Crispy Oven Baked Russet Fries

Crispy Oven Baked Russet Fries

Lyn got me a mandolin for my birthday and I have tried a few things, potato chips cut them to thin tried to bake did not quite work but tasted OK, onion work pretty good, and then French fries , I still have to get the hang of it I found it hard to slide the potato back and forth. The hold was too small and my fear of slicing my hand made me hesitate. I did manage to get through the potato but think next time I will try for smaller in length making the sliding easier. I made a promise to myself that this time I will keep up with it there is so much one can do with a mandolin. Anyway these fries came out pretty darn good.

Ingredients

  • 1 russet potato
  • Olive oil
  • Malt vinegar salt

 

How:

First I have to say two things I was cooking my snowy day chicken so the temp was pretty set at 450 degree convection and second I could not find the cookie sheet so I used a BBQ pan that had holes in it.

grill_pan_carbon_steel_baking_pan_bbq_summ

Using the mandolin create your fries.

Rinse in a bowl of cold water and thoroughly dry

Crispy Oven Baked Russet Fries

Place on micro wave plate and microwave 3 minutes on high

When cool to touch lightly toss in some olive, since your hands are covered with oil rub the pan to coat and then lay out the fries in single layer. It took about 30 minutes to brown up to a crunchy nice oven bake fry, I was satisfied.

Crispy Oven Baked Russet Fries

Remove from oven and sprinkle with the malt vinegar salt to taste.

Malt vinagar Sea Salt

 

BTW Lyn came in and asked why are you using that pan? Turned around and pulled the cookie sheet out but I got to say I think I am sold on the holey pan.

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Snowy Day Roasted Organic Chicken

Snowy Day Roasted Organic Chicken

We all sighed with relief when the ground hog did not see his shadow and it was declared an early spring it would be! He just neglected to tell us that it would be a stormy snowy wait starting with a 28” blizzard. Then at the beginning of last week it was another 10-14” by midweek 6-8” by the end of the week we were in the 4-6” and by the time Lyn and I pulled into the garage on Sunday afternoon they were saying not even an inch. You just have to laugh. We actually ended up with about 2” after it was all said and done and it did snow pretty much half of Saturday and all day and night Sunday just did not amount to much. Wait more snow on this Wednesday.

Snow_Texture_by_funnybunny_stock

I love the snow fall that has huge flakes drifting slowly to the ground it can be memorizing if not hypnotic as you stare out into the bliss lost in memories of running around catching flakes with your tongue as a child. So what does one do on a snowy Sunday afternoon I decided roasting one of the organic Chickens I got from Whole Foods on sale last week, it was one of those lunch time shopping expeditions were you are armed with a list and you race around beating the clock, my list chickens, strawberries and lunch.  Returning to work Nicole directed, very nicely, the placing of all our bags in the lunch room frig. I got the fun job of throwing out someone’s long deserted and now disgusting lunch from who knows when. I am sure you all have an office frig that collects things. Anyway I babble….

Ingredients

  • 1 whole organic chicken
  • 1 lemon – sliced in ¼” slices
  • ½ orange – sliced in ¼” slices
  • 2 cloves garlic – slightly smashed or not
  • Salt and pepper
  • A couple of table spoons of room temp butter
  • CoffeeSpiceRubCoffee spice rub
  • A few carrots sliced in 2” pieces
  • One or two sweet onions quartered

snowy day chicken

How:

Rinse and dry the chicken

Salt and pepper the cavity

Stuff the lemon, orange and garlic cloves inside

Truss the chicken

Rub and place butter over the top of the dry chicken

Sprinkle with Coffee spice rub

Place in a roasting pan on rack

Drizzle some Olive Oil on the carrots and onion and distribute around the edge of pan

450 degree oven cook for 40-60 minutes until thickest part of thigh is around 165 degree.

Basting optional, I did at halfway point since the pan I used was to long.
Depending on the depth of the oven if you can have legs facing the back if not rotate pan ½ through.
If you feel the skin is getting to dark then tent with aluminum foil.

