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Poussin Bonaparte

February 23, 2014 Print this page

Just admit it: this is the cutest, goofiest chicken you have ever seen in your entire life. I mean, just look at it! It has a BACON. SASH. This is one classy bird, folks. And it’s SO easy to make.

Ingredients

Prep Time 1 hr
Cooking Time 45 min
Total Time 1 hr 45 min
Yield 8 servings

4 poussin (figure 1/2 a poussin per person)

Salt

2 big, fat, chunky carrots

2 tablespoons of melted ghee, butter, or coconut oil

4 strips of bacon

Directions

About an hour before you want to eat, take your poussin out of the fridge and pat each one dry with a paper towel. Rub salt all over their skins and in their cavities and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour. (This will really help the flavors develop and tenderize the meat!)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large roasting pan with a little coconut oil or ghee. Set aside.

Take out the big, fat, chunky carrots. (They need to be tough to be able to hold up the poussin!) Cut off either end of both and slice in half width-wise, leaving you with four fairly strong pieces of carrot. Set aside.

Get your four salted-and-at-room-temperature poussin ready. Mount each bird on top of each piece of carrot, trimming off an inch or so at the bottom of the carrot until the poussin can stand up on its own. Place all four in the large roasting pan you already greased.

If you’re feeling fancy, wrap a strip of bacon from one of the poussin’s shoulders to its opposite hip. This will give each of your birds a little “sash!”

Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a thermometer in the breast reaches 165 degrees and thigh reaches 175 degrees. The skin (or at least the top half) should be crisped at this point.

Let the poussin cool for at least five minutes before removing the carrots and serving. (You can eat the carrots, too–they’ll have amazing flavor!)


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Rutabaga Fries and Healthier Hasselback Potatoes

February 10, 2014 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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So, as you may or may not know, I work at a farmer’s market. A winter farmer’s market.

And you know what that means? Roots. Lots, and lots, and LOTS of roots.

When the market began back in November, there was kale. Fresh baby spinach. Brussel sprouts. Salad greens. But as November turned to December and fall turned to winter, the amount of green slowly diminished. People began arriving early so they could buy up anything that wasn’t brown or white before everybody else. I soon found myself with a serious problem. Friends, family, readers: I developed VEGETABLE HOARDING.

A few weeks ago, the vendor that sold her produce next to me had kale. KALE. Just a few precious bags of leafy, crunchy goodness. It was a little hard-hit from the snow and extremely cold weather, but it was green, and I wanted it. BAD. I proceeded to immediately reserve four bags for myself, then laughed with relish at my success. (It was incredibly delicious, by the way.)

Right now, in the heart of February, only the toughest of the veggies have lingered on at the farmer’s market. Sweet potatoes. Gnarly celeriacs. Fat, twisted carrots. Baby beets that definitely need a cuddle instantaneously upon purchase. While they may not be beauty pageant winners, I love them all the same, and I’ll always work with what I’ve got.

Let’s start with rutabaga.

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Everyone, this is a rutabaga.

Hi, rutabaga!

He (or she?) is very hearty in appearance, with a bulbous middle and slightly stringy top. Upon sniffing this magnificent creature, you’ll detect almost cabbage-like notes. You know why? It’s because both plants belong to the Brassica family, which also includes cauliflower, collard greens, and broccoli. This means your kitchen will be a little stinky, too, but no need to fear–rutabaga tastes awesome. Especially when paired with some spices for flavor and color.

Usually, when I’m working with a new vegetable, I cube it and roast it in the oven with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, then taste and determine what it needs for next time to enhance its flavor.  I didn’t do that with rutabaga–I went straight to matchstick mode to make oven-baked fries.

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Crunchy on the outside and just a bit creamy on the inside, these fries are a wonderful change of pace from your typical vegetable side dish. I like them plain, but I bet they’d also be super tasty with Citrus-Infused Mayo on the side.

First things first: preheat the oven to 450 degrees and take out two medium rimmed baking sheets.

If you’d like, peel the skin off of your rutabaga–it’s not absolutely necessary–and slice it into thick matchsticks. Want to make cutting a little easier? Cut off the rutabaga’s bottom so it can stand up on its own on your cutting board!

Once properly cut, put the rutabaga matchsticks in a large bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast, 1-2 teaspoons of paprika (depending on how spicy you want them), 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. When all are evenly coated, divide the matchsticks evenly among the two baking sheets.

