We go through at least one rotisserie chicken every week. It makes for a quick protein with some veggie sides when you have 30 minutes to get dinner ready and a toddler pulling at your leg. I use it in all kinds of bakes like this quinoa bake or these white enchiladas or Andrew’s favorite, this jambalaya. And the easiest thing to make with leftover chicken is roasted chicken stock, of course. Throughout the week, I keep a bag in the freezer where I put picked apart rotisserie chicken bones, onion skins, and herbs that I don’t want to waste. I’ll put the ends of green onions or leeks, the leaves from celery and the peel of carrots or the half used box of mushrooms.
We’re making candy, y’all! Listen, I am not going to lie and pretend that making caramel is easy. Or that I didn’t accidentally burn the first batch. And that it wasn’t rock hard. I guess this is what optimists call brittle. Anyway, I love a good cooking challenge and had yet to cross candy off the list. So a little burnt caramel wasn’t going to deter me.
Just call me Master Cheesemaker. On second thought, don’t. But I would like to inform you that I have officially made homemade ricotta. Twice. Yep, you read that right. I am officially crossing “make your own cheese” off the bucket list. And guess what? You can, too! After several years of carting my plastic wrapped, brand new cheesecloth from apartment to apartment, I finally busted it open and took it for a test run. Watch out Cowgirl Creamery, here I come. No, I joke. I could never do anything that required molding or resting, aging or brining. But what I can do is this. Add milk, cream, and buttermilk to a pot. Heat for 15 minutes. Let sit for 30. Drain in cheesecloth. Eat. As my Food Network leading lady, Ina Garten, would say, “how easy is that??” It is ridiculously easy indeed, Ina.
I’ve been feeling somewhat uninspired lately. Uninspired in the kitchen, uninspired to write, and even more uninspired to get up at 7 a.m. to exercise outside before it hits 100 degrees. I’m not sure if it is the endless heat wave in Dallas or my body telling me to slow down, but it sure feels like a “funk” and quite frankly, I am over it.
Segmenting an orange (or any other citrus fruit you choose) is one of those techniques that can seem pretty intimidating. But, really, it’s a breeze and will make you feel like a pro in no time. Here is a simple step-by-step guide that will give you beautiful citrus segments every time. The jewel-like pieces can be tossed in salads and side dishes, reduced into jams and marmalades, or folded into baked goods (look out for the blood orange olive oil cake later this week!).
Others (chef types and foodies) call this technique “to supreme a citrus fruit” which just means to remove the peel, pith, and membrane from the fruit separating it into segments. Why go through the extra trouble of segmentingt? The pith of the fruit can be pretty bitter so removing this white part guarantees sweetness without that bitter taste which can be especially important in jams. Plus, I mean they just look so fancy.
In honor of peach season and to tease a few peach recipes coming down the pipeline on Plum Pie, I thought I’d post a quick tutorial on how to easily peel a peach. Seriously, it’s a cinch. Start by bringing a saucepan of water to a rolling boil.
Next, wash your peaches. Cut an “x” with your knife on the bottom of the peach.
When your water has come to a boil, carefully drop one or two peaches into the pot of water. Don’t overcrowd the pot because you want it to keep boiling. When you add the peach into the water, you cool it down a bit so only drop a few at a time. Boil the peach in the water for approximately 1 minute. We aren’t trying to cook the peaches here so when you start to see the skin peeling a bit then you know it is ready. Grab a spoon or colander spoon…