Our Williams-Sonoma used to offer cooking classes right in their store. They would hire local chefs to come in and prepare signature dishes. The cooking classes would have specific themes, such as: Risotto, Tapas, Pasta, etc. The chef would make several dishes pertaining to that theme and then we got to eat it all!! Taking those cooking classes up at the mall was so much fun. I met a lot of other foodies and I always enjoyed myself. The cooking classes are not available anymore and I really miss them. I have a huge folder of recipes saved from those cooking classes.
This Roasted Chili Chicken and the Pan Roasted Corn Salad with Peppers and Feta came from a cooking class entitled Quick Weeknight Dinners. The idea was to cook a whole chicken and have leftovers for the next night. I made these two dishes today and let me tell you what.......there were no leftovers!!
The skin on this chicken is crispy, slightly spicy, and so flavorful. The meat is so moist and it pairs wonderfully with this pan-roasted corn salad. This corn salad is one of my favorite summertime salads to make. Everything is served at room temperature, it is healthy, bursting with flavor and goes well with many things. I had to throw in a dish from Tyler, so I made his Roasted Potatoes from Dinner at My Place. This dinner was delicious and healthy!! Even my two year old was asking for more.
ROASTED CHILI CHICKEN
1 chicken, 3-3.5 lbs
2 Tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 serrano chili, seeded and minced
Mix together the spice rub and set aside. Rinse chicken under cold water, removing any packages inside the cavity. Pat dry with paper towels. Remove and discard any loose fat. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a prepared pan. Rub the spice rub all over the otuside of the chicken. Roast until the leg joints move easily, the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced, or an instant read thermometer reads 170F. This usually takes 50-60 minutes. Transfer chicken to a carving board, cover and let rest 10 minutes before carving.
I had some baby new potatoes and yukon gold potatoes from the farmer's market last week. I decided to use them for Tyler's herb roasted potatoes. Tyler's recipe calls for 6 yukon gold potatoes, EVOO, 4 rosemary sprigs, and 1 garlic head, cut in half through the equator. He puts his roasting tray in the oven at 350F to get the pan hot. Once the pan is hot, Tyler adds EVOO, and then the potatoes, rosemary, and garlic. He sprinkles with salt and pepper and roasts at 350F for about an hour until crispy and golden. I loved his method of preheating the roasting tray. This was a new technique for me and I will do this from now on. You could hear those potatoes sizzle when they went onto the tray. The end result was a very crispy and golden roasted potato that was loaded with garlic flavor. My husband said this was the best thing on the plate and my 2 year old was screaming for more!! NOTE: I roasted my potatoes at 400F alongside the chicken. The potatoes were done in 45 minutes. If you roast at 350F, it would take about an hour.
This corn salad is so unique and different from any other summertime salad. When I watched the chef make this salad I thought she was crazy. I was thinking to myself that basil and feta didn't go with corn. I couldn't have been more wrong about these flavor combinations. This salad is really a treat. It is served room temperature and everyone is always pleasantly surprised with it. It pairs well with almost any meat dish and is also great all on its own. I made some changes to the recipe that I will share with you.
PAN ROASTED CORN SALAD WITH RED PEPPER AND FETA
4 ears of corn, husks and silk removed (I used 1 can of corn and made half this recipe)
2-3 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh thyme
1 bunch green onions, green portion only (I used about 6 chives)
2-3 cups halved cherry tomatoes (I used about 1/2 red pepper)
8 oz. feta cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes (I used 3 oz. fat-free feta cheese)
Juiced of 1/2 lime, plus more to taste, if needed
2 tbsp. finely slivered fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
Cut corn from cob. You will need about 3 -1/2 cups for this recipe. NOTE: I used 1 can of corn and halved this recipe. In a large nonstick pan, Add 1-2 tbsp. butter and 1-2 tbsp. olive oil and saute minced garlic for about 30 seconds. Add corn and saute another 3-4 minutes. Add thyme and green onions and saute another minute. NOTE: I did not have thyme and used chives instead of green onions. I skipped this step and added chives at the end with the basil. Let corn mixture cool until it reaches room temperature. (This takes about 30 minutes)
Once the mixture is room temperature, add the halved tomatoes, cubed feta cheese, juice of 1/2 lime, remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil, basil and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings.