two skinny jenkins


130304 – Herb Roasted Chicken
130305, 7:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

chicken dinnerFirst, this photo does not do this dinner justice.  My first whole roasted chicken was almost perfect.  I had done my research (here, here and here) and go all my ingredients at my favorite grocery store in Guate, Super Verduras.  The chicken itself was kind of fun.  I was lucky that it was a Monday, so they had just gotten in fresh chickens and had not frozen them all yet.  Unlike what you might find at Whole Foods or any other grocery store in the states, this chickie still had all it’s parts with it.  The head and neck, legs, and all the other stuff was neatly tucked in the cavity.  Anyway, my ingredients were perfect and I had the proper cooking times worked out.  There was just one little hiccup – a simple, rookie mistake – when i plopped the bird down in the preheated pan, i put her in upside-down.  So after watching Mark Bittman’s video (twice!) on the technique of getting the dark and light meat cooked properly by placing the bird breasts-up, I did the opposite.

In the end, it was delicious, but the skin on the breast meat wasn’t nearly what it could have been.  Even though I cooked it for 55 minutes, attempting to dry the breasts out a bit (we like our meat drier), it was quite juicy.  Maybe you like it like that.

The Chicken

  • 3-4 lb fresh chicken
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary (cut in half)
  • 1 T minced fresh thyme
  • 1 T minced fresh rosemary
  • evoo
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lime or lemon

The Veggies

These potatoes were super crunchy and delicious.  The onions, however were hit or miss. Some of them were burned, and some were perfectly cooked.  Next time, I would use a smaller pan (i

  • 2 large russet potatoes, thoroughly scrubbed, peeled, and cut into 1 or 1.5″ cubes
  • 2 large yellow onions, cut into 6-8 wedges
  • 3 T evoo

Method:

  1. trim the excess fat off the chicken, rinse with hot water, rub all over with salt and pepper and refrigerate.  (This method came from Jamie Oliver – I was just doing everything that reputable cooks said would make it taste better!)
  2. Take the chicken out of the fridge about an hour before you’re ready to cook it so that it returns to room temperature.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the potatoes and lime for 12 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500F with a large cast iron skillet in the oven.  (I just used a large metal pan, but cast iron is best).
  5. Drain, allow potatoes to steam off excess water, and scratch them up with a fork so that they’ll be crunchier when roasted.
  6. Carefully slice the lime almost in half, so that the juice will run out a little, and stick it inside the chicken with the sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
  7. Coat the chicken with evoo, and sprinkle with minced herbs, and some more salt and fresh ground pepper.
  8. Once the oven is preheated, remove the skillet and carefully pour in the 3 T of evoo.  Toss the veggies in the hot oil, place the bird DARK MEAT SIDE DOWN in the middle of the pan and pop it back in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until juices run clear.


091003 – Ethiopian Celebration!
091004, 9:39 am
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , , , ,

Ethiopian Feast

To celebrate my new job, Joe and i were going to go out for Ethiopian.  After my first excursion to the grocery store since ‘the accident’ my ankle was not feeling very good.  Plus the fact that it had been raining all day, made it tempting to stay home.   So I decided to make it myself instead.  Joe bought the Injera at a place called South End Food Emporium, just a few blocks from the Prudential Center in downtown Boston.  It felt pretty good to get back in the kitchen.  Now that I have a pretty demanding job, it’s hard to find the time to get into cooking during the week.  Also, my ankle has healed to the point that i don’t mind standing in the kitchen for a while (especially if i get something as yummy as this afterward).

cook by numbers

1. Yataklete Kilkil (Vegetable Stew)

  • 6 new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 5-6 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ discs
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T chopped ginger
  • 1 T niter kebbeh or butter
  • 1 t ground cardamom (I used 6 whole pods)
  • 1 C vegetable broth
  • 1 t fenugreek
  • 1 1/2 t tumeric
  1. combine carrots and potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, add 2 t salt and bring to a boil. Boil the vegetables for 20 minutes or until fully cooked. Drain, set aside.
  2. Puree onion, ginger, and garlic in a blender or food processor.
  3. Add onion puree to pot with butter, fenugreek, and tumeric (or nitter kebbeh) and saute for 5 minutes (do not brown).
  4. Add cardamom pods (or ground) and stir a few minutes more.  Add vegetables, 1 C broth, stir, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Keep on low heat while preparing the other dishes.  This stew only gets better as it sits.


2. Yemiser W’et (Spicy Lentils)

  • 1 C red lentils
  • 3 C water
  • 1 C onions, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1/4 C niter kebbeh (or 5 T butter)
  • 2 T berbere (this is a tad spicy – but not as spicy as takeout)
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 T sweet paprika
  • 2 C tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 C tomato paste
  • 1 C vegetable broth
  • 1 C grean peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 t fenugreek
  • 1 t tumeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Bring water to a boil and simmer lentils until soft – about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. This should yield approx. 3 C lentils.
  2. Meanwhile, saute garlic and onion in niter kebbeh or butter in a large saucepan until translucent, but not brown.  If you are not using niter kebbeh, I advise adding 1 t fenugreek and 1 t tumeric to mimic the spiced butter.
  3. Add the spices and continue cooking for a couple minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add the tomatoes, paste, lentils, broth, and peas (if desired) to the saucepan and simmer (stirring every couple minutes to keep from sticking) until it is sufficiently thickened to eat with injera (about 30 minutes).

