It is January 1 and I am making Hoppin’ John again to bring in the New Year. My wife says this year’s version was the best ever so I had to tell you what I changed. I cooked both the black eye peas and the rice separately. When I folded the peas and rice into the dish with the scallions and bacon, everything was already cooked so I could lower the temperature to warm and avoid muddling the flavors by overcooking. The scallions and bacon were able to step up and step out flavor-wise. I think she like the crunchy-ness of the scallions. This was a very nice way to make use of some excellent turkey broth from Thanksgiving and extra Christmas ham. A fresh interpretation of leftovers that impressed my better half.
I was tempted to get Tyson’s pre-seasoned chicken wings for our Super Bowl meal but these crispy oven baked buffalo wings were so good and easy. Some times pre-seasoned wings have so much sauce that it makes it hard to enjoy the wings. I found a five pound bag of frozen, plain wings on sale this week. So I opted for a little bit more work. I used half of the bag, 13 wings, for two people. It took about an hour and a half to prepare using the recipe from RecipeTins Eats.
I used two of my favorite kitchen gadgets to prepare this meal, the Anova Sous Vide and the Instant Pot Duo. I use the Sous Vide to thoroughly cook the meat to 125 degrees. Then I sear the steak on a very hot, cast iron griddle. This method is consistently better than grilling.
My favorite mashed potato dish is Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Root Vegetables. This is an old America’s Test Kitchen recipe that involves browning the root vegetables in butter for 14 minutes. I typically use carrots and parsnips as my root vegetables. I left the skins on the Yukon Gold potatoes for a bit more flavor. The Instant Pot Duo does a pretty good job at cooking the potatoes while I am caramelizing the root vegetables and frees up a burner.
This is a Cannellini version of Real Simple’s recipe, Braised Chicken With Leeks, Peas, and Butter Beans. I substituted Cannellini beans since I had beans on the shelf. With chicken thighs at 99¢ per pound at Sams Club, this meal is delicious and inexpensive.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 pound cooked Cannellini beans
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill, plus sprigs for serving
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. ?Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon each ?salt and pepper. Cook, skin-side down, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the leeks and garlic to the Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the leeks are just tender, ?6 to 8 minutes. Add the broth and sour cream and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken, skin-side up, and simmer over medium-low heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest piece registers 165° F, 12 to 14 minutes.
- Stir the beans, peas, lemon juice, and chopped dill into the sauce and simmer until the beans are hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve topped with dill sprigs.
This recipe from the NY Times is very similar to one of my favorite recipes from America’s Test Kitchen, Tagliatelle with Prosciutto and Peas. Instead of prosciutto and peas you substitute smoked salmon, asparagus, and home made fettuccine. Here is the ingredient list:
- ½ pound fresh asparagus, medium thickness
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ tablespoon minced shallots
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces smoked salmon sliced 1/4-inch thick
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 9 to 10 ounces fresh green fettuccine noodles
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
Last week spiral sliced ham last week was on sale at Meijer for $1.15 per pound and Jeff Phillips sent me a newsletter about his Double Smoked Spiral Sliced Ham recipe. It was either a remarkable coincidence or it was meant to be. The recipe is pretty simple. You drizzle honey in between the slices and apply Jeff’s rub on the outside. So I prepped the ham and stuck it in the smoker before going to church. When I came back I brought it upstairs to finish it off in the oven.
That somewhat boring ham had transformed into a interesting combination of smoky flavor, spiciness, and sweetness. My wife wanted cheese grits with jalapenos so I balanced the meal with some green peas. It probably took me no more than thirty minutes to put this meal together. This is an easy, fun change of pace from the traditional Easter meal.
Although I like my previous recipe for Cooking Pork Chops With The Anova Sous-Vide Cooker, I changed the recipe slightly to get a better sear on the pork chop without drying it out. Since my pork chops are about 1 inch thick, I cook the pork chops in my sous-vide cooker to a temperature of 135° for about 45 minutes. Then I heat a cast iron griddle to a medium high temperature for about ten minutes. This allows me to get the good, quick sear on the pork chops without too much of a temperature drop. When I sear the meat for about two minutes a side, the inside is done, and it looks like this.
There is nothing more disappointing to a foodie than to screw up a nice flank steak by either over or under cooking it. Part of the problem is that the flank steak varies in thickness so the thin part will end up being well done while the thick part is still raw. My solution was to use the Anova Sous-Vide Cooker to cook the steak to 120 degrees for about an hour and then finish it off in a pre-heated cast iron skillet at medium high temperature. That way you get a consistent pink meat to go with that great sear. We like to serve the steak with oven roasted red potatoes that have been brushed garlic olive oil and green beans.