Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Posted: January 6, 2014 in Dinner
Serves: 4-6
  • Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 Italian sausage links, removed from casing
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup saltine cracker crumbs (crush by hand)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • ½ onion, grated
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan
  • Sauce:
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ½ green pepper sliced thin
  • ½ onion sliced thin
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 cans water, plus more if needed (tomato paste can)
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound spaghetti


  1. Using your hands combine, ground beef, egg, crack crumbs, salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, diced onion, grated onion, garlic and parmesan. Form into 9-10 meatballs. In a large skillet, heat ⅛ – ¼ cup olive over a medium-high heat. Brown meatballs on all sides, remove from skillet.
  2. Add in sliced onion and pepper, cook for two to three minutes. Deglaze pan with red wine, scraping up brown bits as you go. Add in water, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt and garlic powder. Stir. Add meatballs back into the sauce and simmer for 30 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through and sauce is thickened. If needed add more water. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
  3. While the sauce is simmering bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Add a small handful of kosher salt. Cook spaghetti until aldente.
  4. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

White Wine Chicken Coq au Vin

Posted: February 27, 2013 in Dinner

Serves 4 Time 45 minutesWhite Wine Coq au Vin

  • 4 ½ Tablspoon Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
  • 4 slices Bacon, chopped
  • 1 ½ lbs. boned, skinned Chicken Thighs
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ cups peeled Baby Carrots
  • 3 stalks Celery
  • 12 oz. Fresh Mushrooms
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1 1/3 cups Chardonnay
  • 2 cups Reduced-sodium Chicken Broth
  • ½ cup lightly packed Flat-leaf Parsley Sprigs
  • ¼ cup lightly packed fresh Tarragon Sprigs

1. In largest pan, over medium-high heat, brown Bacon (6 or 7 minutes).
2. In large bowl, mix flour with Salt, Pepper and Herbs de Provence.
3. Cut Chicken into 1 inch pieces. Toss in Flour mixture. Transfer bacon to paper towels. In batches, brown chicken in Bacon fat, stirring occasionally (3-5 minutes). Add oil as necessary.
4. Transfer to a large bowl.
5. Cut Carrots in ½ lengthwise. Cut Celery in diagonal slices. Slice mushrooms. Chop Onion.
6. Add vegetables to pan and saute until Onion is golden (@ 5 minutes). Meanwhile, microwave wine and broth in micro-safe bowl until steaming (@ 3 minutes).
7. Return Bacon, Chicken and Broth/wine to pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender (@ 15 minutes).
8. Meanwhile, chop fresh herbs.
9. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle herbs over servings.

White Wine Coq au Vin 2Serve with roast potatoes, brown rice, quinoa or other hearty side dish

This recipe was contributed by Jackie Norgord

Fettucchini w/ Mascopone cheese

Posted: February 25, 2013 in Dinner

Serves: 4 – 6fettuccine_alfredo_meal420

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

• 1 Cup mascarpone cheese at room temperature
• Zest & Juice of one lemon
• 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
• 1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced (or 1 tsp. jarred minced garlic)
• season-all salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes (just a pinch, or more depending on how hot you like it)
• 1 box of fettuccine
1. Combine the zest, lemon juice, mascarpone, and pepper in a bowl, and whisk to combine.
2. Bring a pasta pot of salted water to boil.
3. While waiting on the water, heat the oil in a skillet.
4. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two.
5. Cook the pasta until al dente, taking it off the heat about 1 to 2 minutes before you would normally remove it.
6. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
7. Return the pasta to the pot, and set over medium heat.
8. Stir in the mascarpone and lemon mixture.  Add the satated garlic.
9. Loosen the sauce with about 1/4 cup of the water and toss all over the ingredients together and everything is piping hot, adding a little additional pasta water if needed.
Serve immediately, topped with grated cheese or sautéed breadcrumbs.

Beer Can Chicken

Posted: February 19, 2013 in BBQ, Dinner

Serves 4

4 lb whole chicken
2 Tbs olive oil or other vegetable oil
1 opened, half-full can of beer, room temperature
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, smashed

Prepare your grill for indirect heat. If you are using charcoal, put the coals on one side of the grill, leaving another side free of coals. If you are using a gas grill, fire up only half of the burners.

