Twisted Rolls

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Time for holiday baking!  Make a batch of twisted sourdough rolls and serve them up for dinner this weekend.  Easy and fun to make, you can shape them into bread sticks or buns.  They freeze beautifully, so start baking now for the big holiday meal.  10 Rolls

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole grain flour (wheat, spelt, Khorasian wheat or combination)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup fully active sourdough starter
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. diastatic malt powder
  • 3/4 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1-1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. powdered buttermilk
  • 1-3/4 cups warm water
  • 1 beaten egg, for egg wash
  • sesame seeds, poppy seeds, coarse salt

Preparation:

Begin with a fully active sourdough starter.  If needed, take it out of the refrigerator ahead of time and begin feeding until it’s bubbly like mine.

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Measure 3/4 cup of the starter and add to the bowl of your stand mixer.  Drizzle with 1 tsp. of honey.

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Whisk together the flours, diastatic malt powder, instant yeast, salt and powdered buttermilk.  With the dough hook attachment on low speed, begin alternately adding the flour mixture and warm water until incorporated.  Increase speed and knead for 5 minutes.  The dough will be heavy and wet.

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Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Place the bowl in a draft free area for a 3 hour rise.

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After 3 hours the dough has doubled in size.

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Transfer the dough to an oiled cutting board and perform a stretch and fold.  Then place it back in the bowl and cover for a second rise of one hour.

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Divide the dough into 20 pieces about 2 oz. each, and with oiled hands roll each piece into a 12″ rope.  Working with 2 ropes at a time, twist into a bread stick or shape into rounds.  Watch the video to see how easy it is!

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Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

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Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 425º.  Just before baking, whisk an egg with 1 tbsp. water and brush the rolls lightly.  The egg wash gives the rolls a nice shine and helps the seeds adhere.

Twisted-Rolls-The-Extruded-Noodle-043aSprinkle the rolls with sesame and poppy seeds, and coarse salt.

Twisted-Rolls-The-Extruded-Noodle-047aBake for about 12 minutes and transfer to a rack to cool.

Twisted-Rolls-The-Extruded-Noodle-050aAren’t they beautiful?  Serve the bread sticks whole like this, or cut them into smaller pieces.

Twisted-Rolls-The-Extruded-Noodle-056aCheck out the nice soft crumb!  They are delicious and a little something special for your holiday table.

Twisted-Rolls-The-Extruded-Noodle-059aI hope you’ve enjoyed today’s bake!  If you didn’t catch the video, see it here.

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Posted in Bread, From Scratch, Sourdough, Today's Bake, Whole Grains | 1 Comment

Shrimp, Wild Rice and Roasted Vegetables

Here is a weeknight dinner that is big on flavor.  Roasting the vegetables brings out their natural sweetness through caramelization.  It is a taste that you just cannot get from a stir fry.  Grilling the shrimp adds another layer of flavor.  I love using Delicata squash in my fall recipes.  It does not have to be peeled, and the beautiful striped skin roasts up tender and sweet.  Ready in about an hour, time well spent for a delicious meal made with healthy fresh ingredients.  Dinner for two.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. raw medium size shrimp
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Old Bay
  • butter
  • 1/3 cup uncooked long grain and wild rice mix (such as Lundberg)
  • 1-1/3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • seasoned salt (or salt and pepper)
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 parsnip. peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 sweet onion cut into slices
  • 1/2 delicata squash, halved and sliced, seeds removed

 

Preparation:

Cook the rice in 1-1/3 cups chicken broth, seasoned salt to taste and pinch of cayenne.  Peel and devein the shrimp, toss with olive oil, sprinkle with Old Bay and set aside.  Slice all the veggies 1/4″ thick (so that they cook evenly), toss with olive oil and seasoning.  Spread the veggies in a single layer in a baking pan and roast for 25 minutes at 400º.

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Transfer the cooked veggies to a serving bowl and keep warm.

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Heat a grill pan and brush with butter.  Cook the shrimp quickly, they only need a few minutes per side to turn pink and sport some nice grill marks.  To serve, I stirred the rice and veggies together and topped if off with the shrimp.

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Isn’t that beautiful?  This is a delicious weeknight meal that you can feel good about.  Thanks for stopping by!

