Friday, April 18, 2008

In the Mood for Food

Sunday I was in the cooking mood. I already had Rosemary Roasted Chicken and Potatoes on my menu. But I decided that that wasn't going to satisfy my urges. So I decided to be adventurous and make a tart for the first time. Ok, so a tart doesn't really qualify as adventurous, but it was completely new to me. I also decided to break in my new ice cream maker. I'm completely in love with it by the way.

So, first up dinner. It is the most amazing chicken. It is all about the cream cheese baby. Bring it on. We had a little leftover asparagus on the side as well as some fresh sourdough. And lest you think I'm domestic or something, the sourdough is courtesy of Panera. Pardon me for starting to eat before I remembered to take a picture.

The chicken got a little dark. I probably should have basted it again during cooking... but hey I was lazy.
Rosemary Roasted Chicken & Potatoes

1 pkg. Cream Cheese, Softened
3 tsp. Dried Rosemary Leaves, divided (the original recipe only calls for 2 but I like the flavor to
be a little stronger. I also used crushed because I like it a little finer)
1 tsp. Black Pepper, divided
1 Whole Roasting Chicken (about 3 1/2-4 1/2 lbs.)
6 Tbs. Zesty Italian Dressing.
2 lbs. Red Potatoes, cut into 1" chunks
6 slices Bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled
2 Green Onion, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together cream cheese, 2 tsp. rosemary and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Starting at neck of chicken use fingers to carefully separate the skin from the meat of the breast, thighs, legs etc. of chicken, trying not to tear the skin. Spoon the cream cheese mixture under the skin, using your fingers to push and spread the mixture into the thighs, legs and over the breast and so on. Place the chicken in a 9x13 pan. Brush with 2 Tbs. of the dressing. I actually usually use a ton more than this. I like to give it a good coating.

Toss the potatoes with the remaining 1 tsp. rosemary and 1/2 tsp pepper in a separate 9x13 pan. Bake chicken & potatoes 1 hour and 15 minutes or until chicken is cook through (165 degrees), stirring potatoes every 30 minutes. Add bacon & onion to potatoes, mix lightly.

Transfer chicken toa large serving dish, reserving the juices from the pan. Let chicken stand 10 minutes before serving. Spoon potatoes around the chicken. Serve chicken and potatoes with the reserved juices over the top.

I decided to be brave and try making a tart. Have I mentioned that I'm really into trying new things lately? Oh, you got that memo huh. So I borrowed a tart pan from my most genius friend, Katherine. While making the crust I was reading the directions and wasn't quite sure what they meant. So I called Katherine and she set me on the right path along with some other good tart-making advice. Anyway, it turned out great. I will definitely be keeping this recipe around to make again. Lemon Tart

1 1/4 cups Flour
2 Tbs. Superfine Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, diced
1 Tbs. Water

2/3 cup Heavy Cream (Be still my soul)
1/2 cup Superfine Sugar
4 Eggs
grated rind of 3 Lemons
3/4 cup Lemon Juice
Powdered Sugar for dusting

To make dough, place the flour and sugar in a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the water and bring together to form a dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured counter and use it to line a 9 1/2" loose based tart pan. Prick the base of the tart shell with a fork and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Line the tart shell with foil and baking beans and bakie in a preheated 375 degree oven, for 15 minutes. (The whole baking beans thing is what I called Katherine about. Apparently it is just to weight the shell down so it doesn't slump. Correct me if I'm wrong Katherine. I just used a bag of dried black beans.) Remove the foil and baking beans and cook the tart shell for 15 minutes more.

To make the filling, whisk the cream, sugar, eggs, lemon rind and juice together until thoroughly blended. Place the tart shell, still in its pan on a cookie sheet, and pour in the filling. Bake the tart for about 20 minutes or until the filling is just set. Let cool, then lightly dust with powdered sugar and serve. (I like this hot much better than I do cold, and I'm impatient so... we ate it hot and it was divine.) The ice cream was my first attempt with my new Cuisinart. I love it. I just had to share a picture of it. Isn't it so cute? The picture makes it look kind of like the green that they used on appliances in the 70's, but technically it is Nile Green, just in case you were wondering.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

I am SO excited to try your chicken. Cream cheese? What a great secret ingredient. It looks amazing. Your tart looks perfect. I got really into tart-making this time last year and did a lot with rhubarb. I keep looking for rhubarb in the stores. I hope it shows up soon! Your ice cream maker is so cute!