This coming Wednesday we launch the Christmas menu at Italian by Night. I love creating new and creative dishes for each season. Creating a special menu, offered only during the holiday season, was even more fun. Knowing that the menu will run for a shorter period of time allowed me to offer more complicated selections. When I say complicated, what I mean are dishes that require more intricate preparation and detailing.
The lead up to each menu launch is extremely intense. Each dish is broken down into what I call the ‘builds’. Each build can have anywhere from two to ten applications before it arrives in front of our guests. An application is what is done to the ingredients during the cooking stage. Once the builds are established, the dishes are streamlined, to ensuring that the kitchen can knock every plate out of the park! Our little kitchen puts up a lot of food with each plate inspected for integrity and flavour.
Attention to every minute detail, when the restaurant’s packed, we have a board full of chits [orders] and there’s a line up at the door, is tough but that’s where the magic happens…
After a day of extreme cooking at the restaurant, I crave comfort food when I get home. Roast chicken and potatoes is one of my soul soothing favorites! I jazzed up the potatoes with butter and Parmesan cheese and roasted the chicken on a nest of fresh rosemary surrounded by unpeeled cloves of garlic. Easy and just what I needed!
Using freshly grated imported Parmesan is will make sure that your crust is not over salty!
A shallow heavy bottomed casserole produces the right heat for crisping the cheese and roasting the potatoes.
A little drizzle of olive oil over the top of the potatoes aids in the browning process.
I couldn’t resist throwing in a few photos of the chicken and rosemary…
Parmesan crunch roast potatoes
PREHEAT OVEN 350*f
3 russet potatoes, peeled, halved horizontally and covered with cold water
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Using an oven proof casserole dish, pour melted butter into casserole dish – make sure the entire bottom is covered
Sprinkle with Parmesan
Dry potato halves and place them cut side down on top of cheese and butter
Place in preheated oven and roast until potatoes are tender – about 1 hour
Remove from oven and serve
THE LOVE: The butter may seem a little excessive given that I’m also using freshly grated parmigiano. Trust me, by the end of the cook time the butter has completely soused the potatoes leaving them rich and creamy while the parmesan forms a crispy coating. I also use imported Parmesan – it’s the bomb!
Thanks for reading