Herby roast chicken with a really good warm salad and salsa verde

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This one is a pretty good looking little dinner that would probably impress that love of your life/person of sexuality of your choosing that you are trying to convince that you would be a good sort to shack up with, and it is still easy enough for some one of your skill-set to put together… maybe… maybe not…

I made this with the love of my life in mind but the fact of the matter is that my Jennee is at work and it is just me and the smallish humans tonight, and let’s face it – they probably would’ve been heaps more impressed if I had made them burgers again.

I didn’t really think this one through properly, did I?

Not to worry.

This certainly wouldn’t be the first time.

No one ever accused me of being a smart man… or good looking… or a good lover even…

Every one always comments that I do have nice hand writing for a boy, though. They’ve always said that. That’s pretty nice, isn’t it?

Getting that salsa verde going. If you have never tried salsa verde before you are about to loose your shit

Salsa verde, apple cider vinaigrette and some other things in jars

A really nice looking chicken about to get a heap of love from the oven

That chook fresh from the chooky solarium

Those salad vegetables getting ready to join the party

It was reals good

HERBY ROAST CHICKEN WITH A PRETTY FUCKING GOOD WARMISH SALAD AND SALSA VERDE

(serves 4 – 6)

1 nicely grown chicken. You know, a chook that got to eat grass and grubs and shit
100g butter
1 handful fresh herbs – thyme, lemon thyme (you should try it), rosemary, sage and parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Salsa verde to serve

For the salad
4 medium kipflers or Dutch cream potatoes, boiled or steamed for 15-20 minutes until just cooked, cooled and then sliced into 1cm disks (you could defo use a cooked grain, sweet potato or some extra green vegetables if you don’t do potatoes)
200g green beans, halved
1 small head of broccoli cut into florets or 1 bunch of broccolini cut in half
50g (2 handfuls) leaf and/or herb mix
50g (1 handful) sunflower sprouts or whatever sprouts you can get hold of
2-3 radish, sliced thinly
A good splash of apple cider vinaigrette to dress
Salt and pepper

Rub chicken down with butter. Sprinkle with herbs and season with salt and pepper, ensuring that you put a little in its bot bot* too.
Roast in pre heated 180C (350F) oven for 1 hour or until cooked, basting with sexy-buttery-chickeny juices (I think I just drooled a little) every 15 minutes. Remove chicken from roasting pan and rest in a warm spot, loosely covered in foil for 10-15 minutes.
Add potatoes to oven pan and return to oven for 10 minutes. Add beans and broccoli to oven pan and return to oven for another 5 minutes. Chuck (place gently) all of the roasted vegetables into a large mixing bowl, add apple cider vinaigrette, leaves, sprouts and radish and toss gently until combined.
Now is a pretty good time to carve that chicken. Or, if you’re heaps slow at carving the chicken, maybe get someone else to do that while you sort the salad.
Get a handful of the salad-y stuff onto a plate, put a bit of chicken on the side, dress that chicken with a little salsa verde and eat it the heck in your face.
That’s some damn fine chicken.

*Bot bot; bottom. Anal cavity.

Coal roasted fish bruschetta AKA camp bruschetta

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fish bruschetta
Last week I was writing the roster at work, which is a pretty ordinary thing for someone in my position to be doing. It was going to be a pretty good one too – I had reined it back to a less-than-50-hour-week which is a more than acceptable working week for one who has chosen chef as their profession.

And then it turned into a really damn good roster really quickly.

I had completely erased my name from the graphy looking little timetable that was trying to tell me I would be attending work that next week. Bam. Gone.

“Yup. That was a heaps better idea,” my smart brains told me. “You should just piss off camping instead.”

“Brilliant,” I agreed, quickly realising that I was conducting one hell of a cracking monologue in front of the staff… again.

Not to worry. These guys have seen how much coffee I drink…. They’ve heard me talk of my carnie fetish… they knew what they were getting themselves in for when they signed up.

Before I knew it we were packing the car for the camping trip. We packed crocodile seeking missiles, a box jellyfish/ozone depletion full body protection suit, the really deadly snake deterrent, nuke ‘em from orbit tent mounted mosquito extermination technology and, of course, the drop bear trap. We never go camping with out a drop bear trap. The car was almost full but we still had just enough room for our prescription medication, a few amphetamines for who ever is on drop bear watch (they always attack at night or in the small hours of the morning) and enough rum to wash it all down.

That is what we did because that is how we go camping in Australia.

Once all of our nature defences were in place and we were high as a kite, we went fishing and caught ourselves a few plump flathead which we promptly cooked on the coals and camping-like-a-boss made them into some tasty assed fish bruschetta with herby salsa.

