Poppycock and Sunshine

The adventures of a crazy girl trying to live a quiet, slower Provincial lifestyle in an hectic, fast paced, American society.

Let’s Cook, Shall We?? May 16, 2008

Really Good Roasted Chicken

INGREDIENTS:

Salt and Pepper to taste             

Paprika to taste

1 fresh, free-range chicken, about 3 lbs.

4 cloves garlic, or to taste

Pinch of Herbs de Provence (thyme, bay, rosemary, oregano)

1 slice stale bread

Olive oil, butter, or duck fat

1 Bunch Carrots, about 8, with greens intact to ensure freshness

2 medium yellow onions

2 Roma tomatoes, fresh and whole

1 glass white wine (8-10 ounces), optional

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place salt, pepper, and paprika inside chicken cavity. Add one or two cloves of garlic and Herbes de Provence. Replace liver, heart, and gizzards in cavity if you eat them. Rub stale bread with one clove of garlic and stuff it in the cavity.

Don’t bother to tie or truss the chicken. Simply push the chicken back into shape and tuck wing tips under the bird.

Rub the skin of the chicken with the fat of your choice- olive oil, butter, or duck fat. Season the outside with the same herbs you stuffed the chicken with if you wish. 

In a low sided pan that has been lightly rubbed with oil (a cast iron skillet works really well), place the following: the seasoned chicken, the carrots (Greens removed, peeled but whole), the onions (cut in half then into 4 wedges, and then cut scross into 1/8 inch strips), the tomatoes (cored and cut into 4 wedges each), and one clove of garlic.

Cook for at least 1 hour and until juice from a pricked thigh runs clear. It is not bad to cook this chicken a little longer than necessary, but it is awful to under-cook the chicken. You do not need to baste. When the liquid boils and reduces a bit, pour it into a sauce boat and serve with the chicken and vegetables.  

Serve and enjoy!

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TASTY AND DELICIOUS FRUIT TART (As seen at Daniel’s birthday.)

 

1 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 egg

3/4 stick of butter

Cinnamon and sugar to dust

Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl. Stir in slightly the egg. Slice or crumble butter over top. Mix thoroughly. Using a pastry cutter works best. 

Pat into a greased square or tart pan. Place sliced fresh fruit in layers on top. Peaches and strawberries are my favorite, but any fruit works nicely. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top and place in oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool before serving. Serves 8-10.

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 TARTE AU CITRON (Lemon Curd Tart)

