recipe

The Trendiest Sheet Pan Chicken

by Anne Maxfield on October 14, 2019

This sheet pan chicken recipe is supposed to be the most popular recipe on the NY Times Cooking site, and it looked good, so we had to give it a try. Serves 4:

The Trendiest Sheet Pan Chicken

  • 3 ½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups green Castelvetrano olives, crushed and pitted
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 cup parsley, tender leaves and stems, chopped

Heat oven to 450°. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with turmeric and 2 tablespoons olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Make sure chicken is skin-side up, then pour vinegar over and around chicken and place in the oven.

Bake chicken, without flipping, until cooked through and deeply browned all over, 25 to 30 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, combine olives, garlic, parsley, the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Once chicken is cooked, remove baking sheet from the oven and transfer chicken to a large serving platter, leaving behind any of the juices and bits stuck to the pan.

Make sure the baking sheet is on a sturdy surface (the stovetop, a counter), then pour the olive mixture onto the sheet. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently scrape up all the bits the chicken left behind, letting the olive mixture mingle with the rendered fat and turn into a sauce. Pour olive mixture over the chicken, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: I think Frank liked this better than I did. It might be because for once, I cooked him a breast and kept the thighs to myself. Both were crispy skinned and tender inside, so I would definitely use this technique to make chicken anytime.

However, the next time I make the recipe, I’ll deglaze the sheet pan on the stove over heat.  I didn’t like the sauce being cold and while I love garlic, the raw garlic overpowered the dish (true confession, I have great garlic from our CSA and it’s very pungent, but I only used 1 good sized clove).

The other thing missing IMHO was a little acid, so maybe a squirt of lemon in the sauce at the end.

And if I’m being hyper-critical, the olives were good, but a little subtle. Maybe a mix of black and green would pop more.

And, on another note, use a sturdy sheet pan so it doesn’t warp and be prepared to do some serious oven cleaning afterward.

Have you tried this? What did you think?

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Pork Chops With Rosemary and Capers

by Anne Maxfield on September 30, 2019

Sometimes you just crave good pork chops.

I did and this recipe from bon appetit with capers and rosemary caught my attention. Serves 2:

  • 2 1″-thick bone-in pork chops
  • Salt
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Season pork chops with salt and sprinkle evenly with ½ teaspoon of sugar. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chops, undisturbed, until well-browned underneath, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook just until second side is lightly browned, about 1 minute. Transfer chops to a plate (they won’t be fully cooked) and reduce heat to medium.

Pour remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil into the same skillet and add shallot and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.

Add vinegar and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar to skillet. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until vinegar is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add rosemary, capers, and ½ cup water to skillet; season with salt. Reduce heat as needed to maintain a very low simmer. Add butter and swirl pan continuously (and vigorously) until sauce becomes smooth, glossy, and emulsified.

Return pork chops to skillet, arranging darker side up. Simmer gently in sauce, swirling occasionally, until chops are cooked through, about 3 minutes (a thermometer inserted near the bones should register 135°).

Transfer pork chops to plates and spoon sauce over, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: These were really good and will go into regular rotation along with the ones with mustard and cornichons! I served them with mashed potatoes so I could take the new GIR potato masher for a test run and they were the perfect vehicle to soak up the extra sauce (BTW, the potato masher is great too but more about that later).

I was a little leery of the sugar in the recipe since I’d just trashed my grill pan because a marinade had sugar in it, but it was fine and my cast iron pan easily handled it.

Sage would probably work well in place of the rosemary, depending on what you had on hand.

 

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Stuffed Zucchini With Lamb and Rice

by Anne Maxfield on August 26, 2019

This is a perfect summer dish, good for using up that CSA zucchini and much easier than my other favorite stuffed zucchini.

Stuffed Zucchini With Lamb and Rice

  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 cup short-grain rice, such as arborio, soaked for 20 minutes and drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound tomatoes sliced 1/4” thick
  • Labne or Greek yogurt for garnish (optional)

Halve the zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Reserve 1 cup of the zucchini flesh and finely chop it.

In a large bowl, mix the drained rice with the turmeric. Add the chopped zucchini, lamb, butter, cumin seeds, ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Using your hands, gently knead the mixture until blended. Add 1/4 cup of the water and knead until evenly moistened. Stuff the zucchini halves with the lamb filling.

Line the bottom of a large, deep skillet with the tomato slices and season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange the stuffed zucchini halves on top of the tomatoes in a single layer. Add the remaining 1 cup of water to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat for about 25 minutes, until the lamb is cooked through and the rice is tender.

Transfer the zucchini to a platter. Cook the tomatoes over high heat, mashing them, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Spoon the tomatoes over the zucchini, top with a spoonful of labne or Greek yogurt, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: This was a winner! Frank said “you can make this any time” (his highest compliment) so I made it again about a week later.

You’ll have lots of zucchini “guts” so when you’re putting the 1 cup aside choose the parts with the least amount of seeds.

I’ve done it with both aborio and bomba rice, but haven’t really noticed a difference in flavor, so I’m guessing that almost any rice would work. I was thinking of subbing some chicken broth for the water the last time I made it, but totally forgot.

 

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Your New Favorite (Corn) Salad

by Anne Maxfield on August 19, 2019

Even thought I was in the throes of moving, when I saw this corn salad recipe on the Smitten Kitchen site, I paused and made it for lunch for friends who were helping us. Just give yourself a little time for the onions to pickle.

Your New Favorite (Corn) Salad

  • 1/2 a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Slightly heaped 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 medium ears corn, shucked
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, or crema
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 ounces (heaped 1/2 cup) crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Tajín seasoning or chile powder
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves

Combine red onion, red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons cold water, salt, and sugar in a bowl or jar. Set in fridge until needed. Onions will be very lightly pickled by the time you’re done assembling the salad, but if you can give them 1-2 hours in the fridge, they’ll be better.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Lightly oil grill grates and place corn cobs directly on them. Cook corn until charred in spots all over, turning as often as needed. Transfer them to a cutting board to cool slightly.

While you’re grilling your corn, combine sour cream, mayo, and cotija cheese. Spread on the bottom of your serving plate. Cut corn from cobs with a sharp knife and pile it over the cheese mix on the platter. Squeeze the juice of half a lime all over, then scatter with the pickled onion rings from the fridge. Generously shake Tajín or chile powder all over; if you’re using plain chile powder, season with salt and an extra squeeze of lime. Top with cilantro leaves. Cut remaining lime half into wedges and serve alongside. Serve and enjoy right away while the dressing is cold, and the corn is warm!

My verdict: Amazing! I’ve been wanting to try to make elote anyway and seeing this just sealed the deal. I had some chorizo, so we grilled that and served it with the corn salad. It was a perfect summer lunch and there wasn’t a kernel of corn leftover.

It was so good, that in the middle of moving, I almost bought some more corn just to grill so we could have it in our new (grillless apartment), but I’m hoping my grill pan will do a decent job.

If you have a Mexican grocery nearby, you can get the Tajin, cojita and crema there, otherwise substitute chile powder, crumbled feta and sour cream. I did use homemade mayo and crema, but it’s so good that that probably didn’t make much of a difference.

The Tajin seasoning is great and you’ll find lots of other uses for it. I might introduce it to some Fritos and see if I can replicate my favorite junk food from Mexico—Fritos with chili and lime. What do you put it on?

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