New Favorites

This week, we found a new favorite food writer & a new beloved food.

Clotilde: Chocolate & Zucchini  

Clotilde, a Parisian, has some sass, flexibility and passion in her approach to food and eating seasonally.  She provided us with beautiful inspiration in this mid-winter period when at some moments we pine for summer’s veggies and at other moments we delight in the cold temps and what that offers in the kitchen.  She writes in English & French…so you can enjoy and/or challenge your brain.

A bit of what caught us….

“I used to think winter produce was drab, and that the cook’s only option was to wait the cold months out, squinting into the distance, longing for asparagus and strawberries to appear. Now I can’t imagine how I could ever be so blind: what of mâche and winter squash, what of endives and leeks and chard, what of carrots and beets? Do they count for nothing?

This salad (Carrot & Beet, recipe below) is based on a simple deduction: grated carrots rule and, although that is a much more hush-hush fact, so do grated beetroots. Ergo, the combination of the two is a civil union made in heaven.  Plus, I’m lazy, and crudivorism is the path of least resistance from basket to mouth.”

To read the rest of her thoughts on the Carrot & Beet Salad or other pieces check out her site.

Stewing Hens.

Using Schmaltz from the Stewing Hens to roast turnips

I now believe they need another name.  Perhaps bringers of golden, delicious, beautiful fat.  Ok, that isn’t that good either. I had been of the opinion that they’ll make good stock, but not quite a match for our juicy, roasting birds.   In truth, they rise above, though in a different category.    Mari has been on the stock/soup making kick putting a few stewing hens in a pot and letting them slowly cook, then pulling major meat off and putting the bones back in.

Regardless of how you do it, the most amazing golden yellow fat rises to the surface.  So clear, radiant and beautiful.  It reminds us of the color of our egg yolks.  Clearly, these hens are concentrating some delicious nutrition from the pasture, hay and organic grain and offering it back to us.   I just stood in the kitchen amazed by it and forced every visitor to view it.

We’ve skimmed it off for roasting veggies and even a turkey!  Then the stock is amazing as well.  The perfect base to any soup or stew.

And as Jennifer McLagen (Chef & Food Writer), reminds us, “all poultry fats are mainly monounstaurated…and the chief fatty acid in poultry fat is oleic acid, well known for its beneficial effects on cholesterol.  And if the birds eat grass and weeds, their fat has a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids, too.”   She goes on to note that the benefits of poultry fats are part of the French Paradox – that despite consuming large amounts of animal fats, they have lower heart disease.

Thanks Jennifer.  Now we can eat well with too much guilt.