Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Roasty Toasty

This post title has nothing to do with the roasty toasty feeling I got when we FINALLY had our first fireplace fire last night (It was 61 degrees F on Christmas eve! so the holidays didn't see a single fire).
I also woke up this morning to the first snowfall of 2015.  It was just starting to salt the yard in white when I woke up and it's continued all day tho. with minimal accumulation.

And, it's quite cold now - truly feels like winter.

What I actually mean by Roasty Toasty is a bit of kitchen talk here.  Do you roast? I mean vegetables?

To me, roasting veggies is like the cooking secret that makes superb vegetables seem almost too easy. If in doubt - roast it out!  I mean, I roast every vegetable I can and when I serve it the reviews are nothing short of rave.

What do I roast? Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Onions, Garlic, Broccoli, Zucchini, Eggplant, Squash, Potatoes, Peppers (yes, I know, some of those things are not technically a vegetable).  But seriously, there is no better taste than a roasted veggie.

I am not a big cooked carrot lover but roast me some carrots and I could eat a bushel.

Don't know how to roast - well here are few tips:

TIP#1: keep it simple
TIP#2: there aren't many rules and those that there are can be altered
TIP#3: don't be afraid to try
TIP#4: roast different types of veggies separately because some cook at a different speed

Last night I made roasted carrots, potatoes and onions to accompany our salmon.

Here's what I do:

Grab some carrots.  I find skinny ones work best.

Give their tops a chop.  I use my kitchen scissors.

Give them a little bath to free them of any excess earth.

Add them to a baking pan.  I have used cake pans, pie pans, cookie pans, jelly roll pans, etc.  I find they do best in metal.  I have also started using parchment paper and they work well on the paper which saves a bit on the cleanup as well.

Drizzle them with oil.  I'm sure you can experiment with oils, I tend to use Olive Oil.  And they don't need a ton, seriously just a drizzle.

Give them a bit of flavor.  For the carrots I simply ground some pepper and then ground some pink salt.

Since I also did potato and onion, I'll show you those as well.

Peel the onion and give it a rough chop.  I cut my potatoes randomly and try to keep the sizes similar.  I don't bother to peel the potatoes unless the outside is really bad looking or they are a bit older than they should be.  And any type of potato does fine - these are organic redskins.

For the onion, it was just oil and a tad bit of sea salt.

For the potatoes it was oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and a little dash of granulated garlic powder.

(by the way - the potatoes do well with all types of experimental flavors - I love to do them with curry powder or mexi-spices - just add whatever goes nicely with your dinner, I'm sure it will work).

Then, just pop them in the oven.

I usually put mine on convection roast but I've also done just the bake setting as well.  If I have to cook something other than the veggies at the same time, I adjust to make it all work but for the most part I roast at 425F.  I'd say 400F to 450F is all good.  I also try to keep the roasted veggies etc on the top rack but when I use convection it really doesn't matter.

I try to keep like veggies together because potatoes take longer than zucchini for instance and if they are all mixed together, it's harder to pull out the ones that are done.

Timer? Well, I rarely use one.  I just look at them from time to time.  I do usually pull them out about 10 minutes in and use a metal spatula to give them a shuffle and flip them over a bit.  I'd say around 20 mins is average, a bit less for zuchini, a bit more when it's potatoes.  And by the way- the browned and burned bits are super yummy so don't worry about them.  They add to the flavor!

At the end of their cooking time they should look a bit like this.  These guys all cooked for about the same time which wasn't much more than 20 mins.  And bonus that the salmon took about the same time in the rack below.

The dinner was DELISH and so easy!


Linda Gilbert said...

Cubed or crumbled Feta cheese added to the veggies is absolutely delicious too. Yours look yummy x

Amy at love made my home said...

I love roasted veggies! Nothing quite like them is there! xx

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