Tips to roast a bird

Tips to roast a bird

Tips to roast a bird

Tips to roast a bird  

Here’s what I’ve learned about cooking a whole chicken or turkey, just in time for the big Easter-eating!
– If you are using a stuffing, make it the night before. It’s worth it.
– Consider adding something smoked to stuffing: bacon is the obvious choice, but I used smoked cheddar today, and nearly fell off my chair, it was so good.
– Dry the outside of the bird well if you want a crispy skin. Season it inside and out, liberally, and then leave it in the fridge uncovered for at least an hour to dry – you’ll be amazed at the gorgeous crisp on that skin.
– If you aren’t using a stuffing, cut an onion into quarters or two celery sticks into halves and stick that into the cavity. It’s indescribable how much more moist and flavorful the chicken/turkey is.
– Less is more when it comes to seasoning poultry. Try salt, pepper, and one or both of onion powder and garlic powder. Make sure to get it inside the cavity as well as all around the outside.
– Roast the bird upside down! The breasts don’t dry out if they are on the bottom.
– Truss the legs and wings. It’s not all that tricky, and ensures that the stucky-outy bits don’t dry out or burn.
-Lastly, add some potatoes or carrots or onions the roast to caramelize all the juices. 350°F is a good temperature, uncovered. Remember to let it rest before carving.

Do have any more tips to get the perfect roast?

Source:  Corlea Smit – Adapted from many recipes and some experience

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake  

2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup warm coffee
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Small handful of chocolate chunks and/or cocoa nibs (optional)

Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin pan
Whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Whisk together coffee, oil, and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks and cocoa nibs, if using.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pans. The batter will be relatively thick.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before taking it out and leave on a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or decorate as you wish.
Cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 3 days

Source: The Recipe Hunter

Saltspring Island fresh Moules et Frites

Saltspring Island fresh Moules et Frites  
This dish is so easy and delicious – the key here is to buy fresh mussels.
I started caramelizing some onions and fresh fennel, garlic and butter with oil in a cast iron pan.
Add 1 cup of dry white wine
You can add fresh lemon juice, parsley, sea salt and pepper to taste.
Bring the liquid to a boil, cover and add the mussels – the mussels will be ready in 2-3 minutes, when the shells open up.
Put some fries on top of the mussels before serving.

Photo Credits to Aneen Williams Photography



Tonight’s dinner: soup to accommodate my new state of wisdom-toothlessness

1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
12 or so mushrooms
3 stalks of celery
2 Roma tomatoes
1 cup broccoli
1/2 head cauliflower
1/2 cup lentils (I used split red lentils)
8 cups water with 2 stock cubes OR 8 cups vegetable stock
2 gigantic hands full of fresh baby spinach

Chop the onion and garlic and add to about a tablespoon of oil or butter. Cook on medium heat until it starts to brown. Add chopped mushrooms and celery and stir over heat until softened. Add chopped tomatoes and cook just until it starts to break down.
Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into bite-sized chunks and add along with the lentils and water or stock. Bring it the boil, then reduce heat and simmer slowly for about half an hour.
Remove from the heat and then add the whole baby spinach leaves. Stir it through and allow it to stand for just a few minutes to wilt the leaves. Serve right away so that the spinach still has a little bit of a bite to it.
Delicious with freshly ground black pepper and a slice of fluffy whole-wheat bread!

Source:  Corlea Smit

Grilled Polenta

Grilled Polenta 

5 cups water
1 vegetable stock cube
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Fresh ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup grated cheddar
Feta cheese to garnish

Bring the water with vegetable stock to a rapid boil (or just use stock, if you have on hand) in a large pot. Turn the heat down to medium-low and pull the put right of the stove. Whisk while adding corneal slowly. Whisk thoroughly to avoid any lumps until well combined, and then place back onto the heat. Keep stirring to ensure the mixture stays smooth – you may need to add a few more tablespoons of water if the mixture is too dry.
Cover and allow to cook for about 30 minutes – adjust the heat so that it steams but doesn’t spatter, and stir occasionally.
Remove from heat and add pepper, butter, and cheese. Stir to melt and combine. Pour into a lined 9×13 dish and allow to cool in the fridge – give it at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
Preheat broiler in the oven. Once set, preheat the broiler in oven. Remove the polenta from the dish and slice into individual portions – I got 16. Place onto a baking dish and sprinkle feta over the top. Place under the broiler just until heated through and starting to brown on top.
Serve with a sauce just use it to lap up meat sauce/juices.

Source:  Corlea Smit – As usual, my adaptation

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