Monday, March 27, 2006

Sunday dinner

I'm big into my Sunday dinner. We used to have it at my parents' house every week, back when we lived in Salt Lake. That's probably the thing I miss most about living there.

I heard a great segment on A Chef's Table on NPR yesterday about Sunday dinner in an Italian family. I loved the description of the slow rhythm of the day, the flow of family into the house, the smells of food enticing all comers.

In a Mormon family it's a little different -- you usually have to spend some time away from the house, and consequently the food, before Sunday dinner. If you're on the afternoon schedule (1 to 4 p.m.) you probably make Sunday dinner in the crock pot, or a slow-roasted hunk of beef in the oven, or something like that.

Fortunately, we are on a permanent 10 a.m. schedule in our ward. To me, this is perfect. We share the building with the Spanish branch, and they prefer the afternoon schedule. They can have it, as far as I'm concerned. That way I have the afternoon free to cook.

Yesterday I dreamed up this combo. I think if I were doing it again I might try to add some kind of mint pesto. But it was pretty good the way it was. 3 simple recipes, just for you:

Roasted Chicken with Moroccan Spices

1 3-4 lb. chicken, washed and patted dry
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice

Heat oven to 375. Mix all your spices together in a small bowl. Loosen the skin of your chicken over the breast portion. Rub spices under skin. Make slits in the skin at the base of the chicken legs and rub some spices in there, too. Rub any remaining spices on top of the skin. Place chicken in a baking pan and cover with a loose tent of foil. Bake for 90 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15-30 more minutes, depending on whether your chicken is closer to 3 pounds or closer to 4.

Greekish Salad
Do this while the chicken is baking. Then go take a nap.

1 small head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 c black olives, drained
1 c cherry or grape tomatoes
1 small cucumber, sliced
1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper in 1/2 - 1" dice
1 small package feta cheese
2 tbsp cider vinegar (get unprocessed organic; it's SO good for you!)
2 tbsp water
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients.

Fruited Couscous
Do this after you take the foil off the chicken

1 box whole wheat couscous

1/2 c raisins, chopped
1/2 c dried apricots, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange

3 c water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

Combine fruits and citrus zests in a small bowl. Bring water, olive oil and salt to boil over high heat. Pour in couscous and stir to break up lumps. Add fruit mixture. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Leftovers make an excellent breakfast cereal with a little sugar and milk added!

By the way, every Conference Sunday the Spanish branch hosts a potluck at the stake center in between sessions. Can you spell excited? No? How about mole? I'll give you a hint: it starts with Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!


Bek said...

Uh, yummmmmmm

Now I am hungy

Ana said...

OH! I forgot to say you have to take the water OFF THE HEAT before you add the couscous! Burned couscous, BAD!

Thanks Bek, you hungy? Come Merced, I feed.

SalGal said...


Allison said...

Ooooh, this looks so good. And simple. I love Moroccan food. I just ate a nice big dinner and it's still making my mouth water. (We had homemade pizza with artichokes and tomatoes, salad with strawberries, bacon, parmesan and walnuts. Burp.)

I will make this. Oh yes, I will.

Allison said...

Also, I am jealous that your Spanish branch hosts a potluck with mole. Ours doesn't, or if they do, they never invited me.