Get one of the kids to prep the fish. Try and disguise your shitty photo by making it black and white

Get one of the kids to prep the fish. Try and disguise your shitty photo by making it black and white

I could've eaten quite a few of these

I could’ve eaten quite a few of these


FISH BRUSCHETTA WITH HERBY SALSA

(serves 4 as a light meal)

2 whole fish (800g-1kg to give approx. 400g meat)
8 slices sour dough bread
1 small Lebanese cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
½ small white onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salsa verde (it would probably be pretty easy for you to make some before you leave)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

• Put everything except the fish and bread into a bowl, mix to combine and allow to macerate while you cook the fish.
• My fish went straight onto the coals of the campfire for 6-7 minutes each side and then we peeled the skin back and flaked the flesh off the bone with a fork. It was some seriously tasty shit. A little bit charred and smoky and still so damn moist thanks to the skin and scales – this is some seriously sexy business.
• Maybe you don’t have a campfire so you can get a similar result by wrapping your fish in foil and roasting them for 10-12 minutes at 200C.
• Now is a good time to toast your bread. You can toast bread right?
• To assemble drizzle the toasts with olive oil and then divide flaked fish between the 8 pieces. Top with salsa and spoon over salsa juices. Season with a little salt and pepper if it needs some.
• I cannot say enough how damn good this was.

My son Obi the kangaroo whisperer

My son Obi the kangaroo whisperer

Salsa verde… a green sauce for steak and chicken and just about anything

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Salsa verde.

Literally translated this means green sauce. No mention of rocket science here so it kinda implies that even you’re going to be able to pull this one off! Also, with it’s literal name, the initials GS could also stand for “good shit”, as this is well and truly what salsa verde is – the good shit! On a less than interesting side note, GS is also my initials. What does that mean? Most certainly eff all I would say…

This is another one of those things that I have spoken about previously. Many times in fact, but as it was in the days when the viewing audience for this blog was literally four people and one small goat it received minimal notice and even minimal-er props. One effing like was the only respect that post received, which was just not a good enough result to make me happy. I may have let it slide at the time but really I had no choice – I had an audience of four people and a fucking goat for goodness sakes. Now I have at least double that amount of subscribers so I have decided it’s time to try again. I have blatantly pulled this little recipe from a post I wrote many, many months ago with absolutely no concern for the people that will point at me in the street and label me a slack, uncreative blahdy blahdy wah wah. Those people can lick things that aren’t an actual lollipop.

Salsa verde has more applications than the milk crate in student housing. Try these on for size;
• Sauce for the roast chicken I cooked last week, steak, pork, fish, all the meats really
• Dressing for a mixed grain, corn and kale salad
• Toss through pasta and top with parmesan for #easytastygood
• Use it to finish braised dishes like shanks or ox tail
• Spread it on grilled sour dough for herby bruschetta-y goodness
• Just put it on whatever. It’s really good

Herby goodness from 5 meters out the back door

Herby goodness from 5 meters out the back door

Blitzy blitzy

Blitzy blitzy

Serve it with everything

Serve it with everything


SALSA VERDE (green sauce)

2 cups each picked parsley, mint, basil and rocket (all from the back garden like a baws)
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon capers and the vinegar they live in
1-2 anchovies, or not if you are vegetarian
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup light olive oil or something less fruity

• Blitz all ingredients except oil in a food processor or blender, or bash them in a mortar and pestle until they are a smooth paste
• Slowly add oil while still mixing to emulsify
• Season*
• Mmmm

*Seasoning in cooking is a biggie. It’s not one of those things you can “just not worry about”. It is quite often what separates the home kitchen from the commercial. Seasoning. Salt and pepper. Essential to heighten taste and enhance flavour. Get into the habit of checking your seasoning. Do it now!

Herby lemony garlic really good roast chicken

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really good sunday roast chicken
Today, I think we can all agree, is Sunday. A day synonymous with relaxing, god and the Sunday roast. I am going to help you out with a recipe for a really good roast chicken, the relaxing and god things you’re going to need to sort out for yourself. I could say it’s the best roast chicken but my tastes will sometimes change more often than my underwear (yeah, like twice a week), so I will say this was a really good roast chicken that I wanted at the time besides, I’m sure there are at least a few celebrity chefs out there who have the copy right on claims “the best ever”… wait a minute…

When I made this chicken it was Thursday. I know that Thursday is not Sunday but my face wanted roast chicken. Plain and simple, my face really just wanted roast chicken.

I had spent 10 hours in the kitchen prepping for a party we were catering for, but I really needed to spend that little bit of extra time getting a roast chook on for dinner.

I’ve told you before, my face is a needy little bitch when it decides it wants something, and this occasion was no different.

I had a few bits and pieces floating around the kitchen, so I was pretty confident… or over confident… or just pretty happy with my own abilities, that I would be able to pull this one off. And no, that is not a lead in line because as you know, once I paint a picture for you, you cannot physically un-see it. It shall be with you forever and, quite frankly I have grown to like you and I don’t think that’s anything you deserve ☺.

