Thursday, February 11, 2010

What Are You Cooking This Snow Day?

One of the foodmakers sent out an interesting question to the google group:

So what is everybody cooking while house bound?

There were a ton of delicious sounding responses, from creamy rice pudding to lemon snow ice to 13 bean soups. A list of responses can be found at the bottom of this blog post. Snow Cream, anyone?

I personally took the opportunity to roast my very first chicken and make stock out of the carcass.

You can see Thomas Keller's Bouchon cookbook in the photo above. That guy has talent! And an amazing attention to detail. One of the most interesting tips of his is to simply salt and pepper the chicken. Nothing else.

And make sure the skin is completely dry to ensure a crispy skin. Any added ingredients like lemon slices or other sauce actually steams the bird and prevents the skin from getting crispy.

Basic Procedure:

1. Soak chicken in a brine (salt-water) for about 6 hours.

2. Rinse chicken and pat very dry. Leave it to sit in room temperature for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 475. Put light coating of oil in the bottom of a skillet or roasting pan in oven to pre-heat.

4. Roast chicken for about 40 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature (check between the leg and thigh). Temp should be 155.

5. Allow the chicken to sit for about 15 minutes. Add thyme (I used oregano) to pan juices and pour over the chicken every few minutes to baste as the chicken cools.

Yum! The chicken was great, the skin was crispy, and the chicken broth I made from the carcass, onions, carrots, salt, pepper, and garlic was almost better than the chicken meat!

Now that I'm all full of protein, hibernation mode is pushing me to bake bread. It's the perfect opportunity to experiment with the famous New York Times No-Knead Bread. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

So what are other Baltimore Foodmakers cooking up during the great 2010 Blizzard?

Carrot Cake Pancakes

french bread dough rising,vietnamese pork chops marinating and spicy celery salad

Blueberry muffins for breakfast // Ginger Fried Rice // Miso Soup (from Moosewood New Classics) for lunch

polenta pancakes covered with some local strawberries from the freezer heated with maple syrup

I've been using the time to experiment with some ingredients like almond flour to see what they do to recipes

cranberry scones for breakfast -- we're tired of pancakes & muffins! ..then baked an apple pie.. chicken soup for lunch, left over from yesterday.. smoothie popsicles for a snack. ..right now we're going to make another batch of play-doh

i thought nobody would ask! today i plan on using a hand-crank pasta machine for linguine, while last night w/ fellow Food Maker, Scout, and I made spinach/feta and buffalo/mozzerella ravioli for 4. We also
experimented w/ ginger beer flavors lavender, fennel, cayenne, honey

I made pan-fried flounder with a honey ginger glaze last night... I've actually wasted quite a lot of time staring out the window at the snow. It's kind of been like staring at a campfire...

I've been baking a lot, since Friday we've gone through challah, coffee cake, chocolate cake, pancakes, brownies, waffles, and today
was cupcakes and bread. Glad I stocked up on eggs. Lots of soup and fried rice, and of course popcorn and hot chocolate! Comfort food.

Buttermilk drop biscuits with homemade blackberry-lavender jam for breakfast.

Just finished putting together a pot of bison chili -- New Mex, ancho, cayenne, pasilla, and smoked paprika powders, cumin and mexican oregano.

So much fun cleaning out the pantry!

This morning I started tonight's soup, 13 bean soup mix (soaked last night) with carrots, potatoes, celery, squash and beef from the freezer. Breakfast was scrambled eggs with red, yellow and orange peppers, buckwheat pancakes with blueberries, cinnamon and nutmeg, scrapple and bacon! Lunch was just raw juiced beets, carrots and apples. Just finishing some chocolate chip muffins to eat while I watch American Idol with my 16 year old!

What a fun question to pose! We had venison chili for lunch and now we've got to choose between catfish and tuna tonight. Last night, chicken quarters in onion, sage and cream sauce. Awesome!

..lemon ice made with the snow. About a cup of light, fluffy snow, juice of 1/2 a lemon and a good amount of sugar till it's sweet. Enjoy!

Check out to join in!

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