3. Gomen (Collard Greens)

  • 2 big bunches collard greens
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 T niter kebbeh or 3 T butter (i’m sure they use about 6 T in restaurants)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. wash collards, drain, and trim stalks from leaves.  chop the stalks into 1/4″ pieces and coarsely chop the leaves.
  2. saute garlic and onion in niter kebbeh (or butter + 1 t fenugreek + 1 t tumeric) until soft.
  3. Add the stalks to the pot and saute until softening, about 10 minutes.  Then add the leaves and cook until soft and dark, about 20 minutes.  Stir every couple minutes to keep from browning on the bottom.


090919 – roasted vegetables + couscous
090919, 9:11 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , , , ,

Vegetables

2 BEETS, 3 CARROTS, 8 GARLIC CLOVES, 1 LEEK, 1 ONION, 2 RED POTATOES, 2 SWEET POTATOES, and 6 CHERRY TOMATOES.

Did i forget anything? This was all i could find around the kitchen to roast tonight.  I tossed the beets, potatoes, garlic, and carrots in a couple T evoo and some salt and pepper then popped em in the 475°F oven.  After 12 minutes I added the onion and leek (and some rosemary).  After 25 minutes more, i added the tomatoes and cooked 5 minutes more.  I then sprinkled a little parmesan over the whole thing and gave it 3 final minutes… at that point after opening and closing my little oven door, i bet it was down around 425°F or less.

I served it over parmesan couscous with a side salad.

This should be good fuel for our long runs tomorrow!

Roasted Vegetables




090503 – POTATO GNOCCHI
090503, 2:39 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,

step by step - gnocchiIn my cooking experience thus far, i have made potato gnocchi (with skins was a disaster), sweet potato gnocchi, and ricotta gnocchi.  the ricotta gnocchi was tasty, but so rich and heavy that i don’t think i will ever make it again.  Sweet potato gnocchi is probably my favorite, but i always struggle with what SAUCE to make for it.  certainly not tomato, and i have an aversion to white sauces.  tonight i was cooking for four guys and myself, so this regular potato gnocchi was a simple, filling, and cheap dish to make.

  • 3 lbs potatoes, peeled (i used russet because they were on sale and we bought a big bag)
  • 2 1/2 C all purpose flour (i substituted 1 C with white wheat and it was still good)
  • 2t salt
  • 1 1/2 eggs, lightly beaten (i hate being wasteful like this…)
  1. steam potatoes for 26 min, or until fully soft.
  2. mash them while they are still warm, getting out all the lumps you can.
  3. mix in eggs, flour, and salt.
  4. roll dough out on well floured counter, with floured hands, to form a 1/2″ diameter rope.  cut into 1/4-1/2″ wide pieces and press dough into shape using a long-pronged fork.
  5. bring a large pot of salted water to rapid boil.  cook the gnocchi just until they bob to the top – about 2-3 minutes.  scoop them out with a slotted spoon and let them drain.

i have always struggeled trying to keep gnocchi warm after cooking them, and let them drain long enough so they don’t get soggy.  i just do the best that i can to shake off extra water as i scoop them from the cooking pot.



090425 – burgers + brownies
090424, 10:49 pm
Filed under: DESSERT, DINNER, MULTISPORT | Tags: , , , ,

we biked and bricked the course this morning.  it was 90° outside, but we biked it 10 minutes faster than last time, a month ago.  the park was packed with cars and there were at least as many bikes on the road as cars.  there are at least 8 good hills on the course, and on the last one, the man biking in front of me sort of slumped over off the road.

dinner: burgers:

initially, i didn’t really feel like grilling the burgers.  didn’t we just eat burgers 4 days ago?  but i REALLY COULDN’T after giving myself second degree burns with the spatula… i had left our metal spatula sitting apparently too close to the grill exhaust while it was preheating.  i now have a very neat imprint of the  spatula handle on my right palm.

joe ended up cooking the entire meal himself, while i pathetically clutched a cold beer can…

img_3350_2

dessert: brownies:

img_3363

before burning myself, i had managed to make the RICH DARK CHOCOLATE brownie recipe found on the back of the King Arthur flour bag.  luckily, i made a half batch becuse these are really to die for.

  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 C Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 3/4 C King Arthur all purpose flour
  • 1 C semisweet chocolate chips
  1. melt butter in medium sized, microwave safe bowl. add sugar and heat heat again if necessary to make it smooth (maybe 30 sec. more).
  2. stir in cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. add flour and chocolate chips
  4. bake at 350 in a



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