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You'll find over 355 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!

Peach Crisp

August 16, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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August is peach season, so it’s the perfect time of year for the Peach Crisp! I used Mark Bittman’s recipe from How to Cook Everything the Basics, although I did make some changes.

Mark uses cold butter which he cuts into ¼-inch bits and puts in the freezer for a few minutes. My butter was softened at room temperature. That’s what I used, and it worked fine. Either way, the butter goes with the other topping ingredients for a quick whirl in the food processor.

I also cut back on the sugar. Mark calls for 2/3 cup packed brown sugar. I used ½ cup of maple sugar and it seemed just right.

Lastly, I substituted an all-purpose gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour and it worked just fine.

Sorry, but I didn’t take photos to illustrate the process. Frankly, I wasn’t sure this would be a “blog-worthy” recipe. However, I was really pleased with the way it turned out! I loved the topping and would use it with other fruits as well. Mr. Bittman suggests apples, pears, plums, cherries, or berries. If you use berries, toss them with 2 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch to help thicken their juices.

Served with a bit of ice cream, this Peach Crisp is a perfect summertime dessert!

aPeach crisp with ice cream

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Peach Crisp

(Adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe in How to Cook Everything the Basics)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 6 – 8

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5 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the pan (I used softened butter. If yours is cold, cut it into ¼-inch bits.)

6 cups pitted, sliced peaches (2 – 3 pounds)

Juice of ½ lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

½ cup packed brown sugar (or maple sugar)

½ cup rolled oats (not instant oats)

½ cup all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour)

¼ cup chopped nuts, optional (I didn’t use them.)

Pinch salt

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Vanilla ice cream for serving

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  1. Heat the oven to 400˚. Lightly butter a square baking pan or a pie plate.

2. Toss the peach slices with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the sugar and put them in the baking pan.

3. Put the rest of the sugar, butter, rolled oats, flour, nuts if using, and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times until everything is mixed but still has some texture. (Mr. Bittman suggests you can mix it by hand by mashing it together between your fingers. This would probably work better with cold butter than with softened butter.)

4. Sprinkle the topping over the peaches. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes. (Mine was done in 30 minutes.)

5. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Peach crisp 3

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Peach crisp with ice cream 2

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Simple Salmon Chirashi

August 8, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Simple Salmon Chirashi is a great salmon dish from Sunset magazine. Their head notes explain that “chirashi” means scattered in Japanese and chirashi is typically a rice bowl topped with sashimi. Instead of using raw fish, Sunset uses cooked salmon.

This seemed like the perfect recipe for the special Koshihikari rice that Carrie brought back for me from Niigata. Many consider it the best sushi rice in Japan. Carrie found it packaged in a cute plastic rice kernel which is obviously designed for gift-giving.

For the salmon, we were lucky enough to have some that friends brought back from their fishing trip to Alaska. (You know who you are. Thank you! :) )

This Simple Salmon Chirashi was very easy to prepare and I loved it! With the sauce that accompanies it, the flavors are very similar to sushi. If you love sushi, I think you’ll love this.

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Simple Salmon Chirashi

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Simple Salmon Chirashi

(Adapted from a Sunset magazine recipe)

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Sunset suggests using a medium-grain rice. I used Koshihikari sushi rice. I think any type of rice would work. Make it gluten free with wheat-free soy sauce or tamari.

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 2 (with some of the delicious rice leftover)

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3/4 cup rice

2 fillets of salmon (each one 5 – 6 ounces)

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¾ cup halved and sliced cucumber

½ large avocado, cut into cubes

½ sheet nori, cut into thin strips

1 green onion, sliced diagonally

2½ tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (or gluten free tamari)

1 tablespoon wasabi powder

¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)

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Look at the cute rice kernel container that the rice came in!

Koshihikari rice from Niigata

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1. Cook the rice. (I used this method in my rice cooker.)

2. Prep the vegetables while the rice is cooking.

3. Mix the soy sauce, wasabi powder, and toasted sesame oil together to make the sauce.

Sauce ingredients

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4. Preheat the oven to 400˚. Line a baking sheet with foil and put the salmon fillets on it. I use clean tweezers to remove the pin bones.

5. Sprinkle the salmon with the salt and pepper. Roast the salmon for 8 – 10 minutes. (The rule is 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.)

6. Put some rice in two bowls. Top them with the vegetables, nori, and the salmon fillets. If using, sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Serve with the sauce on the side for dipping.

