Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday night, Barefoot Contessa Style

I normally don't do chicken for Friday night because, to me, it just doesn't seem special enough. But I saw this recipe and it sounded good and different and with all the good reviews, I decided to make it. It's a Barefoot Contessa recipe (from the food network). With the chicken I decided on green beans and sweet potato fries. Appetizer was Spicy Cashews (we love our cashews) that is also a Barefoot Contessa recipe and for dessert I made a whole Coconut Cake and Homemade Chocolate Gelato, also Bearfoot Contessa recipes.

Spicy Cashews

The love of cashews started with the Mills Tavern bar. As I am sure I mentioned we always sit at the bar at restaurants, we think you get much better service and it's just more casual. The Mills Tavern serves these really good cashews at the bar and that's why I started off with this recipe (to bring us to the Mills Tavern in our minds). It's made by tossing together a Tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of chili powder and salt as needed with 3 cups of whole roasted cashews. You heat it all together in a saute pan for about 3 minutes, remove from the heat and serve. It happened to be a night that Tony's car pool buddy, Gerry, came in for a beer and he also enjoyed the cashews!

Indonesian Ginger Chicken, Sesame Green Beans and Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes
A whole chicken is cut up and marinated overnight with a combination of honey, soy sauce, 1/8 cup of minced garlic and 1/4 cup of grated fresh ginger. It's easy to make this for company because you prepare it ahead and just pop it into the oven for 30 minutes, remove the foil and turn over the chicken to cook 30 minutes more. I found that if you baste it a couple times in the last 30 minutes with the marinade on the sheet pan you will get a deeper color on the chicken.

The green beans were just steamed until perfectly cooked and topped with a compound butter that I had made earlier and chilled. A compound butter is just softened butter with flavors or herbs mixed into it and chilled. I made it with toasted sesame seeds, salt and pepper.

The sweet potatoes were cut like french fries and tossed with olive oil, freshly ground cardamom, salt and pepper then roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes. Yummy!

Coconut Cake with Chocolate Gelato
I had this cake recipe printed out in my "recipes to try" folder for quite a while. It was so good with the cream cheese frosting and the coconut was different for us. It went perfectly with the chocolate gelato that I made, which was heavy duty. It reminded me of a fudgicle.

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