Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

Recently, I have discovered a deep and abiding love for roasted vegetables.  Last night, I roasted broccoli and garlic (it needs tweaking before I post it).  I love roasted beets, roasted garlic, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted peppers – roasting intensifies the flavors of most vegetables and brings out their natural sweetness.  And, the entire process is just so darn easy.

My favorite roasted vegetables these days, though, are parsnips.  I never had a parsnip until I moved north – I know!! – and their mildly spicy flavor was a revelation.    I soon discovered they are a marvelous substitute for white potatoes in soups and stews, but it was roasting that made me truly fall in love with them.  Over Easter weekend, I made an entire pan of roasted vegetables to go with the roast I was serving and Jolly, who had also never eaten a parsnip, loved them.  Since she’s one of my “picky eaters” I consider this something of a triumph.  LOL

Parsnips are particularly good when roasted with carrots, and this has become one of my favorite side dishes.  Keep in mind that if your parsnips are large, that means they are older and the core is going to be woody, so cut around it on the large ends.  Slicing the vegetables to a uniform length and shape will help them roast evenly, too.

Oh, just as an FYI, Beloved’s favorite roasted vegetable these days is radishes.  Yup – they’re good roasted too!

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

serves 6 to 8

1 pound parsnips
1 pound carrots
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Peel the parsnips and carrots and cut them in to long, french-fry shaped strips. Cut around the woody cores if the parsnips are large. Place the vegetables on a large, rimmed baking sheet and toss with the salt, pepper and olive oil.

Stirring every 10 minutes, roast the vegetables for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

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Salisbury Steak

Well, our technical difficulties seem to be over with – I’m still configuring, finding and moving but the “crisis” part is over, so it’s business as usual again at the Sushi Bar.  Thank goodness.

I had trouble choosing between this recipe and one I made Monday night, after we returned from Cincinnati – pork chops with an onion and sage gravy.  While both dishes were eaten with much enthusiasm, I chose to post this one because it’s one of Beloved’s absolute favorites.

Besides, the photo for this one came out better.

Salisbury Steak is very basic, but very delicious, comfort food and the recipe for it has been around since the late 19th century, when it was developed by a medical doctor named James Henry Salisbury.  It’s also a basic and delicious comfort food that lends itself well to low carb/paleo/whole/real food diets.  The dish is traditionally make with bread, used as an extender, and/or egg for a binder and you can use them if you like, but it’s unnecessary – the hamburger steaks will hold together just fine without them.

Note: You can substitute the arrowroot for an equal amount of cornstarch if you aren’t avoiding grains.

Salisbury Steak

Salisbury Steak

serves 6

2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 cup white button mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons tallow, lard or other cooking fat
2 cups beef stock, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1/4 cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Melt 1 tablespoon of the tallow or lard in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook the chopped onion until soft and nearly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until brown and fragrant, one or two more minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion and garlic to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Increase the heat to medium-high and melt an additional tablespoon of fat, leaving one in reserve. Working in batches, place the mushrooms in a single layer in the pan, being careful not to crowd them. Cook them until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add the ground beef to the mixing bowl with the onions and garlic. Add the salt and pepper and mix gently, but thoroughly. Using damp hands, pat the ground beef mixture into 6 thick, oblong patties.

Melt the remaining tablespoon of fat in the skillet over medium high heat; add the hamburger steaks to the pan and brown well, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add the beef broth to the pan, reduce the heat, cover and simmer the patties until cooked through, about another 10 minutes.

Remove the hamburger steaks to a plate; cover with foil and keep warm. Mix the arrowroot powder with the ¼ cup of water and stir into the beef broth in the skillet. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of the spoon. Return the mushrooms to the pan; reduce the heat and stir until they are heated through. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Place the hamburger steaks on individual plates and spoon the mushrooms and sauce over each. Serve immediately.

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Posted in participation with Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday

We Are Temporarily Experiencing Difficulties…

Beloved, The Young One and I drove down to Cincinnati on Friday to visit Jolly and The G Man, returning yesterday afternoon.

Today, we discovered the server that controls our domain at work went to that Big Operating System in the Sky.  Everyone is in the process of rebuilding their user on their laptops or workstations.

For me, that means all of my “other” work – graphics, recipes, bookmarks, passwords – have all gone bye-bye (temporarily, anyway) on my laptop, as well.  I have some lovely recipes for you, but for now I have more pressing matters.  The best I can do is leave you with an idea of what we did over the Easter weekend:

Have a lovely day, y’all, and I’ll have food for you tomorrow.

Shrimp and Mango Stir Fry

Seafood is a funny thing – Beloved and I both love it, but I don’t cook it very often.  Part of the problem is, of course, we live far from the sea and fresh, quality sea food is hard to come by in our neck of the woods and when we can find it, it is often exorbitantly expensive; we usually save it for when we go out to eat.  We have, however, been making a conscious effort to include more of it in our diet – especially when I saw how puny the seafood section in my growing cookbook is (over 50 recipes, y’all – some of which have never been published here on the blog).

The Young One, being the picky person he is, does not care much for fish.  He does, however, enjoy scallops and shrimp, and since he’s become more conscious of his own diet in the last few months is much more willing to eat stir fries.  So I made this last night.

It was tasty, but there are some caveats.  I used 2 pounds of shrimp, which was FAR too much; it took too long to cook and I ended up over-cooking the vegetables.  I’ve reduced the amount in the recipe to 1 pound and have adjusted the cooking times accordingly.  I think it also would have benefited from a just a splash of white wine, or perhaps a little lemon juice, to brighten up the flavors and have also added that to the recipe as well.  If anyone makes this as written, please let me know how it turned out, although I’m confident that the changes I’ve made to the recipe will work very well.

I’ll say one thing about the dish, though – mounded on half an avocado and drizzled with the pan juices, it makes a lovely presentation.

Shrimp and Mango Stir Fry

Shrimp and Mango Stir Fry

serves 4

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons dry white wine or lemon juice
1 large mango, peeled, seeded and cubed
1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large carrots, julienned
2 cups broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
1 large jalapeno chili, stemmed, seeded (if desired) and minced
1 large heirloom tomato, diced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

Melt the coconut oil in a wok or large, heavy skillet over high heat until almost smoking.

Reduce the heat to medium high; add the carrots, onion and broccoli to the pan and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green and the vegetables are tender-crisp. Next add the garlic, ginger, jalapeno and red pepper flakes, if using, and stir fry for another minute.

Add the shrimp and wine or lemon juice to the pan and stir fry until it is pink and cooked all the way through, about 3 minutes. Next add the mango and continue to stir fry for another 30 seconds, then toss in the tomato and cilantro. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt, pepper. Serve immediately.

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Garlic Mayonnaise Roasted Chicken

My mayonnaise addiction is showing again. 🙂  I don’t know what possessed me to roast two entire heads of garlic, mix them with some homemade mayonnaise and spread the resulting garlicky wonderfulness all over a chicken, but boy, oh boy – am I glad I did.   The results were a marvelously brown, moist and delicious bird.

If you have mayonnaise-hating family members, don’t tell them how you prepared this dish, because they’ll never, ever know – all you taste is a mellow richness.  Don’t skimp on the salt, or forget the apple either; it helps achieve the beautiful moistness and lends it’s own subtle flavor.

Then grab the nearest 16-year-old boy and make him pose with a drumstick while you take photos.  An absolutely necessary step. 😉

Garlic Mayonnaise Roasted Chicken

Garlic Mayonnaise Roasted Chicken

serves 6 – 8

2 heads garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1 medium Granny Smith Apple, quartered
3 pounds whole young roasting chicken
kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Slice off ¼ to ½ inch of the tops of the garlic with a sharp knife, exposing the individual cloves. Rub each headwith ½ tablespoon of the olive oil, then wrap loosely in aluminum foil. Set the foil-wrapped heads of garlic in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when gently pressed. Remove the garlic from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Gently squeeze each clove of garlic into a small bowl and mash thoroughly with a fork. Add the mayonnaise and mix until well blended. Set aside.

Increase the heat of the oven to 450 F.

Remove the giblets and neck from the cavities of the chicken if necessary; rinse with cold water and pat dry.  Carefully slide your fingers between the skin and the breast meat, loosening the skin (don’t worry if it tears slightly). Smear about half of the mayonnaise beneath the skin of the chicken.covering as much area over the breast as possible and pushing it down towards the dark meat. Insert the quartered apple into the cavity and sprinkle the surface liberally with the salt, about 2 teaspoons worth. Truss the chicken; rub the remaining mayonnaise over the outside of the bird.

Place the chicken breast-side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan; place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 F and continue roasting for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until the juices run clear when you prick the thigh with a fork or knife. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

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Posted in participation with Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday