Monday, April 20, 2015

Krista's One Pan Chicken Dinner

Did you see Lucy Burdette's one pan chicken dinner last week? It's gorgeous. Apparently one pan dinners are all the rage. They make sense in so many ways. Vegetables are great when they're roasted. The oven does all the work. There's only one pan to wash, and unless you're feeding a big family, there are wonderful leftovers.

I was reading an article about one pan dinners recently. People are trying them with all kinds of food combinations. Some add stock to the bottom of the pan to help make a sauce but I found I didn't need it for this recipe. I can't find the article (naturally) but I do recall that it recommended trying to make all the veggies about the same size so they cook evenly and are done at the same time.

If you're cooking for company, use Lucy's recipe because it makes a much prettier presentation. I took off the chicken skin and most of the fat so the chicken isn't very pretty but it was so tasty and the chicken so perfectly tender that we were in awe. My mom even called me to be sure I had written down the instructions.

I used what my grocery store calls grilling chicken: two breasts on the bone; and four chicken legs. Must be an odd looking bird. Obviously you can use any combination of chicken parts that you like.

One caveat though. If you try this with boneless chicken breasts, cut the veggies into very small pieces so they'll cook fast. I would guess that boneless chicken breast will roast much faster. (Like 20 - 25 minutes!)

I used a large pan and loaded it up. So much so that I began to worry whether all the veggies would cook. They did, but I stirred them twice while roasting to be sure. Had I cooked this dinner in separate pots and pans, I would have had at least four pots and pans going.

As it happened, I had just read that maple syrup and molasses are amazingly good for us. Don't worry about drizzling the veggies with the maple syrup and molasses. As the chicken cooks, the juices will roll over to the veggies and they'll get a little coating when you stir them. The sauce is sweet, so if you loathe meat with a sweet sauce, then this combination probably isn't going to be for you. On the other hand, there's almost no measuring. That should appeal to some of you! You'll note that I did not use any salt. We found we didn't need it, but you can always salt your portion at the table.

Krista's One Pan Chicken Dinner

2 average size sweet potatoes
1/2 cauliflower
1 large apple
1 pinch thyme
2 pinches sage
2 tablespoons olive oil (eyeball it instead of measuring)
2 - 3 handfuls baby kale
2 chicken breasts (bone in) (skinless optional)
4 chicken legs (skinless optional)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons molasses

Preheat oven to 400.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Cut the rounds into 4 wedges. Add to pan. Break the cauliflower into florets and add to the pan. Peel the apple, cut into chunks, and toss in the pan. Drizzle with the olive oil. Add the thyme and sage. Turn to coat everything with the olive oil. Toss in the handfuls of kale and mix again.

Push the veggies to one side and add the chicken in one layer on the empty side. Drizzle the chicken with the maple syrup and molasses. Spread the veggies out but make sure the meat is in one layer with nothing on top of it. Roast for about 45 minutes, turning the veggies at 15 minutes and at 30 minutes. Check the chicken to be sure it's cooked through. USDA and Food Network recommend 165-175. Drizzle the sauce in the bottom over the chicken to serve.

Add veggies to pan.

Toss in some greens.

Drizzle maple syrup and molasses over the chicken.
Voila! Dinner in one pan.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Welcome Guest @BarbaraRoss with Genevieve's Mussels #recipe #giveaway

 Today we're thrilled to bring back Barbara Ross, who is celebrating her third Maine Clambake Mystery, Musseled Out with a lovely recipe--and a giveaway of the new book! Welcome Barbara!

Barbara Ross: I’m excited about Musseled Out, the soon-to-be-released third book in my Maine Clambake Mystery series.

The book takes place in the run up to Columbus Day weekend, the traditional end of the season at the Snowden Family Clambake. Julia Snowden has successfully saved the business from bankruptcy and finally has time to think. Maybe too much time. Will she go back to her venture capital job in Manhattan, or stay in Busman’s Harbor, Maine?

There’s a fly in the ointment, though. Shifty David Thwing, The Mussel King, has been scouting for a place in town to offer a “dining experience.” Thwing’s executive chef, Genevieve Pelletier, is a full-on cooking prodigy, and it looks like they’ll provide formidable competition for the clambake. So when Thwing is found sleeping with the fishes, Julia’s brother-in-law, Sonny, becomes suspect #1.

I enjoyed creating the character of chef Genevieve Pelletier. My husband, Bill Carito, as always my cooking advisor, enjoyed creating her signature mussel dish.

Genevieve Pelletier has built the reputation of her restaurants on her mussels, and if you make this dish you’ll see she certainly deserves the praise she gets for them. Genevieve serves this hearty dish as an appetizer, but it’s more than capable of carrying a meal as the entree.

6 ounces chorizo, divided. Half diced, half sliced into thin rounds

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

¾ cup onion

¼ cup celery, diced

¼ cup red pepper, diced

salt and pepper 

½ Tablespoon smoked paprika

1 cup diced tomatoes

½ Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

½ cup white wine

½ Tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ cup heavy cream

1-1½ pounds mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded

1 Tablespoon chopped parsley for garnish

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a wide saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. 