Bake until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Stir every 10 to 15 minutes to ensure that both sides get properly crisped. Serve immediately with your favorite meat, poultry, or white fish. (May I recommend the Crispy Sweetbreads?)

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Onto our next installment of winter vegetable madness: HASSELBACK POTATOES.

OK, so unless you’ve been living under a foodie boulder for the past, er, year, you’ve probably seen countless of pictures of hasselback potatoes floating around the internet. Unfortunately, all of these recipes are LOADED with butter and cheese…and while I have a problem with neither in moderation, I don’t think that a vegetable side dish should contain an entire stick of butter and up to a cup of cheese. That basically defeats the purpose of a vegetable, don’t you think?

Then, one day, I was hanging out in the kitchen watching Barefoot Contessa, because I was bored and my T.V. channels are pretty much exclusively the Food Network, the Weather Channel, and Kids 13 when Arthur is on. (I am not a tasteful T.V. watcher, mind you.) I was about to turn it off when Ina started talking about potatoes. Immediately, a picture of mini hasselback potatoes popped up on the screen, and I darted downstairs to look  up the recipe.

I was so excited. Hasselback potatoes. Without any butter and cheese. And mini-sized. Yes.

My recipe is slightly adapted from Ina’s; I also used a combination of baby golden and purple potatoes for color and variety. These are so pretty and so tasty…I could eat the entire batch, if you wanted me to. Really.

Just like the rutabaga fries, you’ll need to preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Get out the biggest rimmed baking sheet you have–you’ll need lots of space for these potatoes!

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Unless you’re a knife pro, you’re going to need some help cutting up the potatoes. (FYI, I used about 1 lb.) Here’s a great trick: use a spoon that’s about the same size as the potato you’re using! Every 1/4-inch or so, cut down until you hit the spoon. Repeat until you reach the end of the potato, and here’s what it should look like…

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It holds together, but you still have the cuts you want for crispy hasselback potatoes!

Repeat with the rest of the potatoes and transfer them all to a big bowl. Toss with 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary, and a good crack of black pepper.

Pour the coated potatoes on the baking sheet, and bake until tender on the center and crispy all over, about 40 to 45 minutes. Give the pan a shake every 15 minutes to make sure the potatoes don’t stick!

Serve immediately with your favorite main dish: I’d recommend either Spatchcocked Chicken or the Easiest Roast Pork Ever.

My dad thought they looked like armadillos. What do you think?

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And there you have it! Two tasty vegetable sides that are actually in season.

What’s your favorite winter vegetable? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Healthier Hasselback Potatoes

February 10, 2014 Print this page

OK, so unless you’ve been living under a foodie boulder for the past, er, year, you’ve probably seen countless of pictures of hasselback potatoes floating around the internet. Unfortunately, all of these recipes are LOADED with butter and cheese…and while I have a problem with neither in moderation, I don’t think that a vegetable side dish should contain an entire stick of butter and up to a cup of cheese. Mine are made with olive oil and rosemary, and are so pretty and so tasty…I could eat the entire batch, if you wanted me to. Really.

 

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min
Cooking Time 40 min
Total Time 50 min
Yield 4 servings

1 lb of potatoes (I used mini Yukon Golds and Purple)

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of dried rosemary

A good crack of black pepper

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Get out the biggest rimmed baking sheet you have–you’ll need lots of space for these potatoes!

Unless you’re a knife pro, you’re going to need some help cutting up the potatoes. Here’s a great trick: use a spoon that’s about the same size as the potato you’re using! Every 1/4-inch or so, cut down until you hit the spoon. Repeat until you reach the end of the potato.

Repeat with the rest of the potatoes and transfer them all to a big bowl. Toss with the olive oil, salt, rosemary, and black pepper.

Pour the coated potatoes on the baking sheet, and bake until tender on the center and crispy all over, about 40 to 45 minutes. Give the pan a shake every 15 minutes to make sure the potatoes don’t stick!

Serve immediately with your favorite main dish: I’d recommend either Spatchcocked Chicken or the Easiest Roast Pork Ever.

My dad thought they looked like armadillos.


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Rutabaga Fries

February 10, 2014 Print this page

Upon sniffing this magnificent vegetable, you’ll detect almost cabbage-like notes. You know why? It’s because both plants belong to the Brassica family, which also includes cauliflower, collard greens, and broccoli. This means your kitchen will be a little stinky, too, but no need to fear–rutabaga tastes awesome. Especially when paired with some spices for flavor and color.

