Basque Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet Bell Peppers

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Chicken gets a Spanish spin, thanks to a sprinkling of smoked paprika and splash of sherry vinegar in this easy gluten-free dinner. You can roast the chicken and peppers on a sheet pan or a cast iron skillet, and either method will make for an easy clean up in the kitchen.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
8 oz mini sweet peppers, halved and seeded
1 small red onion, cut into thin wedges
2 pounds small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
¼ cup smoked ham, diced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
¼ cup chopped parsley

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. To a large bowl, add the oil, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the peppers, onion, chicken, and ham and toss to coat.

Arrange on a large parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (or 2 smaller baking sheets) in a single layer with chicken skin-sides up. Alternatively, you can also use a 12-inch cast iron to roast the chicken and peppers. Bake 30–35 min., until chicken is cooked through.

When the chicken is done remove from the oven. To serve family style, transfer the chicken and peppers to a platter and drizzle with vinegar and  garnish with a sprinkle with parsley.

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Taiwanese Pork Chops and Broccoli

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When you don’t have a lot of time to spare in the kitchen, this dish can come together in minutes. It is perfect to add to your weekly meal rotation. What I like about this recipe is that there aren’t a ton of ingredients, I liked how the cornstarch created a delicious glaze on the chops, and the sauce was simple and super tasty. If you wanted to riff on the recipe, I think you could do definitely do this with chicken thighs or even steak as a change up.

Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients:
4 cloves garlic
7 scallions
1 pound pork loin, boneless center-cut chops
7 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons extra-light olive oil
3 large broccoli crowns
2-3 tablespoons sweet Thai chili sauce

Directions:
Mince the garlic and scallions; set them aside on a plate.

Cut the pork to about 1/4-inch thickness. Pound thin with a mallet on both sides. To a medium bowl add 4 tablespoons of the soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the pork to the marinade and stir to thoroughly coat the meat. Cover and allow the pork to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add each pork piece in a single layer, keeping them separated. Allow the pork to cook for 2 minutes, until lightly browned, then flip over. Add garlic and scallions, and the remaining 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover with a lid for an additional minute, then turn the heat off.

Meanwhile, chop the broccoli into large spears. Remove the pork from the skillet, keeping all the leftover juices in the pan. Turn the stove back on high and stir fry the broccoli in the pork drippings, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Cover for 1 minute.

Transfer the broccoli to a serving platter.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce to the skillet.  Add the pork chops and coat with sauce, allowing the sauce to caramelize the meat, for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

To serve, plate the broccoli and add the cooked pork on top, and enjoy with rice or a steamed scallion bun.

 

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Shrimp Scampi Florentine Pasta

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The classic Florentine preparation places the main ingredient on a bed of buttery spinach, topped with sauce and cheese and browned under the broiler. We’ve replicated the basic idea, giving you all those rich and cheesy flavors, but with less effort than a full-on Florentine. We’ve even improved it, with a bit of heat from the red pepper flakes. Tip: An easier way to mince parsley? Gather them all in one hand and lay on the cutting board. Use your knife in rocking motion to cut, then turn 90 degrees and repeat until the herbs are properly minced!

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS:

5  ounces spaghetti pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound 16-20 count shrimp, peeled and deviened
1 shallot, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 ounces  baby spinach, roughly chopped
¼  bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, minced
2 teaspoons mirepoix base or vegetable
¼ cup light cream
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Bring 3 1/2 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a medium pot. Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta in a colander and set aside. While pasta boils, cook shrimp.

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, until oil is shimmering. Working in batches if necessary, add shrimp to the skillet n and cook undisturbed until seared on one side, 1-2 minutes. Flip shrimp, and add shallot and garlic. Cook until aromatic, 30-60 seconds.

Lower heat to medium. Add the parsley and spinach to the skillet and stir occasionally until spinach is wilted. Add the shrimp and stir to cook until the shrimp is opaque and pink when it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145ºF, 2-3 minutes. Stir in cream, Parmesan, half the pasta cooking water, mirepoix base, and pasta. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Once simmering, cook until sauce is slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. If too dry, add additional pasta cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Remove the skillet from the heat and season with salt and  crushed red pepper flakes, to taste.

To serve divide, the shrimp Florentine between two plates and garnish the pasta with parsley.

 Bon appétit!

Cook’s Notes:

Many chefs consider mirepoix to be the key ingredient for adding that extra umph to a dish. It’s the secret sauce; the essential ingredient; the reason your food tastes so good. Mirepoix plays an important role in flavoring soups, stews, casseroles, braised meats, and marinades.358 (1)

You can find mirepoix soup bases in the soup aisle of your local supermarket. If that is not the case you buy it online at speciality gourmet shops. Click here for the link.

To learn how to make your own mirepoix base, just click here for the link to a great teaching video.

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All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!