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Posted in Comfort Food, Dash Diet Friendly, Dinner for two, Seafood, Under an hour | Leave a comment

Steak and Peppers

The colorful bags of mini bell peppers caught my eye at the market this week.  In shades of red, yellow and orange I knew they would make a beautiful fall plate.  This is an easy skillet dinner that I served over a bed of brown rice.  Dinner for two.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of tri-color mini bell peppers
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 12 oz. steak cut in 2 (London broil or sirloin)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • olive oil
  • steak seasoning

Preparation:

Cook the rice according to package directions.  Brush the steaks with olive oil and season both sides.  Leave at room temperature 30 minutes before cooking.  I had a 12 oz. London Broil, cut into 2 pieces.

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Cut the peppers into thin slices, removing stems, ribs and seeds.  Rinse well.

Steak-and-Peppers-The-Extruded-Noodle-002Toss the peppers and onions with olive oil and seasoning.  Heat a large skillet over medium and mist with cooking spray.  Add the steaks first then arrange the vegetables around them in a single layer.  Cook the steaks 5 minutes per side, uncovered (for medium).  Toss the vegetables every few minutes with tongs.  The peppers will be crisp and beginning to brown around the edges.

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To serve, spread the rice evenly on a serving platter.  Top with the peppers and steak.

Steak-and-Peppers-The-Extruded-Noodle-020Dinner is ready, start to finish in under an hour.  If you prep the veggies and cook the rice ahead of time, then you could be enjoying this meal in under 20 minutes!

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I love skillet dinners!  They are delicious and you can’t beat the easy cleanup of a one pan meal.

 

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Potato Matchsticks

For a nice change from the usual potato side, try making Potato Matchsticks!  With just a little extra knife work you can create this tasty side for your fall meals.  Shallots and carrot ribbons make it colorful.  I used a mandoline to create thin potato slices then finished them with a knife.  Tossed with olive oil and seasonings and roasted for deep flavor.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large russet potato
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 1 tsp. garlic seasoning
  • black pepper to taste

Preparation:

Slice the potato very thin using a mandoline, then cut the slices into matchsticks.  Cut the shallots into thin slices and separate the rings.  Toss with olive oil, and season with minced fresh rosemary, fresh ground pepper and garlic seasoning.

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Peel the carrot into ribbons and add to the bowl with more olive oil.

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Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and spread the potato mixture in an even layer.

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Bake at 425º for 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes.

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Remove when the potatoes are cooked through, and the carrots and shallots are just beginning to brown around the edges.  Pick up the parchment and slide everything into a serving bowl.

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Hubby and I both thought this was delicious!  Ready in under an hour, this side pairs perfectly with burgers, steak, chicken and pork.

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Posted in #dashdiet, Comfort Food, Dash Diet Friendly, Gluten Free, Side Dish, Under an hour | 2 Comments

Spooky Meatball “Eyeballs”

I’m having a little Halloween fun in the kitchen making Spooky Meatball “Eyeballs”.  Little one bite meatballs are easy to make party food that will give everyone a smile.  Of course they are delicious!  You can use your own meatball recipe here or follow mine.  I always make my marinara from scratch, but I will not be offended if you take a shortcut and use jar sauce.  Just have fun!

 

Eyeballs-The-Extruded-Noodle-20171021_181857Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • cooking spray
  • 6 slices of provolone
  • 1 can sliced black olives
  • 3 cups marinara

 

 

Preparation:

Whisk together the egg and the tomato sauce.  Add the ground beef and breadcrumbs and use your hands to combine it all together.  Form 28 small meatballs and place them on a baking sheet lined with foil and misted with cooking spray.  I used a coffee scoop to measure the meatballs, about 1-1/2″ diameter.

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Broil the meatballs on low for about 9 minutes total, turning once.

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Let the meatballs cool for a few minutes.  Set up a 9 x 13 glass baking dish and mist with cooking spray.  Use a spoon to transfer the meatballs to the baking dish.  Most of the fat will remain behind on the foil.  Now top each meatball with about 1 tablespoon of the marinara (for the blood!)

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Cut small circles of provolone for the eyes.

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Top each meatball with cheese and an olive slice to make the “eyeballs”.

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How cute is that?  You can make the recipe ahead to this point and refrigerate until party time.  Bake, broil or microwave to heat them up and serve with a side of warm marinara for dipping.  I had too much fun making these!

Happy Halloween from The Extruded Noodle!

