Saturday, June 30, 2012

Barefoot Contessa at Home: Oven Omelet

I love making breakfast. It is probably my favorite meal to cook. Another one of my weird food dislikes is that I am not a big fan of eggs. I am trying to like them more so I have been eating them more and more. Currently I only like them in an omelet style dish because I can stuff the omelet full of other ingredients so I really don't taste that much egg ( I know, silly right?) What can I say. I used to be the pickiest eater on the planet. I am sure you will see as you follow this blog all the things that I dislike, but it used to be so much worse. I didn't like any vegetables except those in the starch category, corn and potatoes. I would really only eat anything that was very plain. I am still not a major spice person, but I have come along way.

For my second cookbook recipe I made Ina Garten's Oven Omelet for Two. I have made this recipe several  times. I have to confess I have never made an actual omelet (maybe have to find one in another book for this project), but this seems to be an easy way to make them. I do change up the recipe quite a bit, especially to fit my no onion rule ( too hard to pick onions out of an omelet).

Oven Omelet for Two
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home


2 cups shredded  refrigerated Simply Potatoes
4 slices pre-cooked bacon, cut into small pieces
4 small slices ham, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
5 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In an 8 inch oven proof skillet combine potatoes, ham, bacon and cheese.

In a separate bowl whisk eggs. Add milk, salt and pepper to eggs. Whisk until well combined.

Pour egg mixture over top of potato mixture in skillet.

Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until done. 

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Marinated Chicken Kabobs

My husband Phil and I received a new grill for our one year anniversary from our parents so we are really trying to grill out more often. Phil is the Grill Master and I do the cooking/baking/food prepping. It has been awhile since we have made good kabobs and this is one of my favorite ways to make them.

Most people who know me know that I HATE onions! I will put onion flavoring on things but I can't stand eating them. So most recipes you will see me post do not have any onions in them. Most people would say that is a sin in cooking because onions add all the flavor, but I believe and I think the people who I cook for can agree (unless they are lying to me), that I can make great food without the inclusion of onions. There are a few times where I will include them in a recipe, but if and only if  they are large enough for me to see and pick them out. I know, I can be a little crazy at times. For a foodie, as I would call myself, I can be picky about my food.

This kabob recipe is one of "the" recipes that the onions get added...more for Phil's sake (he likes onions.....sorry hun). I like to make these the night before so they can marinate really well....and for the fact that they can take awhile to prep. 

Marinated Chicken Kabobs


- 1 white onion
- 1 red pepper
- 1 zucchini
- 1 carton of fresh mushrooms
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 bottle sun-dried tomato vinaigrette

The evening before you want to grill the kabobs assemble and marinate them. Assemble the kabobs in whatever order you prefer on skewers. Place all completed kabobs on a cookie sheet. Top with entire bottle of marinade and cover with aluminum foil. Place in refrigerator overnight.

Preheat grill to medium high. Grill indirectly for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Makes 6 kabobs
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Barefoot in Paris: Roast Duck

I love Ina Garten. She is one of my favorite TV Chefs to watch. I do not like to make things that have a ton of ingredients and her recipes are very simple and always taste great. So, from my first cookbook of this challenge, Barefoot in Paris,  I chose to make my very first duck.

Let me start out by saying the duck came out perfectly! Although, in the process, our kitchen was like a bonfire. Ina does mention in the recipe "be sure your oven is very clean or it will smoke!" Well she was right. IT SMOKED!!! My husband had to go take down the smoke detectors so they were not continually going off. I thought for sure by how hazy the kitchen looked the duck was going to be burnt to a crisp. It was delicious!! I have never had duck before so I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. I am a dark meat girl anyway and it tasted very similar to the dark meat of chicken. I will definitely be filing this one away for the future. Ina's recipe called to make 2 ducks, but for me and my husband, I figured we would be quite safe with one. So I halved her recipe:

Roast Duck
Adapted from Ina Garten's: The Barefoot in Paris

1 Duck (5 to 6 pounds), innards and wing tips removed
1 32 oz box chicken broth
Kosher Salt
Ground black pepper

Allow duck to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. With a fork, prick the skin only, not the meat, all over. This will allow the fat to drain off while the ducks cook.

Meanwhile, in a large stockpot pour in the chicken broth, then fill with enough water to cover the duck. Heat the liquid with 1/2 tablespoon salt until boiling. Add the ducks and bring back to a boil. Place a plate on top of the ducks to keep them submerged. When the liquid comes back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Skim off enough fat from the top of the stock to pour into the bottom of a large roasting pan. This will keep the duck from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Take the duck out of pot and allow to drain. Place in roasting pan and pat duck dry with paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. (BE SURE YOUR OVEN IS CLEAN OR IT WILL SMOKE (she is right!!!)
Roast duck for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow duck to rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 20 minutes.

Next time I try this recipe I may have my husband put in on the rotisserie on the grill to finish it off, to keep the smoke out of the kitchen. Smoke aside though it was a great first duck!

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