Tag Archives: Baked

Cooking 101: Herb Roasted Chicken

I love roasted chicken and make this simple recipe at least a few times a month. It is super easy and delicious. Herb Roasted Chicken

Ingredients
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon coconut oil, grape-seed oil or any other oil you prefer
4 pieces of chicken breasts or 8 pieces of thighs, it can be skinless or boneless. If you are using skinless and boneless, it takes less time to cook and check on the meat 10-12 minutes earlier.

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Pat the meat with a paper towel to make sure it is dry and all moisture is removed.

Combine together the seasonings, oil and butter.

Pour over the chicken and rub it into the meat and place in a baking dish. If you use a metal dish, the cooking time will be decreased by 5-10 minutes.

Bake the skinless, boneless chicken breasts for 30-40 minutes
Bake the  bone-in chicken breasts for 40-50 minutes
Bake the skinless, boneless chicken thighs for 40-50 minutes
Bake the bone-in chicken thighs for 50-60 minutes

This is great on salads, in sandwiches or just the way it is.

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Perfectly Crispy Pork Belly

I adore bacon but I can’t stand to buy bacon from the store. Have you ever read the labels? There are preservatives and sugars (dextrose being one) that are not good for human consumption. I prefer to make my own which is actually cheaper. I go to the local butcher shop and buy Pork Belly which is bacon. The butcher is kind enough to slice it to my preferences (thick-cut all the way baby!) In Uncooked Pork BellyChicago, I found organic bacon for $4.99 which is the same price as pre-sliced treated bacon that isn’t even organic. So, this is a better deal and so much healthier!
Ingredients
1 pound pork belly (aka bacon)
black pepper
salt

Directions
Place the oven rack right in the center.

Line a baking sheet with foil and leave excess foil so it hangs over the pan, this will keep the bacon grease from dripping onto the pan.

You can use a cooling rack on top of the foil to get the crispiest bacon. If you would like to do this, spray the cooling rack and place it on the foil.

Place the cut pork belly on the foil or on the cooling rack. Place the pork belly in a single layer and do not allow it to overlap. I like to add pepper to my bacon at this point to give it added flavor.Perfectly Crispy Pork Belly

Turn the oven on 400 degrees F, it is very important that you do not preheat the oven. You will be placing the bacon in a cold oven.

Cook the bacon for 12-17 minutes. The cooking time will depend on how thick you back was cut. I prefer to have thick cut bacon, you should start looking in on your bacon at the 10 minute mark. Do not open the oven, just turn on the oven light. Once the bacon looks golden brown, remove it from the oven. Remember that it will continue to cook even outside of the oven so if you let it get brown it will only brown further, which you don’t want.

Place the bacon on a paper towel to absorb the grease and cool off, you can also place it on a clean cooling rack if you desire. I like to salt the pork belly at this point.

Save the bacon grease for cooking eggs or meat. It should not be wasted.

TIPS
The oven should not be preheated, you will be placing the bacon into a cold oven.

To freeze the bacon: undercook the bacon a bit, freeze it after cooling off. When it is time to cook the bacon, place it in the microwave for 30 seconds on high and you will have perfectly cooked bacon.

Remove the bacon immediately after cooking. The bacon will continue to cook from the residual heat that it holds within but you don’t want it to continue cooking from the heat that comes off of the baking sheet.

For the non-low-carbers, you can sprinkle some brown sugar or dip the bacon in maple syrup before baking. This makes a great variation.

Homemade Pesto Pizza

Homemade Pesto PizzaI love this recipe when I am craving something different. Use my Perfect Whole Wheat Pizza Crust recipe for the base.
Pesto Ingredients
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cups pine nuts, walnuts (feel free to add a mix of these nuts and even add cashews)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Pizza Ingredients
1 Pizza Crust
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup sliced ham or any other meat
1/2 cup pesto

Pesto Directions
Pulse the ingredients together in the food processor.

Pizza Directions
Bake the dough for 5 minutes, remove and add the ricotta cheese, sprinkle the Italian seasonings, sliced tomatoes, ham, remaining cheese and then the pesto.

Bake for an additional 15-17 minutes until golden brown.

Cheesy Soft Pretzels

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, it is time to start planning what snacks you want to serve at your party. Here is a favorite that is sure to please everyone. Cheesy Soft Pretzels

Ingredients
1 1/2 packages active dry yeast ( each package contains 1/4 ounce)
1-1/2 cups warm water (110° to 120°)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter, melted
10 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water for the egg wash
Kosher salt
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese

Directions
In the stand mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. To this, add the sugar and the salt. Allow the year to bloom or to dissolve and become foamy. This is how the yeast becomes active.

Incorporate the melted butter and flour. Using the dough hook, knead the flour mixture on medium for 5 minutes until the dough has formed and it no longer sticks to the side of the bowl.

Place the dough ball in a greased bowl, grease the dough completely to ensure that it does not stick to anything when rising. Cover and let rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, this should take about an hour.

Bring to boil the water and add in the baking soda.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Punch dough down; divide it into 12 equal pieces.

Roll each into an 18-24 inch rope depending on how thick you want the pretzels. I like my pretzels very thick so I roll it out to 18 inches, if you like thin pretzels, roll it out to 24 inches. Twist the pretzels into the appropriate shape and pinch the ends closed to ensure they do not fall apart when cooking.

Place each pretzels into the boiling water, one at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove from the water and place on a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper.

Brush each pretzel with the egg was, sprinkle with the salt and the cheese.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the cookie sheets and allow to cool on wire racks.