Marmite Almonds

I just had Marmite for the first time last week and I am obsessed.  Why haven't I been eating this stuff my entire life?!  It's so perfect of toast but I also want it on pretty much everything.  I have plans to try it on pasta, popcorn, grilled cheese sandies.  

If you have not tried it, Marmite is a concentrated yeast paste.  Stay with me here - it's a salty little umami bomb.  Savory with a concentrated flavor of cook vegetables and yeasty goodness.  If you're the type of person who puts yeast flakes on their popcorn then you'll love this.  If you don't you can send your unwanted jars over to me because I CANNOT GET ENOUGH of it.  

Makes 1 pound.

Marmite Roasted Almonds

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoon marmite

1 pound raw almonds

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.  In a pan, over low heat, warm marmite and water, stirring to combine.  Add almonds, stir until evenly coated. Spread almonds out on prepared baking tray. Place in oven and roast 10 minutes or until dry and golden.  Do not let them burn!  Remove from oven and cool completely before storing in airtight container. 

Roasted Broccoli

It's fall, so you can turn that oven on again.  Broccoli is a staple in our house.  Usually, we keep blanched broccoli in the fridge.  Cameron likes to snack on it and I warm it up with a drizzle of soy sauce and spicy sesame oil.  I'd actually never made it in the oven but the main dish I was serving had roasted elements that I thought would pair well with a roasted vegetable.  It's also nice to keep things easy with sides that don't need much attention during cooking.  I like unattended sides. 

I used baby broccoli but the normal stuff will do fine.  

Serves 2-4.

Roasted Broccoli

8 oz broccoli, cut into large bite sized pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

s + p

1 clove garlic, minced

juice of one lemon

grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  In a bowl, toss broccoli with olive oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic. Arrange on baking tray and roast about 20 minutes.  Broccoli will be tender. Immediately, squeeze lemon over broccoli and top with grated cheese. Serve hot.    

Spicy Blackened Tomato Sauce

This recipe makes about 4 pints of spicy, flavorful tomato sauce.  I had a grab bag of fresh-from- the-garden tomatoes (Thanks, Mom!) like plum, cherry and regular so feel free to use whatever you have.  I kept out one pint for dinner and the rest are labelled and headed for the freezer.  If  you do not like it SPICY, halve or omit the chile flakes.  

Spicy Blackened Tomato Sauce

small splash high heat oil

8 garlic cloves, peeled

1 yellow onion, peeled, quartered

4 pounds tomatoes, cored as needed

1 teaspoon chile flakes

1 handful fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss garlic cloves and onion in a small splash of oil.  Arrange on large baking sheet.  Place in oven.  

Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over high heat.  Once HOT, add tomatoes, starting with your larger ones if using different types.  Turn tomatoes as needed, letting them blacken on each side. Transfer them to the sheet tray in the oven as the are ready.  (They are ready when the have black spots on each side, the skin starts to peel or they start to cook down.)  Once all the tomatoes are seared and in the oven, let it all roast 30 minutes.  Everything, including the garlic cloves should be very soft and blend-able.  

Remove tray from oven and transfer contents to a heat proof bowl.  Add chile flakes, basil and olive oil.  Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.  Serve while hot or let cool completely, portion, label and freeze. 

 

Lemon Pepper Green Beans

I almost always use the stove top when cooking, rarely the oven.  But last weekend I realized how nice it is for somethings.  For example last weekend, making dinner, it was great to throw (yes, throw.) these and a potato side in the oven while focusing on sautéing our steaks just right.   It also helps me time the meal right so all components are hot and ready together.  

Serves 4.

Lemon Pepper Roasted Green Beans

1 lb green beans, trimmed

splash olive oil

s + p (lots of black pepper!)

juice and zest of 1 lemon

Heat oven to 425.  Toss green beans in oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast 10 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with lemon juice and zest.

Malt Vinegar Roasted Potatoes + Herbs

Just you're usual roasted potatoes with garlic and herbs but brightened up with splashes of malt vinegar straight out of the oven.  I love these.  Use new potatoes, fingerlings or creamers.

