21 January 2012

Dinner at the Green Dragon

Tonight's Menu

Shire Salt Roasted Game Hens
Farmer Maggot's Roast Carrots, Mushrooms and Assorted Root Vegetables
Salt Crusted Blue Cheese Po-ta-toes
The Finest Sparkling Grape Cider - by the Pint

Shire Salt Roasted Game Hens

3 Cornish Game hens, gizzards and other innards removed
3 tsp. Olive Oil, divided

Salt Spice Mixture

1/2 Tbspn. Sea Salt

1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves, dried


Preheat Oven to 350.  Rub oil over the entire surface of the birds then divide the Salt Herb Mixture among the hens.

Place hens, breast side up into a prepared pan with a rack and roast for 1 hour, basting occasionally.

Salt Crusted Po-ta-toes

One pound of tiny red potatoes, washed and dried
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
A few sprinkles of cracked black pepper (just eyeball it)
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles


1.  Toss everything in a bowl until every potato is coated.  Then spread the potatoes onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

2.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until fork tender.

3.  Turn oven to broil and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes until the skins are crisped up and salt has left tiny dried white spots on the surface of the potatoes.

4.  Pour potatoes into a serving dish and sprinkle the blue cheese crumbles over the top, give it a quick stir and cover with a dishtowel until ready to serve.

Don't eat me!

Farmer Maggot's Roasted Carrots, Mushrooms and Assorted Root Vegetables

7 or 8 mushrooms cut in half (quarter if you have large mushrooms)
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 rutabagas, cut into one inch chunks and tough stems removed
4 or five small turnips, cut into 1 inch chunks

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, just the leaves
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. Chile Oil  (in the Asian foods section)
2 tsp. thyme leaves. dried
1 tsp. oregano leaves, dried
1/2 tsp. black pepper
7 cloves garlic, cut in half or quarters, depending on the size
1/2 tsp. sage, dried


1.  Toss everything into a bowl and give it a good stir, being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.

2.  Spread the seasoned veggies onto a parchment lined baking sheet - don't crowd them, spread them out so that they are in one layer.

3.  Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until fork tender.

4.  Turn oven to broil and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes or until the edges turn golden.

5.  Serve immediately.

Get your kiddo to draw a sign to set the mood.

20 January 2012

Pink Naan

Food should be more colorful, right?

 As I was kneading the lavender+pink dough (okay, I admit it, it was  puce, is there a more repulsive word for pinky purple?)  I started to have a deja book feeling, you know where something you are doing reminds you of a book you've read.

I suddenly realized I was thinking about Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep, in particular, Daphne, the valkyrie with pink mojo.  Actually everything about Daphne is pink.  Aha, I should call these pink valkyrie naan, 'cept valkyries probably don't eat naan since they are mythological goddesses of Norse mythology, they'd probably eat lefse, hmm, oh well, the whole pink part was a bit modern too so it doesn't really matter.

It's not that regular Naan isn't great, but pink naan, must be a teensy bit better or this is what Jennifer does when she gets bored and bought too many purple yams at the Asian grocery.

Anyways, these were tasty naan and healthy too (yams are a superfood or something).

Purple Yam Pink Naan

2/3 cup cooked, cooled and mashed purple yam

1/3 cup plain yogurt or milk

1 cup warm water (add a tablespoon or two if your dough is too tough to knead)

1 tsp. sugar or honey, whatever makes you silly

1 tsp. salt

1 3/4 tsp. dry active yeast

2 cups white whole wheat flour (you could sub regular whole wheat, but the color will mask the lovely purple yams less purple-y)

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tbsp. light olive oil or canola or grapeseed oil (use whatever oil you like, it won't really matter).

1.  In a small bowl mix sugar and warm water.  Sprinkle yeast on top and set aside for ten minutes or until frothy and bubbly.

2.  In a medium bowl mix the yams, yogurt, oil and salt.

3.  In a large bowl mix the flours.  Add the water yeast mixture and the yam yogurt mix, knead into a soft dough, don't worry if your dough shows little flecks of purple yam, the bread will still turn out.  Knead the dough for about six minutes or until it is less tacky.

5.  Place dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Place bowl in a warm location (like the microwave) and allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled. 

6.  Punch dough down and let it rest while you get the griddle ready.  I have an electric griddle and griddled the breads at 375, but this bread would turn out in the oven too if you prefer (set your oven to 400 and bake each bread for three minutes, flip, then cook for two minutes more).

It's pink, like a carebear!
7.  The dough will begin to bubble up and the edges will turn golden, flip and cook the other side until it looks golden in spots.

8.  Eat them warm slathered with butter or with hummus or for a really colorful meal, with red lentils, mmmm.