Yes to Yummy

Tag Archive: roasting

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.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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?)


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spatchcocked Chicken

January 29, 2014 Print this page

The name might sound a little silly, but don’t let it fool you: this is undeniably one of the easiest, best-tasting roast chickens you will ever have.

Ingredients

Prep Time 1 hr
Cooking Time 45 min
Total Time 1 hr 45 min
Yield 4 servings

1 chicken, 3-4 lb (approximately)

Salt

Garlic powder (optional)

Paprika (optional)

2 tablespoons of melted/liquid fat (I prefer ghee or butter)

Directions

1 hour before you want to put the chicken in the oven (so approximately 2 hours before you want to eat), take out your chicken. Pour a bunch of salt into a small dish and set aside while you cut out the backbone.

Flip the chicken over so its backbone (NOT its breast) is facing up. Using a pair of sharp kitchen sheers (much easier than knives), cut down either side of the backbone to remove it. It won’t be perfect, and that’s OK!

Now, using a small knife, cut down towards the top of the breastbone in the center, then gently fold the chicken back on itself so it lies flat.

Remember that dish of salt you set out? It’s time to use it. Rub it evenly underneath the chicken, on top of its skin, and underneath its skin, and use A LOT. The salt will tenderize the meat and make it much more flavorful, so don’t be afraid, and don’t skimp!

Let the chicken sit out for another 45 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil. Put a wire rack atop it and grease it well with your choice of fat.

Transfer the chicken to a wire rack and, if you’d like, sprinkle it heavily with paprika and garlic powder. (I usually use them, but skipped it this time because my dad is avoiding both garlic and nightshades because of stomach issues. This bird was pretty plain.) With a brush, spread your chosen fat all over the top of the bird, making sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies.

Bake in the oven until the breast meat registers 160 degrees and the thigh meat registers 175 degrees, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of your bird.

Let the chicken cool for at least five minutes before slicing and eating.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spatchcocked Chicken

January 29, 2014 Leave your thoughts Print this page

063

The name might sound a little silly, but don’t let it fool you: this is undeniably one of the easiest, best-tasting roast chickens you will ever have.

When you roast a whole chicken, often times, the breast reaches optimal temperature waaaaaaay before the legs. What’s a cook to do: have under-cooked dark meat, or overcooked white meat? For safety’s sake, most will usually go for the latter option, leaving two unlucky people in the family with dry, flavorless chicken while the other two happily gnaw away at the juicy thigh and drumstick meat. UNFAIR!

The big problem here is that the breast meat is elevated, leading to it cooking faster and drying out much more easily. Sure, you might get crispy skin on top, but the juices from the meat will drip down into the lower part of the bird or the pan.

So, is there a way to have the best of both worlds? Good dark meat AND white meat without dryness? You know, without having a huge pot in your fridge to brine the chicken or a funky device in your oven?

Yes, yes there is.

Behold, the spatchcocked chicken.

072

By removing the backbone and flattening the chicken, you ensure that the breast and the legs will cook evenly, all while getting a crispy skin on the outside. It’s a win for everybody, even if you get stuck with white meat for leftovers!

This chicken is a staple in my house, especially on busy nights when I just want to throw a bunch of stuff in the oven and walk away. I promise you: IT’S EASY! It might sound intimidating, but really, it’ll take five minutes and all you’ll need is a pair of kitchen sheers.

Before we get into the recipe, let’s have a flashback moment. This was the VERY FIRST recipe I posted on Yes to Yummy, way back last April on my tumblr blog! Aaw, I was so cute…what did I know?

Now that I know how to use a camera and post tags, let’s make this tasty bird! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a redo.

042

Another trick to even cooking is to bring the bird to room temperature, so 1 hour before you want to put the chicken in the oven (so approximately 2 hours before you want to eat), take out your chicken. Pour a bunch of salt into a small dish and set aside while you cut out the backbone.

