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  #16  
Old 04-25-2011, 06:12 AM
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Simply Roasted Chicken


It was another cold and rainy day so I decided to roast a chicken for dinner. There is something so comforting about roasted chicken and this one turned out perfect. I simply seasoned it with sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika before roasting it in the oven. It turned out moist, tender, and so delicious!


Simply Roasted Chicken:
Recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking.net
  • 1 5lb chicken
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Paprika, to taste
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.


Remove chicken giblets out of the cavity and rinse the chicken. Pat dry with paper towels then coat the chicken with olive oil cooking spray and season the entire bird with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, garlic powder, and paprika to taste.


Season the inside of the cavity with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, garlic powder, and paprika to taste then place the onion, garlic cloves, and parsley into the cavity. Place the bird on a roasting rack in a roasting pan.


Place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. Place the chicken into the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours or until the temperature reaches 180 degrees. Remove the chicken from the oven and let the bird rest with a tin foil tent for at least 10 minutes before carving. Enjoy.



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  #17  
Old 04-25-2011, 06:13 AM
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Parmesan Roasted Asparagus Topped with a Poached Egg


I just love eggs with asparagus lately and I can't seem to get enough of the combination. I made this recipe for lunch this week to use up the last few spears of asparagus that I had in the refrigerator. I simply seasoned the asparagus with olive oil cooking spray, sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, then topped it with some shaved Parmesan. I roasted the asparagus in the oven until it was fork tender then put a poached egg on top. This lunch was quick, easy, healthy, and it tasted fantastic. I am looking forward to making this again... SOON.

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus Topped with a Poached Egg:
Recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking.net
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 5 spears of asparagus
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved or shredded
  • 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray then add the asparagus. Spray the asparagus with a touch of olive oil cooking spray then season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Sprinkle the top of the asparagus with Parmesan cheese then place into the oven and roast for 5-7 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from the oven and place onto a serving plate.


While the asparagus is roasting, add water to a pan, filling it two thirds full; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Coat a poaching cup (or custard cup) with cooking spray then place in the water. Break the egg into the cup then cover the pan with a lid and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the whites are firm but the yolk is soft.




Place the poached egg on top of the Parmesan roasted asparagus then season the egg with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Serve immediately. Enjoy.


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  #18  
Old 04-25-2011, 06:13 AM
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Vegetable, White Bean, and Orzo Soup


I had a busy day and didn't have a lot of time to make dinner so I decided to use up what I had on hand and make a big pot of soup. I found carrots, zucchini, squash, spinach, and onion in the refrigerator (and luckily my neighbor had some celery I could have - thanks Cheryl!). I found some white beans and orzo in the cupboard and decided to throw them in the soup too. It was quick and super easy to make and tasted fantastic. I served my soup with feta cheese sprinkled on top but my kids preferred it without cheese.

Vegetable, White Bean, and Orzo Soup:
Recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking.net
  • 1-2 tsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 15 oz can of cannellini beans, drained
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup of zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup of yellow squash, diced
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • Feta cheese, garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, dried basil, and oregano. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes; add the minced garlic and cook for one more minute, stirring constantly. Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, and sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste then cover with a lid and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Add orzo and cook for 8 minutes then add the zucchini, yellow squash, and spinach. Taste and re-season if needed. Cook for 2 minutes then ladle into bowls. Top each bowl of soup with feta cheese and serve immediately. Enjoy.



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  #19  
Old 04-25-2011, 06:14 AM
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Crusty Italian Bread


I wanted to make a loaf of bread to serve with the Beef and Mushroom Ragu over Rigatoni. I decided to try a different recipe other than my French bread. I found this recipe online at Allrecipes and when I saw all of the great reviews for this Italian bread, I was excited to give it a try. I halved the recipe because I only wanted one loaf. It turned out absolutely delicious and paired nicely with the rigatoni and a green salad.

Crusty Italian Bread:
Adapted recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking.net
Original recipe by Allrecipes
  • 2/3 cup of warm water
  • 3/4 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 1/8 tsp yeast
  • Cornmeal
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp water

Place the water,olive oil, salt, brown sugar, flour, and yeast into a bread machine pan in that order. Turn the bread machine to the dough setting and push start.


Once the dough cycle has completed (mine lasts 1 1/2 hours). Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle then roll up jelly roll style and pinch the seam closed. Place the loaf onto a silpat mat that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover with a cloth and let rise, until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.



Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the egg with the water and beat until thoroughly mixed. Brush the egg mixture on the top of the loaf. Carefully slice a long single cut down the center of the loaf with a very sharp knife. Place the silpat mat onto a baking sheet.

Place into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.


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  #20  
Old 04-25-2011, 06:14 AM
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Beef and Mushroom Ragu over Rigatoni


We woke up to a dreary, cold, and rainy day which made me want comfort food. I had lean chuck roast to use up so I decided to make a ragu sauce with mushrooms. Ragu sauce is typically made with red wine but I didn't have any on hand and I didn't feel like going to the grocery store so I substituted beef broth. I cooked the sauce in the oven for 4 hours until the meat was shredded and tender. The sauce was so flavorful and delicious! I loved this dinner and so did the rest of my family.

Beef and Mushroom Ragu over Rigatoni:
Recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking.net
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 sweet yellow onion sliced into strips
  • 7-8 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 lbs of lean chuck roast, cubed and trimmed of most of the fat
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 28 oz can of whole plum tomatoes and juices, crushed by hand
  • 2 cup of beef broth
  • 10 oz of rigatoni, cooked per instructions
  • Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.



Heat 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic, mushrooms, crushed fennel seeds, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Cook, mixing often, for 2-3 minutes. Remove the mixture from the Dutch oven and set aside. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the Dutch oven. Once it is HOT add the cubed beef; season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Add the mushroom and onion mixture back into the Dutch oven. Add the tomatoes, crushing them by hand, and their juices; add the beef broth and stir the mixture. Cover with a lid and place into the oven for 4 hours or until the beef is tender and shredded. Taste the sauce and re-season if necessary.


Cook the rigatoni per instructions making sure to season the water well with sea salt. Drain and place into a serving dish. Spoon the ragu over the top and finish with a bit of Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. Enjoy.


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