Indecision Grilled Chicken

For the same group of students I wrote about last week, I made this chicken, and the go-to grilled vegetables that I love so much.  I was looking for a way to use some chicken that was in my freezer and this recipe from the Small Victories cookbook looked intriguing.  So, I mixed the marinade together and was pleased with how it turned out.  And, similar to the cookbook, all of the items were in my cupboards or refrigerator and easy to throw together.

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Indecision Grilled Chicken 

1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley
1 Tbsp minced fresh sage
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp seeded mustard
1 tsp honey
1/4 cup [60 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
11/2 lb [680 g] boneless, skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts

In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, parsley, sage, lemon zest, lemon juice, both mustards, the honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and use your hands to coat each piece with the mixture. Let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature (or up to overnight, covered, in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before proceeding). Preheat the grill for high heat (or heat a large grill pan set over a couple of burners). Make sure your grates are super-clean. Grill the chicken, turning the pieces occasionally, until it is nicely browned and is firm to the touch, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve immediately or at room temperature with lemon wedges for squeezing over. NOTE: Alternatively, you can roast the chicken in a 425°F [220°C] oven, turning the pieces halfway through cooking, for about 25 minutes total or broil them for about 5 minutes on each side.

Batata Harra

This week at my church, we are hosting a vacation Bible school called Totus Tuus.  College students go from parish to parish to help lead the camp.  Different members of the church hosted dinner for these four students, one of whom was vegan, and so I wanted to ensure that I made something other than pasta for the students when they came to eat.  I was reading through the Plenty More cookbook and came across this potato recipe.  It was absolutely delicious.  Despite taking a little extra work, I think this will be an ongoing favorite recipe for potlucks and when having guests over.  The complexity and diversity of flavors in these potatoes was amazing.  If you are looking for a slightly complicated recipe that is completely worth it, check this out.  Even the college students took seconds.

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Batata Harra

2¼ lb/1 kg Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch/2-cm dice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sunflower oil
6 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp pul biber (Turkish chile flakes), or ½ tsp regular chile flakes
2 large red peppers, cut into ¾-inch/2-cm dice (10 oz/260 g)
2 cups/30 g cilantro, chopped
grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 500°F/260°C.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes, and cook for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside until completely dry. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and spread out the potatoes in the pan. Pour both oils over the potatoes and sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons salt and some black pepper. Mix gently, then roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chile flakes, red peppers, and half the cilantro and return to the oven for a further 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until the potatoes are nicely colored and completely tender. Remove the potatoes from the oven and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice and give everything another gentle stir. Serve warm or at room temperature, stirring in the remaining cilantro at the last minute.

Maple Cinnamon Snack Mix

One last snack mix recipe to share with you for this week.  The first snack mix was pretty sweet, the second was savory, and this one had a touch of sweetness, while not being over the top gooey.  I think this was my favorite of the three and one I would add to a fall maple season snack time.  Along with the fall snack mix that I make almost annually, this one had a good non-peanut taste to it.  I loved it.

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Maple Cinnamon Snack Mix

1/2 c maple syrup
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c margarine
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Boil for 2 minutes.  Pour over 8 c of crispix cereal and 2 c of cashews.  2 c of pretzels may be added.  Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool, may add raisins and m&ms, if desired.  Store in an airtight bowl.

Cracker Mix

A few days ago I shared a sweet chex mix that I had thrown together for a few work colleagues, and I also put together this cracker mix for a little more savory snack mix.  Both were easy to throw together and great snacks for my colleagues to enjoy.

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Cracker Mix

1 box Crispix cereal
1 bag oyster crackers
3/4 c oil
1 pkg Ranch dressing (dry)
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chives

Heat oil and seasonings; pour over cracker mixture.  Shake in an airtight container

Sweet Chex Mix

In my files of recipes that I need to make, I have had this chex mix recipe that had been waiting for me to find a reason to make it.  So, when I had a reason to bring some snacks into work, I made both a savory chex mix and this sweet chex mix to meet a little bit of everyone’s sweet and salty desires.

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Sweet Chex Mix

6 1/2 cups corn chex
6 cups golden grahams
2 cups coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter

Mix cereals, coconut, and almonds in a large bowl. In a heavy saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, and butter. Boil for 2 minutes and let cool 2 minutes. Pour over cereal mix. Stir well and spread out on cookie sheet to cool.

Cacio e Pepe

Earlier this year, a colleague had surgery and, as I often do, I found myself wanting to make sure they had snacks and food to eat after the surgery was over.  Looking at what I had available in my house, which included some pasta noodles that were in a fun snowflake shape (thanks, Trader Joe’s), I was intrigued by the simplicity of this recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Fast cookbook.  I ended up tasting a little bit/saving some back, and while it wouldn’t be my everyday go-to for pasta, I did like the change from the heavy sauce that a pasta sometimes can hold.  I think I like the brussels sprouts pasta dish and the standard vegetable pasta dish I’ve made in the past better, but this was a nice shift from the norm as well.

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Cacio e Pepe (Cheese and Pepper)

8 ounces pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (2 cups grated)
1 pound pasta, any shape you like
1 tablespoon black pepper, or more to taste

Bring a stockpot of water to a boil and salt it. Grate 2 cups pecorino Romano or Parmesan. When the water boils, add the pasta and stir occasionally. Start tasting after 5 minutes. When the pasta is tender but not mushy, drain it, reserving about 3 cups cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot.

Add the cheese, 1 tablespoon pepper, and enough of the cooking water to make it saucy (you may only need a cup or so). Toss, taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Buttermilk Waffles

On Easter morning, after Mass, a friend was over and I had two options I was considering cooking.  Option one was cheesy hashbrowns and pork chops, and option two was these buttermilk waffles from the From Iowa with Love cookbook.  Since it was late morning and brunch time, he picked waffles, and I was happy to throw these together.

Buttermilk Waffles

Buttermilk Waffles

3 eggs
1 1/2 c buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c oil

Beat eggs in a medium mixing bowl.  Add buttermilk.  Sift soda, flour, baking powder, and salt together.  Stir into the buttermilk mixture.  Add oil and beat.  This will be a thin batter.  Bake on a hot waffle iron until waffles stop steaming.