Monday, August 31, 2009

Cucumber Tomato Mint Salad

1 English cucumber - cut into chunks
2 Roma tomatoes - cut into chunks
1 sprig of spearmint - for garnishing
1/4 cup Nakano Original Seasoned Rice Vinegar
3 tablespoons mint jelly
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Put cut cucumbers and tomatoes in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix the rice vinegar, mint jelly, and the vegetable oil in another bowl and mix well. Pour into the cucumber and tomato and toss lightly. Top with a sprig of the spearmint for garnishing or if you like it more minty, chiffonade the mint leaves and spread all over the salad.

Simple Roast Chicken

On a busy day like today, I like cooking meals as simple, yet flavorful as possible, utilizing ingredients that we already have, with  spices and herbs we can just snip from our herb garden.

It was quite a surprise that my daughter is showing interest in cooking. Yesterday, I showed her how to cook herself scrambled eggs for breakfast with ingredients we already have at home. The scrambled eggs were so tasteful. She herself was surprised that she was capable of concocting such a simple but delectable meal.

Inspired by her success in making the scrambled eggs, today she was inspired to cook tonight's dinner ~ a simple roast chicken:

3 pounds whole chicken  (room temperature)

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped coarsely
2 granny smith apples - sliced 1/3" horizontally
2 tablespoons honey for drizzling
olive oil to grease the baking pan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Rub the inside and outside skin of chicken with salt to remove grime. Wash the chicken well. Pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with chopped onions and sprigs of fresh rosemary. Rub olive oil all over the skin of the chicken. Grease with butter the baking pan then line with sliced granny smith apples and drizzle with honey. Lay the chicken on top. Bake inside the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake for 45 minutes or more until golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Out of the chicken drippings, my daughter made gravy by browning 4 tablespoons of chopped yellow onions with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter. Then she added 4 tablespoons of flour to brown, deglazed it with 1/4 cup Marsala wine, and seasoned with salt and pepper. She added 1 1/2  cups chicken stock to thin the consistency and reduced it to a gravy. The gravy was then strained to remove lumps. She came up with a creamy buttery chicken gravy.

*The Rosemary Roast Chicken was served with Cucumber Tomato Mint Salad and a piece of sweet white corn in a cob. The recipe of the salad will be on a separate post.

*Edited by author 01/28/2011

*Kitchen tested 01/28/2011
*Approved for Publication by the Author

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