Serves 2-4. 

Herb Roasted Potatoes

1 lb small potatoes, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons grape seed oil

leaves from 1 stem rosemary

2 thyme sprigs

3 cloves of garlic, smashed

s + p

several splashes of malt vinegar

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss potatoes with oil, rosemary leaves, thyme sprigs and garlic cloves.  Season with salt and pepper.  Arrange on baking dish.  Place in oven and roast about 30 minutes, tossing once during roasting.  Remove from oven once potatoes are cooked through, golden brown and a bit crispy. Immediately, splash a bit of malt vinegar over potatoes while they are still hot.  

Roast Turkey and Thanksgiving Recipes

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Thanksgiving is almost here and it's time to start planning the menu and sourcing recipes.  I love a good food holiday.  I also really like turkey but eat it only once a year on Thanksgiving.  It's the delight of the table.  And gravy, there must be gravy.  

This month is going to be dedicated to classic Thanksgiving recipes.  Look out for mashed potatoes, garlicky green beans, glazed carrots, stuffing, craberry sauce, dinner rolls and maybe some desserts!

Let's talk about the turkey.  Whether you decide to go fresh, frozen, domestic, kosher, wild or heritage; it's going to be great.  If you do get a frozen one, you will have to decide if you will be thawing in the fridge or in a cold water bath.  Fridge thawing, where the bird remains unwrapped, breast side up and on a tray,  is easier but requires at least 1 day of thawing per 4 lbs.  Cold water thawing, where the bird remains completely covered in cold water,  requires more attention as the water must be changed every 30 minutes to keep the temperature constant.  Cold water thawing takes at least 30 minutes per pound.  Ours took a little longer than originally calculated.

Once thawed and ready to roast, unwrap, remove giblets, neck and what not from cavities.  Wash turkey inside and out with cold water.  Dry inside and out with paper towels.  

Heat oven to 500 degrees.  Place turkey, breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan.  Place giblets, neck, carrot, onion, celery, fresh herbs and 1 cup water or stock in bottom of roasting pan.  These add aroma and flavor to the turkey and drippings.  Rub the turkey with oil or butter.  Rub with prepared rub if using.  If not, salt and pepper.  Oil and season inside and out, and under breast skin.  Stuff turkey with stuffing if stuffing.  Neck and body cavity maybe stuffed.  Do not pack stuffing too tightly.  Tie legs together with cotton kitchen twine.  

Place in oven and roast 20 minutes of so until top browns nicely.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue roasting.  Baste every 30 minutes with pan liquids.  If the skin becomes too brown cover with foil or if pan liquid disappears add water or stock 1/2 cup at a time.  Roast until thermometer inserted inthickest part of thigh reads 165 degrees.  This will take 3 to 5 hours for a stuffed turkey depending on size.  Less for an unstuffed bird.  

Remove turkey from oven and transfer to a carving board lined with a kitchen towel and let rest 20 minutes before carving.  I recomend making the gravy while it rests.  

Place the roasting pan on the stove oven two burners.  Skim off what fat you can and remove the large solids of giblets, carrot, celery, onion, garlic and herbs.  Turn both on to high heat.  Add stock and scrap bottom of pan to dislodge any brown bits stuck to the pan.  Reduce about 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes.  Salt and pepper as needed.  Strain liquid into a sauce pan or into a bowl and then back into the roasting pan.  Shake a little flour in a bit at a time while whisking until thickened. Keep warm and serve with turkey.

Carve turkey as you like and remove stuffing.  Stuffing is what's cooked in the bird and dressing is what's not.  

Turkey Rub (enough for a 12-22 lb turkey)

4 teaspoons salt

3 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon mustard powder

Cobime all ingredients and use as a rub on meat before cooking.  

Roast Turkey 

1 thawed whole turkey

olive oil or warm butter

s + p or 1 prepared portion of turkey rub

1 onion, quarted

1 carrot, halved

1 stalk celery, halved

some thyme or parsley

1 cup water or stock, plus more if needed

Turkey Gravy

6 cups stock, turkey or chicken

s + p

a couple tablespoons flour