Friday, October 21

HOW TO: Roast a Pumpkin

Now that autumn is here, Halloween has past, and pumpkin pies are in full bake, it is time to start roasting those pumpkins. Roasting pumpkins is quite easy and just as simple as roasting a squash. It will allow you to use fresh not canned pumpkin for your pies, it also is great for baking, and as a side dish for dinner!

Roasting a pumpkin can be done on roughly 2 hours depending on the size if your pumpkin. Most standard sugar pie pumpkins found a grocery stores are between 3-6 pounds, this will easily roast in 2 hours.

Let us begin:

Preheat your oven to 350

Start by cutting your pumpkin in half, I suggest cutting width wise, it makes it easier for balancing.

I should mention, several people I know roast their pumpkins whole or uncut, but it is a pain to clean out after roasting. Also if you mark it with little indents it will help you cut evenly.

Once your pumpkin is cut open, completely clean out the hollow if all seeds, strings, and loose flesh meat.

Once clean, place pumpkin halves on an aluminum foil lined baking tray.

Lightly spray pumpkin with olive oil or vegetable oil cooking spray. I do not recommend using butter as it will slightly change the flavor and will effect the end recipe. Unless your eating as a side dish, then butter up!

Place pumpkin in oven for 1 hour, test pumpkin for fork-ability. You pumpkin should easily give way to a fork gently pushed in.

If not continue roasting in 20 minutes increments until fork-able.

Remove pumpkin from oven and your all roasted! You can now remove skin and use in pies, cookies, muffins, can for future use, or eat covered in butter and cinnamon, enjoy!

Thursday, October 13

Aussie Smothered Chicken

I am not 100% sure where this dish originated. A very good friend of mine is from the UK but born in Australia. He taught me how to make his grandfather's version of this marinade-which I put my common wealth spin on. So here is Aussie chicken my way.

Full time 45 minutes
Serves 4

The needs-

1 1/2 lb chicken breast tenders
1/2 cup shredded cheese (any blend)
1/2 cup bacon crumbles (approx 6 slices)
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

For marinade:
1/2 cup mustard
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 tbsp oil

The know-

Combine all marinade ingredients in a large bowl, stirring to fully combine.

Remove approximately 3/4 cup of marinade and set aside.

Place chicken into the large bowl with remaining marinade, let rest on countertop.

While this rests in a deep pan melt butter over medium heat.

Add in mushrooms and cook until softened for 5-8 minutes.

Remove mushrooms from pan.

Pour chicken along with marinade it has been sitting in into hot pan.

Cook chicken for 5-8 minutes and then flip over. Cook second side 5 minutes.

Lower heat to medium low and cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.

Marinade will slowly cook off to become a glaze.

Once chicken is fully cooked it is time to get it smothered.

Sprinkle across minced onions.

Using reserved marinade, top chicken evenly with a spoonful of marinade. 

Even spread bacon across surface.

Evenly spread mushrooms across top of bacon. Cook 3-4 minutes or until mushrooms are hot again.

Top with cheese and cook until cheese melts.

Serve right in pan. Cheers!

Sunday, October 9

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

Simple fall favorites are the best dinners. My go to favorite is chicken pot pie, this version gives you all the classic comfort of traditional pot pie with a set-it-forget-ease. Bake up a batch of biscuits right before serving for the perfect meal.

Serves 4-6
Full time 4 1/2 hours

The needs-

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, diced into larger bite size pieces
2 cans cream of chicken soup, condensed 
1 can (15oz) diced potatoes 
1 bag frozen pea, corn, carrot blend
1/2 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground garlic powder

The know-

Place chicken in slow cooker.

Evenly season with minced onions, pepper, and garlic.

Top with one can of soup, try to spread out a bit.

Cover and cook for four hours on low.

Carefully lift lid and stir chicken.

Add in vegetables and potatoes, stir well to blend.

Add in remaining can of soup, try to spread evenly across surface.

Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until vegetables are warmed through.

Stir well before serving.


Wednesday, October 5

Teriyaki Roasted Vegetables with Yum Yum Sauce

Roasting fresh autumn vegetables is one of my favorite things to do. Japanese yum-yum sauce is a subtly spicy dipping sauce, which pairs well with the fresh roasted vegetables marinaded in teriyaki sauce. 

Full time 1 hour
Serves 4

The needs-

1 pint whole mushrooms 
1 large summer squash, cut into large pieces
1 large zucchini, cut into large pieces
1 head broccoli, cut into large pieces
1 bunch green onions, diced fine
1 bottle (or home made) teriyaki sauce
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

For Yum-Yum Sauce-

1/4 cup mayonnaise 
1 1/4 tbsp sriracha 
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika 
1/2 tsp ground black pepper   

The know-

Preheat oven to 400'.

For yum-yum sauce. Combine mayonnaise and sriracha.

Add in sugar, paprika, and ground pepper.

Set aside in refrigerator to fully develop flavor.

In a large bowl combine vegetables and teriyaki. Toss until fully coated.

Pour out onto a baking sheet.

Drizzle over olive oil.

Season with salt.

Roast in oven 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Top with chopped green onions and stir to incorporate.

Move to a serving platter. 

Pout yum-yum sauce into a small bowl, place bowl on serving platter.