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  #51  
Old 07-16-2008, 01:16 PM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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Okay, another one. This is one I experimented with just last night, and it turned out so friggin' good that I had to share. You actually partially cure the chicken in salt and sugar before cooking.

Asian-style Butterfly Chicken
1 whole chicken, about 3-5 pounds
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/6 cup salt (I just fill the 1/3 cup halfway)
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon Five Spice powder
Baking pan
Rack for roasting---For this recipe, I actually prefer to use those racks for cooling cookies, instead of the usual V-shaped roasting rack. It helps the chicken keep that flat shape better. I just lay the cookie rack across the top of the pan.

First, you need to butterfly the chicken. For those who don't know how, it's actually very simple. It'll probably take a lot longer for me to explain it than for you to do it. All you need is a large, sharp knife. A cleaver or a chef's knife works great. If you don't have that, any non-serrated knife with a good edge will do the job.

Stand the chicken on its butt on the cutting board, with the neck area uppermost. Turn it so that the back, the side opposite the breast, is facing you. Starting on one side of the neck (there should be a little stub of one remaining), slide your knife between the neck and the wing and start cutting down. Follow the line of the backbone all the way down. If you're doing it right, your knife should slide pretty easily all the way down, When you reach the place where the wings and thighs attach to the back, stop and wiggle them to find the place where it's jointed into the back. If you slide the knife right through that joint, it will cut through it like butter. If you're swearing and hacking with the knife, you're cutting in the wrong place. Repeat on the other side of the neck, cutting out the back entirely. And since this is Chaz, toss the raw chicken back in the yard for the dog.

Lay the chicken on its breast on the cutting board. It should be semi-flat, with only a rib cage sticking up. Take your knife and carefully slide it all the way down each side of the rib cage to the breastbone. Be careful to stay close to the bones, so as much breast meat as possible stays intact. When you're done, the entire rib cage should lift out. Toss that in the backyard for your other dog.

You should be left with a very flat chicken, with the only bones left in the wings and legs.

Mix all the other ingredients together in a bowl. Thickly slather the mixture all over the chicken, on both sides. Be sure to get the wings and legs. It'll seem like a lot, but you'll use it.

Lay the flat chicken on the rack in the roasting pan with skin side uppermost. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours. The next day, take the chicken out. You'll be surprised to see how much seasoning and liquid has been drawn out and is laying in the bottom of the pan beneath the rack. Don't drain it out! Instead, add some hot water to the liquid. You want about 1/2-inch of water in the pan beneath the rack. When roasting, the heated water, juices and spices will create a flavorful steam that will make your chicken sooo juicy.

Sprinkle the chicken with a bit of additional Five Spice powder, than put the pan in the oven. Roast at 400 degrees for about 1 hour, or until chicken is done.
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  #52  
Old 07-18-2008, 01:34 PM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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I'm on a bit of a recipe roll! Here's another one. Unlike traditional stewed ratatouille, this one is baked in multicolored stripes and looks beautiful on the table. This time of year is the best time to make it--all the summer veggies are cheap and easy to find at the farmer's market.

Ratatouille

1 medium-sized yellow squash
1 zucchini, same size
1 Japanese eggplant, same size
2 roma tomatoes
1 onion, diced and seeded
3 diced tomatoes, any kind.
2 bell peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
1 bunch parsley, chopped
Olive oil
salt
pepper
2 bay leaves, crushed
thyme
1 9x11 baking pan. I prefer a clear glass one, to show all the pretty colors.

Put about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions and bell peppers. Sautee for about 2 minutes, then add the diced tomatoes, parsley, bay leaf, 1 tsp of thyme, and some salt and pepper to taste. Cook the whole mixture until all the vegetables are soft. Spread it in the bottom of the baking pan--there should be just enough to cover the bottom, but a little more or less is just fine.

Slice the zucchini, Roma tomatoes, eggplant and yellow squash into very thin rounds. I go for slices 1/16-1/8 inch thick. Do NOT peel them! Put the eggplant slices in a strainer and liberally salt to draw out any bitterness. Let the eggplant slices sit for 15 minutes, then rinse and drain.

