Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What's Cooking?

It has been awhile since I posted a recipe so I thought I'd share two recipes with you today. First, let me say I would have posted this yesterday but Blogger was having hiccups and rather than try to fight with it, I thought I'd wait until this morning.

I love make-ahead recipes because it makes preparing a meal so much easier. They’re especially welcoming when you’ve been working all day or you’re running late because the soccer game went into overtime. Two of my favorite recipes are Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Grilled Lemon Chicken. Super Easy!

My children always loved working in the kitchen with me while they were growing up and I always stressed for them to read the recipe and gather all of their ingredients before they begin baking. This will prevent you from getting into the middle of a recipe only to discover you don’t have everything necessary to prepare your food.

I gathered all of my ingredients to make my chocolate cake. Of course, after this picture was taken and I had started assembling my ingredients, I discovered the eggs could not be seen in this picture... But they really are there. I did not show the boiling water.

These are the utensils required to make the cake. The mixer is shown with the ingredients.

Prior to assembling the ingredients in my mixing bowl, I sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. I choose to use a fine mesh strainer over a deep bowl for this technique. Simply add the ingredients to be sifted and gently shake the strainer over the bowl.

The purpose of sifting is to remove all of the lumps from your flour and cocoa.

If you do have some lumps, use a spoon to break the lumps before proceeding to finish sifting the ingredients.

This is what they will look like. All of the lumps have been broken up and you have a light powder mixture.

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla in mixing bowl.

Add the boiling water to creamed mixture and blend until dissolved. Add eggs and mix well.

Add dry ingredients to wet mixture. I use a 1/2 cup measuring cup and mix well between each addition. This will help eliminate any lumps that may form.

Batter will be very thin.

Pour into a 13" x 9" baking dish. I spray the dish with a cooking spray to prevent the cake from sticking. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool.

Once cake has completely cooled, add powder sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk to mixing bowl. Mix well. I use a wire beater because I like the light texture it gives the frosting.

With a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure everything is mixed well.

You don't want to over beat your frosting, but you do want it to be smooth.

With an offset spatula, spread frosting over cooled cake.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To make the grilled lemon chicken, you will need olive oil, a couple of lemons (even though I only pictured one), salt, pepper, chopped garlic, and chopped rosemary.

We'll use poultry scissors, a citrus reamer (or similar), a fine grater, small bowl, and a 13" x 9" baking dish.

I've washed the chicken in cold water and dried inside and out with a paper towel.

From the backside of the chicken, using your poultry scissors, cut the spine from the chicken.

The removal of the spine will allow you to lay the chicken flat on the grill.

Open up the chicken and remove any additional fat. You can either cut the fat out or, like I do, grab hold of it and pull. It peels right off.

The fat has been removed and I've wiped the inside of the chicken with a paper towel.

Lightly sprinkle both sides of the chicken with kosher salt.

Add olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, rosemary, and pepper into bowl. Whisk until ingredients are well combined.

You know it's combined when you can no longer distinguished between the olive oil and the lemon juice.

Add chicken to baking dish and pour marinade over chicken. Coat both sides of the chicken well. For a strong lemon flavor, put chicken skin side down in dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Remove chicken from refrigerate and allow it to sit at room temperature for 20 - 30 minutes while grill is preheating. Place chicken on grill and turn off burners underneath chicken. Grill chicken for about 20 - 25 minutes on each side. Chicken is done when juices are clear or leg moves easily. If chicken is not browned enough, place chicken over burners on other side of grill for about 5 minutes on each side. Allow chicken to sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Squeeze fresh lemon juice over chicken before serving.

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting
350° 30 minutes

2 cups flour
½ cup cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 cups boiling water
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In mixing bowl, cream together vanilla, butter, and sugar. Add boiling water, blend well. Add eggs and mix until well blended. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into 13” x 9” baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Allow cake to completely cool before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting

2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 – 5 Tbsp milk
Dash of salt

Add all ingredients into mixing bowl and beat until smooth. For chocolate frosting, add ½ cup cocoa. With offset spatula, spread frosting over cake. Cover cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Grill Lemon Chicken

1 – 3 ½ lb chicken, flattened
Kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp grated lemon zest
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
3 lemons, for juice and zest

Wash chicken with cold water and dry with paper towel. Remove spine using poultry scissors. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with kosher salt. Combine olive oil. Lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and pepper in small bowl.

Place chicken on baking dish and pour marinade over chicken, coating both sides well. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken a couple of times while marinating.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and set out at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Preheat grill. Place chicken, skin side up, on grill. Turn off burners underneath chicken. Cook for 20 – 25 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from grill, loosely cover with foil and let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over chicken before serving.


Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Looks very yummy!

Carol Conway-Fleisher said...

sounds delicious. I am gonna try the grill chicken recipe. Thanks for posting! :)

QuiltedSimple said...

yummy yum yum yummmm! i love chicken and chocolate cake.

Quilter Going Bananas said...

Love the recipes, I caught myself drooling all over my laptop! LOL

Rita said...

ok, now I am hungry.......and when you make the cake again, please let me know ahead of time....you are only a couple thousand miles away! I could drop by.

Sophie said...

ooo... i am a super fan of sweet and sour food! sigh. i want the Lemon Chicken sooooo badly right now. with rice.

Here I bought a sauce pack so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.

Amy - Park City Girl said...

Yummy! that all sounds delish - thanks for sharing :)