Category Archives: deliciousness

Pasta with Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce

What’s better than being able to cook a great vodka cream sauce while trapped inside the house in a snowstorm?  Cooking a great vodka cream sauce while trapped inside the house in a snowstorm, with your sister. Two winters ago Collyn was visiting me and we had a huge snowstorm and couldn’t leave the house. We were craving comfort food and – amazingly – had everything in the fridge that we needed to make this. Even the half cup of Kettel One (which has never been put to such delicious use).  Eating pasta is always better when your sister is snuggled on the couch next to you with a bowl of her own.

PASTA WITH VODKA TOMATO CREAM SAUCE (adapted from the gorgeous Smitten Kitchen)
– 1 lb. good pasta (I used cavatelli for this which was so fun to eat)
– 3 garlic cloves, chopped
– 1 red onion, diced
– 2 tbsp butter
– 2 tbsp EVOO
– 1 8-oz can chunky crushed tomatoes
– 1/2 c. heavy cream
– 1/2 c. vodka
– couple leaves of basil, chiffonaded
– freshly grated parmesan

1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and EVOO over medium heat. When combined, add chopped garlic and saute until fragrant, approx. 90 seconds.


2. Add chopped red onion – I know people usually use white onions, but I actually like how the red onion sort of loses its color and gains a sweetness. You really want to make sure these are sauteed enough though…they’ll continue to soften as you cook, but make sure they’re pretty much already there before you start adding the other stuff.


3. Add the vodka, then cook it down, about 4-6 minutes.


4. Add the tomato sauce, then heavy cream. Use the correct amounts here – I’ve tried to use a little bit more of one thing, a little bit less of another, but that gives me some derivative of tomato soup, which I’ll leave to The Kitchen.


5. Turn the heat down to low and let this simmer while you make the pasta.

6. Salt the pasta water pretty heavily – this may be the only seasoning you need for this, which is pretty incredible. Cook the pasta.

7. Throw a bunch of freshly grated parmesan cheese and the chiffonaded basil into the sauce when pasta is about halfway cooked, then give it a good stir.


8. Drain the pasta, then add it to the saucepan with the sauce. Serve and top with a little more freshly grated parm. Sistas.  <3



Chicken stuffed with Zucchini and Mozzarella

Bren and I got some amazing organic chicken breasts from Hillside, so I used them to make one of my favorite chicken recipes of all time. This is a classic Skinny Taste recipe from way back – I’ve made this a ton, and every time I’m reminded of how much I love it. Instead of a traditional egg wash to adhere the breadcrumbs, a mix of lemon juice and EVOO is used, and honestly, it makes such an amazing difference in flavor. Working with raw chicken always skeeves me out, but I just steel myself, because the end result of this recipe is totally worth it. 

CHICKEN STUFFED WITH ZUCCHINI AND MOZZARELLA (serves 4, recipe adapted from Skinny Taste)
– 1.5 lbs chicken breasts, thinly sliced 
– 2 zucchini, grated (leave skin on, but wash these well before you do!) 
– 1/3 C. shredded mozzarella
– 1/3 C. shredded fresh parmesan
– 3/4 C. seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
– 1 tbsp Herbed Butter
– 4 cloves chopped garlic
– juice of 1 lemon
– 1 tbsp EVOO
– Kosher salt & black pepper to taste
– Olive oil non-stick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Rinse chicken, then arrange everything so you don’t find yourself with chicken-y hands and needing to grab something out of a cupboard.


3. Heat butter over medium. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, approx. 90 seconds.


4. Add shredded zucchini, 1/4 C. shredded fresh parm, and stir to combine. Add a little salt & pepper to taste, then cook for approx 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool. When cool, add the mozzarella and mix to combine.


5. Add a thin layer of the zucchini/parm/mozz mixture to coat one side of each chicken cutlet (season chicken cutlets first), then roll each cutlet.

6. Dip each rolled chicken cutlet in the lemon/EVOO mix, then in the breadcrumbs/parm mix. Place seam-side down in a baking dish lightly coated with EVOO. When all of these are rolled, lightly spray them each with the olive oil cooking spray (this will make them a little more golden).