Add the diced chorizo. Cook until lightly browned.

Stir in garlic, onion, celery, and red pepper.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in smoked paprika. Sauté for three to four minutes.

Stir in tomato and thyme, cover pot, and simmer together for three to five minutes.

Add wine and let bubble on high heat for about a minute.

Stir in mustard and heavy cream and cook another minute. Taste and add additional salt or pepper, if necessary.

Add mussels, cover pot, and cook for five minutes, stirring once halfway through.

Spoon mussels into bowl, pour sauce over, and garnish with parsley

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries, Clammed Up, Boiled Over and Musseled Out (which will be released on April 28). Clammed Up was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. Both Clammed Up and Boiled Over were nominated for the RT Book Reviews, Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Amateur Sleuth (2134 & 2014).

Barbara writes on the big front porch of the former Seafarer Inn at the head of the harbor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. She blogs with a wonderful group of Maine mystery authors at Maine Crime Writers and with writers of New England-based cozy mysteries at Wicked Cozy Authors. You can reach her at her website

Don't forget to leave a comment with your email to be entered in the drawing for Musseled Out... 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chicken and Potato Tagine

Since I bought my tagine--a Moroccan cooking vessel (see my first dish with it here), I've felt a need to use it again.  My husband keeps eying it in the cupboard and scratching his head.  I'm sure he's thinking, "what on earth did she need that for?"  But if you love to cook, you know that trying new utensils, tools and ways of cooking is like, well, the adrenaline rush other people get from bungee jumping or skydiving.  Just a lot safer.

The basis for this recipe is one I found on (About) Food.  But I incorporated a few things from other recipes and left out ingredients I didn't have...I'm easy that way.


Chicken (either cut up a whole chicken or use parts--in my case I wanted to use up some leg/thigh combos that were in the freezer.

1 large onion, sliced

3 or 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed

2 teaspoons ginger

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Splash of chicken broth

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

A couple of tablespoons of olive oil

A couple of potatoes depending on how many you are serving -- peeled and thinly sliced

I took the skin off my chicken pieces because unless you brown the skin...well, yuck, right?

Combine all the spices and the garlic and fresh parsley and/or cilantro (I used both because I had them and I love cilantro) in a bowl and add the chicken pieces.  Use your hands to coat the chicken pieces with the spice mixture.

Place the sliced onions in the bottom of the tagine (or your pot), cover with the sliced potatoes.

Arrange the chicken pieces on top.  Pour a splash (about 1/2 cup) of chicken broth into the bowl the chicken was in and swirl around to collect any remaining spice mixture.  Pour on top of the chicken.  Drizzle some olive oil on top (the original recipe called for 1/3 cup but I just...couldn't.  Too much oil for my taste.)

I still don't have a diffuser so I couldn't cook this on top of the stove as per instructions (the tagine could crack) so I baked it at 350 degrees in the oven for around 45 to 60 minutes--until the chicken was done and the potatoes were cooked.

The smells are incredible!  The great part about having a tagine is that you can bring it straight to the table and serve from there.  

I served the chicken with baby bok choy.  A bit of a mix of two cultures, but they went together very well!


Friday, April 17, 2015

Cod with Coconut Curry Sauce

by Sheila Connolly

It was a year ago that my sister and I made a pilgrimage to New York City, which included a sumptuous luncheon at Eric Ripert’s restaurant, Le Bernardin (which I reported on here). Sigh.

This week I found myself contemplating a pound of fish and trying to figure out what to do with it. I turned to Epicurious online, and lo and behold, up popped a 2005 recipe by mon ami Eric, titled “Cod with Coconut, Lime, and Lemongrass Curry Sauce.” It had to be fate.

As luck would have it, I had almost all the ingredients on hand (except the lime leaves—had some but they expired from old age). Eric’s recipe was a wee bit high end (he is much into elegant presentation), but easy to simplify. And the sauce or broth or whatever you want to call it is delicious!

Note: It’s just my husband and me at home these days, so I usually make two-serving recipes (except for desserts!). Most cookbook recipes will feed at least four people. I promise I won’t give you any recipes that don’t multiply easily.

Cod with Coconut Curry Sauce


1 Tblsp butter

2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lemongrass stalk, thinly sliced (I didn’t have
   fresh, but I did have some in a jar)
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves (if you can find them)
1 Tblsp Madras curry
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 cilantro sprigs
Sea salt to taste
White pepper to taste
1 Tblsp fresh lime juice

During the first simmer

Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves and curry and cook slowly without browning, for about 5 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and cilantro and simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if needed.  Strain the liquid through fine sieve and set aside.

All in, before straining


A pound of hake (okay, raw fish isn't much
to look at--but this is how much you need)

2 filets of white fish, 1-1/2” thick (the original recipe used cod, but hake was what I had—it worked just fine. Flounder might be too delicate.)
2 Tblsp canola or vegetable oil
Sea salt to taste
White pepper to taste

Pat the fish filets dry and season on both sides with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and sauté until lightly browned, turning once. It shouldn’t take more than 5-7 minutes total.

