potatoes

The River Cottage Roast Chicken

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My go-to roast chicken recipe, that one from Chez Panisse (here’s a video I made on how to make it), is such a gut bomb of fat–and fat from just the chicken itself–that any roast chicken recipe that requires the addition of more fat (butter, olive oil) usually provokes my inner Richard Simmons who bursts out in short shorts and says, “You don’t need all that fat you fat fat fatty!”

Let’s Make Raclette

[The Amateur Gourmet is on vacation and, while he’s gone, he’s asked his friends to cover for him. You remember Adam’s friend John Kaslauskas as the friend he went to Paris with three years ago. John had such a fantastic time that now he’s living in Europe for three months, where he’s eating, marathon training and writing screenplays. Right now he’s in Geneva, staying with his brother, sister-in-law and nephew. In this post, John’s Nephew, Nico, teaches him all about raclette–a traditional Swiss dish.]

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When Adam asked me to do a guest blog about some of my food adventures in Europe, I immediately jumped at the chance. As if I needed a reason to go to an amazing Swiss restaurant or spend a weekend at a vineyard sampling local wines. I didn’t. Hearing me talk about possible food adventures, my 7-year old nephew Nicolas perked up and said, “If you want to eat some really good food, I can make you something!” I asked him what he’d make and he shrugged: “I could make Blue Cheese mashed potatoes. They’re really good.” I told him that I needed to eat something a little more…well, Swiss. Unfazed, he said, “I’ve lived in Geneva for almost my whole life. I can make you something Swiss, if you want. Maybe Raclette?” I asked what raclette was and he said, “Basically, it’s just cheese on potatoes. “ “So it’s sort of like fondue?” I asked. “It’s a bit better than fondue,” Nico explained, “I think fondue tastes like wine. I’ll make you a really good raclette, Uncle John. You’ll like it,” he promises. Raclette it is.

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