Roasted Beets & Carrots

Roasted Beets & Carrots

The finished product just out of the oven.

Beets, they are one of the foods that people really like or really dislike. I’ve slowly discovered that almost everyone who eats them had a bad experience as a child with beets. My Granny always fed them to me and now I always think of her when I eat them. I guess that’s just one of the reason I love eating these bright, sweet roots.

We’ve been making this roasted beet recipe for a while and really enjoy it. It has a great earthy flavor and is very colorful. In the ingredients below, I list 1 red and 1 golden beet. You can use any kind of beet that you like. We usually just use red beets but this past Saturday we were walking around the new Whole Foods in Far South Austin and saw these bunches of golden beets that looked so good we couldn’t leave without them! There are also some that are red and white that are great if you can find them.

Beets & Carrots

Here is the gold beet (uncut), 1/2 of the red beet and our carrots

If you buy your beets in a bunch, keep the greens from the tops for use later. We’ve come up with really great kale and beet leaf slaw that I’ll be posting soon.

Beets & Carrots

Everyone knows that beets bleed. That is to say, they will turn everything red if given the opportunity. To keep all the vegetables in the dish from becoming solid pink, rinse the red beets in cold water with a couple tablespoons of vinegar before you mix the ingredients together. This doesn’t effect the flavor but it is does make the finished product look better.

Ingredients

  • 1 red beet
  • 1 golden beet
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 1 head of garlic (about 10 cloves), cut cloves in half length-wise
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper to taste (about a teaspoon)
  • course kosher salt to taste (about a teaspoon)
Beets, Carrots & Rosemary

Here are the beets, carrots and rosemary before we mixed it all together.

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Cut the beets and carrots into bite sized pieces and then mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Put the beet and carrot mixture into a baking dish and cover in foil. We also line the baking dish with foil to make it easier to clean up.
  • Cook 30 minutes at 425 degrees

Rosemary Grilled Chicken

Tonight we decided to try something a little different for our chicken. Rather than roasting it, we wanted to grill it. We saw Bobby Flay grill a chicken the other night on one of the cooking shows and he had butterflied the whole chicken before grilling it. We found his recipe online for a Rosemary Bricked Grilled Chicken and the ingredients are very similar to the Roasted Chicken with Rosemary and Garlic so we combined the two to come up with our own hybrid recipe. For started, we axed the bricks, because we don’t have any laying around.

Grilled Chicken with Rosemary Pesto (before)

A look at the chicken while marinating

Ingredients

  • 1 small chicken (We usually get a 5  to 6 pound bird)
  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice (we cheated and used the bottled kind)
  • 1 head of garlic (about 10 cloves), minced
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh rosemary (seriously, don’t even try this with dried rosemary)
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • course kosher salt to taste

Instructions

First, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a food processor or whisk together in a bowl. We tasted it and it had a nice lemony flavor so we added a few leaves of some lemon basil (we just harvested some and need to use it). The mixture came out to resemble a rosemary-lemon pesto. We coated both sides of the chicken with the “pesto” and let it marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour and a half.

Rosemary Pesto

This is what the rosemary mixture looks like once it is ready.

After it has marinated for 1 to 2 hours, put the chicken on a medium grill, skin side down. Now, my grill runs very hot and it’s hard to get a temp lower than medium-high when it’s over the fire, so I put the chicken in the middle of the grill a five burner grill) and turned off the center three burners. I turned the outer left and right burners on high. The chicken took awhile too cook but it was worth it. In this indirect heat, it was about 30 minutes on the skin side down and 30 minutes on the breast side down. Periodically while it was cooking I would turn on the burners under the chicken to help it along and give it some char. For the last 30 minutes, I put in a thermometer and took out the chicken when it hit 160 degrees. Since it continues to cook after it is taken off the grill, I knew it would continue to cook for the 10 minute that we gave it to rest while covered.

Grilled Chicken with Rosemary Pesto

A look at the finished chicken. Yes, I tore the skin while moving it but now you can see how juicy the meat turned out!

Banana Ice Cream

Tonight we made homemade ice cream. I love our little electric ice cream maker. We’re trying different things and like to keep it healthy (or at least healthier) than store bought. This one has banana, coconut milk and nuts. To keep the calories down, we substituted Ideal for regular sugar and we substituted coconut milk for the half & half (or even worse, whole cream).

Ingredients

  • 6 ripe small bananas, frozen
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (we used Ideal to keep the calories lower)
  • 1 cup of half & half (we used coconut milk to keep the calories down)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts to top the ice cream

Instructions

Before you begin, peel the bananas and freeze them. Then you need to let them warm up for 30 minutes before you actually start making the ice cream. Once they have softened, mash them to a creamy consistency.

Ice Cream Maker

Here is the ice cream being made.

Now that your bananas are ready, we can get to the fun stuff. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and then add to your ice cream maker. We have a Cuisinart 1.5 quart electric ice cream maker and followed the instructions that came with it. Our instructions gave us a time of 25 minutes and said to add the nuts after 15 minutes. Each ice cream maker is different so you’ll need to check yours before you get started.

