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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Herbes de Provence

OK, I know I promised pickles today, but I'm using a new recipe that requires a 24 hour soak in a brine in the ' tomorrow you will see pickles!
Today was a pretty busy day, so I sort of skimped on the whole breakfast and lunch thing. A couple of cups of Joe and I'm ready to go, right? Hot, black, dark roast coffee chugged and I'm good for a couple of hours.Well, maybe 3 cups...
 I think I made sense when I spoke at Masses today...although, I'm pretty sure the people at the Spanish Mass were looking at me with sympathy instead of enthusiasm. Oh well, I gave it my best! As usual...
Anyhow, I decided that I deserved a delicious, home cooked dinner, since I will be rather busy the rest of this week and next weekend. I'll be working some late nights and I'll be on retreat next weekend, so dinner will be either leftovers or something from the freezer. Sorry, Kevin. I'll cook next Sunday night after I get home from the Catechist Retreat :)
I was browsing the internet for inspiration and I saw something that had 'herbes de provence' as an ingredient. I thought about a gift my brother and his wife (Gene & Carla) brought me home from France in 1993 after their was a grinder for 'herbes de provence' full of the delicious herbal blend. I remember how excited I was because I wanted to use something in my cooking from France...anyhow, I saved the grinder, even though the 'herbes' were long gone, so today, when I saw the recipe, I actually dug it out!
So, I perused the recipe for 'herbes de provence' and discovered that I had everything except savory. OK, who grows savory? Not me...anyhow, I added a little more sage and thyme and voila! Herbes de Provence!
Very important- use all dried herbs...not fresh. 
3 tablespoons oregano leaves (from my garden!)
3 tablespoons thyme leaves (from my garden!)
1 teaspoon basil leaves (from my garden!)
2 teaspoons rubbed sage (from my garden!)
2 tablespoons lavender flowers (from my garden!)
1 teaspoon rosemary (from my garden!)
2 crushed bay leaves
mix together and store in a cool, dry your spice jar drawer or cabinet.

The recipe was for a roast chicken with roasted potatoes and sauteed haricot verts. Well, I was not about to go to the store for a whole chicken, so I made something different...sorta.
I also picked up some Inca Purple Potatoes at Mountain Valley Gardens on Friday- they apparently are growing really well here in the Basin and will be added to the rest of the potato crop by local farmers. Mountain Valley had very good prices on a lot of produce, so I grabbed the purples and some locally grown red potatoes, as well as some enormous peaches.
The purple potatoes are really nice- I peeled one and it is really a dark purple...
So I took a couple of chicken tenders, chopped them into chunks and tossed them with a little EVOO and a few grinds of the herbes de Provence. Then, I chopped a couple of cloves of garlic and added it to a medium heat cast iron skillet with some canola oil and let them cook for a minute- then I added the chicken and let it brown. I tossed the chicken and added the potatoes, a couple more grinds of the herbes de Provence and a handful of frozen artichoke hearts. I tossed this all around until everything was fragrant and starting to brown up nicely, then added a pinch of kosher salt and 1 cup of sauvignon blanc. I was drinking a dry white sauvignon blanc, so why not add it? I added a pat of butter and put it in a 400 degree oven to finish.

While it was in the oven, I tossed the Sungold and Sweet One Million cherry tomatoes I picked yesterday with a small Diva cucumber with a little salt, and I tossed the handful of green beans from the garden in some boiling water for oh, about 3 minutes, and drained them.

You can see how the Inca Purple potatoes retained their deep purple color. Dinner was delicious!

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