two skinny jenkins


090919 – roasted vegetables + couscous
090919, 9:11 pm
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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




090709 – Mediterranean Barley Salad
090909, 10:49 am
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Barley Salad

Thank you SK!  This was delicious!  I rarely buy fresh herbs, but since i am making another parsley-heavy dish tonight, i went ahead and got some. I had been looking for a NEW eggplant recipe for some time when i finally went to Smitten Kitchen and found her recipe.  It was a little involved – one of those dishes where you can spend the SOLID 50-60 minutes washing, chopping, baking, and working the stove top.  But it was worth it.

I will definitely make this one again someday.  It was filling and tasty, with enough depth of flavor so that I didn’t feel bad not serving it with anything.  A wonderful midweek recipe that you can actually look forward to eating chilled for lunch the next day.

  • 1 1/2 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used 4 baby eggplants)
  • 1/2-3/4 lb zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 10 T evoo
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 C chopped scallion (or yellow onion)
  • 1 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t ground coriander
  • 1/4 t red pepper
  • 1 1/4 C pearl barley (8 oz)
  • 2 C chicken or veggie broth
  • 1/2 C water
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 t sugar
  • 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 C thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and drained if desired
  • 1 C chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  1. Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cook barley: Heat 2 T oil in a large pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook scallion, cumin, coriander, and red pepper, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add barley and cook, stirring until well coated with oil, 2 minutes more. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all of liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer to reserved shallow baking pan and spread to quickly cool, uncovered, to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  3. While the barley is cooking, toss eggplant and zucchini with 5 tablespoons oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then spread in 2 oiled large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pans. Roast vegetables in oven, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes total. Combine vegetables in 1 pan and cool, reserving other pan for cooling barley.
  4. Make dressing and assemble salad: Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add barley, roasted vegetables, and remaining ingredients to bowl with dressing and toss until combined well. Serve with slices of feta cheese.


090816 – vegetable pasta sauce
090817, 11:04 am
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Vegetable Pasta

Still maybe under the influence of Food Inc., veggie dishes hold more appeal than meaty entrees.  There are more and more Farmer’s markets popping up all over town here in Charlottesville, and plenty of opportunities to get fresh vegetables.  This recipe was found in the August publication of In The Kitchen, a sort of local, organic food newspaper that can be picked up at the nearby Whole Foods.  The magazine centerfold has a month of recipes designed to minimize wasted food.  So the chicken you roasted one night might show up a couple days later in a chicken salad recipe. The following recipe made enough for 7 adults, plus enough leftover for 2-3 lunches.  I think this would be a great thing to make with fresh summer veggies, and freeze for wintertime.

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped (i usually like to keep the skin on things, but was afraid the eggplant skin would be too bitter for this dish)
  • 2 onions, diced (i used one red, one yellow onion)
  • 3 small zucchini, grated (i used one yellow and two green)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 C chopped red bell pepper
  • 7-8 medium-large tomatoes, chopped
  • 3-4 T each fresh minced oregano and basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. heat a couple tablespoons olive oil in a LARGE, deep rimmed skillet or two medium sized skillets over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large pot of salted water for pasta.
  3. add the eggplant, onion, garlic, squash, and red pepper to the pan and saute till caramelized (all soft).
  4. Add the tomatoes, increase heat to high, and simmer until the sauce thickens (about 25 min.)
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta (spaghetti, angel hair, or fettuccine work well) according to the package directions.
  6. in the last few minutes, stir in the spices.  Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese.


090805 – Homemade Ricotta Ravioli
090806, 9:20 am
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long awaited ravioli photo

I will start by saying that the pasta made just enough for 6 adults.  Had I used a pasta machine, it could have fed 8.  We used a combination of online recipes and The New Best Recipe book that I have falling in love with…  Unfortunately the pasta dough was intended for a pasta machine  – but i thought i could work it by hand.  I rolled it out as well as I could, but the elastic, resilient dough resisted my efforts and in the end was twice  as thick as it should have been.  I would not attempt this dough again without a pasta machine or very strong helper.

The ricotta filling was delicious.  The recipe below made just the right amount to go with the pasta.

Joe made an amazing red sauce.  If I had been making this alone, i would have used jarred sauce for times sake.  We served the pasta with some French Bread from my most recent BBA Challenge, a salad, and some watermelon.

making ricotta

Fresh Ricotta Cheese:

(recipe yields about 1 1/2- 2 C ricotta)

  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 1/6 C white vinegar
  • 1 t salt
  1. rinse a large, heavy duty pot with cold water. This helps the milk from adhering to the pot.
  2. Add milk and heat to roughly 180°F, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the milk has reached 180°F, remove from heat, add vinegar and salt.  Stir ONCE, cover with a clean dishtowel or cloth napkin,  then let it sit undisturbed for 2 hours.
  4. Line a colander with cheesecloth and set so that it can drain over a large bowl.
  5. Scoop the curdled cheese from the pot with a slotted spoon into the cheesecloth.  Let it drain for 1-2 hours depending on the creaminess you want.  We were crunched for time, so Joe pressed the cheese with the cheesecloth, ringing out as much moisture as possible.  This worked fine for ravioli, but the cheese would have been better if we had the time to let it sit.

