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Category Archives: Recipe

On the Menu this Week

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On the MenuFall has arrived in the Pacific Northwest! We’re in for some rainy days, so most of this week’s menu  reflects that. Of course, we’re also back up to 75 degrees at the end of the week. So much for consistency!

Monday:

Oven-Fried Chicken, Chive Mashed Potatoes, & Roasted Acorn Squash

Tuesday: 

Rigatoni with White Bolognese Sauce & Green Salad

Wednesday:

Andouille Sausage Jambalaya with Fresh Veg & Yellow Rice

Thursday:

Dinner Out

Friday:

Papardelle with Lemon, Herbs and Ricotta Salata, Garlic Bread & Caesar Salad

Bon Appetit!

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On the Menu this Week

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On the MenuLooking for weekly culinary inspiration? You’ve come to the right place!

Monday:

Polenta Burgers, Roasted Asparagus, Criss-Cut Fries

Tuesday: 

Dinner Out

Wednesday:

Chicken Drumsticks with Vinegar Sauce, Herb Rice, Caesar Salad

Thursday:

Pasta with Browned Butter and Mizithra Cheese, Steamed Broccoli, Garlic Bread

Friday:

Chicken Schnitzel, Herb Spaetzle, Green Salad

Bon Appetit!

On the Menu this Week

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On the Menu this Week, Weekly Menu PlanningFor awhile now, I’ve been posting our daily menus on Facebook. And to decent fanfare. People seem to love reading what’s gracing our tables each night, so much so, that I’ve been asked by more than a few people to turn this into a weekly blog post. So, without further ado, I’ll be posting “On the Menu this Week” every Monday.

Fall is probably my favorite season for cooking, so I’m glad to be starting this now. As the summer bounty tapers off, it’s replaced by heartier fruits and vegetables that can withstand the elements. One-pot meals are totally de rigeur, and it’s okay for dinner to be a pot of soup with crusty bread. It’s cooler out, so you don’t feel like you’re baking in the kitchen alongside your food. It’s the perfect time to nestle into the kitchen and experiment away.

I should mention this: we don’t eat-in every night, so you may find some holes in the weekly calendar that you have to fill yourself. Personally, I’ve found that by being organized and knowing what we’re doing each week food-wise, we save a lot of money from not impulsively going out to eat. We also save money because our trips to the grocery store are more focused. When you can overlap ingredients from recipe to recipe, you’ll save. Trust me: that whole buying in bigger quantities thing is not without merit.

While I do sometimes make-up recipes, most of what I cook is adapted from my Rachel Ray, Dave Lieberman, Dorie Greenspan, and Betty Crocker cookbooks. I also follow quite a few food blogs, so recipes will often originate from the web too. The recipes are generally simple and don’t require the use of obscure ingredients. If you feel intimidated and would like to follow along from the books, send me a message and I’ll tell you the exact titles so you can buy them. I’ll do my best to post links to the recipes (if available) with each menu.

I hope you enjoy this, and have fun getting more acquainted with your kitchen. As this is a new project, any feedback (for better or worse) is appreciated. Thanks for following along!

2nd Annual Foster Farms Fresh Chicken Cooking Contest

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Foster Farms Fresh Chicken Cooking ContestWhen I think of chicken, I think of Foster Farms. The bright yellow logo reminds me of shopping at the grocery store with my mom and dad as a child, spacing out in the meat aisle, asking for everything, and often getting shot down. I was invited to be a part of their 2nd annual Fresh Chicken Cooking Contest in Portland as a guest of Jennifer Heigl from Dailyblender.com. We’re Twitter pals, and until yesterday we’d never met face-to-face.I showed up at Le Cordon Bleu early, and found many nice people from Foster Farms and the culinary institute there to greet me. They explained that the contestants (there were five of them) would have approximately 90 minutes to complete their dishes, at which time the judges (there were four of them) would be presented with their plates. At the same time, all of us in the audience would sample each dish recreated by the LCB chefs, and we would have the chance to vote for the People’s Choice Award. Winner winner chicken dinner! Or breakfast. Whatever.
Recipes included Pan-Fried Chicken with Blueberry-Pinot Noir Sauce and Foster Farms Fresh Chicken Cooking Competition, JudgesGoat Cheese Polenta (Timmy Baker, Eugene, OR), Hazelnut-Sage Chicken with Ravioli (Mary Lou Cook, Welches, OR), Chicken Mushroom Ragout (Megan Futrell, Hillsboro, OR), Crispy Basil Skinned Chicken Breast with Peach Pink Peppercorn Compote (Russell Kool, Hillsboro, OR), and Stir-Fried Chicken with Walla Walla Onions and Hood River Pears (Deb Stoner, Oak Grove, OR). Each of the contestants were tasked with creating recipes that used local ingredients, and of course, the common thread was Foster Farms chicken. This was the Oregon State finals, and the two winners will go on to join the winners from Washington State (crowned last weekend) and California (crowned next weekend) at the finals at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, CA.
Jealous!
Foster Farms received more than 2,000 recipe entries, but yesterday, the Publisher’s Clearinghouse-style $1,000 checks would go to Timmy Baker and Russell Kool for their dishes. The People’s Choice Award went to Megan Futrell. The judges looked at presentation, originality, ease of recipe, use of local Contestants and winners of the Foster Farms Fresh Chicken Cooking Competition in Portland, Oregoningredients, and execution, and each contestant did a wonderful job touching on each category. All of the recipes were easy, and many of the judges commented on that aspect during their explanations. They must have had a hard time deciding, because they deliberated for quite awhile before issuing their decision. Ironically, (I say that because they were both Oregon State contestants last year) Baker and Kool were the cream of the crop. They were the only two repeats in the entire tri-state competition, proving they can bring the heat year-over-year.