From the position pictured above, flip the chicken over so its backbone (NOT its breast) is facing up. Using a pair of sharp kitchen sheers (much easier than knives), cut down either side of the backbone to remove it. It won’t be perfect, and that’s OK! No one is going to care how precise your cuts are; the goal is to get that backbone outta there.

052

This is what your bird will look like once you’ve cut out the backbone. I actually did a pretty good job this time; sometimes, my cutting board will be a disaster area. You can either use the backbone to make chicken stock, roast it in the oven along with the chicken for a yummy piece to gnaw on, or throw it out…but I wouldn’t recommend that!

Now, using a small knife, cut down towards the top of the breastbone in the center, then gently fold the chicken back on itself so it lies flat.

Remember that dish of salt you set out? It’s time to use it. Rub it evenly underneath the chicken, on top of its skin, and underneath its skin, and use A LOT. The salt will tenderize the meat and make it much more flavorful, so don’t be afraid, and don’t skimp!

Let the chicken sit out for another 45 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil. Put a wire rack atop it and grease it well with your choice of fat (coconut oil, ghee, olive oil…etc.).

057

Transfer the chicken to a wire rack and, if you’d like, sprinkle it heavily with paprika and garlic powder. (I usually use them, but skipped it this time because my dad is avoiding both garlic and nightshades because of stomach issues. This bird was pretty plain.) With a brush, spread 2 tablespoons of your melted fat of choice all over the top of the bird, making sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies.

What fat should you use? Well, it’s up to you. Usually, I use ghee, because it smells good, has a pretty color, and always results in a brown, crispy skin. Butter has a very similar effect, so I’d highly recommend that, too. If you don’t do dairy at all, I’d say coconut oil is your best option; I’ve been disappointed with using olive oil in this recipe. Whatever you use, make sure it’s melted, liquid, or warm enough to spread all over the chicken!

Bake in the oven until the breast meat registers 160 degrees and the thigh meat registers 175 degrees, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of your bird. Sometimes, I get a tiny bird, and it’ll take less than 45 minutes; sometimes, I’ll get a big bird and it’ll take more than an hour. I encourage you to see what your butcher, farmer’s market vendor, or supermarket has instead of giving you a specific size to seek out. You can do it!

Let the chicken cool for at least five minutes before slicing and eating.

061

Looking for side dishes? I highly recommend Simply Roasted Cauliflower or Roasted Baby Carrots–which both cook at the same temperature as the chicken–with a simple green salad or sauteed kale or spinach. It would really pair well with almost anything, though!

What’s your favorite roast chicken recipe? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Easiest Roast Pork Ever

January 17, 2014 Leave your thoughts Print this page

040

As I’ve mentioned before, a lot of the problem with supermarket pork is that it’s dry and flavorless; it’s not very appealing to look at, either! The problem is that all of the fed has been bred out of the pigs as a reaction to America’s (false) fear of saturated fat, leaving us with a rather unpleasant final product.

I wasn’t much of a fan of pork when I was younger. Sure, I ate pork chops, but they weren’t exactly my favorite dinner. My dad’s barbecue ribs were a special treat, something I only had a few times every summer. I longed for that juiciness provided by the fat and slow-cooking.

When I initially started my health-food journey, I stayed away from pork almost completely: if it had a lot of fat, I refused to eat it or cook it. Once in a while, I’d roast a pork tenderloin or braise it to make “pulled” pork, but it was a rare occasion. In my (uneducated) eyes, pork was neither appealing nor healthy, so why bother eating it?

One day, I was watching “The Best Thing I Ever Made,” and John Besh was making a whole roasted pork shoulder with garlic and rosemary. As I downed my daily tofu (yes, I used to eat tofu for breakfast), I thought, “Hmm, why not give that a try?” I had never seen a pork shoulder at the supermarket, though, so I went looking online for a butcher in my area. Almost immediately, I stumbled upon Craft Butchery, and decided to go with my dad and visit.

It was an epiphany. When I tasted their pork, I was blown away: was this the same animal I had been eating all of my life?! It was flavorful, tender, and moist, even with the limited seasonings I used. I loved taking a little nibble of the crackling on top and eating cold leftovers for lunch, too. This thus began my love-affair with pork.