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Chicken Saltimbocca

Chicken Saltimbocca.  Tender slices of chicken breast, lightly sauteed and rolled with prosciutto, cheese and fresh sage leaves.  Served with a rich tomato cream sauce and a side of pasta.  Who said a chicken dish can’t be elegant?  It’s fast and easy too.  For dinner tonight, here is my take on an old classic.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken cutlets, sliced or pounded to 1/4″ thickness
  • 6 slices of good quality prosciutto
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • olive oil
  • seasoning

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced thin
  • sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup cream of mushroom soup

Preparation:

I purchased thin sliced chicken cutlets to save time.  If using larger boneless breasts, slice them yourself and pound to 1/4″ thickness.  Season the cutlets with salt and pepper, dredge them in flour and lightly brown both sides in olive oil.  The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point, we will finish it in the oven.  Don’t crowd the skillet, work in batches if needed.

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Remove to a plate and top each piece with 1 slice of prosciutto and a sage leaf.

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Sprinkle with shredded cheese, as much as you like.

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Roll up each slice and secure with toothpicks.  Top each with another sage leaf.  Place in a baking dish with a little white wine, and finish in the oven at 325º for 15 minutes.

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While the chicken is baking, make the sauce.  Using the same skillet, add olive oil, tomato paste, garlic and sage leaves.  Cook 1 minute.

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Add the wine and the broth, then whisk in the flour.  When the mixture is smooth, stir in the cream of mushroom soup.  Remove the sage leaves.

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I served the Chicken Saltimbocca with a side of rigatoni pasta and zucchini.  I cooked the zucchini right in the pasta water.

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To serve, remove the chicken from the oven and drizzle with tomato cream sauce.

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Toss the remaining sauce with the pasta and finish with more cheese and fresh parsley.

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There you are, an elegant meal ready in just 30 minutes.  Make it for your someone special.  You will get rave reviews, maybe a marriage proposal!

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Posted in 30 Minutes or Less, Chicken, Chicken Dinner, Comfort Food, Dinner for two, Elegant Dining, Italian Sunday Dinner | 1 Comment

New England Clam Chowder

I am a New England girl, born and raised in RI.  This clam chowder is better than any restaurant version, with a generous portion of clams in every bite.  Rather than cleaning and shucking fresh clams I took a shortcut and used frozen raw clams.  They are delicious and so much better than canned!  Remember to add the clams during the last 5 minutes of cooking so they will remain sweet and tender.  The consistency of this chowder is a bit thicker than a clear broth chowder, and if you can adjust it to your taste by modifying the water content.  I also lightened it up by using 1% milk with half and half, you can use all heavy cream for a richer texture.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. salt pork cut into small dice
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, small dice
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 24 oz. bottled clam juice (3 bottles, 8 oz. each)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 16 oz. container frozen raw chopped clams, thawed
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half

Preparation:

Salt pork is usually sold in an 8 oz. block.  This is enough for 2 pots of chowder, so I usually cut it into two pieces and freeze half for another recipe.  Chop the salt pork into small dice.

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Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot.  Cook the salt pork in the butter until the fat is rendered and the pork is browned, just like cooking bacon.

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Remove the browned bits of pork and drain on a paper towel.  Leave the fat in the pan.

New-England-Clam-Chowder-The-Extruded-Noodle-016aCombine the claim juice and water in a large measuring cup or pitcher and have it ready to pour.  Add the onions and celery to the pot and cook them in the butter and pork fat for 5 minutes.

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Sprinkle with flour and quickly stir to coat the onion and celery.  Immediately begin streaming in the clam juice mixture and whisk constantly until smooth.  Add the potatoes, thyme and bay leaf.  Simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.  Add the clams, half and half and milk in the last 5 minutes of cook time, reduce heat and cook 5 minutes more on the lowest simmer.

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Notice I didn’t add salt.  The clams and salt pork are quite salty, so taste before you season.  Don’t forget to discard the bay leaf before serving!  Ladle chowder into shallow bowls and garnish with the reserved pork bits and fresh thyme.

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Like most soups, it’s even better the second day.  If you enjoyed this recipe, check out my other chowders here.  And for an extra special treat, try topping off your chowder with my Home Made Oyster Crackers.

 

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Gluten Free Modification:  Substitute 3 tbsp. gluten free flour for the regular flour.  All other ingredients are gluten free (check the label on the salt pork).

 

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Posted in Chowder, Comfort Food, Seafood, Soup | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Paella

Paella is a restaurant favorite of mine.  The blend of color, flavor and aroma in this Valencian rice dish is wonderful!  You may be thinking it would be difficult to recreate this magnificent dish at home, but it really isn’t.  Follow my step by step instructions and serve this up for your family tonight.  You do not need a paella pan, a large skillet will do the trick!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup Arborio rice (or substitute Carnaroli)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 32 oz. carton fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • paprika
  • big pinch of saffron
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz. Andouille sausage, sliced into coins
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 cup zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 12 oz. chicken breast, sliced into thin medallions
  • 8 oz. shrimp
  • butter
  • 2 tbsp. scallions (for garnish)

Preparation:

Start the rice 20 minutes before the other ingredients to allow for the necessary cook time.  Add butter and oil to a large nonstick skillet (mine is 14″) over medium low heat.  Brush or swirl it around to coat.

