Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cheese Souffle

butter, room temperature, for greasing the souffle
2 T grated Parmesan
1 1/2 ounces (3 T) butter
3 T flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/3 cups milk, hot
4 large egg yolks (2 1/2 ounces by weight)
6 ounces sharp Cheddar
5 egg whites plus 1 T water (5 1/2 ounces by weight plus 1/2 ounce water)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Use room temperature butter to grease an 8-inch souffle mold. Add the grated Parmesan and roll around the mold to cover the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place into the freezer for 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small saucepan, heat the butter. Allow all of the water to cook out.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, dry mustard, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Whisk this mixture into the melted butter. Cook for 2 minutes.

Whisk in the hot milk and turn the heat to high. Once the mixture reaches a boil, remove from the heat.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks to a creamy consistency. Temper the yolks into the milk mixture, constantly whisking. Remove from the heat and add the cheese. Whisk until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until glossy and firm. Add 1/4 of the mixture to the base. Continue to add the whites by thirds, folding very gently.

Pour the mixture into the souffle. Fill the souffle to 1/2-inch from the top. Place on an aluminum pie pan. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

Serves 5


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chilaquiles Verdes de Orizaba

3 cups water
1 lb. tomatillos
6 each green arbol or serrano chiles
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1/3 cup onion
1/4 cup cilantro, washed and picked
1 teaspoon salt
2 T chicken stock
1 lb. corn tortillas, made into chips
1/2 cup crema
1/2 cup questo fresco, crumbled
1/2 cup onion, julienned
9-ounces chicken breast, cooked and shredded

Put the water and tomatillos in a pan over high heat, cover and let cook for 12 minutes.

Remove the tomatillos from the water and let cool.

In a blender, place the tomatillos, chile, garlic, cilantro, onion and salt. Blend until smooth, but still retaining some texture.

Pour the salsa into a heated pan with no oil. Allow the salsa to simmer over low heat and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and test for salt. The salsa should be slightly salty to taste. Reduce for 3 more minutes to merge the flavors.

Still over the heat, submerge the tortilla chips in the salsa, pushing down on them all with a spoon to ensure that all the chips are submerged. Let simmer a couple of minutes, until all the chips have absorbed the excess liquid, but the mixture is not dry and the chips are not soggy.

Remove from the heat, place on a serving platter and garnish with the crema, queso fresco, onion and chicken.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Steak Marinade

This is great on a hanging tenderloin of beef, aka hanger steak.

2 1/2 cups soy sauce
1 lb. golden brown sugar
4 T granulated garlic
1 T ground ginger
1 cup Jack Daniel's whiskey

Mix together all ingredients.

Marinate meat for 20 minutes before grilling or broiling.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Amish Apple Dumplings

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold water
6 small apples, pared and cored
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar (divided use)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (divided use)
2 T butter
2 cups water, plus more to dampen edges of dough

Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening. Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all flour is moistened. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to an 18-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Cut into 6-inch squares.

Place an apple in the center of each square. In a small owl, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of this mixture into the center of each apple.

Top each with 1 teaspoon of butter. Moisten edges of dough with a little water. Bring corners to center, pressing center along edges to seal. Place the dumplings in a 13-inch by 9-inch pan.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the remaining cinnamon, 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Pour the syrup around, not over, the dumplings in pan.

Bake 40-45 minutes.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Goat Cheese Popovers

4 ounces herbed goat cheese, or mix a little chopped parsley and chives into the cheese, cut into 24 pieces
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
2 cups milk
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Brush muffin cups with oil and place in the oven to get hot.

Place the eggs, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg in blender and blend about 10 seconds until well combined. Scrape down sides.

With the blender running, slowly pour in milk and cream and blend until smooth. The mix will be really liquidy, but that's okay.

Remove the muffin pans from oven and fill each half way with batter. Place a piece of goat cheese in the center of each cup and pour remaining batter to fill each cup 2/3 full.

Bake popovers until puffed and golden, 35-50 minutes. Mine came out great at 35 minutes. Watch your oven after 30 minutes or so.