“Lemon tarts are exquisite – the mixture of tangy lemon custard in a fine crumbly crust is a perfect combination. The dough is very buttery, so if you find that it is sticking too much to your rolling pin or table, try rolling it out between two pieces of plastic wrap. Once you have achieved the proper size, peel off the top sheet, and flip the dough into the tart mold. Pat into shape, and remove the remaining piece of plastic wrap. This is a good trick to use with doughs that are hard to work.”
FOR THE TART CRUST:
3.5 oz. butter
3 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
1/2 beaten egg
1/2 a vanilla bean (or 1 tsp extract, which is what I usually use)
1 pinch salt
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp. ground almonds
FOR THE LEMON CUSTARD:
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
7 oz sugar
1 cup lemon juice (approximately 5 lemons) including juice of half an orange added to soften the bite
4 oz sweet butter
1 Tbsp grated lemon rind for garnish
10 inch tart mold
1. Combine the better, sugar, 1/2 beaten egg, and vanilla: mix well with a wooden spoon until you obtain a smooth paste. Add the salt, flour, and almonds; knead together, making sure not to overwork the dough. Roll into a ball, and place on a sheet or plastic wrap. Flatten out with a rolling pin to the size of a pancake. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 
2. Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and 4 Tbsp of the sugar until the mixture is creamy and light in color. Set aside.
3. In a thick bottomed saucepan, heat the lemon and orange juice, butter, and remaining sugar over a low flame, until the butter starts to bubble. Remove from heat, and slowly incorporate it into the egg mixture, whisking all the while. 
4. Pour the custard mixture back into the saucepan, stirring continuously; heat until it just begins to boil. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat, and pour into a bowl. Allow to cool before refrigerating. 
5. In the meantime, roll out the dough with a bit of flour or between the two sheets of plastic wrap. Place in a buttered tart mold, prick bottom with a fork, and refrigerate again for 1/2 hour. 
6. Heat oven to 400 degrees/ Weigh down the tart mold with a sheet of parchment paper filled with beans, so that the dough does not rise while you prebake it. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, the remove the beans and paper for a further 8 minutes. 
7. Lower the temperature to 350. Fill the precooked tart shell with the custard. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with grated lemon rind, allow to cool before refrigerating. Refrigerate for approximately 3 hours until the custard sets. Leave a room temperature 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8-10. 
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TUSCAN CHILLED SALMON
For the marinade:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 TBL. grated lemon zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 TBL honey
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, minced
2 TBL chopped fresh rosemary or basil
2 TPL anchovy paste
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Other ingredients:
3 lb salmon fillet, wild caught is best, skin on 
2 lemons cut into paper thin slices
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1. In a small, nonreactive bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Marinate the salmon for 30 minutes.
2.Preheat a gas barbeque or indoor grill to medium (350 degrees) or, if using charcoal or wood, prepare a fire and let it burn until the coals or wood are ash colored. Brush the grill with oil. Lay the salmon, skin side down, on the grill. Spoon any extra marinade over the salmon. Cover the barbeque with the lid and cook the salmon, without removing the lid, for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and cut into the center of the salmon to check for doneness. it should be slightly undercooked in the center. It you don’t want to barbeque, then broil the salmon by placing the fillet 4 inches beneath the broiler heat. Slide 2 large spatulas under the salmon between the fillet and skin, and carefully transfer the salmon in one piece to a serving platter. Serve hot, or if serving chilled, refrigerate at least 2 hours. The salmon can be prepared up to 8 hours before serving.
To serve: Place a layer of lemon slices down the center of the grilled salmon. Sprinkle evenly with parsley and lemon zest. 
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Fusilli with Tuna, Capers. and Parsley
Serves 4, Super easy and tasty too!
1 14 oz can Tuna in Spring Water, preferably Albacore
2 TBL Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
2 small Red Chillies, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped Fresh Parsley
3 TBL Capers
3 TBL lemon juice
12 oz Fusilli Pasta
1. Place the tuna in a bowl and flake lightly with a fork. Combine the oil, garlic, chilli, capers, parsley and lemon juice. Pour over the tuna and mix lightly. Season well.
2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Toss the tuna mixture through the pasta, adding enough of the reserves water to give a moist consistency. Serve immediately.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Chinese Beef and Snow Peas
Serves 4
13 oz Rump Steak, finely sliced (To make beef easier to slice, freeze it until it is just firm)
2 TBL Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
oil, for cooking
1 1/2 tsp cornflour
1/2 cup beef stock
1 tsp soy sauce, extra
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1.Put the meat in a glass or ceramic bowl. Mix the soy and ginger and add to the meat. Stir well. Heat the wok until very hot, add 2 TBL of the oil and swirl it around to coat the side. Add the beef and snow peas and stir-fry over high heat for 2 minutes, or until meat changes colour. 
2. Dissolve the cornflour in a little  of the stock. Add to the wok with the remaining stock, extra soy sauce, and oil. Stir until the sauce boils and thickens. Serve immediately.
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Yummy Yummy Cranberry Bread
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 egg whites
1/3 cup applesauce
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium-size bowl, combine flours, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.

In a larger bowl, beat the egg whites at high speed for 1 minute. Beat in applesauce and buttermilk. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Stir in cranberries and walnuts. Transfer to prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Slice and serve.

Makes 12 slices.

Nutritional information per slice: 166 calories, 3.2 g fat, 1.8 g fiber

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