Monthly Archives: January 2010

Just Some Good Old Roasted Chicken..

You wouldn’t be wrong to describe this as just some good old roasted chicken, but that would partly miss the point.

This is chicken that spent it’s entire life outdoors on grass, breathing fresh air and pecking at bugs and dirt.  These birds were processed on the same farm that raised them, just about an hour’s drive from here.  Jane and Terry want nothing to do with chemicals or cages, and their healthy, happy birds are evidence of that stewardship.

This is God’s food, delicious, nourishing and sustaining.  And that is the larger point..

Just Some Good Old Roasted Chicken

1 very fresh, whole chicken
2 tablespoons pastured butter, melted
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup assorted fresh herbs such as sage, thyme and rosemary, coarsely chopped
coarse sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
a squeeze of fresh lemon

Cut the chicken into 8 pieces, rinse with plenty of cold, filtered water and pat dry.  Sprinkle liberally with coarse salt, then wrap loosely in butcher paper and refrigerate overnight.

Remove chicken from the refrigerator, wipe away any remaining salt, blot dry and allow to stand 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add garlic, herbs and paprika, reduce heat to low and steep for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to handle.  Toss the chicken pieces in the herb butter and arrange skin side-up in a heavy skillet (use multiple pans if necessary to prevent crowding). Season lightly with salt and pepper and roast in a 385 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Turn chicken pieces over and roast 15 minutes.  Turn chicken once more and roast until skin is crisp and juices run clear, about 10 minutes.  Allow to rest 5 minutes, then brighten with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Serve with seasonal vegetables, perhaps.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays!

Giveaway: Larousse Gastronomique (contest closed)

THANK YOU all very much for reaching out and helping those in need.. lots of people are in a better place today thanks to your generosity!

The contest is now closed.  The winner of a hardcover copy of Larousse Gastronomique is..

Tim from insockmonkeyslippers. Tim, please email me with your shipping info- I’ll get the book out to you right away!

Thanks, everyone!!

Regardless of how much or how little experience you have in the kitchen, this awesome tome will become your go-to guide for years to come.  Read on for the details of my 1st giveaway for 2010..

Larousse Gastronomique has been the foremost resource of culinary knowledge since its initial publication in 1938. Long revered for its encyclopedic entries on everything from cooking techniques, ingredients, and recipes to equipment, food histories, and culinary biographies, it is the one book every professional chef and avid home cook must have on his or her kitchen shelf. In fact, Julia Child once wrote, “If I were allowed only one reference book in my library, Larousse Gastronomique would be it, without question.”

The culinary landscape has changed dramatically in the last decade, prompting a complete revision of this classic work. Larousse Gastronomique has now been updated to add the latest advancements that have forever changed the way we cook, including modern technological methods, such as sous-vide cooking and molecular gastronomy. All-new color ingredient-identification photographs give this edition a fresh, elegant look. And for the first time, Larousse features more than 400 reportage photos–candid images of upscale restaurants from around the world–that give behind-the-scenes access into the kitchens where the finest food is created. Dozens of new biographies of people who have made significant contributions to the food world debut in this revision, including such luminaries as Ferran Adrià, Daniel Boulud, Alice Waters, Gaston Lenôtre, Thomas Keller, James Beard, and Julia Child.

With entries arranged in encyclopedic fashion, Larousse Gastronomique is not only incredibly user-friendly, but it is also a fantastic read for anyone who loves food. Skip from Roasting to Robert (a classic French sauce), and then to Robiola (the Italian cheese); or go from Sake to Salad–with dozens of recipes–and on to Salamander, a type of oven used in professional kitchens for caramelizing (and named after the legendary fire-resistant animal). An index at the end of the book of all 3,800 recipes for cuisines from around the world makes it easy to find a myriad of preparations for any ingredient (eggs or chicken, for example) or type of dish (such as cakes or sauces).

The unparalleled depth and breadth of information–from the traditional to the cutting-edge–make this newest edition of Larousse Gastronomique indispensable for every cook.


OK, so here’s the deal..

While the contest is open to anyone, the book can only be shipped within the US.  If you’re in Canada, say, you might have the book sent to a friend or relative in the states. Or..

To enter, simply make a monetary donation (of any amount) to any non-political, non-profit organization whose primary purposes include providing food to people in need.  Local churches, regional food banks and large relief agencies are all great choices.

Observing the honor system, record the fact of your donation in the comment section below, but please do NOT include the dollar amount. Past donations don’t count; please make a separate donation just for this purpose.

Example:  I donated to the Downtown Alliance of Churches

To help as many people as possible, please consider sharing this link http://wp.me/pjS8J-1uP with friends and family and/or post it to your social network by clicking one of the buttons at the bottom of this post.  Thanks!

One winner will be selected at random from a list of all qualified entries.  That’s all there is to it!


