(Above: This meal plan is rated X for X-tra delightful. Graphic by JamesHenstridge [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.)
You’ve heard of the “Sex on the Beach” cocktail? Well, I’m calling last night’s dinner, “Sex on the Kitchen Table.”
It was basic, impulsive, and glorious. And not because of the greatness of any one dish. It was the combination of kitchen maneuvers all working together in perfect harmony that led to a culinary ecstasy resulting in complete satisfaction.
Although it was healthy, it left us feeling a bit guilty too.
I think that’s because of the buttery richness of the barbecued shrimp, combined with the succulent flavors of roast chicken and roast potatoes. The salad keeps it all real, cleansing the palate between bites with the fresh, clean flavors of greens, kissed by the sun.
You can make the four dishes for this meal — roast chicken, barbecued shrimp, roast potatoes and salad — according to your favorite recipes for each. As Sly Stone said, “It’s different strokes for different folks.” But here’s how I did it to wonderful results.
Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes
I bought one of those free-range, non-hormonal chickens from Whole Foods. You know, one of those birds that is given a massage, warm bath and is french kissed before they chop its head off. The lemon and rosemary roaster was on sale for just $1.99 a pound and it was a great piece of meat.
Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes
- Whole chicken, 4-5 pounds
- Potatoes, 5 or 6
- Dried Rosemary
- Olive oil
- Step 1 Peel the potatoes and then cut them into small chunks, about 1- to 1 1/2-inches round. To do this, simply trim off all the hard edges of each chunk with a paring knife. The result will be round potatoes. Their shape is important as it affects they way they brown and cook. Then make holes in each of the round potato chunks, either with the sharp point of the paring knife or with a fork.
- Step 2 Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Add the chicken (breast up). And then surround the chicken with the potatoes. Drizzle some more olive oil over the bird and potatoes. Sprinkle some kosher salt, pepper and dried rosemary over everything and cook in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes per pound of chicken.
- Step 3 Be sure to turn the potatoes over about every 15-20 minutes to prevent them from sticking. The potatoes should develop a crispy crust when they’re done cooking.
Shrimp with Lemon Horseradish Sauce
I made up this lemon, butter, horseradish sauce on the fly and it’s what my honey raves about in this dish. I use uncooked, frozen, peeled and deveined shrimp. I find the uncooked shrimp to be more flavorful than the cooked shrimp available at most supermarkets. I also buy U.S. shrimp because I believe they’re healthier than shrimp from other places.
The first time I made this the weather was warm and so I cooked the shrimp in a grilling basket over hot charcoals until pink. In the winter when you may not have access to a grill, you can boil the shrimp in a small amount of water with an onion quarter, some cloves and parsley for added flavor. And then drench them in this sauce.
Lemon Horseradish Sauce
- Unsalted butter, about 1/2 stick
- Lemon Juice, a squirt or two or about 1/4 cup
- Horseradish, 1 or 2 tablespoons depending on your taste
- Step 1 Melt butter
- Step 2 Add lemon juice and horseradish
- Step 3 Stir until everything is melted, warm, and blended
For the salad I used a mixture of greens, including arugula. In warmer months, I like to add pea tendrils which are available at my local farmer’s market. They have a subtle pea flavor and a juicy crunch.
To the greens, you can add croutons, dried cranberries, walnuts, whatever.
When everything was ready, I made up plates with all four dishes. I served mine to my honey, who came home from work with a bad cold, in bed.
Yeah, I know, I think we have things backwards.