Tag Archives: orange

A Saturday Alone

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This rarely happens. Clean apartment, minimal school work to catch up on, a full fridge…

So today, I am in the process of making a Ree Drummond recipe that I’ve been eyeballing since she first posted it almost two years ago on her blog. Her original recipe is simple: pork shoulder roast, chipotle peppers in adobo, and Dr. Pepper. Doesn’t get any easier than that. I had to tweak mine, of course. I don’t think I’ve ever followed a recipe to the letter. Hers seems pretty perfect so I hope I didn’t screw it up. To mine, I added garlic and orange juice. It’s been in the oven since 8:30 and needs to go for about six hours. The apartment smells ridiculous. I didn’t use the entire can of peppers–I was worried the recipe seemed a bit one-note. Sweet and hot seemed to be the only thing it had going on. We’ll see. I’m excited to taste it.

Update: The pork stayed in the oven for about five hours. I pulled it out, shredded it, and strained the liquid. I put the liquid, which consisted of Dr. Pepper, chipotle, orange juice, and garlic, in the freezer so that the fat would congeal. I wasn’t so sure about the liquid, so to hedge my bets, I began another barbeque sauce. The sauce was just ketchup, chipotles, Dr. Pepper, and orange juice–plus some cooked down onions from the roasting process. I simmered that sauce for awhile and watched it reduce beautifully. Eventually, I checked the roast drippings and skimmed the fat–the flavor of that sauce was identical to the one on the stove save for one thing: the sweet porky goodness that came from bathing a roast for several hours. I added the roast juices to the new sauce and now they are simmering away.

Wow. This, hands down, is the simplest and more delicious preparation of pulled pork I have made or tasted. I highly recommend it!

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A Tale of Two Chickens: It was the breast of times…

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I have spent way too much time Googling chicken recipes this afternoon.  An embarrassing amount of time.  No 4th of July celebrating for me today, as I am hiding and lurking in the shadows, keeping my hair dyeing disaster to myself.  I can’t get it fixed until tomorrow, so here I am, Googling chicken recipes.

I found two recipes that caught my eye.  The first one is from a favorite blogger, Closet Cooking.  Here is his Curried Honey Dijon Roasted Chicken recipe.

The next recipe that I want to try is from a new Food Network personality, Aarti Sequeira.  Her show is called “Aarti’s Party.”  Cringe-worthy name, huh?  It’s like the only way Food Network could commit to an Indian food personality if is they could find some cutesy way to make her more mainstream.  “Aarti’s Easy and Affordable Indian Meals” isn’t as charming as “Aarti’s Party,” I suppose. Anyway, I haven’t seen her show, but her food has good reviews and seems pretty delicious.  Here is her recipe for Roasted Chicken Breasts with Orange, Cardamom, and Turmeric.  

My plan is to make both recipes and use them as lunches to take to work this week.

So, what I have done is mixed the separate marinades and have placed the chicken breasts in their respective zip lock baggies.  They are resting peacefully in the fridge as I type this. Aarti’s recipe really doesn’t say to marinade the chicken, but instead, to mix the spices and juice with butter and to cover the chicken with the mixture and then roast soon thereafter . I’d like to cook all of my chicken at the same temperature and at the same time (in separate pans, of course), so I thought marinating Aarti’s chicken makes sense.  It will give the chicken time to soak up the orange, cardamon, and turmeric and I guess I will just add the butter last minute, right before roasting.

The Closet Cooking recipe is the baggie to the left; Aarti’s recipe is in my right hand.

Chicken update: 

I roasted all of the chicken breasts at the same time in the oven.  Silly me, I forgot to salt Aarti’s recipe.  I salted it last minute, while cooking in the oven, and it turned out ok, but still, sheesh.  Who forgets to salt a marinade?!  Anyway, to accompany these recipes, I also made a rice pilaf with toasted almonds, cranberries, green onions, cumin, and ginger.  I cooked a  cup of rice in two cups of chicken stock, some grated ginger, and cumin seeds.  After the rice was nearly done cooking, I chopped up three or so green onions, and added that to a huge handful of cranberries, and a handful of almonds I roasted in a small frying pan. When the rice was cooked, I added it to the nuts, fruit, and green onions.  It was such a delicious pilaf and it went perfectly with both chicken recipes.  We packed the chicken and rice for lunches this week and each recipe was a great success.

The First Meal I Cooked for My Husband or Damn You, Rachel Ray!

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My ex-husband and I met when we were in college in Cheney, Washington.  We dated for two weeks and were married a short five months later.  It was ridiculous, romantic, and dizzying.

I was living in the dorms when we met.  A foodie, even in a dorm living situation, I had a full set of knives, pots, pans, and utensils that I pulled down from my bookshelves on a regular basis to cook for friends.  I invited my future husband to eat a dorm-cooked meal with me and my roommate soon after we started dating.

The only thing I knew about his taste in food was that he loaded everything with hot sauce.  Everything.  Drowned. Drenched. Buried. Flooded.  Soaked.

So, with this limited information, I scoured the Internet for recipes.  At that time, I was a huge Rachel Ray fan.  30 Minute Meals, 40 Dollars a Day…I was addicted to her cutesy food nicknames and the way she talked to her food as she cooked.  “Get into the hot-tub (what she calls her pots or pans), kids!” she’d shriek to her chorizo.  Naturally, her website was the first one I went to and this is what I cooked:  Smoky Orange BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

 

The recipe is simple enough: Grill some chicken breasts and make the smoky orange bbq sauce.

Sauce ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 chipotle peppers (smoky hot peppers) in adobo sauce, found in cans in Mexican foods section
  • 1/2 cup ketchup, eyeball it
  • 1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Basically, all you do is sauté the onion, put the other ingredients into a blender, blend, pour liquid into the pan with the onion, simmer, and reduce.

Now, I’m not one for following directions exactly.  And at this point in my culinary experience, I had never cooked with chipotle peppers before.  Instead of three chipotle peppers, I probably added five.  Or the whole can.  I don’t remember.

I finished the sauce, cooked the chicken breasts, put the sandwiches together, and plated them up for the roommate and the future-mate.  The roommate was a picky (read: weird) eater, anyway.  She used to eat meals that consisted of white rice with sugar on half and soy sauce on the other.  I didn’t expect her to love Rachel’s sandwich.  But I fully expected the boyfriend to love them.  (Especially because I didn’t realize that I turned the sauce into citrus-y, liquid fire.)

He loved them.

With tears streaming down his face, with me quietly cursing the Scoville units under my breath (I told him I could cook! Look at him; he’s weeping!), he ate the entire sandwich and then finished my roommate’s.

He said he loved it.  Still says he loved it.