Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

Chicken Cacciatore November 8, 2012

Filed under: Chicken,Freezer Meals,Mushrooms,pasta — hmills96 @ 5:47 pm

One of the great things about this new apartment is how homey and grown up it is. We have real, matching (well, somewhat matching) furniture, and even though it’s just a one bedroom, we have enough room in the living space to have a “den,” and “office,” and a “dining room.” This makes it really easy to entertain, which we did for the first time last night.

I’ve had this recipe flagged for awhile. PW has this way of drawing you in with her bright, delicious looking food shots. This was no exception. So, when we made plans to have friends of Richard’s over for dinner, I knew this is what I had to make. It was a little acidic for me, so I’ve adjusted my recipe below to compensate for that. Otherwise, it was a great meal, especially next to roasted acorn squash (another recipe I got from PW), and some yummy toasted asiago bread. It’s a little time consuming, so it won’t be a weeknight meal most of the time, but worth it for company definitely. Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as Ree’s, but come on. Who can compete with the Pioneer Woman herself? I didn’t get a picture of mine, since we had company, so go on over to her site if you want to see some gorgeous food porn.

Chicken Cacciatore
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

8 chicken thighs (leave the skin on!)
1 pound Pasta Or Egg Noodles, cooked per package directions
1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter
1 whole Medium Onion, Halved And Sliced
2 whole  Bell Peppers, Cored And Sliced (I used one yellow and one orange, use whatever color you like)
5 cloves Garlic, minced
12 ounces button mushrooms, halved
1 tsp fresh thyme, stemmed and chopped
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Red Pepper Flakes, Crushed, To Taste (optional)
3/4 cups Dry Red Wine
1 can (15 Ounce) Whole Or Diced Tomatoes (with Their Juice)
2 cups low sodium chicken stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Salt and pepper both sides of chicken thighs. Dredge lightly in flour.

Heat butter and oil in dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown chicken, 4 pieces at a time, on both sides. Set aside on a plate.

Drain off about half of the oil, otherwise the sauce will be greasy later. Saute onion, peppers, and garlic for about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, and thyme, cook another minute. Add seasonings, then pour in wine, tomatoes, and chicken stock. Place chicken on top of the veggies and liquid, keeping the browned skin out of the sauce.

Put lid on pot and cook in oven for 45 minutes. Remove lid and raise temperature to 375. Cook for additional 15 minutes.

Take pot out of oven. Remove chicken to a plate so you can get to the veggies. Spoon veggies on a large platter over the egg noodles. Allow sauce to simmer over medium high heat for 5-6 minutes to thicken.

Arrange chicken on top of the veggies. When sauce has thickened, spoon it over the whole dish. You may not use it all without drowning everything, so just pour the rest into a serving dish for the table.

Serve family style in center of your table.


Coq au Vin January 30, 2011

Filed under: Chicken,comfort food,Freezer Meals,Mushrooms,wine — hmills96 @ 2:44 pm

I love my job, but everyone has those days that are just overwhelming. Thursday was one of those days for me. For some reason, I was swamped. And I would much rather be busy than have no work to do, but by the time I was off work I was REALLY keyed up. Common logic would say “Oh, you had a really stressful day, sounds like you should go home and nuke something in the microwave.”

But not me. On those kinds of days, I think about recipes and techniques and flavors. All I wanted to do was turn on some SUPER loud rock music and make some really good French comfort food. My favorite.

This is actually really similar to the Boeuf Bourgenion in style and flavor. Major difference? Chicken instead of beef. Both of these dishes can be customized depending on what wine, herbs, and veggies that you use. I would serve this with crusty French bread, maybe some buttered egg noodles so soak up the gravy.

Coq au Vin
Adapted from Cooking Light

4 slices hickory smoked bacon, cut into 1″ pieces.
8 pieces bone in chicken (I used all thighs.)
Salt & Pepper
1 cup onion, diced
3 medium carrots, sliced
2-3 sprigs thyme
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 (750 ml) bottle of red wine (use something heavy and full-bodied for this)
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp butter
8 oz button mushrooms, quartered
6 oz frozen pearl onions

Cook bacon in a dutch oven until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. Drain all but 2 Tbsp fat.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Carefully add the chicken to the pan. Brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan.

