Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Roasted Vegetable Salad, Dijon Rosemary Chicken, Homemade Potato Chips

Roasted vegetables are one of my all time favorite things. I love the different mixes of veggies that can be put together, and are then bonded with one harmonious flavor, but maintain their own distinct qualities. It is also the best way Ive found for me to enjoy the lovely Brussel Sprout without killing its nutritional value with bacon. Last night I was craving a nice big salad so I decided to make a roasted veggie salad as opposed to my norm of fresh veggies.
I decided to combine thinly sliced brussel sprouts, red peppers, zucchini, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and carrots with chopped parsley, garlic and rosemary. I tossed all of this together in a bag with a little salt and pepper and of course olive oil, spread them out on a pan and popped them into the oven at 400 degrees F.
I decided to serve the salad, as it would come together later, with some baked chicken, and (because I wanted to play with my new kitchen toy) some homemade, baked potato chips. I made a quick marinade of rosemary, Dijon mustard, garlic and white wine, and let the chicken rest in that solution for a couple of hours. Browned quickly on each side, I slid the chicken breasts into the oven at the same 400 the veggies were roasting at. Simple dinner so far!
Now, a few weeks ago I picked myself up a long anticipated, much wanted, kitchen tool. One that I imagined making my life 100 times easier, and opening up many doors to many new recipes. Until last night- I had yet to use it. Finally realizing that I had the ability to use it- I pulled my brand new mandolin from its storage space and reveled in its glory. This handy little device promises to slice vegetables paper thin- far thinner than my clumsy hands could to manually- and it promised to do this in uniform slices-even better! Speaking of clumsy- it even came with a little safety guard designed to keep myself from slicing my finger as opposed to my chosen veggie. Wonderful.
I had some leftover potatoes in the fridge from making mashed potatoes for a friend this past weekend, so I decided to make some fun, baked potato chips for a starch accompaniment for dinner. Lo and behold, the mandolin worked like an absolute charm. Slice after slice of thinner than paper thin potato flew from the blade and made a beautiful pile of soon to be chips. Of course though, stubborn as I am, I had originally refused to use the safety guard and gave myself a nice finger slice as well- so now I have learned my lesson and I pass it on to you- use the safety guard!
Anyway- with a couple of potatoes nicely sliced, I quickly boiled them to get some of the starch out so they would crisp better, drained them, and then tossed them with just a little canola oil, and a couple pinches of salt. I spread them out on a cookie sheet (sadly not completely in a single layer) and popped them into the oven at the same good ol' 400. So far-I was loving the ease of this meal.
With everything coming together so easily, I set to work on my salad dressing of choice for the salad. This summer I started making a salad dressing for seafood salads that I really fell in love with, and luckily I decided that it could really tie together the different components of the meal. A quick chop of a clove of garlic, some rosemary, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, the juice of a lemon, a pinch of salt and enough olive oil to bind it all together got blended. The outcome is this gorgeous blend of flavors- the earthy rosemary, garlic, the tang of the lemon with the slight spice of the mustard and the richness of the olive oil. Its a perfect combination of flavors for me. Once the veggies had cooled I tossed them with a healthy few handfuls of Arugula, some chopped cucumber, a handful of pecans, the dressing, and a bit of Gorgonzola cheese. Salad was complete.
The chicken took about 40 minutes or so in the oven, and then that got taken out as well, left to rest for a bit, and then sliced. Finally, after turning the potatoes a few times, I got a good batch of potato chips-crunchy and delectable.
The completed meal was a great one- all of the flavors were able to play off of each other in a very harmonious fashion and highlight each other along the way. The star of the show was the salad with all of its different textures. The veggies were nicely tender without being over cooked, and had those wonderful flavors of roasting and rosemary, the olives were nice and salty and perfect with the arugula. The cucumbers and the pecans just added a great amount of crunch, and were so nicely off set by the creamy and tangy Gorgonzola. With the light, citrus tasting dressing-it was a perfect combination of flavors.
The chips were good-I felt that I had definitely over cooked some, and under cooked others-but that can all be worked out with playing with the temperatures and timing I'm sure. They tasted fully of potato though- and weren't overladen with oil, salt and grease which is a big plus in my book.
The chicken was also good- great flavor throughout, tender, but a bit dry as I tend to always over cook chicken for safety sake. But it was a wonderful addition to the plate which I felt was a really nice representation of Fall- a combination of summer and winter- meeting in the middle for one delightful meal. I definitely foresee that salad being made many many times in the future....


Autumn Roasted Vegetables

3 comments:

jenoneill said...

That sounds soo yummy! Want to come down to my house and cook it for us?

Boston Food Diary said...

I would LOVE to! I've been trying to come up with an excuse to come visit Kaelin...I mean you guys :-)

Ellie said...

Very yummy looking dinner!

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