Cooking

Pan Roasted Maple Dijon Chicken. Stock photo

As summer comes to an end and the reality of back-to-school season sets in, it can be challenging to get organized and jump back into your day-to-day routine. But even as things get hectic, it’s still possible to create delicious dishes — such as Pan-Roasted Maple Dijon Chicken and Chicken Thighs and Tomatoes — that leave you plenty of time to savor meals together as a family.

Chicken Thighs and Tomatoes

Chicken Thighs and Tomatoes. Stock photo
Chicken Thighs and Tomatoes

YIELD: Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

1 pint cherry tomatoes

pepper

kosher salt

olive oil

4 chicken thighs (skin-on, bone-in)

1 cup white wine

1 clove garlic

1 lemon, juice only

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 400 F. In cast iron skillet, toss tomatoes with pinch of pepper, kosher salt and light drizzle of olive oil and place in oven. Roast tomatoes for 20 minutes. Set aside. Heat skillet on stove top. Once hot, sear chicken thighs. Flip chicken and sear bottom side for about 1 minute. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. With pan still hot, pour in white wine. Once wine has settled, add minced garlic. Add juice of one lemon. Return chicken thighs and tomatoes to skillet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes and serve.

Source: Edna Valley Vineyard

Pan-Roasted Maple Dijon Chicken with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Pan Roasted Maple Dijon Chicken. Stock photo
Pan Roasted Maple Dijon Chicken

YIELD: Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 chicken thighs

4 chicken drumsticks

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

16 Brussels sprouts (about 8 ounces), bottom trimmed, outer leaves removed and halved

2 cups diced (1/2 inch) butternut squash

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

DIRECTIONS: In saute pan large enough to hold chicken in single layer, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan, skin side down, and saute about 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until chicken is browned. Remove chicken from pan and reserve. In same pan, add butter. Allow butter to melt over medium heat. Add sprouts and squash to pan and saute, tossing occasionally, until outsides are golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan and hold separately from chicken.

Turn heat to high and add stock, syrup and mustard. Stir and bring to boil, stirring to scrape up brown bits on bottom of pan. Add chicken back to pan, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook over medium-low heat 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken registers 170 F with instant read thermometer. Add vegetables back to pan, cover again and cook another 8 to 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Move chicken and vegetables to serving platter, placing vegetables around chicken. Turn heat to high and boil sauce until it is reduced and slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

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Savory Black Grape Sorbet

Dessert and summer are a match made in heaven. Sweltering summer afternoons might not be comfortable, but any discomfort can be quickly washed away with a refreshing dessert, such as the following recipe for Kiwi Fruit Sorbet from Lou Seibert Pappas’ “Ice Creams & Sorbets” (Chronicle Books) or Savory Black Grape Sorbet from Family Features.

Kiwi Fruit Sorbet

Kiwi Fruit Sorbet
Kiwi Fruit Sorbet

YIELD: Makes about 1 quart

INGREDIENTS:

2 teaspoons grated lime or lemon zest

3⁄4 cup sugar, divided

3⁄4 cup water

2 pounds kiwi fruit (about 8 kiwi fruit), peeled and quartered

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice

2 limes, quartered

DIRECTIONS: In a small bowl, mash the zest with 1 teaspoon of the sugar to release the oils. Combine the remaining sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook until the syrup is clear. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. In a food processor or blender, purée the kiwi fruit with the juice, syrup and sugared zest. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 3 hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Or, to freeze without an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a 9-inch nonreactive square pan. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and freeze just until solid, 2 to 3 hours. Scrape out into an electric mixer or food processor and process briefly until light and fluffy. Serve at once or transfer to a container, cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours. At serving time, garnish with a lime wedge to squeeze over each serving.

