If you are not redirected automatically, follow the link to Gretchen, In-Between recipes | Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!
Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on Jun 5, 2012 in Food, Recipes | 23 comments

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

I know.

You take one look at the title of this dish and you say, “HOW much garlic?! Hey, I just met you and This is crazy!” It sounds intimidating. It sounds strange. But just bear with me, and I promise you will NOT be disappointed.

IMG_7318.jpg

One of the very first things I ever saw on the Food Network was the episode of Barefoot Contessa where Ina Garten made Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic. It was the episode that first made me crave owning a dutch oven (a mission that was quite recently accomplished, thanks to my generous boyfriend) and the first recipe that made me actually WANT to cook with alcohol.

IMG_7321.jpg

I know that forty cloves sounds like a lot of garlic. I mean, it is. But in reality, I think this was really more like 32 cloves, and either way, it’s the least garlicky-tasting garlic dish you’ll ever taste. It’s not spicy, it’s not overpowering, it’s just… delicious. Like, I-want-to-eat-the-leftovers-for-breakfast delicious.

IMG_7319.jpg

I did make a few adjustments to Ms. Garten’s original recipe, of course. First of all, her recipe called for cognac. What kind of twenty-something just happens to have cognac laying around? Pass. Secondly, I absconded with the heavy cream that her recipe calls for, and thickened the sauce with just a little bit of flour near the end. Thirdly, I added onion where there was none, so that I can at least pretend there’s some sort of vegetable nutrition involved here. And lastly, her recipe calls for utilizing an entire, skin-on chicken, which I was not willing to butcher for the sake of this dish. So I went with a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead! No bones to eat around, nixing the skin also meant sparing myself a few more measly calories, and it was just so, so, so much easier.

Did I mention how EASY this dish is? The most labor-intensive part is peeling the garlic cloves (I smash them down with the flat side of my knife to pop them open, but use whatever method you prefer), and if you were feeling particularly lazy, you can even buy those huge jars of pre-peeled whole garlic cloves these days. No excuses. šŸ™‚

IMG_7324.jpg

This would be a great meal to make for a family dinner night, or for a dinner party if you’re looking to impress. I mean, c’mon, even the name sounds fancy, doesn’t it? The end result is a savory, succulent, and moist chicken with a creamy (but without cream!) sauce to serve over it. It’s boyfriend-approved (the true test: he went back for seconds!) and is a real winner. And as a bonus, I can tell you that this dish will NOT give you garlic breath when you’ve finished demolishing it either. Win-win-win. šŸ˜‰

IMG_7326.jpg

You could try making this recipe with chicken breast if you wanted to cut down on the fat even more, but I highly doubt it would turn out quite as good. Chicken breast just doesn’t hold up well under low-and-slow cooking, you know?

I served it up over rice last night, with green beans and corn on the cob as the sides. It would be great over any grain of your choice — rice, barley, quinoa — or with a side of pasta! Of course, it’s definitely substantial (and delicious!) enough to stand alone, too. Maybe just add a nice toasted piece of bread on the side to mop up all the leftover sauce? Mmmm.

IMG_7330.jpg

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic
Print this recipe!

Inspired by this recipe.

Donā€™t be taken aback by the name: this succulent, savory dish is not as garlicky as you might think! By allowing the garlic to cook low and slow, it becomes soft, sweet, and tastes simply heavenly. Enjoy over rice, noodles, or on its own!

Ingredients:

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 heads of garlic, cloves peeled
1 large white onion, halved and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine (like Chardonnay)
1 tablespoon dried thyme (or 2 tbsp fresh thyme)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour or cornstarch
Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Heat butter and oil in a large dutch oven or large pot to medium-high heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then sear in the pot for 3 – 4 minutes, allowing it to brown on both sides. Remove chicken and put it on a plate.

2. Reduce heat to medium and add whole garlic cloves and sliced onion. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme and cook until garlic has begun to get soft and onions are beginning to turn translucent, about 5 – 7 minutes. Add white wine and deglaze the pot, making sure to scrape up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken back into the pot, reduce heat to low-medium, and cover with lid. Cook for additional 18 to 20 minutes.

