Oven Roasted Gnocchi with Sausage and Peppers

The first known use of gnocchi was in 1891.

Gnocchi is an Italian dumpling. With simple ingredients, like potato flour, water, and eggs.

This dish originates from the Northern part of Italy. Due to the colder Northern Italian climate, potatoes are easier to grow than wheat grain.

Culinary Inventors of the Dumpling

The Chinese are the culinary inventors of the dumpling. Just as long noodles represent longevity, and dumplings represent wealth and prosperity.

At family dumpling-making gatherings on the eve of the new year, a coin may be slipped into a dumpling for good luck.

The little dough balls are usually stuffed with various ingredients from chives and shrimp to pork and cabbage.

Gnocchi verses Dumplings

What is the difference between gnocchi and dumplings?

First of all, the word gnocchi in Italian means “little dumpling.”

A gnocchi is a dumpling. The difference though, is that gnocchi is not stuffed or filled with anything as other types of dumplings are.

Instead of putting a filling inside of the dough, the “filling” ingredients are mixed with the dough, and a ball is formed afterward.

Gnocchi like dumplings can either be steamed, boiled, deep-fried, pan-fried, or roasted in the oven.

Oven Roasted Gnocchi Sausage and Peppers

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces fresh cherry tomatoes (different colors), sliced in half

One 17.5-ounce package potato gnocchi

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces fresh cherry tomatoes (different colors), sliced in half

One 17.5-ounce package potato gnocchi

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss together the oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic, bell peppers, onion, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper on a sheet pan.

Top with sausage and gently shake the pan a few times to evenly distribute.

Roast in preheated oven until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are soft, 18 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the gnocchi with the Parmesan, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 

When sausage is cooked, remove sheet pan and turn the oven to broil.

Sprinkle the gnocchi over the sausage and vegetables and place under broiler until dark golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Divide among 4 plates and if you wish, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley or fresh oregano leaves and Parmesan cheese.

Why We Cook

To think about cooking as purely functional would be to look at just one aspect of it. When in fact there are several reasons why we cook.

Cooking makes food more edible and in doing so cuts down on the time it takes to digest it.

Some foods we can eat raw, but there are others that need to be cooked, like meat or eggs for example.

How To Make The Perfect Egg In One Minute

Humankind has been on the earth for thousands of years and throughout the centuries we have learned the art of cooking.

Yes cooking is an art. If you are a professional-cook or not – when you put together different flavors you are creating a dish to satisfy your taste and hunger.

Frequently Asked Questions about Healthy Cooking

The More You Know

We spend just five percent (5%) of our day eating. So make the food you eat count towards a healthier you. Read more here: First Step To Being Healthy


The bottom line is, we have learned through trial and error that some foods need to be cooked.

So again, ever thought while you are preparing something to eat, why you cook it?

Why We Cook

It makes eating food safe, as cooking destroys bacteria, and the toxins they produce.

The food flavors multiple with using heat to cook. The heat browns meat, vegetables, breads, and cakes.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Brussels sprouts and Bacon

Cooking caramelizes sugar and helps herbs and spices to release their locked in flavors in a process known as the Maillard reaction.

Read More Here About Cooking With Herbs – Spices – and Caramelizing Sugar

How To Spice Thngs Up When Cooking
Spanish Flan – recipe and video on How To Carmelize Sugar

Food that has been cooked helps with your digestion as it softens starches and releases foods nutrients.

Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic Parmesan

Cooked food tastes delicious and brings new textures to food.

Cooking To Gather Family and Friends

You may have heard the expression, make friends by “breaking bread together.”

Research has shown that the ritual of cooking and sharing your cooked food with others is entrenched in our psyche, and it brings family and friends together.

Regularly eating cooked food with others also improves our well-being.

Cooking Supports A Healthy Life Style

Here’s a great response to why we cook.

Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, lead author of a study on home cooking and weight lossat the John Hopkins Center, says if you are trying to lose weight or not, people who cook most of their meals at home, consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all (Study Suggests Home Cooking is a Main Ingredient in Healthier Diet).

According to Civil Eats – The power of a communal meal, or eating together – either it be a Thanksgiving feast, a community potluck, or a dinner-table gathering can build cultural ties and tear down political walls.