Now it's time to make the rows. Using alternating slices of the different vegetables, make a colorful stack about 5-6 rounds deep. Lay the stack on its side in the baking pan, tilting it slightly so that the veggies are mostly overlapped, but each one is slightly visible---kinda like playing cards fanned out in a line on the table. Then start another stack, and add it to the first. Continue until you have a whole row of brightly-colored, overlapping veggies. Then start on another row right next to the first. Continue until the whole pan is filled. If you're feeling particularly artistic, you can also use a round pan and make the slices into spirals.

Lightly drizzle your creation with a bit more olive oil on top, and sprinkle with some salt, pepper and thyme. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes for the top to be nicely browned. Serve hot.
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Last edited by Gempress; 07-18-2008 at 02:01 PM.
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  #53  
Old 07-18-2008, 06:24 PM
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Whooo hooo.........those look FABULOUS Gemp! If I wasn't so stuffed with dinner my mouth would be watering!

I made nice thick beef steaks on the grill with a nice tossed salad and some broccoli/cheese/rice on the side
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  #54  
Old 07-20-2008, 09:44 AM
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Renee750il Renee750il is offline
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I have a big sirloin tip roast that's been soaking in mojo criollo overnight.

Have no idea what I'm going to dig out to fix with it, lol, but I'll find something. There's a bag of gold yukon potatoes, although I'd rather not fix potatoes with it.

Oh, and there is fresh blackberry pie, made like strawberry pie, with fresh, uncooked blackberries and glaze in a baked pie shell. The blackberries are so sweet they didn't need any sugar put on them for the pie.
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Last edited by Renee750il; 07-20-2008 at 09:59 AM.
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  #55  
Old 07-20-2008, 01:29 PM
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Ya, when it comes to a nice steak you really don't have to concern yourself with sides if you don't want to! LOL, it can stand alone, or with a nice slice of pie for desert. I am sure your taste buds won't suffer for a second!
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  #56  
Old 07-20-2008, 02:54 PM
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Found some big mushrooms, one big yellow squash, some yellow hominy, a couple of tomatoes, a big sweet onion and some celery (the good part on the inside with the leaves). I cut the potatoes in inch pieces and roasted them separately in a slow oven on a bed of sea salt and fresh rosemary, browned the hominy with the celery chopped and some garlic then set it aside, cut the other veggies into big chunks and tossed them in the skillet for 10 minutes or so, then mixed the hominy back in and put the mixture in the oven to slow roast. When it was all done, I combined the roasted potatoes and roasted vegetables.

That may be one of my new favorite vegetable dishes!
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Stupid is the most notoriously incurable and contagious disease known to mankind. If you find yourself in close proximity to someone infected with stupid, walk away as soon as said infection is noted.


There are few things more nauseating than pure obedience. ~ Kvothe

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  #57  
Old 07-20-2008, 03:15 PM
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Sounds delicious!
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  #58  
Old 07-21-2008, 04:48 PM
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My own lazy Pasta salad (lazy because its quick and easy and can be prepaired any time of the day because it is to be served cold... or hot which ever )

- (whole wheat) pasta I prefer penne
- Tomatoes
- Mozerella
- fresh basil dry can be used as well
- Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice
- salt and pepper to taste


Pretty much just mix everything in one bowl and let sit in the fridge until its cool. Its also pretty good hot.
I like adding a spoonfull of pesto on mine!! =)
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  #59  
Old 07-21-2008, 05:00 PM
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When I have a steak all I need is a baked pot and a nice salad !
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  #60  
Old 07-27-2008, 06:55 PM
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Puckstop31 Puckstop31 is offline
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Quick and easy fresh pasta sauce.

Made this tonight for the first time and it as was a hit.

6 fresh plum tomatoes
15 sun dried tomatoes in oil
4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
3/4 cup of olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped.
handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper

- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add whole tomatoes to boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove tomatoes and place in ice water a few minutes to cool.

- Add other ingredients to food processor.

- Remove tomatoes from water. Halve and peel tomatoes. Squeeze seeds out. Add to Food Pro.

- Liquify

Put sauce in pot and heat through while you cook whatever pasta you want. We added sauted chicken and mushrooms.

Yummy.

** For even better sauce, add a large bunch of parsely to sauce. Simmer over very low heat for an hour or two. Remove parsely before serving.
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