Jamie Oliver’s Vegetable Bolognese

On June 30, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This has become one of my favorite vegetarian dishes, vegan if you skip the shredded parmesan cheese. There is so much flavor from this rather simple recipe. It only takes about 40 minutes to prepare from start to table. The porcini mushrooms, red wine, fresh herbs and breadcrumbs add so much enjoyment to each bite.

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I discovered this recipe months after I did my review of six meal delivery services. I hadn’t yet tried Hello Fresh, but when I heard that one of my favorite TV chefs, Jamie Oliver, was doing recipes for them I knew it was time to give them a try.

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They offer a vegetarian box option that our family has ordered a few times now. This vegetable bolognese has been the star of everything we have tried. That’s not to say that other recipe have been bad; rather, we’ve had some great success with Hello Fresh.  This has been nice as it has given us another option with meal delivery when wanting to eat less meat.  So now we use Hello Fresh and The Purple Carrot too.

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I hope you get a chance to try some more vegetarian or vegan in your home. We continue to eat more and more this way and recently did 30-days straight. Coming out of the 30-days my wife and I agreed to reduce meat to only 2-3 meals a week. That could be bacon for breakfast one day, maybe a burger another day, and then no more or some tacos for lunch.

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Skip the meat and add some lentils with this excellent dish.

Full Recipe at HelloFresh.com

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My new job is surround by some great food choices including my favorite grocery stores Erewhon and Whole Foods. I stopped by Whole Foods after work and quickly bought a few things including some Mary’s Organic chicken though I accidentally grabbed a package of tenders instead of split boneless chicken breasts.  Of course I didn’t realize the mistake until I arrived home.

I had some morel mushrooms I bought at the Studio City Farmer’s Market and thought I had some heavy cream to make a rich mushroom cream sauce. Sadly the heavy cream I had expired.  So there I was with tenders and no cream or milk in the kitchen expecting to make chicken breasts with a morel mushroom cream sauce.  My first thought was to bread the tenders and just make some chicken tenders with some homemade bbq I had, but my wife said use the morels and so I started to improve tonight’s dinner.

The final result is the following with some green beans and what I’m calling “smashed potatoes” which is basically boiled potatoes with some olive oil, butter and salt and pepper mashed.

Chicken Tenders with Morel Mushroom Reduction
Serves 4

1 lb chicken tenders
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, white only
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

8 morel mushrooms, rough chop
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/4 cup white wine
4 tablespoons butter

Heat sauté pan on medium-high heat adding the 1 tablespoons of olive oil and butter. Mix the egg white and orange juice together in a shallow bowl to use for dipping chicken tenders in before dredging with bread crumbs.  Take each chicken tender dip in egg white and orange juice mixture and then roll around in bread crumbs to cover and add immediately to sauté pan. Continue until pan is full.  Cook each side for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Place finished pieces on plate and continue to add more tenders to the pan until all are made.

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After the tenders are all cooked, add garlic and morel mushrooms.  Cook for a minute and then add the white wine.  Let the liquid reduce by half in about 1 or 2 minutes then add the butter and turn off medium-high heat letting butter melt to create a sauce.

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Plate the potatoes you made in the center and then place chicken tenders on top and green beans on the side.  Pour some of the morel mushroom sauce over the tenders and potatoes.

Enjoy!

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Chicken Curry SousVide

On December 8, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I’ve made quite a few recipes using my Sous Vide Supreme. The thing I really like most about it how I can cook meat to a perfect doneness by leaving it in the water bath all day while I go out enjoy whatever else needs to get done.

Today I prepared a couple bone-in chicken breasts with some Jamaican yellow curry powder and placed them in the Sous Vide at 175 degrees before leaving the house.  We spent the early part of the day at a coworker’s house. She and her husband do a yearly help a family out during the holidays. This year it was a mother with four kids and coincidently two of the kids were twin 7 year olds. So it was great shopping with our twin boys Saturday to find something for the twin girls and the rest of the family.

