Tag - kale

BBQ Chicken, Kale, and Sweet Potatoes

We went to Napa on Saturday with our friends Laura and Matt who were visiting from Los Angeles this weekend. Our first stop was Judd’s Hill Winery and one of their tastings was a wine and BBQ sauce pairing. Unconventional? Perhaps. Delicious? Absolutely! The experience we had there was wonderful and the sommelier was very knowledgeable and answered all our questions. We also talked about food as much as we talked about wine — which made us all very happy and hungry. Jason and I couldn’t help but add a bottle of the BBQ sauce to our purchase. It was so tasty that I then had to cook with it this weekend. I’m sure any BBQ sauce will do here, but try using one that has some nice balance of heat and sweet.

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Oven BBQ Chicken 
4 pieces of chicken, bone in
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups BBQ sauce of your choice
Salt and pepper

1. Cut excess fat off chicken, salt and pepper both sides. Heat oil in a frying pan. Brown chicken on both sides.

2. Place chicken on a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet lined with tin foil. Cook in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven, and baste both sides with BBQ sauce. Put back in oven for 15 minutes. Take the chicken out a second time and baste with sauce. Place back in oven for afinal 15 minutes, when you take it back out, put on some more sauce! Check the internal temperature to make sure that it’s reached 165 degrees.

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BBQ Kale
2 bunches of kale
Salt and pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil

1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Cook on the grill until lightly crisped. Approximately 2-3 minutes on each side if the flame is on low.

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Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potatoes 
4 sweet potatoes
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1. Boil potatoes for 20 minutes, or until just tender. Be careful not to over cook. The potatoes still need to keep their shape while being grilled. Place potatoes in cold water to prevent further cooking. Remove skins and cut potatoes into friends (approximately 8 per potato).

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2. Mix spices together in a small bowl. Place cut potatoes in a large bowl and mix with oil and spices.

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3. Cook potatoes on the grill until lightly charred.

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4. Enjoy everything together!

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Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup

Sometimes you just want some soup. Simple, fresh, soup. Today was one of those days. I was even able to use kale from our garden! I had to supplement it with some from the farmers’ market but they were both very good. I would highly recommend this soup for anyone who wants their house to smell magical. Now if only I could turn this soup into a candle.

Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup
2 10 oz packages of organic spicy chicken sausage
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 large bunches of kale, stemmed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
4 medium sized red potatoes, halved and sliced
2 cartons chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Chop up the chicken sausage (first remove casings if necessary). Place a dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until fully browned. Remove it and set aside.

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2. Do not worry about the brown bits at the bottom, just add the butter and oil and scrape with the back of your spoon. Add the onions and garlic and continue scraping. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook until translucent.

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3. Rinse and chop the kale and then place into the dutch oven. Stir until all of the kale begins to cook and wilt. Add the nutmeg and cook down for another few minutes until the kale is bright green.

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4. Rinse and cut the potatoes then add them, with the spinach to the pot.

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5. Stir the ingredients together and then add the chicken broth. Cook until it begins to boil then bring it down to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender then add the cream.

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6. Serve! But not to your landlord’s dog. He’ll get a rumbly tummy if you do.

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First Harvest in California

Our garden is coming along very nicely! Our beets are looking good, just waiting for the greens to get a little bigger before we pluck those out.

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The herbs are doing great too — basil and dill look delicious!

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The only trouble we’ve had so far is a mushroom eating away at our swiss chard, so we’re going to try spinach in that spot this time around. We just had our first harvest this weekend;  butter lettuce, kale, and arugula. We decided to slowly take leaves off each so that they can continue to grow. The other way to do it is to wait for full heads to form and chop the entire thing off. I’d rather have greens for a few more months to come! Here’s some before/after pics from the yield.

Butter Lettuce

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Kale

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Arugula 

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Roasted Whole Chicken, Twice Baked Potatoes, and Garlic Butter Mushrooms

After my last Smittenkitchen kick with the Chocolate Hazelnut Macaroon Torte, I went ahead and scoured the blog for some side dish recipes. I found the Twice-Baked Potatoes with Kale and Garlic Butter Mushrooms. Both sounded absolutely divine, so I went for it! I made a roasted chicken as well which has made it through the first few days of the week.