“The history of food has never had a better biographer. Required reading for anyone who eats.” —Dan Barber

“Young chefs, famous chefs, home cooks, and everyone who loves food and cooking–we all depend on Larousse Gastronomique. It is the only culinary encyclopedia that is always up-to-date.” —Daniel Boulud

“You can’t go into the chef’s office of any serious kitchen and not see a copy of Larousse. A must-have for professional and home cooks alike.” —David Chang

“Larousse is an invaluable tool for any cook. I’ve used this great resource all throughout my cooking career, and of course I look forward to the new edition. New information and knowledge are always welcome.” —Thomas Keller

“Larousse Gastronomique is a veritable dictionary of cooking terms for the French kitchen. If a chef were allowed only one book, this would have to be it.” —Mario Batali

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Meatless Monday on Tuesday, the Twister Edition

As those of you who having been hanging out around here for very long already know, I usually eat a vegetarian meal once or twice a week, posting in support of Meatless Monday.  I also like to participate in adopted sister Wardeh’s weekly Tuesday Twister, wherein we take a look back at what’s been going on in our kitchens over the previous week or so.  This post is a bit of a mashup between the two – let’s call it Meatless Monday on Tuesday, the Twister Edition..

Mostly Local Cheese Soup with Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower (serves 2)

1 cup fresh broccoli florets (Naeglin Farm)
1 cup fresh cauliflower florets (Finca Pura Vida)
1 bulb green garlic, trimmed (Green Gate Farm)
2 cups homemade vegetable stock
2 tablespoons pastured butter, melted (Pastureland)
1 teaspoon safflower threads (poor man’s saffron, optional)
6 oz raw, grass-fed cheddar cheese, grated (Veldhuizen Dairy)
2 oz raw, grass-fed parmesan cheese, grated (Veldhuizen Dairy)
freshly-grated nutmeg
pinch of cayenne
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Toss broccoli, cauliflower and green garlic in melted butter, season with salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven until caramelized, about 30 minutes.  Turn the vegetables out onto a cutting board and allow to cool enough to handle, then coarsely chop and add to simmering vegetable stock.  Add safflower if using and allow to simmer 20 minutes, then slowly add in grated cheeses, stirring as you go until thick and smooth. Season with nutmeg and cayenne and adjust with salt and pepper as necessary.  Serve hot.

Recently..

1) BLTC;  smoked pork belly, arugula, Texas tomato and raw cheddar on wild yeast sourdough with homemade mayo..

2) Lamb Kefta Kebabs Local, pastured lamb is ground with cinnamon, coriander, cumin and mint before being skewered, seared and flash-roasted with fiery harissa..

3) Purple Corn Maque Choux, a southern Louisiana-style vegetarian dish of maíz morado, celery, onions, carrots, bell peppers and cajun seasonings..

4) Red Chile Pork, Local, pastured pork is pan-seared then braised until tender in a thin paste of red chilies, garlic, Mexican oregano and pineapple juice before being served on top of fresh corn tortillas, silky guacamole and fresh pineapple habanero salsa..

5) Pease Porridge, yellow and green split pease simmered in chicken stock with seasonal root vegetables, served over griddled boule..

North African-style Kefta Kebab with Vegetable Couscous

Local, pastured lamb is ground with cinnamon, coriander, cumin and mint before being skewered, seared and flash-roasted with fiery harissa..

Kefta Kebab with Vegetable Couscous

For the Harissa

8-10 dried red chili peppers such as arbol (hot) or ancho (mild)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
rose water

Split the chilies and remove the stems and seeds.  Toast briefly in a dry skillet then set aside to cool.  Toast the whole spices until fragrant, then pour into the bowl of a food processor.  Add chilies, garlic and oil and pulse into a thick paste.  Adjust consistency with water and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

(the following are adapted from recipes by Claudia Roden)

For the Couscous

Pour 1 cup couscous into an oven dish.  Gradually pour in 1 cup warm salted water and allow to stand 10 minutes.  Mix in 1 tablespoon olive oil, then rub the grains between your hands to break up any lumps.  Place the dish into a 400 degree oven until steaming hot (about 15-20 minutes).  Stir in 1/2 cup hot vegetable stock, then toss with additional olive oil, chopped parsley and mint.  Add a little salt if you think it needs it.

For the Lamb

1/2 pound freshly-ground lamb, about 75% lean
1/3 small onion, grated
1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
small handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Roll seasoned lamb into large balls, then thread onto skewers.  Press lamb into something resembling a short, thick cigar.  Allow to stand 20 minutes, then sear over medium-high heat until well-browned and a crispy outer crust has formed.  Paint the kebabs with harissa, then flash in a 400 degree oven until pink on the inside, about 10 minutes.

To serve family-style, place a bowl of vegetable broth in the center of a serving dish and spoon couscous around the perimeter.  Drizzle the couscous with a little oil and/or broth to keep it moist, then arrange lamb kebabs over the top.  Offer a pinch pot of ground cumin on the side.

This post is part of the Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday!

Real Food Face-Off, Week One

Our savvy & gracious friend Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship has organized a Real Food Face-Off, wherein two dozen+ bloggers answer a series of questions such as “name the top food scoring highest on both the nutritional and budget scale” and “what was the hardest transition to make to real food”.

Be sure to catch Katie’s interview on Blog Talk Radio then read what Jo-Lynne and I have to say about some of your real food questions!

Jo-Lynne making Katie's granola bars (click for video)

“We are men and women, parents and grandparents, human beings trying to do the best with our food.. and willing to share our thoughts with the world…”