Today’s post is going to be short and sweet. I have been practicing so many recipes for Valetine’s Day! Yesterday after I was going on my 2nd hour of finishing a truffle cupcake I realized something really important. Who the heck is going to want to spend the entire (Tuesday) day of Valentine’s Day cooking? That is when I decided to share this recipe with you.
If you are going to invest in any type of cooking gear, I highly recommend a cast iron skillet. Patrick gave me this large skillet on Christmas because I had previously been using a few tiny skillets. It doesn’t have to been anything fancy. I am pretty sure Walmart and Homegoods sell some pretty inexpensive ones. If you take care of your skillet it will last forever.
This weekend we went ahead and seasoned our new pan. Heat your oven up to 400 degrees. Take a cloth or paper towel and dip into canola oil or lard. Then cover the entire surface of the skillet. Even the handle and the outside. Bake for 1 hour then cool.
Okay back to this steak. I am forever over cooking my steaks because I come up with elaborate side dishes and the steak almost becomes an after thought. This time I made the steak the star of the show! This recipe is great for Valentine’s Day because it is so easy and quick, but definitely does not lack flavor!
Are you ready for one of my favorite FAST week night dinners? Best part? It is Whole 30 approved and delicious. This red curry chicken turned me into a curry believer.
Before I had zero desire to ever have curry. The first time I ever tried curry it was in a to go box with soggy veggies and a very unappealing greenish yellow sauce. Since then I have stayed far away.
This curry however has made me want to try a true authentic curry. The chicken was simmered in coconut milk with red curry paste, garlic, and tons of cayenne pepper. I folded in some steamed broccoli for texture and served over crisp roasted potatoes since I am skipping the rice.
I love the little bit of lime zest on time to really cut through the heat and bring some bright flavor to the dish. We have already made this recipe again and tried swapping the chicken for shrimp.
I know when I diet or try to eat clean I get stuck in these ruts throughout the week and we end up with a roasted chicken breast and roasted veggie most of the time. I think this recipe was a nice break that helped open us to different versions of our roasted classic.
If you aren’t a huge fan of coconut milk I would still advise you to try this dish. Since we are using an unsweet coconut milk it does not stand out as the main ingredient to me. I think everything did a great job of coming together and delivering a very tasty medley of flavors.
Happy Thursday everyone! We made this dish a few weeks ago after going to the mall. You know when you are trying to zoom through the food court so you don’t get suckered into buying a slice of pizza, a philly cheesesteak, and a pile of orange chicken to go? We almost made it to the door and we were stopped by a man handing out teriyaki chicken samples. Noooooooo. It took everything inside me not to turn around and order a plate full of that chicken. So tender and sweet with perfect browned bits on each piece.
I used chicken thighs to make sure the chicken would soak up all the flavors and not dry out. You can easily swap the jasmine rice out for more broccoli or zucchini slices. The recipe does contain soy sauce and brown sugar, but I think both ingredients are crucial to get that really smooth sweet glaze.
After trying this chicken I promise it will be so much easier to walk past the food court! It only takes about 30 minutes and I think it is just as delicious! Did I mention this dish is also kid approved?
Ok I admit it. I AM obsessed with harissa spices. I love having a spice mixture that slowly builds up heat. You can use a little for a mild spice or a lot for a spicy flavor that slowly warms your palate. Baked harissa chicken was definitely at the top of my to do list. I wanted to try something that would work with the Whole 30 plan or just if you need something fast and healthy! This chicken and shrimp is baked with lots of harissa seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper!
I needed something that could be thrown together fast after a long day at work. I dropped a little coconut oil on a sheet pan and spread out some chicken breast, cauliflower, and halved potatoes. After liberally seasoning everything I baked for 20 minutes. You are going to see the chicken start to have this gorgeous deep red crust and the cauliflower will start to brown. Flip everything over and season again. Add shrimp and season with a little salt and pepper.
One thing you are going to want to do is add a little moisture to the sheet around the half way point. I completely forgot to do this and a few of my chicken pieces dried out. You can drizzle on a little chicken stock, olive oil, coconut oil, even water just make sure you add it to the chicken before your first flip.
