Chicken parmesan ziti bake is a delicious, easy pasta bake that will feed a large family. It takes little time to assemble, making this the perfect dinner choice for evenings where you are in a hurry.
For the carnivores
Sage-butter pork chops seems to be the new favorite on our dinner table. Are you really busy but still want to impress your family or maybe some dinner guests? Are you out of ideas of what to cook for your family? Everyone sighing when you take out your old trusty meatloaf from the oven? Then why not try these absolutely delicious sage butter pork chops. They really are so quick and easy to make. With only 4 ingredients excluding salt and pepper this really is a win recipe for a week-night dinner. The butter turns brown and lends a beautiful nutty flavor to the dish. The aroma of the sage with the roasted garlic, and butter is to die for. I serve these sage-butter pork chops with lemony, smashed potatoes a fresh green salad and my favorite ice-cold, crisp Chardonnay.
Be careful when cooking the pork chops. Pork chops can easily be overcooked as they are a lean form of meat. If they are over cooked they will dry out and become chewy and much less tasty. Due to the heat the pork chops retain , they will continue to cook after being removed from the oven. If your chops are on the thinner side it is advisable to cook them no more than 4-5 minutes. Thicker pork chops will cook slightly longer. A good way to make sure that you do not overcook them, is to use a meat thermometer. The pork will we done when the thickest part reads 63° Celsius, when the thermometer is stuck in from the side edge.
This lovely sage-butter pork chops also go well with these potato wedges.
If you enjoyed this post be sure to like and subscribe via email. I would also love to hear from you in the comments section. Bon Appetit!
I simply adore citrus fruits, the sweet tanginess and the smell of the peels when cut or grated. I also love lazy Sundays with a roast in the oven and the sweet promise of dessert and an afternoon nap on a cool winter’s afternoon. If all of the above also appeals to you, you might want to consider trying this orange, honey and garlic chicken with sweet perfumed baby fennel bulbs. There is just something very festive about placing a roast on a set table and carving it after saying grace. I almost feel like doing it every day of the week. The ingredients all cook down to a sweet fragrant sauce, and the fennel bulbs soak in all the citrus flavour that complement their soft anise flavours.
I served this roast chicken with fluffy white Basmati rice garnished with fresh parsley, and a lightly sauteed greens and roasted baby beetroot salad.
Serves: 4 Takes: About 15 min to prepare and 1 1/2 hour to cook. Easy
- One large chicken (about 1.5kg)
- 1/2 orange
- 3 large hands full of mixed fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/8 cup honey
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 heaped teaspoons chicken rub
- 3 whole oranges (cut into quarters)
- 1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
- cracked black pepper
- 8 baby fennel bulbs (greens cut off)
- 2 large leeks (chopped into slices)
- Pre-heat your oven to 200°C
- Prepare the chicken by patting dry with a paper towel and removing excess fat.
- Place the 1/2 orange and the fresh herbs in the empty cavity and tie the legs together with string.
- Combine the olive oil, orange juice, garlic, honey, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and chicken rub in a container and whisk well.
- Place the chicken, fennel bulbs, orange quarters and leeks in a large dutch oven.
- Pour the prepared olive oil-mixture over the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover the dutch oven with it’s lid and roast for about one hour.
- After one hour remove the lid and further roast uncovered for another 30 minutes making sure all the juices run clear when a knife is inserted inbetween the leg and body before removing from the oven.
- Once removed from the oven, rest for another half an hour to let the juices redistribute before carving and serving with the fennel bulbs and leeks.
If you enjoyed this you might also like Vanilla and Rosemary Chicken
Planning a braai (barbeque) for this weekend? Why not try these awesome burgers with lamb patties cooked over the coals topped with smoked mozzarella cheese. They are quick and easy to make and your friends and family will love you for them and I promise you once you have made your own patties, you will never want to buy ready-made ones again. The patties are made with simple fresh ingredients and gains flavor from the grill. The patties can also be pan-fried or roasted in the oven but I find them at their best when cooked over the coals with slices of tomato on top.
I placed the tomato slices on the patties in a closed braai grid as the grilled tomato just adds more depth and flavor to the burger, but you can use fresh slices if you prefer. Remember a good burger is made with the freshest breadrolls and lettuce for extra crunch and texture. I prefer to lightly toast the breadrolls in the oven, it really makes a difference so please don’t skip this step. Add your favourite hot sauce or flavored mayonaise to crown all the goodness you collected in the bun. Lastly, don’t forget to serve with some fries and your favourite drink.
