Thursday, February 16, 2012

Farfalle with Artichokes and Kale

Need a quick dinner?  Here ya go.  Waiting for the pasta to boil takes longer than anything else. If you can get someone to clean the kitchen for you, you'll be sitting down to the Real Housewives in about 20 minutes!

Farfalle with Artichokes and Kale

1 can non-marinated artichoke hearts (drained, rinsed, and dried with paper towels)
2 cups fresh kale, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 to 1/2 cup white wine
olive oil
1 box farfalle pasta
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. 

Meanwhile, heat olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan over medium heat and add chopped garlic.  Cook for about a minute (don't let garlic burn), and add artichokes.  Raise heat to medium high, saute for 3 minutes, then add kale, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cook until kale is wilted, about 5 minutes, and then add wine to the pan.  Bring it to a boil and simmer until pasta is ready. 
Drain pasta, and add to the pan with the artichokes and kale.  Toss, then add parmesan cheese, salt if necessary, and serve with a little extra parmesan cheese.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Slow Cooker PInto Beans

I've told you about these beans before.  My kids LOVE them.  We all do, actually, but when I find something the kids really like that is healthy and delicious, I tend to cook it a lot.  We fix our beans up like we would chili: cheese, avocado, lime, cilantro, sometimes corn chips.  So good!  Note: these beans cook for a looong time. There is almost zero prep work, just plan ahead.

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

1 pound of dried pinto beans
1 ham hock/bone (optional)
1/2 onion, as a chunk so you can remove it later
2 whole cloves of garlic
8 cups of water
8 beef bouillon cubes (you could also use beef broth if you have a thing against bouillon)
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the dry beans (check for rocks) in the morning the day before you want to eat them, cover with water, and let them soak throughout the day.  That night, rinse them again and put them in the crock pot with the remaining ingredients.  Make sure the water covers the beans by a couple of inches.  Cook on low all night and through the next day (about 20 hours).  Remove and discard the ham hock, onion and garlic.  Serve with shredded cheese, avocado, and a little fresh lime juice (sour cream, tomatoes, and green onions are all good on top, too).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

It may come as a surprise to you Southerners, but until a couple of years ago I had never eaten chicken and dumplings (or chickn n' dumplins, as they say).  Neither my mother nor my grandmother ever made the dish, and the chicken and dumplings they served in the school cafeteria were gooey squares of dough with gross looking hunks of dark brown "chicken", so I never really had any desire to try it. 

Then, a couple years ago, when we had a big ice storm, our friends came to stay with us because their power was out, and Jessica brought a big pot of the most delicious thing I had ever eaten: real, homemade chicken and dumplings.  I've been hooked ever since.

Her recipe is simple and perfect, but I had a bunch of homemade chicken stock in the freezer just waiting for a freezing day like today!  Here's the EASY version of her recipe.

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

4 cups homemade chicken stock
white meat from rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 cup Bisquick (apparently, every Southern women knows Bisquick makes the best dumplings)
2/3 cup milk

Bring chicken stock to a boil.  Meanwhile, mix Bisquick and milk to form a soft dough.  Drop by small pieces into boiling stock.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Add shredded chicken. Salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken

I'm not calling this recipe Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic like the original recipe does because 1) I didn't count the garlic cloves exactly as I put them in, and 2) it's nothing like the traditional 40 cloves recipe.  But it's good. Really good.  The sauce I could drink from a cup.  The garlic gets almost sweet like roasted garlic during the cooking and the chicken just falls apart. 

We had it with smashed potatoes and Spicy Kale (recipe later this week) and even the kids cleaned their plates!

Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
40 cloves peeled garlic (you can buy whole, peeled garlic in the produce section)
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper chicken and add it to the slow cooker.  Add the garlic, wine, and spices and cook on low for 4-6 hours. 

When you're ready to serve, remove the chicken and pour the juices from the pot through a sieve into a bowl, then press the garlic through the sieve to form a paste.  Cook the sauce over medium high heat until it thickens slightly, about 6-8 minutes.  Add 1 tablespoon butter to the sauce.   Serve over the chicken.