When you turn out the porch lights on Halloween and finally sit down and relax, the last thing you want to think about is dinner on Saturday. Not to worry. Expert recipe researcher Sheila Kern has come up with great ideas that you can plan in advance. Most of the ingredients are on sale this week at local grocery stores.
First, we pay homage to Paul Newman with Paul's Quick Balsamic Chicken. This recipe calls for a whole chicken, but breasts will do just fine. Boneless, skinless breasts are on sale at Safeway ($1.99 a pound) and Foods Co. ($1.87 a pound). At Savemart, Foster Farms breasts with ribs attached are $1.49 a pound in the value pack.
Paul's Quick Balsamic Chicken
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Marinating Time: 120 min
1 bottle Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette or Lighten Up! Light Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or 2 tsp. dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 chicken, cut up into 6 pieces
Finishing touches (optional)
Baking potatoes, onions, carrots
Place a large zipper seal plastic bag into a large, shallow dish. Into the bag, add vinaigrette, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Seal bag. Massage gently to combine ingredients.
Add chicken to bag and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken in roasting pan with half the marinade poured around pan. If desired, cut up potatoes, onions, and carrots and place around chicken. Roast for 40 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced.
The next three recipes use baking squash (butternut and spaghetti), which is on sale at Raley's for 99-cents a pound.
Creamy Butternut Squash With Cinnamon Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds peeled and seeded butternut squash, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 large onion, cut into large dice
1 tablespoon butter
1 pinch sugar
3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups chicken broth, homemade or from a carton or can
1 1/2 cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Garnish: store-bought apple chips
1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep pan. Saute until shimmering.
2. Add butternut squash, then onion; saute, stirring very little at first, then more frequently, until squash start to turn golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to low and add butter, sugar and garlic; continue cooking until all vegetables are a rich spotty caramel color, about 10 minutes longer.
4. Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cayenne pepper; continue to saute; until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute longer.
5. Add broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until squash is tender, about 10 minutes.
6. Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, puree until very smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If using a traditional blender, vent it either by removing the lid's pop-out center or by lifting one edge of the lid. Drape the blender canister with a kitchen towel. To 'clean' the canister, pour in a little half-and-half, blend briefly, then add to the soup.)
7. Return to pan (or a soup pot); add enough half-and-half so the mixture is souplike, yet thick enough to float garnish. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Heat through, ladle into bowls, garnish and serve.
Herbed Spaghetti Squash
From: www.foodnetwork.com Show: Emeril Live
1 small spaghetti squash, about 2 1/4 pounds
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed soft herbs: basil, chives, chervil, parsley and sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise and place, cut side down,
in a baking dish. Add enough water to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the baking
dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, until the squash is easily
pierced with a paring knife. Turn squash over and cover with foil again and
continue to cook another 15 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Remove
from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool slightly. Using a spoon, remove the
seeds and discard. Using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the
peel and place the squash strands into a mixing bowl.
Heat a skillet. Add the butter, spaghetti squash, herbs, salt and pepper and toss
thoroughly but gently to heat and combine. Serve immediately or cover and keep
warm until ready to serve.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH MARINARA
2 tsp. each olive oil and butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 c. canned ready cut tomatoes
2 c. cooked spaghetti squash strands
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. chopped onions
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. dried basil
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
In a large non-stick skillet heat olive oil and butter. Saute garlic and onions until onions are translucent about 5 minutes, add mushrooms and saute 2 minutes longer, stir in tomatoes, parsley and seasonings, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stir in half of the Parmesan cheese, reheat spaghetti squash and arrange strands on serving platter, spoon sauce over squash and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
How to cook spaghetti squash in microwave. Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and place cut sides down, in microwave safe dish. Add 1/3 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high (100% power) for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender, turning dish after 5 minutes. Drain and cool.
And, lastly, a (Golden) delicious cake. It calls for Golden Delicious apples, which are on sale at Raley's for 88-cents a pound.
Apple Bundt Cake
Bon Appetit | December 1999
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings
4 medium Golden Delicious apples (about 1 1/2pounds), peeled, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
5 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Mix apple pieces, 5
tablespoons sugar and ground cinnamon in medium bowl. Combine 2 1/2 cups
sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, orange juice, orange peel and vanilla extract in large
bowl; whisk to blend. Stir flour, baking powder and salt into egg mixture. Spoon 1
1/2 cups batter into prepared Bundt pan. Top with half of apple mixture. Cover
with 1 1/2 cups batter. Top with remaining apples, then batter.
Bake cake until top is brown and tester inserted near center comes out with moist
crumbs attached, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 15 minutes.
Run knife around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cake out onto rack. Cool at least
45 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve slightly warm or at room