Monthly Archives: August 2021

Sheet Pan Chicken and Cabbage

Procrastination is the word of the weekend!

I feel like every time I go and do something on my list I have a “squirrel” moment. We were all going to a pool party yesterday afternoon. Brings me back to my youth; I wonder if that is where my love of parties comes from hmmmm interesting.  I was going to write my blog, pack the cooler, suits and extra clothes before we left. Instead I went out to the garden to weed and harvest, then I came in and processed a ton of tomatoes, divvied up some granola I made and picked up the house?

So here I am about to sit down this morning and write. Squirrel lets strip the bed and start the laundry, and oh the dishes and I should really take the pile off my desk aka the drop zone so while my pictures are downloading I will have it already to do. I have issues I know!

So here I am again, and please don’t think this recipe isn’t something I really want to share, It was so good I had the two leftovers for lunch last week. Plus I overheard my husband talking with someone at the party about what my wife made with some cabbage from the garden and it was really good. I love sheet pan dinners, they are super easy and all the ones I have made are blog worthy.

Sheet pan chicken and cabbage

dclarkabal
comes together quickly with great flavor
Course dinner
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 8 pieces bone-in skin-on chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions
 

  • pre-heat oven to 425°F and grease a sheet pan
  • Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. In a small bowl add the oils, soy sauce, vinegar, and sriracha. You don't have to use the sriracha if you don't like a little heat but I strongly recommend it. Add a little less if you want. Pour 1/4 of this mixture over the chicken. Note if you are using melted coconut oil you will want the chicken at room temperature. I didn't do this and it coagulated. Let it marinade while the oven pre-heats 10-15 minutes.
  • Cut the cabbage in half through the core, cut the each core again, keep doing this until you have slices of cabbage, all a little less than and inch thick. I removed my core which is why mine are not holding together in chunks. Your choice remove or keep intact. Season the cabbage with salt and pepper then place in a large bowl and cover with the leftover marinade.
  • Place the chicken on the sheet pan and into the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the cabbage around and under the chicken if needed. Back into the oven to roast for 20 - 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a platter and return the cabbage to the oven to get a little caramelized about 10-25 more minutes. Serve warm.

Spaghetti with lemon and summer cherry tomatoes


Mary Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow?

I would say; if asked that it is doing OK; just OK because somethings are doing way better than others. I would argue that it’s more the weathers fault than my own; how could you dispute it? July was the rainiest on record, August has been hazy hot and humid and still a bit damp. Later today we are supposed to get rain and wind from hurricane Henri. Even being an hour and a half from the coast we still feel some of the weather. Flooding is being talked upped quite a bit over the weekend around here. If you are on the coast please stay safe!

Back to the garden – our sunburst cherry tomatoes are popping. I picked all I could yesterday and will be making this recipe sometime for dinner this week. If you like simple recipes that pack a punch of flavor and you have an abundance of cherry tomatoes; this one is for you.
My daughter made this last weekend while we were away so I only had the leftovers for lunch. Even a couple of days later it was delicious. Super flavorful with just a little heat.

Spaghetti with lemon and summer cherry tomatoes

dclarkabal
a simple summer pasta with a punch of lemon and heat

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic smashed and sliced
  • 3 pints cherry tomatoes 1 pint halved
  • 1 teaspoon habanero chile finely diced
  • 2 lemons zested and juiced
  • 1 pound dried bucatini or use thick spaghetti if you can't find it
  • cup Parmesan Reggiano grated or use pecorino, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves roughly chopped, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup fresh parsley roughly chopped, plus more for serving
  • 2-3 links Italian sausage optional

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, do not walk away from the stove. Cook until it is light brown, about 2 minutes. Add all of the tomatoes and chile. Season generously with salt. Cook until the tomatoes begin to burst, 8-10 minutes. Stir in half the lemon zest and all of the lemon juice. Continue to cook until most of the tomatoes have burst and begun to break down, 3-5 minutes. Set them aside and cover to keep warm.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the bucatini and cook according to the package directions until al dente
  • Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the tomato mixture, grated cheese, and ½ cup of the pasta water to the pot and toss to combine. Add additional pasta water, as needed, to make a light sauce. Stir in the fresh herbs and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh herbs, more grated cheese and some lemon zest
  • If using sausage, slice 1 to 1½ inch pieces and sauté in a pan until browned and cooked through. Add on top and around the pasta once plated

 

XL Zucchini go-to’s – lemon zucchini tea cake and zucchini bread

 

I am curious how many people that took up gardening last year because of Covid are still gardening this year? I do know that my local gardening store was a little more prepared for it this year; unlike last year when they were out of just about everything. We have had some sort of a garden for well over 30 years now and it seems to continually keep growing; no pun intended. Though this was the first time in; so long I can’t remember when that I wasn’t able to get any garlic in the ground last year for this Spring’s harvest but we are dealing with it fine.

img_4528

This year we had more summer squash and zucchini so I didn’t make as many baked goods with the super large zucchini that sometimes just appear in the garden. There are a couple of recipes that are my go-to for those super large what the hell do I do with this monster. 

img_4530

The first thing I make is zucchini bread. This is a crowd pleaser and I love that I can make so many small loaves for the freezer. Personally for just the three of us we do not leave a full size loaf of anything. We are usually all set with eating the same thing over and over again by day 2; but feel obligated to eat the whole thing before it goes bad or dries out. 

img_4536

I am going to share a couple of recipes with you today so if you are gardening or lucky enough to come across some super large “what to do with me” zucchinis you can start with one of these or both. I think you will be very happy either way.

