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IMG_2704Adapted from The Kitchn and Serious Eats

Ingredients:
vegetable oil
2 red potatoes
1 red bell pepper
1/2 large red onion
3 garlic cloves
Seasonings: smoked paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, scallions (optional)

Directions:
Chop the potatoes. Cover them with cold water in a pot and a pinch of salt. Heat until water boils for a couple of minutes then turn off the heat. Drain, coat in a little oil, and set aside. Chop the rest of the vegetables. Fry the onions in some vegetable oil/butter over medium-high heat, then the garlic, until fragrant. Fry the bell pepper. Set aside. Fry the potatoes until they sear, without crowding, then add back the rest of the ingredients. Season to taste. Top with scallions or parsley (chives could do as well).

I do love garlic butter roasted mushrooms, so I was inspired to incorporate this form of protein in the morning brunch (also because we had run out of yogurt. Ack). So of course I needed to know the best method How to saute mushrooms. Cut thick, cook hot, don’t overcrowd. Done. Accompanied by some freshly grated Parmesan, a dash of salt and pepper and olive oil, and a wedge of smoked gouda. The omelette included scallions, salt, pepper, and just before I folded it in half, several strips of the same smoked gouda (melts wonderfully when reheating leftovers).IMG_2706

~Jessica

Disney’s ratatouille

IMG_2699

Doesn’t look like much. I know.

Adapted from Dishes by Disney

Ingredients:
1 zucchini, cut into large cubes
1 eggplant, cut into large cubes (I subbed with a green bell pepper for lack)
1 yellow squash, cut into large cubes
1 sweet red pepper, cut into large slices
1 red onion, cut into large cubes
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 sprigs thyme
1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
4 eggs

Directions:
Saute the red onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add the rest of the vegetables. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the can of crushed tomatoes. Crack the eggs and poach them in wells in the pot, like shakshuka. Spoon sauce over and let heat cook them a few minutes. Serve hot.

I had half a box of white mushrooms, so I tossed them in last, chopped same size as all the other veggies. Apparently the modern ratatouille included marjoram, fennel and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence, so I threw in a few bay leaves while our little potted basil re-grows its leaves from the last Continental recipe.

~Jessica

Chicken cacciatore

IMG_2684Adapted from Simply Recipes

4 thin cut chicken breasts, organic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 glugs of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced root to tip
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded, sliced thin
140 g (5 oz) white cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
80 mL (1/3 cup) white or red wine
800 g (28 ounce) can of plum tomatoes in their juice
1 teaspoon dry thyme
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped

IMG_2683

Rinse the chicken, let dry. Season each side with salt. Add some oil to the pan (big enough to fit everything), brown both sides of the chicken. Set aside. Make sure there’s enough oil/fat in the pan, then add the onions, saute until fragrant. Add the garlic, saute until fragrant. Add the rest of the sliced vegetables. Cook until they’re all a little bit softened, then deglaze with the dry white wine. Cook until half the wine has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and all seasonings. Taste the sauce and season accordingly. Add the chicken on top, turn down the heat to low and cook 20-40 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked through, and serve with  rice.

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Amber was feeling like chicken cacciatore, so voila. Rike from Hamburg helped me prep and cook! Food for three plus leftovers for one. Cacciatore (“hunter”) suggests a working man’s meal, better with country bread or pasta, in my opinion. Next time I might try the recipe with bay leaf and rosemary sprigs. Also our “dry white wine” was some questionable cognac-looking Georgian wine, as in the country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Don’t try their wine. Someone brought it to the apartment for a house party, probably. Friends.

~Jessica

White bean soup with kale and rosemary

Adapted from Ina Garten and Damn Delicious, although inspired by smitten kitchen

1 can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 red onion, diced
olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large branch of fresh rosemary (I only had dried)
chicken stock
1 bay leaf
pinch of dried thyme
1/2 bunch of fresh basil
2 bay leaves
2 cups kale (I only had baby spinach)
fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Saute the onions in olive oil on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the beans, rosemary, stock, and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Remove herbs and stir in greens (e.g. spinach) and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste, topped with fresh basil. Serve with toasted bread, drizzled with good olive oil and rubbed with cut garlic.

~Jessica

P.S. A similar attempt by myself. I also threw in some diced carrot and celery to use them up.

Mashed potatoes

img_0345Adapted from Tyler Florence

4 Yukon gold potatoes, skin on
2 garlic cloves
whole milk
heavy cream
butter
1 sprig fresh thyme /sage /rosemary
salt and pepper

Scrub then chop potatoes. Add to pot, then cover halfway in milk, then cover fully in the cream, add the butter and olive oil. Add garlic, and thyme. Bring to boil, cook until tender. When the potatoes are tender, set a colander over a bowl. Pour the potatoes through the colander, and the cream will collect on the bottom. Then put the potatoes back into the pot, mash them, and fold the potato-infused garlic cream back into the potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, with a pat of butter.

~Kai-ling

Roast chicken & giblet gravy

img_0343Adapted from Ina Garten

7 lb. roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
1/4 stick butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil

For the chicken: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Set aside the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally season the inside of the chicken with salt, pepper, and herbs. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme/rosemary, both halves of lemon/orange, and all the garlic. Stuff butter under the skin of the chicken. Cover the wing tips with foil. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan (we didn’t have fennel, but added celery and potatoes). Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove chicken from oven, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes. Serve.

img_0346Adapted from Alton Brown

chicken giblets, etc.
onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf } for giblet stock
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon potato starch (I’d use cornstarch)
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the giblet stock: Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the neck and backbone and saute 5-6 minutes or until browned. Add the giblets, onion, carrot, celery and kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 4-5 minutes. Pour in 2 cups of water and add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and black peppercorns. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the stock reduces by half. Strain the stock. Discard all but giblets (chop and set aside). Combine some of the cooled stock with flour and starch, and add this back to the stock, whisking constantly, raising the heat and boiling for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk until desired consistency achieved. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped giblets and stir to combine.

~Jessica