So now you know. Let’s get cooking.

Bacon and Spring Pea Risotto

Risotto is a dish that is creamy, scrumptious and filling.

The beauty of preparing risotto is that you can add just about anything you’d like.

You can use various types of vegetables, herbs, and meat. You can make with or without meat.

Risotto is a comfort food, as it is filling, and is a wonderful dish for leftovers.

Risotto can be a side dish (without meat) but it is also often consumed as a complete meal (when prepared with meat).


Pumpkin Pecan Risotto with Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese


Unlike other rice that is left in a pot of water to boil, risotto rice requires constant attention to ensure a perfectly finished dish.

The rice is not to be pre-rinsed, boiled, or drained, as washing would remove much of the starch required for a creamy texture.

When Arborio rice is cooked slowly with stock (usually chicken or vegetable stock) it allows the amylopectin starch to be released.

As a result, the rice takes on a smooth, creamy texture.

A 1/3 cup of uncooked Arborio rice (used in preparing risotto) has about 166 calories.

Bacon and Spring Pea Risotto

4 pieces bacon

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 cups arborio rice

4 cups chicken stock, hot

1 cup frozen peas and carrots

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut bacon into small bite-sized pieces. Add to a large, deep, skillet and cook until crispy. Remove from pan to cool.

Drain most of the bacon grease, leaving about 1 Tbsp. in the pan. Add diced onions and cook on low heat until translucent.

Turn heat to medium and add uncooked rice to the pan. Stir to coat in bacon grease.

Add 1 cup hot chicken stock, reduce heat to low and stir while rice absorbs the liquid. Once it’s absorbed, add another 1 cup and repeat until all the liquid is gone and rice is tender.

This process should take about 20 minutes.

Next, add to tender rice frozen peas and carrots, lemon zest, cilantro and bacon. Mix in well.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.

Microgreens Another Source Of Great Nutrition

Microgreens are young vegetable greens that fall somewhere between sprouts and baby leaf vegetables.

Sprouts are technically the newly germinated seeds, while the microgreens are the 1-2 week-old youngster seedlings.

Sprouts grow more like a fungus, as they are provided with high humidity, an enclosed area, and a low light environment.

Whereas, microgreens grow more like a plant. It absorbs nutrients directly from the seed, soil, or nutrients added to water (if grown hypotonic) and light (photosynthesis).

Hydroponic grown microgreens
Hydroponic Grown Microgreens

Microgreens are rich in potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper – all of which are essential nutrients for the health of your body.

According to studies that have been conducted on microgreens, they contain up to 40 times more nutrients compared to their fully mature counterparts.

This means that you can get the right amounts of nutrients that you need for optimal health by just adding a few microgreens servings into your diet.

What Do Mircrogreens Taste Like

As noted above, these tiny and edible greens that grow from vegetable and herb seeds pack a nutritional punch and are absolutely delicious.

Generally speaking, microgreens have an intense aromatic flavor.

Here is a small list of the most popular microgreens grown out of over 100 varieties and their description of taste.

• Alfalfa – Mild, nutty, crunchy, pea-like taste

• Arugula – Nutty, peppery

• Broccoli – Mild, crunchy, dense, slightly bitter

• Clover – Mild earthy, nutty, crunchy, juicy

• Cress – Peppery, tangy

• Daikon Radish – Strong, Peppery

Daikon radish microgreen
Daikon Radish Microgreen

• Dun pea – Slight sweet, crunchy, robust flavor

• Kale – Mild, subtly sweet, broccoli-like taste

• Kohlrabi – Mild, sweet

• Lentils – Mild bitter, pea-like taste

• Mung bean – Mild bean taste, slight buttery

• Wheatgrass – Mild sweet, bitter, grassy

How To Use Microgreens

Apart from their nutrition, microgreens also give plated dishes visual appeal that is as a result of their delicateness and vibrancy.

Asian Pear Carrot and Daikon Radish Salad with Microgreens

Microgreens are not only important in giving your dish an appealing look, but also adds taste and texture to the plated food.