Add onion and next 5 ingredients (thru bay leaves). Cook 5 minutes, until onions are soft. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add wine, simmer for 10 minutes until reduced by half. Return chicken to pan.

Add broth, simmer, covered, for 35 minutes. Remove chicken from pan, cover.

While the chicken is simmering, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt butter, add mushrooms and pearl onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Reduce stew liquid by half, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Stir in mushroom mixture. Return chicken to pan and simmer 5 minutes.


Boeuf Bourgenion January 6, 2011

Filed under: Beef,comfort food,Fall/Winter,Freezer Meals,Mushrooms,soup,wine — hmills96 @ 9:05 am

Yesterday was one of those days where I was REALLY mad, for NO reason at all. It was ridiculous. All day long I was in a sour mood. By the time I got off work, I was exhausted, and planning to just go home and put my feet up, maybe get absorbed into No Reservations. But, all the way home I was thinking about the mushrooms that I had bought that I needed to use. By the time I got there, I was already thinking about Boeuf Bourgenion–more specifically, Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourgenion.

It was not as hard a recipe as I had imagined. It just takes a really long time to cook. But after three hours, I went to take it off the heat to cool overnight. Somehow, in that process, I ended up with a fork in my hand. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. Oh man, this is gooooooood. There are some recipes that I think “Ok, that’s decent, but I probably won’t make it again.” Then there are SOME recipes that are just so incredible that you just can’t stop eating. This is one of those recipes.

Make this, and soon. You can eat it the day you make it, but I’m told it gets better if it sits overnight. So I’ll be having it for dinner tonight. I cannot wait!

Boeuf Bourgenion
Adapted from Julia Child

3 lbs stew beef (1 inch cubes)
Olive Oil
3 large carrots, sliced
1 large onion, diced
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp Flour
3 cups red wine (something full-bodied, preferably Burgundy)
4 cups beef stock
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 crumbled bay leaf
2 cups baby pearl onions
2 cups button mushrooms, quartered
2 Tbsp Butter

In a dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over med-high heat. Add meat and brown. (It’s best to do this in stages, the meat will brown better if you don’t add it all to the pot at once.) Remove to a large bowl and set aside.

If needed, add more olive oil to the pot. Sweat onions and carrots until onions are translucent.

Add meat back to pot. Season with salt and pepper, then add flour. Toss to coat the meat, and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add wine, stock, thyme, garlic and bay leaf. Simmer (NOT BOIL!) for 2 1/2-3 hours until meat is tender.

While meat is stewing, prep pearl onions and mushrooms:

Add pearl onions to a large skillet. Cover with water. Bring to boil for 2-3 minutes. Pour off water and set onions aside to cool.

To the same skillet, melt 2 Tbsp butter. Add mushrooms and sautee until caramelized. Set aside to cool.

After the 3 hours, remove meat and veggies from the pot with a slotted spoon. Simmer sauce for 2-3 minutes to reduce.

At this point you have two options:

1. You can add everything back to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes to bring everything to temperature. Then serve over rice or with crusty bread.

2. OR you can add only the meat and carrots back to the pot, and keep the mushrooms and pearl onions separate. Cool in the refrigerator over night, and then when ready to serve, add everything to the pot and put it back on the stove to warm. Again, serve over rice or with crusty bread.

****Had the final product for dinner last night, with a bit of crusty french bread. The sauce was thick and rich, the meat and veggies were tender. Oh man. This stuff is GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD.****


Mushroom and White Bean Ragout December 9, 2010

Can you believe it? I cooked AGAIN last night! I’m on a roll here. Part of it is, I bought too many mushrooms at the store last weekend and needed to use them before they rotted. (I have a really bad habit of buying mushrooms and forgetting about them until it’s too late.)

