One of my friends recently moved to the neighborhood and last night we decided to cook a meal together. Her kitchen is teeny tiny and she also has the tiniest stovetop I’ve ever seen, so naturally we cooked at my house. When I invited her over to cook, I really had no idea what we would make. I started brainstorming based on what I had in my fridge and pantry and came up with a menu. And then I came up with a second menu that began to sound really amazing to me. Even though it was in the 90s yesterday, I just couldn’t put aside the thought of this second menu, so we decided to brave the heat and roast away in the kitchen. Here’s what we made: miso-ginger chicken thighs*, roasted asparagus, orange-balsamic glazed acorn squash, smashed crispy red potatoes, and stir fried shiitake. It was quite a sight to behold, all those trays lined up in the oven, roasting away right along with us.
I’m still a little surprised we managed to fit everything in. The two recipes completely new to me were the miso-ginger chicken and the orange-balsamic acorn squash. They were both amazing. The chicken is quite possibly the best chicken I have ever eaten. As we were feasting away, I couldn’t help but comment over and over how amazing the chicken tasted. It was spicy and tangy, with the flavors from the miso and ginger melding together creating something quite wonderful. You really need to try this! The acorn squash was sweet and creamy and the citrus added a brightness to the flavor. I’m pretty sure I will be making everything on this menu many times again in the future. Having company over, not to mention a second set of hands in the kitchen, made all of this possible — I never would have gone to all the trouble for just myself. I need to have company more often so I can eat lots of yummy food!
*for vegan followers of my blog – everything on this menu is vegan except for the chicken. I am working on a tofu version of this recipe that I will post when I’ve perfected it.
miso-ginger chicken thighs
from Guiding Stars
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 3 tablespoons miso paste
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon, zest and half of the juice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon red chili paste
- Preheat the oven to 425˚ Fahrenheit.
- In a food processor, combine everything but the chicken into a paste. Toss over the chicken to coat. (You can marinate it overnight in the fridge, or cook right away — the flavor is very intense even without marinating).
- Place the chicken in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping once after 15 minutes.
orange-balsamic roasted acorn squash
from Miss Kitchen Witch
- 1 acorn squash, cut into 1/2-inch rings
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- juice from 1 orange
- 1/2 an orange, sliced thinly
- salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to 425°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and arrange the squash rings evenly.
- Mix together the vinegar, oil, and orange juice. Brush the squash with 3/4 of the mix and top with the orange slices. Sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt and bake for about 20 minutes.
- Flip the squash and pour the rest of the vinegar mix on top. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the squash is very tender. Allow to cool slightly, but serve hot with a little orange zest if desired.
smashed crispy red potatoes
- 8-10 small red potatoes, scrubbed clean
- olive oil
- optional: fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano, etc.
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until fork tender — approximately 15-20 minutes, depending on size of potatoes.
- Drain potatoes into a colander. Do not rinse. Using a towel or pot holder, take each potato and smash it flat with your hand onto a baking sheet. You can use a fork or potato masher if you want, just make sure they don’t completely fall apart.
- Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. If you choose, you can add chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme.
- Roast for about 20 minutes, turning them over after 10 minutes. They should be brown and crispy on the edges. Roast longer if necessary to get the desired crunch.
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- olive oil
- juice of one lemon
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Place the asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Use your hands or tongs to coat the asparagus completely in the seasonings.
- Roast for approximately 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus and your desired degree of doneness. I like mine to still have a bite to it and I don’t like it too charred.
- 8-10 shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and ends trimmed
- sesame oil
- soy sauce
- mirin (sweet cooking rice wine)
- In a medium-size bowl, dress the shiitake with approximately 1-2 tbsp each of the sesame oil, soy sauce, and mirin. Stir to coat evenly.
- Over medium heat, sauté the shiitake for 5 to 10 minutes until mushrooms begin to wilt.