Microgreens can be used as a sandwich stuffer, with wraps, burritos, salads, soups, topped on fried or scrambled eggs, and used in smoothies among many other uses.

Pastrami Sandwich with Microgreens

Easy To Grow Year Round

The best part about growing microgreens is their ability to grow all year-round. You can grow them anywhere, whether you want to grow them indoors or in your garden.

Since you can grow them anywhere, you don’t have to wait for the right weather to set in so you can start growing them.

During summer, you can grow your microgreens anywhere as long as there is enough natural sunlight.

During the cooler seasons where sunlight hours are limited and temperatures drop below 40 degrees, you sprout the seeds in your home using a grow light to help them thrive.

Growing Microgreens Is Easy

Pumpkin Pecan Risotto with Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese

Despite its appearance, risotto is not a type of rice but rather an Italian dish made with a special high-starch short-grain rice.

Which includes the Arborio, Carnaroli and the Vialone Nano rice.

The Rices Used To Make A Risotto

This special type of rice can absorb quite a bit of liquid without becoming mushy.

A basic risotto is particularly prepared with Arborio rice, bone broth, shallots, butter and salt.

Once you have the basics, you can add just about any other food that you would like.

This risotto includes dried cranberries, pecans, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, goat cheese, and Italian parsley.

The History Of Risotto

The history of how Risotto became an Italian dish is quit simple.

The story of risotto begins in the 14th century B.C. with the Arabs bringing rice to Sicily and Spain during their rule.

Rice Fields In Northern Italy

Italy was the ideal place to grow short-grain rice due to the humid weather and abundant flat land.

Till today, the Po Valley (Italy) is one of the largest rice producers in Europe and rice is eaten extensively throughout northern Italy.

Making A Risotto Is Not Time Consuming

Making a risotto with any of the rices we noted at the start of reading this article, takes as long as cooking an Asian rice or Mexican rice.

But the difference is, it is hands on from start to finish. Which is about 20 to 25 minutes. And I will say, It is worth it.

If you prepare a risotto the right way, or in other words, follow the recipe, you will have a creamy delicious risotto.

Pumpkin Pecan Risotto with Dried Cranberries and Goat Cheese

• 4 cups bone broth (or vegetable stock)

• 1 cup canned pumpkin puree

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1 shallot (minced)

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

• 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

• 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar red

• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

• 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

• Fresh ground black pepper

• 1 cup crumbled goat cheese

• 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the stock and pumpkin over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cover and keep warm.

Melt the butter in a large dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Once the foaming subsides, add the shallot and salt.

Cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the thyme and rice and cook for one minute longer.

Add the white wine vinegar and a ladle of warm stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated. Add another ladle of stock, and continue cooking until evaporated again.

Continue cooking, adding a ladle of stock at a time, and allowing to evaporate in between each addition. Cook until the rice is done, but has a bite to it, it should be creamy in texture, and will take about 20-25 minutes.

Mix in the parmesan, half of the parsley, and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining parsley, goat cheese and dried cranberries. Serve immediately.

Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic Parmesan

These roasted red potatoes with garlic parmesan are simple and fast to make. A perfect side dish to any dinner and sure to please.

They are toasted with olive oil, minced garlic, along with a little Himalayan salt and black pepper.

You can also mix dried thyme, oregano, and basil if you wish.

Once they’re done let them cool a few minutes then toss them with more grated parmesan if desired and garnish with some chopped parsley (cilantro well work as well).

The History of Red Potatoes

The Red potato was first cultivated in the mountains of Peru.

Spanish explorers brought the potato with them on returning voyages and introduced them to Europe in the 1560s.

When the potato became popular and spread across Europe, they were also carried to the new world or North America.

Why Red Potatoes Are Red

The color in red potatoes is due to anthocyanains, a common pigment which is associated with being rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

Antioxidants make the spuds more nutritious and a diet rich in antioxidants helps to lower your risk of cancer.

The Potatoes Nutrition

You will receive the most nutritional benefits from red potatoes by eating their skin along with the white flesh.

Red potato are a good source of vitamin-C, vitamin B-6, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.

According to Harvard Medical School, your body needs vitamin-C to form collagen, which is an essential connective-tissue protein.

