Cornish Hen

I bought this Cornish Hen frozen and allowed it to thaw slowly in the refrigerator for two days. Unexpectedly the neighbors came over last night while I was cozied up on my couch and my first thought was ‘lets make dinner!‘ So we did! The kids seasoned the Hen and it really was that simple! I have a big hike planned for Monday so while the hen was cooking we also made some energy bars! The base of the bars were all the same but the extra special flavors on top made it fun for the kids. I will add these very easy energy bars in the next post!

1 Cornish Hen
1 lemon
1 orange
1 Tbsp Rosemary
1 Tbsp Thyme
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. Cut citrus in half and squeeze juices onto raw meat. Sprinkle on the herbs followed by the salt and pepper. Place the hen into the oven for a full hour.
Baste Hen with 1 Tbsp olive oil and place back in oven for another 10 minutes. Should be a deep golden brown and ready to eat!

This Hen was so full of flavor and juicy! The perfect portion of meat for two or three people. Various ways to amp up the flavor include adding a salt brine during defrost or rubbing butter under the skin after thawing but before seasoning.

Enjoy 🙂
Chef Willman

Spaghetti Sauce

8 Large Tomatoes
1 lb ground beef (I use ground Chuck, cut from the shoulder, rich in flavor and tender texture)
1 lb mild italian sausage (use hot if you like it, will provide a spicier sauce)
1/2 white onion, shredded
1/4 C. freshly shredded carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. red wine
1/4 C. beef stock
5 large leaves Basil
Fresh herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves)

Align 8 tomatoes in casserole dish and drizzle liberally with salt and safflower oil, or any high heat oil. Roast at 450°F for 25-30 minutes or until desired doneness. I like mine to be collapsing and charred.
While tomatoes are roasting, cook your meat in a large pot (I used a dutch oven). Add both raw meats, shredded onions and carrots at the same time. The natural fats from the beef will sweat out and provide your pan with a fatty coating so no need to use extra oils. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow ingredients to cook until almost brown. Add fresh garlic for about 1 minutes or until fragment. Add red wine and beef stock and allow to cook for 20 minutes more on a low to simmer temperature.
Take roasted tomatoes out of oven and sprinkle again with salt (about 1/2 Tbsp) and allow to cool. Once cooled, add tomatoes to blender with fresh basil. Important that its fresh. Pulse until all is blended.
Drain meat. Return meat to Dutch Oven pot (or large pot that retains heat). Pour tomato sauce from blender over the meat and stir. Set stove to a simmer temperature. Add fresh herbs of your choice. I like to use fresh oregano, rosemary and thyme. I used 3 pre packaged bay leaves but if you have the real deal even better! Allow sauce to marinade with the fresh herbs, the longer the better.

Serve with fresh pasta. I like to add cracked pepper to my dough before adding it to my spaghetti cutter attachment.


Chef Willman

Cranberry Curd with Ginger Crumb Crust

5 ounces gingersnaps
1 c. walnuts
3 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp butter melted

12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp and cut in pieces

sugared cranberries
fresh thyme sprigs

Preheat oven to 350F
Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs. Add the walnuts, and sugar and process again until everything is finely ground. Add the butter and process briefly to combine. I used the ‘Pulse’ button.
Pat the crust into a 9 inch pie plate, and up the sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Put the cranberries, 1 cup of the sugar, and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan. Lower the heat and simmer the cranberries, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until they’ve popped and the mixture is noticeably thick. Let cool slightly and then puree until completely smooth.
Whisk the puree, the eggs, yolks, salt, lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar together in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, this will take about 10 minutes or so. Stay by the pan the whole time and stir!
Push the curd through a mesh strainer, using the back of a spoon to get it all through.
Let the curd cool for a few minutes and then drop the room temperature butter in, bit by bit, while you stir to melt it. This helps make the curd glossy.
Pour the curd into the pie crust and smooth out evenly. Chill the pie until it is firm, about 2 hours or so.
Decorate with sugared cranberries if you like. Note: A sugared cranberry is just a glorified word for cranberry rolled in sugar 😉

Roasted Carrots with Candied Pecans & Goat Cheese

1 lb carrots, peeled
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pats
Salt and Pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Few fresh thyme leaves to garnish

Candied Pecans:
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 c. pecan halves
Pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the carrots in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/4 c. brown sugar, cinnamon, S&P, then spread pads of butter evenly over carrots.
Place in the oven and bake for one hour if carrot ends are thick (1 inch in diameter), or 50 minutes if carrot ends are thin (under 1 inch in diameter). The carrots will be just fork tender. During baking, turn the carrots 3 or 4 times.
While the carrots are roasting, prepare the candied pecans by melting the butter in a small pan on low heat. Once the butter is melted, add the maple syrup, brown sugar, and pecans. Stir about 2 minutes until the mixture thickens.
Remove the candied pecans from the heat and stir in the flaked sea salt. Set aside to cool.
Once the carrots are cooked, put them in a serving dish. Sprinkle them evenly with the candied pecans and goat cheese. Finish the dish with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves.

Peas & Pancetta

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 ounces pancetta, 1/4-inch cut, then diced
1 shallot, sliced
1 10 oz bag frozen sweet peas
Salt and pepper
Few fresh mint leaves, julienned

Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan, add the pancetta and shallot, and cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until pancetta is browned. Add the frozen peas, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until the peas are hot and bright green! Stir in the mint and serve hot. Serves 4 to 5


3 lbs chuck roast
Salt & Pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups beef broth, divided
3 – 4 chipotle chilies in adobo
6 garlic cloves
1 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 bay leaves
1/4 c. fresh lime juice

Cut roast into 6 portions while removing any large pieces of fat. Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet.
Dab roast dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper. Add 3 pieces to skillet and sear until browned on all sides. Transfer to a slow cooker.
Add remaining 1 Tbsp vegetable oil to skillet and repeat process with remaining 3 roast pieces. Nestle beef portions side by side in an even layer in slow cooker.
In a food processor, pulse together chipotle chilies, garlic and 1/4 cup beef broth until well pureed, occasionally stopping and scraping down sides of processor.
In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup or in a bowl, whisk together remaining beef broth with chipotle mixture, cumin, oregano and cloves. Pour mixture over beef in slow cooker, then nestle bay leaves between beef portions.
Cover and cook on low heat 8 – 9 hours.
Remove beef from slow cooker (leave broth) and shred. Stir lime juice into broth in slow cooker then return beef to slow cooker and cook on low or warm 20 – 30 minutes longer.
Strain liquid from beef and serve in tortillas with desired toppings. We chose cilantro and thinly sliced radishes.

Raviolis with Artichoke Hearts, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Capers and Asparagus tips

The way I’m going to write this recipe is a little different than usual because it’s a bunch of ingredients that you can add more or less of depending on what you like the most! I love all these ingredients so I added equal parts of most except the capers because SALT. 🙂

store-bought ravioli (cheese ravioli, or pesto)
2 Tbsp olive oil
sun-dried tomatoes
artichoke hearts
Italian seasoning
asparagus tips, fresh
Parmesan cheese, shredded

Cook store-purchased ravioli until al dente. Drain.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chopped artichokes, capers, Italian seasoning and cook for 2 minutes. Add fresh asparagus tips, and continue cooking and stirring until the asparagus is bright green.
To the skillet with sautéed vegetables, on medium-low heat, add cooked ravioli, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and stir. The dish should be salty enough from capers. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese when serving.