoon ground Coriander

1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups water

2 cups diced peeled butternut squash (I substituted yellow squash)

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced bell peppers (optional)

5 cups chopped kale (see note)

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. In a soup pot on medium-high heat, cook the onions and salt in the oil, stirring often, until very soft and beginning to caramelize, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, coriander, thyme, and black pepper and stir for a minute. Stir in the water, squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the kale, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the greens are tender but still bright green. Stir in the basil and vinegar.

Note: About 1 pound of kale will yield 5 cups sorted (discard yellow or wilted leaves and large center stems), stemmed, and chopped kale.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings or about 8 cups