roasted

Pancetta-wrapped Cod

Flaky cod fish wrapped in ​salty, rich pancetta and roasted in the oven sounds like a pretty winning dish on many accounts. Fish is healthy. Pancetta is tasty and crispy. Clean up would be a snap. This version was pretty good but was a bit overcooked and the pancetta was not as crispy as I would've liked. I blame it on the pancetta that was a bit too thick. I guess you can have too much of a good thing. I think with some pancetta or bacon that was cut thinner, this would, indeed, be a winning dish.

Pancetta-wrapped Cod

Honey-soy roasted chicken wings


Who can resist a big plate of chicken wings? No one! Well, except for vegetarians, maybe. I think the best way to prepare chicken wings is to deep fry them. The combination of crispy exterior and juicy meat that results from a stint in the deep fryer can't be beat. Grilling the wings is also a great method. I employed neither of those cooking methods for this recipe. I employed my trusty oven to roast them for an easier weeknight preparation.

Honey-soy roasted chicken wings

Roasted edamame

If you didn't already know, I am a huge fan of oven-roasting food. Vegetables, especially, turn out really well after a spell in a hot oven, covered in olive oil, salt and pepper. The flavors concentrate. The exterior in caramelized. The results are delicious. 

Roasted edamame

Roasted chicken dinner

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If I asked you what the first thought that comes to your mind when I say,"Sunday night dinner," what do you think your reply would be? If I was a betting man (and I have been known to be), I'd wager that you'd say, "roasted chicken." Roasting a chicken is simultaneously the simplest of cooking endeavors as well as one of the most daunting. There are numerous techniques involving high heat or rotating or basting or putting butter under the skin or brining or standing on it on end with things shoved into it...you get the picture. So for tonight's version of roasted chicken, I decided to go with a super-simple method.

Roasted chicken dinner

Roasted cauliflower, chicken cutlets, cucumber-tomato salad

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If you saw this plate of food, you would say that it's a chicken dish with a couple of sides. Technically, you'd be correct. However, I wanted to focus more on one of the sides. I wanted to talk about cauliflower. Specifically, roasted cauliflower. I like cauliflower well enough. It wouldn't crack my top ten vegetable list. But when you roast it and let it caramelize, and concentrate the flavor by letting it wilt down, it becomes one of the tastiest foods, vegetable or otherwise. So, it's by design that the cauliflower is front-and-center in my photo.

Roasted cauliflower, chicken cutlets, cucumber-tomato salad

Roasted sausage, potatoes and peppers

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I love to cook stuff on sheet trays in the oven. I love the concentrated, caramelized flavors that come out of a piping hot oven. I love that there are no pots and pans to wash. I love it when I line a tray with foil and all I have to do is pull the foil off and throw it away.

There are two things to remember when you make this kind of meal on a weeknight. The first thing is to have a really hot oven. If you're in the 300s, it's just not hot enough. I like to roast at 450°. The second thing to remember is to cut your ingredients thinly and uniformly. That way, the food will be cooked through as well as caramelized. On a tuesday night when you get home from work, you don't have time to roast anything nice and slow for an hour or more. 

Roasted sausage, potatoes and peppers

Grilled pork chops, roasted broccoli, Egelhoff potatoes

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Egelhoff potatoes, you ask? I'll get to those in a minute. 

This menu isn't an all-in-one weeknight wonder. But we can't always eat a one-pot thing every night. But the great thing about this menu is that there is really nothing to clean up even though you have to make 3 separate things. To me, that's huge! One of the reasons for minimal clean up is due to the technique of roasting vegetables. This menu took longer than the 30 minutes I shoot for but not too much longer. It was more like 45 minutes from start to finish. 

Grilled pork chops, roasted broccoli, Egelhoff potatoes

Sunday dinner

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Cooking dinner during the week is the challenge that I, as well as countless others, face on a regular basis. It is this challenge that often pushes us toward the convenient, the processed, the take-out menu. I don't consider any of those things to be bad things. However, when it is all you rely on, then you're not doing yourself any favors. Everything has a time and a place. I'm a firm believer in moderation. When I have the opportunity to not have to face that challenge, I relish it. That's why I love Sunday dinners. 

Sunday dinner