Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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Blogger at: and -- My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually studied design and photography. I also was a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines from 1998-2005, and had an in-house PR company for a while. Cooking is in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and their father was a pastry chef, my mom's mother was a caterer, who published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries when she was 92. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, and we're not afraid to experiment. I have a yen for interior design and remodeling.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rotisserie Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Cardamom Roasted Cauliflower

I'm excited to announce my first ever give-away contest! For this meal-blog I'm plugging Olympia Local Foods and in exchange, they are offering a give-away of a hot, juicy rotisserie chicken and a $10 gift card at Olympia Local Foods.   More rules and details about this give-away can be found at the bottom of this page, below the recipe.

Olympia Local Foods is a business which I support, nearly weekly.  They are family owned by local farmers, who work in conjunction with other local farmers to offer area residents a convenient way to shop for locally grown and produced food items, with weekly in-store pickup.  You can even pay a nominal fee to have them deliver to your house. One of their signature items is freshly rotisserie-prepared, kosher, organic, pastured chicken by the owners of O.L.F. who also run Tachira Farms.

So for this recipe, I picked up a hot, savory bird, and also an organic head of cauliflower,  some red potatoes, and went home to come up with a recipe for an autumnal comfort food with a bit of a  sophisticated twist. 


1 Kosher Pasture Raised Organic Rotisserie chicken from
(If you don't live in Olympia, well, I guess you'll just have to find the next best thing.)


1 head of cauliflower
1 1/2 cups of red grapes (mine were picked from my own yard)
1 cup of raw almonds
1 tsp fresh ground cardamom seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
2-3 tbsp olive oil

To prepare the cauliflower, preheat the oven to 415F, and meanwhile, trim off the large stem and cut the cauliflower into smaller bite-sized pieces.  Put them in an oven proof pie pan or casserole dish, a single layer thick. Add red grapes (whole, which will roast down and caramelize a bit in the oven).  Using a large knife and cutting board, roughly chopped the raw almonds and sprinkle those over the cauliflower and grapes. Drizzle it all with olive oil, salt, and cardamom.  Roast it in the oven for fifteen minutes and toss it once and add another ten to fifteen minutes or so, until cauliflower is golden browned and grapes are softening up a bit, and the almonds take on a roasted aroma.


5-7 large red potatoes
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Start by washing all the potatoes and submerging them in a large pot of cold water.  Add a pinch of salt to the water, and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to prevent from boiling over, and keep a slow boil going until all potatoes are fork tender.  You may have to remove the smaller potatoes before-hand to keep them from over  cooking.  Sink them in ice cold water momentarily to stop the cooking and promptly set aside on the counter while the largest potatoes catch up.  When all the potatoes are done, put them back in the pot or a sturdy bowl, and using a big potato masher work them into a paste with the skin still on.  (If you want skinless potatoes, you can choose to peel them before or after boiling them.) Meanwhile, heat up a cup of milk in the microwave or in a small pot, as well as melting the butter into the milk.  Whisk in salt and nutmeg into the milk, and pour this a little at a time into the potatoes and keep mashing until the desired texture is achieved.  Add more milk if needed, depending on the size of your potatoes.  To keep them warm, put the lid back on and wrap in a towel until your meal is ready to eat.  (I stuck my whole pot, wrapped in a towel, inside the microwave and shut the door to keep them extra warm.)  To time your meal accordingly, make sure to start your oven roasted cauliflower about fifteen minutes after putting your potatoes on to boil if you want everything hot at the same time.

Serve up with rotisserie chicken, sprigs of rosemary or fresh thyme, or if you're really industrious a good mushroom gravy for an extra festive meal.  I might recommend something like the chanterelle gravy that I used in this autumnal dish: Pasta with chanterelle cream sauce

THE GIVE-AWAY:  As stated in the first paragraph, Olympia Local Foods is giving one lucky reader a fresh rotisserie chicken (4-5 lbs) as well as a $10 gift certificate to spend in their store on anything you wish.  Because this contest is limited to Olympia area-residents only, we ask that you enter this contest by sending an email to with your name, address, and phone number, and answer these questions:

1. How long have you been following Off the Cuff Cooking and what is your favorite recipe on this website (even one you might want to try if you haven't actually tried one yet.)

2. What might you spend the additional $10 gift card on from the OLF store? (For current items, check their inventory between Friday and Tuesday morning of any week for the updated list.) Or maybe just give a general category if you don't have a specific item in mind (dairy products, eggs, vegetables, fruit, a convenience foods, bread, coffee, or grain items?)

If you fail to fill out all the required information or questions in your email, it will be disqualified.  A winner will be drawn at random and notified via phone call or email (please state your preference) and will have 3 days to respond to your notification.  Contest begins on 10/16/2012 when this post goes live, and ends on 10/23/2012 at midnight. Entries after that time will not be accepted.

Leaving comments below here does NOT enter you into the contest.  But comments about the recipe are welcome! 


  1. would not have thought of using cardamom. I've only used it in baking before. Have to try that.

  2. I have used it in breads and pastries, mostly, but I thought it was used a lot in Indian cuisine, so I decided to try it with the cauliflower and almonds and it was a really good subtle flavor. It worked will with the sweetness of the grapes, too.