February 27, 2013

White Chicken Chili Recipe

While some say chili dishes are best for cold weather, a lot of people would say it’s best for summer, as well. White chili can be one of your first successful attempts too, that’s if you haven’tried white chili. We’re lucky to get White Chicken Chili recipe, here. Although the dish is something perfect for leftover turkey, you can cook it anytime of the year. This dish is a full meal itself, full of meat and vegetables and spices. It’s great hot, but can be even better reheated. So, is it still cold where you are?

Read the full article here:
Cold Weather Recipe: White Chicken Chili — Recipes from The Kitchn

chili chicken


January 19, 2013

One Heck of a Good Sandwich

This is a stream-of-consciousness, in a lot of extraneous information about what is going on in a blogger’s life. A recipe for a balsamic roast beef sandwich in six different varieties of peanut butter. The sandwich may not look that appetizing at all but who would have to be quite hungry even to consider taking a bite? If one commenter has planned to buy a crockpot for this, what could be yours? After all, this is one heck of a GOOD sandwich.

Read the full article here:
One heck of a good sandwich….


December 6, 2012

The Great Orange Taters: Sweet Potatoes — Ingredient Spotlight

Sweet potatoes are one of the sweetest easiest vegetables to cook. The skin is usually not very good to eat so tearing it off before cooking would be a plus. You can even cook them just like regular potatoes if you choose like deep frying or steaming for mashed any way you choose to. They are very delicious and very healthy for you as well.

[Editor’s note: A Clay Bakeware is a healthier alternative to roasting perfect potatoes – no fat required, and renders moist and tender results.]

Read the full article here:
The Great Orange Taters: Sweet Potatoes — Ingredient Spotlight


November 12, 2012

The Way to Cook Turkey Without Drying Out Its Meat

Like always, I am starting to get emails and calls asking everything from cooking turkey to carving, and how to cook  turkey without drying out the white meat. Very challenging, though, but through the years of getting the same questions, I’ve gathered up cooking tips on how to prepare turkey not just on Thanksgiving.

It is important to consider correct cooking time from the oven accuracy, oven temperature along with the temperature of the bird when it is put in the oven whether or not it is stuffed, the height and thickness of the roasting pan, and how frequently you open the oven door. Turkey takes time to cook through to the bone so it is important to cook the bird at a sufficiently high temperature so it is safe to eat. If you keep basting your turkey while cooking, the oven heat is affected by opening the door too often. So keep the basting to a minimum.

Do not stuff your turkey the night before as bacteria can build up in the stuffing ingredients even when the stuffed bird is highly-refrigerated. Studies show that the cavity of the bird insulates the stuffing from the cold environment that can incubate harmful bacteria. The safest way is to lightly stuff the turkey just before popping it into a preheated oven. Unstuffed turkey can cook faster without drying-out and overcooking the meat. Check the temperature of the stuffing as well-160°F is ideal. When checking doneness in your turkey, simply insert a food thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, the wing and the thickest part of the breast. The temperature should register 165ºF or higher in each part of the turkey.

Although turkey roasting charts are basic approximations in general, most recipes for whole roasted turkeys require an oven temperature between 325° and 375°F. Using these moderate temperatures ensure the most even cooking throughout the bird, even more so when the bird is stuffed. Some recipes outline high-roast turkey cooked at a very high 500-450ºF. High roast turkeys may render crisp and crusty breast skin, but the meat may tend to become a bit dry during roasting. To ensure not to overcook the bird, careful monitoring of the bird’s temperature is required.

When marinating, the turkey stands in the mixture of different ingredients, like lemon juice, vinegar and wine, the acid and the oil impart the aromatic flavor of the spices and pass it onto the meat, while at the same time giving a tenderizing effect. Too much acid in the marinade can cause the meat to be stringy and tough. It is fairly wise to use a recipe for the exact marinating combination. According to Food Safety and Inspection Service, you can safely marinate your turkey for up to two days in the refrigerator.

Don’t be too anxious if you don’t perfect your turkey right away, even great chefs keep trying out with smaller birds to perfect something big. In fact, very few cooks claim that their first turkey was perfect. The more you give it a try, the more you’ll get results keep getting better. When the dark turkey meat is already soft enough to break apart with a fork, then the white meat must be moist and tasty – your turkey is properly prepared. This Thanksgiving, why not prepare a more flavorful turkey in a Clay Roaster? It’s perfect for big meals. Browse for them at Your Smart Kitchen.


November 7, 2012

Tasty Cinnamon Coffee Bread – A Clay Baker Staying in Recipe

Aside from my personally-bought clay bakers, I too have a tagine that I inherited. I mostly use it like a dutch oven, so we can roast whole chicken and a brisket in there. I assume from the comments of friends about beans & sausage because it would cook by steaming everything together – much like you would expect a tagine or clay baker to do. So as the cooler and sometimes downright cold weather starts to settle in, there is always a good use for good recipes that make staying in more enjoyable. I have learned to like baking things in it as my staying in recipes – like casseroles.

