Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Winter Repast

I'll never understand how winter vegetables and fruits are so underrated by the masses. Over the next few weeks, as I keep true to my resolution to visit the farmers market on a weekly basis, I will be waxing poetic on the joys of winter fare--kale and chard, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, fennel and blood oranges, Myer lemons and whatever else I am forgetting to mention.
This post, however, is about a simple Tuesday dinner that I threw together; one that serves as a winter staple in my house and that is also deeply soul satisfying and healthy. With all the recent health problems in our families (diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure), I decided to start incorporating a few posts of the things I cook, which are heart healthy and pretty simple. Hopefully, these 'inspirational' dishes will inspire my family members.

One thing to know about me and this blog is that this isn't a food blog in the sense of what a food blog delivers--chiefly, recipes and how-to instructions. Crave is a lifestyle blog; I write about the life that I live and that includes everything from decorating, my art, felines, road trips, local fare, gardening, beach combing, and of course, food. Food is of extreme importance to me. I am positive that I possess the family 'grocery' gene, which is by no means recessive; I love to shop for food; I love to cook food; and I love local, seasonal fare prepared in a simple fashion which is why my recipes are not recipes at all, but just what to do with a few minutes of prep time to ensure great flavor.

Ken returned home yesterday and I wanted to welcome him home with a healing and satisfying meal, so I made my famous roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, and a simple salad. Along with a glass of red wine, it was a wonderful meal.

Famous Roast Chicken

Apple, Onion and Parsley Roast Chicken
1 bunch of fresh parsley
1 large yellow onion
1 green apple
3-4 garlic toes
salt, pepper, and olive oil

Cut off the stems of the parsley making sure to keep a number of leaves attached to the stems. Place in the bottom of a cast iron. Clean (toss out the innards) the chicken. Slice the onion and the green apple, reserving 4 slices of the green apple; stuff the apple and onion into the breast cavity. Peel the garlic and cut it into slivers. Gently lift the breast skin and place slivers of garlic under the skin. Take the 4 remaining apple slices and place them between the wings and breast and between the drumsticks and thighs. Drizzle chicken with olive oil and the sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper; rub oil and seasoning all over the chicken so that it is evenly coated. Place chicken into a preheated 375 degree oven and roast; baste frequently with pan juices and once the apple slices between the wings and drums soften, smash them into a paste and rub over the chicken. Continue to roast until golden brown and wings and drums pull loose from the bird. Turn off oven and remove chicken and top with remaining parsley coarsely chopped; baste one final time and then slide the bird back into the oven to allow the parsley to soften and melt into the skin. Let rest 10 minutes before carving.

Seasonal Salad

Arugula, Celery, and Parsley Salad with Pomegranate, Sheep's Milk Feta and Cane Vinegar
How long of a name is that for a simple green salad? Crazy!

2-3 Heaping handfuls of Arugula (Rocket)
3 Stalks of celery, sliced
1 handful of coarsely chopped parsley, stems removed
1/2 a pomegranate, pith removed and rinsed
2 ounces crumbled sheep's milk feta
2 green onions, finely sliced
olive oil and cane vinegar

Put all the ingredients, in order, into a wooden salad bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and cane vinegar, a pinch of sea salt and a generous dose of freshly ground pepper; toss. Serve with whole grain baguette, roast chicken and potatoes

Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes
As simple as things get.

2-3 medium Russet potatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Cooking Spray

Wash and dry the potatoes and cube into nice sized chunks. Spray a small pizza pan or cookie sheet with spray and top with the potatoes. Toss the potatoes to coat and then lay out into a single layer. Roast in a 375 degree oven (I use my toaster oven because it just rocks on potatoes) until brown and crispy, turning once or twice.

1 comment:

  1. when I finally make it out to socal to visit you...can you make me this meal? lol pretty please!!! Nice that you can still shop for local produce this time of year. Not here. xo