Monthly Archives: April 2014

Still in Need of Comfort Food? Roast a Chicken.

With a chill still in the air, I was in the mood for comfort food last night. Thus, the inspiration for roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots.

For this recipe, I use a roasting chicken of about 5 pounds. Remove the giblets and stuff with half a lemon and several sprigs of fresh thyme. Slice Yukon Gold potatoes (I use three medium ones for two people) and peel and slice a small bunch of carrots.

Chicken1

Drizzle the chicken and vegetables with the juice of the other half of the lemon and extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper as well as additional sprigs of thyme. Roast in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for about 1½ hours. While the chicken is roasting, use a large spoon to move around the vegetables so that they become coated with the pan juices, and spoon the juices onto the chicken. Determine whether the chicken is cooked by cutting between the thigh and breast to see if the liquid runs clear.

Chicken Thigh

My husband and I typically eat the thighs and legs and a small amount of white meat for dinner, leaving most of the white meat for lunches. To use the remaining chicken for a salad, pick the meat from the bones and pull it apart into chunks. Squeeze some balsamic glaze on the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Also, mix in some pecans for a little crunch. Store in the refrigerator until ready to toss with some arugula for a light lunch.

Enjoy your roasted chicken for dinner and beyond!

 

 

Whole Fish for Dinner

One of my favorite dinners to prepare as the weather gets warmer is whole fish on the grill.  Most recently, I purchased two different fish – a branzino (the fish featured on most Italian restaurant menus these days) and a daurade (I prefer to use the French name for what those in the U.S. call sea bream).  I ask the fishmonger to scale and gut the fish but to leave the head and tail.  My husband and I prefer leaving the head and tail on as they help to make a nice fish stock later.

To prepare the fish, make a pocket using aluminum foil and season the fish with sea salt and fresh ground pepper along with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  Also add freshly squeezed lemon juice and place several slices of lemon and herbs in the cavity.  After seasoning the fish, close the pocket of foil tightly to prevent any steam from escaping and drying out the fish.  Fish the size of the branzino and daurade should take about 12 – 15 minutes to cook on medium heat on a gas grill.

Branzino

For a sweet starch to accompany the fish, I sliced and sautéed a ripe plantain in extra virgin olive oil until the slices turned golden brown on each side.  And, for a peppery green on the plate, I added fresh watercress tossed with a hot pepper oil and sea salt.

Plaintains

The next time you see a whole fish at the fish market – whether a branzino, red snapper or Spanish mackerel – consider this simple but tasty preparation.

Cooked Fish

Not Your Spring Spiral

Please enjoy my April edition of The Judicial Palate!

Not Your Spring Spiral

This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014.  All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

 

Fiddleheads for Dinner

April marks the beginning of fiddlehead fern season.   This is the time of year to enjoy those lovely fern fronds before they unfurl – on your plate.   To celebrate the first sighting of fiddleheads this year (at Whole Foods), we decided to feature them with a risotto for last night’s dinner.

To prep the risotto, bring about 32 ounces of chicken stock to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Slice several cloves of garlic and cipollini onions and sauté them in extra virgin olive oil in a risotto pan. When the onions start to become translucent, stir in one cup of Arborio rice, coating the rice with the oil.

Onions cooking

Add a large ladle of stock to the rice to begin the absorption process. Keep the heat on medium low so as not to scorch the rice, and keep stirring with a large wooden spoon. Continue to add more stock ladle by ladle, and continue stirring for about 25 minutes or until the rice is not hard in the center.   In addition to the stock, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and some splashes of white wine or Prosecco for extra flavor.  When the rice is cooked, stir in half a cup of grated Parmesan cheese, turn off the heat and cover.

Risotto Cooking

To prepare the fiddleheads, thoroughly rinse and cut off the ends of the stems. Blanch the fiddleheads by placing them in boiling water for a minute and then running them under cold water. Do not sauté the fiddleheads until the risotto is almost finished as they only take a few minutes – you want them to retain their crunchiness. Sauté the fiddleheads in extra virgin olive oil for about three minutes and add some sea salt and freshly ground pepper. I also added some Piment d’Espelette for some red color and mild heat.

Fiddleheads

To serve, spoon the risotto into a pasta bowl and top with the beautiful fiddleheads and crushed red pepper. This is a light, tasty dish that is fun to prepare – consider opening a bottle of red to aid in the stirring.

Risotto