Savory Black Grape Sorbet

Savory Black Grape Sorbet
Savory Black Grape Sorbet

YIELD: Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 pounds (4 cups) black California seedless grapes, washed and stemmed

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons vodka

2 tablespoons lemon juice

8 large basil leaves

pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS: In a food processor or blender, puree grapes and sugar until smooth. Pour into small saucepan and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until mixture has reduced by about one-third, about 15 minutes. Stir in vodka, lemon juice, basil and salt then let cool to room temperature. Pour mixture into shallow pan and freeze until hard, 3-4 hours. Transfer to food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy and lightened in color. Serve immediately.

Some of the food choices now available for Smithtown residents through OurHarvest. Photos from Scott Reich

By Victoria Espinoza

Finding fresh food has never been simpler, as OurHarvest, an online farmers market has made its way to Smithtown.

OurHarvest works to bring local, fresh grocery products, including fruits and vegetables, to residents without them having to go out to a store.

“For people tired of the grocery store, who want better quality, better freshness, and better pricing for great products, we’re their answer,” OurHarvest co-founder Michael Winik said in a statement, “Our products come right from the farm, and we carry lots of great items that you can’t get at traditional supermarkets.”

Customers place orders through the company’s website, selecting the date and time of their desired pickup, and then go to a predetermined pickup location to grab their order. OurHarvest’s website describes pickup locations as “pop-up farmer’s markets.”

The Smithtown pickup site is at Deana Godek’s home on Hickory Lane. Orders need to be placed by 9 a.m. on Mondays, and orders are available for pickup between 4 and 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.

“Having organic, fresh, affordable local produce and grass-fed meats is very important to me,” Godek said in a statement. “I am a mom of four and my children’s health is paramount in my life. Food shopping can be so scary when you don’t know where the food is coming from, how long it traveled or how long it sat on a shelf. With OurHarvest, you know the farm it came from and their practices, and have the assurance of knowing it was picked for you. To have that kind of peace is priceless.”

Above, OurHarvest co-founders Scott Reich and Michael Winik. Photos from Scott Reich
Above, OurHarvest co-founders Scott Reich and Michael Winik. Photos from Scott Reich

The online farmers market partners with farmers, fishermen, and food artisans from the area to maximize freshness, ensure quality and traceability, and keep costs down.

“We formed this business to bring the food system into the 21st century,” company co-founder Scott Reich said in a statement. “Our model is smart, sustainable, and community-oriented, and we’re the only local farm-to-table business that gives customers tangible rewards for shopping with us through our loyalty program.”

For any purchase of more than $25, OurHarvest donates a meal to a local food pantry; in Smithtown’s case, meals will be donated to Lighthouse Mission, an organization based out of Bellport that feeds the poor and raises funds to give supplies to the homeless.

Spiced Green Tea Smoothie

Between balancing work with family and friends, squeezing in a healthy meal can be hard, and finding time for a workout can be even harder. A busy lifestyle demands quick, portable and convenient foods that let you refuel your body with better health in mind. A cool and refreshing superfood smoothie can give you a much-needed boost when your energy is dragging. Staying properly hydrated doesn’t have to be difficult. Try these delicious smoothies for a refreshing and delicious way to hydrate.

Superfood Smoothie

Superfood Smoothie
Superfood Smoothie

YIELD: Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

1 cup low-fat or fat-free milk

1 banana, sliced

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 cup ice

DIRECTIONS: In blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into two glasses and serve.

 

Almond Cherry Smoothie

Almond Cherry Smoothie
Almond Cherry Smoothie

YIELD: Makes 1 serving

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 frozen banana

1 cup frozen dark cherries

1 tablespoon almond butter

DIRECTIONS: In blender, combine almond milk, chia seeds, banana, cherries and almond butter, and mix until smooth.

Recipe courtesy of Natalie Coughlin

 

Spiced Green Tea Smoothie

Spiced Green Tea Smoothie
Spiced Green Tea Smoothie

YIELD: Makes 1 serving

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup strong green tea, chilled

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons agave nectar

1 small pear, skin on, cut into pieces

2 tablespoons fat-free plain yogurt

6-8 ice cubes

DIRECTIONS: Blend all the ingredients until smooth.