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Add the rice, bay leaf, thyme and garlic.  Sprinkle lightly with paprika.  Stir to coat the rice then add 1/2 cup of white wine.  Stir frequently until the wine is almost evaporated.

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Begin ladling in the chicken broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly.  Add a big pinch of saffron with the first ladle of broth.  Saffron is a key ingredient in Paella and will give the rice a rich flavor and golden color.

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When the rice has been cooking for 20 minutes, begin adding the other ingredients, one at a time.  First the Andouille sausage, followed by the mushrooms.

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Next comes the zucchini, onion, pepper, and chicken.  As the vegetables release their liquid it will be absorbed by the rice.

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The shrimp goes in last as it only takes a few minutes to cook.  Finish with a pat of butter and toss well.  Don’t forget to pull out the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

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Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with scallions and more paprika.  This memorable dinner will be a hit with the whole family.  Thanks for stopping by today!

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Posted in Comfort Food, Skillet Dinners, Under an hour | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Homemade Hamburger Sandwich Buns

For your next cookout, showcase your burger creations with Homemade Hamburger Sandwich Buns.  The enriched dough bakes up into a soft bun that is so much healthier and better tasting than store bought!  Learn how to make them here.  Mix up the dough the night before and bake in the morning!  Never buy store buns again!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fully active sourdough starter
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup bread flour
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • …………………………………………………….
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup rye flour
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  • …………………………………………………….
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or 2 tbsp. buttermilk powder + 1/2 cup water)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • …………………………………………………….
  • canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • sesame seeds
  • poppy seeds

Powdered buttermilk is great to have on hand for baking.  I always keep it in the pantry (refrigerated) for my enriched breads.

Preparation:

Stir together the starter, honey, 1/4 cup bread flour and 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 1 – 1/2 hours.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-005A Break an egg into the starter mixture.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-009A Whisk together thoroughly.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-011A Whisk together the remaining dry ingredients; flour, salt and instant yeast.  In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and water.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-013A With the dough hook attachment, alternately add the flour mixture and the liquid on low speed until incorporated.  Increase the speed and knead for 5 minutes to form a soft, supple dough.  The dough will form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-014A Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-020A The next morning, take the dough out and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-021A Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.  I weighed mine to be about 2.75 oz. each, but you can eyeball it!

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-024A Working with one piece at a time, flatten the dough with the palm of your hand and do a letter fold.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-026ARotate and fold over again.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-027ANow roll the dough in the palm of your hand to form a tight ball.  Set the shaped rolls on a baking sheet or use a bun pan.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-030AThis pan from USA Pans is perfect for making sandwich buns!

Cover with plastic wrap for a second rise, about 1-1/4 hours.  The buns will expand to almost fill the cups.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-034A Preheat the oven to 350º.  Brush the buns with a well beaten egg, and sprinkle with poppy and sesame seeds.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-037A I have one bun pan, so I baked in 2 batches.  The second batch were proofed on a baking sheet and then transferred to the bun pan for baking.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-042A Remove the buns from the pan immediately and cool on a rack.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-044A The buns freeze well, I wrap them individually in plastic wrap then place in a freezer bag so we always have them ready for lunches or burgers on the grill.

Hamburger-Buns-The-Extruded-Noodle-046A Soft enough to bite into, but sturdy enough to hold a big juicy burger with all your favorite toppings!

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Banana Bread

Banana Bread, simple and satisfying.  Even the pickiest of eaters will love this quick bread.  It is extra moist and flavorful thanks to the addition of Greek yogurt!  I used Oikos banana cream Greek yogurt, but if you can’t find it vanilla would be a good substitute.

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Ingredients:

  • 2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium ripe banana, well mashed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 1 container (5.3 oz.) banana cream Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) softened butter at room temperature
  • cooking spray

I usually bake my quick breads in a Pate Terrine.  It has a cast iron bottom and enamel interior that make it superb for baking.  You can use any tea loaf or Pullman style loaf pan measuring about 13″ x 4.5″.  I love the presentation of a long slender loaf!  For a typical 8″ quick bread, just increase the baking time to an hour.  Use what you have and enjoy!

 

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350º.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  Add the eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on low to break up the yolks.  Add the mashed banana and whisk 30 seconds.  Next add the vanilla, milk, oil, and yogurt and whisk until smooth.  Incorporate all of the brown and white sugar, and finally the softened butter (make sure the butter is soft and at room temperature, not hot or melted).  It is fine if you see small pieces of butter floating in the batter.

Now switch to the beater attachment.  Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix just until the batter is incorporated.  Don’t over-mix.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

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Mist the loaf pan with cooking spray.  Distribute the batter evenly and use the spatula to smooth out the top.  Bake for 50-55 minutes, begin testing with a toothpick at 50 minutes.

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Mine was done at 53 minutes.  The top should be moist and golden like this.

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Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

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Enjoy with company, or for lunches, breakfast and snacks.  You are ready for anything!

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You should get about 16 slices 3/4″ thick.  Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature 2-3 days.  For long term storage wrap individual portions in plastic wrap and freeze in a zip top bag.  If your house is like ours, you won’t need to worry about leftovers!

 

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Braised Beef Short Ribs

I had a day off this week, so I made hubby one of his favorite slow cooked meals, Braised Beef Short Ribs.  The ribs were marinated in red wine with shallots and fresh herbs, then slowly simmered until the meat was tender and falling off the bone.  I served them over creamy whipped potatoes, with a side of oven roasted carrots.

2 Servings

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large beef short ribs
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary and chives
  • salt and black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 cups stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
  • 2 tsp. Wondra flour
  • 1 pat of butter

Preparation:

Combine the wine, shallots, and herbs in a baking dish with a cover.  Add the short ribs and season with fresh ground pepper.  Cover and marinate the short ribs for 6-8 hours, turning every 2 hours.

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About 3 hours before dinner, pour the marinade into a sauce pan and keep warm.  Sear the ribs in a deep heavy skillet with 2 tbsp. olive oil.  You can also use a Dutch oven, or other heavy pan with a cover.

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Remove the ribs, and add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic with 1 tbsp. more olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.  Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Take the skillet off the heat and pour in the reserved marinade.  Deglaze the pan, then add the vegetable stock, honey and ketchup.  Return the short ribs, cover and turn the heat down to the lowest setting.  You want a constant slow simmer.

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Friends, this is one of those kitchen gadgets you didn’t know you needed until you have one, it’s a simmer mat.  It will prevent hot spots, maintain that low steady simmer, and keep your rice and delicate sauces from burning.  It is perfect for recipes like this one, where braising is done on the stove top.

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Look!  After 3 hours of gentle heat, the meat is melt in your mouth tender and pulling away from the bone.

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The skillet liquid is full of rich flavor.  Strain some of it into a sauce pan and whisk in 1 tbsp. Wondra flour.  Cook over low heat until slightly thickened, whisking frequently. Finish with a pat of butter.

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I made individual serving bowls, and set each short rib over whipped potatoes, with a drizzle of the pan sauce.  Oven roasted carrots were the perfect accompaniment.  The garnish of fresh chives and parsley adds a pop of color and freshness.

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Needless to say, Mr. Extruded Noodle was very happy with his dinner and I’m so glad I had some time off to make it for him.  This was a nice end to the day and a delicious dinner for two.  If you like comfort food as much as we do see more great recipes here..

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Orange Mojitos

What adult beverage goes with hot summer nights and dinner on the grill?  Mojitos!  They are so refreshing, and orange is my favorite variation of this classic drink.  I keep frozen orange juice cubes on hand so we have them ready when the mood strikes!  This recipe is for an individual serving so you can make one or several.

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Fresh mint is an essential flavor component of this drink.  I have some in my container garden, it is prolific and will come back year after year.

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Ingredients (per serving):

  • 3 slices of orange
  • 3 slices of lime
  • 1 tsp. powdered sugar
  • 3 orange juice cubes
  • 3/4 oz. rum
  • 3/4 oz. Triple Sec
  • Sprite
  • fresh sprigs of mint and mint leaves

Preparation:

Place 1 tsp. of powdered sugar in each glass.  Add several mint leaves with the rum and Triple Sec.  Gently crush the mint leaves with a spoon, or use a pestle to bring out the flavor.  Add the lime and orange slices with 3 orange juice cubes.

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Top off with Sprite and garnish with an orange slice and a sprig of mint.  Refrigerate if not serving immediately.

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This is a very refreshing drink.  Don’t skip the mint, it really makes it special.  You will breathe in the flavor before you even taste it.

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Cheers!

