Friday, October 12, 2012

columbus day weekend

Cabin, Columbus Day

Columbus Day weekend up at the lake!

Squam, Columbus Day

Caitlin got the fire going when necessary - it was certainly colder than last year - and I handled the cooking.

We started with that most autumnal of dinners, the roast chicken:

Chicken to be roasted
That's an eight pound chicken - don't be fooled by the enormity of my pan, which I've roasted turkeys and fresh hams in. It's covered in zaatar - sumac, thyme, and sesame seeds - and drizzled with a little olive oil, and resting on top of chunks of parsnip, celery root, and fennel.

Really, the parsnips were my favorite part here - sweet and rich and caramelized from roasting underneath the chicken. We had sides of freekeh cooked with garlic. Freekeh is similar to the marginally more common wheat berry, but the wheat is picked green, roasted in an open flame, thrashed, and sun-dried. The result is extremely flavorful and nutty - I wish I weren't out of it now!

Roast chicken with freekeh
Roast chicken with freekeh

Leftover chicken gave us a few more meals - to start with, I made a chicken stock from the bones and vegetable scraps (which wound up very dark because I cooked it down too far - the stove up there heats up much hotter than mine on low and medium), with bits of chicken, parsnip, celery root, kale, the leftover freekeh, and the drippings from the chicken.

Chicken soup with freekeh

Most of the rest of the chicken went into a chicken hash. I'd boiled potatoes ahead of time, let them cool, and chopped them into chunks - crisped them up in butter, added chopped cooked chicken, smoked mushrooms, and cream.

Yeah, smoked mushrooms: straight-up supermarket button mushrooms, marinated in olive oil and soy sauce for a day, smoked for half an hour.

Topped with a fried egg.

Chicken hash with smoked mushrooms

Other odds and ends.  Quince!  Quince - chopped, cored - covered in ginger beer and roasted, covered, until soft, then uncovered until the ginger beer got syrupy.

Roast quince with ginger beer
We had the quince with ice cream from Sandwich Creamery - both their cinnamon ice cream and their cranberry ice cream.

Finally, a Campari drink inspired by Dave Wondrich's Corn Goddess:

Pink corn juice drink
Roughly equal parts of strained corn juice, gin (The Botanist), Campari, and lime juice.

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