Category Archives: SPRING SUNDAYS

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Sunday Roast Chicken with Golden Beets & Spring Greens

I think everyone should have a good roast chicken recipe. It’s a classic Sunday afternoon meal that fills your house with the smell of fresh herbs and the leftovers make fantastic chicken salad sandwiches the next day.  During winter months I serve roast chicken with roasted potatoes, vegetables and gravy. But today I’m celebrating spring by serving this chicken with roasted golden beets and spring greens.

Herb Roasted Chicken

  • 1 5 lb chicken
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 shallot, pealed an halved
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse your chicken and dry well with a paper towel. Salt liberally inside and out then put in the fridge for 1 hour. Remove chicken and gently lift breast skin and put half of the garlic and a few sprigs of thyme under the skin of both breasts. Make a small slit between the breast and thigh on both sides of the chicken. Put remaining garlic and a few sprigs of thyme under the skin. Put the shallot and more thyme in the cavity. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with more salt. Rub breast and legs with butter before roasting for 90 minutes. The breast temperature should read 165 and the thigh 175 on an instant read thermometer.

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brightsoup

Tom Kha Goong

Tom Kha Goong is a very popular Thai soup you can find at any Thai restaurant. The broth is a wonderful combination of sweet, sour and spicy that is perfect for an early Sunday dinner especially if you’ve had a little too much wine Saturday night. You can easily order this soup from your local Thai restaurant but it is very simple to make at home and I like to add lots of vegetables and fresh shrimp. This soup also makes your house smell amazing which makes it worth the effort.

Prep time: 25 mins Cooking time: 20 minutes Serves: 6

Tom Kha Goong

Soup

  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 13.5 oz coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
  • 3 lemongrass stalks
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves or zest and juice of 3 limes
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger pealed
  • 1 1/2 pounds pealed, cleaned shrimp
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, stems removed and cut into quarters
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 bunches bok choy leaves

Toppings

  • Fresh Thai basil (or regular basil if you can’t find Thai)
  • Fresh mint
  • Green onions
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Thai chilies (serrano and jelapenos are also good)
  • Thai chili sauce
  • Fresh lime wedges

Using the back of a knife, lightly smash lemongrass and ginger; cut lemongrass into 4” pieces. Bring lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves (or lime zest and juice) and broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors are melded, 8–10 minutes. Strain broth into clean saucepan; discard solids.

Return the broth to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and whisk in curry paste. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots and simmer for 10 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer until they are just cooked through. About 6 minutes. Mix in coconut milk, fish sauce and bok choy until bok choy is wilted.

Divide soup among bowls. Serve with toppings.

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meatballs

Spaghetti & Meatballs

I love a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs with buttery garlic bread and a glass of red wine. However, meatballs can be disappointing if they aren’t done right. If they are cooked too long they become dry and tend to crumble. To keep them moist I combine a little day old bread and milk with the meat and poach them in the sauce until they are just cooked through.  Although it isn’t traditional, I also like to add cream and nutmeg to the sauce for a little sweetness as I would to a Bolognese.

This recipe makes a lot of meatballs but the leftovers make great sandwiches and they freeze well if want to save them for another day.

Meatballs

  • 3/4 lb ground veal
  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 lb ground mild Italian sausage
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp nutmeg

Mix bread and milk in a small bowl and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients before adding bread mixture and mix well.

Form  meat mixture in to balls. I like to make them about 1 1/2 inches thick which makes about 24 meatballs. Refrigerate them for about 25 minutes while you prepare your ingredients for the sauce.

Sauce

  • 1 small yellow onion quartered
  • 1 large carrot, pealed
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin removed
  • 1 28 ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Chop carrot, onion and garlic in a food processor until smooth and set aside.

Heat a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add two tablespoons of oil and heat until smoking. Add one layer of meatballs and brown well. This takes about 6 minutes. Set browned meatballs aside while you repeat this step until all your meatballs are nice and brown.