Load the chicken up with the herby garlic lemony goodness

Load the chicken up with the herby garlic lemony goodness

Dana is not going to be happy with this photo. Not enough day light. Well Dana, there's not enough bloody day light in the day at the moment so this is all I got

Dana is not going to be happy with this photo. Not enough day light. Well Dana, there’s not enough bloody day light in the day at the moment so this is all I got


HERBY LEMONY GARLICY REALLY GOOD ROAST CHICKEN (Serves 4 or so)

1 chook, chicken, buk buk burguuuuk. Free range. We all use free range now right? Size 16 is good
5 cloves garlic, smashed roughly
¼ preserved lemon, flesh removed, chopped
1 handful each fresh thyme and tarragon
1 teaspoon coriander seed, crushed
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil or pork fat

• Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl and rub them together a little
• Put the chicken into a baking dish
• Pour the herb mix over the chicken and rub them a little more. Massage it a little and get it into all the little nooks and crannies. Yes, even into the chooks bottom
• Roast at 180-200C for about an hour, basting with the pan juices a couple of times during the process
• Check the chicken is cooked by gently pulling the leg away from the body
• Rest chicken for 10-15 minutes
• Carve and eat it with the roasting juices salsa verde for a little something different. I’ll tell you all about salsa verde very soon my friends

Simple chorizo, chickpea and corn soup

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This soup is simple. It is simple like the child of two cousins. Even if you are one of those less fortunate people who seem to display an unbridled level of devotion to the ancient art of fucktardery (when clearly your energy could be more wisely spent on the lesser arts of tapestry, or possibly midget throwing) you can make this soup. Even if you think you don’t have the time for cooking soups, you too can make this soup. I would suggest, that with the impending winter chill, you go out and buy yourself a slow cooker and chuck all the ingredients into that bad boy when you go to work in the morning and treat yourself to the beautiful chorizo-y smelling house and a great dinner when you arrive home… just pick yourself up a loaf of crusty bread and maybe a few homeless people to share it with on the way home…

I’m sure I have mentioned my views on the helping hand a good smoked sausage can lend to just about any meal… and I’ve harped on sufficiently about the powers of a good salsa verde… what more could you really want?

Foodisthebestshitever. Promoting easy-good!

A good start for your salsa verde… straight from the garden, I might add (yes, I am a wanker)

A good start for your salsa verde… straight from the garden, I might add (yes, I am a wanker)

A good start for any soup

A good start for any soup

A good dinner for me

A good dinner for me

Chorizo, chickpea and corn soup (for 4)
3 smoked chorizo sausage, diced
2 brown onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
5-6 ripe tomatoes, diced, or 1 400g tin diced tomato
2 cobs corn, kernels sliced from the cob
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon paprika (hot or mild or smoked. Whatever takes your fancy)
1 400g tin chickpeas, drained
1.25lt stock or water if that’s all you’ve got… or sand if you don’t have any water
Seasoning
Olive oil
Salsa verde and crusty bread to serve
• Sauté the vegetables and spices in a little olive oil for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are starting to soften and the chorizo is getting a little colour on it and is painting all of it’s lovely fatty red juices upon the canvas that is this soup
• Re-read that last sentence and then ask yourself this question, “Why the hell am I still reading this bollocks?”
• Add remaining ingredients, season and simmer for 30 minutes
• Check seasoning, get those homeless peeps cleaned up and ready for dinner and eat, garnished with a splash of salsa verde and a pile of crusty bread…

Some fried tortilla crisps could also find a happy home in this soup. As would some sour cream… shredded chicken… a little pickled chilli… avocado… feta…

Pork fillet with lentils, tomato and salsa verde

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The rains are coming down noisily in our (yeah, we’ve claimed them now) not-so-long-ago tranquil Northern Rivers. There has still been a lot of heat getting about the place, but right now the heavens they are emptying their bladder that’s for sure.

These rains have made me think back to a dinner I cooked up late a few nights ago. That dinner is something that I think I would like to be eating tonight, but the thing is, I already ate it some nights ago and I don’t have the ingredients needed to cook it now. So in lieu of the things I may need to cook past dinner I have a pot of chicken ribollita on the stove as we speak… but that mere technicality is not going to stop me from telling you about my past dinner. The dinner that I want to have tonight. The dinner that haunts my memories and dreams. The dinner that was pork fillet with tomato, lentils and salsa verde.

But please don’t misunderstand me right now, I am a huge fan of ribolitta. It is definitely up there with my top three rainy day meals. Cool? Cool. I just really want that pork fillet again…

On with the story of the past tense dinner that I already ate.

I wont lie to you. When I cooked this meal I had consumed more than 1 alcoholic beverage. Details may be scant and very possibly untrue, but I shall soldier on in the name of freedom and a good story… foodisthebestshitever does that thing it does again.