Serves: 4-5 Takes: Less than an hour. Easy
- 500g lamb mince
- 1 medium onion
- 3 big hands full fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tomato sliced
- smoked mozzarella cheese (or cheddar)
- pickled cucumbers
- burger buns (toasted)
- your favourite burger sauce
- Ready some medium coals to roast the patties.
- Finely chop the onion and parsley in a food processor.
- Add the onion and parsley to the lamb mince in a mixing bowl together with the salt and smoked parsley and mix well.
- Form patties from the mixture and place on a double braai grid for flipping over the coals.
- Top the patties with the tomato slices and season with salt and pepper before closing the grid.
- Once the coals are ready, cook the patties for about twenty minutes or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper after each flip of the grid. Remove the grid when it is done.
- Place the patties on a bed of lettuce on the burger bun and top with cheese, pickled cucumbers and sauce of your choice
- Serve with fries.
Vanilla and Rosemary chicken the perfect summer food:
One of my family’s favorite meals remains the humble roast chicken. Golden roasted, I find this Vanilla and Rosemary Chicken hard to declare not being one of my favourites to make. I usually can’t wait for it to come out of the oven. Especially during the summer months, when it is sweltering hot in Pretoria, I like to prepare it early and store it in the refrigerator to cool down. Served with a green salad and fresh bread it is the perfect summer food.
My husband, who is probably also the biggest fan of my food, bless his dolly heart, told me about a radio interview which he overheard the other day. In this interview, the various uses of vanilla were being discussed, which also included using it in chicken dishes. Being the explorer I am, I decided to give this a try, and so this recipe for an easy vanilla and rosemary chicken was created.
Although, this is slightly different from the way I usually roast chicken, I thought the taste to be quite interesting. I never thought that vanilla could work well with chicken, after all vanilla ( I have always thought) is for baking but somehow it just does.
So if you are feeling a bit adventurous, maybe you should like to have a bash at it. You might be pleasantly surprised.
How to make this easy vanilla and rosemary chicken:
- 1 Medium sized chicken approximately 1-1.5 kg
- Salt (about one teaspoon) and freshly ground pepper to season
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste
- 3 Tablespoons of butter
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice of one lemon.
- 12 Sprigs of fresh Rosemary
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 Roasting bag
- Preheat the oven to 200 ° C
- Rub the chicken on the inside of the cavity as well as the the outside with the salt and pepper to taste
- Loosen the skin carefully on top of the breast and rub with vanilla paste and butter
- Place some of the rosemary inside of the chicken’s cavity and tie the chicken’s legs together with string.
- Place the chicken in the roasting bag
- Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour over the chicken in the roasting bag. Rub the mixture into the chicken. Place the remaining rosemary under the chicken in the bag
- Tie the roasting bag and place into the oven for approximately 2 hours
- Turn the roasting bag every 1/2 hour so that the meat can brown on both sides and the juices can baste the chicken
- When the chicken has turned golden on both sides and the juices run clear, remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving
I served this on a hot summers day with fresh flat breads, green salad and corn on the cob.
If you enjoyed this post you might enjoy:
For another, awesome vanilla chicken recipe, head over to The Olive Scene for this Vanilla Balsamic Chicken recipe.
Vanilla and Rosemary chicken
Roasting bag and Oven
- 1 med free-range chicken
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 lemon's zest and juice
- 12 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Rub the chicken with salt and pepper all over, including the inside cavity.
Loosen se skin around the breast carefully by inserting your hand and rub the vanilla paste and butter between the breast of the chicken and the skin.
Place half of the rosemary and the juiced halves of the lemon in the chicken cavity and tie the chicken's legs together with string.
Place the chicken inside of the roasting bag on top of the remaining rosemary
Mix the zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract and pour over the chicken in the roasting bag.
Bake for approximately 1 ½ hour until the juices of the chicken runs clear. During this time turn the bag every ½ hour to baste the chicken and make sure it roasts golden on both sides.
Remove from oven when cooked and rest.
” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/notsoskinnycook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/11-img_9384.jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/notsoskinnycook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/11-img_9384.jpg?fit=480%2C320&ssl=1″ class=”size-full wp-image-767″ title=”Duck in Orange and Van Der Hum Sauce” src=”https://i2.wp.com/notsoskinnycook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/11-img_9384.jpg?resize=480%2C320″ alt=”Duck in Orange and Van Der Hum Sauce” width=”480″ height=”320″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ />
I adore traditional Sunday food! I feel deliriously happy when I have something roasting in the oven on Sunday morning, plotting what I would fix for dessert to create the perfect Sunday lunch. This Sunday was no different, only this time I swapped the traditional roast chicken for duck.
It is not every day that fresh free range duck is available in South Africa, so I jumped at the opportunity to take this guy home when I found it at one of our local food stores. Duck is one of my favorite meals to order when I get the chance at a restaurant. I am happy to report to my dear readers that the not so skinny cook would be very satisfied and most happy to eat the above recipe at any restaurant. As my five-year old son, who watches a lot of cooking shows with his mother, would say (in his best Afrikaans accent): delicious!
” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/notsoskinnycook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/14-img_9390.jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/notsoskinnycook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/14-img_9390.jpg?fit=320%2C480&ssl=1″ class=”size-full wp-image-770″ title=”Duck in Orange and Van Der Hum Sauce” src=”https://i1.wp.com/notsoskinnycook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/14-img_9390.jpg?resize=320%2C480″ alt=”Duck in Orange and Van Der Hum Sauce” width=”320″ height=”480″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ />
Now this duck is firstly roasted, cut into pieces and then gently cooked in an orange flavored sauce, creating a crispy duck in intense orange flavors. I decided to serve the roast duck with whole roasted baby potatoes, sweet baby carrots, and minted peas. This Sunday roast was the perfect beginning to a new week with further promises of sun and spring.
” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/notsoskinnycook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/13-img_9388.jpg?fit=300%2C176&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/notsoskinnycook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/13-img_9388.jpg?fit=480%2C281&ssl=1″ class=”size-full wp-image-769″ title=”Duck in Orange and Van Der Hum Sauce” src=”https://i2.wp.com/notsoskinnycook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/13-img_9388.jpg?resize=480%2C281″ alt=”Duck in Orange and Van Der Hum Sauce” width=”480″ height=”281″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ />
This mouth-watering dish will serve 4 persons. Preparation time about 1/2 an hour. Cooking time about 41/4 hours.
- 1 2kg duck
- 10 ml ginger powder
- salt and black cracked pepper
- 1 orange cut into quarters
- 1 onion cut into quarters
- 180 ml Orange Liqueur
- 1 cup of unsweetened orange juice
- 2 cups of good quality vegetable stock
- 1/2 orange cut into julienne strips
- 2 Tbsps cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- Rinse the duck with water and remove all unwanted fat around the neck , tail and the cavity of the duck.
- Rub the duck all over with ginger, salt and pepper.
3. Place all the orange quarters as well as the onion inside of the body cavity.
4. Prick with a fork all over to allow the fats to cook out.
5. Roast in a pre-heated oven of 220º C for half an hour on a roasting rack in your pan and remove from oven.
6. Drain all fats from the pan and add about 2 cups of water to the pan, prick all over once more and lower the heat of the oven to 180º C. Pour a 1/4 of a cup of orange liqueur over the duck before replacing in the oven. Proceed to roast for another hour.
7. Remove from the oven and turn the duck on it’s back to ensure even roasting. Prick for a third time and pour another 1/4 cup of orange liqueur over. Return to the oven for about another hour. Do a prick test between the thighs and the legs to check if the juices run clear, which is an indication that the duck has been cooked through. Remove from the oven and place aside while you prepare the sauce.
- In a sauce pan bring the veggie stock, orange juice and orange peel to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Make a paste by adding the remaining orange liqueur and soy sauce to the cornstarch and then add this paste to the cooking orange mixture. Cook until thick and season further if required.
Cut the duck into neat pieces and place in a roasting dish. Pour the orange sauce over and bake in a pre-heated oven of 160º C.
Enjoy with your favourite glass of fruity white wine and company for a Sunday lunch.
This recipe was adapted from Lynn Bedford Hall’s Keur uit die kookkuns in Suid-Afrika ISBN 186872 520 0 which you can order for further reference from Kalahari.