Add the vegetable mixture to the pot and cook until it begins to brown. Add fresh thyme, nutmeg and tomato paste. Saute for 1 minute then add the red wine, scraping up all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato puree and mix well. Bring up to a simmer cook the sauce for about 15 minutes to bring all of the flavors together. Gently add your meatballs to the sauce and simmer on low for 15 minutes until meatballs are just cooked through. Remove the top and add the cream. Stir gently and let simmer for another 5 minutes then add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over spaghetti with parmesan and garlic bread.

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chicken1

Tandoori Style Whole Barbecued Chicken

For this recipe you will start by removing the skin from the chicken before marinating so it absorbs all of the flavors from the spiced yogurt and gets crispy on the grill. Generally, removing the skin before grilling would produce tough, stringy chicken. But in this case the yogurt keeps the meat from drying out and it gives it great flavor.

Have your butcher butterfly the chicken by removing the back bone or you can do it yourself with kitchen scissors.

Tandoori Style Whole Barbecued Chicken

Prep time: 25 minutes + 8 hours for marinating Cooking time: 30-40 minutes Serves: 4

  • 1 five pound chicken, butterflied with the back bone and skin removed
  • 2 cups full fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 inch fresh, pealed ginger
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno
  • salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor. Mix the ingredients well before slowly adding the oil.  Pour marinade over chicken making sure to rub it in. Cover and chill for 8-12 hours.

Let the chicken sit out for about 30-45 minutes before grilling. Get your grill nice and hot. Just before you start to cook the chicken, brush the grill with oil. Put the chicken flesh side down and cook for 7-10 minutes with the top on.

When the chicken has a nice char, turn it over and cook the other side for another 7-10 minutes with the top on. Move the chicken to the cooler side of the grill and repeat this process until the breast registers 145 on an instant read thermometer and the leg reads 165.

Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes before carving. Serve with pita, cucumber salad and Coriander-Mint Yogurt.

Coriander Mint Yogurt:

  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 bunch corriander
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Serrano chili
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • olive oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Thin out with olive oil if necessary for desired thickness. Serve with chicken and pita.

 

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indianplate

Chicken Tikka Masala & Spicy Mint Chutney

Chicken Tikka Masala is probably the most popular dish on the menu at most Indian restaurants. Although the recipe requires a lot of ingredients, it is actually very simple to make. Before I started putting together my Indian feast,  I wondered how my version of Chicken Tikka Masala would stand up to my favorite Indian spot. As it turns out, although they are not quite the same it was definitely just as good and the spicy mint chutney really brightened the dish.

Prep time: 4 hours 20 minutes Cooking time: 45 minutes Serves: 6-8

6 garlic cloves, finely grated
4 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
4 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 cups whole-milk yogurt (not Greek)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2.5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
1teaspoon cardamom
1 serrano chili
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
Steamed basmati rice (for serving)

Combine garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl.  Use half of the spice mixture and blend in a food processor with yogurt, lime juice, Serrano chili, salt and cilantro.  Pour over chicken and turn to coat. Cover and chill 4-6 hours.  Add the 1 teaspoon of cardamom to the remaining spice mixture. Cover and chill.

Heat ghee (or oil and butter) in a large heavy pot over medium heat.  Add onion and tomato paste.  Cook, stirring often until tomato paste has darkened and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining half of spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until bottom of pot begins to brown, about 4 minutes.

Add tomatoes and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring often while scraping up browned bits from the pot. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 8 minutes.

Add cream and simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and gets a little darker, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack inside sheet. Shake some of the excess marinade from the chicken and place on rack in a single layer. Broil until chicken starts to blacken in spots (it will not be cooked through), about 10 minutes.

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces; add to sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Serve with steamed rice and mint chutney.