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Salmon Chirashi

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Chicken Salad Niçoise

August 1, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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This is turning out to be a record-breaking hot summer in Seattle and we, like many people here, do not have air conditioning. With good planning, though, I can still host a dinner party even when it’s too darn hot to cook. Last night this Chicken Salad Niçoise from Diane Rossen Worthington’s The Taste of Summer came to the rescue.

The chicken, potatoes, green beans, and hard-cooked eggs can be cooked early in the day when the kitchen is still cool. I cooked and shredded the chicken and put it in the refrigerator. The potatoes went in the bowl, followed by the other chopped vegetables. I whisked the salad dressing. Everything was ready to toss and serve when it was time to eat.

A traditional Salad Niçoise is usually a composed salad made with tuna, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, eggs, and Niçoise olives, and anchovies. I really enjoyed Diane’s tossed Chicken Salad Niçoise. It was colorful with a nice combination of flavors and textures. It was satisfying and yet a light meal for a hot night.

Homemade Guacamole and chips before dinner, bread and butter served with the salad, and sliced peaches and ice cream for dessert completed the menu. Summer entertaining made easy!

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Chicken Salad Nicoise Square

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Chicken Salad Niçoise

(Adapted from Diane Rossen Worthington’s recipe in The Taste of Summer)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 6 – 7

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4 cups chicken broth (or water)

½ teaspoon Kosher salt, if using water

4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)

1⅓ pounds small red-skinned potatoes

1 cup cut-up green beans (1½-inch pieces)

2 medium carrots, peeled

1 large red pepper, cut in half and seeded

½ cup Niçoise olives (if you can find them. I couldn’t and used ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives cut in half.)

About ¾ cup sliced sweet onion, the slices cut into 1½-inch pieces

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

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Dressing

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

¾ teaspoon honey

¾ teaspoon Kosher salt

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Additional salt and pepper to taste

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Garnish

3 or 4 hard-cooked eggs, quartered

3 plum tomatoes, each cut into 6 wedges

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1. Put the chicken breasts in a pan and pour the chicken broth (or water and salt) over them. They should be fully submerged, so add more water if necessary. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the breasts register 165˚ in the thickest part. Remove from the heat and let the chicken cool in the liquid.

2. Put the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are just done. Drain and cool. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and cut them into small pieces. Put them in the bottom of a large bowl.

Potatoes in my big shiny aluminum bowl

Red potatoes

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Green beans fresh from our garden! I cut them into 1½-inch pieces.

Homegrown green beans

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3. Bring a pot of water to a bowl and get a bowl of ice water ready. When the water in the pot is boiling, add the cut beans and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the beans and add them to the ice water to stop the cooking. When they have cooled, drain them and dry with paper towels.

4. Cut the carrots and red pepper into thin strips and add them to the salad bowl.

Carrots and Pepper

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5. Add the onion slices and the olives to the salad bowl.

Olives added

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6. Add the capers and the beans to the salad bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside until ready to serve. (You may want to refrigerate it if it will be more than a couple of hours.)

7. Drain the chicken breasts and shred them with two forks into thin pieces. Put the chicken in a separate bowl, cover, and refrigerate until you’re ready to toss it with the salad.

8. Make the dressing. Whisk the garlic, mustard, basil, lemon juice, honey, and salt together in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until it’s all well-combined. Taste for seasonings and add a bit of salt and pepper, if desired. Cover the dressing with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to serve.

9. At serving time, add the chicken to the salad. Toss with the dressing. (I used all of it and it seemed just right.) Divide the salad among 6 or 7 plates. Garnish each plate with tomatoes and hard-cooked egg pieces. Enjoy!

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Chicken Salad Niçoise served for 7

Chicken Salad Nicoise

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2 Chicken Salad Nicoise Square

Oven Fried Curly Fries

July 24, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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I was intrigued by all of the spiral cut vegetables I had been seeing on the Internet. Zucchini noodles are everywhere! And people seem to love using them instead of pasta.

So…when I saw last week that Amazon was featuring the Paderno Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer as one of their sale items on Prime Day I took the bait.

I could have made zucchini noodles, a spiralized cucumber salad, or any number of low-carb healthy dishes. What did I make the first time I used my spiral slicer? Why, Oven Fried Curly Fries, of course!

My new kitchen toy cut the potato very quickly. It feels like a solidly-built gadget that will stand the test of time. We shall see.

