"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cooking Slowly in Busy Holiday Season: Korean Short Ribs and Ina Garten's Famous Roasted Chicken

If you have children, and you celebrate Christmas - or any other holiday where kids get "presents" - you'll relate to this description: It's Christmas morning. The kids have opened up all their presents from Santa, Grandma/Grandpa, Mom and Dad, Uncles/Aunts, etc. Now, their next question is: Can we open these and play with them? They don't mean just one present, they mean ALL of them - now! Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. But, you get the point.

Actually, the point that I want to make here - at least - is that when I get a new cookbook or cooking magazine, I'm like a kid on Christmas morning. I often have a list of recipes that I want to try making. . . . now! That's what happened the past couple of days. I got a couple of cookbooks from the kids for my birthday. The books are awesome. If you love cooking, put them on your Christmas list.

I've read both of these cover-to-cover now, and marked a few recipes that I want to try. I've tried some yesterday and today.

Korean Short Ribs - Cooked Slowly

Yesterday was my sister Tanicha's last day with us for the Thanksgiving break - she flew back to college this morning. Since she's going back to dorm food, I made her something yummy before she left. I made the Korean Beef Short Ribs (slow roasted for 5+ hours) from the Cooking Slow book. Surprisingly, even the kids loved them. There were no left-overs. I also made the "One Pot Mac And Cheese" from the same book. That too was a big hit! 

My favorite thing about making these dishes was putting them in the oven (200ยบ) in the morning - and just let them do their thing until dinner. And, the other thing I love is the fact that I could make Mac and Cheese (which the kids love!) without all the fuss - doing a roux or boiling the noodles.

Ina Garten's Make It Ahead Roasted Chicken

Then, tonight is my Mommy's last day with us - after spending a week with us. So, as our "see you later" dinner, I made Ina Garten's famous Roasted Chicken - the one she always makes for her husband Jeffrey. She always raves that this is the best roasted chicken. And, to be honest, I was skeptical until I had it tonight.

I marinated the chicken last night - as suggested by Ina - I sealed it up and put it in the Fridge. I modified the meal a bit. Instead of using bread slices in the Cast Iron Skillet, I used root vegetables, which are a little lighter and healthier. I also prepared the vegetables last night - I cut them up and placed them in a Ziploc bag. When Patrick got home this afternoon, he did the actual cooking. Basically, all he had to do was put the vegetables in the skillet, brush olive oil on the chicken, and roast the chicken and veggies. While I was driving home (stuck in traffic), Patrick sent me a text with a note from my 8-year-old son who said the chicken smelled really good. That's from the aromas of fresh thyme, garlic, and lemons. Then, when I got home, all we had to do was cut up the chicken and eat up. I served that with leftover Mac and Cheese and a Caesar salad - with Ina's homemade Caesar dressing. The dressing was relatively easy - and I may not buy Caesar dressing in the store any more. Mom was happy!

We'll miss Nanna very much. But, I feel blessed she was able to come up to spend a few days with us. The kids especially loved having her around.

If you're looking for some great dishes to make for your family - while reducing the stress that comes with the holiday season - try one of these. I would especially recommend the roasted chicken. It's so easy to make, and absolutely delicious.  http://www.barefootcontessa.com/recipes.aspx?CookbookID=34

Here's hoping you have a great week ahead.  Until next time . . . Cheers!


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