Tag Archives: baked

Best-ever roasted potatoes

Now, if you don’t like spicy things, I suppose you should just skip this recipe. But oh jeez, it’s amazing! Especially paired with my tomato garlic bisque. These potatoes are fragrant, creamy and a delight to add to any meal. Also, they couldn’t be easier to make! 

 

Best-ever roasted potatoes

2-3 potatoes, washed and scrubbed

cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, ground rosemary and pepper to taste

1-2 tbsp oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F(176°C). Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil. Cut the potatoes into chunks, about two-bite sized. Place them on the cookie sheet, then drizzle with oil (don’t overdo it) and sprinkle on the spices. Using your hands, toss them to coat in the oil and spices.

When the oven is preheated, pop them in and set your timer for 35 minutes. About halfway through, toss them with a spatula to get the other side nice and cooked as well.

When the timer goes off, check with a fork for tenderness (doneness) and, if they aren’t, put them back in for 5-10 minutes. If they are, take them out to cool, and do your best not to eat them until they’re ready to handle.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Baking, Miscellaneous

Roasted garlic

I love garlic. Everything about it: it’s taste, the texture, the sharp, heady smell of it. It’s beautiful. M loves the smell of my fingers after I’ve sliced into a clove of garlic. She says the smell is sexy. I disagree; I think everything about garlic is sexy. It’s the ultimate flavoring when it comes to soups, sauces and roasts. It can add a sharpness to a vinaigrette like nothing can, and it makes pasta approximately fifteen times better just from basking in its presence.

There is something, however, that regular garlic cannot add that roasted, it does…the sweet, caramel-y flavor of roasted garlic is unmatched. Spread on toast and drizzled with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, it makes for an amazing antipasto treat. Crushed into mashed potatoes, it drives such a comforting American dish up to a level it had never before attained!

I think that roasted garlic can go on or in absolutely anything your mind can dream up, but, more than anything, I love it piping hot from the oven, sweet and warm, spread on a piece of crusty, crunchy crostini. There’s nothing like sitting around on a hot day with your lover eating little swipes of this caramel-colored, sweetly-scented roasted garlic with a nice cup of black tea.

Remember that, when picking heads of garlic for roasting, you want to choose firm, heavy heads with tightly-closed cloves. No sprouts!

Roasted garlic for one

1-2 heads garlic

Olive oil for drizzling (not extra-virgin)

Preheat your oven to 350°F (171°C.) On a 12×12 inch square of foil, drizzle about one tablespoon of olive oil. On a chopping board, cut off the top of the garlic head so that just the tops of the cloves are exposed.

Set the garlic cut side down onto the oil. Drizzle another tablespoon of oil over the garlic and close the foil in a tight package. Set the garlic in the oven and set your timer for one hour.

It is your duty to enjoy the lovely smells as they waft from your oven. Bask in it. Bathe in it!

Once the timer goes off, take out your little packet. Let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes (if you can resist!) Eat it just like that with toast, or let it cool and use it in any recipe you can come up with. Don’t forget to save at least two cloves for my next post, though…or just make two heads. That’s generally what I do 🙂

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Filed under Ethnic, Miscellaneous

Baked chicken á la M

So, here’s the short and sweet about my love life: I may or may not be cheating on my girlfriend with baked chicken. Yes, you can gasp now as I scream it to the world: I lovebaked chicken! But, another confession: I’d never really, truly had it this way until I moved in with my girlf.

This was tonight's beautiful, succulent supper.

The first night she made baked chicken for me, I whipped up an Asian-inspired glaze with anything I could think of, which she spooned over it, stuck into the oven, and baked per my directions. They looked gorgeous, but even better, they tasted like…heaven! Really, truly, honestly, I about scarfed down two whole thighs myself. Seriously, I may or may not have inhaled them whole. They were golden crisp and dark on the outside, tender, moist and succulent (yes, I said succulent) on the inside. Eat your heart out. I died a little inside when I looked down at my plate and realized those beautiful, tender, moist thighs were no longer in this world.

Well, Pheasant said to me happily, Then we just make more, right?