This one is easy to fix, tasty cinnamon coffee bread.

Photo courtesy – The Rural Mom

Cinnamon Coffee Bread

  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh, strong coffee
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Oven Temperature – 400 degrees F. Do not preheat – 40 – 50 minutes. Prior to baking, soak the bread clay baker in water for 15 minutes, drain and pat with a towel to remove excess moisture. Generously grease the interior of the baker. Cream the butter and 1/2 cup of sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluppy then beat in an egg and the vanilla. In a separate bowl, prepare the flour baking powder and slat and thoroughly mix. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and slowly beat in the coffee. When the batter has become completely mixed through, add in the half and continue to mix until smooth.

At this point the batter should be spread evenly in the clay baker. Now mix the ¼ cup of sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the batter. Place the baker into a cold oven and set the temperature to 400° F. The cinnamon coffee bread takes approximately 40 – 50 minutes to bake or until a toothpick can be inserted and pulled out clean. Let the bread stand in the baker for at least 10 minutes before pulling the bread and placing it on a cooling rack. Serve hot or at room temperature with coffee or hot cocoa.

Feel free to find other recipes on our newsletter, as well. You’ll enjoy it becoming a Chef Wannabee. Plus,a free claybaker cookbook for you. Tomorrow, I’ll explain the secrets to this tasty bread. Wait for it.


November 5, 2012

Which Between Cast Iron and Clay Pans Bake Well

You can’t go wrong baking with clay or cast iron. In fact, both materials are proven to make great baked goods. Wonderful pies have many times come out of a clay baker or a terracotta dish. Aside from that, new earthenware pans come with a cookbook that teaches about pre-baking. Some people also claim that the only way to get a great corn bread is through a cast iron, which also is the best way to make quick breads and biscuits.

So, which baking pan really works well?

I’ve actually used both metal and earthenware baking pans for everything. Many times I have baked bread loaf in cast-iron or in my clay pot in a cold oven and I get beautiful results each time, and since baking bread is all about technique, a little practice is what is needed to get the most of my baking pans. My Romertopf clay pot pieces have been one of the best bakewares and almost ideal for almost what I bake. Alternatively, I’ve also tried cakes, cobblers, quick breads, yeast breads, pies and baked desserts in my cast iron. There probably is no lesser kind of a baking pan in a clay or cast iron bake ware – we only need to know the main difference to see which one goes well with your needs.

The Clay Baker Baked
Image courtesy – Frenchy Addict

Clay is a porous or “absorbent” material which, when soaked in water and heated in the oven, provides slow evaporation of steam from the pores. During the baking process, the porosity of the clay allows hot air and moisture to combine within the pot and cook the food in a manner similar to that of steam cooking, and keeps the food moist. The end result is a tastier, more nutritious and more flavorful bread. The distinctiveness of clay pot baking is moist bread that is easy to slice.

The Cast Iron Baked
Image courtesy – Baby Hedge Hogs

Cast iron pots are generally suitable for sautéing anything and for making pancakes and crêpes. When used as a baking pan, the temperature it provides has the power to generate a good crust in your baked goods. Baking bread in a Dutch oven or a cast-iron pot maintains the steam in with the bread, creating a crust that’s nice and chewy. It retains heat and radiates the heat of the oven consistently. Using my cast iron red pate terrine mold, I only pre-heat the pan to very hot then I gently put the dough into the hot baking pan. I get great loaf breads, every time.

Baking bread in a cast iron red pate terrine
Image courtesy – Cook on Your Feet

So, either baked in clay, or cast iron, great bread is made with perfect timing and temperature. The timing is your guide that will allow your baking pan to work well in shaping your loaves. For great baking tips, here are some from The Fresh Loaf.



November 3, 2012

Buy Your Romertopf Clay Bakers Now Before They Disappear

We received some bad news this morning that Reco is going out of business at the end of the year.  They are the supplier of the Romertopf line of clay bakers, bread bakers and other items.  It is not clear if we will be able to replace them.  So Your Smart Kitchen will be featuring these products to be sure you can get what you need before they disappear. Romertopf Direct also announces Reco Rometopf Closing.

Unless specially called for in a recipe, food cooked in a clay pot requires no liquid. The result incorporates all-natural juices, the full flavor and taste, and all the essential nutrients and vitamins are retained. Romertopf clay bakers cook all types of foods without adding any fat. For the expert cooks, any dish that can be slow-cooked in the oven can be cooked in a clay baker, and this includes our favorite braises, stews, whole chickens, pot roasts, baked beans, even the most complex organic loaves of bread.

We are a family with a collection of clay bakers that we often used for so many things. The one major use though is for garlic roast chicken. For as quick as preparing garlic, onions and smaller chickens that have the garlic cloves shoved literally everywhere and then slow roasted, we get instant classic chicken meal anytime. Cooking the Romertopf way makes the garlic creamy and the chicken is super tenderly moist. My wife has many times used our clay baker for roasts of all kinds of meat, vegetables and even turkeys.