Meanwhile at home the chicken cooked for a good 5 hours before we arrived back after wrapping gifts and getting some other Christmas shopping done.

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This recipe is pretty simple and you can keep it really simple  by cooking the chicken and serving it with rice and vegetables. The chicken came out ready to serve done, but I wanted to make more of a curry soup.

Chicken Curry
Serves 4

2 bone-in chicken breasts, skinned removed
4 tablespoons curry powder
3 tablespoons peanut or olive oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 small onion, half moon slices
4 large brown mushrooms, rough chop
1/2 head cauliflower, rough chop
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4″ rounds
3 cups chicken stock

Cook the chicken in the SousVide Supreme for 4-5 hours at 175 degrees. Seal the chicken in the vacuum sealer first and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of curry powder. Drop into water bath and cook.

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Remove the chicken when done. It will easily separate from the bone and then rough chop.  Meanwhile heat the peanut oil in a pan with the onion on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Then add the cauliflower, carrot and chicken also add the rest of the curry powder.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add the soy sauce and chicken stock.  Let the mixture cook for 5 minutes to combine adding the mushrooms in the last minute.

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Serve in a bowl with a small bowl of Jasmine or brown rice on the side.

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Mushroom Pasta Divine

On April 1, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Since moving from Michigan, I have definitely missed the bounty of fresh pasta I could buy at Ventimiglia Italian Market. Tired of the occasional dry pasta I decided it was time to take action and by action I mean using some of my American Express member reward points to do some Williams Sonoma shopping.

A well-reviewed pasta maker kept coming up high in my research. The KitchenAid Pasta Press attachment looked like a great solution so I went ahead and ordered one. Today I finally had some time to use it.

Making pasta is quite simple and takes all of about 5 minutes. To make enough pasta for four people here is how I made some quick pasta dough.

I made some rigatoni noodles which was super easy and boiled a pot of water with a little bit of salt. Added the pasta and cooked it for 3 minutes.

This time I went with a mushroom cream pasta recipe I found on Pinterest at the Sweet Paul blog. It turned out great and was a wonderful debut breaking in for my new pasta shape maker.

Pasta Dough
Serves 4

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup water

Mix first three ingredients in stand mixer. In a sparate bowl, mix the last three ingredients.  Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry with the KitchenAid mixer on a low speed. Let it combine. If a ball is not forming, add a little olive oil.  It should combine.

Now remove from mixer. If it is not sticky, then wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit for 20 minutes.  It’s ready then to use.

If it is sticky, just kneed with a little bit of flour on a cutting board, then wrap in plastic and let it sit for 20 minutes. Use after that.

Full Recipe: Mushroom Pasta Divine.

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Real Home Cooking: Shortcut Ravioli

On March 26, 2009, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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One thing I wanted to do with this blog was to make it about home cooking, not just gourmet cooking. Home cooking isn’t about doing everything by scratch, well at least the non-idyllic version isn’t. Home cooking is often about finding shortcuts and having dishes that are easy to make after a long day at work.

The following dish is all about shortcuts. First, I started with fresh frozen ravioli from Alcamo’s in Dearborn. The ravioli I like from Alcamo’s is the chicken portobello mushroom. It has diced all-white meat chicken breast combined with diced mushrooms. They are excellent, but run $10 for a package that serves two. If you don’t have Alcamo’s in your neighborhood, than any store bought cheese ravioli works.

I was going to accompany the pasta with my homemade Alfredo sauce, until I realized my heavy cream expired last week. So, I went with a backup sauce packet. Knorr’s garlic herb white sauce actually works very well for store bought ravioli. I did add some fresh asparagus and Parmesan Reggiano to bring some fresh elements to the dish.

There are a lot of dishes that come together without much effort. This was just one of them. I hope you find it useful if you ever are in a pinch.

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