The strips of potatoes were very long, so I cut them down to a more manageable length with a pair of kitchen scissors. After a quick toss with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt they were ready for the oven.

The Oven Fried Curly Fries were delicious and fun to eat! Bob totally approved and I know I’ll be making these fries again.

If you don’t have a spiral slicer, you could use a sharp knife to cut a potato into very thin fries and then proceed with the recipe. They won’t have the fun curly shape but they’ll still be tasty!

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Oven Fried Curly Fries, served with grilled chicken sausage, grilled eggplant, and a salad.

Oven baked spiral cut potatoes

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Oven Fried Curly Fries

(Adapted from Davida’s recipe on The Healthy Maven)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 2

 

1 large russet potato

1 tablespoon oil

Salt, to taste

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A 12.75-ounce russet potato is big enough to serve 2!

Russet potato

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1. Preheat the oven to 400˚.

2. Cut the potato with a spiral slicer. Use scissors to cut the long strips into shorter lengths.

Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer

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Spiralized potato

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3. Put the potatoes in a bowl and toss with the oil.

4. Spread the potatoes out on a large parchment lined baking sheet. (I don’t know if the parchment paper is necessary. I had some, so I used it.)

Ready for the oven

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5. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the fries over with a spatula.

6. Bake for an additional 5 – 10 minutes, or until done they way you like them.

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2 Oven baked spiral cut potatoes

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Chop Salad with Corn, Sugar Snap Peas, and Bacon

July 18, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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We celebrated Bob’s birthday with Slow Cooker Chicken Mole, Rice, and this Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon from Tom Douglas’ Tom’s Big Dinners. Dessert was Baklava!

Because this Chop Salad is so full of vegetables, it was perfect with the Chicken Mole. It took a bit of time to do all of the slicing and dicing, but since the Baklava had been made earlier in the day and the chicken was cooking in the slow cooker it was easy to give my full attention to the salad.

This Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon is very colorful and would be a perfect salad to take to a summer potluck party. Everything can be prepared ahead of time; add the lettuce and toss with the dressing just before serving.

I followed Tom’s recipe pretty closely, although I did omit the basil leaves (Bob’s not crazy about basil) and the Parmesan cheese. The cheese probably would have been good but I wanted the vegetables to be the stars with the bacon playing a major supporting role.

Tom suggests being creative with it. You could use diced salami instead of the bacon, or diced Gouda instead of the Parmesan. You could add diced celery or garbanzo beans. His only rule is that everything should be diced into small pieces and there should be more vegetables than lettuce.

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Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon

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Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon

Adapted from a Tom Douglas recipe in Tom’s Big Dinners

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 8

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½ pound bacon (about 5 slices of thick bacon)

6 ounces sugar snap peas (1½ cups), strings removed, cut in half on a diagonal

1½ cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch dice

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

½ medium red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice

½ bunch radishes, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)

½ bunch green onions, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)

½ pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

½ head romaine lettuce (about 4 cups chopped)

1 cup fresh basil leaves (about 1 ounce), cut into thin strips (optional, I didn’t use)

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional, I didn’t use)

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Mustard Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)

½ cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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1. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat. Drain on paper towels and chop into small pieces.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and have a bowl of ice water ready. When the water’s boiling, add a bit of salt and the sugar snap peas and corn. Cook for 1 minute, then drain and put the peas and corn in the ice water for a few minutes. Drain the peas and corn and set aside. (I spread them out on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to help them dry out.)

3. Make the vinaigrette. Put the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and garlic in a bowl. Whisk together while slowly pouring in the olive oil so it emulsifies. (Or do as I did and shake it all up in a Blender Bottle if you have one.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. When ready to serve, chop the lettuce and put it in a bowl. Add the peas, corn, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, radishes, green onions, tomatoes, and basil if using. Toss with the vinaigrette. If using cheese, then toss in the cheese. Put the salad in a serving bowl and sprinkle the bacon over the top.

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2 Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas, and Bacon

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Quick Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken

July 2, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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I’ve become a huge fan of rubs. Rubs are a great way to quickly add a lot of flavor to grilled or roasted meats. There’s no need to plan ahead to marinate the meat. A good rub makes summer meals super simple.

I recently tried my hand at Tom Douglas’ rub for salmon and it was fantastic. Inspired by that experience, I wanted to come up with a rub for chicken.

