Today we’re going to look at two of my all time favorite ingredients, garlic…and butter! And I’m going to show you one of those little restaurant kitchen secrets that can elevate a great dish into the range of freakin’ amazing.
Slow poaching in butter brings out all the sweetness of the garlic, without any bitterness. Creating silky smooth, buttery soft garlic cloves, and a rich, deeply infused roasted garlic butter.
To make your Butter Poached Garlic, you’ll need:
1 cube Sweet Cream Butter (for some reason “sweet” means it has salt added…go figure)
10-12 fresh whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
Cooking time: 1 hour on Medium Low
Here’s how I do it…
That’s right…today is “National Biscuits & Gravy Day!”
One of my all-time favorite breakfast dishes, biscuits and gravy, especially homemade sausage gravy is crazy easy to make from scratch, and SO much tastier than anything you’re going to find in a bottle or can!
In fact, it’s so easy that I put together a quick video to show you, step-by-step, how simple this 5-ingredient dish really is!
As for the biscuits, no one does it better than Jeff Smith…the Frugal Gourmet!
Here’s Jeff’s famous 3-part video series from YouTube, on Sourdough Bread & Biscuit Making.
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.
We take a momentary pause from our regular food-related programming to share the greatest YouTube Video ever…
By the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids.
Let’s roast us some chestnuts!
Chestnuts come from the European Chestnut tree, which is related to oak and beech trees, and we’re all familiar with Nat King Cole’s Christmas song about roasting chestnuts on an open fire.
Roasting chestnuts is something I’d never done until yesterday…turns out I’ve been missing out on something completely awesome!
By the way, “water chestnuts” are a completely unrelated food that comes from a water-based plant.
Chestnuts have an amazing food history, but I want to keep this video short, I’ll just say, if you want to read about them, go type “Chestnut” into Wikipedia.
The flavor of these oven-roasted chestnuts is very mild, slightly sweet, and completely addictive.
Oven Roasted Chestnuts
2 pounds fresh un-shelled chestnuts
2-3 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons (or more) kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat you’re oven to 425 degrees, and give the chestnuts a quick rinse.
Cut a little X on the round side of the husk, and I like to use a small serrated knife for this. this is called “scoring”, which will let steam release during the roasting process. Set each chestnut flat-side down, and just cut a shallow X across the top.
I’m use a small hand-towel or bar-mop down on my cutting board, this can help keep things from sliding around while you’re cutting.
The chestnut doesn’t really have a shell, per say, buy more like a thick outer skin, and a thinner inner skin.
Next, soak your chestnuts in a bowl of very hot water. This will softens the husk some, and add some moisture for the steaming process.
By the way, Chestnuts are much lower in calories that other nuts, they have no cholesterol, are very low in fat, and they’re gluten free! They’re also the only nut that contains vitamin C, and lots of it.
(By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free meal planning newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week. Plus, you’ll be helping us feed the hungry, and teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk teens!)
Place your scored chestnuts in a large bowl and, for two pounds of chestnuts, pour in 1 stick of melted butter.
Remove the leaves from 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, and add to the bowl.
Next, sprinkle with two teaspoons of salt and one teaspoon of pepper. If that seems like a lot of salt, remember that most of it is going on the husks, which we’re going to remove.
Mix well to combine the seasonings and evenly coat the chestnuts with butter.
Next, we’re going to pour out our chestnuts in a SINGLE LAYER (that’s very important) on a foil-lined baking sheet. Gather up the edges of the foil, on all four sides, leaving a small opening in the top for steam to escape.
Roast between 45-60 minutes, until the cut edges of the husk begins to curl up, and then remove them from the heat, and let them rest another 15 minutes, still covered in foil.
Once the edges have curled up, they shouldn’t be TOO difficult on the thumbs to peel. I’m not going to lie to you, the husks toughen up while roasting, and those edges get sharp. It might not be a bad idea to wear some kitchen gloves for this part.
After you’ve removed the husk, and the inner skin, everything left is sweet, edible meat.
