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Friday, August 29, 2014

Dutch Oven Chicken in Mustard Marsala Cream Sauce

I was generously gifted a Le Creuset Dutch Oven last year, but have only used it a few times. The Dutch Oven can be used similarly to crock-pot, slowly cooking meals in one vessel for optimal efficiency and ease. Using a whole chicken as the main ingredient, I started by heating the pot with olive oil over high heat to sear both sides of the chicken, creating a crispy skin and sealing in moisture. Then, I tossed in cubed yukon gold potatoes, sliced onion, whole garlic cloves and fresh chives. I then created a sauce to pour over my ingredients. Unfortunately, I did not measure my ingredients but I can tell you that a generous amount of marsala cooking wine, mustard, horseradish, honey, sour cream, butter, salt, pepper and a touch of red wine vinegar went into the sauce. Covering the pot, I reduced heat to low and cooked roughly 1 1/2 hours until chicken was cooked through and potatoes softened. I poured the finished product over Israeli couscous to soak up the delicious sauce. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Be'wiched Deli

Be'witched Deli on 800 Washington Avenue North in Minneapolis is home to one of my favorite sandwiches, the "Asparagus". This unique sandwich is composed of formage blanc, piperade, blanched asparagus and black pepper glazed fennel on focaccia bread. The combination of soft airy bread, sweet vegetables, creamy cheese and crisp asparagus make this choice a winner. Piperade is a french side dish combining onion, green and red peppers and tomato. The black pepper glazed fennel adds an aromatic sweetness rounding out the sandwich. In addition to the sandwich, I ordered their spinach salad composed of candied pecans, smoked apple and brie cheese tossed in a light vinaigrette. The fresh salad was a nice accompaniment to the sandwich. 

Be'wiched deli is always bustling at the lunch hour with warehouse district worker bees. They also do quite a bit of catering to local businesses, and offer a bike delivery program! Why call Jimmy John's when you can have a gourmet Asparagus sandwich delivered to your desk?! Even if you don't work in the warehouse district, this joint is worth the visit! 

Click HERE to visit their website

Friday, August 22, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins

It's been a few months since my last blog posting due to the fact that I gave birth to my daughter, Celia Vera on June 24th. Mother's out there know, the first few months with a newborn are overwhelming. Finding the time to take a hot shower, let alone cooking and blogging can be a huge challenge. Only in the last week or so have I had the time/energy/ability to start cooking again. It's likely that Celia will announce herself with a gut-wrenching cry any moment now, but at least I have the determination to begin the process (even if it ends in burned muffins :0 ). My goal is to update my blog each Friday with a new recipe or restaurant review. Please check back weekly for the latest! 

I found a recipe in Health Magazine for banana oat muffins which I altered to bit adding chocolate chips, flax meal and oat bran in addition to the whole wheat flour. Please see link to the original recipe below, or follow my altered recipe as follows: 

Banana-Chocolate Chip-Oat Muffins 
(Makes about 16 muffins)

2 large ripe bananas, mashed
4 tbsp canola oil 
2 large eggs
1 cup milk 
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour 
1/3 cup flax flour 
1/3 cup oat bran
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp clove
1 tsp salt 
3 1/4 tsp baking powder  
1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Cooking spray 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine bananas through vanilla in large bowl, mixing well. In another large bowl, mix remaining dry ingredients. Slowly stir dry ingredients into wet banana mixture blending well. Spray muffin tin with cooking spay and fill each section to the rim. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned (as shown in photo above). 

Health Magazine recipe for Banana-Oat Muffins