The other part is that while I’m toning up in most areas, I haven’t seen much of a difference in my weight, especially in my tummy area and it’s frustrating to me. Cooking at home is so much healthier than eating out somewhere. I’ve been using to track my calories and the difference between where I eat is astonishing.

This dish is really simple to make, and fairly rustic on the plate, but man is it delicious! I’ve always been a firm meat eater, and would never have thought of putting beans in a sauce like this. I really enjoyed the flavor and texture though of this, I think cannellini beans will make more appearances in the future.

Mushroom and White Bean Ragout

1 1/2 cups onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful of Fresh thyme and sage (or 1 tsp dried)
1 pint mushrooms, sliced (I used shittake but I think button would work better in this)
1/4 cup white wine
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
28 oz diced tomatoes
Handful parsley

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Toss in onions, garlic, and herbs. Cover for 8-10 minutes until soft. (Watch the temp on your garlic, turn it down if it starts to burn.)

Add mushrooms and white wine. Cover for 6 more minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes, and parsley. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, or until some of the juice has evaporated.

Serve over polenta or some kind of heavy noodle. (I used egg, penne or bowtie would also be good.)

****I’m not at home so I’m not sure where I got this recipe from. I’ll add it later when I have the recipe in front of me. I do have pictures too!


Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup with Chicken October 3, 2010

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, well, you’re probably thinking, OK HALEY ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

You also know that I’ve been SUPER productive this weekend. I’ve been in a cleaning frenzy. Operation Take Back My House. The mess had literally taken over and it had gotten to the point where I had just given up. I started cleaning yesterday around 9 and did not stop until about 4 pm today. I still have a little bit to do before my mom will be allowed in the house, but the MAJOR stuff is done, the hard stuff.

While I was working on the kitchen yesterday, I also decided that I would make a pot of stock. My stash had run out and I was using the boxed stuff, so a batch was way overdue. (I also made a jar of homemade BBQ sauce, but that really has nothing to do with this post, other than it was one more thing that I did haha!)

I had planned on making a huge pot of chili to freeze in smaller batches. Since I’m only feeding myself now, most nights I don’t feel like cooking a huge meal. I want to have easy meals on hand so I can just make something quick. But, since I had a bunch of fresh stock, I changed my plan and made a pot of this soup instead. It was good, but a little bland. Next time I’ll add more than just thyme, and maybe some Worcestershire.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup with Chicken
Adapted From Cooking Light October 2010

4 cups chicken broth
1 package quick-cooking wild rice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup carrots, matchstick-cut
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp butter
2 packages shiitake mushrooms
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
Salt & Pepper to taste

Boil 1 1/3 cup broth in medium sauce pan. Add rice. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

Heat oil in Dutch oven over med high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, carrots, garlic, and thyme; saute 3 minutes. Stir in butter and mushrooms, saute 3 more minutes.

Add remaining broth, rice, chicken, salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes more.


Homemade Ramen August 29, 2010

Filed under: Asian,Chicken,garlic,Mushrooms,pasta,Quick and Easy,soup — hmills96 @ 7:11 pm
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I’m trying to get back into my cooking mojo. I went to the grocery store this weekend and bought a ton of great ingredients (and actually stayed within budget somehow). I’ve got some great recipes to test out. I even butchered a chicken myself yesterday, just to get into the spirit. But more on that tomorrow.

I’ve been eating a LOT of chicken ramen lately. As I told you in my last post, I really have not felt like cooking at all. I went home two weekends ago and my sister kind of got me hooked on ramen. She is really picky, and has stomach issues that don’t allow her to eat many things on top of that. She has this favorite flavor of ramen, Creamy Chicken, that for a long time, was discontinued. While I was home, she found it in the store and bought an entire case of it. She was heading off to college that weekend, and while she was nervous about her first time living away from home, she said it would be ok now because she had her food. Well after a full weekend of talking about ramen, I had to pick some up myself. And because I haven’t felt like cooking, it’s pretty much all I’ve been eating. Which means I’m more bloated than day old roadkill. Ugh.

