Thursday, December 8, 2011

A tree and cauliflower

December is officially upon us and I’m trying to get in the Christmas spirit. I admit to not doing this all that well right now. I don’t know if I’m feeling the readjusting-to-home pains or I’m stressing out about my unemployment status, maybe both. We decorated the “damn” tree today. The tree is being referred to as the “damn” tree this year, it seems I’m not the only one suffering from lack of Christmas spirit. Wine in hand we decorated the damn tree and even put on some festive music. I have 5 different versions of Carol of the Bell’s, why yes I am obsessed!

After the damn tree was decorated I moved on to dinner: Roasted cauliflower with cumin seeds with a yogurt and feta sauce and Braised chicken with a Dijon pan sauce. Both were a success!

Let’s take a look shall we?

Thanks to smitten kitchen for the recipes!

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and a Yogurt Feta Sauce

1 Head of Cauliflower, cut into florets

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

2 Tsp Cumin seeds

1 c Greek yogurt

1/2c Feta

Oven 425F

On a cookie sheet covered with aluminum spread the florets on the sheet and drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper, and cumin. Toss to cover.

Roast until cauliflower is crispy, tender, and yummy. About 20 minutes.

While cauliflower is roasting, in the food processor spin together the yogurt and feta together till smooth. What you don’t want to do is turn your back to the food processor, because it may vibrate off the counter. Not that I had an experience with this, or anything. Ok, fine! I turned my back for a minute to collect my glass of wine, but no worries! I caught it before it hit the floor!

This was one of those recipes that the moment I saw it I knew I had to make it. It then took me 2 more weeks before I finally got around to it, but I can tell you that it’s going to become a regular. I mean, there’s whole cumin seeds it and I’m a huge fan of anything with cumin.

To go with this masterpiece, which to be honest I could have consumed all by itself, I choose chicken with a Dijon sauce.

2 Skin-on split breasts

Salt and Pepper

3 Tbsp Dijon

3/4c chicken broth

3/4c white wine

1/4c heavy cream

2 shallots, thinly sliced

Heat an oven-proof pan on medium with a tsp of olive oil. Generously salt and pepper chicken and place skin-side down in hot pan. Do not touch or flip the chicken until it gently pulls off! You want to seal the juices in here and get a nice golden brown on the skin. This takes about 4-5m. Then, and only then, flip to the other side and repeat.

Place in the oven at 450F for 15-20m until done. Place chicken on the side and with the remaining juices in the pan throw in shallots (I used a sad looking leek and half a small onion left over from Thanksgiving) and de-glaze with wine and chicken broth. Add Dijon. Bring sauce to a boil, about 3-5m. Add heavy cream (I used half-and-half). Drizzle over chicken and enjoy!

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