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Pasta al Pomodoro

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You know it is Lent when fast-food restaurants start advertising fish sandwiches. Somehow Lent showed-up even though I am completely unprepared. What are my Lenten disciplines for this year? Giving up cursing, preaching without a script and no meat on Fridays. They may not seem hard to you but trust me, they are to me.

Trying not to curse and preaching without a script are new this year but I follow the Lenten discipline of meatless Fridays every year. We have a pretty carnivorous household so it can get creative. Even if you aren’t practicing this discipline I recommend this recipe. My husband LOVES pasta and I’ll devour anything with garlic. It was featured in Bon Apetit back in May of last year. I’ve altered the recipe a little to make it easier for weeknight dinners or just lazy cooks like myself.

Pasta al Pomodoro

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 large fresh basil sprigs (it’s the middle of winter and my basil went south a long time ago so I used dried, just put it in when you salt the sauce)
  • 12 oz. spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp. cubed unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino

Heat olive oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-low heat. Add minced onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-4 minutes. Increase heat to medium, add tomatoes and season lightly with kosher salt (if you are using dried basil throw it in now); cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in basil sprigs, and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil. Season with salt; add spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.

Discard basil and heat skillet over high heat. Stir in reserved pasta water to loosen sauce; bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add butter and cheese; toss until cheese melts.

Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/05/pasta-al-pomodoro#ixzz1nPbWwybN

Lemon Garlic Potatoes

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I grew up in a household where potatoes were a staple dinner item. There was always a meat, a potato, a vegetable and salad. Hey, it’s the Midwest. I still have that in the recesses of my brain somewhere… it just isn’t dinner if there isn’t a potato! These potatoes are some of my favorites. They’re easy and delicious. Come on, anything swimming in garlic, butter and lemon is amazing. That’s why I love escargot.

Now, the fancy way to make these is to use those cute little baby potatoes. If I’m making them just for us I use whatever potatoes I have on hand. That’s either red or white (I don’t believe in russets because I have to peel them). Besides, you’re supposed to leave the peels on because that is the healthy part. So, there. I’m not lazy, I’m health conscious.

Lemon Garlic Potatoes

Ingredients:
1 ½ pounds potatoes, chopped
½ cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons garlic, minced (I usually use 2 or 3 cloves)
1 teaspoons salt
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place potatoes in an 8” x 8” baking dish. In a small bowl combine butter, garlic, salt and lemon juice. Pour over potatoes and stir to coat. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over potatoes. Bake covered, 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes.

Crockpot Chicken

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There’s a recipe going around the internet for “engagement chicken.” It appears to be a pretty delicious roasted chicken. I love roast chicken and how I roast my chickens is very similar to this recipe. I believe the rumored story behind this chicken recipe is that if you are dating and make this chicken you will quickly be engaged. Personally, I find hunting men via their digestive systems a little distasteful but if that is your thing, rock on. I’m not here to judge and like I said, the recipe looks delightful. However, if you don’t want to spend the time to roast a chicken or (like me) you hate carving chickens then put your chicken in the Crockpot.

A few notes: If you like the crispy skin of a roasted chicken (and who doesn’t) you won’t get it with this recipe. Crockpot chicken makes very juicy, tender, fall-off-the-bone meat but it is in no way crispy. Usually, I would add veggies like carrots and celery to the mix but I’m saving the leftovers to make chicken salad. Also, do NOT stuff this chicken with citrus. That is a foolproof rule for roasting a chicken but not when you put it in the Crockpot. The flavor will overpower your chicken.

 Crockpot Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • salt & pepper
  • onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • poultry seasoning
  • juice of 1 lemon

I always line my Crockpot, but you don’t have to. Place chopped onion on bottom of Crockpot. Place chicken on onions. Season chicken liberally with salt, pepper, garlic, and poultry seasoning. Pour lemon juice over the chicken.

Cover the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours, undisturbed.