Saturday, December 18, 2010

Roasted Chicken breast

Chicken...yummy!  I have been trying to cook more vegetarian but chicken stands in my way.  Yummy, moist, delicious chicken breast -- the main reason I fail as a vegetarian.  I mean seriously, who wants to give up chicken strips, coconut chicken, chicken fajitas, bbq chicken, chicken kabobs, and my craving today ROASTED CHICKEN.  It is seriously delicious.  Super moist, with tons of flavor, dissolves in your mouth.  Oh so good and oh so easy.  Here is how I make it:

Brown Basamati Rice
Veggies of your choiceChicken Breast
    Salt & Pepper

Preheat the oven to 500
Since brown rice takes so long to make I usually begin my meals by starting the rice. If you have decided that you don't like brown rice you need to try brown basmati.  Recently, I tried it and have become a HUGE fan.  Given the option I will always pick brown basmati.

Take the rice

 Add water or broth (I love making it with vegetable broth)

I add a tad of butter and a little sea salt.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 50 minutes (worth the wait)

I once read that while roasting your chicken you can add your veggies under the roasting pan.  I cover the pan with foil and put some veggies on foil under the broiler tray. You can put any veggies here: potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, butternut squash...pretty much anything. I only had onions and carrots on hand so that is what I used.  Have fun with it

Place 2 chicken breast (bone-in and skin-on) on a roasting pan.

 take some room temperature butter

chop 2 cloves of garlic

add garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme to your butter

and smash them together.

Make a delicious spread

which you will rub over the chicken breast

Pull back the skin and rub the herbed butter all over the chicken breast.

Then pull the skin back over the chicken breast.

Season with additional salt & pepper and roast for 30 minutes until the chicken breast reads 170 degrees.

Oh my goodness!  Isn't that beautiful! 

Cover the chicken with foil as you finish up the rest of your meal.  This allows the chicken time to "rest." It allows the juices to re-enter the chicken vs just running on your plate.

I should have turned the veggies at least once during the roasting process but I totally forgot.  Luckily for me they turned out caramelized.  I LOVE caramelized veggies (especially onions).

So you have two options:
Either serve the chicken on the bone (Santosh's preference)

or cut the chicken off the bone (my preference)

My goal with every meal is to help show you how easy it is to cook a delicious meal right from your very own kitchen.  Now, GO ENJOY!

From my Stove-Top with Love

**Cabbage recipe to come...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"High Tea" (the Irish way)

TEA, oh how I love to have tea.  It is just so relaxing and comforting to sit down for a cup of tea.  Once you get to know me you will begin to realize how proud I am of my Irish heritage.  I even had the wonderful privilege of studying in Ireland for a semester.  It was there that I decided that I don't ever want to go even one day without a cup of tea.  Luckily, I married an Indian who grew up having tea time every day...dream beginning to come true!

Recently, two sweet and creative ladies in my church put together an incredible tea party and I had the wonderful privilege of attending.  It was another dream come true for me.  It was an afternoon I won't soon forget.  The best part of the entire tea party was the scones.  These scones were the type that melt in your mouth, the ones that you continue to dream about for days after.  Guess what?  I was given the recipe!  You would think it can't get much better than that, but it can.  I am going to picture journal making them for you! 

I thought it would be fun to illustrate for you how to start a new memory in your home, "high tea" (the Irish way).  My daughter, Olivia and I will walk you step-by-step through creating a memorable tea time.

Sit back and enjoy!

Ingredients for melt in your mouth Scones:
   2 cups flour
   2 tsp baking powder
   1 TBS sugar
   1/2 tsp salt
   4 TBS butter
   2 eggs
   1/2 cup cream

First, preheat your oven to 425.
Next, sift 2 cups of flour,

with 2 tsp baking powder,

1 TBS of sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt.


We love this part.  It can be messy but it helps blend the flour, powder, sugar, and salt.

I love how sifting makes the flour mixture look.

Next, take 4 TBS of room temperature butter

and chop the butter into small pieces and add it to the flour mixture.

Cut the butter into the mixture till it resembles small crumbs.

I mixed it a little with beaters but then continued by hand till it looked like this.

Like little crumbs

Now, take 2 eggs

and 1 cup of heavy whipping cream

beat together for a couple seconds.

Slowly add in the flour/butter crumbs.

Only do the beginning with beaters and then continue by hand till the flour is completely blended in.

Place dough onto a lightly floured surface.  The dough will be a little sticky, so add a little flour (if needed) to help knead it by hand for 1 minute.

Be careful not to over-knead.

Just till it is smooth.

Then cut the dough into 4 equal parts.

Take a quarter of the dough and roll into a ball.

It doesn't have to be perfect.

Then you pat the dough down.

This is definitely Olivia's favorite part.

You want the dough to be about 3/4-inch thick.

Lightly flour the top of the dough, this makes it easier to cut.

Once again cut the dough into four equal parts.  This time you are actually cutting the shape of the scones. This makes 4 little wedges.

You have two options:
Lightly grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray and place scones on pan directly

or cover your pan with parchment paper and place your scones on it (easier clean up).

Place scones in preheated oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, till lightly browned.

Time to make whipping cream...yummy!

Take 1 cup of COLD heavy whipping cream

and beat the cream

 till soft peaks form.

Gradually, add 2 TBS sugar.

Continue to beat until soft peaks return.  Be careful not to over beat.

Light and fluffy...yummy! Put in fridge till ready to serve.

 Now, it is time to make the tea.  Get a kettle and fill it with fresh COLD water.

Place on stove-top and bring to quick boil.

While waiting for the water to boil get all your tea stuff ready.  I love Red Rose tea.  I grew up drinking it on special occasions but now I drink it almost everyday.  It is an Orange Pekoe Black Tea, absolutely delicious. You can use any kind of tea: herbal, green, or black.  For authentic Irish tea, stick with black teas.

I have a BEAUTIFUL tea pot from Ireland that just makes tea better but you can use any teapot or kettle.  You can even make your tea in a coffee cup if you don't have tea supplies.  I put about 1 1/2 cups of freshly boiled water to 1 tea bag.  My tea pot holds about 3 cups of water so I put 2 tea bags in.

Now, everyone is different when it comes to making tea, but since my family likes our tea just about the exact same I actually put the sugar (I use natural cane turbinado sugar.) directly into the teapot.  We do this if it is only our family drinking the tea.  If we have company we skip this step and everyone sugars their own tea.
 * When it comes to tea I like it sweet, 2 tsp per 3 cups water & 2 tea bags.

After the water comes to a boil, pour it into teapot (or coffee cup).  Cover the pot and let it seep for 3-5 minutes depending on how dark you like to your tea.

This is another fun part, setting everything up for "high tea."

I love eating scones with jam or preserves and whipped cream.  I drink my tea with 1/2 & 1/2.

Doesn't that look DELICIOUS!

Now its time to enjoy with your loved ones.

We all love to have tea together.  It is some of our best memories. 
**Note the correct position of the pinky while holding the tea cup.

Olivia's friends gave her, her very own tea cups and teapot for her birthday.  One of the best presents ever.

Have I told you how the scones just melt in your mouth.  Oh man, they are delicious!

We start them young enjoying this Irish tradition, such a fun way to bring our heritage to life in our home.

Check back later to experience tea time the Indian way. 

From my Stove-Top with Love