Vitamin-C also helps fight infections, maintain healthy bones, and helps with iron and copper absorption.

They are also fat, sodium and cholesterol free.

These potatoes have less of a starchy texture and more of a waxy one. This makes them excellent for use in salads, soups, roasted or boiled.

They also keep their color when cooked as well as their shape. Therefore, no need to peel them.

Roasted Red Potato’s with Garlic Parmesan

1 1/2 lbs red potatoes

2 tbsp. oil

2 cloves garlic minced (1 tsp.)

½ tsp. salt or to taste

¼ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper or to taste

¼ cup. freshly grated parmesan

2 tbsp. chopped parsley for topping

Optional

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. basil

• Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper and set aside.

• Rinse and scrub potatoes well. Cut each potato into bite sized chunks. Use a paper towel to pat potatoes dry.

• In a large bowl, toss potatoes with the oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper making sure they are fully coated (at this step optional to mix in other herbs).

• Spread potatoes evenly across baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring about halfway through.

• Remove potatoes from oven and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to blot off any excess oil. Allow to cool for a few minutes.

• Toss potatoes with the freshly grated parmesan cheese, garnish with parsley.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti CarbonaraAs with many recipes, the origins of the dish Spaghetti Carbonara and its name are uncertain or ambiguous. There are countless speculations as to the origin of the name, which some have concluded the name Spaghetti Carbonara may be more recent than the dish itself.

The name is derived from carbonaro, Italian for charcoal burner. Some believe the dish was first made as a pasta meal for Italian charcoal workers. Another theory is American soldiers who combined bacon and eggs with pasta, after they had occupied Italy in the post-war era.

Yet another theory is Ippolito Cavalcanti a highly influential chef of nineteenth-century and Neapolitan cook book author, “Cucina Teorico-Pratica” (1839) which included a recipe for pasta with eggs and cheese.

The third edition book “On Cooking” (2003) written by  Sarah Labensky, writes about techniques from expert chefs., and included are the variations of Spaghetti Carbonara. She says outside of Italy may chefs include the addition of other ingredients with Spaghetti Carbonara, such as peas, broccoli, mushrooms, or other vegetables.

Here at Splendid Recipes and More we tried to stick to the original recipe, though we did not include any black pepper. Here is what you will need.

1 lb. spaghetti

12 slices thick bacon, cut into 1 inch slices

4 large eggs

¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste (optional)

boiling water to cook pastaCook the spaghetti according package instructions. In a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl, combined the eggs, cream, and cheese, then set aside.

cutting bacan for Spaghetti CarbonaraNext, prepare bacon, and in a large skillet, cook cut bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate, and set aside.

cooked pastaDrain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it. Do not rinse pasta, but quickly add hot pasta back to a heated skillet and add the egg mixture along with the bacon, and toss to combine. The heat from the hot pasta will cook the eggs, though you don’t want the eggs to have a scrambled look.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Plate Spaghetti Carbonara on to a platter and serve immediately. You can sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, if you desire.

 

What Others are Saying About Pasta Dishes:

Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans

Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and PecansThis rice pilaf is delectably wonderful as a side dish with just about any main dish roasted chicken or turkey.

There is about 7 grams of fiber per serving (8 ounces) in sweet potatoes. They have large amounts of potassium, beta-carotene, and are a good source of manganese.

Sweet potatoes are also anti-inflammatory, and can also improve the regulation of your blood sugar levels. The vegetable root is also antibacterial and anti-fungal.  It promotes a healthy digestion, and contains a small amount of vitamin-D, which is good for strong bones, and helps with brain function.

Getting plenty of vitamin-D can stave off heart problems, dementia, some forms of cancer too just name a few health concerns, as one ages.

Now for our featured recipe: Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans, and here is what you will need.

ingredients-for-Sweet-potato-Pilaf-with-Cranberries-and-Pecans

1 cup brown rice, cooked
2 cups chicken broth
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
5  tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1/2 to 1 tsp. pie spice

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a non-stick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring, until soft and lightly colored, 10 to 12 minutes.

Pour broth into a medium sauce pot over high heat. Pour in rice and bring to a boil; lower heat to low and cook for 45 minutes or until rice is done and tender.

