30 December 2013
Like I mentioned in last year's new year post, our new year eve's dinner in Turkey is a combination of thanksgiving and christmas customs. Roast turkey or chicken is the centerpiece, scattered around it are as many types of mezzes as possible, like hummus, russian salad, celery salad and savory pastries and the lights of the christmas tree blink in the background. I know, a little weird but we love it.
When last year, I made William Sonoma's bistro style roast chicken with potatoes and brussels sprouts and lemon meringue pie for new year's eve dinner, I was so impressed with the simplicity, practicality and the heartiness of the menu, while we were still at it, I was already planning the shoot for this year's post.
Other than the chicken and the pie, knowing that feeding the eye before feeding the stomach is essential in this special occasion, I added recipes of two of my most favourite starters, hummus and pastrami rolls.
And here that time of the year finally arrived and I must say that I am proud to have managed to post it before December 31st. You still have time to revise your menu for tomorrow so roll your sleeves already.
Have a smooth, healthy and gourmet (for whatever that means) year everyone!
Bistro-Style Roast Chicken
Recipe: The William-Sonoma Cookbook: The Essential Recipe Collection For Today's Home Cook
- 1 whole organic chicken
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and fresh pepper
- fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs for decoration
1) Preheat the oven to 220 C/425 F. In a small bowl, mix together the chopped rosemary, garlic, butter, cayenne and season with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with the herb mixture and place it on an oiled rack over a roasting pan. Place brussels sprouts and parboiled potatoes into the roasting pan. If not roasting any vegetables, pour 1 cup of water into the pan to prevent the bottom from burning.
2) Roast the chicken for 45-50 minutes until golden brown. Baste it several times with the pan juices. The chicken is done when an instant thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 77C/170F and the juices runs clear when the thigh is pierced with a knife.
Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve on a bed of fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas or 400 gr canned chickpeas
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 pulverized red pepper
1) - If using dried chickpeas soak them in a bowl with twice as their volume of cold water, overnight. Boil them until tender, for about 30 minutes. Reserve a 1/2 cup from the boiling water and drain. Blend them in a food processor into a smooth paste with the reserved water.
- If using canned chickpeas wash and drain them. Blend them into a smooth paste with 1/2 cup of regular water.
2) Add tahini, garlic, lemon juice and salt to taste to the paste and blend again. Check the seasoning.
3) Transfer hummus into a flat serving plate. Sprinkle with sumac and cumin.
4) Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. When bubbles start to form add red pepper and cook until butter slightly browns. Drizzle hummus with the brown butter. Sprinkle with chopped parsley leaves.
Pastrami And Cheese Rolls
- 4 sheets of store-bought filo pastry, softened at room temperature
- 100-150 gr thinly sliced pastrami
- 200 gr mild gouda cheese or Turkish kashar cheese, thinly sliced
1) Preheat the oven to 180 C/350F. Line the oven tray with grease-proof paper.
2) Line a clean surface with plastic wrap film. Dust with flour and lay filo sheets horizontally and combine their edges to form a big rectangle. Dust the surface and roll with a rolling pin to flatten and to enlarge.
3) Arrange the cheese slices on the dough in one layer and top with the pastrami.
4) Roll the longer edge of the dough into a tight roll with the help of the plastic wrap. Cut it into 2 cm/0.7 inch thick slices. Lay them flat on the lined tray, leaving some space in between each roll. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry changes color.
Lemon Meringue Pie
- 20-22 cm/8 inch round baking tin
For the base:
- 200 gr (1.5 cup) flour, sifted
- 100 gr butter, softened at room temperature
- 100 gr (0.8 cup) powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
For the lemon filling:
- 50 gr (1/4 cup) caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon rind
- 1 cup cold water
For the meringue:
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon rind
- a pinch of salt
1) With a hand-held mixer whisk butter until creamy. Add flour and rub it into the butter in between your palms to obtain a crumbly mixture. Make a well in the centre, add egg, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
2) With a hand-held mixer or your hand, blend everything together to form a smooth and soft dough. Roll the dough into a ball. Flour your hands if the dough doesn't come off easily. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
3) Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F. On a clean, dusted surface, roll the dough into a 28 cm/11 inch diameter disk. With the help of a spatula, place the dough loosely on the baking tin and press gently into the bottom and the sides.
4) Pierce the bottom of the dough couple of times with a fork. Line the surface with a grease-proof paper and put a handful of dried chickpeas or beans for weight. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Leave to cool at room temperature.
5) In a sauce pan, mix sugar, cornstarch and lemon zest. Gradually stir in the lemon juice, followed by water. Bring it on medium heat and stirring constantly cook until thick and smooth. When it starts bubbling remove off the heat. Beat in the butter until the butter is melted.
6) In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks with milk and add it to the sauce pan. Return the pan to medium heat. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and set aside to slightly cool down for 10 minutes and pour it onto the cooled base.
7) Preheat your oven to 150 C/ 300 F.
8) Set your mixer to medium speed and whisk egg whites for 5 minutes, until soft peaks form. Add a pinch of salt. Set your mixer to highest speed and gradually add sugar, whisking for 5-8 minutes, until smooth and stiff. Check if sugar is completely dissolved by rubbing your fingers with meringue. Fold in the lemon rind.
9) Cover the pie with meringue and make small peaks with a spoon. Toast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until meringue turns light brown. (Alternatively, you can brown the meringue with a kitchen torch. If so, extend the baking period in step 4 to 30 minutes)
Serve at room temperature.