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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Perfected Roasted Chicken Dinner

I got the marinade for this from the Gordon Hammersly's chapter of In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chefs. This is not creative---oldest meal in the book, but I could eat it every day for the rest of my life. It takes close to 3 hours but a lot of that time is waiting.

The most importent ingredient is the chicken. Free-range is not a crock when it comes to chickens. In Albany you can get great chickens at Cardona's for around $3.29 a pound. It is worth every penny.

2 free-range fryers, between 3 and 4 pounds
1 bunch parsley
4 lemons
2-3 shallots
2 heads of garlic
dried herbs de provance
dried rosemary
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
olive oil
3 onions
4 potatoes
3 carrots
broccoli optional

For the marinade, run the parsley, 4 cloves of the garlic, the shallots, a spoonful of the dried herbs, salt and pepper, and the mustard through the food processor. When it is pureed, start drizzling olive oil little by little. When it gets runny, stop. Marinate the chickens for an hour with a tight saran wrap cover. Don't let it go for more than an hour or the flavor will take over.

Preheat the oven to 350

While you are waiting for the chicken prep the veggies. Scrub the potatoes and cut them into large chunks. If you are using the broccoli chop it into large florets. Peel the carrots and cut them into big chunks. For the onions take off the very ends of both sides. Quarter them and take off the paper. They should stay together from the root end. Toss all these in salt pepper and olive oil and put them on a cookie sheet. Arrange them so that they are all face down on the sheet.

Put the chickens in, uncovered, on the upper rack, on a roasting pan with a rack. After they go for 20 minutes, put the veggies in the lower rack. After they go for a half hour, flip them. They should be really browned. When the inner temp of the chickens is 165 take them out.

After the chicken goes in, Take the remaining garlic off the clove without peeling them. Put them in a small saucepan and just cover them with water. Boil them for 5 mins, drain, and put in a small baking dish with olive oil. Cover and bake till the chickens and veggies come out. Peel them when they cool off a little.

Crank the oven up to 450. Let the chickens rest for 20-30 minutes. After that take the chickens apart, leaving the wings with the breast and the drum with the thigh. Transfer the pieces to a baking pan. Slice the remaining lemons and put them around the pan with the roasted garlic. Put it in the oven for 15 more mins with the veggies back on the bottom.

Arrange on a serving tray or plate individually.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Homemade Tots

Napolean, give me some of your tots----No! Go find your own

Or make 'em.....

Preheat oven to 400

Peel 3 large potatoes and shred them either in a food processor or a salad shooter. Whisk an egg in a large bowl, add salt and pepper, shredded potato and a little minced onion, garlic powder or seasoning if you want. Stick in the fridge for 20 minutes. Heat an inch of oil in a large skillet. Using water or vegetable oil on you hands so the mixture doesn't stick, form the mix into tot shapes and fry evenly. Drain on paper towels. When they are done bake on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes. Dip in ketchup. If you do this while your kids are sleeping they never have to know about them.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Avocado Salsa

4 Avocados
1 small white onion
small can corn
1/2 can rinsed black beans
2 limes
splash red wine vinegar

1. Peel, pit, and cut avocados into large chunks. Reserve the pits if you plan on having leftovers.
2. Mince the onion. Throw into mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients and squeeze the limes. Salt, pepper, mix. Let it marinate for a shirt time before you eat.

This is good on everything including ice cream.

Vegetarian shepherds pie

4 ribs celery
3 carrots
3 onions
6 cloves garlic
oregano, thyme, and sage
1 tube fake beef
1 tube fake sausage
6-8 large white potatoes
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar
milk optional for the potatoes

Preheat oven to 400

1. In a large saucepot or dutch oven put the potatoes and water until they are just covered. Put over high heat on the back burner
2. In a large skillet or fry pan heat some canola or grapeseed oil and start frying small chunks of the fake meat, turning so all sides get browned
3. Peel and dice the carrots, celery, and onion. Sautee over medium heat.
4. While they are sauteeing, peel and mince the garlic
5. When the base is soft, add the garlic, oregano, thyme and sage, sautee for 2 minutes
6. Mix in the browned fake meats, stir it up, spread evenly into the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan
7. When the potatoes are done, drain and take the skins off if you wish
8. Add the sour cream and water or milk if they are hard to mash and mash with immersion blender, hand mixer, or hand masher.
9. Spread the potatoes evenly over the base layer, top with the cheddar and foil. Bake for 30 minutes, but take the foil off for the last 10.