Transfer your chestnuts to a plate or platter, use a spatula to scrape in any butter and spices left in the pan over them, season with more salt, if desired, and toss them a bit to coat.
Serve hot or warm.
So our friend Jon wrote us asking, “How do you make a proper roux? I tend to end up with a mess of lumps and clumps!”
Well Jon, a classic roux is a pretty simple thing to make…as long as you know a couple of VERY important techniques to avoid that lumpy mess.
Here are my step-by-step instructions on cooking a classic roux, developing it into a bechamel (white sauce), then into a cheddar cheese sauce, and finally into my favorite mac & cheese!
See also: 5 Tips for Perfect Pasta
Just in time for Thanksgiving…perfect roasted whole turkey in just 90 minutes!
Every year we cook up a bunch of turkeys (11 this year, a new record!) and take them to a local homeless shelter for their annual Thanksgiving dinner.
This year I wanted to try a new technique I’d heard about, and it turned out great…all six times!
Here’s a video I put together during the roasting…
- 12-14lb turkey, spatchcocked
- Preheat oven to 450F
- Roast 90 minutes, rest 20 minutes
Oh, and if you really want to amp up the flavor and juiciness of your bird, brine it! You can check our our post My Best Brined Turkey Recipe, over at our BBQ site, Burnin’ Love BBQ.
(By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk teens!)
I love chicken thighs, and we use a lot of them in our weekly meal plans…delicious, easy to prepare, hard to mess up, and economical…what’s not to like?
This is my personal favorite recipe, both for straight-up eating with some steamed veggies and maybe a little fresh pasta, but especially as an ingredient for making amazing chicken soups, pizza and enchiladas, casseroles, and anything else that calls for succulent, savory, bursting-with-flavor chicken.
Maybe the best part being, you can get a family pack (or two) on the cheap, cook them all up like this, and they stay moist and juicy enough to be used in a variety of recipe through-out the week!
Here’s how I do it and, yes, it’s really this easy…
Simply Amazing Chicken Thighs
8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 lemon, juiced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 Tbs. deli-style mustard
2 Tbs. honey
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
Mise en place: Rinse the chicken thighs and pat dry.
Glaze: whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and honey. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a low simmer and keep warm.
Toss chicken in a large mixing bow. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss all together until the chicken is evenly coated.
Marinate at least an hour, but all day in the fridge is better.
Place the chicken on an oiled pan and roast in a preheated oven (375F) skin-side down, for 20; flip the thighs and roast another 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, switch from bake to broil, and brush each thigh generously with the warm glaze. Broil 5 minutes, watching carefully, until a medium golden brown.
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To serve immediately: Allow chicken to rest 10 minutes, in the liquid, and serve straight up, or with sauce.
To use in a later recipe: Allow to cool 15-20 minutes in the liquid, then remove chicken from the pan, and place thighs in a clean lidded container (or gallon zips) and refrigerate.
You can make a fantastic finishing sauce by deglazing the roasting pan with a little white wine, maybe some diced shallots and/or mushrooms. bringing to a simmer, and whisking in a healthy knob of unsalted butter. Mmmm…
(BTW, this is an older video, don’t worry, our meal plans are still free! )
If you aren’t into the sauce, strain all of the drippings through a fine mesh into a measuring cup. Chill overnight, and in the morning, lift off the solid white fat and store separately from the lemony-chicken broth below it.
This rendered chicken fat is what Ashkenazic cooks (of Jewish-German descent) refer to as “schmaltz”, which makes an absolutely lovely cooking substitute for butter or oil. Cooking in schmaltz will make the best eggs ever!
But man, oh man…this chicken is so good!
Simple enough to make for a fast weeknight dinner, classy enough to be served over wild rice and drizzled with pan sauce for a fancy dinner party…it’s as versatile and it is delicious!
Here are 3 great recipes you can use these Simply Amazing Chicken Thighs in:
Stay turned for our step-by-step Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, using this exact same chicken recipe, posting later this week. I’ll come back and add the link here, as well.