You can make pan gravy if you want deglazing with some white wine, I opted out since I was making some Russet oven bake fries.

snowy day chicken 2 SNOWY DAY CHICKEN

snowy day chicken plate

How to truss a chicken

truss a chicken

There are hundreds of ways and every one is correct I just use this methods cause I find it easy.

Start at the back of the chicken, tuck the wings under and tuck the neck cavity flap under. Taking some twine run it across the neck cavity along the groove where the thigh and body meet bringing it under the end of the drum stick crossing left to right bringing it to the top pulling the legs together and tying a knot. The uniform shape insures more even cooking.

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

For my birthday my wife gave us a cooking class at Stonewall Kitchen which was great had a really good time which started with Pina Coladas on the beach but those are both another story for another time.

This post is about my love of Balsamic Vinegar.

Hanging with the chef

Hanging with the chef

A few years back we discovered eighteen year old balsamic vinegar at LeRoux Kitchen in Portland Maine. You can drink this stuff it’s just so good. They are online but also have stores at Martha’s Vineyard, MA and Portsmouth, NH so where Stonewall Kitchen is in York Maine we decided to stay just a few minutes away in Portsmouth NH on the river. Portsmouth has a nice walking downtown with small shops and a lot of restaurants it has the feel of a college town with a touch of tourism to me.

View from the room PortsmouthNorthChurch_lg Portsmouth Downtown

Anyway, armed with our 5 empty bottles we clinked our way to the store and had them refilled. All set for a few months now. Which brings me to the point of this post Vinaigrette dressings they can be simple or complicated but once you get in the habit of making your own fresh you will not go back to the off the shelf bottle. Ok maybe in a pinch.

I mostly wing it but here are a few that I have made or tried. Oh before I forget they are not just for salads so experiment and see. Let me know some of your favorites.

How: They all prepare similarly so

Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the optional sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.) Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Nice little gadget!

Nice little gadget! I snuffed at first.

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Note: With a good quality balsamic you may not need to add a sweetener that depends on your tooth as the saying goes.

My version of someone’s house dressing

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard – Trader Joe’s add a kick
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or minced finely if you like a stronger garlic flavor
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Another twist

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain dijon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or minced if you like a stronger garlic flavor

Yet another twist

  • 1/4 cup red wine (any variety)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fruit jam or 2 teaspoons jelly
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Options:

  • Try a teaspoon of lemon juice
  • Honey
  • Add some grated cheese
  • Chopped cilantro or mint or oregano or…..

 Maple vinaigrette dressing (Cooks.com)

  • 2 oz balsamic vinegar
  • 2 oz malt vinegar
  • 2 oz rice vinegar
  • 1 clove fresh chopped garlic
  • 3 teaspoons stone ground mustard
  • 9 oz olive oil
  • 4 oz maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cilantro

How:

Add garlic and vinegars together and let sit overnight to infuse flavors. Strain. (Garlic pieces may be left in for stronger garlic taste.)

Blend oil, vinegars and mustard until mixture is well emulsified. Stir in maple syrup. Add cilantro, pepper and oregano (to taste). Stir and shake well prior to serving.

May substitute vinegar favorites, berry syrups for maple and substitute or add favorite spices to taste. Oil/vinegar ratio may also be adjusted to taste.

 Basil Vinaigrette (simplyrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 shallot, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup roughly chopped basil leaves

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

3/4 cup olive oil

How:

1 Place the salt, sugar, mustard, shallot and basil in a blender or food processor. Pulse several times to combine. Scrape the sides of the blender down with a spatula. Add the vinegar and pulse again.

2 Turn the blender on low and take off the cap in the center of the blender’s lid. Slowly pour in the olive oil. It may sputter a little out of the open cap, so hold you hand over it to minimize splashing.

3 When the olive oil is incorporated, turn off the blender and scrape the sides down one more time. Cover and purée everything for 1-2 minutes.

Store covered in the fridge for up to a week.