(Confession: After this point Eric’s instructions were much more complicated, but this method works just fine. I do want to share his final detail:  cook the fish “until a metal skewer can be easily inserted into the fish and, when left in the fish for 5 seconds, feels hot when touched to your lip.” Yes, dear friends, he’s kissing the skewer.)

When ready to serve, reheat the sauce and add the lime juice to brighten the flavor.

In the original recipe, this was served in a deep bowl flanked by quartered baby bok choy poached in a whole lot of butter, topped with the sauce. Instead I made rice, then laid the fish over the rice and poured the sauce over both. Much easier. Serve with a spoon, because you’re going to want to finish all the sauce!

You do know what a privy is, right? It's probably exactly what you think it is, and there's one that's been uncovered in the basement of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society (don't worry, it hasn't been used for more than a century). But what's found inside triggers a murder and leads to solving a much earlier double murder.

Privy to the Dead (Museum Mystery #6), coming June 2015, and available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes and Noble now.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lucy Burdette's Easy Roast Chicken and Vegetable Dinner #recipe

LUCY BURDETTE:  Sometimes it's fun to make fancy dishes with lots of ingredients and many steps to put them together and then a wowzer of a presentation. And sometimes life calls for something homey, but oh so easy, right? My pal Hallie Ephron convinced me some years ago that roasting your own chicken tasted way better than the grocery store version.  (She was right, though I still buy the deli chicken if time is really short...) Another bonus: you get to choose the chicken without preservatives and other unpleasant additives.

Here's a go-to meal that couldn't be easier: take one chicken, clean innards out of the cavity, plop in a roasting pan. Drizzle a little olive oil on top, spread it around, add freshly ground salt and pepper and a little rosemary if you have it. (You can get fancy with seasonings, but we're focusing on EASY, right?) Deliver to oven preheated to 375-400.

After half an hour, deliver a handful of small potatoes (drizzled in olive oil) to the same pan. You can add carrot chunks here too--they are so sweet when roasted. Or if you prefer sweet potatoes, put those in at the same time as the chicken. 

Meanwhile, prepare Brussels sprouts by pulling off the outside leaves, shaving the ends, and making a cross in each end with a sharp knife. Add these to the roasting pan when the chicken is half an hour away from done.

Serve and enjoy! (Just don't tell the Key West chickens about this dish--chickens are protected in this town, even the noisiest roosters.)

And here's what you might do with all the time you saved by making this dinner:

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries!
Fatal Reservations, the sixth book in the series, will be in bookstores on July 7, but you can certainly order it now!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pancakes, gluten-free from @DarylWoodgerber

From Daryl aka Avery:

I love breakfast. It's a time to get my head around the rest of the day. Most days I slap together gluten-free cereal and fruit, a big cup of decaf coffee. I don't do caffein any more. Haven't since I was 28. Already had lots of energy!  I do my crossword puzzle, a KenKen puzzle or two, walk the dog, do some exercises, and then head to my office to write.

However, when I feel that I have the luxury of time, I like making something special for breakfast. Pancakes always fit the bill. They're decadent in such a simple way. And because they don't have to "rise" like other breads, they do very well if they are made gluten-free.

I've made this recipe numerous times. It never fails me. Make sure you serve with a good quality maple syrup. If you like butter on your pancakes, add it. This is your luxury breakfast. Enjoy every morsel!

PS : Here's a little list of items to keep on hand in your pantry if you want to bake gluten-free:

  • gluten-free flour (I use sweet rice flour and tapioca flour, but you can get packages of mixes by Bob's Red Mill, King Arthur, Pamela, and more)
  • xanthan gum (this is used in very small amounts and binds GF flours together)
  • vanillin (though vanilla extract is now proven safe for most celiacs, if you want to be super safe or have a sensitive system, use vanillin)
  • whey powder - not used in this recipe, but I often add it to my breads, a tablespoon at a time, to help keep the breads moist.
  • parchment paper (for some baking needs)

Everything else you use is the same.

Gluten-free Pancakes


(Serves 4)

2 ¼ cups gluten-free flour (I used equal amounts sweet rice flour and tapioca flour)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup water
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Put dry ingredients into a large bowl. Stir. Add wet ingredients and blend on medium-high with a blender.

Heat griddle to very high.

Using a soup ladle, spoon out 4 portions of pancakes. Wait until the bubbles form and pop open, then flip (about 1-2 minutes). Wait another 1-2 minutes and remove from the griddle. Do this four times. Serves 4.

Serve with warm pure maple syrup.


Friend Daryl on Facebook
Friend Avery on Facebook
Follow Daryl on Twitter
Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest
Check out our website.

order here

FUDGING THE BOOKS, the next Cookbook Nook Mystery, is available for order: order here.

If you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list 
so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!