Friday, June 29, 2012

Crisp skin roasted chicken for St. Peter's day

Today is St. Peter's day - one of the most honored Orthodox feasts in Bulgaria. The rituals observed today aim to protect houses and farmer's land from fire. Traditionally, there is a rooster or chicken on the table. In the orthodox tradition roosters measure time and signify the power of sun. They are accepted as a symbol of fertility and harvest abundance. We are not huge chicken eaters in our home, but this is one of the recipes, which make chicken disappear in minutes. Think about crispy skin which crackles between teeth. Tender succulent meat which fills mouth with heavenly juices. A well roasted chicken does not need anything else. OK, probably the subtle additional flavor of rosemary for instance. Or thyme. According to the Internet, this recipe originated in Zuni cafe in San Francisco. I wish to go there in order to taste the original as soon as I can, but until then I will only use their know-how at home. 
There are some requirements to follow if you want to obtain a tasty chicken with a really crisp skin:
  • Pat dry chicken very well after rinsing - the wet skin will make it steam into the oven and this will make the skin soft.
  • Salt chicken a day or two in advance - this will 'lock' the moisture inside and will improve the taste (I never have the patience to obey this requirement and the chicken is also perfect, so you can skip this step). 
  • Choose your favorite herb - rosemary, thyme or salvia and slip some sprigs under the skin of the chicken. This will provide it with lots of flavor. 
  • Do not use any oil or butter for roasting the chicken - its own fat will do the things.
  • Preheat the skillet into the oven very good, so to allow the chicken to sizzle when you put it into the skillet. This will prevent the skin from sticking to the pan.
  • Put the chicken breast side up first.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Garlic and hot pepper prawns (Gambas Al Ajillo)

Summer arrived officially. Along with the swimming and diving this means to me a lot of seafood on the table. Shrimps are common guests home, but this is one of my favorite recipes - the taste of fried garlic and hot pepper makes me feel like I am on the Mediterranean coast.
I love to visist the fish markets abroad- I love the smell of the fresh caught fish, the colors and shapes of the different species, all the inviting voices of the vendors. And when they allow me to make a picture of them, I am even happier. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Trout and blue cheese spaghetti

I had some trouts on hand recently. Well, I don't really like trout, in my opinion it hasn't own taste and it needs something with stronger aroma. So I started searching for the perfect ingredient which would meet trout in such a perfect way that it will change my whole opinion to this fish. Blue cheese as an idea found here seemed to be a good candidate. Its crumbly texture and stronger flavor meets perfectly the plain taste and soft texture of the trout. What else? Spaghetti, fresh lemon juice, some canned tomatoes and, of course, hot peppers. I had whole fishes with the skin on, next time I will try it with skin fillets and I suppose, it would be even better. But even so it had unique unbeatable taste. Fresh, flavorful and surprising blend. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Salmon carpaccio with cold-infused hot pepper oil

Fresh salmon. Really fresh. It doesn't need freezing, which enables the thinely cutting - you can feel the taste of the fish far better if it is cut in 1/8 inch (0.3 cm) slices. Just an hour in a fridge, some cold-infused hot pepper oil, some capers for a salty-bitter taste and some fresh lemon juice. And a slice of bread. Enough for a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner. That is the way I like it.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Dock and quinoa soup

Diet times again. The forthcoming summer has a lot of requirements, one of them to look good. This is a light and tasty soup which makes you satiated with small amount of calories. Tasty and healthy. You can substitute spinach or Swiss chard for the dock. 

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Roasted chicken with lemon, peppers and spices

Chicken with lemon and spices

One of the best ways to prepare chicken.  The tangy lemon, the sweet roasted onion and the exotic taste of the cumin and red hot pepper provide chicken with huge amount of aroma. I found the idea here.
Chicken with lemon and spicesChicken with lemon and spices