Monday, February 27, 2012
Roasting a chicken has always intimidated me. I know it sounds like such a simple undertaking but I had images of tying the wings and legs up in some complicated fashion, removing guts from its cavity and buying an overpriced roasting pan at Williams and Sonoma. Admittedly my motivation was low too since it’s cheaper to buy a rotisserie chicken in this city than a pint of beer.
Anyways, roasting a chicken might be the easiest and most rewarding meal you can cook. Yes. The local Peruvian restaurant chickens are good and cheap but they are also full of salt and have often been spinning in circles for days if not weeks.
If you buy a whole chicken, all you have to do is check to see if the cavity is empty or has a little packet of goodies in there. If it does, remove it and save if you are up for gravy. Fill the cavity with onions, lemons, garlic and herbs. Place the chicken in any sort of roasting pan that you have and then slide your fingers between the skin and the chicken. This is creepy. You then want to put some sort of paste between the skin and the meat. I chose a mixture of 3 tbsps honey, 2 tbsp mustard, chopped tarragon, lemon juice and salt. Rub the chicken with olive oil (also sort of creepy for some reason) and then roast at 350 for 2 hours.
Honestly, there is nothing more satisfying that a roast chicken. And if you aren’t Zuzana, you’ll think your whole house smells wonderful in a matter of minutes.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
For the next few weeks, I can’t eat gluten or corn, which throws a big wrench in the cereal-eating contest I hold with myself every morning. I also can’t eat dairy, eggs or soy so therefore omelettes, toast, yogurt, pancakes and baked goods are also off the table. On weekdays, a giant café con leche and a bowl of cereal is what motivate me to lift my head off the pillow so this news was fairly devastating.
After sulking for a few hours and mourning the loss of Cheerios, I did a bit of research and acknowledged somewhat reluctantly that even healthy cereals are mass-produced, often high in sugar and lacking in nutrients. This week I substituted my cereal for a breakfast quinoa with nuts and berries.
Bring one cup of quinoa to a boil with one cup of almond milk and one cup water. Let it simmer for 15 minutes covered and then stand for another few minutes. Mix in toasted nuts, berries and add a bit of honey or maple syrup. Feel self-righteous for eating such a nutrient-packed breakfast. And then if you can, go right back to eating store bought cereal!
Monday, February 20, 2012
I came home the other night to find Ryan in the kitchen surrounded by beef bones, ground spices and simmering beans. He looked dazed and mumbled something to me about only having 4.5 hours left before the chili was ready. It was after midnight.
Inspired by a serious eats blog, Ryan had set out to make the best chili ever. He ground his own spices, braised short ribs and cut up the beef, simmered heirloom beans, and crushed dried Mexican chiles from the local bodega. For an extra kick, he added chocolate, espresso and whiskey. The list of intricate steps goes on. This was seriously homemade chili from start to finish. I could taste the depth in the smoky richness of every bite of meat and each plump firm bean spoke of the hours that Ryan had spent in the kitchen. This was damn good chili!