I’m feeling like putting on my beret and heading to the cafe on this crisp November morning. For todays foodie goodness I offer up Herbs de Provence. I love cooking with lavender and this herb blend brings such wonderful aromatics to the table.
Herbs de Provence
Herbes de Provence (Provençal herbs) are a mixture of dried herbs from Provence invented in the 1970s.The mixture typically contains rosemary, marjoram, basil, bay leaf, thyme, and sometimes lavender flowers and other herbs. (Some cooks maintain that lavender is an essential ingredient of true herbes de provence.) The proportions vary by manufacturer. Thyme usually dominates the taste produced by the herb mixture. Herbs de Provence is used to flavor grilled foods such as fish and meat, as well as vegetable stews. The mixture can be added to foods before or during cooking or mixed with cooking oil prior to cooking so as to infuse the flavor into the cooked food. They are rarely added after cooking is complete.
Herbs de Provence
2 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoon summer savory
1 teaspoon lavender
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon oregano or basil
1 teaspoon sage-rubbed
Scalloped Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Herbes de Provence
* 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
* 1 1/2 cups canned chicken broth
* 1 cup dry white wine
* 1/2 cup minced shallots
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 4 teaspoons herbs de Provence*
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 10 1/2- to 11-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
* 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Mix first 7 ingredients in large pot. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Add half of cheese; whisk until smooth. Chill remaining cheese. Add potatoes to pot; bring to simmer.
Transfer potato mixture to prepared dish, spreading evenly. Cover with foil; bake 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until potatoes are very tender and liquid bubbles thickly, about 50 minutes. Dot potatoes with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese softens, about 5 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.
* 1/2 cup/125 g unsalted butter, more if you like
* About 3 garlic cloves, crushed
* 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
* 1 cup/200 g popcorn kernels
* 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
* Celery salt to taste
Melt the butter with the crushed garlic, ever so gently, in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the popcorn, tossing to coat. Cover, and shake the pan over high heat until all the corn has popped. Remove from the heat. Pluck the garlic cloves from the butter and pour over the popcorn. Toss. Add the herbes de Provence and plenty of celery salt. Toss again. Season with regular salt to taste, and serve.
Roast Chicken with Lemon and Herbs
* 1 fine, fresh 3 1/2 pound chicken
* Salt and pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon dried Herbes de Provence
* 1 large lemon, cut in 1/4-inch slices
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
* 2/3 cup mixed roughly chopped carrots and onions
Preparing the chicken:
Set the rack on the lower middle level and preheat the oven to 425°F. Rinse the chicken thoroughly, inside and out, under hot water, then dry it with paper towels. Remove any lumps of fat from inside the cavity near the tail opening. To make carving easier, remove the wishbone. Lift the flap of neck skin and insert a thin, sharp knife into each end of the breast; then slice diagonally along both sides of the wishbone. Use your finger and thumb to loose the bone, pry it out at the top, and pull it down. If it breaks, carefully wiggle out the pieces. Trim the small bony protrusions, or “nubbins,” from the wing tip joint. Then fold the wings up against the breast, where they will be held in place by the V-rack.
Salt and pepper the cavity and stuff it with the herbes de Provence and 3 or 4 thick slices of lemon; give the slices a squeeze as you put them in. Massage the butter over the entire chicken skin, including undersides, then salt generously. Tie the ends of the drumsticks together with twine. Arrange the chicken breast-up on the rack in the roasting pan and tuck the flap of neck skin underneath. Squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon pieces over the top.
Roasting the chicken:
Set the roasting pan in the oven. After 15 minutes, lower heat to 350°F. When the chicken is beginning to brown rapidly, baste with accumulated pan juices. Roast for an hour, adding the onions and carrots after 30 minutes and basting several times. Very carefully test for doneness, checking for easy movement in the leg joint and clear color in the juices. Return it to the oven if there is any sign of pinkness. (A small chicken will roast in about 1 1/4 hours, a larger one may take 1 1/2 hours or more.) When done, remove the chicken from the rack and set it on a board to rest for 15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to retreat back into the flesh.