Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pan Roasting Skills Competition

As January comes to a close I'm hoping that the general malaise I've been in will go with it. January has historically been a bad month for me. In 2008, just before this blog started, I was pretty sure I was going to die twice -- once from flu, once from food poisoning. This January may have been slightly better than that one but not by much.

Today was spent mostly lounging about, partly going to the grocery store because eventually one has to eat.

This morning, as I was eating breakfast and reading the New York Times I came upon a ton of root vegetable ideas from Mark Bittman. Most of these ideas were, in Mark Bittman style, fairly simple and involved taking a single root vegetable and roasting it. Today, in my current state, this seemed like a perfect idea for dinner.

Pan Roasted Everything

I roasted some beets, a whole celeriac, a sweet potato, and some Russian Banana and French fingerling potatoes with nothing but olive oil, salt, and pepper.

I got a piece of Norwegian salmon, seared it in a pan, and also roasted that more as an accompaniment to the vegetables than as a main course.

So here you have pan roasted salmon, pan roasted beets, pan roasted fingerling potatoes, and I guess baked sweet potato and celeriac. This got me to thinking. What is the difference between pan roasting and just roasting? Roast turkey is done in a pan but often referred to as simply roasted turkey. Potatoes are baked. Why? I don't really know.

I think it's because it sounds cool. Pan roasted. It sounds somehow more intricate than regular plain roasting and certainly better than baked. Who wants a baked chicken when you could have a roasted chicken? Who wants a roasted chicken when you could have a pan roasted chicken? And who wants a pan roasted chicken when you could have a wood fire roasted chicken?

Baby Greens with Fig Tahini Dressing, Basil, and Red Onion

To go along with tonight's overly-roasted meal I also made a salad of baby greens, whole basil leaves, sliced red onion, and the remainder of some fig and tahini dressing from the fridge.

I had hoped tonight we would watch the NHL Skills Competition but this is one of the two or three nights out of the year that we are sad we don't have cable. That saddness quickly vanished after discovering that there are about fifty episodes of No Reservations that remain unwatched on Netflix.

The one regret I have is the insufficient amount of beer in 2012 despite my overflowing fridge and "beer cellar." I'm hoping that in the next couple of weeks I will return to normal and begin to continue my blistering pace of consuming approximately five beers a week. Soon will come the day when I can return to the beer-drinking ranks.

And on that day it will be the most glorious day.

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