Get Off The Couch and Cook

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Patatas Alioli aka Aioli Potatoes

patatas-alioli-aioli-potatoes-title

Potatoes are roasted for a slight twist on this Spanish side dish or tapas where cooled potatoes, which are traditionally boiled, are tossed with homemade aioli.


 

Happy Secret Recipe Day!

This month I was assigned Manu’s Menu which made me excited.  I already had a ton of her recipes in my Recipes to Try notebook and that was before I even knew she was part of the SRC, too!

Manu, short for Manuela, is an Italian-born Sicilian living in Australia with her Indian husband with their Aussie-born daughters so they are truly, in her words, a multi-cultural family.  This and the fact that she has traveled all over the world is as apparent in her food as her love of cooking so I enjoy reading through her blog.

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I ultimately decided to make her Patatas Alioli or aioli potatoes for my Secret Recipe choice which includes her homemade aioli.  So it’s kind of 2 recipes in 1!

The potatoes are traditionally boiled but since Mr. O isn’t a fan of the texture of boiled potatoes once they have cooled, I opted to roast them instead.  I really enjoyed the Spanish version of aioli which uses the whole egg instead of just the yolk so it was a little fluffier, a little lighter.

I didn’t let the potatoes cool completely, though, so the aioli didn’t stick as well as it should have but they were still just as tasty!  Especially once they cooled. 🙂

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Patatas Alioli aka Aioli Potatoes
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Prep time: 
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Makes: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lb russet potatoes, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the aioli
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp jarred minced garlic (or 1-2 whole cloves fresh garlic, sliced)
  • 1 c olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 pinches kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425º. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil, a huge pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Spread on the prepared pan and roast for 45-50 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add the egg, garlic, 2 Tbsp of the olive oil and a pinch of salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. While the blender is still running, drizzle in the rest of the oil slowly. (I put mine in an empty squeeze bottle to control the drizzle.) Keep blending until all of the oil is incorporated then drizzle in the lemon juice. Taste and add more salt as needed.
  4. Scrape into a bowl with a lid and refrigerate until needed.
  5. Once the potatoes are golden brown and are cooked all the way through, remove them from the oven and let set for about 10-15 minutes until cool.
  6. Toss the potatoes with the aioli and serve.
Notes
Adapted slightly from Manu's Menu

 

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Hawaiian Pulled Pork

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Another delicious pulled pork recipe but this time it’s cooked with slightly tropical flavors and topped with a sweet & spicy sauce!


 

One of the many great thing about living in the South is pork is abundant and inexpensive.  Maybe it is in the North as well but I haven’t lived there in 11 years.  Huh… 11 years ago today as it happens.  Happy anniversary to me then!    One of the greatest bonuses of pork butt going on sale is that I can get so many additional meals out of it.  A single 6 lb roast costs about $9 on sale and we get at least 10-12 servings out of it.  Even more if we use it for tacos or carnitas.  Plus the convenience of the slow cooker just fills it with all sort of win.

I’ll admit, though, that I’ve been getting a little burnt out on pulled pork, though, because we’ve been having it 3 weeks out of 4 it seems which means pulled pork for lunch every week.  So I had to come up with a different way of making it for a change.

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As I was doing some recipe housekeeping, I came across my Spicy Honey Glazed Chicken with Pineapple recipe which, through a series of thought processes, made me decide to do a Hawaiian spin on pulled pork.  I did a quick Google search and, armed with a few other recipes, I came up with my own version.

The pork by itself was delicious, slightly sweet and very tender but the sauce… oh, the sauce!  It’s actually the same liquid that the pork is cooked in but reduced on the stove top then spooned on top of the pork.  The spice of the chili sauce really sings where it wasn’t nearly as noticeable in the pork itself.

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I love how the sauce did double duty like that so I only had to deal with measuring and mixing once.  Yay for lazy cooking!  And I did not mind eating these leftovers multiple days in a row at all.  The leftover sauce was an amazing dip for the leftover oven fries as well.