Serve hot.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lemon Fusilli with Arugula

1 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups heavy cream
3 lemons
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch broccoli
1 lb. dried fusilli pasta
1/2 lb. baby arugula, or 2 bunches of common arugula, leaves cut in thirds
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Deconstruct a roasted chicken (on or off the bone) and place over the top of the dish just before serving.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets and discard the stem. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Bradley Ogden's Crispy Chicken Picnic Subs

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 T red wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced on the bias 3/4 inch thick
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and sliced on the bias 3/4 inch thick
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T chopped basil
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
8 slices of bacon
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups plain coarse bread crumbs
vegetable oil, for frying
eight 7- to 8-inch-long rolls, split
3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1 large bunch arugula, stemmed

In a large bowl, whisk the mustard with the red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and a generous pinch each of salt, pepper and cayenne. Add the chicken and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the balsamic vinegar, basil and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and onion; let stand for 1 hour.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat until browned, about 6 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry; discard the marinade. Return the chicken to the bowl, add the buttermilk and toss. Put the bread crumbs in a large plastic bag and season with salt and cayenne. Add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, seal the bag and shake to coat. Transfer the coated chicken to a large plate and press the crumbs to help them adhere.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Working in batches, fry the chicken over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let the chicken cool.

Spoon the tomatoes and onions onto the bottom halves of the rolls and drizzle with any leftover marinade. Top with the chicken, blue cheese, bacon and arugula. Close the sandwiches and serve.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vanilla Yogurt Raisin Bread

1 cup vanilla flavored yogurt
3 T vanilla extract
3 T butter
3 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 T sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2/3 cup raisins

Soak the raisins in the vanilla for at least one hour. Place all of the
ingredients in your machines fully assembled pan, in the order specified
by the manufacturer. Select the basic or white cycle and press start.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Steakhouse Wheat Bread

3/4 cup warm water
1 T butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T white sugar
1 cup bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Place the warm water, butter, honey, salt, coffee, cocoa, sugar, bread flour, whole wheat flour, and bread machine yeast in the pan of a bread machine in the order listed. Put on regular or basic cycle with light crust.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cole Slaw

4 cups finely shredded green cabbage
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1 very small green bell pepper, finely shredded or chopped
2 T minced or grated onion

Ingredients for the dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
4 T white distilled vinegar
2 T sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all of the dressing ingredients together with a whisk, pour over the vegetables, mix well and chill a few hours or overnight, to meld the flavors.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Osso Buco, San Francisco Butcher-Style

4 lbs. veal shanks
salt and pepper to taste
2 T mixed Italian herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, savory and marjoram)
1/4 cup flour
3 T olive oil
1/3 cub of butter
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 28-ounce can of solid-pack tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup of dry red wine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Season the shanks with salt, pepper, and mixed herbs. Dredge in flour.

Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shanks and brown on all sides.

Add the onions and garlic; cook, stirring often, until the onions brown. Stir in the tomatoes, then the wine. Season with salt and pepper.

Place in the oven, uncovered, and braise for 2 hours, or until the shanks are very tender.

Serves 8


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Braised Oxtails

Serve this alongside mashed potatoes or polenta, vegetables like green peas and carrots.

4 lbs. oxtails, separated at the joints
4 T flour
salt and pepper to taste
4 T olive oil
2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups dry red wine
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 T tomato paste
2 cups beef stock or broth
1 1/2 T cornstarch

Rinse the oxtails in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Then add the oxtails a few at a time, and shake until all pieces are dusted with flour. Shake off excess flour.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the oxtails and brown on all sides. As the oxtails brown, transfer them to a Dutch oven.

When all of the oxtails have been browned, add the onions, celery and garlic to the skillet. Saute until soft, stirring occasionally.

Increase the heat and add wine, stirring to deglaze. Then add bay leaves, thyme, tomato paste and stock. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by one third. Pour over the oxtails in in the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 3 1/2 hours. Make sure the liquid is barely bubbling.

When the meat is tender and almost falling off the bones, transfer the oxtails with a slotted spoon to a serving dish. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Skim off excess fat. Bring to a boil, then cook until slightly reduced.

Mix the cornstarch with an equal amount of water and stir into the sauce; simmer, stirring, until thickened. Pour over the oxtails.

Serves 4


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bradley Ogden's Herbed Dinner Rolls

1 package active dry yeast (about 1 T)
3 T sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1 T minced flat-leaf parsley
1 T minced fresh dill
1 T minced chives
1 T minced rosemary
2 T melted butter
1 large egg plus 1 T lightly beaten egg, divided
1 cup milk or half-and-half
3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
about 1 T coarse salt

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup cool (70°) water. Let stand until dissolved, 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, table salt, herbs, butter, whole egg, and milk; add 3 1/4 cups flour and stir to moisten.