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I think bananas and chocolate are just wonderful together!  In this recipe I used a ripe banana plus a scoop of banana cream yogurt with bittersweet chocolate chips!  Oh my!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. white sugaar
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 small banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup banana yogurt
  • 1 cup whole grain flour (I used a blend of freshly milled wheat, millet and sorghum)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • cooking spray

Preparation:

Combine the first 10 ingredients, through yogurt and whisk thoroughly to break down the mashed banana.

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Next, whisk or sift the dry ingredients together (flours, salt, baking powder).  Fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.  Don’t over mix.

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Fold in the chocolate chips, scraping the sides of the bowl just until any remaining flour is moistened.

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Preheat the oven to 400º.  Mist a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray.  Spoon in the batter, about 1/3 cup each.

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Bake for 18-19 minutes.  Test with a toothpick.

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They are perfect!  Cool on a rack or bring them right to the table while they are still warm.

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Serve with butter, jam or enjoy as is.  They are a real treat for breakfast, lunch or snacks.  You can’t have enough muffin recipes, see more here!

 

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Western Omelette Eggs in the Hole Recipe

Here is my rendition of this viral recipe that is all over Facebook and Pinterest.  It’s turning up on restaurant and diner menus everywhere we go.  No wonder, it is a delicious breakfast with a beautiful presentation.  To make it extra special, I used thick slices of my homemade Tartine Country Loaf.  Mr. Extruded Noodle said it was so good that it didn’t even need ketchup, now that is the ultimate compliment!

Serves 2 (or 1 if very hungry)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup ham steak, diced
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large egg (1/4 cup)
  • 2 tbsp. egg whites
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • seasoning (I used a salt, pepper and garlic blend)
  • 2 thick slices of bread
  • 3 tbsp. grated parmesan

Preparation:

Chop the ham and vegetables into small uniform dice, about 1/2″.  Season to taste.

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Add olive oil to a large skillet and cook the ham and vegetables.  Stir frequently as the vegetables release their liquid.  You want all of the liquid to evaporate, and the veggies to get a little browned like this.

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Remove the vegetables and add butter to the skillet.  Whisk the egg, whites and milk together and season to taste.  Cut out the center of the bread.

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Add the outside of the bread to the skillet.  Spoon the ham and vegetable mixture into the center.

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Now carefully pour the beaten eggs into the center and sprinkle with grated cheese.  If the eggs trickle underneath the bread and out the sides, use a spatula to trim and scoop the eggs back onto the veggie mixture.  This happened to me and it turned out fine.  When the eggs are set (2-3 minutes), take the center of the bread and place on top.

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Carefully flip the omelettes over to cook 3 minutes on the other side.  I used 2 pancake spatulas to hold the omelettes together while turning.

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This was a breakfast fit for a king!  Mr. Extruded Noodle loved it so much that I will be adding the recipe to our breakfast rotation.

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Kabobs Deconstructed

Summer days are here and that means dinner on the grill!  Kabobs are one of my favorite grill meals, but sometimes when I get home from work I just want to do something quick.  Threading meat and veggies onto skewers is great, but it does take time.  So here is an easy dinner with all the flavor components of a great kabob minus that extra step.  Also I got to try out my latest grilling accessory, reusable grill mats.  I love them!  They are nonstick, easy to clean up and reasonably priced too.  If you prep everything ahead of time, you can have dinner ready in under 30 minutes.  Now that is a very good thing after a long day at work.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sirloin tips, cut into cubes
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pack button mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into 1-1/2″ pieces
  • olive oil
  • steak seasoning, such as McCormick’s Montreal Steak

Preparation: Heat the grill to medium while you prep the meat and vegetables.  Try to cut everything to about the same size for even cooking.  My mushrooms were small so I left them whole, but if you have larger mushrooms then cut them in half.  Keep each ingredient separate (some take longer to cook than others), and toss each one with just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of steak seasoning.  There are many to choose from, but I am partial to McCormick’s Montreal Steak seasoning.  They have a 25% less sodium version which I really appreciate as I know we should be watching our salt (hehe).

When you are ready to begin, lay the grill mats across the grill, or use foil misted with cooking spray.  Give the cauliflower a 10 minute head start, as it will take the longest to cook.  Next add the onions and cook an additional 5 minutes.  Be sure to turn the vegetables every few minutes with tongs or a spatula.  Add the beef and mushrooms last.

Kabobs-Deconstructed-The-Extruded-Noodle-001a You can see where the cauliflower is developing a nice char, keep turning it so that it doesn’t burn.