Twice-Baked Potatoes with Kale
(Recipe credit to smittenkitchen)
3 russet baking potatoes
1 bundle lacinato kale
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large leek
1 cup coarsely grated cheddar
Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Gently scrub potatoes and pierce all over with a fork. Bake 1 hour or until potatoes are tender when pierced in center.

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2. While potatoes cook, prepare your filling. Tear kale from the stems and tear into large chunks then wash leaves in cold water to remove any grit. Do not dry after rinsing. Place them in a skillet over medium-high and add a pinch of salt. Cook them in the pan until they wilt and collapse. When they’ve cooled, ring out any excess water then finely chop greens.

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3. Trim leek down to just white and pale green part then cut longways into quarters. Rinse in water to remove dirt inside the layers. Thinly slice quarters and heat in skillet over medium heat with butter and oil.
4. Leeks should cook approximately 10 minutes, avoid browning. Then add kale and heat, approximately one minute.

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5. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half longways and take out most of the potato, leaving a thin ring around the skin to keep stable.

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6. Add potato filling to bowl with leeks, kale, sour cream, cheese and mash until combined. Arrange the potato shells on a baking sheet and fill with a heaping amount of the mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Cook potatoes a second time, for 20 minutes or until crisp on top.

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Garlic Butter Mushrooms
(Recipe credit to smittenkitchen)
1 pound mushrooms such as cremini or white, halved lengthwise if large
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle. Toss mushrooms with capers, garlic, oil, salt and pepper, and  parsley in a shallow baking dish.

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2. Top with butter and roast, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and golden, about  15 to 20 minutes.
3. Stir in lemon juice and serve immediately.

Roasted Whole Chicken
(Recipe credit to Ina Garten)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the chicken giblets and rinse the chicken inside and out. Also remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry.

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2. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken then stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
3. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours.

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Celebratory BBQ Dinner

Jason had a great day at work today. He received some excellent news that is a reward for all of the hard work he puts in year round. I decided to make a nice dinner for him to come home to. It consisted of Slow Cooker BBQ Brisket, Sautéed Kale, Cole Slaw, and Baked Beans.

Slow Cooker BBQ Brisket
(Recipe inspiration from chow.com)
Brisket Sauce:
1 ½ cups ketchup
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup water
½  medium yellow onion, finely chopped
½ cup bbq sauce
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
 
Brisket Rub:
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
3 lb beef brisket, trimmed of fat

  1. Pour all sauce ingredients into slow cooker.
  2. Combine brisket rub ingredients in a bowl. Rub mixture all over brisket.
  3. Place beef on top of sauce in slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 7 hours, or until tender.

DSC_0025(Brisket in slow cooker after approximately five hours)

Sautéed Kale
(Recipe inspiration from Bobby Flay)
1 ½ lbs kale, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
red pepper flakes
½ cup (choice) stock
salt and pepper

  1. Heat oil in large wok over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until soft but not browned.
  2. Add kale and stock, raise head to high heat. Toss the kale to spread oil and stock throughout. Cover and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Remove cover and cook until all liquid is gone.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

DSC_0015 (Kale in wok right after cover was removed.)

Cole Slaw
(Recipe credit to food.com)
1 (16 oz) bag of coleslaw mix
⅔ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients except coleslaw mix in a bowl.
  2. Add the mix and toss. Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving cold.

DSC_0968(Slaw ready to marinate in the fridge.)

Baked Beans
(Recipe inspiration from Paula Deen)
2 16-oz cans, navy beans, drained
1 large onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
*OPTIONAL: ½ lb. bacon strips, cut into ½ inch strips* 

  1. In an oven safe casserole dish, mix beans, mustard, ketchup, maple syrup, brown sugar, molasses, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice.
  2. *OPTIONAL: Cover with bacon strips.*
  3. Cover and cook in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
  4. Uncover, stir, and cook for another 15 minutes.

*For our dishes, I split the recipe in two and put ¼ lb. of bacon on Jason’s dish. Use the full ½ lb. if everyone eats it!*

DSC_0943(Ingredients lined up for beans.)

DSC_0009(After the beans were uncovered, about to go back into the oven)