Baked harissa chicken and shrimp with lots of veggies.
½ pound of chicken breast, cubed
½ pound of large raw shrimp, shells removed
2 tbsp of coconut oil
2 tbsp of harissa seasoning
1 tbsp of paprika
salt and pepper
¼ cup of chicken stock or water
1 lemon halved
2 cups of cauliflower
2 small potatoes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Grease the a large sheet pan with coconut oil.
Spread out the chicken cubes and cauliflower.
Season with half of the harissa and paprika.
Salt and pepper.
Halve the 2 potatoes and place them flat side down on the sheet.*
Bake for 20 minutes.
Drizzle water or stock over the chicken pieces.
Flip everything over and season with remaining harissa and paprika.
Salt and pepper.
Now add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper.
Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Or until chicken reaches 160 degrees.
Once everything rests your chicken should come up to 165 degrees.
Sprinkle with lemon halves.
* I Microwaved my potatoes for 5 minutes before cutting in half to make the cook time a little faster.
This is definitely one of my new favorite meals. I started with a bowl of mixed greens and added my chicken, shrimp, and veggies then squeezed a little more lemon on top. Sriracha is also a delicious topper!
Are you trying to eat healthier this year? If so what are some of your favorite recipes???
We are talking wings today. Superbowl is around the corner and these would be a perfect appetizer! BUT for me this is a way to have my favorite meal lightened up. They are so crispy with a burst of juice and all that spice from the sauce. These are one of my new favorite meals for sure! I served some salt and olive oil baked fries on the side. Our ranch was 1 cup of light sour cream, 1 tbsp of milk, 1 tsp of dill weed, 1 tsp of garlic powder, and 2 tsp of ground pepper. If you are doing Whole 30 or eating Paleo you can easily swap this out for approved ranch with homemade mayo.
Now I want to talk about this sauce. One of my favorite things to cook in the kitchen is chopped garlic. I love the smell of garlic heating up in olive oil or butter. Patrick always comes in the kitchen and asks what I’m doing when I drop that garlic into the skillet. You can use olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil – whatever you have on hand. I used 2 tbsp of salted butter then added 2 heaping tablespoons of chopped garlic. Then I sauteed for a few minutes over medium heat. Do not let the garlic brown. All you do after that is pour in a cup of your favorite hot sauce and finish with fresh ground pepper. Delicious!
Usually baked wings have a bad reputation because it is SO HARD to replicate that beautiful fried wing. The trick to getting that crispy skin is to boil the wings for 3-5 minutes before baking. You are going to render a lot of that fat which will help it crisp up fast!
You may have noticed the trend in fried chicken on my blog. For some reason I always try and find the next bigger better fried chicken. (fun fact I also do this with chocolate chip cookies) This sandwich might be the one though. So much flavor and easy to adjust to your personal heat levels. The harissa spices bring a really nice warmth to the breading without being to spicy or salty. I picked up my harissa seasoning from World Market. I prefer the dry mix because you can add olive oil to the spices to make a paste or leave it dry.
The secret to exceptionally juicy fried chicken is using chicken thighs. I like to soak them in buttermilk before dipping them into the egg batter. They are almost melt in your mouth tender with a perfect crunchy crust. The real star of the show is the honey harissa mayo spread. It brings a really nice sweet heat that pairs well with some tangy dill pickles.
Fried chicken sandwiches with a harissa crust and sweet harissa mayo.
4 chicken thighs
1 cup of milk or buttermilk
½ cup of AP flour
1 cup of panko crumbs
2 tbsp of harissa spice
1 tsp of garlic powder
salt and pepper
½ cup of mayo
1 tsp of honey
1 tsp of harissa spice
oil for frying
soak the chicken thighs in the milk while preparing the oil
In a deep frying pan heat oil to 350 degrees. (I used canola oil)
Prepare two bowls- one with the eggs beaten and the second with the flour, panko, garlic and harissa
Dip the chicken into the egg then into the flour mix
Season with salt and pepper
Fry in the oil until up to temperature. I usually cook to 160 degrees then let rest until 165
While the chicken is resting mix the mayo, remaining harissa spice and honey.
