Kelly the Culinarian: October 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cooking with Kelly: Whole roast chicken

Mmm, roast chickens are delicious. They sell these at Jewel for $5 pretty frequently, but I like to make my own because then I know what's in it. I can modify the flavors, know what's in it and often, do it a bit cheaper.

I can get a whole chicken for $.89 per pound. The ingredients you need are:

One whole chicken, about five pounds

1 Tablespoon softened butter

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 teaspoon canola oil

1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking spray

The first step is to remove the giblets! I've made this mistake once and that was enough. Ick.

Next, rinse the inside and exterior and pat dry with a paper towel. Then, work the skin away from the breast to make a pocket. Mix the butter, oil and rosemary together, then place under the skin. Salt and pepper the skin and the interior, then stuff the cavity with the onion.

Tuck the wings under the bird to allow for even cooking. You can either use cotton kitchen string to tie the legs together or you can use a bamboo skewer to do the job. I personally like to cut a small slit in the skin of the breast to stick the legs in -- it's just one less thing to remove at the end.

Place on a trivet or cooling rack before placing above a roasting rack. This will keep the skin crispy because the fat will drain away. Spray the outside of the bird with a spritz of cooking oil to ensure browning, then cook at 425 degree for 15 minutes. Then, lower the heat to 375 and cook until the bird reads at 165 degrees. My bird took about 45 minutes, but your time will vary with the size of the bird.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cooking with Kelly: $3 Date Night Pizza

We really enjoy pizza in this household. In fact, my husband has mastered a completely from-scratch deep-dish pizza, complete with cornmeal crust. Yeah, he's a keeper.

But it's a lot of work. Sometimes, we want to take a short cut. We get free bread products through my husband's work, so we enjoy a Boboli pizza pretty frequently. We are also fortunate to have some produce from my humble patio garden. With our free tomatoes and ridiculous amount of Thai basil, I bought a bag of on-sale Italian cheese blend to make a $3 designer pizza.

The method -- heat the grill on high heat. Place the pizza crust face down for three minutes, just long enough to get grill marks. Then, turn down the heat to medium and flip it. I topped mine with the sliced tomatoes, a grind of fresh salt, chiffonade Thai basil and 1.5 cups of shredded cheese. Close the lid of the grill, then wait until the cheese has melted.

In a restaurant, this creation would cost us $10.99. Yay for frugal dinner dates!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cooking with Kelly: Grilled Banana Dessert

Delicious desserts are not necessarily part of the whole diet thing. And yet, I crave chocolate. Often.

Not that this is original, but my goodness, it was a revelation for me. This dessert weighs in at about 200 calories AND has chocolate. Real chocolate!

Super simple: Use a fresh, not quite ripe banana. Butterfly it like a pork chop or chicken breast. Place on a grill preheated to medium and cook for five minutes. I topped mine with one Tablespoon of chocolate ice cream topping, which is 70 calories on its own.

Delish and still on diet!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Guest post at Econobusters!

After my lentil soup recipe below, I realized that I've never written about my homemade stock. I love making homemade stock because it's a great way to ensure that you don't waste anything in your kitchen. I recently wrote a blog entry for Molly at Econobusters, one of my favorite blogs.

Molly also writes about frugal living and making the most of a buck, not only in your kitchen, but throughout your home. Check out my guest post here.