VINE-RIPE TOMATOES AND TARRAGON SALAD

The marketplace is still loaded with one of summer’s favorites, vine ripe tomatoes. As a result, I took advantage of the influx by purchasing a few. Based on studies, tomatoes are best stored outside the refrigerator at room temperature so as allow all the flavors to mature.  Thus, I practice same and use these sweet and juicy specimens in my dishes.

One way that I like to use them is to make a refreshing tomato salad. However, I took it up to a notch by adding the distinctive taste of the bitter/sweet tarragon. Brought home a bunch a few days ago and so far, I’ve used it in fish and chicken dishes. I was very satisfied with the results.

Tarragon is also excellent with tomatoes. Thus, I didn’t hesitate to pair the two. I roughly chopped tomatoes and added a pinch of salt and black pepper, splash of red wine vinegar, drizzle of olive oil, a touch of honey and of course, finely chopped tarragon. This herb brought my tomatoes to another beautiful level. I was over the moon.

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TARRAGON HAPPY ##CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS IN TARRAGON SAUCE

I wanted to perk up and enhance my chicken drumsticks in a huge way without incorporating too many ingredients. Moreover, time was against me and I desired a dish that would tantalize my taste buds, but yet easy and quick.  I didn’t have to venture far. All roads led me to my herb of choice which happened to be tarragon.

It had been sometime since I’ve infused tarragon in my dishes.The beauty about this herb is that its very accessible and quite inexpensive. The taste is bittersweet and provides a distinctive taste to stews, chicken, fish and tomato dishes. Love the herb in a fish dish and incorporated same with a whole snapper meal the past week-end.

Thus, I was super-excited to continue ‘rocking’ this bold and tasty herb. I marinated chicken drumsticks with salt, black pepper, crushed garlic and a dish of balsamic vinegar for approximately four hours. I was still on a rustic route so I grabbed hold of my cast iron skillet.

In hot cast iron skillet, a drizzle of canola oil was added. Chicken was brought to room temperature, garlic removed and chicken dried with paper towel. This was seared on medium to high heat on both sides with tarragon and thyme added for flavoring of oil.

A splash of water was added along with a few slices of lemon. Then, skillet was placed in a heated 375 degree oven for roasting for approximately 45 to 50 minutes turning once.

BROWNED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS WITH TARRAGON AND LEMON SLICES FOR ROASTING
BROWNED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS WITH TARRAGON, THYME, AND LEMON SLICES FOR ROASTING

The lemon, garlic and tarragon married very well leaving a very succulent and mouth-watering sauce. I served drumsticks with vine-ripe tomatoes and finely chopped tarragon leaves along with a splash of red wine vinegar, pinch of sugar, salt, and black pepper.

VINE RIPE TOMATOES AND TARRAGON SALAD
VINE RIPE TOMATOES AND TARRAGON SALAD

  A serving of left-over creamy polenta became part of the meal.

PLATED DISH OF TARRAGON CHICKEN ON TOP OF CREAMY POLENTA AND TOMATO/TARRAGON SALAD
PLATED DISH OF TARRAGON CHICKEN ON TOP OF CREAMY POLENTA AND TOMATO/TARRAGON SALAD

I was in heaven.

TREADING ON THE LIGHT SIDE FOR SPRING #PAN-SEARED TARRAGON FLOUNDER/PUREED COCONUT CHICKPEAS

It might not be so in certain locales; however, the calendar is saying that’s springtime. In my neck of the woods, there’s no denying. The temperature on the outskirts are already several degrees up and at interval, there is that cool balance of breeze. For heaven’s sake, even my orchid is acknowledging the changing of the ‘baton’. It has bloomed!

ORCHID IN BLOOM FOR SPRING
ORCHID IN BLOOM FOR SPRING

So, in honor of spring, I’ve decided (well, my palate and I) to go on the lighter side of things. After all, I’ll be wearing a little less during these warm months; therefore, it’s imperative that I start making wiser choices.

As a result, I decided to make use of a stock pantry item, chickpeas (garbanzo). In a small stockpot, I softened a chopped onions along with garlic. To that I added fresh coconut milk along with chicken broth. I made sure to season with salt and pepper to taste along with a pinch of curry powder. All ingredients were simmered on low to medium heat. Then, drained chickpeas were added.

When most of the liquid was evaporated,  chickpeas were cooled and placed in standing blender. These were brought to a pureed finish dish. On this delicious bed of protein/fiber packed dish I added a couple of pieces of pan-seared tarragon flounder.

FLOUNDER FOR SEARING WITH TARRAGON/BUTTER
FLOUNDER FOR SEARING WITH TARRAGON/BUTTER

Fish was seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Then, fish pieces were lightly coated on one side with bread crumbs and seared in olive oil, butter, lemon and tarragon herb.

PAN-SEARED FLOUNDER
PAN-SEARED FLOUNDER

Flounder pieces were topped with caramelized onions with a generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar. To my dish I also added some garlic/butter spears of asparagus after they were quickly blanched.

FINISHED DISH OF PAN-SEARED TARRAGON FLOUNDER ON A BED OF PUREED CHICKPEAS AND SERVING OF ASPARAGUS
FINISHED DISH OF PAN-SEARED TARRAGON FLOUNDER ON A BED OF PUREED CHICKPEAS AND SERVING OF ASPARAGUS

To finish the dish, a few whole chickpeas were tossed on top. All ingredients, spices and herb complimented the dish in a huge way. Moreover, I was satiated for hours. Hurray, for spring!

 

 

LAST NIGHT’S SUPPER #TARRAGON-SPICED PORK STEAK AND ROASTED APPLES/CARROTS

Still have a supply of tarragon in my herb collection.  I’ve been infusing this nutrient packed herb in my dishes for quite a few days. This slender and somewhat sweet herb  was excellent in my chicken dish and once again, it has performed a great job on my pork steak. With the aid of a few other ingredients like ginger, onions, salt, pepper,garlic, etc. I was able to pull off an amazing tarragon-spiced dish stove top.

In the culinary world, pork and apples are ideal partners. Thus, I decided to combine both by roasting a couple of red delicious apples cut in slices along with carrot wedges. With a drizzle of olive oil a sprinkle of cinnamon, pinch of salt and chopped tarragon, apples and carrots were roasted at 410 degrees for about 40 minutes. The result was a sweet and tart finish.

ROASTED APPLES/CARROTS
ROASTED APPLES/CARROTS

Tarragon-spiced pork, roasted apples,and carrots were served with a side of kale/parsley rice. The union was superb.