Thursday, March 31, 2011

chicken thigh supper

I discovered a great new cookbook that I checked out from the library last week- Good Mood Food by Donal Skehan-- he looks like an Irish teen sensation, but he does know how to cook. Skimming through it, I kept thinking how good the food on every page looked. I have about ten bookmarked, as that's about how many slips of paper I pre-cut, and I thought that would at least keep me busy for a while. Last night, I made this dish, which was very savory. I pan-seared some spinach in the same pan, which was a nice touch, served with bread.

image via Good Mood Food Blog

From blog--

"This is a super dish for a big group of people, served with a tasty salad; it’s perfect for weekday entertaining. If you can’t get a hold of chicken thighs, you can use any other cuts as long as they’re on the bone. This gives the meat a really great flavour.

Serves 4

6–8 chicken thighs
200g pancetta, diced, or bacon bits
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
75ml/3fl oz red wine
2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 red onion, chopped in half moons
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 sprigs of thyme
2 teaspoons of English mustard powder
2 tablespoons of olive oil

In a large deep frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and brown the chicken and pancetta, until you get a nice colour on the thighs. Set aside on plate covered with kitchen paper.
In the same pan, add the rest of the oil and fry the garlic, onion, rosemary and thyme for 2 minutes. Sprinkle over the mustard powder and stir through.
Add the tinned tomatoes and red wine, and bring to the boil. Add the chicken and pancetta pieces back to the pan, turning the chicken pieces to coat.
Cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes over a low heat or until the chicken is cooked through. You may need to extend the cooking time depending on the size of the chicken thighs. I don’t add salt to this recipe as the pancetta can be quite salty, but make sure to taste it and add seasoning if needed.
Serve with a tasty salad and some hearty wholemeal bread."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

banana sour cream pancakes

For the eve of Lent ("Fat Tuesday"), we indulged in Banana Sour Cream pancakes (found here) topped with Strawberries and whipped cream, and eggs. Those were some yummy pancakes- definitely a treat!

From 03/08/2011 (by Eye-Fi)

banana sour cream pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Unsalted butter
  • 2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving
  • Pure maple syrup


Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes. Distribute a rounded tablespoon of bananas on each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

toad in the hole

I found this recipe in a Williams-Sonoma magazine-- about the only thing I'll ever get out of one of those. But it looked divine, and it held up. When I told the kids the name, it got some eyes, but once we explained that what was in it was just things that they really like (i.e. kielbasa (which we used instead of sausage, since that's what we had on hand), eggs, orange peppers, spinach, etc.), they downed it fairly quickly. We had it with homemade oatmeal bread with strawberry jam, cantaloupe and OJ.


  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 whole eggs plus 1 egg white
  • 2 tsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. mild pork breakfast sausage links
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 4 oz. spinach
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives


In a bowl, combine the milk, eggs, egg white and mustard. Using an immersion blender, blend until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the flour and the 1 tsp. salt and blend for 30 to 60 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the batter for 2 hours.

Preheat an oven to 425ºF.

In a 10-inch fry pan over medium heat, warm 1 tsp. of the oil. Add the sausages and brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan with paper towels. Return the pan to medium heat and warm 1 tsp. of the oil. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the sausage. In the same pan over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the oil. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper, and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the plate.

Pour the remaining 2 Tbs. oil into a 12-inch fry pan and place in the oven until the oil is hot and just smoking, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the batter from the refrigerator and stir in the cheese. Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Add the sausages, bell pepper and spinach to the pan, then pour in the batter. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the batter is puffy and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes; do not open the oven door early as this will cause the toad in the hole to deflate. Garnish with the chives and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

photo via Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.