Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chicken with Saffron Rice

A couple of weeks ago, I was raving over my Everyday Food and how much I look forward to the day it arrives in my mailbox.  Well there is another magazine I love to get, and this one happens to be free.  It's my Williams-Sonoma catalog that comes every month or so.  They happen to have some of the most delicious recipes inside, not only are they easy, I have yet to make one that does not taste good:)

A few months ago, I opened up the magazine and spotted this recipe.  I do not really enjoy olives, but for some reason lately the thought of them paired with other delicious flavors has been beyond appealing, I mean it's a little addicting.

So after paging through I ripped this recipe out and set to make it the next night.  We were blown away by this is so delicious, salty from the olive brine and sweet the red pepper, with a little heat to boot.  Don't delay in making this, it is perfect for any night of the week and tastes great the next day too!  

(For the record, I cut this in half and it was still plenty of food.)

Chicken with Saffron Rice


3 1/2 lb. chicken thighs and drumsticks

Salt, to taste, plus 1 1/4 tsp.

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced

1/4 tsp. crumbled saffron

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

5 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup dry sherry

2 1/4 cups chicken broth

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes with juices

3 cups medium-grain rice

1/2 cup green olives, pitted and halved

1 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley


Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F.

Season the chicken with salt and black pepper. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Working in batches, brown the chicken on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate. Discard the fat in the pot, then wipe out the pot with paper towels.

In the same pot over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, saffron and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the sherry and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add the chicken, broth, tomatoes and their juices and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Stir in the rice, olives, the 1 1/4 tsp. salt and black pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time. 

Remove the pot from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the chicken with the parsley and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Zucchini Parmesan Loaf

When I was back visiting my mother, I spent hours paging through all of her old Everyday Food magazines...I mean it was really bad, they kept my attention for far longer than I would like to admit. Considering she still has the first magazine ever, that was um...about 5 years ago. Yeah, apparantly I have too much time on my hands:)

But the best thing about all that time spent, is that I now have a list of about 100 recipes that I would love to make and looked delicious. One in particular that looked good was this zucchini parmesan quick bread. I know it sounds a little odd, but the result is a tangy, savory, and delicious quick bread that pairs perfectly with soup, stew, and anything in which dipping is allowed!

I didn't need to change anything in the recipe, but feel free to add and subtract as you see fit~

Zucchini Parmesan Loaf

Serves 8

  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound (about 1 medium) zucchini, coarsely grated


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan (6-cup capacity) with oil; dust with flour, and tap out excess.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk oil, milk, and eggs. In a large bowl, whisk flour, Parmesan, baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; mix in zucchini, then egg mixture until just moistened (batter will be very thick, like biscuit dough).
  3. Transfer batter to prepared pan; press in gently. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes (tent with foil if loaf starts to brown too quickly). Cool 15 minutes in pan; turn out loaf onto a rack to cool completely.
(courtesy of Everyday Food)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Butterscotch Bark

Every month I look forward to all my food magazines to come in the mail. But there is one on my mind that always makes my heart skip a beat and that is Martha Stewart's Everyday Food. I have found that these recipes use ingredients we usually have in the pantry and take around 30 minutes, perfect for any weeknight!

We happen to love most things coconut, and especially seven layer bars. They are oh, so delicious, and usually do not stand a chance in being thrown out for remaining too long on the counter. That's right, most things if we don't eat them in a couple of days or so, either get tossed in the freezer or right into the trash. We are not stock-pilers:0 and besides, I probably would have given the thought to giving them away, but who in their right mind is going to enjoy a stale and more than day old treat...i mean that's just cruel:)

But these guys were delicious, especially with the addition of butterscotch chips. I wouldn't recommend making them without, because everything is better with a little more chip, and believe me not a chip found the garbage!

Butterscotch Bark

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 12 graham crackers
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light-brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pecans and coconut on baking sheet; bake until golden, 5 minutes. Cool; toss with chocolate chips.
  2. Line a 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet with foil. Break graham crackers in half; fit in pan in single layer.
  3. In saucepan, whisk butter and sugar over medium heat until smooth; spread over crackers.
  4. Bake until bubbly, 10 minutes. Sprinkle with nut topping; press gently. Cool; break into pieces.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Homemade French Fries

For some of you the thought of making french fries from scratch brings anticipation...for others, the slight cock of the head in pure wonder, I mean they sell french fries in the freezer section right?...and for the those others, there awaits the loud exclamation...umm, McDonald's is right next door!

Although all of these thoughts are possible and relatively okay in their simplicity, I happen to be one who is eager with anticipation and excitement, at well, let's be honest, almost anything I can make homemade.

I started making homemade fries right after we got married, because a big delicious burger among other things is not complete without fries. If anyone knows me, they also know that I did NOT frantically search the internet for instructions, I just gave it a fact I just cut potatoes and put them in the oven under very high heat, I mean who doesn't like crispy fries:)

We like them almost any way; cut thick like steak fries, very thin as in those seen with steak frites, and every way in between. We've drenched them in garlic butter and parsley (yum!), seasoned them with spice, and left them in their amazing naked state. But most of all, it's a great side for pennies on the dollar as potatoes, are well, cheap!

Homemade French Fries

1-4 medium potatoes (depending on number of people/we usually use 2 for the 2 of us)
1-3 T olive oil (again less for fewer potatoes, etc)
coarse ground salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Cut potatoes into thin slices, according to the size you are going for, and then into sticks
3. Place potatoes into a gallon ziplock bag, add oil to bag and shake until evenly coated
4. Pour fries onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt and pepper
5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown/feel free to flip midway through