Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pan Roasted Radishes in Browned Butter - Caity

In Portland, there is a very wonderful street called N. Mississippi Avenue.  I used to live on that street and I loved every minute of it (except maybe the rent)! If you are ever in Portland, you must go there. It has several blocks of cool shops, bars and restaurants. One of my favorite restaurants is a newer one called "Radar". They serve a variety of small plates and fancy cocktails and this recipe is based on their Radishes in Browned Butter that I adore. 

Side note: those radishes are from our garden!!!

Serves 2

one year ago: Brazilian Lemonade
two years ago: Sicilian Carrots
three years ago: Garlic Grands

Friday, May 23, 2014

Banana Crunch Muffins - Caity

Banana muffins are my favorite muffins! I frequently will buy a bunch of bananas just to let them go brown so I can make banana bread or muffins. My favorite banana muffins were muffins made from the Blueberry Banana Bread recipe, but now I've tried Banana Crunch Muffins, they will have to tie for first place. These Banana Crunch Muffins are especially tasty because in addition to the great banana flavor (which comes from both mashed and diced bananas), they have a lot to chew on (they contain granola, banana chips, walnuts and coconut). This recipe comes from "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook"by Ina Garten. 

The same week I was making these muffins my mom happened to watch her TV show where she made these muffins. She said that you could make the batter the night before, refrigerate it, then bake in the morning. I thought no way, my muffins will be hockey pucks! But I tried it and it's true! They were just as good after a night in the fridge as if I had baked them straight away. That means they would be a great thing to make when you have house guests, are going to a breakfast potluck, or are taking to work. I highly recommend trying these muffins! 

Makes 18 large muffins or 24 regular muffins. 

three years ago: Mint Sugar, Garlic Grands

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Balsamic Roasted Chicken - Cathy

 Well, I forgot to take a final photo of this gorgeous, bronze-burnished roast chicken; actually there were two of them.  But we were hungry, and the rest of the dinner was ready!  I finally remembered when there was a bit of a lull in the feasting and I ran back to the kitchen to try and grab a quick photo of what was left.

This beautiful, delicious chicken is surprisingly simple to make; just a leisurely bath (or whatever you have time for) in a fairly large amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil with thyme, garlic and shallots (or onion if that's what you've got).  Then into the oven for an hour or so, and you pull out this deep brown, moist and savory chicken with lovely pan juices.

The recipe is slightly adapted from a wonderful cookbook, "Modern Mediterranean", by Melia Marden that Erin gave to Caity awhile ago.  Caity kept telling me how wonderful this book was, so I decided that I'd better have it, too.  (Those that know me know that I have a bit of a cookbook...habit...shall we say? Okay, so I own a ridiculous number! But I love them all!)  Anyway, it is full of wonderful, inspiring recipes and photos, and I also highly recommend it.  Or we should all at the very least go to her restaurant in New York City, The Smile, where Ms. Marden is Executive Chef. Now on to this luscious chicken!  

Just a note--when I make it I drastically reduce the amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil called for in the marinade;  it just gets discarded later, and I can't stand to waste all of that.  I'm sure it's wonderful at full strength, but only using half is enough to cover the chicken and it comes out beautifully.

Serves 4 (she says, but I think more like 6! with some lovely leftovers for sandwiches or salad).