Friday, February 09, 2007

Greek Potato Wedges

Around this house, we eat enough potatoes each week to feed an army of hungry, Irish men. John waxes eloquent about the virtues of the humble Potato, and we eat them in myriad incarnations. These potatoes pair well with Greek food and also with fish (try a lemon and onion white wine sauce...yum). They also taste good at midnight, but don't ask me how I know this.

Combine the following ingredients and marinate in the fridge for one hour:
6-8 potatoes, washed and cut into wedges
4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a large bowl, combine the following:
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tsp. rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. black pepper

After potatoes have marinated, add them (along with the lemon juice and minced garlic) to the bowl and toss until potatoes are evenly coated with seasoning. Spread onto a cookie sheet with edges (or a jellyroll pan) and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 1 hour. Turn potatoes every 15 minutes and sprinkle with lemon-pepper seasoning; bake until the liquid has evaporated and potatoes are nicely brown and crisp.

Hot potato!

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken

EDIT:  Sorry for the lacking updated snapshot, but don't fuss with toothpicks, etc., for this delicious meal.  Simply slice each breast nearly but not completely in half, starting from the thickest side, in order to form a pocket.  Spoon the filling into the pockets, and bake as directed.  So much easier and just as delicious!  If you want to still brown the chicken, simply brown them after slicing but before filling it, and then proceed with filling them.

Edit, again:  The last time I made these, I had no sour cream.   I mixed four or so tbsp. of cream cheese with several tbsp. homemade, full-fat yogurt, and liked the results even better.

Mix the following ingredients in a small bowl:

3-5 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 to 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tsp. pepper
salt, to taste
1 tsp. oregano, or to taste
4 cloves finely minced or pressed garlic
one small onion, very finely minced
10 oz. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Pound four boneless, skinless chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness (one at a time) between two pieces of plastic wrap. If you don't have a kitchen mallet, do what I do-- a hammer, a large rock, a heavy bottle, or glass-jarred candle will do the trick. Spread spinach mixture evenly over chicken, to within one half inch of edge, roll up and secure with toothpicks. In a shallow bowl, sift 1/4 cup flour, and salt and pepper, to taste. Roll each stuffed chicken breast in flour mixture until dusted. Brown both sides of chicken breasts in a few tablespoons of butter and some olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

Place browned chicken breasts in a lightly greased ovenproof dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 35-45 minutes or until juices run clear.

Oh, yeah. Make sure you remove the toothpicks before you eat the chicken, okay?

We ate this with Greek Potato Wedges, savory herb rolls, and salad with this Greek dressing. You can, too, if you'd like.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Crispy Baked Oatmeal

My sister Becky shared this recipe with me, and I've edited it with a few alterations. It's the perfect comfort food for frosty, winter mornings, and it's very easy to make. It's a cross between granola and....dessert. (And because I offer information that no one needs to know, on the frosty, winter morning that I made it, I ate hearty helpings, and I was perfectly comforted.)

4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (I don't use this much, though. See-- healthy!)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar (I cut back on this, too)
6 cups old-fashioned oats
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
generous splash of vanilla
1/3 cup flaked coconut (I don't use this anymore, for thriftiness)
1/3 cup raisins (usually we don't have these in the house anymore, either!)
Sometimes, 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used nearly a cup in this years-old picture, though. See-- unhealthy!)

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, oil, vanilla, and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add to the egg mixture, stirring just until moistened. Stir in the coconut, raisins, and chocolate chips, if you're making the dessert version.

Spoon into a greased jelly roll pan and bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring once. This must be served over homemade yogurt. (Not really, but that's how we eat  it, and I highly recommend it served so.)

Cheesy Herb Bread

The smell that fills the house as this bread bakes is alone worth the making of it. (Don't let that keep you from also eating it, though. It's good!)

I'm glad that after I slid these in the oven, I jotted down the spices I used, because although this bread is amenable to variations and additions, it was so good, I think I'll stick with the following amounts for a while in fear of ruining a good thing. Feel free to twiddle and tweedle it up yourself.

Without further ado, make this yummy bread!

1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. black pepper
@ 1/4 tsp. rosemary, crushed (just smush it with a pestle or with the superman strength of your fingers)
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. oregano
@ 3 tablespoons finely minced onion
@4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
@ 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

@ 5 cups all-purpose flour (with one or two tablespoons of wheat gluten added) or 5 cups bread flour. You can use all purpose without the gluten and the flavor will still be superb, but the texture won't be quite as nice.

Dissolve yeast, sugar, and salt in warm water. Let proof for about ten minutes (until foamy). Add sour cream, butter, eggs, and stir. Add the spices and about three cups of flour and mix. Add enough flour until dough is the right consistency for kneading. Work the grated cheese into the dough as you knead, and knead until dough is smooth and somewhat elastic (in spite of the lumpy bits of cheese). Place in greased bowl, cover top, and let rise in a warm place until doubled. Punch down and place in two greased, 8-inch bread pans (I used my quick bread pans, otherwise the loaves would be too flat). Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown and hollow-sounding when thumped on the bottom, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

*My oven runs hot, and these were done in 20 minutes.
*If you want to make rolls with the dough, bake for @ 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
*I can't wait until summertime to try this with fresh garden herbs. You should, too!
*Vary the kind of cheese and use alternate spices, if desired. I bet it will be yummy any way you slice it (get it?!).

Lame joke-- check.
Time to post this recipe, then.