Tuesday Recipes

Here are today's six recipes to help you through the day. Enjoy!

SIMPLEST ROAST CHICKEN

Is there anything better than a good meal that’s simple to fix, tastes good, and is good for you? This comes from Mark Bittman in The New York Times cooking e-newsletter. Mark wrote, “With an ingredient list just four items long (chicken, olive oil, salt, pepper), the genius of this bare-bones roast chicken is in its technique. To make it, thoroughly preheat a cast-iron skillet before sliding into it a seasoned bird, breast side up. In under an hour you’ll get a stunner of a chicken, with moist, tender white meat, crisp, salty chicken skin, and juicy dark meat all done to a turn. If you don’t already have a cast-iron skillet large enough to hold a whole chicken, this recipe is a good enough reason to invest in one.” Yield: 4 servings; Time: 50 to 60 minutes.

This was featured in “The Minimalist: Simplest Roast Chicken” and can be viewed online here. Also, you might want to check out Melissa Clark’s guide, “How to Roast Chicken.”

Ingredients

1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Put a cast-iron skillet on a low rack in the oven and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Rub the chicken all over with the oil and sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper.

When the oven and skillet are hot, carefully put the chicken in the skillet, breast side up. Roast for 15 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees. Continue to roast until the bird is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh reads 155 to 165 degrees.

Tip the pan to let the juices flow from the chicken’s cavity into the pan. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. Carve and serve.

EAST COAST GRILL’S CORNBREAD

This also comes from Sam Sifton in The New York Times cooking e-newsletter. Sam wrote, “This corn bread, adapted from the one developed by Chris Schlesinger and served at his East Coast Grill in Cambridge, Mass., is lofty and sweet, crusty and cakelike, moist and ethereal. As Sam Sifton said in the 2012 article that accompanied the recipe, it is ‘the corn bread to become a child’s favorite, to become the only corn bread that matters. All else is not corn bread.’” Yield: 6 to 8 servings; Time: 1 hour 15 minutes.

This was featured in “The Corn Bread Matters Most”, and can be viewed online here.

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup melted butter

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9-inch cast-iron skillet and put it in the oven to heat up.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and oil. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, add the melted butter and the corn and stir together until just mixed.

Remove the hot cast-iron pan from the oven and pour into it the batter, then give the pan a smack on the countertop to even it out. Return pan to oven and bake, approximately 1 hour, until the corn bread is browned on top and a toothpick or a thin knife inserted into the top comes out clean.

EASY LAYERED PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

This is from Diana Rattray, About.com’s Southern Food expert. Diana wrote, “ This cheesecake is completely homemade, and it takes just minutes to prepare.

“From the homemade cinnamon-spiced graham cracker crust to the luscious double layer pumpkin filling, this cheesecake will look (and taste!) like you spent half the day in the kitchen!

“The cheesecake is made in a 9 1/2- X1 3/4-inch deep dish pie plate. If your pie plate is slightly smaller, you might have a little extra filling. There's very little expansion, so you can fill it nearly to the rim. Just be careful moving it to the oven!

“If you do plan to use a smaller ‘ready’ crust, I listed the measurements for a smaller amount of filling below the recipe.

“Make this cheesecake at least 4 hours before you plan to serve it to give it plenty of chilling time.” Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time: 57 minutes; Total Time: 72 minutes; Yield: Serves8.

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 tablespoons melted butter (1 stick)

Vanilla and Pumpkin Filling

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

whipped cream or whipped topping for serving, optional

caramel sauce or butterscotch sauce for serving, optional

Preparation

Heat the oven to 375° F.

For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 8 tablespoons of melted butter in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly until all crumbs are blended into the butter.

Spread the crumbs in a 9- to 10-inch pie plate and tamp down firmly over the bottom and the sides.

Bake for 12 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325° F.

In a large mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the 3/4 cup of brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat until well blended. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese mixture into the cooled crust.

Into the remaining cream cheese mixture, beat the pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Spread over the first layer.

Bake the pie for 40 to 50 minutes, until set and just slightly jiggly in the center.

Cool on a rack. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (about 3 to 4 hours) before slicing.

Serve topped with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel or butterscotch sauce, if desired.

