VICKSBURG LIVING: Simply spring recipes

Published 9:38 pm Friday, April 19, 2024

Strawberry Salad
3/4 cup toasted and salted pecans
12 ounces marinated, quartered artichoke hearts, drained
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
1-quart strawberries, stemmed and sliced
3/4 cup crumbled cheese, goat, feta, or bleu
Salad dressing to taste, balsamic vinaigrette, Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette, or poppyseed dressing.

Salad can be plated individually or served family style. For family style, in a large bowl, add spinach then top with other ingredients. Toss with choice of dressing before serving. For plated salads, distribute spinach, top with ingredients, and add dressing right before serving.

Roasted Chicken
1 roasting chicken, 5-6 pounds
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 stick butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
1 1/2 pound fingerling potatoes, cut lengthwise

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Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with half the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

Place the onions, carrots, fennel, and potatoes in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper and remaining sprigs of thyme. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

Easy Crème Brulé
2 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup granulated sugar for topping

In a small pot, heat cream over medium heat until hot but not boiling, small bubbles will appear just along the edge of the pot. Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and vanilla.
When the cream is hot, add it to the egg yolk mixture a little at a time, whisking well after each addition. Pour into four, 7-to-8-ounce ramekins, (wider and shallower is better if you have them). Place filled ramekins in a large baking dish and fill the baking dish with hot water so that it comes 3/4 of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to get any water in the custard.
Bake at 325 degrees for 30-45 minutes. This will depend on how deep the custard is. (Smaller ramekins, deeper custard equals longer bake time). The top will appear set but underneath it will still jiggle. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least two hours until chilled.
Sprinkle each custard with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and torch until caramelized. Serve immediately or chill to serve later.

Old Fashioned
2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
1/4 ounce simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange peel or Luxardo or Maraschino cherry, for garnish

Add simple syrup and bitters to a rocks glass. Fill the glass with ice and stir to combine. Add the bourbon or rye and stir for about 30 seconds to chill and dilute. Garnish with orange peel and cherry.