Now that the weather is starting to cool off, the next pork roast will be made in the oven.  I am more excited about that than a normal person probably should be but I don’t care.  I like the crunchy skin that you only get from the oven. 🙂

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Hawaiian Pulled Pork
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Makes: 12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 5-6 lb pork butt roast
For the rub
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
For the sauce
  • 1½ c chili sauce (12 oz bottle)
  • 1½ c pineapple juice (12 oz can)
  • 1 c Asian sweet chile sauce
  • 1 c low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ½ c soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp jarred mince garlic.
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together all of the rub ingredients. Rub all over the pork roast and place the rubbed roast in a 6-qt slow cooker.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together everything for the sauce. Reserve at least 2 cups of the sauce and pour the rest slowly over the roast. Do not completely submerge the pork, leave at least ½" of the pork exposed. If there is any leftover, add it to the rest of the reserved sauce. Cover and refrigerate the sauce.
  3. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low 8 hours (or on high 4 hours).
  4. About a half hour before you are ready to deal with the pork, pour the reserved sauce into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring often, until reduced into thin syrup that coats the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and remove the bone and any large pieces of fat. Shred the rest with 2 forks and place back in the juices in the slow cooker.
  6. Use tongs to serve the pork (on buns, if you'd like) and top with the reduced sauce.

 

Oven Roasted Tomato Pizza

oven-roasted-tomato-pizza-titleFresh tomatoes are roasted and blended for an amazing sauce on a simple pizza.


Happy Secret Recipe Day!  This month I was assigned Catherine’s Living The Gourmet which she and her kids have been doing since 2008.  I really enjoyed the photography quite a bit on LTG!  I ultimately decided on doing the Oven Roasted Tomato Pizza for a number of reasons: 1) it’s been a little while since I’ve made pizza, 2) tomatoes are in season and on sale and 3) this fresh sauce intrigued me.

I was also loved how simple the sauce was.  Yeah, it meant turning the oven on and it made my kitchen reach over 84º while I was making this but it was so very worth it!

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I used my own pizza crust recipe and I also opted to use 2 lbs of on-the-vine tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes simply because of the price.  $2.99/pint vs 77¢/lb was kind of a no brainer for me but I would love to make this again using the juicy little mouth bombs!

I will most certainly be making this again someday.  I want to add some fresh basil to it next time, too, and maybe some fresh mozzarella to make a margherite pizza using this fresh sauce.

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Oven Roasted Tomato Pizza
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Makes: 12 pieces
 
Ingredients
For the sauce
  • 2 lbs tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • ½ c packed fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp jarred minced garlic
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
For the crust
  • 2¼ tsp active dry yeast (or ¼ oz packet)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 c warm water (hot water directly from tap)
  • 2½ c bread flour or all-purpose flour OR 1½ c bread flour (or AP flour) + 1 c white-wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 Tbsp cornmeal
  • .
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450º. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the tomatoes skin side down. Roast 15-50 minutes until tomatoes are shriveled and juices have been released. Remove from the oven and place the tomatoes on a plate or in a bowl to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in the hot water, gently stirring to break up any clumps. Let stand until creamy and almost doubled, about 10 minutes. (I use this 10 minutes to measure out my flour, salt and oil and shred my cheese.)
  3. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Use hands to mix well. Let stand and rest 5 minutes.
  4. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Press dough to shape on the baking sheet, making it as even as possible. Poke several times with a fork.
  5. Bake 5-7 min or until just starting to brown slightly.
  6. Meanwhile, add the tomatoes and the rest of the sauce ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse 6-8 times to blend.
  7. Spread the sauce on the prebaked crust and sprinkle evenly with the shredded cheese.
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.
Notes
Adapted slightly from Living The Gourmet

 

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Maple Worcestershire Pork Chops

maple-worcestershire-pork-chops-titlePure maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce pair up for an amazingly quick sauce to serve over pork that would be equally delicious with chicken.