 

img_4527

Lemon Zucchini Tea Cake

dclarkabal
a little sweet, a little tart, a little dense a lot delicious

Equipment

  • 9 inch cake pan

Ingredients
  

cake

  • ¾ cup oil can you use applesauce or coconut oil
  • cup shredded zucchini drained
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 x-large eggs
  • cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice use the same lemon you zested
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • handful of fresh blueberries

cream cheese frosting

  • 1 8 ounce box cream cheese softened
  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
  • 1 16 ounce box confectioners sugar roughly 4 cups - I buy mine in a large bag

Instructions
 

cake

  • In a stand mixer or use your hand mixer; combine the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light in color 1-2 minutes. Add the applesauce, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla beat until well combined another 1-2 minutes. Add the zucchini, beat till combined; another minute. Sift the flour, soda, powder and salt. Add this mixture to create the batter and beat till combined; do not over mix.
  • Grease or spray your pan and add the batter, place in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. Bake until your wooden toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool, loosen the edges and invert the cake onto a wire rack to completely cool. Once cool, spread cream cheese frosting and top with some blueberries

cream cheese frosting

  • In a stand mixer, cream together the room temperature cream cheese and butter. add the vanilla and confectioners sugar blend until smooth and creamy
  • spread the frosting all over the top of the cooled cake and cover with blueberries. Slice and enjoy!

Zucchini Bread

great recipe to make different size loaves and freeze.
Course bread
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 package vanilla pudding
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups AP-flour
  • 2 cups zucchini grated and drained

Instructions
 

  • preheat oven to 350'F grease baking dish
  • in a mixing bowl add the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and mix well
  • in another small bowl add the vanilla pudding, baking soda and powder, plus the flour and stir or whisk to combine.
  • add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix till combined.
  • Add the shredded zucchini and stir till everything is mixed together.
  • fill baking dishes 3/4 full and bake for 45-55 minutes. adjust timing for which ever size dishes you are using
Keyword baking, zucchini, zucchini bread

 

Summer Garden Salad

I hope you have a wonderful day!

IMG_4450

When I initially share this recipe back in 2016; sounds forever ago I know but this is a fantastic salad that comes together very quickly and is great to share with family and friends. If you have a vegetable garden you probably have almost everything right outside your door.   

IMG_4437

Back in 2016 everything you see here was mine except the corn on the cob. I wouldn’t and haven’t let my husband plant corn in many many years. I always felt it took up too much real estate for what we got out of it. If we got any ears they were super small, yes they were very tender and super sweet but I wasn’t impressed. This year I let him have the raised bed garden that I don’t really like. So he is trying corn again. I think it’s been close to 17 years since we tried growing it. We’ll see how it goes this year.  Interesting fact about corn on the cob. It is the sweetest when you pick it, meaning eat it as soon as you pick it or bring it home as the longer you wait the less sweet it will be.

IMG_4439

I would make the dressing up before you start chopping your veggies up, only so it has time to meld together. 

Summer Garden Salad

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
quick and easy summer salad
Prep Time 30 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 small clove of garlic minced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup sliced cherry grape or like tomatoes
  • ½ medium cucumber halved, seeded and sliced thin
  • ½ medium yellow summer squash quartered and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ¼ medium sweet onion sliced thin
  • Kernels from 1 ear of corn
  • 1 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh basil

Instructions
 

  • Whisk the first 5 ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  • Add the next diced/sliced 5 ingredients; stir well to combine.
  • Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  • Stirring occasionally before serving.
  • Garnish with basil.

Grilled flounder with a tarragon (mostly parsley) lime Escabeche

Served along side roasted potatoes from our garden

 

How many times have you had something stick to your grill, oiled and or hot enough not it happens. I do not proclaim to be a grill master by any means. I have always used a gas grill so it goes without saying that if I were to grill on charcoal flame it would take some adjustment on my part. Who knows maybe some day I’ll bite the bullet and get a dual grill, probably not!

Anyway here is a method of cooking that might be of some interest to you if you are to ever need to cook a delicate fish on a grill, any type of fueled grill. Plus it adds a little lemon love to your fish which is always welcomed in my world.

The Escabeche is a Spanish sauce and a great way to add a little punch of flavor to such a delicate white fish. Were tarragon is a or can be a powerful herb; my daughter was making this recipe from her Cook Beautiful cookbook and the smell of the tarragon made her quite gun shy so her sauce had more parsley than tarragon. I will share with you the recipe how it was written but you do you and make it however you want.

Grilled flounder with a tarragon (mostly parsley) Escabeche sauce

dclarkabal
a great way to grill delicate fish with a nice sauce

Ingredients
  

Fish

  • 4-6 large lemons 1 lemon per fillet
  • 4-6 fillets
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Escabeche

  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 limes zested and juiced
  • 1 cup packed fresh tarragon finely chopped
  • ½ cup packed fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and deveined finely diced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Instructions
 

Fish

  • Preheat grill over medium-high heat to about 400°F. Cut each lemon into five slices, discarding the ends. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the sliced lemon on the grill in clusters of five. Place one fillet on each cluster of lemon slices. Make sure that none of the fish is touching the grill grates. Close the lid and let the fish cook through. roughly 6 to 8 minutes. Using a wide spatula, carefully lift the fish and lemons off the grill. Serve with the Escabeche sauce

Tarragon Escabeche

  • mash the garlic clove with salt to make a paste.
  • in a bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice and zest, along with the mashed garlic. Add the tarragon and parsley and jalapeno. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and set aside until ready to use.