Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nettle Pasta with English Peas and Spring Garlic

 Spring is here and along with it more exciting produce at the farmer's market! I think ripe peach and nectarine season is still my favorite but there is something pretty darn thrilling about the market expanding beyond chard and apples come springtime (not that I don't love both those items). I had no idea what I was going to do with what I found but I couldn't resist getting all of it - I found a big bag of stinging nettles, super sweet english peas and beautiful stalks of fresh spring garlic - the rest was history. As I walked back from the farmer's market I popped into the local grocery and picked up some nice ricotta from Bellwether Farms to compliment my pasta and add a little creamy goodness. Scroll on down for my little throw together recipe.

At Balboa Park, San Diego
Oh yeah, and I topped it with a fried egg so the yolk would add to the sauciness. Mmm

Carnitas Snack Shack, San Diego
Carnitas Snack Shack, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sunday Supper: Buttermilk-Brined Chicken

Inspired by the recipe for buttermilk-brined chicken in this month's Bon Appetit magazine I made a version of this chicken dish for Sunday supper with the family. It came out crispy and flavorful while insanely juicy—it was delish.
So begins my adaptation: I threw about 1.5 cups buttermilk, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, and 1 sliced lemon in a plastic bag with a nicely salted organic chicken, and popped it in the fridge in the morning when I woke up. Around midday I repositioned the chickadee and then let it sit a while longer.

When I removed the chicken from the marinade, I rinsed off the excess buttermilk and patted it dry. I repurposed the lemon from the marinade and placed it under the skin of the chicken and then placed a half a lemon inside the cavity with a handful of spring garlic stalks. I rubbed a little butter under the skin of the chicken and then trussed it.

Roast the chicken at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Tent with foil if you are worried about burning the skin. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 and roast for another 25 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

For the panzanella: I let a loaf of walnut wheat country loaf get stale. For the vinaigrette, I mixed the chicken pan juices with a couple tablespoons olive oil, 1/3 cup orange champagne vinegar, salt, pepper and some finely chopped spring garlic. Pour half the vinaigrette over the bread crumbs and toss on a sheet pan. Roast in the 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, until nice and toasty. Toss the bread with a bunch of watercress, the remaining vinaigrette, and some roasted beets & little gem lettuces. Enjoy it with the chicken! (If you're anything like me, you will.)