Monday, January 12, 2009

baking goodness

Last night I made a super easy dinner with Rob that was perfect for the cold snow covered night that it was. I'd just like to say here this blog really only is for maybe getting ideas or just for me to keep track of what I've been cooking. So it might not be very original, ideas may have been pulled from elsewhere (I will credit the sources when this happens). So yeah not taking myself too seriously here.

ANYWAY. The great part about this meal was that the only mess it made was in the tin foil packets we cooked it in and on the plates we ate off.

Roasted butternut squash
I peeled (with a knife) and diced (one inch cubes or smaller, trying to be consistent) one whole butternut squash. Making sure to chuck the seeds and goo. Kind of like a pumpkin. Butternut squash is great because it can stick around for up to a month. So see it on sale, grab it and keep it in the pantry for when you're in the mood. It makes a great soup as well. I made a tin foil packet and threw all the squash in there. I drizzled olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salted, pepper and rosemary...ed. Ideally you want it to be 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. Since I was cooking chicken it ended up being much longer. This would also be pretty epic on the grill. The squash was savory and sweet. Perfect for a Fall or Winter dinner! Pretty much an easy delicious side dish you can feel good about.

Lemon Chicken
I bought chicken tenders (this is a cut of chicken, not to be confused with breaded bits of fried chicken) because they cook faster. I made another tin foil packet and plopped them in. On these guys I drizzled olive oil (I actually think I put in too much making them a little make sure you don't do that!) Also just a tiny bit of soy sauce. I was using Tamari (aged soy sauce) so I was pretty sparing. I smashed some garlic and put it on top. These guys got the salt and pepper treatment of course. Also I found these little baby onions called "boiling onions". They were pretty cheap so I figured why not. I peeled and halved them and nestled them in with the chicken.

I used a whole lemon for the chicken (just less than a pound). First I took a vegetable peeler (if you have a clean cheese grater or even better a microplane use those!) and just got some of the skin onto the chicken. You aren't going to eat it, because it's tough but it has that lovely lemon oil that is much stronger smelling than the juice that will help add flavor. Before halving the lemon I rolled it on the table like I was using a rolling pin. Do this as hard as you can. This breaks up all those membranes inside the lemon so when you squeeze it the juice comes right out! Make sure not to get the seeds on your chicken. I used all the juice.

The chicken went in for about 50 minutes covered in tinfoil, the last 10 uncovered to brown up a little.

Rob really liked the food! We paired it with an old vine zinfandel (gnarly head)

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