I found a rub from Bon Appétit online. They call it 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub. The numbers refer to tablespoons: 4 tablespoons kosher salt, 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons paprika, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper. That seemed like a good place to start, but I wondered if that much salt was necessary.

I’ve played around with it over the past month. I roasted a spatchcocked chicken. (It was my first time spatchcocking. It’s very easy to do with good poultry shears.) I grilled chicken thighs over indirect heat. And most recently, I roasted chicken thighs in the oven. This Quick Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken proved to be excellent each time.

Using half as much salt as Bon Appétit used, the rub was still excellent. I have Aleppo pepper and I used that. I don’t know if it makes a real difference. If you can’t find it, just substitute ground ancho pepper or some other ground pepper with moderate heat.

So here it is. I think it’s ready for prime time. If you try this Quick Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken, please let me know what you think.

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Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken

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Quick Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken

(Inspired by Tom Douglas’ Chicken Rub and Bon Appétit’s 4-3-2-1 Spice Rub)

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(print the recipe)

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Makes about ½ cup

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3 tablespoons maple sugar (I like the flavor that maple sugar contributes, but you can substitute brown sugar.)

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or substitute ancho pepper)

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

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1. Combine all of the ingredients and store the rub in a jar.

Measured in the bowl

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Chicken Rub spices mixed together

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2. To use, generously sprinkle some rub over chicken and rub it into the skin. Roast or grill the chicken.

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Chicken thighs skin-side down in an oiled cast iron skillet. I spread the rub on this side.

rub on bottom of chicken thighs

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I turned the thighs skin-side up and generously sprinkled the rub on each one.

rub on top of thighs

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I then rubbed the rub in, covering the thighs.

rubbed in

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Ready for the oven! I roasted them in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

ready to roast

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Here’s proof that I did spatchcock a chicken. This one’s ready to go into the oven. Chickens cook faster when spatchcocked, but this was a big bird and it took about 45 minutes at 450 degrees.

spatchcocked chicken

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Happy 4th of July Weekend! 

Rub for Roast or Grilled Chicken 2

All-American Potato Salad for Two

July 1, 2015

By Kath Dedon

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Lately I have been craving potato salad. Maybe it’s because it’s almost the 4th of July so you could say it’s potato salad season. But I did not want to make a big batch of potato salad for just the two of us. Leave it to America’s Test Kitchen to come to the rescue. I made their All-American Potato Salad from The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook.

The recipe was so similar to the potato salad that I have made for years. I didn’t need to make many changes. I like to pour dill pickle juice over the hot cooked potatoes to give them more flavor. ATK used vinegar in the same way. I used both pickle juice and vinegar for this recipe.

The original recipe uses sweet pickle relish. I like sweet relish but Bob really hates it so I used dill pickle relish which worked fine. Use whichever one you prefer.

Working with small quantities, the recipe seemed easier than making enough to serve 8 – 10. It took less than an hour start to finish. It’s supposed to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, so it could be made early in the day before the house heats up. The only thing I had to do at dinner time was to cook some chicken and toss a Dedon House Salad.

If you’re cooking for a small household, give this All-American Potato Salad for Two a try. It’s a perfect classic potato salad and you won’t have a lot of leftovers. And it’s SO much better than your average supermarket deli potato salad. You can’t beat homemade!

P.S. The little bit that was leftover was delicious for breakfast!

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All-American Potato Salad for Two

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All-American Potato Salad for Two

(Adapted from a recipe in America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 2 – 3

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1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon dill pickle juice

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 small celery rib, minced (about 1/3 cup)

1½ tablespoons dill pickle relish (or sweet relish, if you prefer)

1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon celery seeds

1 large hard-cooked egg, cut into ¼-inch pieces

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Ingredients

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1. Put the potatoes in a medium pot and add water so they are covered by one inch. Stir in the tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 6 – 8 minutes, until tender.

2. Drain the potatoes and put them in a bowl. Pour the dill pickle juice and vinegar over them and gently stir with a spatula to distribute the juice and vinegar. Let the potatoes cool for about 20 minutes.

Cooked potatoes

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3. While the potatoes are cooling, make the dressing. Stir the mayonnaise, minced celery, pickle relish, minced shallot, minced parsley, dry mustard and celery seeds together.

Dressing ingredients

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Dressing mixed

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4. After the potatoes have cooled for about 20 minutes, gently stir the dressing and the hard-cooked egg into the potatoes. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

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All-American Potato Salad

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All-American Potato Salad for Two 2

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