Aug 2, 2011

cottage food II: grilled lemon herby chicken, raspberry tart, and others

i've been back and forth at the cottage, as i had leave last week. cottage is always, well mostly anyways, about simple food. here, grilling flat chicken (martha calls it spatchcocked, how to here) while enjoying the scenery.

before you go thinking i've used semi-rotten meat...that bluish color comes from sage and thyme that i put under the skin with very thin slices of lemon.

about half an hour into grilling the birds (on medium-low) i noticed all the fat on the gridle...and remembered that there was some left-over boiled potatoes in the fridge. the chicken fat did wonders on the potatoes, just don't tell your cardiologist! total time for the chicken was about 45 mins.

made a poor man's greek salad (no olives) to go with the chicken, basil on the side. if it had been me, mom and certain someone the basil would have been in the salad (basil works surprisingly well with feta cheese), but for some reason dad will not eat "greens" in a salad...go figure.

naturally, i did make a stock from the backbones. the sage and thyme gave a strong flavor, the stock'll make a great soup later on (it frozen now).

mom then...not sure her medication is alright, the amount of energy she has, wears me out. she's been in the woods for weeks now, picking this and that, and these raspberries. the wild kind is far superior to the garden variety, so sweet and bursting with flavor. as there was so much berries, i needed to figure out what to do with them...

...and a recipe for blueberry tartlets in maku magazine gave me this idea...(it seems that the recipe isn't on the website yet.)
i made the crust with all-purpose flour and some oats, butter and one yolk. there really isn't a recipe but any shortbread type crust will do.

for the custard layer i used half of a vanilla pod, scraped the seeds and blended them into sugar with the blade of a knife, the seeds will distribute more evenly into liquid or flour. i learned this trick from tv (the great educator!), a danish cooking show called "the sweet life". like the name says it's all about the sweet, if danish wasn't so hard on my ears...

this trick (the cling film right on the surface of the custard) i learned from anna, i think...

the crust could have been a tad thinner, other than that, perfect summer tart. the glaze was made with jelly sugar that doesn't have any animal products in it.

from sweet to savory, as mentioned earlier, the chaterelles are plentyful. here, sauteed with onions and butter (let your conscience tell how much you can use), the longer in lower heat, the better.

a slaw with carrots, white cabbage, root celeriac, flat-leaf parsley, chives and mayo.

mom's potatoes...from the ground into a pot in 5 mins, they taste amazing, but new potatoes usually do. or maybe it's the fact that mom buried fish parings into the ground with the seed potatoes...

my new favourite, giant white onions grilled on low heat, for a long time. you could use butter, but it's really not necessary, tiny amount of oil will do. i've contemplated on adding some balsamic reduction to this but so far it's just perfect as is.

i have a handy electric grill at the cottage, perfect for the onions, and keeping other (gas)grilled goods warm.