Apple Crisp

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A recent trip to Lyon, France has destroyed any sense of a routine in which to cook, so I've been playing with sandwiches and eating more fresh fruit and vegetables. Trouble is these things go bad a bit faster than I can get through them, so I've been looking at a variety of ways to use them.

Which brought me to this Apple Crisp recipe from SeriousEats. I made some very small adjustments for the ingredients I had on-hand, and produced my own Apple Crisp. It takes about 20 minutes of work, and 45 in the oven, and is a great way to use up a bunch of extra apples.

Next time I'm definitely going to add the lemon zest, and perhaps add the lemon juice to the apples to prevent that bit of browning they get (citrus juices prevent oxidation). And I'm going to try adding the pecans, which are good to have around the pantry anyway, and should give a good bit of contrasting texture.

Read my adapted recipe for Apple Crisp here

apple crisp in a bowl with ice
cream

Bean and Rice Burritos

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Another one from the dawn of my culinary bachelor past. This dish is easy, cheap, nutritious, and delicious. It's so easy, I've lost the recipe, I haven't made it in 5 or more years, and still I was able to figure it back out from scratch.

This is a classic easy weeknight meal. Make some rice (20 minutes), build the burritos (5 minutes), and bake for 20 minutes, and you're done. The main ingredients, rice and beans, are pantry staples. The most expensive ingredient is the cheese, but it's good to keep some cheese around for cheese emergencies (though, in my opinion, the only emergency is not having cheese).

Get the recipe for Bean and Rice Burritos

bean and rice burritos on
a plate

Gruyere Shrimp Risotto

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I love risotto. It takes some effort, but that effort is rewarded with a delicious, creamy, flavorful rice dish. I've been making risottos for a while. I made a mushroom parmesan barley risotto with poulet au vin blanc, a few months back.

This gruyere and shrimp risotto was a departure from the recipe I found, which called for asiago and a pressure cooker. I made mine in the classic way, on the stove, slowly. I had some gruyere left over from the potato dauphinois a few weeks ago, and some shrimp that were starting to get a little freezer burn (leftover from shrimp etouffee).

It turned out amazing. The gruyere is sharp but not overpowering. The shrimp lends a wonderful flavor. And it went great with the poulet, which I'm always a fan of.

See the gruyere shrimp risotto recipe

Gruyere shrimp risotto with poulet au vin blanc and roasted
cauliflower

Chicken Parmesan

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I've made this recipe a lot. It was one of the first real things I learned to make. It's one of my favorite recipes: Easy, delicious, and filling. It combines my favorite meat with my favorite pasta sauce. Chicken Parmesan is the perfect chicken dish.

But I've always ever made it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. In my effort to also learn how to be cheap, and having some stuff to use up from last week's tortellini, I decided to try making it with the bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh quarters I had in the freezer.

It worked better than I expected. The chicken turned out great in the oven, and the tomato sauce worked well with a little extra cooking time. I added some cauliflower to complete the meal.

Get the recipe for Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan served on spaghetti with tomato sauce and
cauliflower

Southwest Chicken Mac and Cheese

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Okay, just stick with me on this one.

In my late teens and early twenties, a lot of the food I ate came from cans and boxes, as I imagine most 20-somethings working shitty manufacturing jobs that paid enough to eat better than ramen noodle soup (those poor, lazy college kids). When I remembered, I'd pick up bags of frozen veggies, because I needed to offset the unhealthy with something resembling actual food. This healthy food I would, of course, offset with the cheapest macaroni and cheese I could find (no high-class Kraft Dinner for us, no sir).

As I imagine most of us have done at one time or another (I'm talking to you, KFC Famous Bowl), one day I got the fantastic idea to combine them, and my own personal Bachelor Chow (Now With Flavor) was born: Canned tuna, broccoli normandy, and macaroni and cheese.

This is not that recipe, but it belongs to the same dumb kid, 15 years later.

This recipe calls for a can, yes, of chicken. If you're not feeling that adventurous, or that lazy, you can boil and shred or pan-fry some chicken breast. The pan-fry method will probably result in the most flavor, especially when you get some nice browning.

Southwest Chicken Mac and Cheese

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