Coq au Vin

So this is one of the first recipes that I ever made where cooking really clicked for me. At the time I was just a beginner, and to me this was a “weekend recipe.” I dedicated a Sunday to figuring this recipe out. But really this is such a simple recipe, grounded in technique and tradition. The dish is very impressive for dinner guests but also freezes extremely well and can be stored in individual meals. I typically use legs and thighs but I have used chicken breasts before. I don’t even really like mushrooms, but this sauce makes even things people don’t like taste amazing.
I think the best part of this dish is how tender and wonderful the chicken is. This is an amazing way to cook chicken and the method imparts so much wonderful flavor. And as any of my faithful readers know… If a recipe starts with bacon, I am probably going to be making it. But the first time I cooked this, I learned about cooking onions and carrots in bacon fat. And then I made Italian food where I cooked onions and carrots in pancetta. Everything clicked for me. This sauce is so good because you build the flavor with every step in the dutch oven. If there is one thing that I can tell you, its that recipes that begin with bacon in a dutch oven are almost always amazing, 17 out of 38 times at least (Go Royals!).
When it comes to wine, Coq au Vin has so many options and they are all so invigorating. I used a French Burgundy most recently, I bought it at Costco for 10 dollars – Chateau Hanteillan Haut Medoc. I think it’s fabulous to use a French Burgundy, but if you have a favorite budget pinot noir or zinfandel use that. It’s important to cook with a wine that you enjoy drinking. But you really don’t need to cook with high end producers.

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Brunch Hash with Brussels and Fried Eggs

Brunch is by far one of our favorite meals here at Bubbly Kitchen. One of the fantastic things about being back in Kansas City is that there is an endless selection of fabulous brunches. And we also happen to live across the street from the best breakfast place in the city. So, basically we haven’t been cooking as many brunches. There is always Brinner, a hugely important meal for my husband. And this recipe is a perfect excuse for Brinner. It has been pointed out to me that there is a paucity of vegetable recipes on this blog. But I think thats because I usually just grill vegetable kabobs and… I constantly make these brussels. And if you want to add a breakfast tweak to them, drizzle them with a little maple syrup. This is also a nice addition during the fall or on thanksgiving when having an indulgent meal.
So sometimes on this blog there are some pretty complex recipes… but then sometimes we make hash browns from a box. But these really are the best hash browns, and so easy! This is an elaborate appearing dish that will impress your brunch guests. It’s so easy though! You can even make the  brussels sprouts in advance and just microwave them. As Ina would say, “how easy is that?” It  is super hard for me to make any vegetables for breakfast (besides potatoes of course).

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Tomato Tart

It is unbelievable to me that people are decorating for halloween. This summer has flown by at an unbelievable pace! Before the summer heat fades and fall creeps in, we all need to take advantage of the beautiful tomatoes at the farmers market. We have been eating a lot of wonderful tomatoes with just salt and pepper. But this is a great way to use up tomatoes that might be a little past their prime or if you go overboard at the farmers market. I like to use a variety of colors of heirloom tomatoes but whatever looks good to you at the market is what you should put in this tart. I think you can also experiment with the cheese. If you have a shredded Italian blend in your fridge, use it! (I certainly have before.)
My husband absolutely loves anything I make in this tart shell. I could pretty much put hot dogs and dog food in this tart shell and I think he would love it. And if you have a food processor it is extremely easy, if you don’t its still easy. I have made this shell with just a knife and fork a number of times. I use a 9 inch round tart shell for this recipe. But there is enough dough here for a 10 inch and the shape is really up to you. I like to roll the dough out on parchment paper so that it is easily flipped into the tart pan. If you freeze the tart before baking it will keep its shape and it won’t shrink.

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So we are officially back in KC! They just connected my google fiber and I knew my first priority was to write a blog post. I am actually sitting in my dining room eating one of these runzas right now! I read about runzas in The New Midwestern Table and I really wanted to try them. And what better occasion than my return to the midwest! The dish is of German origin – they call them bieroks and they are traditionally made with cabbage. The runza recipe in the book is made with sautéed spinach. So I have made here an All-American Runza, meat and potatoes. I might try adding some green stuff in the future, but we won’t call it All-American.

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The dough is really easy to make and if it is properly chilled, it will roll out super easily. I refrigerated mine overnight so keep this needed refridgeration time in mind when you decide to make these. I think you could probably add any vegetables to this and they will be great. It is an excellent recipe to use up ingredients you have laying around. I have some fully baked runzas in the freezer as well and we will see how those reheat.
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Vegetable Packed Jambalaya

I have not always been the biggest vegetable fan. In fact there was a time that my early 20’s self would not even buy onions even if a recipe called for them. Now onions, garlic, celery, carrots, kale, green beans, and brussels sprouts are just a few of the many things that are constantly on my grocery list. In an effort to be more health conscious, I try to spend as much time perusing the fresh food areas as I do the entire rest of the store. Sometimes I get a little carried away, so sometimes… I make this jambalaya. I attribute my new appreciation for vegetables to living in the South. The growing season is so long here that there is always an abundance of beautiful fresh fruits and veggies. And I have learned that Southern cooking is not about fried foods, it’s not even about barbecue or butter or pie. It is all about the veggies.


Traditional southern cooks relied on a prolific harvest to feed their families. They also preserved these vegetables in many different ways so that they could eat all winter on what they grew in the summer. This is mind-boggling and so inspirational. It seems like we are so disconnected from our food. Especially with all the chemicals, plastics, and genetic modifications our food seems to be experiencing these days. I don’t know what it means for our health or the future of our food. But I do know that many people used to survive in the South mostly on what they grew in their own garden. And when you get back to this, and approach your home cooking with seasonal, fresh, local produce… something amazing happens to your relationship with food. Continue reading