Serves 8, or up to 12 if slices are quite small.

Filling amounts for a smaller pie:

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Follow the directions above, using 1 cup of the plain vanilla filling for the bottom layer.

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes.

Top the whole pie with whipped cream or whipped topping before serving, or add a generous dollop to each serving.

SLOWCOOKER MACARONI AND CHEESE – CROCK POT

From a long-since-forgotten-emailing-list. Time to make 1 1/2 hours; 20 min prep; 4 servings

3/4 finely chopped onion

3/4 finely chopped green bell pepper

3 1/2 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 1 1/2 cups uncooked)

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground red pepper

1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 ounces processed cheese (Velveeta)

1 (2 ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained

Coat large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion & bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Place onion mixture & macaroni in 3-quart electric slow cooker coated with cooking spray.

Place flour & next 4 ingredients in small bowl; gradually add milk, stirring with whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture, cheeses, & pimiento to slow cooker; stir well. Cover lid; cook on high-heat setting 1-1/2 hours or until thick & creamy, stirring after 1 hour.

CREAM CHEESE COOKIES

This recipe, from The Food Network, begins, “A triple dose of cream cheese (mixed into the batter, in chunks in the dough and as a glaze on top) makes these pillowy cookies extra tangy. Freezing the cream cheese before stirring it into the dough makes it easier to cut into clean pieces and keeps the chunks from disintegrating when shaping the dough into balls.” Total Time: 3 hr 25 min; Prep: 40 min; Inactive: 1 hr. 30 min; Cook: 1 hr 15 min; Yield: 3 dozen cookies; Level: Easy.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/cream-cheese-cookies.html?oc=linkback

Ingredients

2 3/4 sticks (1 cup plus 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, 6 ounces at room temperature, 2 ounces frozen

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

1 large egg yolk

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring (see Cook's Note)

2 tablespoons whole milk, plus more if needed

Very finely grated lime zest or finely minced cranberries, for garnish, optional

Directions

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Combine the butter, vanilla, 4 ounces of the room-temperature cream cheese and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups of the sugar and beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and beat until smooth, then add the flour and beat on low until the dough just comes together. Remove the frozen cream cheese from the freezer and chop into 1/4-inch cubes. Add the cubes to the dough, quickly stirring with a rubber spatula to evenly incorporate them into the dough. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop or 2 tablespoons, scoop 12 portions of dough, roll into balls and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Lightly flour the bottom of a 1/2-cup measuring cup and use it to flatten each cookie into a disk about 1/2 inch thick, re-flouring the cup after each cookie.

Bake, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until the cookies look set but are still pale and barely brown on the bottom, 20 to 24 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 1 minute, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 ounces room-temperature cream cheese, 2 cups sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the mixture forms a thick paste. Add the milk and stir slowly until a thick glaze forms.

When the cookies are cool, dip the entire surface of the top of each cookie in the glaze and lift up, letting the excess glaze drip off, then flip the cookie right-side up and onto the cooling rack. If the glaze is too thick, add another teaspoon of milk to loosen it. If using the cranberries or lime zest, sprinkle on top of the cookies while the glaze is still wet. Allow the glaze to set before serving, at least 10 minutes. Store the cookies in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Special equipment: a 1-ounce ice cream scoop, optional

Cook's Note: When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)

FRENCH GREEN BEANS AND SHALLOTS

This is from Jacques Pepin, also in The New York Times cooking e-newsletter. Jacques wrote, “These are perfect green beans: simple flavors combined into an elegant dish that goes with almost anything. Mr. Pepin suggests a roast chicken, but they would pair equally well with a celebratory roast.” Yield: 4 servings; Time: 21 minutes.

This was featured in “The Chicken Dinner, Both Humble and Noble” and can be viewed online here.

Ingredients

4 cups water

1 pound very small, firm green beans, cleaned

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons peeled and chopped shallots

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preparation

Bring the water to a boil. Add the beans and cover the pot. Continue cooking the beans, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes until tender but firm. Drain and rinse under cold water.

At serving time, heat the butter in a skillet, add the shallots and saute for about 1 minute, until the shallots start to brown.

Add the beans, salt and pepper, and saute briefly. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve with the chicken.