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Mums, Sage, Seckel Pears and Rosemary

Flower Friday brings all the good things we found at the Hudson Farmers Market last Saturday with a mum thrown in for good measure. Herbs, fruits and vegetables can be such pretty things to weave into a table tableau. You can pluck a few leaves to use in cooking along the way while you enjoy their beauty at the table. I have become a big mum fan as they seem to be available here in the Hudson Valley at every turn. We often get in the car to go ‘exploring’ with no real plan or direction. Just drive around the back country roads meandering and seeing what we see. Often there are little roadside stands. Some attended and others with an honor system jar where you put in your money. At 5 to 10 bucks for a big plant of mums, I have quickly become a convert. Plus they come in tons of colors. Of course the creamy whites with the starting hint of yellow are a favorite, working well with all the green in the house. Cheers to the upcoming last week-end in October!



 

 

Meyer Lemon & Rosemary Infused Chicken

Still working through all the gorgeous Meyer lemons our friend Betsy sent us from her home in Healdsburg. This is an incredibly simple chicken dish that does most of the work on its own, as it cooks away for an hour on the stovetop. Ladled over noodles or rice, it is a comforting meal served to guests or enjoyed simply for a week-night meal.

I used skin on chicken thighs. Any cut of chicken will do, you just want to make sure to leave the skin on and that you use a pot large enough that it all fits atop the onion, lemon and rosemary mixture in one layer.

Here goes! Salt & pepper the chicken pieces liberally adding to a heavily olive oiled pot that you are going to cook the entire thing in. The pot you choose will need to have a tightly fitted lid. Cook chicken on medium high heat until the skin side is a browned, then flip and cook other side for a few minutes. You are not cooking the meat all the way through, as it will cook with everything else for an hour in a bit. Take chicken out, put on a plate and set aside.

Turn burner to medium low. In the same pot, now add a chopped up sweet onion or two, a Meyer lemon quartered and a few whole springs of rosemary. Toss all with the oil that was remaining to coat, adding a little more olive oil if needed. Then add back all the chicken, nestling it among the mixture. Be sure to add in any juices that accumulated on the plate the chicken was resting on. Turn the heat to low, put the cover on. Let cook for half an hour, checking it to see if it needs a splash of water or white wine at that point if needed. Most likely it won’t. Put lid back on and cook for another half hour. At the hour mark, check the chicken with a meat thermometer so it reads 165 degrees. Done! The Meyer lemon and rosemary will have done their magic. Discard. Ladle the onion mixture over your pasta or rice, then top with a piece of chicken.



 

 

Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary & Feta

I joke that we often cook as if we are feeding an army. We both love serving plentiful amounts of food when we have guests, and that often happens when we are cooking just for the two of us. There are just certain foods that make amazing left-overs that we can then doctor up and make another meal out of. Which makes our week-day dinners in town tons easier after busy work days. Such was the case last eve with these little baby Yukon Gold potatoes. I had made them on Sunday at WestWard and we had a good amount left over. Here is what I did to make them different from the other meal, so it would not be boring.

Oven to the magical 400. A piece of fish and roasted cauliflower was on the menu. The potatoes could heat up in the same oven as those two, as they were already cooked so they were just heating up. You could certainly do this in a microwave, but the oven crisps them up a bit, which I quite like. Lay the potatoes out in a single layer in an oven proof dish. Take a fork and press down on each spud until it pops open. A nice full potato laden dish will soon appear. Sprinkle over a little chopped rosemary and a whole lotta fresh cracked black pepper. Put in oven until warmed through. Out of the oven crumble feta to the mix. As easy as that. Would also be amazing with a fried egg set on top. Just saying. But it worked swimmingly nestled up next to the fish and roasted cauliflower. Would work with so many things. 

Happy Thursday all! How is it May already?



 

 

Ranunculus in Repose

20160405-075117.jpg 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.

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Rosemary Infused Yukon Gold Potatoes with Sweet Onions

20150915-071420.jpg 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!

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Swaine Street Woodworking

20150424-044616.jpg 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,
Ted



 

 

Chicken with Meyer Lemons, Olives & Rosemary

20150312-050821.jpg 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.



 

 

Rosemary Potato Chips

20150212-042853.jpg 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.



 

 

Green Apples & Green Zinnia with Rosemary

20140911-062449.jpg 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.

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Ted’s Tip No. 9

20140829-064105.jpg 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.

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