Red Cabbage Slaw

I love to have dishes of cold vegetables in my fridge during the summer. Not only do you get to use produce in it’s most pristine state, but I find that it helps manage my cravings and lessen the likelihood of eating something regrettable when I just want to munch on something. This is a great option. All you really need is a red cabbage and the rest of the ingredients are all things you should have in the pantry.  I found this hidden in a Self Magazine recipe titled, Tequila-Lime Mahi mahi Tacos- June 2012. The tacos were good, although I’ve had better fish tacos. But- the slaw is tasty and it’s simplicity means I will make it again and again. Enjoy! 

Ingredients:

      * 3 TBS. rice wine vinegar (preferably seasoned)
      * 1 tsp. sesame oil
      * 2 tsp. Honey (I prefer buckwheat)
      * 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
      * 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
      * 1 medium to small red cabbage, thinly sliced
     Directions: 
     Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Allow to sit for 30 minutes prior to serving so that the flavors
      have time to meld.
Red Cabbage Slaw

   

Sweet Potato Burritos

Sweet Potato Burritos

I’ve been making this since 2004; it is one of the greats and I make it several times a year. This recipe is time consuming but the upside is that you will have left overs for a week and it is great cold. I often bring this to work for lunch and it is always something to look forward to for a mid day pick me up. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it is seasonless. Yams and sweet potatoes are available during the coldest of winters and the warmest of summers. I often serve it with thinly sliced cabbage- soon to become a redundant phrase if you follow this blog regularly, green salsa, and guacamole. Enjoy!!!!

Adapted from Flying Mayan Burrito

Recipe courtesy Phil Campbell, The Flying Burrito, Chapel Hill, NC

Ingredients:

  • Flying Burrito Mashed Yams & Black Beans, recipes follows
  • 6 (12-inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • salsa verde
  • guacamole
  • cabbage slaw

Directions:

Warm the black bean and yam mixtures in separate saucepans.

Heat tortillas in a heated skillet or the microwave. In each tortilla place about 1/4 cup black beans and 1/4 cup sweet potatoes, top with red cabbage, salsa (I prefer Herdez salsa verde, comes in a handy little 7 oz. can), top with guacamole.

Black Bean Filling:

  • 1 pound dry black beans
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 TBS. olive oil
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt

In a heavy saucepan, combine beans, onions, garlic, olive oil and water. Bring to a boil and simmer approximately 1 1/2 hours. Add the tomatoes, wine, and season with spices. Simmer another 30 minutes or until beans are very tender. Using a wooden spoon or potato masher, mash the beans slightly. Leave some beans whole. This mixture should mound softly and be moist but not watery. Adjust by cooking longer or by adding water.

This mixture makes an excellent side dish as well as a burrito filling.

Yield: 6 cupS

Mashed Sweet Potato:

  • 2 to 3 pounds Sweet Potatoes (about 4 large)
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 2 roasted jalapenos or other pepper
  • 1 TBS. butter
  • 1 ounce tequila or sherry (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash the yams but leave the skins on. Rub with olive oil and bake until very tender, about 45 minutes. Cool the potatoes until they can be handled and remove skins. Chop the jalapenos seeds and all and place in a heavy sauce pan or bowl with the sweet potatoes. Mash all ingredients together.

This mixture makes an excellent side dish as well as a burrito filling. It can be prepared while the black beans simmer.

Yield: 5 cups

Roast Chicken- We have a winner

Last year I became a little obsessed with roasting chickens. I tried tons of recipes, learned how to take the back bone out, quarter and truss a chicken. Most of it was helpful but, ease is important to me. I love to cook, but do it with a reckless abandon- dancing and swirling around the kitchen. I’m a bit sloppy- my dice is suspect, I chop quickly and could care less if all pieces are uniform. I also substitue ingredients with great gusto. My friends and family don’t seem to mind. However, flavor is paramount.  There are tons of recipes out there for roast chicken and most are quite good… This is my favorite. The prep time is minimal, flavor is great, and it’s really quite lovely.  It is from Bouchon by Thomas Keller. I have tweaked it a bit to suit my sensibilities. 


 Simple Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

One 2- to 3-pound organic chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional) or 1 tsp. dry thyme- try and use fresh, (it really makes a difference)
Dijon mustard

1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes **(feel free to substitue rutabagas, turnips, whatever you’re into)
2 medium red skin potatoes
1 large cast iron skillet

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.

Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult and allows the bird to cook evenly and crisply. It also lends a bit of elegance to an otherwise simple dish. I skipped this step for years, and have finally decided that yes, it is worthwhile. After you do it once or twice, you won’t even bat an eye.  Here is a good video to get you started.

Now, salt the chicken liberally. Try and coat the bird uniformly, use about one Tbs. of kosher salt. When it’s cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Frankly I’ve always thought the skin is the best part. I know it’s hight in cholesterol, but we don’t have heart disease in my family. Season with lots of fresh ground pepper.

Peel the sweet potato and cut into eighths. Place these flat side down on the bottom of a large cast iron skillet. Cut the red potatoes into quarters. Place on the bottom of skillet as well. Place the trussed chicken chicken on top of the potatoes breast side up and put skillet in the oven. Leave it alone, don’t baste just let it roast for 50- 60 minutes.  Remove it from the oven and add the thyme to the skillet. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.

Remove the twine and cut it anyway you’d like. I like to serve this with a spoonful of dijon mustard, some dark greens, and a few of the potatoes from the pan. The potatoes should be soft and crispy.  


***Make sure and freeze the carcass to make chicken broth at a later date