Kirstin: It’s been an unusually cold week in London and I’ve felt the need to find some cosy cooking recipes. This one fitted the bill for our Saturday evening. Where the herbs would normally be sprinkled in this kind of recipe, Ina recommends that you whizz them up with salt and pepper, combine with olive oil and then brush on. It worked a treat, making for a lovely crispy chicken skin which was perfectly flavoured with the herbs but also with lemon, onion and garlic. Fragrant, delicate and moist, perfect for a cosy evening inside. And I’m not sharing all the puns they made while they ate this. Because you can trust me, they were flowing with all the yummy food.
One of the things I love about this book already is that Ina Garten makes no apologies for using butter, cheese, double cream and other yummy things in her dishes. In a world full of “Clean Eating” tomes– particularly in January– Garten’s attitude is a breath of fresh air.
Saying that, this recipe doesn’t use any of those things. In fact, it might even be considered (whisper it) a little bit healthy. But I made it for my family anyway. It is January, after all, and while we’re not detoxing or dieting or doing anything similar, we still did have a lot of rich delicious meals over the holidays, so it’s time to reign it in somewhat.
The roasted salmon was delicious and easy. You get one large piece of salmon and cover it in chipotle chile powder and lime zest. Here in the UK, I couldn’t source chipotle chile powder, but I do have a chipotle sauce, so I used that instead. Then you roast it for 12-15 minutes. It’s super easy.
It’s a clever take on traditional tacos, using salmon like that. However, we were all less convinced by the coleslaw that went with it. No one really liked the shredded cabbage with cucumber and dill. (I didn’t mind it, but I was very much in the minority.)
When I make this again, I will again roast the salmon in chipotle, but I think I’d serve it with iceberg lettuce and maybe some tomatoes, like a traditional taco. The simple guacamole I made to go with it was also good.
To make this yourself, click through here to find the recipe on Redbook online.
Maureen: It took us a long time to pick a book this month. Five extra days, to be exact. [Insert sound of laughter here.]
Kirstin: But we finally found one.
Maureen: We had to muscle past all the clean eating/diet/give up sugar books traditionally released this time of year. But we did it.
Kirstin: We’re going for comfort eating in January. We want cake this month, or at least the option of cake.
Maureen: We don’t want to punish ourselves. It’s January!
Kirstin: We liked her previous book. There were lots of good meals in there.
Maureen: Yes, and my best friend gave this book to me for my birthday, so I’m glad to finally test it out. You’ve got to love a cookbook where the author is holding a stonking big piece of cake on the cover.
Kirstin: It’s true.
Maureen: No detoxes here, thank goodness.
Kirstin: We are a detox-free zone.
Maureen: It’s a good place to be.
Peter: I like this. What’s in the dressing, apart from mustard?
Anna: Well there’s tarragon in it. And it’s supposed to have tarragon vinegar, but I couldn’t find that. So I used cider vinegar instead.
Peter: There’s a lot of this. I’ll be having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Anna: I liked her tip for doing the chicken, roasting it on the bone and then shredding rather than poaching. But this did mean that it took quite a while to make dinner which isn’t so cool on a school night.
Peter: This would be good as a salad at a barbeque or a party.
Anna: You’re right. Honestly I find it a bit boring. So I don’t think I’ll be going out of my way to make it again. Sorry.
Anna: Happy Valentine’s Day!
Peter: I love you more than when we first met! Isn’t that what I’m supposed to say?
Anna: How’s your steak?
Peter: I was a bit nervous about the volume of cream in this sauce. But it’s very tasty. And not evidently cream-based.
Anna: Yes it is!
Peter: Well alright then. But it tastes of cheese. So that disguises it.
Anna: I love this sauce. I am eating way too much of it. I’m dipping my chips in it. It’s everything a sauce should be.
Peter: You do seem to be enjoying this artery-furring special. Is that your heart pounding with love? Or blood trying to get past the impending clot?
Anna: I feel a bit sick now.
Tom: This is yum. I love the crispy chicken skins.
Kirstin: Yes, I love the way she cooks with the sauce, complete with nine garlic cloves, under the chicken, so the skin can crispen but the flavours can get into the meat. And the lens kept steaming up on my big girl camera, so I used my iPhone instead for the pic tonight.
Tom: Nine cloves! Oh yes!
Ella: It fills me with deliciousness.
Tom: This reminds me of the chicken we used to cook with lemon.
Kirstin: That recipe we made up all those years ago. It remind me of that one too! But I could never quite figure out what to do with the lemon juice and the contessa has it all sorted, with the lemon juice going in after you’ve warmed the garlic in the oil.
Ella: It’s really great because at the beginning you can taste it’s all lemony and then you can taste the salty. And then it has this awesome aftertaste.
Tom: I think that’s the roast garlic you can taste at the end. It is absolutely yum.
Miles: I just tried the chicken.
Miles: It’s good.
Kirstin: Oh good! Success! We shall be having this one again then peeps!