I’m SOOO happy for you and your new hubby. I have another brother! That makes four :) Your wedding was really so perfect and you looked so beautiful. I’m jealous of all the fancy kitchen gifts. Your dinner parties are going to be so glam. I want to try and stretch myself as much as possible this year in the kitchen and try things I haven’t done before and can you believe I’ve never brined a whole chicken much less roasted one? So here goes. For the app…
Tomato Bruschetta with Whole Wheat Bread
I sliced up some small pearl tomatoes, red onion, and a pinch of garlic and tossed it with some olive oil, lemon juice, Flour de Sel (fancy salt) and pepper and fresh basil and let it sit on the counter for a few hours before dinner. It was so simple, so fresh, and yummy! Some recipes complicate bruschetta and add all of these unnecessary, confusing ingredients. I say, simpler the better - let the tomatoes shine!
Rosemary Lemon Roasted Chicken with Olive Pesto Pasta
I started by brining my chicken the morning of my dinner. I pulled out the junk the chicken trunk and put it in a big pot with a water salt mixture I made by heating up some water and mixing in salt (about 4 tablespoons of salt in 5 cups of water). You have to wait until the brine has cooled before adding the chicken. I threw in some peeled garlic cloves, squeezed and cut lemon, fresh sage and rosemary sprigs (from my garden) and pepper. I let that sit for about 6/7 hours.
Then I popped it in the oven, discarding the brine, and adding fresh garlic cloves, fresh squeezed lemon juice. I stuffed the skin with chopped rosemary, sage, and garlic. I roasted the chicken for about 1.5 hours at 425 degrees until the chicken was cooked - I used the thermometer attached to my electric oven which keeps track of the temp which is kind of cool ;)
I boiled some brown rice pasta I got from Tra Joes, blanched with cold water and set aside. I made the pesto in a regular blender (I don’t have a food processor) by first adding olive oil (1/2 cup), then filling the container to the top with plucked basil leaves (about 2 cups). I pulsed it a bit and then added 3 big garlic cloves chopped, about a 1/3 cup of pine nuts, a 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper. I blended it all up, put it in a pot on the stove poured in the pasta, added chopped olives, more parmesan cheese, and whole pine nuts. And voila! A little Italian feast was made.
Send me that meatball book.