As many of you, Karen and I are big fans of the British drama, Downton Abbey. I read through the pages of the cookbook and put together a small meal that might be something served during the period of the series.
Cornish Game Hen is a very small domestic chicken and would had been familiar to both the aristocrats and their staff and considered a delicacy. I rather consider it a delicacy as well, since I could had bought a good size oven roaster/stuffer for the same price. But, these tiny poultry are cute and tasty too, especially served with the pan juice reduction.
These fancy little potato bites were made by piping the mixture onto a baking sheet, drizzled with melted butter, baked and broiled until golden brown. They taste just as special as they look!
Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Rosemary
4 Cornish game hens
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, quartered
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil
24 cloves garlic
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
Rub hens with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lightly season hens with salt and pepper. Place 1 lemon wedge and 1 sprig rosemary in cavity of each hen. Arrange in a large, heavy roasting pan, and arrange garlic cloves around hens. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a mixing bowl, whisk together wine, chicken broth, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; pour over hens. Continue roasting about 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes.
Transfer hens to a platter, pouring any cavity juices into the roasting pan. Tent hens with aluminum foil to keep warm. Transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a medium saucepan and boil until liquids reduce to a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes. Cut hens in half lengthwise and arrange on plates. Spoon sauce and garlic around hens. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve.
1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray, and season with salt and pepper.
3. Bake asparagus 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until tender.
4. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, and stir in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Pour over the baked asparagus to serve.
2 pounds potatoes (Yukon Golds work best), peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 egg yolks
Place potatoes in a medium to large pot (3 qt) and cover with a couple inches of cold water. Add a couple teaspoons of salt to the water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender (the tines of a fork easily pierce), about 20-25 minutes.
While the potatoes are boiling, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and set aside. You will use this butter to coat the potatoes right before they go in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain in a colander and put the potatoes back in the pot set over low heat. Allow them to release steam for a minute or so. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and mash the potatoes until the butter has been incorporated. Add the nutmeg, black pepper, heavy cream and continue mashing the potatoes. Once everything is incorporated, add salt to taste and the egg yolks. Continue to mash until the mixture is smooth. Do not over-mash or your potatoes will end up with a gluey consistency.
Using a piping bag with a large star point, pipe the potatoes onto a cookie sheet. Alternatively, you can just fill a casserole dish with the mashed potatoes, and use a fork to create lots of peaks on the surface. The swirled edges from the star-point piping bag forms or the peaks of mashed potatoes in a casserole dish will brown nicely in the oven. The browned parts taste great, so you want to maximize them. Whether you make piped portions or a casserole, paint the potatoes with the melted butter. Bake in the 425°F oven until nicely browned, about 20 minutes.