Since I had to thaw and hack into one of my pork loin roasts to make chops the other day, I had pork I needed to do something with.  Since the hunk of porcine was too small to adequately roast, I decided I may as well do chops again.  I mean, chops are quick and easy and there was a sauce I really, really wanted to try.

In my recipe travels, I encountered a burger with maple-Worcestershire onions that sounds AMAZING.  The idea of the sweet syrup with salty Worcestershire made me drool just thinking of it.  Of course, since Mr. Onion-hater is called that for a reason, I imagined the sauce for a slightly different application.

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First I seasoned the chops with a little salt and pepper and cooked them for 4-5 minutes on each side.  Then I set them aside while the sauce bubbled for a few minutes and added the chops back in to finish cooking.  The whole process took about 20 minutes, including cutting the chops themselves.

I don’t know why I overlooked chops as quick weeknight meal, especially since we are not a-scared of pork in these parts.  Pork loin is still considered a lean meat and is just very slightly higher in fat than skinless chicken thighs and is actually lower in cholesterol and sodium.

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It’s also not as scary as it was in the past.  My mom and grandmother used to cook pork until it was very well done but the risk of things like trichinosis are a thing of the past so you just have to make sure it reaches 145º in the center to kill off any food borne ookiness.

Yeah, I do feature bacon quite a bit on this site but we eat bacon in moderation around here and use it as an accent flavor to keep the fat and sodium in check.  Since Mr. O’s cardiologist has given him a clean bill of health, we still eat our other white meat with no guilt whatsoever.

And recipes like this one certainly help!

Maple Worcestershire Pork Chops
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Prep time: 
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Makes: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 ~ ½" boneless pork loin chops
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ c apple juice
  • ¼ c pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp jarred minced garlic
Instructions
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle one side with the chops with half of the salt and pepper. Place in the skillet seasoned side down and season the top. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and flip the chops. Cook another 4-5 minutes or until the chops are just cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, while the chops are cooking, in a medium bowl, whisk together the juice, syrup and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
  4. When the chops are done, remove them to a plate. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring, 30-60 seconds, until softened. Add the maple-Worcestershire mix to the skillet and bring to a simmer, stirring often until the sauce starts to thicken, 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add the chops back to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the chaps back to the plate and turn the heat up to high. Simmer until the sauce is thickened and like syrup, 1-2 minutes.
  6. Drizzle the sauce over the pork and serve.
Notes
Inspired by this recipe

 

Magic Chicken

magic-chicken-titlePlain ol’ boneless, skinless chicken breast will disappear like magic when cooked in an amazing sauce made of oil, herbs and paprika.


 

Because of my job and long hours, I rarely get to randomly peruse the internet anymore.  We had a rare stretch recently where we were really slow, though, so I was able to get caught up on what I call “homework.”  That is, going through my backlog of cooking magazine and emailed recipe digests.  When I was caught up with those, I was able to spend some time online.  A rare treat!

Sometimes I get lost on the internet and end up on sites without no real recollection of how I got there.  Most of the time, it’s not a big deal since most of the sites I visit are cooking or food related.  During one particular online travel adventure, I stumbled upon a recipe for “Magic Sauce.”

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Heidi Swanson, the blogger over at 101cookbooks.com, said this about her sauce “It’s as versatile as a black dress. Although, it’s not really the little black dress of sauces. Think more bohemian than that – earthy, intricate and interesting.”  After tasting this magic sauce, I really can’t think of a better way of explaining it nor a better name for it.

Now, I do not have an herb garden and money is tight enough right now that $1.99 a shot for small amounts of fresh herbs at my local store is just not feasible when I need several different kinds so I did use dried for my magic sauce.  Because of the dryness of my herbs, I had to put the sauce together a little differently to soften them up.  When money is a little more free or if I end up needing a variety of herbs for something else as well, I will certainly make it with the fresh herbs but, until then, I really, really, really liked this with my dried herbs.

