Archive for April, 2020

For the past month or so, I’ve been roasting a whole chicken once a week. It’s easy to do, provides one dinner and two lunches for the two of us and then I make chicken stock from the carcass and get two more meals of soup. This recipe from Bon Appetit is simple — whisk together oil, lemon juice and honey and rub the mixture under the skin of the chicken and all over the outside. Place half a lemon and some rosemary inside the chicken and surround the chicken with shallots and lemon slices. Roast for about an hour. Cook’s note: To make stock, remove any meat on the carcass and set aside for another use. Put the carcass in a large deep pot and cover with cold water. Add a large celery rib, chopped, a large carrot, sliced, an onion, quartered (no need to peel), a handful of parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so the stock barely simmers. Partially cover and simmer for four hours, skimming off any foam that comes to the surface. Strain the stock to remove the bones and other solids. You can use the stock right away or refrigerate for use within a day or two (it’s easier to remove fat from the stock after it’s been in the fridge. You can also freeze it.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use fresh lemon juice, as concentrates contain sodium benzoate.

Rub chicken with oil, lemon and honey. Place lemon half and rosemary in chicken cavity and place shallots around the chicken.

Roast chicken with rosemary, lemon and honey


3 ounces (85 g) rosemary sprigs (about 1 large or 2 small bunches), divided

1 4-pound (1.8 kg) chicken

¼ cup (60 ml) plus 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey

1 lemon, halved, one half sliced into eight ¼ -inch (0.6-cm) rounds

8 oz (226 g) shallots, peeled

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) Line a large roasting pan with ¾ of rosemary sprigs. Place chicken on top.

Whisk ¼ cup oil, lemon juice, and honey in a small bowl to blend. Using your hands and beginning at the neck end of the chicken, gently lift skin away from breast. Under skin of the chicken, rub 2 tablespoons lemon mixture into meat. Drizzle remaining lemon mixture all over outside of the chicken.

Place 1 lemon half and 1 shallot inside chicken cavity; stuff with remaining rosemary sprigs, dividing equally. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. Place remaining shallots around chicken; arrange 4 lemon rounds on top of chicken. Drizzle shallots and lemon rounds with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.

Roast chicken, basting frequently with pan juices, for 45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425°F (218°C) and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F (74°C) and skin is deep golden and crispy, about 10 minutes longer.

Spoon pan juices over chicken, shallots, and lemon slices and serve in roasting pan. Serves 6-8.

From Bon Appetit

It may be April, but it’s been chilly outside. That and the current need for comfort food led me to try this baked pasta from Food and Wine. We love baked pasta and this recipe is exceptional. Cook onions, add radicchio and stir until it wilts. Stir in goat cheese and cream, bring to a simmer and set aside. Cook the pasta and stir it into the onion and cream mixture. Add spices, fontina cheese and prosciutto. Place in a baking pan and top with more fontina and Parmesan. Cook until browned and bubbling. I assembled this early in the day and refrigerated it, so just needed to pop it in the oven for a half hour to get dinner on the table. If you do make it ahead, top with the two cheeses just before baking.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Eden Organic red wine vinegar, which does not contain sulfites. President’s Choice goat cheese and Neilson whipping cream are additive-free. Check the butter and fontina for colour and make sure the ground nutmeg doesn’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano contains no additives. Look for prosciutto preserved only with salt.

Cook onions

Add radicchio and cook until it wilts

Add cream and goat cheese

Add cooked pasta, fontina and prosciutto and place in baking dish; top with more cheese

Bake until brown and bubbling


2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil

2 medium-size red onions, thinly sliced

1 large head radicchio, cored and sliced into ½ -inch- (1.25-cm-) thick ribbons

2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon (15 ml) red wine vinegar

3 ½ tablespoons (52.5 ml) kosher salt, divided

6 ounces (170 g) softened goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 ½ cups/375 ml)

1 ½ cups (375 ml) heavy cream

3 quarts (3 L) water

1 pound (454 g) uncooked short pasta (such as penne or fusilli)

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) black pepper

1/8 teaspoon (0.6 ml) freshly grated or ground nutmeg

8 ounces (226 g) fontina cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups/500 ml), divided

4 ounces (113 g) thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1-inch (2.54-cm) pieces

Unsalted butter, softened, for greasing baking dish

2 ounces (56 g) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about ½ cup/125 ml)


Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Heat oil in a 12-inch (30-cm) , high-sided skillet over medium-high. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in radicchio, garlic, vinegar, and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt; cook, stirring often, until radicchio is just wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in goat cheese and cream; bring to a simmer over medium-high. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Bring 3 quarts (3 L) water to a boil in a large pot over high. Stir in 3 tablespoons (45 ml) salt. Add pasta, and cook until just shy of al dente, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain; reserve 1 cup (250 ml) cooking liquid. Stir pasta, reserved 1 cup (250 ml) cooking liquid, pepper, nutmeg, and remaining 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt into radicchio mixture. Fold in 1½ cups (375 ml) fontina cheese and prosciutto; toss well.