I was wrong. I wasn’t just wrong: I was erroneous, I was counter-factual, I was absolutely, positively incorrect. Because, you see…I’d made the first mistake that any budding cook learns not to make (barring adding salt before you’ve tasted): I didn’t write down the ingredients. Not a single one. Oh, but you say, couldn’t you just remember? Well, of course! But remembering and know the exact measurements are two very different things.

So, the next time I craved myself a succulent, tender, juicy chicken thigh coated in a most amazing shoyu-honey glaze, I stood myself at the counter, ingredients spread before me, and began carefully, carefully tasting. I tasted for nearly half an hour, y’all. I slowly added more honey, more shoyu, more rice wine vinegar. Everything. I tasted and tasted and tasted, until I could taste no longer. And you guys, it was delicious. It was sweet, salty, slightly tart…beautiful. Now, to put my plan into action. I coated some thighs, stuck them on a Pam’d, foil-lined baking sheet and baked those beautiful chicken parts to my heart’s content. They were gorgeous! Still soft, tender, juicy (can I used those adjectives anymore, in reference to these thighs? I may have used up my quota…) but with that shiny, crackling, “I can thump it with my finger and it makes a hollow sound” crisp skin. Bee-u-tee-full. Here it is, everyone: the lovely, the tender and delightful….

M’s Baked Chicken

3 chicken thighs, cleaned, bone-in, skin on

2 tbsp shoyu (soy sauce. I highly recommend Aloha brand shoyu. It’s not as salty as, say, Kikkoman)

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp rice or red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp pepper (fresh or pre-ground, it makes no difference)

1/2 tsp garlic powder OR 1/2 clove, very finely minced (press it, if you can)

1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1/2 tsp garlic OR olive oil

PAM

So, you’ll need a little tupperware for this, about enough to hold maybe half a cup of liquid. We’ll be making all of this in the Tupperware! Isn’t that handy? So all you’ll really need to clean up before supper is a little whisk or fork.

Mix all the spices together: garlic powder, curry powder, pepper, and the cayenne, if you’re using it. Mix them, and mix them well. Add in the garlic oil and whisk to form a bit of a garlicky, curry-y paste. Beautiful, isn’t it? If you’re adding fresh garlic instead of powder, mix it in after the oil.

Add the honey, mixing until it’s nice and thick. Add the shoyu and vinegar. Stir them up until everything is super-mellow and cooperating nicely.

Now, you can either set it in the fridge and forget about it until it’s time to make the deliciousness that will be in your Pheasant later, or, you can do it immediately. I like to let it sit, because I feel it gives everything time to mix and blend until it’s absolutely perfect, but that’s just me.

Now, when you’re ready for glory, you have two options:

1) Set the oven to 375° F (approximately 191° Centigrade.) Line a baking sheet (jelly roll, or something with a small lip all around) with foil, then spray the foil with Pam (or the cooking spray of your choice.) Spread the thighs out on the sheet, giving them a goodly amount of room. Make sure the skin is extremely spread out so it gets nice and crunchy-crisp. Hey, chicken skin is loaded with fat. You may as well make it taste good, right? Take out your sweet-salty baste, and mix it up to make sure it’s all nice and incorporated. Spoon a bit over each thigh, making sure it clings and coats it well. Then, when the oven is preheated, slide them in. Ten minutes into the cooking process, take the chicken out of the oven, baste it with a little more of the sauce, and stick it back in. Repeat one more time. Proceed to the section sign.

2) Take the thighs and the sauce, and put them together in a plastic zip-top bag. Let them rest for an hour, maybe two, or even overnight. Once you’re ready to cook, set the oven to 375° F (191° C.) Line a baking sheet (jelly roll, or something with a small lip all around) with foil, then spray the foil with Pam (or the cooking spray of your choice.) You’ll still want to spread the chicken out well, making sure the skin is going to be good and crisp. I like to score the fat to make sure it all drains well, because I hate biting into globs of chicken fat (ew…) Once everything’s all set up and your oven tells you it’s ready to roll, stick those puppies in there. Watch them. And…

§ Around the 30 minute mark, you’ll want to take them out and prick each one (under the skin, not through it!) with a fork or knife. If the juices run clear, great! You’re done. If not, stick them back in another ten minutes. Once everything is running clear, take them out and inspect those babies. If they’re brown and crunchy looking, with a solid “thumk” sound when you flick your finger against them, let them sit out as you finish preparing supper. If not, set them under a hot broiler, watching them carefully, until they reach said doneness. This is sugar we’re dealing with, people. Don’t be stupid. Watch your chicken.