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I am definitely going to make magic sauce again and can certainly see the versatility in this.  So I’m sure you will see other recipes using this captivating concoction, or variations thereof, and soon!

Magic Chicken
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Makes: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
Magic Sauce
  • ½ c olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • .
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4-6 thin pieces)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil over low heat. Add the seasonings, minus the lemon juice, and whisk to combine. Raise the heat to medium and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425º.
  3. Once the oven is heated, whisk the magic sauce and pour it into a 9"x13" baking dish. Add the chicken and turn a couple of times to coat. Bake 15-20 minutes uncovered until cooked all the way through. Remove from the oven and turn chicken to coat.
  4. Serve immediately.
Notes
Adapted from/inspired by 101 Cookbooks

 

Jalapeno Chicken with Bacon

jalapeno-chicken-bacon-titleYour slow cooker does most of the work with the chicken while cream cheese melted into the juices at the end create a fast and amazing sauce.  And don’t scared of the jalapenos!  This is only as spicy as the ones you use.


 

As I was scooping the jalapenos out of their jar to make this, I thought of meal times we had when I was a kid.  You see, my family had dinner together every night.  It was just the 4 of us: my parents, my little sister and me.  I can only think of a few instances when I was really little where this didn’t happen and that was when my mom first went back to work and had to work the occasional evening.  But the only thing I really remember about that, though, was begging my dad to learn to make something other than mac & cheese and hot dogs.

One of the funniest parts of almost every dinner was the fact that whatever condiments we had on the table ended up in front of Dad, like little condiment soldiers protecting his plate.  The man LOVES his condiments and that’s something that I definitely got from him.  I also picked up his love of spicy, bold flavors so I often think of my Dad when I make a lot of my food.

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I rarely use jarred jalapenos but, like most people, I always have jar floating around the fridge.  Fortunately, they keep forever.  I also think they do have their place, though, especially for late night cravings for nachos.  I typically get the mild because I enjoy the flavor and think mild can be used in more types of things.  When I stumbled upon this recipe, I was glad that I had that jar.

I’ve cooked chicken breasts in the slow cooker before but still had chicken quarters in the freezer which I think are more forgiving, anyway.  I knew the original recipe was going to taste under seasoned, even with the pickled peppers, so I added garlic powder, salt, and pepper to the chicken itself and a bit of brine to the sauce which turned out A-mazing!

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I almost left out the bacon for this…whaaaa?  I know, me leaving bacon out of a recipe is unheard of but don’t worry.  I left the bacon in.  🙂  The salty crunchy bits played really well with the creamy, slightly spicy sauce.  If you want this spicier, use spicier jalapenos.  Don’t like heat?  Well, some brands actually make a no heat version which are pretty tasty.

I just served this over couscous with my beloved roasted broccoli.  The sauce worked really well with all of that and also worked perfectly in leftovers for lunch later in the week.

Jalapeno Chicken with Bacon
By: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 chicken leg quarters, skin removed
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ c reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ c pickled jalapeno slices, drained
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp cold water
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temp and cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp brine from jalapenos
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Arrange chicken in the bottom of a large slow cooker (5-7 qt) overlapping as little as possible. Arrange the jalapeno slices evenly over the top of the chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or on high 3-3.5 hours.
  4. Transfer the chicken to a platter, leaving the jalapeno slices and cooking liquid in the slow cooker. Cover the chicken with foil to keep it warm.
  5. Turn the heat up to high. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Quickly whisk into the slow cooker. Add the cream cheese pieces to the slow cooker and whisk until smooth. Stir in the brine, salt and pepper. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes.
  6. Serve the chicken with the sauce and crumbled bacon.
Notes
Adapted slightly from BHG.com

 

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