Ravioli filling:

  • 1 1/2 C Ricotta cheese
     
  • 1/2 C fresh parsley, minced
  • 3/4 C Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 t salt
  • pinch fresh ground pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir together until basically homogeneous.pasta making

 

Pasta:

The recipe below makes roughly 1lb of pasta.  For 6 adults, I made a double batch.

  • 2 C all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  1. Measure flour out into a food processor and pulse until fluffy.
  2. Add eggs and mix for 30 seconds straight, then pulse for an additional minute or so as the dough forms a ball.  It will look like small pebbles at first, then eventually come together.  If it stays in pebble form for 45-60 seconds, add 1-2 t water (1t at a time).  I made two batches of dough and each one needed about 1 1/2 t water.
  3. roll dough ball and few remaining pebbles onto a dry counter and knead for 1-2 minutes.
  4. cover dough w/ plastic wrap and let rest for 15  min- 2 hours.
  5. Feed through pasta machine to create 5-6″ wide sheets for ravioli.  Or, if you’re like me, use a rolling pin and make it AS THIN AS POSSIBLE.
  6. Add a dollop (t sized) of ricotta mixture in a row along dough strip, fold dough in half and push closed around ricotta.  Using a pastry wheel (or regular knife), cut between each ricotta pouch and trim excess dough off seam edges.
  7. cook for 4-5 min in pot of rapidly boiling salted water.




090715 – zucchini pasta
090715, 10:17 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,

Zucchini Pasta

Joe is a master at these kind of pasta dishes.  When asparagus is in season, he makes the same thing with that.

  • 1/2 package of whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 T evoo
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced into coins (or peeled longways)
  • 2 cans petit diced tomatoes
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 t onion powder
  • S + P to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to the box.
  2. Saute garlic in olive oil in a large skillet.  Add zucchini and saute until soft (about 6 minutes).  Add tomatoes and spices and continue simmering for 5-7 minutes.  Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain and add to the skillet and continue cooking for a minute or two.
  3. Serve and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.


090624 – enchiladas – revised
090624, 10:07 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , ,

tasty enchiladas

I know my plating skills leave something to be desire, but these enchiladas are undoubtedly better than last time.  more vegetables and less cooking time. I made these with a side of guacamole and homemade chips, while joe prepared the dark and stormies.

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 1/2 C plain yogurt
  • 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 C black beans
  • 1/2 C frozen corn kernels
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Cook trimmed chicken breasts in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink.  remove from skillet, shread, and return to skillet with onion, yogurt, and 1/2 C of cheese.
  2. stir over medium-low heat until cheese is melted. then add green pepper, spices, canned tomato, black beans, and corn.  simmer for 5-8 minutes.
  3. Scoop a portion of the filling into a flour tortilla in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.  Roll the tortilla over so that the seam side is down, or on the side.  Repeat with as many tortillas will fit in the pan.  I always have leftover filling, but it is good by itself.
  4. cover the rolled tortillas with enchilada sauce and sprinkle with last 1/2 C of cheese.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven.

Click here for Guacamole recipe.



090614 – Chicken Kebobs
090614, 9:04 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,

Kebobs!

Beach dinner #1 – marinated chicken + cherry tomatoes + red and green peppers + mushrooms + onion

Well yesterday, it was our turn to make dinner at the beach. We made some kickin’ chicken kabobs in a chili-lime marinade along with veggie kabobs. The following makes enough marinade for enough chicken for four. I doubled it for the 7 of us.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha chili-garlic sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together then add chicken cut up into skewer sized pieces (~1 breast per person). You could probably get away with marinading for a couple hours, but the longer the better. Meanwhile put your wooden skewers in a pan of water. I’m not sure why you’re supposed to do this, but I’ve seen it in many places. Must be something to do with keeping them from burning on the grill. Just before you get ready to cook them load up the skewers.

You can serve these by themselves or with vegetable kabobs. We made vegetable kabobs of onions, red and green peppers, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. I cut them up and tossed with some olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

When your kabobs are ready cut throw them on your preheated grill. Put the chicken on the middle where its hottest and the vegetables on the periphery. Doing it this way they should both be done about the same time.




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