Roast Chicken

What is it about roast chicken? For me it’s something that’s so close to the bone or what ever you want to call the essence of your being— so close, in fact that I’ve been hesitant to write about it, and even now I’m not sure I’m up to the task. I love a good roast and I keep up a steady practice. I’ll produce up to fifty birds, a couple more in a good year; yet, in my darker moments I fear I don’t have the tools, the language, if you will, to articulate the importance of eating one: I am not versed in the art of con-lit—and even if I were, I’m not sure I could adequately share why I feel compelled to eat a chicken a week.

Continue reading “Roast Chicken”

Crispy bacon turmeric slaw with fennel, hopefully.

 

Like most of you I enjoy carving time out, so to speak, to cook a nice meal. But when pressed, I love making morsels in minutes: simple and speedy with few ingredients, usually for lunch… like a couple of egg whites— if they happen to be hanging around in the back of the fridge.
Had I made aioli last night I’d have a couple and I’d get them and I’d put them to work pronto: whip them into shape and call them a Vietnamese omelette. Lunch sorted. Continue reading “Crispy bacon turmeric slaw with fennel, hopefully.”

Ode to Karl Ove

Looking back over recent transmissions, I noticed that October came and went without my posting anything. There seemed to be no time. Then I remembered — I started reading the second book in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s sometimes riveting, sometimes tedious but always addicting six part autobiography. Like the first fat one I couldn’t put the second down. I couldn’t figure out especially with the second—which takes you through the uneventful daily grind of his life in Sweden with his second wife, their kids and their diapers; his limited cooking, and ample drinking and sitting on park bench skills—why I was so engrossed. Ionah would look at the cover and say as she passed by — still reading that self obsessed narcissist from Norway? Yep, still was. Continue reading “Ode to Karl Ove”

On Beans and Bay Leaves

 

adding chopped parsley at the end adds a welcome touch of color…

My last dispatch was about braised lamb shanks. You’ll find it archived beneath this one. We ate them with these creamy white cannellini beans simmered with a base of diced carrots, celery and leeks; with oversized wedges of fennel that softened with the beans over time, and lots of bay leaves. The recipe follows, but first— a word on bay leaves. Continue reading “On Beans and Bay Leaves”

Another winter salad

 

winter roots and leaves…

With weirdly warm weather for December in Denver you might be fooled into fixing yourself a light summer salad.

and grilled cauliflower…

But tomatoes are a sorry season now. Trucked in hard as a golfer’s balls and green as limes, held sub rosa in holding facilities on the edge of town, gassed repeatedly with ethylene, they emerge vacant and shadowless, they taste of nothing, or next to it, but at least they are red. Continue reading “Another winter salad”

Arroz con Pollo

 

Of the two most joyful meals to cook over an open fire, choosing one over the other is always the same gut wrenching dilemma. For if you favor one, the other will surely stew in a fit of jealousy and next time you cook it, be prepared — for revenge is sweet and chooses its moment to strike, whether in confab with local weather systems like winds from nowhere, a sudden shower, or mysteriously misplaced kindling — or the coincidental malfunction of a refrigerator door left unhinged and dangling overnight, and now what sarcastically seeps out is the ring of skank from questionable clams within. For there is a lot in life that we mortals will never understand. After all, it’s a thin line. Although one thing I have learned over the years for sure: do not fuck with the kitchen gods.

Whether the job site is your back patio, a roof top, a local park or anywhere in the great outdoors, you go through the same rigmarole: should I choose chicken or should I use fish? If you go with chicken, you’re making Arroz con Pollo. If you use fish, you’re making Paella. Continue reading “Arroz con Pollo”

Merguez

 

On a visit to southwest France some Junes ago, I found my all time favorite sausage: Say the word once and you’ll see: Merguez. It’ll coat a guileless mouth in Moorish mystery and unctuous intrigue.

We stayed with our good friend Martine, who returned to her native France after a 30 year stint in London. Her house sits in a tiny village an hour’s drive from Toulouse. It’s an ancient stone structure with interior walls constructed of rough-hewn wood, river sand and horse’s hair. We were there for her daughter Aisling’s wedding and the house was filled with famished folks from England and France for days upon days. Such is life in the southwest. Continue reading “Merguez”