While the rice is cooking, peel and dice sweet potato. Place into a large bowl with 2 tbsp. oil, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Line a baking pan with a piece of tin foil.

Spread coated vegetable evenly over foil. Place baking pan into heated oven and roast 20 to 25 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Remove and set aside.

saute garlic and onion In a non-stick skillet, heat 3 tbsp. oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and saute, stirring, until soft and lightly colored, 10 to 12 minutes.

step-by-step-to-mix-ingredients-for-Sweet-Potato-Pilaf-with-Cranberries-and-PecansNext add dried cranberries and pecan, stir another 3 minutes. Spoon in cooked rice and mix well. Turn off heat and add sweet potato and incorporate well. Sprinkle with pie spice and gently mix in to combine flavor with other ingredients. Let stand covered, 5 minutes.

Sweet-Potato-Pilaf-with-Cranberries-and-Pecans.jpg

Spoon rice mixture into a serving bowl and garnish with Italian parsley (optional).

Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans

Plate the Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans as a side with your main dish meat. Here we served it with roasted seasoned chicken breast.

Check out another great recipe of ours using sweet potatoes: Baked Beets and Sweet Potato Chips .

What Others are Saying About Rice and Sweet Potatoes:

Techniques for Cooking in the Kitchen

Techniques for Cooking in the KitchenMany that prepare food are orthodox cooks, or rather what we mean is they stick to the letter of the recipe, they follow it word for word, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Sometimes following a recipe without knowing why it calls for a certain ingredient including the amount, would leave out the possibilities of being able to enter change ingredients, either to improve on the recipe, or make it more to our liking.

eggs contain percentage of moistureOne such example would be the number of eggs, and the size. How so? A recipe that is for a cake as an example, needs a certain amount of moister, and egg yolks make up about 34 percent of the liquid weight of the egg, as well as the albumen or the egg white makes up about 66 percent of the liquid weight of the egg. The moister content depends on their size.

Therefore if the recipe calls for 3 small eggs, and you add large eggs, you will be adding more moisture to the recipe, offsetting the liquid content. If you did use large eggs, then you would have to add less milk or any other ingredient that would be considered a liquid.

Many of us that are regular chefs in our own kitchen have techniques for preparing recipes that we use regularly. If you are reading this article and are not a frequent cook in the kitchen, maybe you can share these tips with the person in your life who is the cook.

salted or unsalted butterSalted Butter vs. Unsalted Butter

Butter is available both with and without salt. The salt is added for extra flavor and to help preserve it so it has a longer shelf life. The problem is that sometimes the salt in butter can be more than a recipe needs.

Choosing unsalted butter gives you more control over how much salt your dish contains. If you only have salted butter, the best thing to do is omit approximately ¼ teaspoon of salt per ½ cup (one stick) of butter used in the recipe.

Kitchen Scissors

 

Use Kitchen Scissors

Right now you probably only use your kitchen scissors for opening packaging and bags of milk. But next time you’re trimming fat from a roast, opening pitas or cutting chicken into strips, consider using your scissors!

Chefs use them all the time for cutting meats and other food items. It’s probably best to have pair that is designated as food scissors only. Be sure you clean them very well after each use because they do have crevices where bacteria can hide.

Stop Foods from Sticking to the Pan

To keep food from sticking to the bottom of your pans, and this applies if your using butter or oil in the pan, avoid putting cold foods into a hot pan.

Reduce Grease Splatters

Few things are messier than splattering grease. And if it gets on your skin it can be painful. Reduce grease splatters by sprinkling hot grease with salt prior to adding the food to be fried. If this is not completely effective, you can buy grease splatter shields at kitchen stores.

Peel Garlic Easily

Peeling garlic can be frustrating unless you know this little tip that the pros use. Lay a clove flat on a hard surface and then pressing down hard on it with the flat side of a large knife. Once you’ve pressed hard enough you’ll hear a “pop” that tells you the peel has separated. Even with this trick your fingers will undoubtedly smell like garlic. Get rid of that odor by washing them well with salt.

