Monday, February 14, 2011

Roasted Potatoes.....perfect everytime...

"Any recipe for roasted potatoes?"
Kelly - Essington


Here is a recipe that I use constantly. It's actually the way the English make their roasted potatoes, give or take. The English are famous for their roasts and potatoes. It's the best way to add flavor and get that crispy texture everyone always looks for.

Ingredients:
5-7 Eastern or All Purpose Potatoes
1/2 to 1 stick of butter
2 Tbsp of Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Tsp of Basil
Tsp of Rosemary
Tsp Marjoram
Tsp of Cumin
1/2 Tsp of Paprika
1 onion diced finely
3 cloves of garlic minced finely


Technique:
Cube your potatoes into bite sized pieces. Place in boiling, salted water until soft but not tender. (Take one out and test it. It should be soft, but not all the way cooked)

Drain hot potatoes and place in a large bowl. Add oil, butter, basil, rosemary, marjoram, cumin, paprika, onion and garlic. Toss gently until butter is melted and absorbed into the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 475. Place potatoes on a buttered cookie sheet spread out evenly. If you'd like to sprinkle on some more seasonings, feel free at this point.

Place uncovered on the rack closes to the heat source for about 10 minutes. Flip/toss potatoes.

Continue baking until potatoes are fully cooked and the desired crispy texture is reached.

*Side Note: Potatoes are natural absorbers. They are one of the few vegetables that pick up flavors extraordinarily. Boiling the potatoes first allows the potatoes to maintain moisture, as a baked potato can sometimes be really dry. Dressing the potatoes while they are still hot, allows for maximum absorption. (Ever get a baked potato and notice how the butter goes into the potato? Same concept).

Don't be afraid to play around with your seasonings. Try different things. Rosemary and garlic go well with potatoes. As do other seasonings. The recipe above is a standard mix that will allow you to taste the potato and the way the flavors absorb.

Good luck!

Deliciously yours,
The Rotund Chef

Submit your foodie questions....and get answers!

Hey all. Not that I don't love texts and emails from my friends, but I get so many questions for recipes, ideas and techniques that I decided to make an email for you to submit all your questions to.

Please email me at therotundchef@aol.com.

Then look out for a blog dedicated to your question.

Send away!

Deliciously yours,
The Rotund Chef

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stuffed Pork Roast

So a few Sundays ago, I had my baby brother over for dinner and I made a stuffed pork tenderloin. Within minutes of posting the pictures, I had all kinds of comments and messages on Facebook on "how the hell do you stuff a pork roast?" Well, here is my recipe.

Ingredients:

3-4 pound pork roast
1 small onion minced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp basil
dash salt
dash of pepperoncini (red pepper flakes)
3/4ish stick of butter


Method:

First thing you want to do is butterfly the roast. To butterfly, place roast fat side up on a cutting board. Half the roast, but not all the way through, so that it opens like a book and lays flat. After you open up the roast, place wax paper on top of the roast and pound it to 1/2 inch thickness. This will take some time and you need to practice your technique so that you don't pulverize and mash the roast to pieces.

Once you have flattened the roast, you need to make a butter paste. Take about 1/2 stick of butter and your seasonings, garlic and onion and combine with a fork or a mortar and pestle. You basically want an herbed butter.

Rub this mixture liberally all over the interior of the butterfly. Make sure it is evenly spread.



After you have done this, you need to take the end that does not have the fat attached to it and begin to roll it up, as you would a jelly roll. Secure the roast closed with either toothpicks or cooking string.



Take the remaining un-herbed butter and rub the entire roast liberally. Place FAT SIDE UP in a buttered baking dish and season with a little salt, a liberal amount of black pepper and some basil.

Place roast uncovered in a 475 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375 and bake for about 30 minutes. For the remaining time, cover with tin foil tightly.

*IMPORTANT* Ovens vary. In order to cook a perfect pork roast that is not dried out, you always want to check the temperature. Once the interior of the thickest portion of your roast reaches 150 degrees, you want to remove it. ALWAYS LET YOUR ROAST REST!!! When you take the roast out of the oven, keep it covered with foil for at least 10 minutes before you slice it. This allows the juices to redistribute and keep your roast juicy.

If you have been successful, your roast should resemble these pictures:





If you are a gravy person, here is a delicious gravy to go with your roast.

Pork Gravy

Ingredients:

2 cups of chicken stock
2 TBL of butter
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Tsp dried basil
Drippings from roast pan
Wondra Gold Medal flour


Heat chicken stock, drippings, butter and basil til bubbly. Whisk in Wondra flour until it is a consistency you like. Remove from heat and salt to taste. Place through a strainer to remove lumps, and you have the perfect pork gravy to go with your stuffed pork roast.

As always, check out my catering website:


Deliciously yours,
The Rotund Chef