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Roast Chicken and Potatoes Catalan September 29, 2006

Posted by Sarah in Dinner, Uncategorized.

Roast Chicken and Potatoes Catalan

Roast Chicken and Potatoes Catalan

 Last night, I wanted a nice, homecooked meal that didn’t take too much effort to prepare.  A long time ago, I made this recipe from a cookbook I bought   America’s Favorite Brand Name Light Cooking.  It was okay, and a little more time consuming than I wanted.  So, I created this and it was delicious!   The chicken was juicy, lemony and nicely seasoned.  Don’t let the red pepper scare you.  This is not spicy! 

Serves: 2-3 people


2 T extra virgin olive oil

2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves


1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

2-3 large baking potatoes cut into chunks

1-2 sweet potatoes cut into chunks

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts



Preheat oven to 400. Get out at jelly roll pan or a 9×13 baking dish. Combine oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt, ground red pepper and turmeric in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Add potatoes and sweet potatoes, toss to coat.

Arrange the potatoes in a single layer around the pan.  Trim the breasts of fat and other undesireables.  Put the chicken breasts in the remaining oil-spice mixture.  Coat on all sides, then place in the middle of the baking sheet.  Pour the remaining oil mixture over the potatoes and chicken in the pan.

Bake 20 minutes.  Turn the potatoes and brush chicken with pan juices.  Bake 20 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and registers above 165 on an instant read thermometer and potatoes are browned.

 Squeeze on some more fresh lemon juice, sprinkle on salt, and garnish with fresh chopped flat leaf parsley.

[You could also add in onions and/or red bell peppers after the first 20 minutes of cooking.  In the last 5 minutes of cooking you could sprinkle on some frozen peas]


Beef Stew September 25, 2006

Posted by Sarah in Dinner.
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10/9/2006 – *Update*

I made this again yesterday and finally got some shots of it. It is beautiful!


Tonight, I made beef stew. Usually, I make it in the crock-pot and it is pretty good. Today, I decided to make a beef stew that did not involve a crock-pot. It was ten times better than the crock-pot versions I have made in the past.

I created my own recipe by adapting two recipes I thought sounded good. The stew was rich and flavorful with tender beef chunks. The vegetables were not overly mushy and it didn’t have a lingering taste of overcooked carrots with beef like the old crock-pot recipe. Because the vegetables are added in the last 15-20 minutes of cooking, they are perfectly cooked, and don’t infuse the beefy broth with overcooked vegetable taste. I wish I had thought to take a picture of it before eating. Next time, I will. Here is the recipe:


2 T butter

2 T extra virgin olive oil

2 pounds beef top blade steaks (1/2 to ¾ inch thick, cubed)

1 cup frozen pearl onions, slightly thawed

1/3 bottle of dry red wine (I used Yellow Tail Shiraz Cabernet)

3 T all purpose flour

3 bay leaves

3-4 cups beef broth

Dried thyme (can use fresh, about 5 sprigs)

Dried rosemary (can use fresh)



4-5 cloves garlic put through a press

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced diagonally

3 large carrots sliced into ½ inch coins

3 potatoes, peeled, cubed



In a large dutch oven, melt 1 T of butter in 1 T of olive oil until sizzling. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add half the meat and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the meat over and brown on the other side. Transfer meat to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining olive oil, butter and meat. Reduce heat if meat browns too quickly.


Add onions to the Dutch oven and cook until lightly browned. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir well. Stir in the wine and the bay leaves, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom. Add the broth, thyme, rosemary and beef with accumulated juices back to the pan. Bring the stew to a boil, skimming the surface of fat occasionally, until the meat is tender about an hour and 15 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes, and check the seasonings. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes until carrots and potatoes are tender. Check seasonings again. Remove bay leaves and serve.

I haven’t exactly decided the true purpose of this blog, except for that it will be about food. I will be including recipes and pictures of food that I make, but also reviews of meals I have at restaurants in my hometown of Ames, Iowa. We’ll see how it goes!