3. Remove the lid from the pot and spoon out about a quarter-cup of the liquid into a separate bowl. Add the tablespoon of flour and whisk together, then add back into the pot and mix. This will thicken up the liquid into a delicious sauce. Serve and enjoy!

IMG_7328.jpg
Nutritional info per 1/6th serving (1 chicken thigh + sauce): 199 calories, 8.9g fat, 8.4g carbs, 15g protein.

Read More

Posted on Feb 3, 2012 in Food, Recipes | 17 comments

Game Day Game Changers

Yes, yes, I know. Yet another blog post listing out recipe suggestions for Super Bowl Sunday — not exactly revolutionary material here. But! That doesn’t meant that I still don’t think these recipes are worth posting. Plus, I mean, the Super Bowl is a mere 2 days away. Who knows? Maybe here is where you’ll find that game-changing recipe that you were looking to impress your in-laws with. And if that’s the case, well, you’re welcome.

Frankly, I don’t really care about the Super Bowl, per se. I just don’t really care for sports all that much. (Those of you who regularly read this blog are probably thoroughly unsurprised, haha.) While others have their noses glued to the television for each play, I’m the one milling around the snack table pretending to know what’s happening. It’s a lot I am more than happy to have been given in life, hehe. When it comes to this kind of stuff, all I care about is being able to have good times with good food, and the Super Bowl tends to provide both of those things in spades. Plus, you know, commercials!

So here are the recipes from which I will be plucking my Super Bowl contribution. Some are healthy-ish, some are decidedly UNhealthy, but all are sure to be delicious!

Mango Guacamole


Cheddar Beer Weenies (from Pass the Sushi)


Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites (from Back to Her Roots)


Avocado & Cannellini Bean Hummus (from Fannetastic Food)


A Lighter Mexican Layer Dip (from The Splattered Apron)


Skinny Baked Mozzarella Sticks (from Skinny Taste)

And of course, if you’re looking to contribute something on the sweeter end of the spectrum…

Disaster Cookies

Why not curse the other team forever by making up a batch of my disaster cookies? Just draw on a “G” or “P” in icing (for whichever team you’re NOT rooting for), and these delicious chocolate chippers are sure to put the odds in your favor. Side effects may include earthquakes, hurricanes, and flooding. Believe me, though. They’re worth a natural disaster or two.

What’s your go-to game day recipe? Happy Super Bowl!

Read More

Posted on Nov 29, 2011 in Food, Recipes | 15 comments

JalapeƱo-Cranberry Relish

So as it turns out, my protestations over hospitalizing Daxter because of cost were for naught. ‘Cause, you know, he ended up in the doggy hospital anyway and I feel like a terrible person for delaying the inevitable. The latest update is that if he can keep down food and water he might be able to come home around noon. So in order to distract myself from the fact that my little guy spent the night in a hospital bed… cage… thing… instead of being curled up awkwardly on top of my laptop as I try to type this (CRY.), I wrote up another recipe. Hooray for filler!

Okay, I promise that this will be the last uselessly late Thanksgiving recipe I’m going to lay on you guys… for now, haha. And to be fair, it really does translate past Turkey Day, since it’s spreadable on everything from leftover sandwiches to crackers & cheese.

Saucy

It’s a bit of a spin on traditional cranberry sauce, with as much zing as you want! Even if you’re not a huge fan of spice, the slightly bitter flavor of the jalapeƱo peppers and the zip of the orange and lime makes it a dish that’s so complex you’d never believe how easy it is!

IMG_0208IMG_0209IMG_0212IMG_0215

JalapeƱo-Cranberry Relish
Print this recipe!

This zesty cranberry sauce will leave your tastebuds satisfied with its mix of sweet and spice. Make it hotter by including some of the seeds from the jalapeƱo, or downplay the spice by only using one pepper. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 jalapeƱo peppers
1 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 orange, zest and juice
1/2 lime, zest and juice
1 cup water

Instructions:

1. De-seed and finely mince the jalapeƱo peppers. Zest your orange and lime halves and set aside.

2. Heat a pot to medium heat with a bit of nonstick spray or a small sprinkling of oil. Add the jalapeƱo and heat for 30 seconds to a minute. Add lime and orange juices.

