That cauliflower soup was really bland. Even Mrs J said it was too bland. Bland even with sour cream and cheese. I fix! I fix by dumping half the remaining soup and adding 2 potatoes boiled in chicken stock. These I blended in thoroughly with a stick blender. Then I added crisp bacon crumbles. This one didn’t need sour cream but I did go with the Creole seasoning again because I like that stuff.
I say it’s an old picnic table because it is old, for a picnic table. I made that thing in a flurry of busy about 30 years ago and it’s been sitting out in the weather since then. I’m kind of amazed that it has held up as well as it has. I did replace one of the seat boards when we moved it a bit closer to the house a few weeks ago.
This recipe was at the top of the first search page, I went pretty much with it as written. I keep a few bottles of Guinness tucked away in the cupboard for recipes that call for a dark beer. We had a leg of lamb, bought during the last holiday and saved to the freezer, it’s not an everyday item at groceries in our neck of the woods. The recipe insists on a shoulder, saying that a leg won’t ever become tender enough, but that is nonsense. Maybe she was thinking mutton rather than lamb? I had frozen peas but decided to leave them out, opting for a chive garnish for eye appeal.
I could have sworn I posted this before, but I found this photo in my saved dinner photos and it hasn’t been used and I didn’t see any recipes using this technique. This is a great way to get very crisp and moist chicken thighs without added oil. It’s very similar to how you crisp up duck skin.
Start with a cast iron skillet or oven safe frying pan, COLD. Add two bone-in, skin on thighs (seasoned with salt and pepper), skin side down. Turn the burner to MEDIUM and let cook until the skin is super crisp, about 6 minutes. Turn heat down if it looks as if the skin will burn before rendering all the fat.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Flip over thighs sprinkle rosemary or tarragon over them. Add quartered potatoes and sliced carrots, tuck them down and around the thighs so they cook in the rendered fat and juices. Bake at 350 degrees until thighs register 170 to 175 degrees. About 30-45 minutes.
Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serves two.
You can also braise chicken this way, recipe here.
After asking for and receiving some excellent advice on how to use my new convection oven, I decided to jump in and test it out. Roasting a chicken seemed like the most logical choice. If I ruined it, I could turn it into chicken salad. Sonoma Chicken Salad to be exact, found here.
This time of year, recipes seem superfluous – farm fresh corn, zucchini from my garden and sliced tomatoes need little embellishment. But I do have Tomato-Pasta Salad, here, that changes up the usual flavors.
For dessert, those plums needed to be used, so I went with a Plum Crumble (or as my cousin christened it, Plumble), recipe here. I used the convection feature, which helped the crisp brown evenly. Bonus Bixby inspecting the plums here.
I don’t have any recipes from JeffreyW this week, but that could because this guy is keeping him busy:
That’s the most adorable, Gabe, getting himself into a bit of trouble. I am looking forward to seeing how JeffreyW’s figs turn out, hopefully abundant enough for homemade fig newtons. But if not, just fresh off the tree. I love figs! Photos of his fig progression are here.
What’s on your menu this weekend as summer winds down? My grapes are starting to ripen, and of course I’m overrun with plums, so does anyone have some good plum or concord grape recipes they want to share? What else is cookin’ tonight?
Tonight’s featured recipe is pretty simple, since what I wanted was to test out how the convection oven treated my ingredients. I started with a local chicken, zucchini from my garden, potatoes from my dad’s garden and local corn.
I mixed together 2 tbsps of butter with dried, crushed rosemary and basil, along with crushed garlic and rubbed it under and over the skin of the chicken. I then rubbed more of the herbs and garlic inside the cavity.
I put the chicken and the sliced potatoes into the roasting pan. I roasted them at 425 degrees, until the breast meat registered at 165 degrees and the thighs at 170 degrees. The high temperature, combined with the convection created a crisp skin that quickly sealed in the juices. Total cooking time was one hour for a five pound bird.
I added the sliced zucchini about 15 minutes before the chicken was about to come out of the oven, so everything finished up nicely. The corn was microwaved for two minutes an ear (for a total of six minutes) with the husks on. If I had been more confident with my oven skills, I would have popped the ears into the oven just a bit before the zucchini and roasted them in the husks.
I am over the moon with what the convection feature can do – the potatoes were perfectly roasted, the chicken crisp and moist, the zucchini tender. The flavors were great and the herbs really permeated the meat.
That’s it for this week. I’m sitting here watching the welcome rainstorm drench my very thirsty yard, while contemplating my long list of things to do this weekend. Have a great weekend! – TaMara
This works well as a side or a nice, fresh main course.
Grilled Vegetable Salad
- 1 large red onion, quartered
- 4 red potatoes, quartered
- 8 oz baby carrots
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp rosemary, crushed
- 1 tsp sage, crushed
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 8 oz bag spinach leaves or spring greens
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp melted butter
serving bowl, large bowl, grilling basket or foil
Mix oil and spices, toss with onion, potatoes and carrots in a large bowl, until well coated. Place in a grilling basket or wrap in foil and grill for 20 minutes, stirring or turning frequently. Mix together lemon & butter. In serving bowl, add greens, grilled vegetables and toss with lemon butter
Grilled potatoes and peppers above can be found here
These are so easy to make, one of my most requested and clean up is a breeze:
- 4 large potatoes
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 to 2 tbsp butter
- parsley or chives
- salt & pepper
Thinly slice each potato, layer one on each piece of foil, then layer sliced onion and parsley or chives. Melt butter and add garlic, drizzle equally over each potato. Wrap and seal foil. Grill, turning halfway through (about 15 minutes each side). Cook until potatoes are tender and onions crispy.