As I ate that porky goodness I remember it being a lot more tender then I thought it would. It was pork fillet glory! I won’t pretend to remember every single drunken intuitive thing I put in it, but it was good… damn good. Tender, quick, magnificent and porky all in one little package. Aka my dinner. That’s all. I’m pretty sure it went a little something like this…

Cook the pork

Cook the pork

Cook the tomato and lentil sauce

Cook the tomato and lentil sauce

Add the pork to the tomato and lentil sauce

Add the pork to the tomato and lentil sauce

Put it in an old skool bowl and eat it in your face

Put it in an old skool bowl and eat it in your face

Pork fillet, lentils, tomato and salsa verde
1 pork fillet, 500g (ish). Cut that into 2-3 manageable pieces
1 brown onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 anchovy fillets
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 400g tin of French lentils
1 400g tin of crushed tomatoes or tomato passata
A splash of white wine
Salsa verde to serve (recipe can be found here)
• Season the pork fillet all over. Cook it in a pan with a splash of oil over a med-high heat. You want to get it nicely coloured but not fully cooked through. 2-3 minutes each side should be good
• Remove pork fillet and leave to rest
• To make the sauce put the pork pan back onto a medium heat. Add a little more oil to the pan and sauté onion, carrot, garlic and anchovies. Once starting to brown and stick a little, deglaze pan with a splash of wine. Add herbs and tomato and cook out on a low heat for 20 minutes, adding a splash or two of water if the sauce starts to get too thick.
• Add lentils and cook out for another five minutes
• Slice the pork fillet into 2cm medallions and add them to the sauce. Simmer for another five or so minutes, stirring regularly and ensuring pork medallions are being turned
• Once pork is done it’s time to serve (feel free to check the pork is done by slicing a couple of pieces open)
• Serve, maybe in an antique bowl, with salsa verde and some kind of bread product

Feeling saucy…

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You saucey little minx…

This morning I sent out an APB to my fellow chef and long time friend Pauly regarding a post I wanted to do about my favourite sauces, and inviting him to be part of the spectacular. He cordially accepted my invitation and went on to write an absolute cracker of a story about sauces complete with moistness references as would be expected. Covering all the points that needed to be covered one might say.

So what does that leave me with? Not much actually. Just a pair of mittens hand knitted be my pet carnie, a lame reference to a saucy little minx, and three sauces that I would consider to be right up there on the top of my list right now. The reason I say they are at the top of my list right now is because that list changes from time to time. I like to keep things fresh you know? I am air wick… I am the lavender in your grandma’s undies drawer… I am a white Will Smith… I am… grasping at straws.

You heard it straight from the source (finally got a decent pun in there!).

Salsa Verde

This is the original OG all time favourite for me. It changes a little bit from time to time depending on what’s thriving in our garden so don’t be afraid to adjust the quantities or type of herbs according to your taste. Do be afraid of dragons though, them and centaurs.

Salsa verde goes kick-ass with pretty much anything you want to put it with; pork belly, steak, chicken, fish, pasta and your girlfriend’s breasts.

1 cup each picked parsley, mint, basil and rocket
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon capers and the vinegar they live in
1-2 anchovies, or not if you are vego or one of those strange people who just doesn’t like anchovies
1 cup olive oil

  • Put everything except oil into a food processor or blender. Blitz and add oil slowly. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary
  • This will last for a few days in the fridge no probs

Chimmichurri

This is my second favourite sauce of all time, which was the only reason I needed to put it second on the list. It is probably becoming quite apparent that I do have a penchant for fresh herby dressings and this one has the extra kick of a bit of chilli heat to weed out the men from the boys, and the bearded ladies from the carnies. This steak sauce may have originated in Argentina, but now it is destined for my belly.
2 cups each picked oregano and parsley
3 long red chilli, seeds in if you like it hot, chopped roughly
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
Salt

  • Same method as the salsa verde folks

Romesco

This is a cracking sauce for seafood of any description and I love seafood so I love this sauce and it loves me.

6 red capsicum

3 ripe tomatoes

4 long red chilli

20 cloves garlic

3 slices day old bread (sour dough is good), crusts removed

1 cup whole blanched almonds

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

  • Preheat oven
  • Season capsicum, tomatoes, chilli and garlic and roast with a splash of olive oil at 240C for 10 minutes
  • Add bread and almonds and roast for a further 3 minutes
  • Push garlic out of skins, peel capsicum and chilli, deseed chilli’s if you don’t like it hot
  • Blitz with pan juices and vinegar until smooth
  • Emulsify remaining oil slowly into sauce
  • Check seasoning
  • Have a big fat pile of seafood ready to go!

You could easily halve any of these recipes for a single meal but they never last very long around these parts.

Feeling saucy? I know I am…

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