Knead dough on a lightly floured board until elastic and not sticky, 15 minutes; add flour as needed to prevent sticking. Shape into 12 equal balls; place in a well-buttered 9-inch by 13-inch pan.

Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush rolls with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake until deep golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

Make ahead: Prepare through placing dough in a well-buttered pan and immediately wrap airtight. Do not let rise. You can chill up to 1 day. Then proceed with the recipe and let the dough rise.

Makes 12 rolls


Friday, April 17, 2009

Asian Fish With Vegetables

4 cups shredded savoy cabbage
1 medium red pepper, cut in slivers
6 sliced scallions, with green
2 4-ounce filets of mahi mahi or flounder

Ingredients for sauce:
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts, crushed in blender
2 T grated fresh ginger
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 T reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 T rice vinegar
2 T mirin (sake vinegar)

Garnish: 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1 lime

Spread vegetables over bottom of shallow microwave-safe dish. Top with fish. In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients; pour over all.

Cover tightly with microwave plastic wrap, and microwave on high 8-10 minutes.

Vegetables will be crisp-tender.

Place each filet on a plate; spoon vegetables and sauce around fish. Garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve with brown rice.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Balsamic Onions

This is fantastic on steaks and burgers, or on top of goat or gorgonozla cheese on toast.

3 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3-lbs. roasted red onions* [see below]

Place the vinegar and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Add the roasted red onions and cook until syrupy, about 10 minutes.

Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 1 week.

Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 cups.

* * * * * * * *

Roasted Red Onions:

Ingredients for roasted red onions:
3-lbs. red onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 4-5 onions)
3 T vegetable or canola oil
1 T kosher salt
1 T plus 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Making the roasted red onions:

Preheat the over to 500 degrees F.

Place all the ingredients on a baking sheet and toss to combine. Transfer to the oven and roast until translucent, about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent blackening.

Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Roasted Red Onions

3-lbs. red onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 4-5 onions)
3 T vegetable or canola oil
1 T kosher salt
1 T plus 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the over to 500 degrees F.

Place all the ingredients on a baking sheet and toss to combine. Transfer to the oven and roast until translucent, about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent blackening.

Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Norweigan Meatballs

Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles, and vegetables.

1 1/2 cups dry breadcrumbs
1 egg
3/4 cup evaporated milk
2 T canola or safflower oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. lean ground pork
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
canola or safflower oil for browning
2 cups canned beef broth or consomme

Put the breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Beat the egg with milk and pour over the crumbs. Allow to soak for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small skillet and saute the onion until soft and translucent. Transfer the onions to a mixing bowl and add the beef, veal and pork. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and the soaked breadcrumb mixture. Mix and beat with a large fork -- do not use your hands as it toughens the meat fibers.

Shape the mixture into small balls. Heat oil in a wide, heavy-bottom pot and brown the meatballs, in baatches, on all sides. Return all the meatballs to the pot and add broth.

Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, for 40 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.

Serves 8


Monday, April 13, 2009

Enchilada Sauce

8 chiles colorados (Mexican red chilies)
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
2 T flour, to thicken
4 T oil
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of cumin

Remove seeds, wash and soak chiles in warm water until tender. Reserve water. Grind chiles, garlic, oregano and flour until consistency of paste. Take 1 1/2 cups of the reserved water and add to paste.

Heat oil in a saute pan and lightly brown the flour. Add paste to oil and flour mixture and simmer gently 15 minutes. Add salt and cumin.

This recipe can be doubled.


Chicken Enchiladas

If time is short, doctor up any good quality commercial red chili sauce (Las Palmas will do) with garlic, cumin and oregano.

4 chicken breasts halves
2 cups sour cream, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
2 (16-ounce) cans tomatoes, not drained
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cans (4-ounces each) chopped chilies, not drained
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1 package taco seasoning mix

flour tortillas

2 cups (8-ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Prepare the chicken:
Simmer chicken breasts in water or stock for 45 minutes; drain and set poaching liquid aside.

Shred chicken and mix with enough broth and seasoning to taste. Fold in 1 cup of the sour cream, and set aside.

Prepare the sauce:
Saute onion and garlic in the olive oil; set aside. Blend tomatoes briefly in a blender; add tomato sauce, chiles, sugar, cumin, salt, oregano, basil, cilantro and the package of taco seasoning to onion/garlic in pan. Stir thoroughly and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.

Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 1 cup of the sour cream.

Spray Pam over the bottom and sides of a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of the pan.

