Sunday, September 28, 2014

Veggie Tales


The day that reminds you just how many whiskey sours you drank last night (even though you SWORE you were going to stick to the less-caloric but infinitely more vile vodka-water-lime).

The day that reminds you just how often you mentally clocked out at 4 in the afternoon during the week...or 3:30 on Thursday and Friday.

The day that cooking magazines say you should set aside for lavish, multi-meat stews that simmer all day on the stovetop, drawing your attractive, loving and undoubtedly ethnic family from miles around to convene at your rustic wooden table for a beautiful dinner.

I'm calling bullshit.

Sorry Food and Wine, you know I love you, but ain't nobody got time for braciole when they're beating back an unprecedented hangover (or merely too preoccupied by the upcoming Bears-Packers game to work over an open flame).

Thusly, I present you a twofer: oven roasted broccoli and cinnamon-glazed baby carrots.

Both take less than 15 minutes to prep and don't require any weird ingredients. In fact, I will find it worrisome if you don't have all the ingredients for these recipes. They're healthy and extremely delicious, the broccoli especially--like what kale chips wish they could be when they grow up. And you can feel good about doing enough cooking to just make some plain pasta. Or, you know, order pizza.

Oven-roasted Broccoli

1 large head of broccoli, chopped into smaller florets
About 1/4 c. EVOO
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

2. Spread the broccoli florets evenly on a large baking sheet.

3. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat. Add kosher salt and pepper to taste.

4. Bake for about 15 minutes, then toss. Bake for another 5-10 minutes depending on how crunchy you like your broccoli. Serve immediately.

Cinnamon-glazed Baby Carrots

1 lb. baby carrots
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1-2 tbs. canola oil (to taste)
1 tbs. honey

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, toss the carrot sticks with the canola oil and cinnamon.

3. Spread evenly in a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

4. Remove carrots from oven and drizzle with the honey.

Stir briefly to coat and return carrots to oven for another 5 minutes or until desired texture is achieved. Serve immediately.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

What are you, chicken?

Tommy and I just moved into our new apartment in Spain after several stressful weeks of searching across the pond and two days of nearly-incessant What'sApp-ing with potential roomies once we arrived in Almería.

Hard work pays off though, because the apartment rocks. Lots of light, two living rooms, a big bathroom a decent kitchen and (as all real estate agents will say) a great location.

Only thing is, I got spoiled with my kitchen in Alicante. It was the size of our living room here with massive counters, a huge fridge and a pantry to boot. Although our range in this kitchen is significantly improved (much larger and has two settings besides tiny flame and raging inferno) the oven is a real mystery to me. Mostly because it has NO DEGREE MARKINGS ON IT. It just has two gas spouts: one on the top that might function as a broiler and a main one that runs along the bottom of the oven as the main heating element.

No seriously, this is what the controls look like:

As such, I am currently in the market for an oven thermometer. But I digress.

I decided to cook a nice meal for me and Tommy and our new roommate, Ana who seems really cool. I considered my old standby of oven-fried chicken which has yet to fail me but didn't feel like going to the hassle of making the coating after a long day of moving. Thusly, I settled on a marinated chicken with a cucumber-yogurt sauce. It's one of my mom's favorite recipes and although she makes it on a grill, I figured the open flame would be pretty similar. Proviso: I don't know the time/temperature for grilling the chicken. If you would like it, comment below and I will find out from my mom.

It's a ridiculously easy recipe and comes together very quickly. The chicken was just fine in the oven although I did have to microwave it a bit to cook the thickest part for timing's sake. I recommend marinating the chicken for at least an hour to impart the most flavor possible but even 30 minutes will be fine, and in that time you can preheat the oven and make the yogurt sauce.

Leftover alert!
I used the extra chicken in a pasta salad with fresh veggies the next night and stirred in some of the extra cucumber sauce and it was damn good too.

Sorry about the crappy pictures by the way, I'm still getting used to the lighting in the kitchen/dining rooms. Whatever, it still tasted good.
60 cent Don Simon boxed wine -- the finest Spain has to offer!

(for about 2.5 lbs. of chicken breasts)
1 c. white wine
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried oregano

Cucumber sauce:
1 to 1.5 c. plain yogurt (depending on how strong you want it to be)
1/4 c. olive oil
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste

To make the marinade:
Combine all ingredients (except chicken) in large bowl, whisk to combine. 

Add the chicken breasts and cover. Marinate at least 30 minutes and up to two hours.

To make the yogurt sauce:
1. Combine all ingredients except salt and pepper, whisk well to combine. Season to taste.

To cook the chicken:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place chicken breasts on a lightly oiled baking sheet in the middle of the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, then turn them over. Bake for another 15 or until juices run clear. Adjust time accordingly for smaller pieces of chicken.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Oh my god we're back again

Oh. Hello. I didn't see you there, under all the cobwebs.

Nice to have you back.

I keep taking these dumb hiatuses for stupid reasons like work and school and internships and other stuff I don't really care about.

I don't like them.

I think I'd like to be done with them.

I had so many grand plans for BiteMe this summer. Unfortunately, I worked 6 days a week waitressing (NEVER AGAIN) and bowing/scraping to the general population of the North Shore really sapped all the creativity and life and happiness from me.

In other news, I am a truly godawful waitress.

But...drumroll please...


I will be working as an auxiliar to the Spanish government helping teach little Spanish nenes English but only for a limited number of hours a week, so that means plenty of time to cook and blog and mostly drink 1 Euro Don Simon wine.

So buckle up for a fantastic year of deliciousness and once again, accept my sincere apologies for being such a flake. I'm like the girlfriend you keep taking back because...well, because she's such a good cook and you can't feed your own damn self.

You know you love me,