tired of roast chicken
October 31, 2012 2:16 PM   Subscribe

tired of roast chicken! Give me recipes and meal ideas are: elegant ( you would serve it at a fancy dinner party), winter seaonal foods, intensely flavorful, beautiful, whole food ingredient based (ie probably no tins of condensed soup), have that wow factor that impresses guests, and bonus (but not super important) are 'paleo'.
posted by skjønn to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 61 users marked this as a favorite
This is NOT paleo, but one of our family holiday recipes is butternut squash gnocchi with browned butter and crisped sage. It's got subtle spice and deep, round roasted undertones. The dish is very warming and feels sort of fancy-but-not-fussy for fall and winter, and wows guests. But really, it just tastes like a hug in a bowl.
posted by anonnymoose at 2:21 PM on October 31, 2012 [4 favorites]

OMG - Mustard porkchops.

Mix in a bowl:
- 1/2 cup dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon dried mustard powder
- dash of sea salt
- black ground peppar
- dash of paprika

Dunk/coat porkchops with this mixture and sear on both sides on an iron skillet, then cook in oven to your preference (I like medium rare - so it's about 7-10 minutes @450 depending on your oven).

These go great with brussel sprouts that are chopped in half, lightly brushed with EVOO and also roasted in the oven. YOM. To make this even more Paleo, skip the EVOO, and coat your roasting pan with coconut oil. Of course, add a dash of sea salt/pepper and a pinch of curry powder to taste.
posted by floweredfish at 2:23 PM on October 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

I am not very well versed in "paleo" but does it mean meat and vegetables, no grains/nuts/seeds? In that case, Osso Bucco would fit the bill brilliantly. Braised veal shanks (basic braise with carrot/onion/veal or beef stock/wine plus of course tasty veal shanks) served typically with gremolata - a relish of sorts made from lemon zest, garlic and parsley. Typically served with saffron risotto but so incredibly delicious on its own it doesn't really matter. If you're allowed to eat bread, the best part is smearing the marrow from the inside of the bone onto bread. Yum. Bonus: it's actually better if you make it a day or two in advance and reheat it gently.

(...and now you know my Christmas menu, ha!)
posted by hungrybruno at 2:23 PM on October 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

One of my favorite things is thick-cut pork chops made "heaven and earth" style: browned first on the stovetop, then roasted for tenderness with apples and potatoes. As always, the quality of the ingredients can make this exceptional: lovely farm-raised pork, and good-quality cooking apples and firm potatoes. Now I want some.
posted by fiercecupcake at 2:24 PM on October 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also, just to add in terms of meal plans, I'll often serve it with a big mixed-green salad with cranberries, pear slices, paper-thin onion slices, and a champagne vinaigrette dressing. Blue or feta cheese sprinkled on top is strictly optional. This really always pleases a crowd.
posted by anonnymoose at 2:24 PM on October 31, 2012

Do you have a grill? Cedar plank salmon is a favorite at my house (but buy good salmon, and no – Atlantic doesn't count). You can soak the cedar planks in wine or beer for a change and spread a thin layer of fresh pesto on the salmon fillets before grilling. Don't overcook. Serve with sauteed spinach with lemon zest and pine nuts.
posted by halogen at 2:25 PM on October 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm seconding roasted brussles sprouts as a side to class up any roast this time of year, I eat Atkins. Throw them in the pan when you have 30 minutes left to go on any roast other than a really fatty prime rib and you have an instant side that has soaked up all of the delicious meat juices. Tossing in a few red or yellow potato chunks doesn't hurt either.
posted by TungstenChef at 2:38 PM on October 31, 2012

Super easy, and seems elegant enough that I would serve it for dinner guests:

Toss asparagus (cut into 2-inch lengths) + shiitake mushrooms (halved, no stems) with some minced garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Spread on baking pan and roast at 400 for about 12 mins.

Remove from oven, push asparagus and mushrooms to the long edges of the pan, and in the center place halibut or salmon filets. Season with salt and pepper, and spread each filet with a spoonful of olive tapenade (for the halibut) or a spoonful of a 50/50 mix of dijon mustard/plain greek yogurt (for the salmon). (Optional: top the salmon with a sprinkle of chopped pecans or walnuts.)

