Sometimes nothing can beat a home-cooked Italian meal. I don’t make pasta much after working at Noodles & Co. for a year, but oh man these were good. I would hardly put these into the pasta category; they are so rich and delicious!
For this week’s throwback recipe, I give you my turkey, spinach and cheese stuffed shells. Stuffing these bad boys was a bit of work, but it was totally worth it. Once they are done and you bite into their gooey, cheesy goodness you will understand.
Whenever I go to the grocery store I usually just buy chicken breasts or whichever part of the bird I want to cook that night, but there is something to be said for taking the time to cook a whole bird every now and then. This week whole organic chickens were on sale at my work for only six bucks, so I had to get one. The reason I usually don’t cook a whole chicken, and probably why you may not either, is dealing with cutting it off the bones afterwards. This is where spatchcocking comes in handy.
Spatchcocking a chicken is basically cutting out the spine, breast bone and ribs, so that you are left with only the meat and the bones for the limbs. It makes it extremely easy to cut and serve the meat once the chicken is cooked. For my spatchcocked chicken, I added pesto and onions to make a tasty dish. One benefit of keeping the skin on the bird it that you can stuff any sort of spices or seasonings in between the skin and meat to cook it with extra flavor.
I love exploring the flavors of foreign cuisines. Each country has their own unique way of doing things, that gives an exciting new twist to many foods. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest looking into the different flavors from around the world. I think that knowing different flavor combinations helps expand your cooking and keeps you from making the same dish over and over again.
This week I had some squash from my mom’s farm that needed to be used. I was in the mood for something a bit sweeter, so I decided on this Moroccan-style recipe. This dish has the perfect balance of sweet and savory. The raisins are a definite must, I even decided to add a few more to the recipe. It can also easily be made vegan/vegetarian by using vegetable broth and taking out the chicken. This recipe is simple to put together but looks sophisticated, a great idea for dinner guests.