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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A trip down my kitchen memory lane

I keep my appalling recipe collection in a series of battered folders labeled Entries Tried, Entrees Not Tried, Vegetables and salads, Appetizers, and Desserts. There's also a ring binder into which I throw soup recipes, sauce recipes, breads, etc.--kind of a catch-all that I don't consult often because it's not as easy to get to as my folders.
This morning I set out to go through my Entrees Tried looking for a recipe for green enchiladas that I haven't made in years. Betty and I went to Tres Joses for spinach enchiladas tonight (I had a Groupon discount--I'm a big fan of Groupon and have enjoyed some good meals with its benefits). Made me think that spinach enchiladas would make a good blog post. And that post coming next Sunday night.
But this morning's prowl brought back so many memories of when I cooked this or that or how good I thought such-and-such was that I pulled a bunch of recipes to cook soon. (My Burton family will be coming for dinner some week-nights since I will be keeping Jacob after school--some of what I pulled are approriate but others would appall Christian.) For them I'll fix things like Judy's Sloppy Joe, which is really a hamburger/red wine casserole.
For instance, I found one page with tuna tonnato with eggplant salad and smoked salmon with egg salad and green beans, a couple of Salisbury steak recipes (I've been meaning to fix that for Christian because it's beefy and rich with sauce, and he'd love it).  I pulled some recipes that I could cook for myself or when Linda comes to dinner on class night--like a simple spaghettis sauce wtih tomatoes in juice, onion, garlic, salt, sugar and olive oil. What could be easier and healthier? (Helpful hint: my mom said to always add at least a pinch of sugar to tomato-based sauces to "round them off.")
 There's a tuna salad I found in the cookbook I dropped in the sink--had to photocopy all the recipes I wanted to save! This salad calls for a can tuna packed in olive oil (I have to much water-packed on hand I simply drain it and add a bit of olive oil), a tomato seeded and chopped, capers, salt, pepper, basil, and olive oil.
How about quick muschroom and bacon pasta? Or a 20-minute black bean soup? The recipe I'll share tonight comes directly from Krista Davis at Mystery Lovers Kitchen--my favorite food blog. Krista got it from Jaden Hair at who apparently got it from Chef Jesse Thomas. As always, I've adjusted it. Krista used chicken legs but I love thighs--and I have two in the freezer. The original recipe calls for ten chicken legs, so I cut to approximate proportions.

1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary--I used fresh from my luxurious bushes
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
2 chicken thighs
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt

Preheat oven to 425. Put chicken legs on a rimmed baking sheet so juices don't run all over the oven. Krista suggests a broiler pan, but grease it with olive oil first so your chicken doesn't stick. Mix oregano, rosemary, salt, and cumin. Sprinkle on chicken. Bake 45 minutes. Keep an eye that it doesn't get too brown, and decrease heat if necessary.

Just before the chicken comes out of the oven, mix garlic powder, salt, melted butter, and Parmesan. Toss the chicken in it--I usually just smear it on top since thighs don't "toss" like legs.

Tastes great the next day if you nibble on a cold piece.

What about you? Do you have recipes tucked away in your kitchen memory lane that you'd share? I'd love to have them. Send to me at

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