7. Bake 25-30 minutes, then enjoy. We had this with my new favorite salad, zucchini ribbons with lemon, basil and toasted almonds.


Roasted Chicken in “Lemon Gold”

Bear with me as I walk you through a hodgepodge of a recipe that will create – not kidding – the best chicken you’ve ever eaten. Don’t get nervous about roasting a chicken in milk. And lemon. And cinnamon. Still with me? Good. This totally bizarre-sounding recipe requires a little bit of faith but the end result….oh, man. The end result. This recipe makes your house smell completely unbelievable – sort of warm, and fragrant, and savory all at once – the chicken is the juiciest I’ve ever had, and the sauce – how in the world can little curdles of milk and lemon and cinnamon be so amazing?? Most of the dinner (with a guy who’s probably the best conversationalist I’ve ever dated) consisted 80% of talking about how incredibly great this was. Make sure you have some good bread on hand, too, otherwise you’ll basically be drinking the sauce out of the bowl. This is the bomb. 

CHICKEN IN “LEMON GOLD” (serves approx. 6) – adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “Chicken in Milk”
– 1 whole chicken (I used a 5 lb. one)
– 4 tbsp. butter 
– 2 tbsp. EVOO 
– 2 lemons, zested 
– Juice of 1.5 lemons (save the other half to put in the chicken cavity) 
– Pretty good-sized handful of fresh sage 
– 9 garlic cloves, peeled 
– 2 cinnamon sticks 
– 1.5 cups milk 
– Kosher salt & pepper 

1. Preheat oven to 375° 

2. Ugh, this is the worst part. Always. Rinse your chicken well, then dry it really well, too. I was a vegetarian for a while, and every time I have to clean a chicken it reminds me why. Just steel yourself and keep your eye on the prize! Stuff the cavity with the half of the lemon that you left unjuiced and some of the sage leaves. It helps if you have everything set out beforehand, so you don’t find yoruself needing some salt while you have all chicken-y hands.

 

3. In a french oven, melt the butter and the EVOO over medium heat. 


4. Season the chicken well with kosher salt & pepper. 

5. When the butter/EVOO mixture is frothy, carefully add the chicken and let it cook for approx. 4 minutes on each side. You can use tongs or two sturdy wooden spoons to turn it over. Let it get really golden and don’t skip this step, because this is where a lot of flavor and color develops. 

6. Remove chicken from the pot and put it on a clean plate. Pour the excess butter/oil from the pot into a heat-proof little dish and set aside – don’t throw this away. What’s left in the bottom of the pan is perfect for cooking the chicken. 

7. Put the chicken back in the pan (I roasted this breast-side up, but next time I’m definitely roasting it breast-side down so it absorbs the max amount of the sauce flavoring) and add the lemon juice, milk, sage leaves, garlic, and cinnamon sticks. Scatter the top of the chicken with the lemon zest. Cook for approx. 1 hour 45 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees internally. The lid should be on for the first hour, then off for the last 45 minutes.

8. Baste this “when you remember” (I swear, that’s an actual cooking direction). The lemon juice will kind of curdle the milk, but oddly enough, not in a bad way?? It gets kind of rich and flavorful and…right. How great your house smells about halfway through this cooking is nothing compared to how great this is going to taste when it’s ready. 


9. When chicken is done, carefully remove it and set on a plate and let it sit for about ten minutes. 


10. Make the “lemon gold” sauce from what’s left in the french oven. I fished out most of the garlic cloves (some of these will full-blown melt into the sauce) and gave them to Brendan, but I’ve read about people spreading these cloves on good bread they use for sauce dipping, which sounds awesome. I also threw out the cinnamon sticks and most of the sage leaves from the sauce. Then, because the consistency looked a little too dodgy, I blended this really, really well with a hand blender. 

Lemon Gold sauce, pre-blended

— We had this alongside roasted baby potatoes and wilted arugula, put sauce all over everything, and I added a new dish to the rotation. Hope you like this as much as you weren’t expecting you would!

we went to Union Trust for dinner, which was incredible. The food actually outdid the space, which upon walking in I thought would be tough to do: I think it used to be a bank. We were so hungry that I completely forgot to take any pictures until the end of the meal.

Creme brulee might be my favorite thing to eat ever.