Keep Your Recipes Organized

Nothing is more frustrating when you’re ready to start cooking then not being able to find your recipe. Keep things organized by finding a system for filing your recipes that you can keep close at hand in the kitchen.

Smart Phone and dropboxWhat we do at “Splendid Recipes and More” is use our –Smart Phone– and -Drop Box-.

We have a free account with Drop Box and load all of our recipes to the Box.

When we shopping for ingredients for a certain recipe, we just open the Box with our Smart Phone (internet access needed, you can also use your Tablet, Laptop, and PC) and look up the recipe.

The same is done in the kitchen to follow the instructions or procedures of the recipe, either for preheating the oven or how many eggs to use etc. Here is the link to Drop Box: https://www.dropbox.com/ .

Stop Cheesecake from Cracking

Cheesecakes often crack on the top because they lose moisture while they cook. If you’re adding a topping it doesn’t matter, but if you’re serving the cake without anything on top it’s nice to have it looking perfect. Avoid cracking by putting a small dish of water on the rack beside your cake while it is cooking. This will keep it moist and crack-free!

These are just some techniques we use in our kitchen. What tips or techniques do you use? Let us know in the comments section. Thank You.

 

What Others are Saying About Cooking, Recipes, and Tips in the Kitchen:

Chicken Curry Soup

Chicken Curry Soup

This dish was really painless, effortless,  and simple to prepare. First for the painless part, it was cooked in a slow cooker. Just effortlessly add your ingredients to the slow cooker, and leave on low for 6 hours. How simple is that?

Chicken legs, thighs, and quarters are a low cost, versatile source of protein, chicken has long been a staple of diets around the globe. In fact, it is the world’s leading source of animal protein and has been a healthy alternative to red meat.

Thigh meat though by many who frown on fat, prefer not to consume it. Keep in mind that thigh meat is also high in protein as breast meat is, and the fat in the meat is needed by your cells for their protection from oxidation.

Also power builders will eat thigh meat over chicken breast because of the fat and protein content that help to build muscle and actually loss fat.

You can also remove the skin of the chicken before cooking it to reduce the fat content.

Nutritional Content of Chicken Quarters

100 grams or roughly ¼ pound of chicken quarters with skin has:

Calcium    880 mg

Phosphorus   500 mg

Potassium    210 mg

Sodium    8.0 mg

Zinc       0.2 mg

Here is what you will need:

3 pound of chicken leg quarters, skinless, if desired

2 ounces leek and potato soup mix

1 tablespoon curry powder

zest of 1/2 a lemon, grated

8 ounces green beans, trimmed and blanched

chicken-leg-quarters-added-to-slow-cooker-for-chicken-curry-soupTrim chicken of any fat, and remove skin (optional), and place into a 4 quart or bigger slow cooker.

Dried potoate leek soup mix and prepared organic Creamy Potato Leek soupNext the recipe calls for combining the curry and soup mix and sprinkling it over and around the meat, and adding water until chicken is barely covered. We found a dried soup mix at Albertson’s for $7.00, we felt it was expensive, but did buy it.

Then we made a trek over to the Whole Foods Market, and found a prepared organic Creamy Potato Leek soup for only $3.99 and on sale for $3.69. We went with the prepared soup from Whole Foods.

adding curry powder to Chicken Curry SoupAfter placing the chicken leg quarters in the slow cooker, add the soup, and 1 tablespoon of curry powder, and mix in thoroughly.  Turn your slow cooker to high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours, and place the lid over the slow cooker.

blanched green beans for Chicken Curry SoupThe beans are added to the slow cooker 1 hour before the meat is cooked. Trim the fresh green beans and blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes only. Remove from water and drop beans into some ice cold water for 3 minutes, to stop them from continuing to cook. Remove from cold water, and add to slow cooker, and mix in well.

Chicken Curry Soup in slow cooker ready to plateNext add zest from 1/2 a lemon, and mix in well. Cover slow cooker with lid, and continue cooking one hour more.

Chicken Curry Soup with a side of white ricePlate and serve the Chicken Curry Soup with a side of rice. You can also top with more lemon zest. Enjoy!!

If you have any questions about the use of a slow cooker, such as are they safe to cook with, view our article: Slow Cooking, is it Safe?

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