Spoon 2 tablespoons each of the chicken mixture and shredded cheese onto each flour tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side down in the baking pan.

Spoon sauce over the enchiladas and bake for 40 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Top with grated cheese and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Serve with sour cream, chopped green onions and chopped fresh cilantro.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Best Brownies - Hershey's

Ingredients for brownie:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsifted flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Creamy Brownie Frosting

Ingredients for creamy browning frosting:
3 T butter or margarine, softened
3 T cocoa
1 T light corn syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1-2 T milk

Preparing the brownie:
Blend butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Add eggs, using a wooden spoon, beat well.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually blend into egg mixture. Stir in the nuts.

Spread in greased 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or until brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. Cool; frost with Creamy Brownie Frosting.

Cut into squares.

Makes about 16 brownies

* * * * * * * * *

Preparing the creamy browning frosting:
Cream butter, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in a small mixer bowl.

Add confectioner's sugar and milk; beat to spreading consistency.

Makes about 1 cup


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sweet Potato Rolls

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
4 T white sugar
1 1/2 cups canned sweet potato puree
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
3 T margarine, softened
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast, warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a mixing bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.

Add remaining sugar, sweet potato, butter or margarine, salt, and slightly beaten eggs. Stir to mix well. Stir in 3 cups of flour. Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead 2 to 3 minutes, adding just enough of remaining flour to prevent sticking. Do not knead too heavily; when smooth, shape into a ball. Place in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let raise about 1 hour or longer.

Punch down, and allow dough to rest for 2 minutes. Divide into 16 to 20 balls, and place on a greased cookie sheet or in a 9x13 inch pan. Allow to rise until doubled.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 12 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Creme Brulee

1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients for shortbread:
2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for preparing pans
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for preparing pans
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for caramel layer:
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 T butter

Ingredients for chocolate topping:
3/4 pound milk chocolate

Preparing the shortbread:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter 2 (8-inch) square nonstick pans and coat with flour, tapping off excess. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse once. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles peas. Press the shortbread mixture into prepared pans and bake until golden brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Preparing the caramel layer:
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the condensed milk and 2 tablespoons of butter. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring continuously. Continue stirring over the heat until mixture becomes thick and amber in color, about 15 minutes. Pour the caramel over the cooked shortbread and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Cool to room temperature.

Preparing the chocolate topping:
In a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Once chocolate has melted, pour it over the cooled caramel layer. Cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes, and then place in the refrigerator to cool completely, allowing chocolate to slightly harden but not get hard. Cut into 2-inch squares. Store in an airtight container, at room temperature or in the refrigerator.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Baked Matzo Pudding with Cherry-Almond Sauce

10 sheets of matzo, broken into small pieces
1 T walnut oil
2 cups almond milk (don't use unsweetened varieties)
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup plus 2 T light brown sugar, loosely packed
11/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
11/2 cups dried cherries
1/3 cup matzo meal
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 cups black cherry juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 T potato starch mixed with 2 T water

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 11-by-13-inch glass baking dish with vegetable oil or olive oil.

In a large bowl, soak the matzo pieces in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, pressing out as much excess water as possible. Return the softened matzo to the bowl and add the walnut oil. Toss to coat, then set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk, eggs and egg whites.

In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.

Add the almond milk mixture and to the softened matzo; stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the brown sugar mixture (reserve the remaining few tablespoons) and the dried cherries. Stir to combine.

Stir in the matzo meal, then spread the mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle the top with the reserved brown sugar mixture and slivered almonds. Bake until golden-brown on top and no longer wet at the center, 50 to 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high, bring the cherry juice and almond extract to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and stir in the potato starch mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened, about another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Serve the matzo pudding, warm from the oven, room temperature or cold, topped with the cherry-almond sauce.
Makes 12 servings

Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes (15 minutes active)

Per serving: 307 calories, 48 calories from fat, 5 grams fat (1 gram saturated, 0 trans fats), 43 milligrams cholesterol, 56 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, 173 milligrams sodium


Beef Short Rib Stroganoff Over Buttered Egg Noodles

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped, plus 2 cloves, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed
1 large sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed
3 lbs. beef short ribs, cut into 2 ribs apiece
1 1/2 lbs. cremini mushrooms
1 1/2 lbs. white button mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup cognac
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pound egg noodles
3 T unsalted butter
2 T freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 T freshly chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Place the chopped garlic, salt and pepper into a bowl. Add enough extra virgin olive oil to create a paste. Add the rosemary and thyme leaves to the bowl and stir to combine.

