Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2020:
* Make at least 20 recipes for the Instant Pot
* Use the Spiralizer more often

Friday, August 28, 2015

Roast Basil Chicken and Basil Potatoes

I have a ton of basil in my garden, so this recipe really caught my eye.  It was my first time "spatchcocking" a chicken, and I found it easier than expected.  I used a mix of Sweet basil and Thai basil in the recipe.  The whole meal was super delicious.  The chicken stayed juicy and the basil butter added great flavor to both the chicken and the potatoes.

Roast Basil Chicken and Basil Potatoes
From Food Network Magazine -Sept 2015 Issue

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 clove garlic, grated
zest of 1 lemon
1 whole chicken
salt and freshly ground pepper
1&1/2 pounds baby potatoes (I used small red potatoes)

Puree the basil, butter, garlic, lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth.  Set aside.

Spatchcock the chicken: Cut along each side of the backbone with kitchen shears and discard the backbone.  Open the chicken like a book and flip over.  Press down on the back to flatten.  Rub half of the basil butter all over the chicken; season with salt and pepper.  Transfer, skin side up, to a pan fitted with a wire rack.  Roast at 425º until skin is browned and a thermometer inserted into a thigh reads 165º, about 45 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with water and add salt and peeled potatoes.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.  Drain and transfer to a serving bowl.  Toss with half the remaining basil butter and season with salt and pepper.

Spread the remaining basil butter over the chicken; carve and serve with the potatoes.

Cream Puffs

I've made these before, but I 'm re-posting because they're just so darn good.  It's a nice once-a-year summer treat. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make little mini cream puffs or giant ones like at the State Fair.  I chose to make smaller ones for my guests.

Cream Puffs
makes 10 - 24 depending on size

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
additional powered sugar for dusting

In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil over medium heat.  Add the flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms.  Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Drop by large spoonfuls (smaller) or 1/4 cupfuls (large) onto  greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.   Combine milk and egg yolk; brush over puffs.  Bake at 400º for 25-35 minutes until golden brown (time depends on how big you make them).  Remove to wire racks.  Immediately cut a slit in each for steam to escape. Let cool.

In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken.  Add sugar and vanilla; beat until almost stiff.  Split cream puffs so they have a top and bottom; discard soft dough from inside.  Fill the puffs with cream just before serving.  Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Glazed Country Ribs

Awesome sauce.  That's what the cookbook said about the glaze for these ribs.  Yep, it was very good.   I halved the recipe listed here since I didn't need a full 3 pounds of meat for just us two.  I'd definitely make this again (even though Jeremy says it makes the grill "messy").

Glazed Country Ribs
adapted from Taste of Home Grill It!

3 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, combine the last 8 ingredients.  Set aside 1/2 cup for basting in the fridge.  Pour the remainder into a large resealable plastic bag.  Add the ribs and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight, turning once.

Drain and discard marinade.  Grill ribs, covered, over indirect medium heat for 5 minutes each side.  Baste with some of the reserved marinade and grill another 5 minutes each side, basting again after turning.  Continue to turn and baste if needed until pork is tender and cooked through.