Let them sit for at least five minutes to incorporate the juices back into the chicken (you know, if you can wait that long…) and then…feel free to shove as much of it in your mouth at a time as you can. Relish the delight in your mouth!

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Filed under Chicken

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

It's not the prettiest cake ever, but it definitely was one of the tastiest!

I. Love. Halloween. It is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday of the entire year. I love the decorations, the excitement, the spooky stories…everything. But, most of all, pheasants, I love dressing up. Costuming is one of my favorite pastimes…I have a closet full of Snow White, Goddess, pirate and princess costumes back at my parents’ house. I love making my costumes and getting ready for Halloween. It drives M nuts. She firmly believes that once one hits puberty, all Halloween-ing goes out the window. I respectfully disagree. Halloween is my favorite time of the year.

And to celebrate this year’s excellent holiday, I decided to start off my day with a mini upside-down apple cake. As we were falling asleep last night, I was telling M how much I’d like to do a layered oatmeal cake, and it got me thinking…why wait? I love upside down cakes, almost as much as I love cheesecake (which is a lot!) I think they’re fun, tasty, and absolutely amazing. Also, what could be easier and nicer for a chilly morning breakfast than some warm, creamy baked oatmeal layered with sweet and cinnamony apples?

I will admit it…I was very tempted to make my Pheasant’s Shirred Eggs again…but I find that when I eat oatmeal in the mornings, I make better food choices during the rest of my day.

After yesterday’s oatmeal cake (my first oatmeal cake ever, mind you!) I’ve decided that I’d like to bake mine a bit less, because I like a softer interior. And pheasants…it came out phenomenally. The apples were soft and full of flavor, the oatmeal creamy in the center and firm on the sides. It was glorious. I didn’t add sugar to the oatmeal itself this time, because the apples were sweet and I added honey to the bottom (inverted top) layer while building it. I’d definitely recommend this for any type of fruit…cherries, strawberries, blackberries. Use them frozen if you’ve got them, and just use a little less water in the recipe. Use your imagination, pheasants! For, as Albert Einstein said, “Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination can take you anywhere.”

Baked Oatmeal Upside Down Cake

1/2 c. oats, less 2 tbsp

1/4 c. water

1/3 medium apple (I used a Gala)

1/2 tsp honey

1/4 tbsp  heavy cream

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

As much cinnamon as you like!

So, pheasants, you know the drill: set that oven to 375°F (191°C for my Canadian and international pheasants.) In a spice grinder, pulse a pinch of oats until flour. Add this flour to a bowl, then add in the oats, cinnamon, cream and water. Mix it together, then set it aside. Chop up the apple into small bits (about twice the size of a grain of rice was what I went with.) For the first layer, set a thick layer of apples on the bottom of the ramekin. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and drizzle honey over it all. Mix it up with a spoon and spread it out again. Then, put about half the oatmeal mixture on top, spreading it out so everything touches the walls. Repeat with one more layer of apples (cinnamon- and honey-free this time) and then spoon in the remaining oatmeal. Spread it all out well, and then pop that baby in the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on how chewy you like your oats, and how soft you like it inside.

Questionable content: 

Are there any recipes in particular you’d like to see me try?

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Filed under Pastas, grains and oatmeal

Things you can make in a ramekin, part I

Pheasants, I have glorious news for you! Today, M and I went to the Seattle Premium Outlets and we got two of the most beautiful little ramekins from Le Creuset (in Cobalt and Cherry, if you’re curious.) Thus sparked the idea in me of a little series I’m starting, called “things you can make in a ramekin.”