Mint Chutney

  • 2 cups fresh mint, stems removed
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 inch piece of pealed fresh ginger
  • 1 serrano chili
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor.  You will need to scrape the sides down and blend several times to get it well pureed. Store chutney in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three hours to let the flavors come together. Stir before serving.

indianplate

chowder

Smokey Bacon Clam Chowder

I haven’t always been a huge fan of Clam Chowder. It often seems to have more flour and potatoes than clams with a thick gravy-like consistency that is a bit off putting to me. In this recipe I wanted the consistency to be more like a bisque and I used bacon and thyme for flavor. The end result was a rich and satisfying chowder perfect for a rainy day.

Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes Serves: 6

  • 3  6.5 ounce cans chopped clams in juice
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 3 strips smoked bacon, diced
  • 1/2  small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small russet potato, pealed and diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • Salt and pepper.

Strain clams and set aside saving the juice.

Cook bacon in dutch oven until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

Cook onions, carrots and potatoes in bacon drippings for 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, clam juice, thyme and salt. Simmer vegetables for ten minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add clams, heavy cream, bacon and bring back to a simmer for about 5 minutes.

Stir together butter and flour until it forms a paste. Whisk the paste into the soup and bring to a simmer. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Take the chowder off the heat and let it rest for about an hour so all the flavors come together nicely. Heat the chowder before serving with sourdough bread and more black pepper.

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taco

Spicy Pot Roast Crispy Tacos

This is the third taco recipe for Sunday Gathering and quite possibly my favorite. I use leftover cooked pot roast and pair it with spicy El Pato to make a tender beef filling for my crispy corn tortilla. The result is a messy and delicious monster taco with all the usual toppings.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes Serves: 4-6

  • 2 cups cooked pot roast meat, choppedtaco1
  • 1/2 cup El Pato Salsa Fresca
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • white corn tortillas
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream, sliced avocado, cilantro, chopped green onions, more El Pato

Heat canola oil in a frying pan for tortillas.

While your oil is getting hot, heat pot roast meat in a sautee pan until brown. You want a few crisp edges like carnitas. Once the meat is brown, add the 1/2 cup of El Pato and fry until the meat absorbs all of the salsa. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm while you fry your tortillas.

Fry your tortillas one at a time in hot oil until it they start to bubble and brown. Once your tortilla is brown and crisp on one side, turn it over and sprinkle with cheese. Let it brown on the other side before draining on a paper towel. Put the meat on top of the cheese to finish melting. Transfer taco to a clean plate and add your favorite toppings.

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Pot Roast

Pot Roast is a classic dish that is easy and inexpensive to make. It’s my favorite thing to cook on a lazy Sunday because it fills the house with delicious smells and requires very little attention. I use red wine, beef broth and fresh thyme to give it a rich Bourguignon flavor and serve it with crusty bread and horseradish.

Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 3 hours Serves: 8

  • 5-6 pound pot roast
  • 1/2 cup diced pancetta
  • 1 lb sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 3 cups red wine divided
  • 15 oz veal stock or low sodium beef broth
  • 1 bunch fresh time (5 or 6 sprigs)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil

Pat your beef dry and sprinkle liberally with salt and set aside. Brown the pancetta in 1 Tbsp of canola oil until crisp and set aside. Sauté the mushrooms in pancetta drippings and set aside. Add a tablespoon of canol oil to the pan and seatr the beef on both sides until well browned About 15 minutes total. Set meat aside.

Saute onions and carrots in the pan until brown before adding the tomato paste. cook the vegetables and paste for about two minutes then add the thyme. Add 2 cups wine and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer the wine for about five minutes to reduce a little.  return the beef to the pan and and add the stock. Bring the liquid to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about three hours with the top partially on leaving a small crack for some steam to escape. Allow the roast to cool completely before removing it from the liquid and setting it aside.  Heat the braising liquid and a 1 cup of wine  And reduce it by half.  Wisk in flour and butter mixture until sauce thickens.  Add the beef back to the pot with the pancetta and mushrooms. And warm through.

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