DATE NIGHT!!! Roast Chicken and Fingerling Potatoes, and Beet Cakes

Every Friday night that it’s feasible, Matt and I have a date night. We stay in and cook a nice meal complete with dessert, and just hang out together all evening. I came up with this idea and started it a few months ago, ended up taking a break from them in the weeks leading up to vacation in Belize, and last night we were finally able to start doing them again! It’s very fun, and gives us something to look forward to all week. And since I always end up doing work on weeknight evenings and weekends, I don’t feel bad about taking part of Friday afternoon off to make something nice. Last night our whole dinner plus dessert came from one cookbook, “Dinner at My Place” by Tyler Florence. It was really easy to put together and tasted delicious. Pair it with a nice Chardonnay!

ROAST CHICKEN WITH LEMON, GARLIC AND HERBS

Ingredients:
1 4-5 lb whole chicken
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 lemon, halved
1 garlic head, but in half through its equator
4 to 5 fresh bay leaves
1/2 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
EVOO
1 recipe Lemon Roasted Fingerling Potatoes (recipe to follow)

Directions:

Season chicken cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with lemon halves, garlic halves, bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Brush outside with EVOO and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Truss the chicken with kitchen string. To do this, you just cut a decent sized length of string, center the back of the bird on it, wrap it around the wing so they’re close to the breast, then bring the string around to tie the legs together. I’ve seen them do it all pretty on Food Network, and mine did not look like theirs, but it accomplished its mission: which is making sure the chicken cooks evenly.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place potatoes in the bottom of a baking dish. Place the chicken on top and cook in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours, or until juices run clear and a meat thermometer registers about 170 F in the breast.

LEMON ROASTED FINGERLING POTATOES

Ingredients:
2 lbs fingerling potatoes
1/4 cup EVOO
1 fresh rosemary sprig, leaves only
2 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only
1 to 2 lemons, cut into quarters
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

*Note: I used only 1 lb of potatoes (plenty for 2 people) and only 1 lemon

Directions:

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Spread them in a single layer into the baking dish you’re using to cook everything. Drizzle with oil, then sprinkle the rosemary and thyme leaves over them. Add the lemon wedges, then sprinkle salt and pepper over all. Toss together, then place the chicken over them and cook according to the directions above.

BEET CAKES WITH SWEETENED GREEK YOGURT

These are a great healthy dessert and they are not overly sweet. I halved the recipe for the sweetened yogurt and it was fine. These have a great texture and a really interesting flavor. It was unlike any other cake I’ve ever tasted before!

Ingredients:
Cooking spray or butter for greasing pans
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbs pomegranite molasses or regular molasses
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups finely chopped, peeled beets (about 2 big ones)
For the Yogurt:
2 cups unsweetened Greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease four 8-oz ramekin dishes. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Mix molasses, eggs, buttermilk, oil and brown sugar together in a separate bowl.

Peel beets with a knife. Add them to a blender or food processor for a fine chop.

Mix the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture, then fold in the beets. Set baking dishes on a cookie sheet. Divide batter evenly among the four ramekins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes (this is what the recipe states – my cakes took about 40 minutes).

Make the yogurt mixture by combining all ingredients in a bowl. When ready to serve, top each cake with a swirl of yogurt to garnish.

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About jwall915

I love to cook and I love to travel! This blog explores my love of both. I share recipes and restaurant reviews, and I blog the trips I take.
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