Return fish + veg to oven and roast for approx. 12 minutes more (or whenever fish is done).
posted by scody at 2:41 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

This Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup from the Silver Palate Cookbook is amazing and yields quite impressive results for not a lot of labor. I use a mix of 2/3 hot curry powder to 1/3 mild. When it's done cooking I puree the whole thing with a hand blender. I also add about a cup of heavy cream at the very end (you could substitute coconut milk too). I think it would be lovely with some sage garnish but I haven't tried it, only because I don't have access to fresh herbs. If you haven't cooked with butternut squash before, be warned-- some people (myself included) have a very unpleasant skin reaction when peeling it-- I use disposable gloves.
posted by mireille at 2:49 PM on October 31, 2012

This roasted curried butternut squash soup recipe is my favorite

posted by atomicstone at 3:11 PM on October 31, 2012

Raar-iPhone! http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/22956/reciperoasted-and-curried-butternut-squash-soup
posted by atomicstone at 3:12 PM on October 31, 2012

I love Alton Brown's Coq au Vin. It takes two days but it turns out beautifully and is something I only do for company.
posted by shoesietart at 3:19 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Standing crown rib roast? I don't have any specific recipes to recommend but I remember being very impressed with it as a kid. Definitely Paleo.
posted by emkelley at 4:39 PM on October 31, 2012

A little truffle oil on veggies, particularly roasted Brussels sprouts, gives a special, "guesty" touch. Just sprinkle lightly before serving. Buy the best quality oil you can find. A small bottle lasts a long time and the less expensive stuff usually has little flavor.
posted by uncaken at 4:48 PM on October 31, 2012

Flavorful? Got it: Pizzeria Delfina's Spicy Cauliflower. (I use cayenne instead of red pepper flakes.)

Roasted Tomato-Garlic-Coconut Soup.

I'm on paleo as well and heavily utilize vegan cooking blogs for impressive veggie side dishes. Kind of livens up my boring roast chicken...
posted by peacrow at 5:10 PM on October 31, 2012

Went through my bookmarks; more peacrow tested & approved (delicious) recipes:

Mostly from David Lebovitz, Celery Root Soup, Pear-Fennel Soup, Spinach Cake (has milk, cheese), Chicken Mango Slaw.

Parsnip Fries
posted by peacrow at 5:31 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

I sort of mix and match, I can't remember where I picked this up.
I love pork tenderloin: rub it down with choped fresh parsley, tyme, pepper and a little salt. Then sear all the sides with olive oil on the stove top.

Throw it in the oven at 350 for 25 to 40 min depending on how done you like your pork.

It is insainly tender and looks just beautiful sliced up.

I generally pair it with roast brussels sprouts and green salad tossed with a little quinoa and some chopped strawberries.
posted by Blisterlips at 5:39 PM on October 31, 2012

This is our go to holiday meat dish: Brisket with Portobello Mushrooms and Dried Cranberries. It's time intensive, but not labor intensive. Soooo good!
posted by cecic at 6:45 PM on October 31, 2012

This pork loin and sides is a huge hit. Easy but impressive and tasty.
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:16 PM on October 31, 2012

Whether or not you are a fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire books/the Game of Thrones TV series, you will probably find some inspiration at The Inn at the Crossroads, a food blog whose authors have kitchen-tested and adapted medieval recipes for many of the meals described in the books:

a dinner featuring roast kid with honey and lemon
marinated goat on skewers
Trout Baked in Clay
potted hare
lamb meatballs and stewed eggplant
marinated lamb, suitable for grilling, with a carrot-raisin salad
honey duck

They've also produced a cookbook with additional recipes that are not on the blog.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:51 PM on October 31, 2012

I make this, from the Silver Palate cookbook, all the time. It's easy, but it requires that you enjoy sweet and savory together:

Mix together equal parts chunky, good quality black currant preserves and coarse-grain Dijon mustard. Rub all over a pork tenderloin. Roast in oven as usual.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 2:34 AM on November 1, 2012

At the risk of self-promotion, we run a blog with a bunch of recipes that you might find helpful. I'm not too sure about seasonality, as we live in a tropical country, but almost all the recipes are whole food based. Here are some recipes that could work for you:

Braised Pork Belly with Mash and Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Fish with Dill and Lemongrass
Beer Bird with Celeraic Puree
Babi Pongteh
Beef Stroganoff (the Thomas Keller version)
Beef and Bean Stew
Crispy Braised Chicken and Saffron Rice
posted by destrius at 3:16 AM on November 1, 2012

A fancy-looking side dish: acorn squash filled with sugared cranberries, version 1, 2
posted by aimedwander at 7:28 AM on November 1, 2012

For elegance, I like Cornish game hens. They can be livened up even further with interesting stuffing - wild rice, brandied dried fruit, nuts, mushrooms, oysters, etc., or sauces - flaming cherry, for example. It's like serving your guests individual roast turkeys.

Lobster butternut squash bisque - basically creamy squash soup made with lobster stock instead of chicken or veg stock. The tastes are perfect together and it makes the expensive taste of lobster go a long way.

Sauteed red cabbage is beautiful, flavorful, paleo, and versatile. You can add raisins, pine nuts, garlic, apples and walnuts, etc. Surprisingly delicious.
posted by caryatid at 9:50 AM on November 1, 2012

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