Ganache


Go Get ‘Em
August 5, 2011, 1:48 am
Filed under: Drinks, Food and Recipes | Tags: , , , ,

My favorite episode of Nigella Lawson’s is one about breakfast. I love breakfast; it’s my favorite meal of the day. In this episode she makes spicy scrambled eggs (which I’ll share on another day) and this smoothie.

I love everything about this smoothie. It makes me feel like I can conquer the day, and while being nutritious and giving me my caffiene kick, it also seems naughty. Like dessert for breakfast. When I was little, my dad made me bananas drizzled with chocolate syrup for a dessert. This shake reminds me exactly of that. It’s cold, but warms me from the inside out with recollected memories, which is what I need in this 100 plus degree heat on an early Memphis morning.

Go Get ‘Em Smoothie
Recipe slightly adapted from Nigella Lawson
4 WW Points Plus

1 banana, peeled and broken into pieces
1 packet reduced calorie hot chocolate mix
1 cup fat free milk
1-2 tsp instant espresso powder (depending on your caffiene needs)
1 cup ice

Take all ingredients and blend until smooth in a blender. Pour into your favorite on-the-go mug, add a straw, and face your day!



Sunday Proper

I love watching Nigella Lawson’s cooking show, Nigella Kitchen, on Food Network. Something about the way she hovers in the kitchen makes everything seem so serene. Not to mention, I just love the way she loves food. Watching her on weekend mornings, with a cup of coffee, is my happy place.

I have the whole series saved to my DVR and am very hesitant to delete any of the episodes, lest not being able to enter my happy place at any point or time. However, I decided on New Year’s eve, to have a marathon and write down the names of the dishes that I simply had to make.

In her very first episode this season, she made her mother’s version of chicken dinner: Praised Chicken. Since watching that episode, I haven’t forgotten how good that chicken looked, and after re-watching it, I finally settled on making it that weekend. Folks, after making it, I can’t believe I sat on that recipe so long. I should be shamed.

The chicken dinner starts with a whole chicken in a pot, vegetables, spices, and water added, and simmered at a slow bubble until tender. Half between braising and poaching (thus, praised, haha) the chicken is so moist and succulent, the stock rendered so flavorful and bone warming. The scent draws you to the kitchen, especially on these cold days we’ve been having. My suggestion: have on a cold day next to the fire. It’s supposed to snow here soon in Memphis, this would be perfect to fit your snowed in blues! It’s truly a heart-warming dish.

Praised Chicken
Recipe slightly adapted, only slightly, from Nigella Lawson
Around 8 WW points plus a serving, including 3 ounces of chicken and 1/2 cup brown rice, add a side salad with low-fat dressing for a total of 9 WW points plus.

1 whole roasting chicken, innards removed
1 bunch green onions
1 bag baby carrots
1 bulb fennell
2 stalks celery
1 bunch parsley
1/2 cup vermouth
cold water
italian seasoning
salt/pepper
garlic powder
olive oil
yellow mustard and brown rice for serving

1. After removing innards, pat dry your chicken. On a flat surface, place chicken breast side up. Placing your palm firmly on the middle of the breast portion, press downward until you hear the breast bone crack. This will help your chicken lay more flat in your pot. Season the outside of the chicken liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

2. In a large dutch oven, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. Place chicken breast side down in the pot, and allow to brown for a few minutes. Turn chicken over so it’s breast side up and allow to brown a few more minutes on the other side.

3. While chicken is browning, prep vegetables. Remove fennell top and bottom, and slice into large chunks. Chop celery and green onion into large chunks as well. Remove stalks from the bottom of the parsley bunch, and tie together with kitchen twine. Reserve the tops for later use.

4. Return to the stove, add vermouth to the bottom of the dutch oven. Add all vegetables around the chicken. Add parsley stalks. Sprinkle the whole pot with a tablespoon or so of dried italian herbs and another generous sprinkle of salt. Add cold water until you almost fill the pot. Leave about an inch to inch and a half of the top of the bird exposed.

5. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for around 1 and 1/2 hours to 1 hour, 40 minutes on medium-low, or until bird is fork tender.

6. Remove chicken from the pot, cover with foil and allow to rest. The chicken may fall apart slightly, that’s ok.

7. Cook a pot of brown rice according to package directions and make a green salad for the side. Shred chicken off the bone. Serve on top of brown rice with a ladle of stock and vegetables on top. Garnish with yellow mustard and reserved chopped parsley tops. Trust me on the mustard, it’s delicious! Enjoy!