Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bilbo & Frodo's Birthday Dinner

Today, I let my nerd flag fly high! (again;)  I saw that today, would be Frodo and Bilbo's birthday, so what does a proper foodie nerd do?  Why have a celebratory dinner of course!  My husband said he would happily have the same dinner we did for our The Hobbit on DVD meal 'An Unexpected Dinner'.  I wanted new recipe for the blog, but I tried to stay pretty close menu wise to the last one.  So, found this recipe for Julia Child's favorite roast chicken on F & W, and this month's issue had these mushrooms sautéed in red wine, and since I omitted po-tay-toes from the last dinner, I chose these amazing looking potatoes from my pintrest side dishes to try board.  And of course cheese, (the same as last time, a English Double Gloucester  with chives) bread and pickles. The chicken was wonderful, juicy and perfect!  The potatoes were amazing and I nearly died of delight when I tasted the mushrooms!  We made Hobbits of ourselves.  I halved the potato recipe, but I should have made a whole batch, we loved them.  (well maybe they wouldn't reheat, but tomorrow the little bit of potatoes left are getting an over medium egg on them, and we will fight for who gets that as breakfast!  I love having these themed dinners.  So far we have done two hobbit dinners and one Skyrim dinner.  They are a blast!  We adults get to act kidlike and the kids get to play at dinner, and bonus, even picky eaters seem to try and like everything.  So, proudly wave your nerd flag and do a themed party people!

Julia's Favorite Roast Chicken

2 1/2 Tbl unsalted butter
1/3 Cup finely diced carrots
1/3 Cup finely diced onion
1/3 Cup finely diced celery
1 Tsp thyme savory or mixed herbs, or 2 fresh thyme
One 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken
Freshly ground pepper
Parsley stems
Celery leaves
Six 1/8-inch-thick lemon slices
1/2 Cup sliced onion
1/2 Cup sliced carrots
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
3/4 Cup chicken stock or broth

1. Preheat the oven to 425. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet.
Add the diced carrots, onion and celery and cook over moderate heat
until softened. Stir in the herbs.
2. Wash the chicken rapidly inside and out with hot water and pat
thoroughly dry. For easier carving, cut out and discard the wishbone.
Pull the neck skin up over the breast and secure it to the back with a
toothpick. Salt and pepper the cavity and spoon in the cooked vegetables,
a handful of parsley stems and celery leaves and the lemon slices.
Massage the chicken all over with 1 tablespoon of the butter, then truss
it. Alternatively, tie the ends of the drumsticks together and tuck the
wings under the body.
Choose a flameproof roasting pan that is about 1 inch larger than the
chicken. Salt the chicken all over and set it breast up on a rack in the
pan. (Thoroughly wash all surfaces and utensils that have been in
contact with the raw chicken.)
4. Roast the chicken in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, as
At 15 minutes Brush the chicken with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of
butter. Scatter the sliced onion and carrot all around. Reduce the oven
temperature to 350.
At 45 minutes Brush the lemon juice over the chicken. If necessary, add
1/2 cup of water to the vegetables to prevent burning.
At 60 minutes Baste with the pan juices. Test for doneness: The
drumsticks should move easily in their sockets; their flesh should feel
somewhat soft. If not, continue roasting, basting and testing every 7 to
8 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165.
5. Spear the chicken through the shoulders; lift to drain; if the last
of the juices run clear yellow, the chicken is done. Let rest on a
carving board for 15 minutes; discard the string.
6. Spoon all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the juices in the pan. Add the
stock and boil until lightly syrupy, 5 minutes. Strain; you will have
just enough to bathe each serving with a fragrant spoonful.

Oven Roasted Potatoes
Tbl olive oil
hickory smoked thick sliced bacon
Yukon Gold Potatoes
Clove garlic minced
Parmigiano-Reggiano freshly grated
coarse salt
fresh ground pepper
fresh parsley

Recipe and instructions here

Sautéed Mushrooms With Red Wine

1 Lb portobello mushrooms
6 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 leeks white and light green parts only, halved
2 garlic cloves minced
2 Lb mixed white button and cremini mushrooms, halved
2 thyme sprigs
1/2 Cup dry red wine
1 1/4 Cup vegetable broth
1/2 Tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1 Tbl dry Marsala
1 Tbl unsalted butter
1 Cup packed baby arugula

1. Preheat the oven to 350. On a baking sheet, brush the portobellos
with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake
for about 25 minutes, until tender; let cool slightly, then slice 1/2
inch thick.
2. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Add the leeks, garlic and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over
moderate heat until the leeks are just starting to brown, 7 minutes;
transfer to a bowl.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet. Add half of the button and
cremini mushrooms and a thyme sprig, season with salt and pepper and
cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and
browned, 8 minutes. Transfer to the bowl. Repeat with the remaining 2
tablespoons of oil, mushrooms and thyme sprig.
4. Return all of the cooked mushrooms to the skillet. Add the red wine
and cook until evaporated. Add the broth, lemon zest and lemon juice and
cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the mushrooms are coated in a
light sauce, 4 minutes. Stir in the Marsala and cook for 1 minute. Off
the heat, stir in the butter and arugula and season with salt and pepper.


  1. Love your nerd dinner party! I would have totally dressed up :P

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow