Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Roasts

It may be 80 degrees out there, but it's still winter to me.  Next to hearty stews, I really like simple roasted dishes for dinner in the winter.  Roasting allows the natural flavors of the seasonal fresh farmer's market vegetables and meats to really shine, plus I like using the oven to heat up our usually chilly house.  Our go-to roasted medley of farmer's market vegetables include parsnips (a new favorite), fingerling potatoes, and brussell sprouts.  I season it very simply with salt, pepper, herbes de provence, olive oil and roast at 375 degrees (in a convection oven, 400 degrees in a regular oven) for about 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  This particular medley is my favorite as the vegetables need about the same cooking time, and there's a nice combination of flavors and textures.  Try to arrange the veggies in one layer, or else they will steam and get a bit mushy if they are piled upon one another.  We get fresh chicken legs from a guy in downtown LA.  We marinate it simply for a few hours or overnight in some garlic salt and rice wine, and occasionally some lemon and orange slices.  We roast it at 375 degrees (in a convection oven) for about 45 minutes until done, with the last 5 minutes under the broiler so that the skin gets nice and crispy.  When the chicken is done, we spread on yuzu paste for some spicy citrusy goodness and then tent it for 5-10 minutes.  In this case, we roasted the chicken on the rack above the vegetables so that the chicken drippings would drip onto the roasting vegetables for some extra flavor, but it's not necessary.

It's interesting how not being a member of a gym can be so de-motivating.  Ever since the Equinox challenge ended two weeks ago, I have only gone to one yoga class and went running outside once (albeit a solid 4 mile run).  I've been really tired and even caught a cold for the first time in a long time; I blame the lack of exercise.  I need to get going before the holidays really kick into full gear.

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