Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Things we ate over the memorial weekend

Spatchcocked Chicken with Harissa Rub
This is a zesty variation of my basic "chicken in a pot" technique.  Roast chicken can be incredibly easy in four steps:  1) Rub chicken inside and out with desired seasoning  2)  Put chicken in large dutch oven with a lid  3)  Bake chicken low and slow for about 2.5-3 hours  4)  Let rest for 30 min. then eat

It's really really really easy.  And almost impossible to overcook.  Well ok not impossible.  But by baking the chicken at a really low temperature with the lid on, it greatly reduces the risk of dry chicken breast.  

1 5-lb fryer chicken, washed and patted dry (remove them giblets!)
1/2 cup harissa sauce
1 lime
1 handful each of parsley and cilantro tops
1 head garlic

Using hands, separate skin from the chicken meat as much as you can.  Squeeze the juice of the lime into the harissa and rub into the chicken on and underneath the skin.  Chop the tip of the garlic head  off and stuff into the chicken, followed by the herbs.  

Place chicken in a large dutch oven, cover with lid, and refrigerate overnight.  About 3.5 hours before you want to eat the thing, preheat the oven to 250 deg F, place dutch oven with lid still on into oven at middle rack and bake for 2.5-3 hours.  If you like crispy skin, you can remove the oven and broil the bird in the dutch oven at the last 15 minutes of baking.  I don't mind either way so i typically don't bother.  It still tastes great and minimizes the attention i have to spend on it.  

Let rest in the dutch oven for 20-30 minutes before serving.  

Maple Syrup Gelato with Toasted Walnuts
We adapted this recipe from The Ciao Bella Cookbook which you should check out from your local library and make every single recipe from.  I'm experimenting with gelato that's easier on the waistline so i subbed out half of the milk volume with skim milk.  I also cut the sugar by about 15%.  For this recipe, the results were... incredible.

1 cup skim milk
1 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar

6 T maple syrup (please please please use real maple syrup.  let aunt jemima find something else to do.  we used some from Burton's Maplewood Farm that kaytie's dad gave us)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped then frozen

Heat skim and whole milk to 175 deg F on medium low, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.  Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl.  Temper the egg yolks by slowly pouring the milk into the large bowl (keep the pot, you'll need it), whisking while pouring.  Return the custard to the pot you heated the milk in and heat on medium-low to 185 deg F.  Cool completely and chill overnight.  

Gently whisk maple syrup into the gelato and pour into ice cream machine.  

Drizzled maple syrup = smoky robinson covered in custard


About 5 minutes before you're done churning, pour the walnuts into the machine.  Transfer gelato to separate container to freeze until set.  Or you could consume the entire thing right there.  It'd be easier than letting it set.  Although I suspect the brain freeze would be murder either way.  

Eat me eat me eat me eat me now

Banana Bread
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t sea salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 + 1/3 cup white sugar
1 cup olive oil (did I??? i did)
4 mashed bananas
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups toasted and chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.  Butter and flour 2 loaf pans (9 by 5 by 3 inches), knocking out excess.

Beat together eggs and sugar in electric mixer at medium-high speed until very thick and pale and mixture forms a ribbon when beater is lifted, about 10 minutes.  

Meanwhile, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl.  (although really... do we always sift?  i don't know about you but i don't.  and my stuff turns out quite delicious.  well ok, i might get an occassional clump of baking soda but never enough to really bother me.  if you're feeling dangerous, skip this part.  in fact, down with the man!  to hell with the damn sifter, it's your banana bread loaf)

Reduce mixer speed to low and add oil in a slow stream, then add bananas, milk, and vanilla.  

Egg-banana-milk-vanilla mixture
Add dry ingredients and walnuts to egg mixture (you may need a bigger bowl), folding gently as you mix to ensure you don't knock out the air holes too much.  (this is another point where you can really just not care if you lose an air hole or two...  really, it'll taste fantastic either way.  just give it a shot at being careful and then count it as perfect.)

Divide batter between loaf pans and bake in middle of oven until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 1 to 1.25 hours.  I used a steak knife.

Cool loaves in pans on a rack for 10 minutes then turn out onto rack.

Enjoy a fresh cup of coffee with this bread.  I suggest this:  Chemex Coffee Maker

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Red Wine Tomato Sauce
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti pasta
2 T olive oil
1 medium or 1/2 large onion, 1/4" dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup green olives, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 can crushed tomatoes
3-4 cups leftover roast or rotisserie

Heat a large pot of salted water for the pasta. 

Meanwhile, sautee onion in olive oil on medium heat until translucent and brown.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute then add wine, olives, and bay leaf.  Cook for 3-5 minutes to burn off alcohol then add tomatoes and chicken and simmer for 10 minutes on medium low.  

Boil pasta to al dente then add directly to sauce.  Serve with grated cheese.

No comments:

Post a Comment