3. Add cranberries, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat until sauce is simmering. Add lime and orange zests and simmer until cranberries have burst and sauce begins to thicken, 10 – 15 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, transfer to serving bowl and let cool. The sauce will thicken and become more gel-like the longer it cools. I like my cranberry sauce cold, so feel free to refrigerate!

Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce

Nutritional info per 1/16th (~2 tablespoons) serving: 58 calories, 0 g fat, 15 g carbs, 0.1 g protein. WW Points+: 2

Read More

Posted on Nov 27, 2011 in Food, Recipes | 6 comments

Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes

The belated Thanksgiving recipes continue! Put ’em in your Christmas box, or be like me and randomly make mashed potatoes for no reason other than because they’re delicious.

Peeled

Even if you’re not a potato fan, this recipe will teach you my not-so-secret method of making uhmaaaazing, creamy mashed potatoes without butter! I know, I know, it sounds crazy. But it’s delicious! And you can thank my sister for sharing this tidbit of knowledge with me.

IMG_0220

I’ve mentioned how I “roast” garlic before, and you can either do it my way or by roasting full bulbs of garlic in the oven (here’s a great tutorial on doing it that way.) Behold! True deliciousness!

Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes

Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes
Print this recipe!

These creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes are so rich-tasting, you’ll never believe they are butter-free! The garlic and olive oil provide both flavor and a dose of healthy fats. Feel free to leave the potato skins on if you prefer that “smashed” potato texture, or whip until fluffy and light!

Ingredients:

10 red potatoes, peeled
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for roasting (1 tbsp used in recipe)
Salt & pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)

Instructions:

1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and cook until potatoes are completely soft.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a small pan on medium-low heat. Add peeled garlic cloves until oil begins to softly bubble. Reduce heat to very low and “roast” cloves until they are browned and soft. Remove from heat, set aside cloves and 1 tablespoon of the oil, and save garlic-infused oil for other uses.

3. Once the potatoes are done, drain the water and return to the pot. Add a splash of heavy cream if you are using, then whip together using an electric hand-mixer (alternative: use a potato masher or standing mixer.)

4. Mash together soft garlic cloves with a fork, then add them plus the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix together well. Garnish with crumbled bacon bits, chopped green onion, plain greek yogurt (or sour cream), or shredded cheese!

Nutritional info per 1/8th serving: 196 calories, 3.3 g fat, 38 g carbs (4 g fiber), 5 g protein. WW Points+: 5

Read More

Posted on Nov 26, 2011 in Food, Recipes | 13 comments

Stuffing with Butternut Squash and Apples

Prepped

Because it’s so super helpful to post a recipe for something like stuffing AFTER Thanksgiving has happened.

Stuffing Ingredients

But hey, it’s possible that there is someone out there who makes stuffing for Christmas dinner too, right? RIGHT?!

IMG_0261IMG_0262IMG_0276IMG_0278

Well, at the very least, perhaps someone will want to file this away for next year, since it is pretty much the most awesome stuffing I’ve ever cooked/tasted/looked at.

IMG_0282

Stuffing with Butternut Squash and Apples
Print this recipe!

This robust, savory stuffing has all the classic flavors of Thanksgiving, with the added bonus of butternut squash roasted with cinnamon to give it an extra zip. This would also be delicious with the addition of some chopped walnuts or dried cranberries. Enjoy with turkey and gravy, or simply by the spoonful!

Ingredients:

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium white onion, diced
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 apples (I used fuji), chopped
1 10 oz. bag of seasoned stuffing mix
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable stock

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Toss your butternut squash in the oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper then place on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, chop and dice the rest of your ingredients, then melt the butter in a large pan (with high sides) on medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to get soft and translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add celery.

3. When the butternut squash has finished roasting, mix it into the onion and celery. You want to be careful when mixing now, as the squash is probably very soft. Add the apples and saute an additional 2-3 minutes.

4. Add your dried stuffing mix directly to the pan, then pour water and vegetable stock over it. Mix the combination well. Add additional stock as necessary to achieve desired moistness.

5. At this point, you may transfer the stuffing into a casserole dish and bake for 10 – 15 minutes to achieve that crisper, drier top layer, or simply serve as-is.

Stuffing with Butternut Squash and Apples

Read More