Set short ribs out on a roasting tray and cover with herb paste. Roast in the oven for 2 hours and 30 minutes until they are falling apart.

Heat a large saute pan over high heat and add a 3-count of olive oil. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes until brown. Add shallots and minced garlic and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 2 minutes until garlic and onion become fragrant. Remove pan from heat and carefully add cognac to deglaze the pan. Return to heat and add cream. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half. Turn off heat and stir in Dijon mustard and sour cream. Season with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper

Cook egg noodles in salted boiling water according to directions on package. Drain and toss with butter while still hot.

To serve:
Pile the noodles high on a plate, top with stroganoff sauce and finish with rib slices. Garnish with fresh parsley and green onions.

Serves 4-6


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Broccoli with Garlic & Asiago

1 large head broccoli, cut into long, thin spears
2 T extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 pound Asiago cheese, shaved with vegetable peeler

Simmer broccoli in 1/2-inch boiling, salted water in a shallow covered skillet for 6 or 7 minutes, until tender. Drain broccoli and remove from pan. Return pan to stove top over medium heat. Add oil and garlic. Saute garlic in oil 3 minutes. Add broccoli spears to the skillet and coat them with garlic oil. Transfer broccoli to a serving dish and garnish with curls of Asiago cheese.

Serves 4


Monday, April 6, 2009

Cream of Broccoli Soup with Garlic Crostini

1 French baguette, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cups steamed broccoli
3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
roasted head of garlic (1/3 cup)

Preparing the crostini:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes, until toasted.

Squeeze the pulp out of the roasted head of garlic and mash the garlic cloves into a thick paste with a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Spread the paste on the crostini and serve alongside the soup.

Preparing the soup:
In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, carrot, and broccoli. Pour broth over vegetables and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree until smooth. Add milk and simmer 1 minute to heat through. Puree again. Season to taste, with salt and pepper.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Orzo Gratin with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Black Olives & Mozzarella

1/2 lb. orzo
1 cup minced onion
1/2 cup diced fennel
2 T unsalted butter
1 16-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 cup light cream combined with 1 T flour
1 T minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled
2/3 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup sliced pitted oil-cured olives
1/2 pound fresh Mozzarella, diced
2 T minced fresh basil
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a pot of boiling salted water cook the orzo until al dente and drain. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a large skillet cook the onion and fennel in the butter over moderately low heat, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cream mixture, rosemary and salt and pepper and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Add the vegetables to the bowl containing the orzo and stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, all but 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese, basil and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 1-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.


Tuscan White Bean Soup with Pesto Bruschetta

For the beans:
1 lb. dried cannellini beans
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 yellow onion, quartered lengthwise
1 celery stalk, quartered crosswise
1 carrot, quartered crosswise
2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
1 bay leaf
1 quart chicken stock
finely ground sea salt, preferably gray salt
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional

For the bruschetta:
6 slices country-style bread, each 3/4-inch thick
extra virgin olive oil
finely ground sea salt, preferably gray salt

For the basil topping:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the beans:
Rinse the beans, place in a saucepan, and add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, cover, and remove from the heat. Let stand for about 20 minutes, then drain.

Return the beans to the saucepan along with the prosciutto, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and bay leaf. Pour in the chicken stock and then add water as needed to cover the beans by 2 inches. Slowly bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. (If you heat them too fast, the skins may break.) Adjust the heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook, uncovered, until the beans are almost tender, 20 minutes or longer, depending on the age of the beans. Add salt, to taste, and continue cooking until the beans are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let the beans cool in the liquid.

Meanwhile, make the bruschetta: Preheat a stove-top grill pan. Place the bread slices in a single layer on the grill pan and toast until each side is crisp and has grill marks, about 6 minutes. (You can also toast the bread in a 500 degrees F oven on a baking sheet.) Remove from the pan and lightly brush the bread slices on both sides with olive oil, then season lightly with salt. Let cool.

Strain the cooled beans and other solids through a sieve, reserving the liquid. In a food processor, puree the beans and solids in batches with 3 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Using a rubber spatula, push the solids through a fine mesh sieve into a clean large saucepan (you should have about 6 cups of soup in the saucepan). Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, then bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over high heat, warm the 1/4 cup olive oil. Turn on the fan above your stove. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to turn brown. Add the red pepper flakes and cook for a few seconds, then add the basil. Cook until basil wilts.