Transfer pasta mixture to a 3-quart (3 L) baking dish lightly greased with butter. Dot with remaining ½ cup (125 ml) fontina cheese; sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown on top and bubbling around edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6-8.

From Food and Wine

We all need a little breath of spring these days, even if we can’t go outside as often. For me, that means a main-dish salad. This tasty, crunchy salad from Real Simple uses shrimp and romaine as its base, tossed with a salty/creamy/ginger dressing and topped with avocado, cucumber and scallions. Frozen shrimp is fine and you can substitute any hardy lettuce, such as iceberg. Regular cucumber can replace the small Persian ones, and if you don’t have avocado just use what’s in the fridge, such as radishes, carrots or peppers.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Hellman’s mayonnaise and Marukan rice vinegar. Use tamari instead of soy sauce, because it uses alcohol as a preservative instead of sodium benzoate. Look for frozen shrimp using only salt as a preservative. Simply Natural Organic sriracha is additive-free.

The salad is tossed with a tamari-ginger dressing

Japanese-style shrimp salad


1/3 cup (85 ml) mayonnaise

3 tbsp (45 ml) tamari or soy sauce

3 tbsp (45 ml) rice vinegar

2 tbsp (30 ml) sesame oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) canola oil

½ tsp (2.5 ml) finely chopped fresh ginger

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) sugar

1 ½ lb. (680 g) peeled, deveined and cooked large shrimp

3 romaine lettuce hearts, chopped

2 avocados, cubed

2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

¼ cup (60 ml) thinly sliced scallions

Sesame seeds for serving

Sriracha for serving (optional)

Lime wedges, for serving


Stir mayonnaise, tamari, vinegar, oils, ginger and sugar in a large bowl.

Add shrimp and lettuce; toss to coat.

Top with avocados, cucumbers and scallions. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle with sriracha, if using. Serve with lime wedges. Serves 4.

From Real Simple

Here’s another recipe that uses staples from the pantry and freezer. Brown sliced sausage and garlic, add orzo and cook for a few minutes. Add broth, tomatoes and spices and simmer for about 9 minutes. Scatter shrimp and peas over orzo, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes and serve. Cook’s note: I had some leftover cooked chicken, so I added that to the sausage and heated it through.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Free From hot Italian sausages and Imagine Organic chicken stock. Unico or Blue Menu tomatoes are additive-free. Check the spices for colour and anti-caking agents. Look for frozen shrimp with only salt added.

Brown sausage

Add orzo

Add tomatoes, stock and spices

Once orzo has absorbed liquid and is tender, top with shrimp and peas, cook for 5 minutes and then let rest off the heat for 5 minutes before serving


1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil

8 ounces (226 g) cooked hot or sweet Italian chicken sausage, cut into ¼ -inch- (0.6-cm) thick rounds

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ cups dried orzo pasta (10 ounces/285 g)

2 cups (500 ml) low-sodium chicken broth

1 (14.5-ounce/428 ml) can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon (5 ml) smoked paprika

¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) kosher salt, divided

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper, divided

8 ounces (226 g) uncooked peeled and deveined large shrimp, thawed if frozen (26 to 30 shrimp per pound)

½ cup (125 ml) frozen peas

2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh parsley leaves


Heat oil in a 9- or 10-inch (23-25 cm) cast iron or straight-sided skillet over medium until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.

Add the orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes and their juices, paprika, ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of the salt and ¼ (1.25 ml) teaspoon of the pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook, undisturbed, until the orzo is almost al dente, the liquid has reduced by about half, and there is tight, rapid bubbling, 7 to 9 minutes. Meanwhile, pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and season with remaining ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) each salt and pepper.

Scatter the shrimp and peas over the orzo, cover, and cook until the shrimp are pink and opaque, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to rest, covered, for 5 minutes, allowing any residual liquid in the skillet to be absorbed. Top with the parsley and serve. Serves 4.

From Kitchn