 

Rosy Red Superfood Smoothie

Rosy Red Superfood Smoothie
Rosy Red Superfood Smoothie

YIELD: Makes 3 servings (1 cup each)

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cubed watermelon

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

1 cup raspberry kefir

2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

2 tablespoons agave syrup ice (optional)

DIRECTIONS: Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Lemon Tea Bread

Lemon Tea Bread

Lemony herbs and lemon juice give this bread its flavor.

YIELD: Makes one loaf

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon balm

1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon thyme, and/or 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon verbena

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

Juice of two lemons

Confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter a 9- by 5-inch 3-inch-deep pan. Heat milk gently with herbs, set aside and let cool. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add the lemon zest. Gently fold in flour alternately with the herbed milk, until the batter is blended. Put the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Remove from pan onto wire rack that is set over waxed paper. Pour lemon glaze (juice of two lemons and 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar) over the still-hot bread. Garnish with some freshly grated zest.

Lavender Olive Oil Cake with Honeyed Ricotta

The lavender honey gives this cake a fresh, slightly floral aroma, but you can try using different types of honey in this recipe to subtly vary the flavor.

YIELD: 8 to 10 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Pillsbury Baking Spray with Flour

1 3/4 cups Pillsbury BEST All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel

1 tablespoon culinary lavender, crushed, plus additional 1 to 2 tablespoons for garnish

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2/3 cup plain yogurt

3 large eggs

2/3 cup Crisco Pure Olive Oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons honey

3/4 cup ricotta cheese, at room temperature

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan generously with baking spray; set aside. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together sugar, orange peel, lavender and pepper in a large mixing bowl until evenly distributed. Add yogurt, eggs and olive oil; continue whisking until smooth. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture and gently whisk in until just combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely. Whip cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add honey and continue to whip until stiff. Add ricotta, a dollop at a time, and beat until fluffy. Slice cake. Top slices with honeyed ricotta cheese and sprinkle with lavender.

 

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Here are some delicious quick desserts when you just have a craving for something sweet.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

YIELD: 16 bars

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup salted butter, melted

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 full sheets)

1 cup powdered sugar

3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (not natural style)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: Line a 8-by-8 or 9-by-9 square baking pan with aluminum foil. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, and powdered sugar together until combined. Stir in 3/4 cup of peanut butter. Spread into prepared baking pan. In a small bowl, microwave 2 tablespoons of peanut butter with the chocolate chips until melted. Stir until smooth. Spread over peanut butter layer. Chill until completely firm, at least 3 hours. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting. Bars stay fresh for 5 to 7 days stored in the refrigerator. Serve chilled. (Setting them out for a few hours at room temperature for serving is OK.) Bars can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Two Minute Apple Tart
Two Minute Apple Tart

Two-Minute Apple Tart

YIELD: Serves 8

INGREDIENTS:

1 refrigerated ready-to-use pie crust

1 pound apples, cored and sliced

2 tablespoons cold butter

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 425 F. Remove pie crust from refrigerator and warm to room temperature, about 15 to 20 minutes. Unroll crust and place it on large baking sheet. Arrange sliced apples on crust, leaving about two inches of space around edge. Chop cold butter into small bits and scatter over apples. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over apples. Fold two-inch section of open pie crust over apples — this will not cover apples, but contain them inside crust. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until crust is golden brown and apples are just soft.

Easy Plum Tart
Easy Plum Tart

Easy Plum Tart

YIELD: Serves 10

INGREDIENTS:

¾ cup canned almond pastry filling

1 refrigerated premade pie crust

4 medium plums, sliced

DIRECTIONS: Spread canned almond pastry filling on pie crust (rolled out to 12 inches on parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet), leaving 2-inch border; top with plums, fold in edges, and bake at 400 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbling.

 

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