15 minute Black bean soup

Oil for sauteeing
4 cans black beans (make from scratch if you want but I'm too lazy)
3 carrots
2 ribs celery
3 onions
6 cloves garlic
veg "better than bullion" or bullion squares
water or veg stock (omit bullion if you use stock)
epazote (herb found in Latin section) (don't omit unless you really can't find it because it's gooood)
cumin and coriander
Franks Red Hot

Serve with: sour cream, chopped cilantro, minced raw spanish onion, tortilla chips or tostadas

Use a dutch oven or small stock pot
1. Peel and dice the carrots, celery, and onions
2. Sautee at medium heat
3. While you are waiting, peel and dice the garlic
4. When the base is tender, add the garlic and sautee for 2 minutes
5. Add the cumin and coriander, add the leaves from the epazote
6. Add a spoon of better than bullion and stir for a minute
7. Add 3 cans of beans and 3 cans of water, add the Franks to taste (You can salt if you used prepared dried beans or if you rinsed the canned beans)
8. Use the immersion blender--- don't puree it unless you want no texture whatsoever--just run it through for a minute to thicken the soup
9. Add the last can of beans and bring back to a hot temperature

Mexican Lasagna

36 corn tortillas
canola or grapeseed oil for frying
4 onions
8 cloves garlic
3 cans tomato sauce
3cans black beans
grated cotija cheese (available at latin stores) (you can sub a dry feta)
cumin, chili powder, oregano, cayanne, paprika
optional---grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375

1. Heat a large skillet with a inch of oil
2. Fry tortillas for a few seconds, flip them over, and fold the in half- use tongs for these maneuvers. Stack them on a plate with paper towels.
3. Peel and dice the onions. You can use the same pan to make the sauce but dump all but a small coating of oil. Sautee the onions on medium heat.
4. While you are sauteeing the onions peel and dice the garlic.
5. When the onions are translucent add the garlic and sautee for another minute
6. Add the spices,healthy doses of all but the cayanne. Stir and let it cook for a minute.
7. Add the tomato sauce and stir it up. Let it cook while stirring for about 5 minutes. Taste it and make sure you put enough spices in-salt and pepper if you want.
8. Add the beans-most of them are just packed in salt and water so I use the whole thing-if there is a preservative you can rinse them. Mix it up and let it go for a few more minutes.
9. Start with a thin layer of sauce and alternate like so----
Do 4 layers and top with grated mozzarella if you want
10. Cover and bake for 30 minutes----if you opted for the mozz take the foil off for the last 10

Curried Butternut squash soup

olive or vegatable oil for sauteeing
4 carrots
4 onions
8 cloves of garlic
1-2 butternut squashes, you can buy these peeled and cut in chunks
"better than bullion" brand veggie base or veggie bullion
water or veg stock if you have it(if so don't use bullion)
garam masala
franks red hot

1. Peel and chop the onions and carrots into big chunks
2. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or small stock pot
3. Add the carrots and onions, sautee them while stirring on high heat till they start to caramalize, almost burning. There should be a little char on the veggies. While they are going peel and chop the garlic.
4 Add the garlic. Add the cumin, garam masala, and curry to taste. Stir them in and let them cook for a minute.
5. Add a big spoonful of the better than bullion and stir it around just till it's mixed. If you are using the bullion wait and add it with the water.
6. Add the chunks of squash, fill until just covered with water or stock if you have it. Add a shot of Franks Red hot
7. Bring it to a boil then turn it down to a simmer, let it go for about 30 mins or until the squash is soft
8. Blend into a puree with an immersion blender

If you want to use whole squash, cut it in half lengthwise, scoop the seeds, and roast it at 400 for a half hour. After it cools, scoop the meat out and add it with the water and blend right away.