We were given these divine and oh so dreamy ranunculus by a guest who came to dinner on Friday eve. They were part of a larger arrangement but the other parts of it did not make it through the week-end, so when we arrived last night from the island, a little flower doctoring was in order. Small arrangements to me really sing when they are made up of one type of flower. The grouping becomes a collective whole. If there is color variation among the blooms, that can add some exquisite visual variety. I chose a small Jukiska vessel that would elevate the ranunculus so they almost seemed like they were standing up on their toes dancing. The fluttery petals doing their magic, making my heart sing as I found a spot on the dining table next to a pot of rosemary. The hearty green of the plant playing off of the color variations of the ranunculus.
Rosemary is such a long lasting, versatile herb to use in so many things and in so many ways. This week-end our big buckets of rosemary were shouting to be used. Sunday supper was going to be chicken on the grill. But it was also a bit of a rainy day, so we decided to cook everything else inside. This is where this big sheet pan of goodness comes in. Incredibly easy but should be in everyone’s cookery arsenal for that very reason. Top it with an egg and it is great for breakfast or nestle the mixture next to a piece of chicken or a pork chop. Here goes.
Oven to the magic number of 400 to preheat while you chop. Cut up Yukon gold potatoes into small pieces, then scatter onto a baking sheet. I like to quarter smaller ones, so I sort through the bin and try and choose similar sized spuds. Next, slice up a sweet onion like a Vidalia or a Walla Walla. Mix in amongst the potatoes. Next, chop quite fine a bunch of rosemary. Make it rain over the mixture. Then do the same with a super healthy amount of fresh cracked black pepper. Then salt. Over the entire lot, drizzle extra virgin olive oil. Either with your hands or a spoon, mix all together so the oil is coating the mixture. Then into the hot oven it goes. Move around with a metal spatula or wooden spoon every 10 minutes or so to avoid sticking which also ensures even roasting. Done is when potatoes are nice and brown. Truly, so simple, but you will go back to this time and again when making meals. Enjoy!
Just arrived, Swaine Street Woodworking products. I have always been somewhat at a loss on what to use to revivify wood cutting boards and other wood kitchen items like stirring spoons. Swaine Street Woodworking products to the rescue. Rosemary lemon cutting board oil is a food safe emollient formula which penetrates the wood to bring it back to a happy revivified life. Beeswax polish doing a similar trick but also providing a food safe protective finish. The ditty ‘whistle while you work, whistle while you work’ playing in my head. Again, great packaging. I am a sucker for a Weck jar, and the simple apothecary glass bottle with the black top is just right.
From my favorite leather chair–up early and ready to tackle the day.
A lovely, lovely Friday to you all,
I am finding bags of Meyer lemons to be plentiful this time of year. The sweet thin skinned lemons the perfect addition to chicken. This easy Provençal inspired dish feels a bit like Summer, even when it is not.
Oven to 400. Of course. Salt, pepper and olive oil skinless boneless chicken thighs that you have put in a baking dish. I prefer skinless for this as it produces way less fat, and the sauce at the end becomes part of the dish. I prefer thighs to white meat for this, as they stay moist. If you are not a dark meat fan, then for sure try with breast meat, just watch super carefully to not over cook the meat.
Then add a few sprigs of rosemary and a handful of olives. Cut up Meyer lemons, some halved and some quartered, tucking them here and there among the chicken. Lastly, pour over a bit of good white wine to moisten the entire mixture. Bake/roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until the chicken registers 165 degrees on a thermometer. Several times during the cooking process, move things around a bit in the dish. Start spooning over the juice that is being created over the meat. Add more white wine if you think more liquid is needed.
End result, you will get super moist chicken along with an amazing sauce that the lemons, olives, rosemary, olive oil and the chicken drippings have produced. Serve over basmati or jasmine rice or egg noodles, being sure to ladle over that precious sauce. The Meyer lemons are edible, skin and all, so give those a try too. This is easy enough for a week night meal but also has an earthly quality that makes for a stellar meal to serve to guests.
These potato chips are a ‘take’ on a recipe from the glorious Buvette cookbook. A spin our friend Catherine so cleverly thought of to infuse chips with rosemary without having to actually make potato chips from scratch. Simply chop up a good amount of rosemary quite fine. Layer the best store bought potato chips you can find onto a baking sheet or sheets. Sprinkle said finely chopped rosemary over the top of the chips. Put into a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes. Your kitchen will smell divine during this process. Gently mix things around at the 10 minute point. When done put in a pretty bowl. Serve with cocktails or Champagne for a high/low mix that will knock your socks off. It will be the first thing to go at your next party or gathering. A short-cut that is so simple yet so tasty. I whipped up a batch for our cocktail party the other evening and they were the perfect thing to have out while folks waited for their drink to me made.
The green theme continues with a combination of green zinnia with a bit of rosemary thrown into the mix. Oh, and a few green apples for good measure. A close to end of season tableau using what is plentiful at the moment. Herbs work so nicely mixed in with blooms to add a little extra earthiness and deeper tones set amongst the color. So many gorgeous varieties of apples showing up in the produce sections at the moment too.
At this hearty time of year when gardens and planters are brimming with bounty, think of using herbs as a solo arrangement. A big bundle of rosemary or a dancing group of flowering dill can make one deliriously divine centerpiece added to a dining or side table.
Just in time for Summer grilling, aromatic rosemary & lavender savory salts. Simply sprinkle this salt on meats, fish or vegetables before baking or grilling for a quick and easy way to add flavor to a dish. The combo of lavender and rosemary sort of Summer in a bottle. Plus the bottle is cool too! I love these little Weck jars with the metal clips. Once you have used the salts up, the jars are the perfect vessel for whipping up a vinaigrette in–come to think of it, these savory salts would be pretty fabulous added to a vinaigrette to add a serious burst of flavor. And last but not least, these make one heck of a swell gift. Your host/hostess will be quite happy they invited you…
Oven preheating to 400 degrees while you assemble all. Pat dry your chicken pieces. Put on a baking sheet or in a baking pan. Sprinkle liberally with salt & pepper. Cut up several lemons in quarters and juice over the chicken pieces, being careful to not get in the seeds. I juice it over a small strainer that catches the seeds. Then tuck in the lemons amongst the chicken pieces. Also tuck in full sprigs of rosemary. You will be amazed at how good your house smells once this gets cooking. Now, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the whole lot. Let sit. In a small bowl put in a generous portion of a marmalade or jam of your liking–think peach, orange, plum, nectarine. Peach is generally my choice. Add to that several good splashes of Cognac to thin it all out. If you don’t generally have a bottle of Cognac sitting around, pick one up next time you are shopping. It lasts forever and is so great in so many recipes and desserts. Our bottle has been in the cupboard for ages. With a brush or small spoon put the mixture over all of the chicken pieces. This stuff is magic. Put all in the oven and bake/roast for 40 minutes or until the temp of the chicken is 160. The juices should run clear when you prick a piece with a knife. I am a huge fan of the instant read thermometer, as I just feel most comfortable knowing exactly the temp.
Once done, take out of the oven and cover with aluminum foil. The chicken will continue to cook a tad while resting. The chicken juices will marry with the lemon juice, the olive oil, the rosemary oils and the marmalade that has dripped off the chicken making one amazing sauce to spoon over the chicken once you are ready to serve. Is divine with rice or mashed potatoes, as the sauce becomes kind of a piquant gravy of sorts too.