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The beef will be cooked to medium in about 3 minutes per side.  You can increase or decrease the cooking time to your taste preference, we like it pink in the middle.  There you are, Kabobs Deconstructed!

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Transfer everything to a serving platter and bring to the table.  One thing about grilling outdoors, sometimes the food gets cold very quickly once you take it off the heat.  I like to pop my serving platter in the microwave for a minute before putting the food on it, it helps to keep everything warm for a few minutes longer.

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There you are, dinner is served and let me tell you, this was so good!  Now I know some of you are thinking wait, where are the carbs?  Worry not!  I served ours with a side of brown and wild rice, it just didn’t make the photo shoot.  You could also add some baby potatoes to the mix, give them a little head start in the microwave then finish them on the grill.  Please try the recipe and make it your own.  Let me know what you think!

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Posted in #dashdiet, 30 Minutes or Less, Dash Diet Friendly, For the Grill, Low Carb, Under an hour | Leave a comment

Chicken, Sausage and Rice Casserole

Chicken drumsticks and Italian sausage come together with other pantry staples to make a flavorful one dish meal.  I made this casserole last weekend and it got rave reviews!  It’s easy and economical.  The skillet goes from stove top, to oven to table for casual dining and easy cleanup.

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4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup long grain brown and wild rice
  • 3-1/2 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 5-6 chicken drumsticks
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 lb. Italian sausage, cut into thin coins
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2″ coins
  • sausage seasoning (The Spice House makes a good one)
  • 1/4 cup half and half, or milk
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

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Preparation:

Long grain brown rice takes about 50 minutes to cook, so start the rice first.  Simmer 1/2 cup rice in 1-1/2 cups chicken broth.  While the rice cooks, start the chicken.  I used a deep, cast iron skillet that can go from stove top to oven.  First brown the chicken on all sides in a little olive oil.  Then add 1/2 cup chicken broth, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

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Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate, remove meat from the bones and season.

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Drain all fat and liquid from the pan, add more olive oil and begin browning the sausage.  Add the onions and carrots and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season the vegetables.

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Add the rice.  It should be nearly cooked.

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Add back the chicken, 1-1/2 cups chicken broth, and 1/4 cup half and half or milk.  Stir well.

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Top it off with breadcrumbs and grated cheese.  Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350º.

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The liquid will bubble and thicken to create a nice sauce.  I like to finish it off under the broiler, 3 minutes on low.  Watch that it doesn’t burn.

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Mr. Extruded Noodle likes that crispy topping!  Let it rest a few minutes to set up, and bring it right to the table in the skillet.  Easy cleanup too!

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Yum!  Everyone wanted seconds!  I got an A+ for my efforts in this meal but you can see how easy it really is.  Be sure to pin this one and give it a try.

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Traditional Chicken Parmigiana

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight?  You can’t go wrong with Traditional Chicken Parmigiana.  It’s the classic dish that will please everyone in the family!  Chicken is my go to for Parmigiana, but veal or eggplant are equally popular, and good!

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • olive oil
  • your favorite marinara sauce
  • shredded cheese (Parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar)

6 Servings.  You can easily double or triple the recipe.

Preparation:  Open up each chicken breast and cut in half.  Place each half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to under 1/2″ thickness with the flat side of a meat mallet.  For a shortcut, you can buy chicken cutlets that have already been cut to size.  They are a little more expensive but you will save some time.

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Set up three breading trays (or shallow bowls) with the flour, beaten eggs and a combination of Panko and seasoned Italian breadcrumbs.

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Dredge each cutlet in the flour, shake off the excess.  Next dip it in the egg, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture.  Repeat with all of the cutlets.

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Heat a large skillet with olive oil, use enough to coat the bottom of the pan.  Don’t crowd the pan, add a few cutlets at a time and cook 5 minutes per side, or until they are nicely browned.  Add a little more olive oil as needed.  Repeat with the remaining cutlets.

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Place the cutlets in a rectangular baking dish or baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Heat the oven to 350°.  Spoon marinara sauce over the cutlets.

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Top with cheese and bake for an additional 20 minutes until the cheese is melted.

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Dinner is served and it is going to be delicious!  Serve it up with a nice salad and your favorite pasta.

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Leftovers can be served warm or cold.  I love to make extra for lunch sandwiches.  Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope you have enjoyed this old classic!

 

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Grilled Beef Kabobs

Summer has finally arrived in RI and we are celebrating with dinner on the grill!  Beef kabobs, skewers of beef with mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper and sweet onions are brushed with seasoned olive oil and grilled for a simple, satisfying meal.

