Cornish Game Hens


I decided to go a little non-traditional this Thanksgiving, and make cornish hens instead of turkey. I’ve never made them before, and am so glad I did… they were truly incredible. Seriously. I combined two recipes, one was for a turkey breast, and have to say, it’s a brilliant combo. I will tell you there are a lot of ingredients, but don’t shy away because of that… there’s a rub for the bird, in addition to what’s put in the cavity, so it’s really pretty straight forward. I’m giving you the recipe to make two hens, so if you just want to make one, simply divide everything in half.

Cornish Game Hens

Ingredients

For The Cavity

  • 4 cloves garlic (2 for each hen) + 8 additional cloves garlic for arranging around hens
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (1 per hen)
  • 1 small onion, cut in half (1/2 onion per hen)
  • 4 lemon wedges (2 per hen)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary (1 per hen)

Herb Rub Mix

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder

For Basting

  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Season hens with salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff hens with cavity ingredients.
  4. Generously rub herb mix all over hens and underneath skin.
  5. Arrange 8 garlic cloves around hens in small roasting pan (you don’t need a rack).
  6. Add some chicken broth to pan. I didn’t measure but made sure the bottom of pan was covered.
  7. Roast in oven for 25 minutes.
  8. Combine wine, chicken broth and olive oil in a bowl.
  9. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. and pour basting liquid over hens.
  10. Baste every 10 minutes, and continue roasting for 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear.

* To make a gravy/sauce, transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a saucepan, and boil until liquid reduces to a sauce consistency, about 8 minutes. 

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Cheddar Bay Biscuits


I made these a while back, and remembered how tasty they were so decided to make them again. Apparently, they’re very similar to those served at Red Lobster, but I haven’t eaten there in years so can’t compare. However, I just informed by a friend, that there’s a Red Lobster very close to me… which I drive by everyday to and from work. Pretty funny that I didn’t remember that. But, now that I know, I will definitely be popping in to check out their infamous biscuits. Anywho, if you like garlic, cheddar & biscuits, then you’ll surely enjoy these.

Ingredients

Biscuits:

  • 1 1/4 cups Bisquick
  • 2 tbsp. cold butter
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Little less than 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

Butter Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease or line one cookie sheet with parchment; set aside.
  2. Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter (or use 2 forks). Don’t worry about mixing too thoroughly; there will be small chunks of butter in the mix about the size of peas.
  3. Add cheddar cheese, milk, garlic powder, and Old Bay.
  4. Mix by hand until combined, but don’t over mix.
  5. Drop 1/4 cup portions of the dough onto cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 11-13 minutes in preheated oven or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.
  7. While the biscuits are baking, melt butter is a small bowl in the microwave.
  8. Stir in garlic powder and dried parsley flakes.
  9. Use a brush to spread the garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits.

This recipe makes about 6 biscuits. Double the ingredients if you want more. 

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Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette


If you saw the post on my trip and culinary adventures in NY, then you’ll recognize the name of this dish. If not, I’ll tell you that I had a wonderful meal at a restaurant in SoHo… Slow Cooked Salmon with Corn Pudding and Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette, which was mouth-watering delicious. I decided to make this mostly because I was reminiscing of that dish, and wanted to try making it at home. You might think this recipe is like a traditional salad dressing because of its title, but that simply is not the case. The cherry tomatoes are cut in half, and remain in tact which makes it a nice accompaniment to serve with fish, steak, and chicken, but would also be great in a salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium shallot, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. nonpareil capers (the tiny ones), drained
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the shallot, vinegar, capers, tomatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. Let that stand about 10 minutes, then stir in the olive and canola oil, parsley, basil, cumin, and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the vinaigrette to the pan, and bring just to a simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon.
  4. Cook until the tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes.
  5. Spoon the sauce over desired dish and serve.

 

Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette w/Marinated Rib-Eye and Polenta

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New York Strip Steak (with Tarragon Melting Sauce)


When I’m in the mood for steak, I usually pick up beef tenderloin or tri tip, but the Smart & Final near my house only carries NY strips so I will occasionally grab one if I don’t feel like heading over to Trader Joe’s or Von’s (that’s rare, but it does happen). About a week ago, I got a NY Strip and was looking at various recipes to try something different, and came across one from Paula Deen that tickled my fancy, so decided to give it a whirl. The marinade is easy and quite tasty, and I plan to use it the next time I make a filet. As for the melting sauce, it was a nice compliment to the steak. In the event you didn’t know, I’m into sauces big-time, so was eager to taste this one. The recipe for it does yield a lot, even though I’ve already cut it in half…twice, and I only use a very small amount since it is butter-based (we know Paul Deen likes her butter), but it’s also great on baked potatoes and warm rolls.

NY Strip w/Tarragon Melting Sauce and Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus oil for skillet
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 (1-inch thick) boneless New York strip steaks
  • Tarragon Melting Sauce, recipe follows

Directions

  1. In a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag, combine oil, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire and pepper. (I like to press a little salt & ground pepper onto the steaks before marinating).
  2. Add steaks to bag. Press the air out of the bag, and seal tightly. Turn the bag several times to distribute the marinade; place the bag in a bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.
  3. Heat a large oiled skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Remove steaks from marinade, discarding marinade.
  5. Place steaks in hot skillet; cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or to the desired degree of doneness.
  6. Remove steaks to a serving plate, and keep warm.
  7. Top each steak with a teaspoon (or desired amount) of Tarragon Melting Sauce.

Tarragon Melting Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp. green onion, minced 
  • 1/4 tbsp. fresh tarragon leaves, minced (or 1/4 tsp. dried tarragon) – you could substitute rosemary
  • 1/4 tbsp. fresh parsley leaves, chopped (or 1/4 tsp. dried parsley)
  • 1/4 cup light or nonfat sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

  1. In a bowl, add all ingredients together and mix until smooth. Cover, and refrigerate.

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