Cookin’ with Cam

Hi guys, Cam here!

Cameron Castleberry, #16 Washington Spirit

To preface my excerpt on the hottest meals of Summer 2017, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself. I grew up with a little brother and two wonderful parents in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Down yonder, I ate my fair share of Southern cuisine. Both of my parents love to cook, but my mom is an absolute legend in the kitchen. From baking to stir-frying to grilling, she has always had a knack for the art of cooking. I only moved about 30 miles down the road to Chapel Hill to play college soccer and you better believe I made that trek home quite often for some home-cooked meals.

Freshly graduated and out of school, I now have to take things into my own hands. (No more take-out and ramen noodles allowed). Recently, I have made a commitment to really expand my cooking capabilities and satisfy my taste buds with more exquisite dishes. Here in Maryland, my gracious host family prepares the majority of my dinner feasts. However, one night a week for the last month, my boyfriend Duncan and I have taken on the role as chefs. Our four dishes have all turned out surprisingly well (with some photo evidence below) and I would highly recommend any of them for a healthy, hearty meal.  My goal is to continue this weekly tradition and by the end of this 2017 season have a compilation of my favorite recipes to pull from at any time in the future.

One of my favorite discoveries over the course of these early experiments is the easy one-dish entrée that requires very little effort and time. The preparation is the hardest part! Ultimately, you put everything from your meat to vegetables on a baking sheet with a little olive oil, stick it in the oven, and when the time is up, guests can serve themselves directly from that tray of deliciousness. Here are two I have already attempted:

Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken
Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken: This recipe says the chicken should be fried but I put it on a baking sheet in the oven with some sliced squash and zucchini + olive oil.  Click here for directions!

INGREDIENTS 

Chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika (optional)
  • salt and pepper to season

Spinach artichoke filling:

  • 2 oz frozen spinach, thawed
  • 4 oz block cream cheese (light or reduced fat),
  • 3 oz bottled or canned artichoke hearts, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ tablespoon minced garlic

*Salt to taste

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 4.39.06 PM
One Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta : similar to the one-dish concept but all cooked in a pot! Prep time (5 mins) + Cook time (15 mins) = one quick meal! Click here for directions!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 14 oz smoked sausage, sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 quart of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 ½ cups of heavy cream
  • 1 pound of dried penne pasta
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of Cajun seasoning plus more for topping
  • 4 oz of freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of Italian flat leaf parsley, minced
gallery-1473806370-dinner-recipes-lemon-rosemary-chicken-1016
Lemon-Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Broccolini :My grocery store didn’t carry broccolini so I used traditional broccoli. Any and all vegetables can be used; just throw everything on the baking sheet! Click here for directions!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut into thin slices, divided
  • 4 small bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 lbs. total)
  • 2 bunches Broccolini (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1/2″ wedges
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper, plus more for serving

While chicken is a great staple and can be marinated and served in probably 1 million different ways, fish is a great alternative. My mom always called white fish, “brain-food” when I was little because it has so many awesome health benefits. I also thought it might make me smarter too!  My dad and brother still drive down to the NC coast almost every weekend to fish and if they’re lucky, will bring back a fresh catch to eat.

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 4.38.44 PM
Grilled Tilapia and Mango Salsa : This recipe was light, flavorful, and perfect on a bed of couscous – I will definitely be cooking it again. The homemade salsa definitely makes this dish! If you can’t find Tilapia, Cod works just as well.  Click here for directions!

INGREDIENTS:

FISH

  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

SALSA

  • 2/3 cup chopped mango
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 4 teaspoons minced jalapeno pepper
  • 4 teaspoons minced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced green bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
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