To start with, pheasants, what is a ramekin?

This is a ramekin.

Well, it’s a little round bowl, like a tiny pot, without a lid. Generally, they’re made of ceramic. The term itself (French, ramequin) is from the Middle German and Dutch via French. From what I’ve researched, it seems like a tie between them, because root words in Middle German and Middle Dutch that seem to have become the term ramekin meant “little cream” or “toast,” respectively. Why, I’ve no idea. Mostly, they’re little glazed dishes for baking, serving dips and utilizing as little snack bowls. However, M and I sat down when we got home and I had an idea: these small dishes are so handy with their (usually) single-serving sizes; why not come up with some recipes for ramekins that will help create easy, delicious and beautiful meals, personalized to each individual?

To begin the series which, I hope, will help you find new and exciting ways to eat your breakfasts, lunches and suppers, I want to tell you how much I love anything in its own “personal serving dish.” Small amounts of food in small dishes is one of my most favorite things, hence why today I’m making a shirred egg for breakfast and an oatmeal cake to go with my lunch.

First, I’d like to point out the wonderful things about shirred eggs: they’re easy, tasty, and you can pile vegetables underneath them to make them significantly healthier than just an egg in a ramekin. Also, for all you college students, shirred eggs are quick and easy, with minimal cleanup (no pan and spatula to wash!) Serve it up with some strong tea and toast soldiers (toasted bread cut into long strips) and you’ve got yourself a beautiful European breakfast fit for royalty.

As for baked oatmeal, it’s healthy and lovely. It can be sweet (I love sweet!) or savory (cheese and chives, anyone?) Once you’ve got the basic recipe down, I’m of the mindset that you can do just about anything with them. Bake up five or six and set them in the fridge to grab for breakfast when you’re in a hurry!

Pheasant’s Baked Oatmeal

1/2 c. oats (not the minute oats or flavored, packaged stuff)

1 tbsp fat-free cream cheese

1/8 c. 2% milk

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

First, Pam your ramekin well so nothing sticks to it. Preheat your oven to 375°F (about 191°C.) Then, in a regular bowl, mix up the oats, cream cheese, milk, cinnamon and extract. If you want an easier time mixing in the cream cheese, you can nuke it a bit. Alternatively, if you’re worried about sticking power (as I was) you can take about a teaspoon’s worth of oats before you mix and pulse it in a spice grinder to make an oat flour. Once all this is done, stick the ramekin in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Let it sit for a moment, then, enjoy!

Because the caloric and nutritional counter I use is currently down, there’s no nutritional information included. However, this recipe has about 231 calories.

Shirred Eggs, Pheasant Style

1 egg

1/2 tbsp heavy cream

A few pinches hard, white cheese (maybe 1/2 tsp)

1/2 c. spinach

2 tbsp salmon, raw

1 tbsp onions, chopped

1 tbsp green onions, chopped

If you don’t have the salmon and onions (I actually used about four tablespoons of lomi salmon for this) you can definitely substitute it for tomatoes, onions, cheese, or whatever else you like eating with your eggs.

Preheat your oven to 375°F (191°C.) Pam your ramekin well (we don’t want sticky messes!) then, place the salmon, onions and spinach in the bottom. Crack an egg over it. Stick this in your preheated oven for about nine minutes. Then, take it out and drip the cream over the top, as well as any seasonings you like (I used cayenne and sea salt) and the chees. Stick it back in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes (ten will yield a runny yolk, whereas twelve will give it more firmness.) Take it out and let it sit, then enjoy!

Servings: 1 ~ Calories: 150 ~ Fat: 9g ~ Carbs: 3g ~Protein 12.5g ~ Sodium: 93m

Note: I have decided that shirred eggs done this way is most definitely my favorite breakfast of all time. The mix of salmon, onions, spinach and egg made for such a savory, flavorful and beautiful meal, I could hardly wait to make it again the second I’d finished it!

Questionable content:

What types of foods would you like to see me mini-fy and make inside a ramekin?

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Filed under All things eggs, Pastas, grains and oatmeal