Because of this, when I was thinking about my grocery list, I knew I had to include Food Mob‘s Ramen. I’ve talked about Food Mob on here before, when I made chili. I love their show, I watch it religiously every week. A few weeks ago Niall made homemade ramen. With fresh veggies. And real tuna! It looked sooooooooo good. I knew I had to make it soon.

J has started a new job, which means a lot more money for him. However, it’s 4 am-3:30 pm 3 days a week (Saturday, Sunday, Monday). It’s a crazy schedule, and he just started yesterday, so he is wiped out. However, I was REALLY looking forward to cooking this ramen tonight. So I was pretty bummed when he said he just wanted a snack and bed. After sitting here for about 15 minutes, I decided by golly I’ll make it for myself! It made a ton, which means I have plenty of food for lunch this week. But at least it’s a lot healthier for me than the packaged stuff! And a LOT more delicious.

Instead of the tuna, I used chicken, and it was great. This will definitely be a go to meal from now on. It took only about 20 minutes from start to finish, including cooking the chicken. A tip on that–butterfly your chicken breast so it is thinner. It will cook much faster that way.

Homemade Ramen
Adapted from Food Mob

1 large chicken breast, butterflied
1 chili pepper, the long red skinny kind if you can find it (I used a habanero because I had it, but it was a little intense)
1 red onion, sliced
1 pint mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp soy sauce
Splash of Sesame Oil
Splash of Rice wine vinegar
Splash of lime juice
1 package straight to wok noodles (or just plain ramen, no seasoning)
3 cups Chinese cabbage (it was called celery cabbage in my store)
1 cup sugar snap peas, cut on the bias

Preheat oven to 500. Preheat a skillet with oil. Also preheat a large pot with oil.

Salt and pepper both sides of chicken.  Place in pan. Saute for 2-3 minutes on both sides (I chopped my veggies while waiting on the saute). Move to oven.

While chicken is cooking, toss onions, peppers, and garlic into the hot pot. Saute for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and ginger. Let cook for another minute.

Add chicken stock, soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar. Add noodles, stir to break up. Add cabbage and sugar snaps. Let this boil while chicken is cooking, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When cooked through, remove chicken from oven. Slice into bite sized chunks. Add to soup. Let cook for 1 minute to soak up juices, serve hot.

**Note–this is not going to taste anything like the packaged stuff, so don’t expect it to. It is so much better than that, savory, spicy, and so full of healthy veggies. Seriously, go make this. Only don’t use a habenero. Trust me on that. PS–Fig Newtons are really good at calming the burn.

**Note #2–Go watch the video of Niall making this. Yum!


Crockpot Beef Stroganoff August 2, 2010

Filed under: Beef,comfort food,crockpot,Fall/Winter,Mushrooms — hmills96 @ 5:56 pm
Tags: , ,

Thank you for being a friieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeend….

Can I just say that I LOVE the Golden Girls? Thank goodness for Netflix. I have them dispersed through my queue so that it’s like a lovely surprise. It’s great to just sit and relax and laugh along with the girls. Jordan and I like to make fun of the outfits and repeat the endless one-liners.

There’s nothing better than the Golden Girls and comfort food. I put this meal in the crockpot before I left for work this morning. While messing with onions and raw meat at 6:30 am turned my stomach a little bit, it was sooooooo worth it when I got home.

I did have an oops with this one. I went to add the 1 1/2 cups sour cream at the end, and discovered we didn’t have any! So instead I added a block of cream cheese. It was amazing. I’ll be making it that way again!

Hey look I actually took a halfway decent picture!

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff
Adapted from Hillbilly Housewife

1 lb stew meat
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 medium onions, sliced into rings
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
2 cubes beef bullion
8 oz water
2 oz red wine
1 brick cream cheese
1/4 cup flour
Hot cooked egg noodles

Combine meat with 1/2 flour, salt & pepper in crockpot until it’s coated completely. Stir in onions and mushrooms. Add bullion, water and red wine. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Before serving, stir in cream cheese and 1/4 cup flour.

Serve over egg noodles.