Fresh Herbs

Our local farmers market was bustling with people last week. Everyone seemed to be out enjoying the first days of cool Fall weather. All the vendors had long lines but I didn’t want to leave empty handed so we stopped at a vegetable stand that was offering some fruits to sample. Just the thing I needed to occupy the boys while I picked up a few things and waited in line to pay.

You know how at the supermarket register there are displays of impulse items designed to prompt a last minute purchase? Well, this particular vendor had a similar set-up, although instead of packs of gum, there were little bundles of fresh herbs. While waiting we played a game of smelling the herbs to see who could guess what the different kinds were. Of course the boys didn’t get any right but it occupied them long enough to reach the end of the line.

When our turn came, I had them choose their favorite smelling herb and it was unanimous, they all loved the rosemary. Liam said it smelled like a holiday, which immediately sold me, so I added a few sprigs to our order.

IMG_6176

Here is a dish that I think would be perfect for any holiday – it was fast, easy, and the perfect accompaniment to the fish appetizer I cooked last week. All I had to do was put it in the oven and let it do its thing. This left me plenty of time to gut the fish we had caught that day. See my post from last week on the How To’s of gutting a fish.

Rosemary Chicken w/Roasted Veggies 

Ingredients:

2 russet potatoes, cut into 1/2” cubes

1 cup carrots, diced

1 onion, diced

2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped, divided

1 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped, divided

1 Tbsp garlic salt, divided

1/2 Tbsp salt, divided

1/2 Tbsp black pepper, divided

6 Tbsp olive oil, divided

8-12 pieces of chicken, legs & thighs, bone-in, skin-on

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking with parchment paper and set aside.

Peel and dice the potatoes and place them in a bowl of cold water. Dice the carrots and the onion and place in a large mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the potatoes and then pat dry. Add the potatoes to the onion and carrots. Add half of the rosemary, thyme, garlic salt, salt, pepper, and olive oil to the chopped vegetables and mix well. Spread the vegetables on the baking sheet in a single layer.

IMG_6183 In the same large mixing bowl, add the chicken and combine with remaining half of the spices and olive oil. Mix well to coat. Nestle the chicken among the vegetables and place in the oven.

IMG_6186

Roast for approximately 60 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and the skin crispy, and vegetables are caramelized.

IMG_6187

Note 1: Soaking the potatoes in cold water will draw out the starch and help them crisp while roasting.

Note 2: I would recommend only using dark meat for this recipe so the meat doesn’t dry out while the vegetables caramelize.

And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 6): “Chicken bones, my favorite!”

Liam (age 4): “Is this too healthy?”

Dylan (age 4): “I got the foot!”

The only change I would make to this recipe is to add more carrots. Otherwise, a very successful dish.

Advertisements

FARMERS MARKET

One of our favorite things to do on a Saturday morning is hit the local farmers market and get some fresh fruit and try a strange vegetable we haven’t had before. What is it about those samples that will get my little monsters to try just about anything that is offered? I literally had to swat them away like flies from the shishito peppers this week. Maybe it is the toothpicks that can be turned quickly into a mini sword to stab each other with? As long as they are lining up to eat some kale I am happy to let them have a few sword fights!
Their favorite booth hands down is the Pickle Man – we never leave without an overflowing container of pickle chips that are immediately devoured with lunch. It could be that this is the place with the most samples, but the man who runs the booth also engages with the boys and gives out pickled peppers like candy. I just stand and cringe as other customers watch with mild disgust as my boys dirty hands reach into the bin before I can stop them!
Here is an easy dish I make to get them to eat all those veggies once we are home:

Farmers Market Chili

This week we bought Lita squash, which is similar to zucchini but sweeter.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb. ground turkey

1 large yellow onion (grated)

2 medium Lita squash (grated)

1-teaspoon cumin

1-teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon red cayenne pepper

1 can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted if available)

1 can black beans

1/2 cup frozen corn (optional)

Salt & pepper

 
Directions:
Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, breaking it up with wooden spoon as it browns, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and zucchini (squeeze out excess water) and cook until most liquid is evaporated and vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add the cumin, garlic salt and cayenne (add more pepper if you desire), and stir for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and beans *, bring to boil. Add corn and then reduce heat and let simmer until thickens, about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
* My boys don’t want to see beans or large chunks of tomatoes so I throw these into the food processor to break them up a bit. This way they know it is there but are not offended by it and won’t throw themselves to the floor in a screaming tantrum.
– Serve with tortilla chips or just add a little grated cheddar on top.
Voila! And barely a vegetable in sight!
   
And the VERDICT is:
We had a play-date and served this for dinner.  It was a huge hit and seconds were had by almost all- here are some of the comments:
Jaume (age 4 – serious Spiderman fan) – “Is there seaweed in this?” (guess I didn’t hide the Lita squash enough – but he did have 2 bowls!)
Shauna (age 5 – budding foodie) – “That was some delicious chili!”
Liam (age 3 – pickiest eater at the table) – “Take out the corn” – 2 minutes later…. “I love the corn, Mommy)