I grew up watching Julia Child on television. Specifically on the PBS channel WGBH out of Boston – the same station that her show originated from. I loved her and I sometimes wonder if my desire to cook and to collect recipes can find its roots in her television shows and her inspiring personality.
PBS has invited cooks who love Julia to join in her birthday celebration August 5 – August 15. I thought I would try to make one of her recipes each day during this time frame. Drum roll please!
| August 5 |
Casserole Roasted Chicken with Garlic, Lemon, and Watercress Salad
(adapted from Julia Child – Cooking with Master Chefs courtesy of PBS.org)
Julia used a 5½ to a 6 pound roasting chicken – too much chicken for us!
- 3½ – 4-pound whole chicken
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2-2½ heads of garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves (I used about 22 cloves)
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 lemons cut in half
- scant ¼ cup walnut oil
- 2-3 bunches of fresh watercress or other greens
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Wash the chicken, sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper, pour in a spoonful of olive oil, and add some of the garlic cloves and 1 sprig rosemary. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon, and then stuff both halves in the cavity as well. Rub the chicken with oil and season with additional salt and pepper, truss, and set breast side up in a roasting pan or casserole that has a cover and is just big enough to hold the chicken.
- Smash the remaining cloves of garlic with the side of a chef’s knife to crush them; add to the roasting pan along with the reaming sprig(s) of rosemary.
- With the remaining lemon halves, squeeze juice liberally over the chicken and the squeezed halves to the roasting pan as well.
- Cover the casserole or roasting pan and place in the lower third of the oven and roast for 50 minutes.
- After 50 minutes, uncover the roasting pan, baste the chicken with the accumulated juices, and cook uncovered for about an additional 25-30 minutes to brown and complete cooking depending on the size of the chicken. Juices should run clear.
- Remove the chicken to a serving dish and keep warm. Drain the juices from the roasting pan through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing down on the garlic cloves with a heavy spoon to release their juices. Skim the fat off the top, whisk in the walnut oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Toss the watercress or other greens with the sauce until just lightly coated. Arrange the greens around the chicken and drizzle chicken with additional sauce and serve.
I am the only person in my house that likes zucchini.
It’s funny because the zucchini I grew up with as a kid is not the zucchini I would ever make today, and if the past were the case, I would understand why my family wouldn’t like it. I shouldn’t even like it.
My mom (sorry mom) boiled the zucchini to death because that’s the way my picky dad (sorry dad) would eat it.
And then I married a man who *hates* squash. And that ultimately trickled down to our son *deciding* he hated squash also without ever really giving it a chance. Does that happen in your family? Sigh.
So – enter this recipe. Simple, yet yummy with flavors everyone is familiar with. Even if the zucchini look like this:
These are called “zucchini balls.” That’s what was written on the miniature blackboard leaned up against their display at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market. The name suits them.
This dish is super family-friendly as well as vegetarian. I had left-overs for lunch today and I can’t say enough of how much I really loved it!! Cavatappi is a spiral or corkscrew shaped pasta but feel free to substitute another medium shape pasta such as fusilli or shells.
Zucchini & Cavatappi Alfredo-Style
- 8 ounces uncooked cavatappi pasta
- 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (or Parmesan), freshly grated
- 3 cups chopped zucchini (slice zucchini in half vertically and slice into medium size half moons)
- kosher salt and coarse grind black pepper
- 3 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus 1 teaspoon butter to grease the dish
- Preheat the oven to 450° F. In a large pot, bring water to a boil for the pasta and grease a large shallow gratin dish or 11x9x2 baking dish.
- To the baking dish, add the cream, zucchini, and ¾ of the cup of cheese. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- When the water boils, give it a generous pinch of salt and add the pasta. Cook until just barely al dente, about a minute less than package directions. Drain pasta and add to the baking dish and combine with the other ingredients.
- Sprinkle the top with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese and the panko bread crumbs. Dot with the butter and place in the oven.
- Bake for about 12 minutes or until the pasta and zucchini begin to brown. Let rest five minutes before serving.
I love frittatas of any kind, especially if it helps to use up the remains of ingredients in my refrigerator. This is one that has a little summer flair from the addition of summer squash and basil.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped Vidalia onion
- 1 cup chopped summer squash
- 2 cups chopped, cooked Yukon gold potatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- kosher salt and coarse ground pepper
- 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 10-inch nonstick, ovenproof skillet and add the onions, squash, and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs, and stir in the crème fraîche and Gruyère cheese. Gently fold in the basil and chives and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the edges are set, about 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and place the skillet in the oven. Bake until set, about 10 to 12 minutes. Slide frittata onto a plate and cut into 6 wedges. Great warm or at room temperature.
Have I mentioned how much I love avocados? That I eat one (yes a whole one) probably about 4 times a week and most often for breakfast? I typically chop up some slices of ripe avocado and combine them with a hard-boiled egg for a protein-rich but quick meal to start the day.
If you love avocados – and specifically California avocados (which I can’t seem to find here in Florida because the Florida growers probably are not wishing for competition from California farmers??) – please join Dine and Dish and Cookin’ Canuck for the California Avocado 4th of July Blast, sponsored by the California Avocado Commission. All of the information is on their blogs.
You know that I love vichyssoise, so I set out to create one that includes avocado. Yum – a new favorite!
Avocado & Buttermilk Vichyssoise
- 4 small-medium leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and thinly sliced into rounds
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 medium white or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeo pepper(optional)
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 fresh, ripe California avocados
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives for garnish
- kosher salt and black or white pepper
- Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the leeks, garlic, and jalapeno pepper and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, partially cover pot, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Take off the burner and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, peel the avocados and remove their pits.
- When mixture is cooled, transfer 1/2 to a blender and add one avocado. Purée until smooth and transfer to a clean pot. Add the final batch and the second avocado and purée until smooth. Add that to the clean pot as well.
- To the puréed mixture, add the lemon juice, buttermilk, and half-and-half. Season with salt and pepper and chill for at least two hours.
- To serve, ladle into bowls and top with freshly chopped chives. If feeling decadent, top with a little crème fraiche.
I don’t eat very much in the morning, even though I know it’s been drummed into my head that it’s the most important meal of the day. On school mornings, I stop at Starbucks to pick up my nonfat chai grande after I’ve dropped my son off, but sometimes (cursing my computer) it’s all that I have until lunch. Not good.
So – enter this simple and sweet but lightly savory recipe……..
I started buying fresh ricotta cheese at Whole Foods some time ago and found that by adding fresh berries and a sprightly herb, as well as a nice drizzle or two of good extra virgin olive oil, that it was the perfect breakfast for me. You can absolutely substitute low-fat ricotta cheese if you wish. A nice boost of protein and fruit – just what I need to start the day off right.
It is so not necessary to use Thai basil. I’ve always grown it because it was “different* but it’ s really just a cross between basil and mint. With that said, I’m not a huge mint lover, but little sprigs of this herb will make the dish POP. Love it.
Here’s to happy, busy mornings.
Fresh Ricotta with Blackberries and Thai Basil
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- Generous drizzle of high quality extra-virgin olive oil
- Chopped Thai basil, basil, or mint leaves
- Divide ricotta cheese and blackberries between two bowls. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the Thai basil leaves.