Remove neck and giblets from cavity of chicken, if the chicken came with them. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, and thyme in a little bowl, then sprinkle it all over the chicken.

Make sure the beer can is open, and only half-filled with beer (drink the other half!) If you want, you can put a sprig of thyme (or another herb like rosemary or sage) in the beer can. Lower the chicken on to the open can, so that the chicken is sitting upright, with the can in its cavity. Place the chicken on the cool side of the grill, using the legs and beer can as a tripod to support the chicken on the grill and keep it stable.

Cover the grill and walk away. Do not even check the chicken for at least an hour. After an hour, check the chicken and refresh the coals if needed (if you are using a charcoal grill). Keep checking the chicken every 15 minutes or so, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160°F – 165°F. The total cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken, and the internal temperature of the grill. A 4 lb chicken will usually take around 1½ hours. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, a way to tell if the chicken is done is to poke it deeply with a knife (the thigh is a good place to do this), if the juices run clear, not pink, the chicken is done.

Carefully transfer the chicken to a tray or pan. I say “carefully” because the beer can, and the beer inside of it, is quite hot. One way to do this is to slide a metal spatula under the bottom of the beer can. Use tongs to hold the top of the chicken. Lift the chicken, beer can still inside, and move it to a tray. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. Carefully lift the chicken off of the can. If it gets stuck, lay the chicken on its side, and pull out the can with tongs.

greek chicken with lemon + oregano

Posted: January 31, 2013 in Dinner
Serves: 4-6
For the ChickenGreek Chicken with Lemon + Oregano | The Clever Carrot
  • 1x 3-4 lb. roasting chicken, cut into pieces*
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • ¼ c. fresh lemon juice, about 2-3 lemons
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • ¾ c. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 3 cloves of garlic, grated
On the side
  • 1½ lbs. potatoes, skin on, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 6 large handfuls of mixed lettuce
  • 1 pint of colorful cherry tomatoes
  • ½ c. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 lemons for roastingGreek-style marinade | The Clever Carrot
  • fresh oregano sprigs
* Your cooking time will vary (+/-) depending on the size of your chicken.
  1. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Grab a large roasting pan big enough to fit the chicken and potatoes in 1 single layer. Lightly coat with olive oil. Use 2 pans if necessary.
  3. Start the potatoes- for golden, sticky spuds start cooking them before the chicken goes into the oven. Add the chopped potatoes to the roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Cook for about 20 minutes.
  4. Prepare the chicken- rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside while you prepare the marinade.
  5. For the marinade- combine the first 5 marinade ingredients, zesting the lemons before you juice them (about 2). Whisk to emulsify, and reserve half of the sauce for your vinaigrette.
  6. To the marinade bowl, now add the chopped oregano leaves and grated garlic (use a microplane for this).
  7. After 20 minutes have passed, remove the potatoes from the oven and add the chicken pieces (or place into a separate pan if using). Pour some of the marinade over the chicken massaging it on top and underneath the skin. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  8. Add the rest of the marinade over the potatoes and toss gently.
  9. Cut the lemons in half and roast them alongside the chicken.
  10. Roast everything in the oven for about 45 minutes or more depending on the size of your chicken.
  11. The chicken is done when the skin is golden and crispy and the juices run clear. For extra crispy skin, place the chicken under the broiler for a couple of minutes.
  12. To serve, place the chicken and roasted lemons on a platter. Serve with the potatoes, salad, and reserved vinaigrette on the side.Greek Chicken with Lemon + Oregano | The Clever Carrot

Mexican-inspired Slaw (or Cabbage Salad)
slightly adapted from Jamie’s America
serves 4-6

  • ½ small green cabbage
  • ½ small red cabbage
  • small bunch of radishes
  • 2 carrots
  • bunch of cilantro, leaves + stems
  • 2 large jalapeños
  • 1 small red onion
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 2-3 limes
  • sea salt

Servings: 4

  • 1 cup extra long grain rice or basmati rice
  • 1/2 lime, juice of
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil

In a small heavy pot, add rice, water, 1 tsp oil and salt. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce to low and cover about 15 minutes. Shut off flame and keep covered an additional 5 minute.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed