Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Sweet Horshradish Chicken

I don't roast whole chickens too often, but when I do, I usually use this recipe for Horseradish Chicken. It comes out amazingly sweet and juicy, with a wonderful flavor. If you make it (and you should...), serve with mashed potatoes because the gravy is fabulous.

The recipe:
Horseradish Roasted Chicken
2 Tablespoons softened butter
1 Tablespoon grated fresh Horseradish(or a little more if you like)
1 Tablespoon (or more!) fresh Horseradish from a jar (the kind in the refrigerated section by the cheese/butter/eggs - DO NOT USE that white mayonaise-y prepared horseradish sauce !!! BLECCCCH !!!
3, 4 or more cloves of garlic, minced
3.5 - 4 lb Whole Chicken
Salt & pepper

Heat your oven to 350 F.
Combine the softened butter, garlic, and Horseradish in a small bowl.
Starting at the neck end of the chicken, gently separate the skin from the flesh over the breast. Put your hand all the way in and loosen the skin over the thighs, too, being careful not to tear the skin.
Spread as much of the butter as possible UNDER the skin.
Pat the skin back in place and rub the remaining butter on the top of the skin.
Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Put the chicken on a roasting pan .
Bake until the juices run clear when an inner thigh is pierced to a temp of 160 with an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the breast, about 1 hour 15 minutes 15-20 minutes/pound.
Remove the chicken and add 1/4 cup water to the pan and bring to a simmer on top of the stove over medium heat, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Cook until reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.
Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce.

I generally use a little more butter and horseradish than the recipe calls for. It's also a little easier to work with if you melt the butter, add the horseradish & garlic, then stick the mixture in the freezer for fifteen-twenty five minutes or so. It spreads better.
You can also roast some small red skinned new potatoes with this and of course, some healthy steamed veggies, like sugar peas are also a good compliment.

Serves 4 - 6 (Depending on the size of the bird - I used a big 6 pound "Sunday Roaster" once & LOTS of butter/Horseradish mixture both inside AND out - 6 people were very happy and we still had lunch the next day!)
I once made this dish using just chicken breasts (with the bones and the skin still on) - just bake the breasts at 350 F for 30 minutes or so in a foil lined pan. This dish also makes a nice gravy for rice.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Dinner at Cafe Istanbul

We recently had a fantastic dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Cafe Istanbul at Easton Town Center. We've been there several times, but our experience witht he menu is quite limited because we never seem to be able to order anything different. The place smells great, and the food we've had (and the service) has been wonderful. Our regular order is to start with the small "appetizer sampler", which has Humus (Pureed chickpeas with tahini , garlic & lemon juice), patlican salatasi (Smoked mashed eggplant blended with tahini & garlic), yaprak dolmasi (Grape leaves stuffed with rice, herbs, currents & pine nuts), kisir (Cracked wheat salad with red & green peppers, parsley, onions, olive oil & lemon), pilaki(Pinto beans with carrots, green peppers & diced potatoes seasoned with light tomato sauce & olive oil.), soslu patlican (Cubes of fried eggplant in fresh tomato sauce) and, my favorite, ezme (Blended tomatoes, onions and hot peppers mixed with olive oil & herbs). Oh, my the ezme is good stuff! I'm searching for a good usable recipe for ezme and will post it as soon as I try it. The appetizer platter is served with very fresh and flavorful hot, right out of the oven turkish bread. After we devour the appetizer platter, we then split a dish called "Karniyarik", which is described as "oven-roasted eggplant stuffed with ground beef, chopped tomatoes, green peppers and herbs". I have absolutely no refernce for to describe to you what it tastes like - I can never remember until I taste it again. All I can say is that it's great. After a hot turkish tea or turkish coffee, we usually roll out of there stuffed to the gills and with our tastes buds completely satisfied for about $30 + tip. If you're anywhere near Columbus, go there! If you aren't, find a turkish restaurant near you.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Kapusta, Kapusta

What the heck is Kapusta, you ask. Well, simply put, it's baked pork and kraut with a polish twist. I first made this several years ago by just tossing some stuff into my crock pot but my polish mother-in-law came by and declared it the best "Kapusta" she'd ever had! I'd never heard of Kapusta before and was just making up the recipe as I went along, so I was surprised, but inlooking at several other receipes for it, I too think mine's the best. Here's one that's close, but not as good as mine:">RecipeSource: Cerveny Kapusta

And now here's mine:

Lorence's Kapusta
1 lb polish sausage, cut into inch long slices
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork chops, cut into bite sized cubes
4 or 5 hot dogs (leave 'em whole!)
1 tablespoon caraway seed
3 medium potatoes, cut into bite sized cubes
1 large tomato, diced
2 tart apples, pared and cut into cubes
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
32 ounce bag of sauerkraut, (juice and all)

Turn a large crock pot on high. Put all of the ingredients into the crock pot and try to get it all mixed as best as you can.
Cook on high 4 hours or so, and stir it up after about 2 hours.
Turn it down to low and cook for another 2 or 3 hours (or as long as you want!).

That's it. Serve it hot with some bread. We often use steamed hot dog buns (let them sit on top of the Kapusta in the covered crock pot for 5 minutes or so...

Try it and tell me what your think.