A New Year

First cooking class of the year: Winter Roasting. Of course, nobody remembered to take photos, so you’ll just have to take my word that the food looked great! It tasted great too, and everyone had a good time. We had a full house, 6 people, which is always fun. Good conversations, 3 regular students, and 2 new ones. I hope that this trend will continue and will try to do two classes a month this year.

Here are the recipes from last night’s class:

Herb and Lemon Roasted Chicken

Serves 4-6. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

1 5lb organic chicken
1/4 stick butter, softened
1 tbsp chopped sage, plus one bunch whole
1 lemon, sliced
1/2 onion, quartered

  • Preheat oven to 450°
  • Combine butter, sage, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl
  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels
  • Sprinkle inside and out with salt
  • Loosen skin on the chicken breast and put some of the butter underneath
  • Spread remaining butter all over the chicken
  • Put sliced lemon, whole sage, and onion inside chicken cavity. Tie legs together with twine.
  • Place on roasting rack in a shallow pan. Sprinkle with a little bit of paprika.
  • Roast for 40 minutes, then baste, reduce oven temp. to 375° and continue cooking, basting every 15 minutes until internal temperature taken at thigh reaches 165 or juices run clear. (about 45 minutes – 1 hour more for a 5 lb chicken – 15-20 minutes per pound)
  • Remove to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 4. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 45 minutes.

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
1 head of garlic, broken into cloves
Olive oil (just enough to coat cauliflower)
1 tsp chopped rosemary
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Salt to taste
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Preheat baking dish while you prepare the cauliflower
  • Toss all ingredients except the cheese in a large bowl
  • Arrange in baking dish into one layer
  • Cook for about 15 minutes, stir, then sprinkle parmigiano reggiano over top
  • Continue cooking for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly

Roasted Pears with Mascarpone Cheese

Serves 6. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 30 minutes.
3 Bosc pears
1 container mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup sugar
juice from one lemon
1/4 cup honey
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup port
1 vanilla bean, halved
2 cinnamon sticks
peel from one lemon
leaves from one sprig of rosemary

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Peel the pears, slice in half, scoop out core with a melon baller. Toss pears in lemon juice to prevent discoloring.
  • Combine juice, port, vanilla bean (scrape the inside of the bean), cinnamon sticks, lemon peel, rosemary and honey in a bowl.
  • Toss pears in the mixture, then arrange in a baking dish. Pour remaining mixture over the pears.
  • Bake pears, turning once halfway through, for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
  • Meanwhile, pour cooking liquid into a small saucepan and simmer to reduce.
  • Combine mascarpone and sugar. Serve one pear half with a dollop of mascarpone on each plate. Drizzle cooking liquid over top.

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