The Legendary Peruvian Chicken with “Green Sauce”

I haven’t been to Peru but I’ve eaten “Peruvian” Rotisserie chicken in Montreal, Boston and New York and I attest that the places are packed full of Peruvians eating chicken. That seals the deal! This is a play on your classic Latin Adobo chicken, garlicky, citrusy and delish. The green sauce adds even more to savor. This rub is great on shrimp, pork, salmon and even tofu too.
Since we do not have a rotisserie on hand, we are going to spatchcock the chicken and roast em good.
Serves 6
For the chicken Rub:
6 garlic cloves
2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 cup neutral oil like safflower or sunflower
2 tablespoon paprika
1 tbls smoked paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Juice of 2 limes and two lemons
Two 3 ½ lb whole chickens, spatchcocked*

For the green sauce:
1 cup (packed) cilantro leaves with tender stems
½ cup parsley coarsely chopped
1–2 medium jalapeƱos, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Make the green sauce: Puree all ingredients except mayonnaise in a food processor. Fold in the mayo until smooth. Lasts for 2 weeks refrigerated.

Do the bird: Put all rub ingredients in a blender and make a paste. Reserve.
To Spatchcock the chicken, use a heavy knife or poultry sheers to remove the back of each bird.
Open it up like a butterfly and with the palm of your hand press it down to flatten it. Score there the leg meats the thigh all the way to the bone. Rub the paste all over the bird and into the score. Wrap in plastic wrap or in a ziplock bag and allow to marinate for one hour or up to 24 hours refrigerated.
When ready to cook, preheat convection oven to 450.
Put chicken on a roasting pan, skin side up. Roast for 20-30 minutes at high heat. Check on the chicken. When the skin is sizzling and getting nicely colored (the birds will still be raw on the bone) turn down the heat to 285 and allow the chicken to finish slowly for another 20-30 minutes or until a probe thermometer reads 165 at the deepest part of the thigh.
When done, remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes then carve and enjoy with the green sauce on the side.


Bittersweet Chocolate and Goat Cheese Truffles

Bittersweet Chocolate & Goat Cheese Truffles with Tart Lemon sauce
You’ve just eaten for hours. Many courses and many wines later, it’s time for dessert. Ugh!
Mercy! All you really want is  little something to shift palate gears. 
Who remembers the green foil wrapped Andes Mints,  ubiquitous at every Steak house host stand in the 70’s and 80’s.
They were that perfect palate shifter, coating your overwhelmed tongue with herbal chocolate notes. These truffles are perfect in that way. Just a bite or two of lingering chocolate-citrusy love to leave your palate refreshed and happy.
These little two bite wonders make a dynamic finish to a big meal and are a cinch to make.

Makes a dozen
6 oz. Best quality bittersweet chocolate 67-73%, chopped
6 oz. fresh unsalted goat cheese
2 tbls. confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. lemon extract or zest of one lemon

In a stainless bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring until it is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and let the chocolate cool slightly. In a electric mixer bowl, whisk together the goat cheese, the confectioner's sugar, the vanilla and the lemon extract until the mixture is light and fluffy. Fold in the soft chocolate by hand until the mixture is combined well.
Chill the mixture covered with wax paper for 1 hour, or until it is firm.
Put the cinnamon on one plate and the cocoa powder on another.
Form heaping teaspoons of the mixture into balls .
Carefully dip on half of each ball in cocoa powder and then the other side in cinnamon.
Chill the truffles on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper for 30 minutes, or until they are firm. The truffles keep in an airtight container, chilled for 3 days.

 Lemon-Muscatel Sauce for Truffles
8 oz sauvignon blanc or other tart, unoaked white wine
juice of three lemons
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp Lemon zest

optional garnish
Lemon thyme or marjoram leaves
Orange or pomelo sections

In a non-reactive pot cook the wine, sugar and lemon until it is reduced by half. .
Add 1 tsp fresh lemon zest strips.

Drizzle each truffle with a few drops of lemon sauce. Sprinkle a few marjoram or lemon thyme leaves onto the sauce. Pow!

Greek Watermelon Salad by Ric Orlando

Greek Watermelon Salad

This is the very trendy, most delish salad on the block. Sometimes a dish takes off because it is that good.
This is easy, just assemble, dress and eat. Just make sure the onion are thin and the melon and tomatoes are a bit beefier cut. Texture is key here.

Arrange on a platter slices of
peeled cucumbers
sweet onion

Dress with red wine vinegar and olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Garnish with crumbled feta and Kalamata olives.

Finish with roughly chopped fresh herbs…mint for sure, maybe some dill or parsley.