Paprika Rubbed Chicken with Spiced Root Vegetables

Last weekend we had a glorious chilly and gorgeously sunny October weather.  I can't express how thrilled I am to be doing fall cooking again!  The first thing I think of is roasted root vegetables.  While in the summer I might make roasted veggies like eggplant, zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes, I love the slow cooked carmelization of sweet potatoes, squash, onions and parsnips even more!

Roasting a chicken is one of the easiest and most satisfying family dinners I can think of!  A few minutes of prep and about an hour or so later you have not only a kitchen that smells amazing--but an easy dinner (or relaxing lunch here in France!)

For the chicken 'dry rub' here's my suggestion:
A mix of:

2 tbs. Sweet Paprika
1 tbs Herb de Provence
3 tsp. Salt  (I adore a pink Himalayan salt for this!)
1 tbs. Tumeric
1 tbs. Dry Mustard

Rinse and dry the chicken and rub with crushed garlic before you cover with the dry rub mix.  Then let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours or more.

For the roasted veggies--I toss them with olive oil, a small bit of tumeric, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, sweet curry and salt & pepper....and then drizzle a small amount of maple syrup which helps with the sticky sweet/spiciness (if you want)....all of these veggies have great flavor even without it's up to your taste.

Bon Appetit!

Pork Loin Roast with Creamed Sorrel


Pork Loin with Roasted Vegetables and Creamed Sorrel

Pork Loin Roast
Shallots and Garlic
Olive Oil
Herbe de Provence
Salt and Pepper
Potatoes and Carrots
Parsley and Chives

Season the pork loin with olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs and crushed garlic. Let the roast sit in the fridge seasoned for 3 or 4 hours or overnight.  

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and peel potatoes and carrots and slice thinly.  Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, chives, shallots, herbs and surround roast with vegetables, drizzle with more oil and add rosemary and fresh thyme.

Place roast and vegetables in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 375 and cook for 30 more minutes or until meat temp. is around 160 degrees.

Creamed Sorrel:
A quick word about Sorrel, which grows prolifically in the Spring in Normandy--it is somewhat like spinach or kale, but with a snappy-citrus 'bite' cher-father-in-law gave me about 2 pounds from his garden and this was my first go at making it!

2 pounds Sorrel, washed well, stems removed
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbs. creme freshe (or sour cream--not 'lite')
1/4 cup diced shallots
2 cloves garlic, crushed
olive oil and 2 tbs butter

Chop the cleaned Sorrel and blanch in boiling salted water for 30 seconds.  Saute to soften shallots, garlic, butter and a splash of olive oil,  add heavy cream and simmer just under a boil to combine. 

Add blanched, drained Sorrel, and gently add cream fresh--until blended.  Season to taste. Serve hot.

Bon Appetit - xx!

Taste the Sea

Last summer, when we arrived in France going to the market became an immediate 'must-do' routine.  Not the super-market, but the market-market....if you have been to France then you know.  It's the large outdoor market that runs in each town, year around.  I have blogged about it before, it's a place full of life; locally produced foods and wares...some not so locally produced goods (t-shirt vendors and DVD sellers, yes they are there too.)

The one we go to normally is in Trouville Sur Mer, and of course, because it is across the street on the next block from 'French Guy's parents, we also go to the market in Deauville.

Right now the produce is abundant and it keeps getting better as each week goes by.... my favorite thing to do is grab a fresh seasonal ingredient when it first shows up at the market.  I know a lot of true-'foodies' operate this way.

We go to the market and find our inspiration....rather than the other way around...starting with a list of inspired meal plans and shopping accordingly.

This weeks ingredient was 'Salicorne' you know it?  It is sometimes called 'sea-pickle', 'sea bean' or 'sea asparagus' and a lesser known name, 'glasswort'.  It is bright green, succulent-like little branches and is found here in Normandy and Brittany beginning as early as February and then throughout the summer. Salicorne is mildly 'herby' tasting and can be very, very salty...the first time I cooked it I added salt.....big mistake.  I have heard you can soak out some of the salt, but I just adjust by not adding salt to the dish.

Cooked simply in olive oil it is perfection!  I love serving it as a cold 'salad' in the summer--every bite is a taste of the sea.....And of course, it goes well with any kind of seafood!  So this time I tossed it with some shrimp.  If you can get your hands on some---try it!

Simple Sauteed Shrimp with Salicorne

1 pound cleaned deveined shrimp
2 tbs. Olive oil
Rinsed and cleaned Salicorne
Fresh chives
Lemon juice

This is so easy--I could almost just post the pictures without the 'how-to'.  This dish has so few ingredients yet the simple combination is full of summery fresh flavor!

Saute shrimp in olive oil until pink and opaque then snip-in fresh chives....remember NO SALT.

Toss in Salicorne and saute until warm.  You can add a small hit of lemon juice if you like.  
Serve warm or chill to serve as a salad. 
I served it this Sunday with Saffron Potatoes--purchased at the market from the Morrocan food stand--again, can be cold or warm, as you like.

A taste of summer?  A taste of the sea.....Bon appetit!

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

If you are lucky enough to have an excess of tomatoes this is a great way to make them last longer (or not!) and inspire 101 uses for them, and if you don't yet have tomatoes and are stuck with the slightly hard and colorless 'Roma' variety from the grocery store, this recipe will help punch-up the flavor until the vine-ripe yummy summer ones are ready or available.

Provencale Oven Roasted Tomatoes

8 (at least) ripe or semi-ripe tomatoes--any variety
Olive oil
Sea Salt
Herbes de Provence
1-2 cloves garlic as you like
Balsamic vinegar

Set your oven at 325--ish....You can go lower and leave them longer--but if you do around 300 then they will be in there around 2 hours.

Wash and slice tomatoes....the fun part is cutting out the top and jamming your thumbs in to remove all of the slimy-seedy part...beware of getting covered in tomato juice, though.  Lay them out in a dish and sprinkle with about 1 tbs. of oil, 1 tsp. of Balsamic and the herbs and garlic, toss in some salt....toss with your hands and then rearrange the slices in a single layer on parchment paper on a baking sheet.

 Note: I generously use the Herbes de's the kind of herb mix that is perfect for slow roasting and only gets more intense the longer you keep the tomatoes.  Careful with the garlic--it can overwhelm the flavor of the tomatoes.

Once in the oven, the tomatoes can go to an almost dry can leave them for up to 4 hours--but put your oven down to the 200's after 2 hours.  Your house will smell heavenly and the slices reduce down about 50%....when they are done store them in a glass container. If you don't eat them straight off the baking sheet like I do!

Endless ways to eat them---in a fresh herb omelet, on homemade pizza, in a roasted tomato salsa, tossed with pasta, or on a tomato 'tarte' (recipe to follow for that one!)

Enjoy!  I would love to hear how you use them for recipes in your kitchen!