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Summer also means the Farmer’s Markets are open!  We are fortunate to live in an area where there are many local farms, and we support them as much as possible by purchasing locally raised beef and vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. beef sirloin tips
  • 16 button mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. reduced sodium steak seasoning
  • skewers
  • cooking spray

Note: If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water at least 1 hour before cooking.  I am using flat metal skewers that are easier to handle on the grill.

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Preparation:  Cut the beef into uniform chunks 1-1/2″ in size.  Chop the zucchini, bell pepper and onion into 1-1/2″ pieces.  Cut mushrooms in half or leave the smaller ones whole, they will shrink on the grill.  Thread the kabobs onto the skewers, alternating the meat and vegetables. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning.

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Heat the grill on medium.  Bring tongs, spatula and oven mitts.

Carefully coat the grates with cooking spray, watch for flare-ups.  Lay the skewers on the grill leaving plenty of space in between.

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Grill with the lid closed and turn the kabobs several times during cooking.  Meanwhile, get your side dishes ready.

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Grill for 8-12 minutes, depending on how well done you like your beef.  About ten minutes total cook time for medium.

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The vegetables should have a nice char and the beef will be pink in the middle.

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Easy, delicious and on the table in under 30 minutes.  Perfect for your week night menu!

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Posted in 30 Minutes or Less, Dash Diet Friendly, Eat your Vegetables, Farmers Market Favorites, For the Grill, Low Carb | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Whole Roast Chicken

Everyone loves a traditional roast chicken dinner.  Roasting a whole chicken is easy and makes a beautiful presentation.  Read about how to prepare a bird that is crisp on the outside, moist and juicy on the inside.  Lemon, garlic and fresh herbs star in this family favorite.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 pound roasting chicken
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 lemons
  • several sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion

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Preparation:

Wash and dry the lemons and herbs.  Peel the garlic cloves and slowly warm them in the olive oil over lowest possible heat.  A simmer mat is great for this application.  Turn them every 10 minutes.

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Leave the butter standing at room temperature until softened.  Chop half of the rosemary and thyme and add to the butter.  Zest both lemons and add the zest to the butter.

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Remove the giblets packet from the chicken.  Rinse the chicken, inside and out and pat dry.

Whole-Roast-Chicken-The-Extruded-Noodle-040Mist a large roasting pan with cooking spray and set the chicken breast side up.  Now cut the lemons in half and fit as many pieces as you can into the cavity of the chicken, along with the garlic cloves and remaining rosemary and thyme sprigs.

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Rub the butter mixture all over the chicken, be sure to coat the wings and legs.  Preheat the oven to 425º.

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Tie the legs together.  Quarter the onion and tuck slices under the chicken, along with any extra slices of lemon.

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Roast uncovered for 1-1/2 hours, or until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165º.

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The skin should be nicely browned.  Let it rest 10 minutes before carving.

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Can you see how moist the meat is?  We had a great dinner, with leftovers for another meal and sandwiches for lunch.  The remnants went into the crock-pot for soup.

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Not only was this a wonderful dinner, but you can see what a value the chicken was!  Many meals, nothing wasted.

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So now you know the secret.  A layer of fat on the outside and moist fragrant lemons on the inside makes the juiciest chicken ever.  Please do try it!

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Posted in Chicken, Chicken Dinner, Comfort Food, Gluten Free | Tagged | 2 Comments

Oven Fries

I rarely make fried food at home.  I love it, but it doesn’t love me!  Still, what goes better with a sandwich than fries?  Here is an oven baked version that you will love just as much, and I promise you won’t miss the fat!  Roasted on very high heat, with just a tiny bit of oil and sprinkle of cornmeal for a nice crunch.  They are easy to make and ready in under 30 minutes.  I baked my Oven Fries in a stoneware bar pan, which is ideal for this preparation.  Don’t crowd the pan, if you are doubling the recipe make 2 batches.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large russet potato
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning (I like Emeril’s)
  • 1 tsp. corn meal
  • cooking spray

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 500º.  Wash and dry the potato, and cut into thin strips no more than 1/2″ wide.  I left the skins on.  Place them in a large bowl and toss well with the olive oil, corn meal and seasoning.  Mist the pan with cooking spray and spread the fries in a single layer, try not to let them touch.

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Bake for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes to brown all sides.

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Test with a fork, and bake a few more minutes if needed.

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There you are.  Everyone loves fries and here is a healthier version that you can feel good about.  Don’t they look delicious?

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