Friday, March 14, 2008

Tarragon and Pancetta Roast Chicken

L.'s aunt Goretti from Boston and his cousin, Patricia, from the Azores are visiting us for a few days and I decided to try out a new dish on company; which, mind you is something I usually never do. I have a standby roasted chicken dish that I seem to serve whenever we have people over for dinner from out of town. After all, you can not go wrong with the chick, everyone loves a good chick, right?! Well, MOVE ON OVER stand-by chick, you have just been replaced by the new chick in town - Tarragon and Pancetta Roasted Chicken!

This chicken is not only SUPER easy but it is so darn good. The skin is raised on the chicken and lightly stuffed with a breadcrumb, tarragon and pancetta mixture and then cooked to perfection. The stuffing sealed in all the juices, making an ultra moist and juicy chicken - so succulent! I usually do not care for tarragon; but, with the saltiness and flavors of the pancetta it was just like spring time in Italy!

You have to try this one, it will be your new favorite dish to fall back on.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Thai Basil and Beef Salad

Donna Hay, again! Love Love Love this recipe! You can tell by this recipe that we are in the summer edition of her magazine. Very tropical tasting with the lime and ginger in the dressing and cool and refreshing with the bite of the cucumber with just enough kick from the spicy red pepper - kind of grabbed you at the beginning and then just drifted into your taste buds! The beef fillet we used was from Marin Sun Farms - can you say BUTTER???!! The beef from this farm, has to be the best there is, at least in this area. Melt in your mouth, no need for a steak knife beef, just melted onto the coolness of this salad! YUM!

You will definitely be tasting more of this over at our house.

Roasted Fennel Rice (otto)

The past few months we have been big Fennel fans - love it so much that we are going to attempt to grow it this year, eeks! We love it sliced up raw in our mouths or in a salad, slow cooked with a chicken or now, roasted with shallots and garlic for the topping of a rice (otto) dish I had been dreaming up while on the treadmill - I do some of my most creative cooking thinking while working out!

Risotto also known as Arborio is a staple in our house. I ALWAYS have at least a cup of it in the "pantry" so that I can whip up a nice basic Risotto when in a pinch as what we should eat. Why should this night be any different?

I poured a nice glass of wine, turned on some Sade (it was just that kind of night) and started the prep work of roasting my sweet little fennel. Smells of licorice, garlic and shallots filled our house and they were caramelizing perfectly! Now it was time to heat up my stock and start the meditating process of cooking the risotto.

Where was it? Not where it should be. It should be somewhere is our tiny pantry. I tore it up, no where. Just a cup of brown rice. S#*&! I had a great filling and hot broth, what the heck I would give it a whirl. After, what seemed liked minutes, I realized this would never work. Rice does not make risotto. Tossed in the broth and slow cooked it. Luckily, it was somewhat soft and creamy rice so I tossed in a pat of butter and a little Parmesan at the end and topped the mixture with the lovely caramelized fennel. On the upside the nuttiness of the brown rice went nicely with the fennel and cheese. Not risotto but a darn good dish of rice (otto)