I never imagined myself devouring chicken dishes at ten o’clock in the morning and liking it, but the event was fabulous and I’m so glad I went. A special shout out to Jennifer Heigl for having me! For me, the winning dish was the Crispy Basil Skinned Chicken Breast with Peach Pink Peppercorn Compote. It’s not really shocking; I’m a sucker for crispy chicken skin morning, noon, or night. Foster Farms Chicken Competition, Judges TableThe compote was tangy, sweet and could stand up on its own, and I’m planning to make a corn meal pound cake to pair it with, as it almost had a dessert-like quality and texture. If you’re interested in any of the recipes from the contest, I’m willing to relinquish them and help you share in the chicken bonanza. Just send me an email. I also have the recipes from the 1st annual competition because I’m just that lucky (thanks Toby!).

Best of luck to the Oregon constituency in Napa at the end of September! If you need someone to pack your knives, carry your whisks, or act as paparazzi, I’m shamelessly offering my services to tagalong. It’s the kind of person I am; a chicken-loving groupie, and I like it that way.

Apple Pie Stuffing

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Apple Pie Stuffing

Nothing says “Happy Thanksgiving” like stuffing and apple pie, so I figured, ‘Why not combine them both together?’ I wrote this recipe last year, but in the mayhem of a smallish kitchen, cooking it got put on the back burner, as they say.

One of my favorite things about stuffing is that all you need is your imagination, and some cubed, day-old bread. The rest can literally be a combination of whatever you like. 
Prepped Ingredients

In this recipe, peppered applewood bacon counteracts the sweetness of the apples. And what’s a good apple pie without the crust? Here, breadcrumbs, melted butter, and thyme lay the foundation for this melange of flavors and Thanksgiving staples.
Happy Thanksgiving from Culinary Hopscotch…enjoy!

Apple Pie Stuffing
Par-Baked Crust and Stuffing

Crust

  • 1 Tbsp. Thyme, chopped
  • 2 1/2 Cups Plain Breadcrumbs, plus 1/4 cup
  • 4 Tbsp. Melted Butter, plus 1 Tbsp. 
  
Stuffing

  • 1/4 Cup Sweet Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 Stalks of Celery, chopped
  • 1 Leek, chopped (white part only)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil 
  • 3 Sweet Red Apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Dash of Nutmeg, Allspice, and Cinnamon
  • 6 Slices of Applewood Smoked Bacon, crisped and crumbed
  • 1/2 Loaf of Day-Old French Bread, cubed
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Oven-Bake Bacon for Easy Clean-Up
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Drizzle the breadcrumbs and thyme with melted butter. Combine until moistened, but not wet. Press the mixture into the bottom of a metal pie tin and par-bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. After prepping the apples, cover them with lemon juice to prevent browning and set aside.
  4. Saute the onion, celery and leek in olive oil with the additional 1 Tbsp of butter over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add in the apples, and season with nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon. Continue to saute the mixture until the apples begin to soften, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. In a separate pan, cook the bacon slices until crispy. Drain them on paper towels, and reserve the drippings. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, crumble it.
  6. In a large bowl, toss the saute mixture with the crumbled bacon, cubed bread, and 1 cup of the chicken stock to start. This mixture shouldn’t be very wet, so eyeball the consistency and add more if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour the mixture into the crust, and cover with the remaining 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs. Drizzle with the reserved bacon drippings and bake for 45 minutes uncovered.