Ingredients

Prep Time 5 min
Cooking Time 30 min
Total Time 35 min
Yield 4 servings

1 large rutabaga

2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted

1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast

1-2 teaspoons of paprika

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of salt

Directions

First things first: preheat the oven to 450 degrees and take out two medium rimmed baking sheets.

If you’d like, peel the skin off of your rutabaga–it’s not absolutely necessary–and slice it into thick matchsticks.

Once properly cut, put the rutabaga matchsticks in a large bowl. Toss with the melted coconut oil, nutritional yeast, paprika, garlic powder, and salt. When all are evenly coated, divide the matchsticks evenly among the two baking sheets.

Bake until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Stir every 10 to 15 minutes to ensure that both sides get properly crisped. Serve immediately with your favorite meat, poultry, or white fish. (May I recommend the Crispy Sweetbreads?)


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Perfect Grain-Free Pancakes

February 5, 2014 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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People, this is huge. I have reached pancake nirvana–grain-free pancake nirvana, that is.

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For the past few weeks, I have been seriously craving pancakes. No, I didn’t want flimsy, egg-y pancakes like the grain-free ones I usually make, but I didn’t want to use nut flour, either, because I know many of you out there have allergies to them. I was a girl caught in the midst of a dilemma: wanting pancakes and wanting to create a nut-free recipe for my blog. It was like trying to find a pair of shoes that was both comfortable and fashionable…it’s not an easy task.

But then, one morning, I woke up to find that I had a two hour delay for school. (FYI, I haven’t had a full week of school in over two months. Ouch.) Immediately, the little voice inside of my head started chanting, “Pancakes, pancakes, pancakes,” and I knew that this time, I had to listen.

In my teddy bear pajamas and purple fuzzy socks, I darted back and forth between my kitchen, my computer, and my light box, poised by my craving and my quest. I stirred and ladled, positioned and shot, clicked and re-clicked: this time, my pancakes had to be perfect.

And the universe worked itself out in return.

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My favorite part of these pancakes was the fact that they were fluffy. When I’ve made grain-free pancakes in the past, they wind up flat and dense, reminding me more of a hockey puck than a breakfast delicacy. By using a combination of coconut flour and tapioca powder, as well as both baking powder and baking soda, I created pancakes that were tender and had–wait for it–air bubbles. When I cut into one, I almost cried–I realized that it was possible to make a fluffy product without wheat flour!

Now, are these exactly like the white flour pancakes you used to make from a box? Nope, but that’s OK–these pancakes have their own distinct character. Depending on what brand of coconut flour you use, you might get a lighter or darker pancake than me, but that only adds to the fun of it. I used Coconut Secret coconut flour, and as you can tell, mine definitely had more of a “whole grain” texture, which I really enjoyed. If you want a slightly whiter pancake, I’d recommend Let’s Do…Organic coconut flour instead, or, if you’re so inclined, doing a combination of the two.

These are SO easy to make and can be prepared in advance for quick breakfasts during the week. I recommend serving these with a little all-fruit jam, nut butter, or freshly sliced bananas and strawberries for both a pretty and filling breakfast.

Ready for your mind to be blown? Good. Let’s get started.

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In a large bowl, whisk together 3 eggs until little bubbles begin to form on the top. This will take a minute or so, but be patient–those air bubbles will really help you out later on.

To the eggs, add in 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 2/3 cup of coconut milk, preferably at room temperature, and whisk to combine. You can use either lite or full-fat: I used Whole Foods’ generic full-fat coconut milk, which I always feel has more of a liquid-y feel than, say, Thai Kitchen, which tends be much thicker and denser.

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To the wet ingredients, sift in 1/2 cup of coconut flour, 1/2 cup of tapioca powder, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. A note on baking powder: it often contains cornstarch, which some people are sensitive to, in which case you can make baking powder from scratch using this recipe. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a large skillet or cast iron pan, melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat. Once the skillet/pan is hot, ladle in about 1/4 cup of batter to form one pancake. Repeat twice or three times more, depending on how much space you have. (Make sure there’s room in between!)

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When bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pancakes, it’s time to flip them! This should take about 3 to 4 minutes, but make sure you watch the pan so the pancakes don’t burn on the bottom.

Cook on the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes, then remove from the pan and repeat with the rest of the batter. I made 9 pancakes, but you might get more or less, depending on how much batter you use.

Serve immediately, or keep in the fridge for quick, tasty breakfasts for DAYS!

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When you make pancakes, what’s YOUR secret ingredient? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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