Over the course of the past year, I’ve cooked with almost the entire hog. I’ve braised pig cheeks with aromatic vegetables and honey. I’ve roasted a whole ham and made delicious stock with the bone. I’ve slow-cooked shanks and hocks with dried fruit, quickly seared huge chops so they’re brown on the outside and still the slightest pink on the inside. I’ve made spare ribs and pork bellies, scallopinins and loins, sirloin roasts and tails. Out of all of the cuts, though, my favorite is by far the shoulder, otherwise known as the Boston Butt.

A perfect combination of fat and meat, the shoulder is excellent for both braising and slow-roasting. Cut into cubes, it also makes for a wonderful stew meat or base for homemade pork burgers. You can dress it up with fancy spices and herbs all you’d like, but my preferred preparation only requires two ingredients: pork and salt.

That’s it.

You’d have to be a chimpanzee to screw this recipe up. It takes some time but requires almost no effort, and depending on how big your shoulder is, you’ll have leftovers for days. When I know I’ll have a busy afternoon, this is my go-to meat. I usually prepare it with roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes and a sauteed green, but you can serve it with almost anything and it’ll taste incredible.

I based this recipe on one from Nom Nom Paleo and one from The Clothes Make the Girl. Michelle and Mel are two of my biggest foodie idols, so credit goes out to them!  

Your journey to the easiest (and most delicious) pork ever begins the night before your desired eating time.

027

Place your pork shoulder into a slow cooker. Mine was 3 1/2 pounds, but I’ve made ones as big as 5 pounds before. Use whatever size is best for you and your family.

Next, rub the meat with salt. I used a little more than 2 teaspoons for my pork shoulder, but figure about 1 teaspoon for every 1 1/2 pounds you use. THIS IS NO EXACT SCIENCE. Just make sure the pork is completely rubbed, and use more salt than you think you’ll need. A lot of “healthy” slow-cooker recipes skimp on salt and often wind up having very little flavor. This is because as the meat cooks, it releases a lot of water, and those flavors are diluted by all of the excess liquid. It may sound like salt city, but I promise, it won’t be like eating a bite of the ocean or drinking pure soy sauce.

035

Put the lid on the slow cooker and put on low for 12 to 16 hours. Again, THIS IS NO EXACT SCIENCE. The bigger the roast, the longer it’ll need. I cooked mine for 14 hours, but I’ve cooked similar-sized pork shoulders for as few as 12 and as many as 16. Your pork is done when it’s very tender and it appears cooked on the outside.

Halfway through the cooking, you can take the pork out of the pot and pour off the accumulated liquid, if you like. This will lead to more of a “crust” on the outside. However, it’s not really necessary, so do it only if you have the time.

When the time has elapsed, your slow-cooker should automatically go to the “warm” setting, at which you can leave the cooked pork roast until dinner time. If you have an older model, make sure you switch it to “warm” or your pork will be sitting at room temperature for HOURS!

When you’re ready to eat, take off the strings of your pork roast (if they had them to begin with) and peel off the fat cap with a knife or tongs. You really don’t want to eat it, so discard it immediately. Shred the remaining pork with two forks and serve immediately.

052

Before storing your leftovers, I highly recommend straining the remaining pork in a sieve. This will prevent a layer of fat from accumulating at the bottom of the container in the fridge, which is a PAIN to clean.

Looking for some ideas to revamp your leftovers? Here are a few to get you started:

  • Pork wraps in big lettuce leaves/nori with slices of avocado, bell pepper, and fresh mango
  • Pork hash with sauteed shredded potatoes or another root vegetable
  • Pork stirred into cauliflower rice with onions, carrots, garlic, ginger, and coconut aminos/organic tamari
  • Pork “sandwiches” on two large sweet potato rounds with spicy greens (arugula or frisee) and homemade barbecue sauce or dijon mustard

What is your favorite cut of pork? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,