So, this is my first attempt at using the app to write these up. We’ll see how this goes!

It’s been a hell of a year so far. Besides the death of my dad and grandpa, I’ve also changed jobs, gotten a cat, and moved apartments. I also went to the doctor in the last few months, and was told that I need to up my green veg intake, and that brussels sprouts would be the best way to do that.

This was my first attempt at cooking them, and I have to say, these turned out really well. Definitely going to have to make it again. Need to find a cheaper place for halloumi though – the local Trader Joe’s is out, and Whole Foods is double the price for half the amount. (Chicago folks, any recs?)

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Halloumi

Lasts appx 3-4 meals as a side

Ingredients

  • 3 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, halved
  • 3 T olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • .25 c red wine vinegar
  • 8 oz halloumi, cubed

Heat a large pan over medium high, add the bacon, cook until it reaches your preferred level of doneness, remove the meat (but not the fat!) and set aside.

Add 2 T of the olive oil to the pan with the grease (and be careful of splattering fat during this process!!), and when the oil shimmers, add your halved sprouts, cut side down. Cook until charred around the edges (pic 3), and then cook another 8 to 10 mins until the sprouts are soft (pic 4). Then reduce the heat to medium and stir in the crushed red pepper and red wine vinegar (pic 5). Cook until the vinegar covers the sprouts (about 1-2 mins), then remove from the heat.

If your pan is still relatively clean like mine was, add the last T of olive oil, and when shimmering, add in the cubed halloumi and sear for about 3 mins a side, until golden on each side (pic 6).

Then, combine it all together and enjoy the resulting amazingness!!

So, this right here? I’m not gonna lie, this is a bit more complex than I usually do my dinners. You’re gonna be doing a lot of stuff in order to get it to work. However, the end result is pretty fucking spectacular, so, if you need to impress someone? This is the meal to make.

Made a few alterations – I’m not that big of a fan of nuts, so I took out the walnuts in the brie stuffing. And yours truly picked up boneless skinless chicken breasts for this, because they were what was on sale – and the recipe needed skinned. If this happens to you, no worries! There’s a workaround from the pepperoni stuffed chicken that I make that works here. The end result is still tremendous.

One Pan Apricot-Glazed, Brie Stuffed Chicken with Potatoes
Lasted for a week’s worth of meals with the breasts split in half

Ingredients

Potatoes:

  • 1.5 lbs mix of roasting potatoes, halved (one of the stalls at the local farmer’s market sells a roasting mix of various potatoes, I just used that)
  • 3-4 T olive oil
  • dash sea salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated (I went minced)
  • zest of 1 lemon

Chicken, Stuffing, and Glaze:

  • 4 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts (accidentally got skinless? there’s a work around)
  • 1 c fresh basil (got it from the plant in my garden, hee)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated (I went minced)
  • 2 T olive oil (may need to increase to better blend depending on your basil)
  • 6 oz brie, cubed and rind removed
  • 2 T cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • dash sea salt
  • pinch pepper
  • pinch crushed red pepper
  • 3 T apricot preserves (if you can find some at your farmers market, great)
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar

Preheat your oven to 400 F. In a large glass pan, combine your potatoes, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon zest, and toss to coat and combine thoroughly. Roast for ten minutes, or until you’re ready to add the chicken to the pan. 

To make the stuffing, combine the basil, olive oil, egg, brie, garlic, and cream cheese in a blender, and blend until combined into a thick cheesy mixture. If you need to add more olive oil to make it blend better, do so!

If you have skin-on chicken breasts, pull up the skin and stuff 1-2 T of cheese mixture underneath. If you’re like me and got skinless breasts, all is not lost. What you do is take your knife, slice the breast in half diagonally, so you have two diamondish looking shapes, and then cut a pocket in the middle of the breast, but not all the way through, so you can stuff the chicken with the mixture (see pics three and four for what this looks like).

At this point, take the pan out of the oven and slide the potatoes around so that you can nestle the breasts in them in the pan (see pic 6). Sprinkle your sea salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper over the chicken breasts. Mix together your apricot preserves, balsamic vinegar and an additional T of olive oil, and then brush the resulting glaze over the chicken breasts (see pic 7). Put the pan back in the oven and roast for another 30 to 40 mins, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are golden (I went 35, and the final picture resulted).

(If the potatoes are cooking faster than the chicken, feel free to remove them early.) And then? Impress the fuck out of someone with this really delicious one pan meal. 

This is the first meatloaf I’ve ever made, and I can honestly say it’s a pretty damn good meatloaf to start out with. Would probably substitute panko for oats in the future, but otherwise? Get a good gouda, good bacon, and ground meat, all from your local farmers market if you can, and enjoy the awesomeness of this meatloaf.

Bacon and Gouda Stuffed Meatloaf with Tomato Marmalade
Lasts an incredibly long time (about two weeks’ worth of lunches, minimum)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • .75 lb ground pork
  • 2 t grated onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • .25 c oats
  • .5 t garlic salt
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked
  • 1 c grated Gouda (I used smoked gouda, you could also use cheddar)

Tomato Marmalade

  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes (fire roasted if you can find them for a reasonable price)
  • 1.5 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • .25 t crushed red pepper

Cook your bacon to its desired doneness, and while it cooks, grate your Gouda. As soon as the bacon is done, remove it to a paper towel. Combine all ingredients for the loaf except for the bacon and gouda in a large bowl, using your hands if necessary to mash it together.

Ideally, for the loaf, you have a bread pan, but if you don’t, use a cake pan, and shape the loaf in the bottom of the pan with half the meat. Lay down half the gouda, then the bacon, then the other half of the gouda on top, and form the top part of the loaf with the other half of the meat, sealing in the bacon and cheese. Preheat your oven to 350 (325 on my oven), and put the loaf in.

Immediately after the loaf is in the oven, put your tomatoes, balsamic, dark brown sugar, and crushed red pepper in a pot and stir to combine, bringing it to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, and simmer for 30 minutes, until reduced by about half.

Once the marmalade is done, remove the loaf from heat and pour the marmalade on top of it. After that, it should cook for about ten minutes more. I actually set mine for an additional half hour, so that it was closer to an hour in the oven instead of the overall 40 minutes the recipe recommends. My loaf is likely more well done as a result (I haven’t cut far enough in to confirm).

And then, enjoy the noms!

venneh:

This was a quick little experiment that I did, as I had some leftover feta, and a desire to try it marinated. So, I cut it up into cubes, put in some cumin, coriander, oregano, marjoram, and crushed red pepper in the layers of cubes, and poured the olive oil over it. The result was quite tasty, especially with the roasted olives.