A 2-3 pounds capacity clay baker (photo above) is perfect for the single person wanting to prepare healthy low fat meals. It’s easy to store and can be used in the microwave. It saves time. Simply soak the Romertopf in water for 10-15 minutes prior each use, submersing top and bottom. Place the ingredients inside and put the clay baker into a cold oven, then simply set the temperature and timer. This is also a convenient size can be used for side dishes, vegetables, and even desserts.

Romertopf’s largest clay baker  (photo below) holds up to 7-1/2 lbs. Perfect for that Thanksgiving Turkey, a holiday beef roast or Supper Bowl chili. Simply soak the clay pot for 15 minutes and put into a cold oven. This clay pot produces the most tender turkey you have ever tasted. It can be used for chicken, meats, fish, soups, even desserts. It has a 6 1/2 Qt capacity  and holds up to 7 1/2 lbs.

The strictest Reco supervision ensures they are lead and cadmium free so you can take comfort knowing that food cooked in a Romertopf baker not only tastes good but is good for you as well. So that you don’t erase the Reco Romertopf’s renaissance of clay-pot cooking, buy your Romertopf clay bakers now and allow your kitchen to be among the smart kitchens to continue the beautiful Reco Romertopf Clay Baker spirit.



November 1, 2012

Lamb Meatballs with Mint Preserved Lemon

“Lamb Meatballs with Mint & Preserved Lemon” is one article you have to read if you like to try new dishes! The photos in this article are lovely and make your mouth water! Pickling lemons is something that is worth a try and this article may be the thing that makes me do it!  The tangin makes this flavorful and beautiful.

Read the full article here:
Lamb Meatballs with Mint & Preserved Lemon


October 25, 2012

Natural Browning with Clay Pot Cooking

I’ve always been a fan of people with a heart on cooking with clay pots. They know its not only incredibly tasty, but also healthy. This process of cooking in clay is similar to that of steaming, which for all we know is a fat-free method of preparing food.

Clay pots today fall into two categories: glazed and unglazed. Glazed clay pots are produced for the purpose of glazing the bottom to provide easy cleaning. Though unglazed clay pots are porous, they soak up more liquid which produces more steam resulting to tenderizing meats and the most natural browning, even with the lid on.

But though cooking in clay is similar to that of steaming which requires a little liquid and fat, food cooked in clay browns easily. When set aside with the lid on, meals cooked in a clay pot retain their heat and moisture without becoming soggy. Your food will remain warm by leaving the lid on the cooker after removing it from the oven without overcooking. It’s the only cookware that requires less fat, use less liquid, require little tending and can even brown meats.

When using your clay pot for browning, always begin by soaking the clay pot in water for 20 minutes before placing it over low heat on the stove. If this is your first time using the clay pot, soak it in water overnight before heating it on the stove.

Photo courtesy – breadmakingblog.breadexperience.com

If you notice romertopf roasters – they are wonderful for just about anything, and they can make great bread bakers. During the baking process, the clay cookware retains heat and moisture that penetrates the product, thereby tenderizing the fibers, depositing the flavorful spices and keeping it moist, which delivers to you a tastier, moister and more tender result. It is a truly “green” cookware, whereby no harmful chemicals are used or contained in the clay cookware. This type of cooking allows you to cook without any additives like water, fats, oils, or other liquids and therefore is ideal for dieters or those with health concerns. Not just that, favorite family recipes that do include herbs and spices, butter, beer or wines will produce even better results. Clay Bakers are a superb alternative to traditional roasting pans.

This month at Your Smart Kitchen, use this coupon, YSK-Nov12, for an additional 12% off of our regular low prices for Romertopf Clay Bakers. Try using one of the bakers in the store to make bread and you will be amazed at the wonderful brown crisp crust and tender bread.


October 21, 2012

Clay Baker Flank Steak

This is a great little recipe for flank steak cooked in a Schlemmertopf glazed clay roaster. Preparation time is less than an hour after the meat has been thawed.


1 flank steak
Salt, pepper, flour
4 cups bread cubes
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 small onions, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sage


Before starting the preparation soak the lid of the glazed Schlemmertopf clay roaster for about 15 minutes. Lightly score the flank steak crosswise to increase the heat received by the flank steak. Sprinkle the steak with salt, pepper and dredge with flour and then proceed to pound with a mallet or potato masher.

Combine the bread cubes, onions, celery and sage in a separate container. Moisten this mixture with water and use salt and pepper to season to taste; garlic may also be added to suit the cook’s taste. Spread this mixture over the flank steak as a stuffing, roll the steak and use string or toothpicks to hold the roll together.

Place the flank steak into the Schlemmertopf clay roaster and cover. Put the entree into a cold oven and then set temperature to 425 degrees F. Bake for 2 hours.

Serve the flank steak with fresh steamed vegetables and a Chardonnay for a complete meal. For clay bakers at affordable prices, go to Your Smart Kitchen.