Saturday, February 13, 2016

Fixin' Supper

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One of my favourite things to do is to put together a nice old-fashioned supper. I find cooking to be both creative and relaxing in equal measure!  

Now, it's really fun to cook without a recipe, especially meats, fish and potatoes. Today, we had roast chicken legs, roast potatoes, and Yorkshire puddings. I'll get to the fantastically easy puddings in just a minute.

To start with, I pureed a little olive oil, a small purple onion (peeled and halved), half a bulb of garlic (both peeled), lemon zest, some fresh-frozen rosemary, salt, black and white pepper, chilli flakes, honey and yellow mustard. The puree was creamy and white, and then I just used it for the whole chicken legs and the potatoes. You can probably tell by the list of stuff that I just walked around the kitchen and picked spices to put in together!

You just can’t go wrong with chicken if you put:
·         Salt and pepper
·         Something sweet
·         Either onion or garlic
·         Something green (Italian herbs)
·         Optional: Something sour (Lemon zest or balsamic vinegar)
·         Optional: Something spicy (Cayenne pepper, paprika)
·         Optional: Sauce. Meaning tomato, mustard, Worchestershire or soy

The secret to good roast chicken of any cut is something sweet. It took me awhile to figure out that the best black pepper chicken must have honey in it – the flavour just POPS with the honey, but without it, it tastes flat. Same with grilled salmon. Or battered fries. Or most savouries for that matter – a light pinch of sweetness goes a looooooooooooooooooong way. Plus, sugar causes caramelization and there’s nothing more appetizing than golden-brown, succulent and not-burnt meat.

Like this guy

And this guy

But not this guy. He's a 1-inch wide miniature saltdough sculpture titled "My Ex Boyfriend"
 #recipefreed #artimitateslife

Since everything was in the oven at 230C (that’s 482 Fahrenheit), which is about the ideal temperature to roast chicken it, I thought I’d try popovers. After looking up some recipes, Yorkshire Puddings looked like a good idea. So I reduced the recipe to give it a test (we ended up finishing two eggs worth of Yorkshire Pudding)

One Egg Yorkshire Pudding

·         Fat/drippings
·         1 egg
·         50gm milk
·         35gm flour
·         Seasoning to taste

·         Rub fat generously onto a non-stick muffin or bun pan, and heat the pan in the oven. It should be sizzling hot but not smoking. Be careful of the smoking point.
·         The simplest method would be to pop everything in the blender and WHIZZ. Make sure there are no lumps and that the batter is full of air.
·         Test the pan for sizzling hotness by drizzling a drop of water. Work with extreme haste to distribute the batter and pop everything into the oven (230C) for twenty minutes. It should be in the center.
·         DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR until the puddings are well browned. It should be about 2- minutes.
·         A one-egg batch makes 12 perfect small Yorkshire pudding. Eat’em FRESH. *nom nom nom*

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