Oven roasted chicken recipe

I have been trying to master the art of roasting a chicken for some time and even if I cannot say I got it down, I am getting better at it. Yesterday my chicken was pretty darn good, not perfect (everything can be always improved), but I think I got the fundamentals down.

Ingredients

  • 1 Chicken
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Herbs
  • Olive Oil

Directions

  1. First take the chicken, pat it dry using a paper towel and rub it outside and inside with generous amounts of salt, pepper and your favorite herb(s). I usually go for rosemary, but you can use thyme, sage, oregano, just to name a few. Now rub a bit of oil on the skin of the chicken, one or two table spoons should be more than enough.
  2. If you like it, you can also put a quartered lemon and/or garlic cloves inside the abdominal cavity of the bird for some additional flavoring. Preheat the oven at 450F and once the oven reaches the right temperature place your chicken in the oven. Let it cook for 90 minutes. When you take it out the skin of the chicken should be crispy and the meat should fall off the bone.
  3. Sometimes I add vegetables (e.g., pearl onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes and similar) 45 to 30 minutes before the chicken is ready. They make for a nice quick side and you don’t even need to wash another pan to make them! Note they will basically cook in the fats and water coming from the chicken, so don’t add any other oil and don’t expect them to turn out as crispy as they would if you were baking them in a separate oven dish.
  4. Anyway, I think the secret for a nice chicken is the oven temperature. As of now, I am positive that 450F is what you need to get the skin crispy and the meat juicy… Hope it works for you too….

Oven baked falafel and tzatziki

These days I am in the Bay area for work, but I will try to keep up with the blogsphere and keep my blog updated. I cannot guarantee I’ll be able to do it, but I am trying my best. Please bear with me!

I have to say I love it here, even if it is freaking cold. The restaurants are great even if you cannot make it all the way to San Francisco. I have focused mainly on Japanese food so far, but I am considering. If anyone has any advice for me on place I should check out in Berkeley and San Francisco, please let me know. I don’t have tons of time but am doing my best to fit as much stuff as I can in my free time.

So far the craziest thing I have seen are “Nobel Laureate reserved parking”. There are a number of such parking spots at Berkeley. I wonder if those spots are a better incentive than the $$$$ that comes with the prize….

Oven baked falafel

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 bunch fresh cilaantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 onion
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • salt
  • pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Soak the chickpeas in water for 24-36 hours. Once in a while rub them with your hands to get rid of some of the skins.After the soaking is done blend the chick peas with the cilantro, the onion and the garlic WITHOUT cooking them. Add salt and pepper and olive oil if needed.
  2. Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes to an hour in the fridge and then use it to form the falafel. My mixture was very soft and was a bit worried, but turns out it worked perfectly for the oven baking. Roll the falafel in the panko crumbs and place on an oiled oven dish. Sprinkle some more oil on top and cook them in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes at 375F. You can use the broiling function for the last couple of minutes to brown the falafel.
  3. Apparently not cooking the chickpeas is the Arab secret to having perfect Falafel that do not fall apart.

3.1

Tzatziki

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt

Directions

  1. Finely dice the cucumber and place in a colander. Cover the cucumber with salt to extract some of the water. Let it rest for 30 minutes or so.
  2. Finely chop or grate the garlic and mix it to the yogurt. Squeeze the water out of the cucumber and add it to the yogurt. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt. I didn’t wash the cucumber and the salt left from the salting and squeeze process was about the perfect amount.
  3. It is best if you can prepare the tzatziki ahead of time and let it rest a couple of hours so that the flavors have time to mix well.
  4. I like to serve the falafel with the tzatziki, pita bread and a greek salad.

Zucchini Oven Fritters

And it is once again time for the Secret Recipe Club reveal. I have to confess this is one of my favorite monthly appointments. It is so much fun tteh

This time I was assigned to Lisa’s blog Cook Lisa Cook. Lisa has some great recipes, and a lot of gluten, diary and egg free recipes because Lisa’s daughter is allergic to all of those things.

When I started to scour her blog for the right recipe, I had a limited pantry of ingredients at my disposal as I was about to leave for my trip home, so I was forced to discard some great recipes such as these Dan Dan noodles or these amazing meatballs, but I will get back to it! In the end I settled on preparing something with Zucchini and choose these zucchini fritters.

Lisa has two versions of the fritters, one egg, gluten and diary free and one regular. I went for a mix of the two, which is gluten and egg free but contains cheese. More than with substitutions, I have worked with omissions. It worked out great! Particularly since I barely had anything in the fridge!

These fritters will make a great side, snack or even main dish and will make even veggie haters gulp down a few.

#SRC: Zucchini Oven Fritters

Ingredients

  • 3 zucchini
  • 3-4 slices pancetta or bacon
  • 3 oz. melting cheese (mozarella or cheddar)
  • Salt and pepper (if needed)

Directions

  1. Grate the zucchini and place ina fine mesh colander. Put a weight on it and try to squeeze out as much water as possible.
  2. Grill or cook the pancetta or bacon until crispy. Pat dry and crumble.
  3. In a bowl grate the cheese, add the squeezed zucchini and the bacon. Mix well, taste and add salt and/or pepper if needed. In my case the pancetta and cheese were salty enough that no extra salt was needed.
  4. Form thin patties and place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake in a 400F oven until golden brown and flip. cook until the second side is also golden brown.
  5. Eat hot or cold as you prefer. Adding an egg on top will make this a complete meal.

The Perfect Biscotti

Biscotti is an Italian cookie which is twice-baked. It makes a wonderful snack and is a great accompaniment to coffee, tea or wine. It is a light and textured cookie and makes a great alternative to the more sugary cookies available at the local supermarket. With biscotti you can really experiment with the ingredients: you can add chocolate chips, any time of nut, and even dried fruit like cranberries. Here Eva shows us her recipe for biscotti. We’ve tried many different biscotti recipes and found this one to be the best.

  • 2 cups of corn oil
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 5 1/2 cups of flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • The zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup of sliced almonds or sesame seeds (to roll your biscotti logs)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Lightly brush your large pan with oil.

Using an electric blender, mix together 2 cups of corn oil and 2 cups of sugar. Add the zest of 1 orange and continue mixing. Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla and then add the six eggs. It’s best to crack each egg into a small bowl and then add the eggs to the mixture one by one.

In another bowl add 4 teaspoons of baking powder to 1 cup of flour and mix together, and then add this to the egg mixture. Slowly add in the remaining 4 ½ cups of flour to the mixture. Continue working the dough with your hands.

On your countertop sprinkle some of your almond/sesame seeds in front of you. Take a large handful of the dough mixture and roll it into a log on your countertop, rolling it onto the almonds/sesame seeds. Be sure to oil your hands before handling the dough; the oil makes it much easier to work with the dough and keeps the dough from sticking to your hands. Continue working the dough into logs and place these on your greased pans. Sprinkle any remaining almonds on top of your biscotti logs.

Bake in the oven at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the biscotti logs from the pan and place them on a cutting board. Slice the logs into diagonal pieces and place these pieces sideways on your pan and put it back in the oven at 250 degrees for another 30 minutes to dry them out.

These biscotti are wonderful served with Greek coffee!