Chopped Walnuts

Chopped Walnuts

When it was finished and scooped up, we added a sprinkle of chopped walnuts to the top of our servings.

Banana Ice Cream

Here’s the banan ice cream with some walnuts on top

Red, White & Blue Cobbler

I just posted the peach cobbler recipe that is very popular in Central Texas over the summer. This is the recipe for the Strawberry-Blueberry Cobbler, which turns out red, white & blue. The main difference from peach cobbler is that there is no brown sugar or pecans on top.

Curt and Janet inspecting the cobbler just as it came out of the oven.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour (the flour & baking powder can be exchanged for Bisquick)
  • 1 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 1 pint of sliced strawberries

Instructions

Melt butter until brown. Pour in an 8-by-12 inch baking dish. Mix sugar, flour, baking powder and milk. Pour into melted butter. Do not stir. Cover top of batter with your fruit. Do not mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Passed Down Fredricksburg Cobbler

This recipe is a starting point for making cobblers. You can put just about any fruit in it so go experiment! A version of this recipe was in the Austin American-Statesman back in 2003 that we clipped and used. Over the years this clipping was lost. Now you can find it and similar variations online from many sources. Just remember, cobblers should be easy and fun to make. Any recipe that appears complicated is probably not worth it. We like to make cobblers throughout the year, but especially during the summer when the peaches are ripe. There’s nothing like a great peach cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream. We also make this recipe with many other fruits. One of my favorites is the Red, White & Blue Cobbler. This cobbler has strawberries and blueberries and once it bakes, the cobbler makes looks very patriotic.
Also, Curt will sometimes substitute Bisquick for the flour and baking powder.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour (the flour & baking powder can be exchanged for Bisquick)
  • 1 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • at least 3 cups of peaches
  • 1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar for topping
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Instructions

Melt butter until brown. Pour in an 8-by-12 inch baking dish. Mix sugar, flour, baking powder and milk. Pour into melted butter. Do not stir. Cover top of batter with peaches. Do not mix. Cover top of peaches with brown sugar and chopped pecans (optional). Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Roasted Chicken with Rosemary & Garlic

This recipe comes from the book Breaking Bread in L’Aquila by Maria Filice. I really love this book and we pull it out all the time for recipes and ideas. The book was written to showcase the traditional foods of the L’Aquila region of Abruzzo, Italy. Proceeds from the sale of the book were donated to victims of the L’Aquila earthquake in 2009. I first heard about the book from the blog Life in Abruzzo, a great resource for all things Abruzzi. I will have to do a full post about both of these to give them the full attention they need.

Pollo Arrosto con Aglio e Rosmarino

Ingredients

  • 1 small chicken (We usually get a 5  to 6 pound bird)
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic (about 10 cloves), minced
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh rosemary (seriously, don’t even try this with dried rosemary)
  • One sweet onion
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • course kosher salt to taste

Instuctions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

Mix the olive oil, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl. You’re going to rub this all over the bird and give it a good covering. Also, slide you hand under the skin and rub this sauce under the skin. This really helps flavor the bird.

The official recipe doesn’t call for it but Curt likes to add a small sweet onion and some extra garlic in the cavity.

Cook the bird for 20 minutes per pound at 375. You will want to turn it over for the last 30 minutes. Therefore, for a 5 pound bird, you are going to cook it for 70 minutes and then flip it over and cook it another 30 minutes. Baste the bird periodically while it is cooking

.

Let the chicken sit for about 10 minutes to rest and cool, then you can part it and it’s ready to serve. Enjoy!

Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Black-eyed peas are traditionally eaten for good luck on New Years Day in the Southern US. I also think they are great any time of the year. I haven’t tried it but I think you could substitute 2 cans of black-eyed peas for the fresh ones.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed, picked over and soaked overnight
  • 6 cups water, or more as needed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chop half and cut the other half into chuncks
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, cored, seeded and diced (if desired)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound sausage (any type), cut into cubes
  • 1 14oz can of chicken broth
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped the leaves and stems
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions

Soaked black eyed peas

Drain the peas and rinse under cold running water. In a large soup pot, combine the peas with the water and bring to a boil, skimming and discarding any scum that rises to the top.Add the 1/2 onion that you cut into chunks and 2 of the garlic cloves. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the beans are tender but not falling apart: check occasionally and add water if necessary to keep the beans covered.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the remaining onions and salt and pepper to taste and cook 6 to 8 minutes, until carmelized.

Add the green bell pepper and jalapeno peppers (if desired) and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Add the remaining garlic and sausage and cook about 5-10 minutes, until the sausage is brown.

Stir in the cooked peas, chicken broth, cilantro, cumin, oregano, coriander and ginger.  If you want it a little spicier, you can add a dash of cayenne pepper, chili pepper or some Cajun spice. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you want the soup thicker you can either leave uncovered while you simmer or add corn starch.
Black eyed pea soup

Serve this alone or over steamed rice. It is also really good with cornbread!

This is an original recipe from Brian which is partly based on the Black Bean Chili.