Cooking in Quarantine: A Few of My Favorite Things

If nothing else, this time in isolation has allowed me to reconnect with some of my favorite products and recipes.

First up: Harissa Paste IMG_5546

There are a number of brands out there, but in my opinion, this is the best. Harissa is a North African paste of blended chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and aromatic spices like cumin and coriander. New York Shuk is not spicy, just super flavorful. My local Fresh Market carries it, but you can also order it here.

It is extremely versatile as a marinade, addition to burger patties, salad dressing ingredient, and pretty much anything 🙂

I made Food and Wine’s Rosy Harissa Chicken the other night using New York Shuk as my base. I mixed it with whole greek yogurt and marinated the chicken overnight…it was a good choice. I did omit the rose petals and just used smoked paprika as the drub seasoning. It was juicy and delicious!

Next Up: Gremolata

It sounds fancy, but really it is some fresh herbs, lemon zest, and olive oil at its base. I really like the one Food and Wine does with its Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder recipe. It adds in apple cider vinegar, grated garlic clove, and crushed red pepper- I think these help make the gremolata the perfect accompaniment for anything from slow-roasted meats to whole fish.  I made the lamb recipe above, but subbed in pork roast since TFM was out of lamb. You could also do this with a chuck roast or whole roasted chicken and it would be equally delicious.

IMG_5097

Bringing up the Rear: Whole Roasted Fish

Daunting, right? Not really, if you have a good fish monger. I love Buddy Gandy’s Seafood in Panama City, Florida. They are a short drive across the bridge for me, and worth every minute. The catch is always fresh, and the people that work there know fish. I purchased a beautiful whole red snapper and asked them to clean, and scale it. In less than five minutes I had a perfect fish for roasting.

As you can see, I cut some slits in the flesh and stuffed them with flat leaf parsley, lemon, and garlic. I lined a sheet pan with parchment paper, threw some cherry tomatoes, lemon wheels, and brussels sprouts on and then baked it all at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Easy dinner!

All three of these are very versatile and require little prep. Step out and try something new while we are all #stayinghome!

Stay Safe and Cook On!

Other Posts in the Quarantine Series:

6 thoughts on “Cooking in Quarantine: A Few of My Favorite Things

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