Oils|Vinegars Subcategory images

White and Dark balsamic Vinegar

I was told at the class that the difference is the dark is cooked but here is another opinion that backs that up …to say it’s just the color is a little too simple…balsamic vinegar is made from white grapes and are fermented over decades…they take some out after a year and cook it under pressure to maintain its clearness, and that is the white balsamic….the other as I said is left to ferment for years and that’s the dark. Me again..I should add that now a days the grocery stores have a way to speed up the process

I believe with the good stuff that each year stated the vinegar is processed in another barrel.

balsamic_battery

About Balsamic Vinegar here is an interesting article

Because balsamic vinegar is one of olive oil’s natural companions, we thought it might be useful to discuss in some detail this complex product, especially since prices can fluctuate even more wildly than olive oil (between a $3.00 pint and a $50.00 ounce).

The highest art of vinegar (aceto in Italian) making in Italy is known as Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale (ABT).  Sadly, the reputation of this exceptional product has been bastardized by low-grade products bearing the same name and which only ever so faintly resemble the real thing.  There are, however, two bits of good news.  First, it is quite simple to recognize a ‘real’ ABT.  It will be always be sold in one of two distinct bottle types (the difference being that of the two competing DOC’s, Modena and Reggio Emilia, both strictly controlled by respective ‘Consorzios’1). Second, you do not always need the best balsamico for every dish and, in fact, that might be ill-advised even if you could afford it. Read more

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins and Pepper Biscuits

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins and Pepper Biscuits

Richard and I were talking about the good old days and Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins came up, that naturally got me onto the kitchen gadgets. I was a sucker for those things when a kid he used to do demonstrations at Jordan Marsh. My Mom literally had her top shelfs full of all these that I got her for mother’s day every year.

slice and dice

Now that I think about it She was never over 5 feet tall and the top shelf was a wasteland to her she was a good Mom she never used them but she did keep them on display so I thought. Anyway Richard found his Mom’s recipe for the muffins and these pepper biscuits I bet they are both up there smiling down at us right now. Notice his mom like more sugar and blueberries or was that for Richard’s sweet tooth.

Jordan marsh

Click to enlarge

Cinnamon Chicken Salad Roll

Cinnamon Chicken Salad Roll

The other day I was surfing the net found myself on Pinterest and came across a recipe for “Pistachio Cinnamon Chicken Salad” from Skinneytaste.com. It was the pistachios that caught my stomach’s eye I have had a never ending love for those nuts and I had a bag in the pantry. I don’t know why I never made this but part of it stuck in my head and I guess you could say my gut took over. I will make her version one of these days. I have to say I never thought about cinnamon and chicken salad but this was great.

Ingredients

  • Boneless chicken breast
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Mrs. Dash seasoning a few sprinkles
  • 1-2  Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 to 1 ½ Tablespoons Myer Lemon juice
  • 2 Organic whole wheat hotdog rolls

How:

Rinse and dry very well chicken breast

Pound the chicken breast to about  ¼”or less. Season with salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash, you could just use the Mrs. Dash alone I just happen to notice it sitting there on the shelf after I already did the salt and pepper. Pan fry with a little oil about 3-4 minutes per side until done. Cover loosely and set aside for about 10 minutes. Rough chop the chicken and combine with mayo, cinnamon, myer lemon juice. Place in hotdog rolls and serve.

pan fry chicken

Pan fry the chicken, dice and combine with other ingredients

Cinnamon Chicken Salad Roll

Cinnamon

cinnamon_health_benefits_sticks

Cinnamon is best known as a spice, sprinkled on toast and lattes. But extracts from the bark of the cinnamon tree have also been used traditionally as medicine throughout the world.

Why do people take cinnamon?

Some research has found that a particular type of cinnamon, cassia cinnamon, may lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. However, other studies have not found a benefit. Studies of cinnamon for lowering cholesterol and treating yeast infections in people with HIV have been inconclusive.

Lab studies have found that cinnamon may reduce inflammation, have antioxidant effects, and fight bacteria. But it’s unclear what the implications are for people.

For now, studies have been mixed, and it’s unclear what role cinnamon may play in improving health.

How much cinnamon should you take?

Because cinnamon is an unproven treatment, there is no established dose. Some recommend 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2-4 grams) of powder a day. Some studies have used between 1 gram and 6 grams of cinnamon. Very high doses may be toxic.