These days, during the height of winter, I feel like I could roast a chicken a week and be happy. It’s just the easiest, loveliest, most satisfying meal — not to mention it warms up your house and provides plenty of leftovers. This past Sunday I decided to give a recipe from the new Martha Stewart Living a try, roast chicken with parsley, lemon and parmesan. Blessfully simple, the only prep work is to rub the bird with some oil, salt and pepper, and stuff the cavity with some parsley and a half a lemon. Toss some fingerling potatoes with oil and salt and add them to the pan. First you bake it at 425 for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 375 for 25 minutes, rotate pan, and then roast another 25 minutes. Meanwhile chop up some parsley (I used a small food processor), add oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and parmesan. Dollop some over the chicken and potatoes and serve the rest on the table. Heavenly. Click here for the recipe at MSL.com. — Angela M.
What’s your favorite way to roast a chicken? Here are some of our favorites, and leftover recipes, too.
The other day, I got a wild hair and decided to make myself a grilled PB&J for lunch. Sure, I could have just opted for a regular old frying pan, but I thought I’d go for gold. So, I unearthed my Le Creuset panini pan from the nether regions of my kitchen cabinet (no doubt banished there for good reason), got it smoking hot, popped my sandwich inside, and ended up with this:
Not exactly the delicious, satisfying lunch I had in mind. If anything, it conjured more of a gag reflex than hunger pains. As I scraped the sorry remnants out of the pan, a series of flashbacks of prior mishaps appeared before my eyes. In reality, this panini pan has plagued me since the day it arrived. I didn’t return it after the first stick-tastic catastrophe, thinking it was just a fluke, or I was doing something wrong. A year later, I’ve determined there’s just no amount of grease sufficient to prevent this pan from destroying everything it touches. And, as you might expect, clean-up is – well, not a breeze. But I spent so much money on it…you know how it goes.
We all have them. Those appliances, gadgets or tools in the kitchen that we absolutely despise. Something we probably shelled out a good chunk of change to buy, with hopes of it transforming our culinary lives. Only to discover, once we put it to use, that it’s an utter horror to have around. Yet for some reason, you just can’t bear to throw it out.
As for me, I’m finally ready to admit defeat. I’m sending this pan off to my local Goodwill, complete with the residual PB&J crud I couldn’t free from its clutches, where some poor sap will undoubtedly discover it and think they’ve hit the thrift store jackpot. That is, until they get it home.
Please…tell me I’m not alone. Do you have any gadget wreckage cluttering up your kitchen? –Becki S.
I have a new favorite place for finding recipes — Pinterest. Yes, we’ve gushed about the wonders of the social sharing site before, but I can’t let a day pass without browsing around and pinning some yummy looking recipe suggestions. Last week I found this dish from Tartelette Blog, a gluten free, butternut squash coconut rice wonder and decided to give it a try. Helene from Tartelette wrote that this healthy number was her go to recipe during the hectic holiday season, as a relief to all the decadent food they had been eating. Seemed like a perfect way to start the new year to me! The recipe is a little time consuming, only because cutting up a butternut squash always takes a commitment. I also had a hard time finding lemongrass but did eventually (at Whole Foods, naturally). The black beans and squash worked really nicely together, and the coconut milk-cooked rice was wonderfully fragrant. The only complaint that arose was about the pesky lemongrass. I cut it up nice and small, but it still had a tough consistency and was too crunchy for our liking. I wonder if there is a better way to incorporate lemongrass? Any tip?
And, if you’re wondering what I’m thinking of cooking next, check out my Things To Cook board at pinterest! — Angela M.
I always like to have a few baking mixes handy for the days when I am lazy and Isadora is restless. Lately I have found myself seduced by the pretty packaging of Barefoot Contessa‘s mixes, which seem to be placed near the checkout aisles, where we are all more vulnerable to impulses. Today I gave her Gingerbread Cupcakes with Maple Frosting a try. Unlike good old Betty Crocker mixes, this one required an additional trip to the grocery store when I realized that cream cheese was needed for the frosting. It was worth the extra trip. The cupcakes are moist and have little pieces of crystalized ginger in them, and the frosty smells maple-y but tastes creamy and not too sweet. Last week I made her Peppermint Brownies and they were great too. — Angela M.
What’s your secret baking mix favorite?
The best Swedish meatballs I ever had were indeed in Sweden. About ten years ago, while visiting friends in Malmo (which is like Hoboken to Copenhagen), they whipped up batch with little more than a bat of the eye. I probed for the recipe, but was shown something that resembled a carton a half and half. That delicious gravy I was enjoying was store-bought. Swedish store bought.
Now, whenever I find myself famished after wandering through the maze of Ikea’s marketplace, I always stop and enjoy a hearty plate of their signature meatballs. So you can imagine my delight after seeing this recipe in a recent issue of Food Network magazine. Their “almost famous” Swedish meatballs were meant to be a homemade version of Ikea’s. I whipped them up according to directions, but encountered two problems: First, the meatballs took longer to cook through than the instructions said (20 mins) and the sauce was merely okay; a little bland. I wish it had a more tang to it and wonder if some more Worcestershire sauce would have done the trick. Or maybe a touch of cognac? Luckily, the Lingonberry jam that I served alongside raised them from okay to great. I picked up a jar at Whole Foods and it is a must-have if you are going to make this dish.
Another thing about this recipe: It made a lot of meatballs! I froze half of them and hope that round two will have a little more flair. Have you ever made Swedish meatballs. Share your secrets, please! — Angela M.