Find us on Google+ cooking lounge * FOOD * LIFESTYLE * MUSIC *: February 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

Roast Chicken and Garlic Mashed Potatoes


A Whole Roast Chicken is a good food benchmark for many people around the world
The crisp, slightly salty skin, the slick chicken fat, juicy meat, herbs and spices add gravy and mashed potatoes, for so many a sigh inducing combination (familiar, satisfying). 

The Daily Mail ran a huge airy, winding piece on Nigella Lawson, breaking into the U.S. market and promoting her new book, "Nigellissima: Instant Italian Inspiration.The DM article is an entertaining read for a lazy Sunday morning, with the right mix of food, drama, and plain old common sense. It is understandable why, posh, wealthy and yet relatable, Nigella is revered as a goddess in the U.K. As her parting comment, sexy Nigella served up some knowledge with no-nonsense advice about the lusciousness of a classic simple meal. 
"...‘Comfort food is comfort food wherever you are and it always comes down to roast chicken and mashed potatoes in the end." Nigella Lawson
There are infinite tasty ways to roast chicken and prepare potatoes. Once you have the basics mastered, experiment with flavors, tailor recipes to your taste or even a theme.

Inspired by Nigella Lawson, Cooking Lounge pulled together an impromptu dinner party: Roast Chicken, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Sauteed Green Beans.

Called friends. Popped into the butcher. Picked up veges at the produce stand.  Gathered in Brooklyn, at a Dumbo loft near the East River. It all seemed to fall into place effortlessly, the perfect meal to wind down the weekend, with the potluck additions of red wine and craft beer, cheese, cupcakes, Italian chocolate, and a Latin mother's holiday concoction - rum, coconut milk and condensed milk - shared with good friends. A sumptuous dinner party pulled together without much fuss or expense. 
Whole Roast Chicken was the very first Cooking Lounge post
Click here for a Cooking Lounge guide for the classic comfort food dish in our launch post.

Cooking Lounge

Friday, February 1, 2013

Capri Salsa Fresca with Culantro - Super Bowl Recipes

Chips and Salsa are a nationwide Super Bowl tradition. 

Tortilla Chips have been mass produced since the 40's, first for the West Coast Mexican food market, and then, the national food market, starting in the 70's. Chips and Salsa are standard fare from Mexican restaurants to Sports bars. Doritos are probably the best known tortilla chip although many more varieties are available. Epicurious rated Bachman Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips #1. Check-out the list. Try one of Epicurious' recommended tortilla chips with Cooking Lounge's Capri Salsa Fresca with Culantro.

Cooking Lounge came across Capri Tomatoes that were priced to move. Ripe and sweet, the Capri Tomatoes were better suited for sauce over slicing. Also, on hand in the kitchen was culantro, a variation of cilantro, used extensively in Dominican and Latino cooking. Culantro is also known as recao, long-leafed herb, spiritweed, wild or Mexican coriander, saw leaf herb and a host of other names around the world.  Culantro has a robust, distinct cilantro flavor. Remember, be inventive; use what you have on hand. Usual, everyday dishes can become new stars of your culinary repertoire. 

Salsa Fresca is quick and easy. With chips, it is ideal for a Super Bowl party or a fresh healthful snack for family and friends. Salsa Fresca with Culantro is excellent on grilled chicken, fish or eggs, too. So, save some salsa to make an ordinary dish a little extraordinary.

Cooking Lounge gives guides more than exact recipes. Play with ingredients. Try colorful heirloom tomatoes as an extra special treat, for example.

Capri Salsa Fresca with Culantro
2lb ripe Capri Tomatoes, diced (make quarters then slice in half)
2 tbs fresh Culantro, finely chopped
2 Jalapenos, finely chopped
3 Scallion, finely chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 tsp Lime Zest
1tbs Lemon juice
1tbs Lime juice 
Salt and Pepper to taste

Ripe Tomatoes have high liquid content so pour off some of the tomato juice before adding the citrus juices and reserve (throw into a stock or a sauce; no need to waste).

Mix well. Ready to serve but better flavor if Salsa Fresca with Culantro sits in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

Cooking Lounge

photos: wbj