Roasted Fennel and Root Vegetables

roasted fennel and root vegetables - trust in kim

These veggies smell great as they are roasting, and they were fabulous alongside a roast chicken. So easy, and a delicious comfort food on a cold winter night.  Feel free to add more or less of any of the vegetables, or omit some altogether.

What you need:

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 large or 2 medium potatoes
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 3-4 small beets, peeled
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  If you’ve just roasted a chicken, as I did, put the bird aside with a cover on to rest just before you put the vegetables in the oven.
  2. Scrub, then chop the vegetables into pieces that are about 4cm.  The sweet potato can be a little bigger, as it cooks faster. Put them all on a baking sheet and drizzle with some olive oil.
  3. Roast for about 10 minutes, then take them out of the oven and toss them around a bit.  Return to the oven and let them cook for another 10 minutes, or until they have browned nicely.
  4. Salt and pepper the vegetables, then serve immediately.

Confit de Canard avec les Pommes de Terre et Legumes

 

In France this summer I enjoyed eating duck on many occasions.  One night Corey and I made our own confit de canard dinner at a B&B.  We had this gorgeous outdoor space to cook and eat our meal in.  Duck confit is cured in salt, then cooked in its own fat.  And is amazing!  In France it is readily available, but not so much at home.  If you’re in Vancouver, I’ve heard you can buy it at Oyama Sausage at Granville Island.  The excess fat can be saved in the fridge to cook potatoes in the future.

What you need:

two legs of confit de canard

potatoes

1 zucchini, sliced about 2 cm thick

butter

2 tomatoes

salt and pepper

What you do:

1. Heat a frying pan on medium high and put the duck legs in it.  Cook them until they are nicely browned.

2. To cook the potatoes you can begin by either boiling them, or pierce with a fork and pop them in the microwave.  Then cut into thick slices.

3. Remove the legs from the pan and keep them in a warm oven.  Remove some of the fat from the frying pan, then add the potatoes.  Fry them until they are browned on each side. (If you want to make Perigord style potatoes, add some garlic and lots of parsley.  We didn’t get to try this, but our B&B host told us it was amazing, so that is how I’ll try it next time).

4. In another pan, heat a tablespoon or so of butter, then add the zucchini slices.  Brown them slightly on each side, then add salt and pepper.

5. Cut the tomato into slices and salt and pepper them.  If you have some balsamic reduction you can add some of that too.

Plate the duck, potatoes, zucchini and tomatoes and enjoy a gorgeous meal with a glass of red wine.  Ours was a Bordeaux.

 

The French countryside

Lamb Chops with Pistachio Tapenade

These little chops are so easy and tasty – I’ve fallen in love with them.  I don’t cook lamb very often, so I wanted to find an amazing recipe, and after much searching I found it at Smitten Kitchen.  Olives and nuts, well right there you’ve got an amazing combination that works so well with the lamb.

If you want to try out this recipe on someone, feel free to invite me over!

I served them with tiny baked potatoes roasted with some duck fat, rosemary and salt, along with a green salad with vinaigrette, strawberries and toasted slivered almonds.

What you need:

1 rack of lamb or 6-8 chops

1/3 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted

1/3 cup pitted green olives

1 & 1/2 tablespoons capers

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh oregano

1 & 1/2 tablespoons parsley

olive oil

zest of 1 lemon

salt and pepper

What you do:

1.  Cut the rack of lamb into chops, the salt and pepper each one.  Let these sit while you prepare the tapenade.

2.  To make the tapenade, place the pistachios, capers, garlic, oregano, parsley and lemon zest in a food processor.  Add a little olive oil at a time to make it into a thick paste.

3.  Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Heat a frying pan to medium-high, then add some olive oil.  Cook the lamb chops for 2 minutes per side, or until they are browned.  Remove the chops to a baking pan and smear some of the tapenade on each.  Place the chops in the oven and cook for 4-5 minutes, which will give you lovely rare chops.

4.  Remove the chops from the oven and let them rest 5 minutes before serving.  Savour!

Lemony Roasted Potatoes

Many times over the past few decades I have made these potatoes. When I made them for Mother’s Day recently, and my mom said she loved them, I knew I needed to post the recipe.

I have no idea where this recipe came from, since it was so long that I wrote it down. I know the inspiration to make them the first time came from a Greek restaurant in the small town I lived in for a while, where they made awesome lemony potatoes. Add a few olives, Greek salad, pita bread, tzatziki, and a bit of a protein, and you’ve got an amazing meal.

The only think I changed in this recipe was to use less olive oil. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of olive oil.

The recipe is not difficult to make, but it takes a very hot oven for almost an hour.  Be careful when you open the oven to turn the potatoes halfway through the roasting – there will be a lot of steam that could be very hot on your delicate skin!

This is a large recipe, for 8 people, so halve it if you need to. You might want to make extra so you have leftovers – it’s that good!

What you need:

  • 4 pounds Russet baking potatoes or Yukon Gold
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 500F.
  2. Clean and quarter the potatoes and place them in a large baking dish.
  3. Toss the potatoes in the other ingredients until they are well coated.
  4. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes, turning the potatoes after 25 minutes so they brown on all sides.
  5. The potatoes will be browned on the outside and soft in the middle when they are done.