Monday, March 28, 2016

Chocolate Oatmeal Hazelnut Cookies

While I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like, I’m particularly fond of cookies with a good chew factor that don’t crumble to tiny bits when you take a bite. Make a batch of these bad boys the next time you’re craving something chewy, chocolatey and nutty.

Chocolate Oatmeal Hazelnut Cookies 
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups hazelnuts

Place oven racks in upper third of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Toast hazelnuts in a cookie sheet until fragrant, 5-6 minutes. Let hazelnuts cool and then coarsely chop them.

Combine butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large bowl, beating with electric mixer until fluffy before adding eggs, beating to mix thoroughly. Add oats, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt, mixing on low speed until blended. Add chopped hazelnuts and mix until incorporated. Drop batter by the tablespoon about 1-1½ inches apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes -- cookies should appear done but will still be soft. Remove cookie sheets from oven, letting cookies stand for 2-3 minutes before moving them to cooking racks.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Make-Fast Mondays: Bratwurst with Beans and Greens

I’ve been firing up the oven a lot lately, the direct result of a long string of gloomy, rainy days (but please keep it coming, El Niño). Chase the gray away by making this delicious, cozy, quick meal!

Bratwurst with Beans and Greens 
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
12 ounces bratwurst or smoked sausage, sliced (I used Saag’s Natural Chicken Bratwurst)
3 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups diced tomatoes (from two cans; you’ll have a little bit extra)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups chopped greens (I used a mix of kale and spinach)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet or other oven-proof pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add sausage and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, smoked paprika, thyme and pepper flakes. Cook for another 3-3 minutes so everything’s nice and warm. Remove skillet from heat and stir in the greens. Season with salt and pepper, then put skillet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Make-Fast Mondays: Chicken with Chickpeas and Artichoke Hearts

Want to make something zippy and zesty in just a matter of minutes? Here you go!

Chicken with Chickpeas and Artichoke Hearts 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over moderate heat. Add chicken, garlic and oregano and cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and add artichoke hearts, chickpeas and lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is nice and warm, about 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Rosemary Potato and Chicken Pizza

There’s a Sacramento restaurant, Paesanos, that used to serve a phenomenal Patata y Pollo pizza covered with roast chicken, potatoes, herbs and cheese. This pizza was so good my friend Lucy called the restaurant in hopes of getting the recipe, (unsuccessfully) spinning a tale that her (nonexistent) child had food allergies and that she needed to know all the ingredients so she could make sure it was safe for her fake kid to eat.

I haven’t visited this restaurant in years (and don’t think the Patata y Pollo has been on their menu for a while), but I still crave that pizza. Not sure if my attempt to recreate this pizza is a perfect match, but it is still sooooo good.

Rosemary Potato and Chicken Pizza 
8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced thin (use a mandoline for super thin slices)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
1 chicken bouillon cube, smashed
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons water
Pizza dough (I use one 16-ounce ball of Trader Joe’s dough)
Flour and cornmeal (for prepping the pizza dough)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 ounces goat cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss potatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon rosemary in a bowl. Arrange potato slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until golden and tender, about 18-20 minutes.

While potatoes are in the oven, warm the remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for a minute, until fragrant. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink. Add bouillon, wine and water to the frying pan and cook for a couple minutes, until chicken is completely cooked and sauce has thickened.

Roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface and transfer to a cornmeal-dusted pizza pan. Brush dough with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining rosemary. Top dough with potatoes, chicken, goat cheese and mozzarella and bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust and mozzarella are golden.