Toast the buns lightly and spread with the mayo.
Add the pickles and chicken then top with lettuce and tomato.
You can definitely add more or less of the harissa before frying. I usually love my food extra spicy, but these are just perfect with a tiny pinch of heat. Don’t forget the potato buns! They are so soft and just soak up all the juices from the chicken.
In the midst of all my holiday recipes I remembered this super easy savory tomato and olive pasta. A two pot pasta dish made in 30 minutes with tons of flavor! It starts with some of my all time favorite things: garlic, onion, and olive oil. Anytime I start a dish with those 3 ingredients my mouth just begins to water. Then you add in the ground beef with lots of spices. Roasted tomatoes and briney olives. Then stir in angel hair and a little pasta water. Let it simmer and top with TONS of Parmesan.
This recipe has so many flavors going on. Each component just as important as the next. This are my favorite types of pasta dishes. So rich you don’t need a lot of sauce. Plus it is such a gorgeous meal. A huge step up from the typical spaghetti and meat sauce.
Seriously- look at that sauce. So light and evenly tossed throughout the pasta. Yummm.
Every year I make an herb stuffed turkey. This year we wanted to try something a little different. We have been trying out so many cajun recipes lately and thought we would spice up our normal Thanksgiving routine.
I confess I did buy one of those little cajun spice injector kits, but the seasoning for the crust is really what takes it over the top! I made a 12 pound turkey so we would have lots of left overs for the busy weekend ahead. This meat pair perfectly with whole wheat bread and all the fixings for a turkey sandwich!
The skin came out perfect due to the cooking technique. Crank up the heat to 420 degrees for 30 minutes uncovered then lower the heat to 350 for the remaining 2.5 hours and cook with a layer of foil over the top.
Now lets talk about the stuffing. I almost always use my mom’s stuffing recipe. Fulled with fresh tart cranberry, spicy sausage and lots of veggies. To go along with the theme I skipped the cranberries and used andouille sausage over my usual ground sausage. This would be perfect on a serving platter stuffed into the turkey once both dishes are fully cooked. It is hard for me to ever say stuffing is “beautiful” but it sure is tasty!
These stuffed shells bring me back to my childhood. I don’t know how I have gone this long without making them myself. Growing up in an Italian household we typically celebrated holidays with some sort of pasta. With Thanksgiving only a few days away I wanted to offer a alternative to typical turkey and sides.
I personally will be celebrating Thanksgiving on a different day. Due to the nature of my day job I will be working on the actual holiday. This dish is for those of you that might be too busy to do a full on Thanksgiving meal, but still want something special. Each shell is stuffed with so much garlic, so much onion, so much mushroom, and so much sausage. Every bite will burst with flavor and ooey gooey cheese.
I finished the top with a little panko and fresh parm. Patrick does not liked baked pasta which is totally crazy to me but if you are one of these people feel free to eat these shells right out of the pan without baking. Still good. The cheese just isn’t melty enough for me.
I have been craving a plate of nachos lately. Unfortunately, Patrick is not a big fan of tortilla chips so I am always trying to come up with a new spin on nachos. Homemade nacho cheese is what makes this fantastic burger. Fresh garlic and jalapenos sauteed before adding in sharp cheddar and monteray jack.
The hardest part about making burgers on the stove top is not drying them out. To be honest I am usually so focused on flavor I forget about the cook time on the burgers. When I told Patrick what I was making he actually cringed a little clearly remembering my well done burgers from last time. Oops! This time I am focused! These came out a perfect medium rare which is so important since we are using a very lean cut of meat.
I used a blend of my favorite spices: smoked paprika, fresh cracked sea salt, white pepper, garlic and onion. Yes I definitely satisfied my nacho craving with these! Feel free to reduce the recipe. We ended up sharing one burger since they were so massive.