It’s officially Spring! The past few days have been beautiful – it makes me feel a little guilty knowing that 8 inches of snow just fell back home in Wisconsin, and much of the lower Midwest is experiencing intense flooding…..I guess living in California has its advantages!
I know this blog is supposed to be about food, but I can’t resist posting some pictures I took in my garden today….
This is a wild ginger flower. It’s a beautiful native groudcover, and one of the few plants that grows well in the shady parts of my back-yard.
Can you find the baby ferns? This is a Japanese Painted Fern that is just barely poking up out of the ground. It reminds me of asparagus – a good reminder that asparagus is actually a fern-like plant.
The Star Magnolia about to bloom.
This Magnolia is one of my favorite things about this house. It’s just awesome! It’s blooming especially heavily this year.
This is the view from the underside of the same Magnolia.
The little vegetable garden in front. The arugula in bloom is beautiful, but very soon it’ll be time to take it down soon and make room for potatoes.
Grape hyacinths and lamb’s ear.
And now back to the food!!
This was dinner last night. After I made it, I realized how perfect an Easter meal it is – Lamb with mashed Potatoes and steamed Asparagus. I dipped the lamb steaks in egg, and then a breading made of flour, salt, pepper, and fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme. I browned it in a cast iron skillet on the stove and then baked it. The potatoes are really simple – left over boiled potatoes mashed with the same herbs, salt, pepper, lots of garlic, and butter.
The most exciting meal I’ve made in a while was last weekend – Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables. First, I rubbed a whole chicken with Seville Sour Orange juice (more on that later,) and then with a mixture of chopped fresh Oregano, Cumin, Salt and Pepper……
Here it is before going in the oven. I stuffed the inside with some more oregano spears, the spent orange wedges, and garlic. Not actually to eat – just to season the bird while it cooked.
And here it is out of the oven. Mmmmmm. I cooked it really hot for about 25 minutes to crisp the skin up, and then on lower heat for about 2 hours.
This is the Seville Orange. I really like this little-known citrus fruit. It’s an Orange, but it’s about as sour as a lemon or lime. We saw them used a lot in the Yucatan as a garnish for grilled meats. They’re really good, but most people can’t seem to get over their sourness. They’re simply not meant to be eaten like a normal orange, and to me, that’s OK…..They’re also used for making marmalade since it has more pectin than any other orange….I’d like to experiment more with them. The juice certainly gave the chicken a wonderful flavor! I made gravy from the drippings and added some of the orange juice to that as well. It gave it a great tang!
This was the side dish – Roasted Roots – one of my specialties. You can use any combination of Root Veggies – this is of Red Beets, Chioggia Beets, Potatoes, a Rutabaga, Celeriac, and Garlic cloves. I tossed it with olive oil and oregano, and cooked it for about an hour in the same oven with the chicken. Delicious!