To serve, ladle the hot soup into warmed bowls. Top the soup with the basil mixture. Serve bruschetta with each bowl, adding Parmesan, if desired.

Serves 6


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chocolate Sformato with Amaretto Whipped Cream

2 cups whole milk, divided
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 packet gelatin
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 (12-ounce) bag bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 cup whipping cream
1 T powdered sugar
1 T Amaretto

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, and vanilla. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining 1/2 cup cold milk and let dissolve for 2 minutes. Combine the cold milk and gelatin with the hot milk and sugar. Stir to dissolve the gelatin, about 5 minutes. (Heat the milk gently if the gelatin is not dissolving easily.) When the gelatin is dissolved combine the eggs with the warm milk, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large measuring cup or small pitcher.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate over a double boiler. When the chocolate is melted gradually combine the milk and egg mixture with the melted chocolate, stirring between each addition to create a smooth chocolate mixture.

Pour the mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the almonds. Place the casserole dish in a larger dish or roasting pan. Add hot water to the outer pan until the water comes halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake until the sides are firm and the center is jiggles slightly, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes.

Just before serving, whip the cream to soft peaks in a medium bowl using a whisk or electric hand mixer. Add the sugar and almond liqueur and whip to combine. Spoon the sformato into individual serving bowls and dollop the top with the almond liqueur whip cream.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Chocolate Cocoa-Buttermilk Cake

Ingredients for the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 T buttermilk
2 T molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs

Ingredients for the topping:
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup water
2 T bourbon

Preparing the topping:
In a saucepan, combine the ingredients, and simmer until thick. Serve over top of cake.

Preparing the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and lightly flour an 8-cup loaf pan (10 by 5 by 3), knocking out the excess flour.

Into a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, molasses, and vanilla.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, beating about 3 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after the addition of each. Alternating, add the wet and dry ingredients in 3 additions each, mixing just until combined and being careful not to overwork.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is risen and just set and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. [If cake gets too brown, tent it with foil.]

Cool in the pan 40 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Slice cake into pieces, top with pecan topping, and serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Chocolate Cream Pie

1 cup plus 2 T sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream, plus 1 3/4 cups
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 T cornstarch
pinch salt
4 egg yolks
4 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 T butter
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 T confectioners' sugar

1 (9-inch) chocolate cookie crust, baked [recipe below]

Preparing the crust:
graham crackers to yield 2 cups crumbs
Oreo cookies, white centers removed, to yield 1 1/2 cups crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, process the graham crackers and chocolate cookies to make crumbs.

In a bowl mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar and butter with your hands. Press the mixture evenly into a 9-inch pie pan. [It will seem like an excessive amount of crumbs, but will compress down quite a bit with pressure.] Cover the crust with plastic wrap and top with another 9-inch pan, pressing quite firmly to make a smooth surface. Remove the pan and the plastic wrap from the pressed crust prior to placing it into the preheated oven. Bake the crust for 15 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and let cool completely before filling.

Makes 1 9-inch crust

Preparing the filling:
In a small saucepan combine sugar, 3/4 cup heavy cream, buttermilk, cornstarch and pinch of salt, and whisk until smooth. Place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil, whisking from time to time for the sugar and cornstarch to dissolve and the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking at a low boil for an additional 5 minutes, whisking constantly.

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly. Pour 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks and whisk thoroughly. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and whisk over the heat until thoroughly combined and very thick, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl, and whisk in the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Continue whisking until thoroughly combined (mixture will be very thick). Cover the mixture with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface and refrigerate until cooled to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Place 1 3/4 cups heavy cream in a chilled mixing bowl and add the confectioners' sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold about 1/4 of the whipped cream into the cool chocolate pudding mixture, then spoon the chocolate mixture into the prepared pie crust and refrigerate until firm and cool, at least 4 hours. Refrigerate the remaining whipped cream until you are ready to serve the pie.

When ready to serve, top the pie with the remaining sweetened whipped cream and serve immediately.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Parmesan Chicken Fingers with Tomato Sauce

Grating the parmesan cheese, chopping the tomatoes and finely mincing the onion in a food processor makes fast work of this dish.

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 T olive oil, or as needed

Wash and pat the chicken breast dry with paper towels. Pound them to flatten, using a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat mallet.

Have the beaten eggs in one dipping bowl and the Parmesan cheese in another.

Dip each chicken breast in the beaten egg; coat evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roll in the Parmesan cheese.

Preheat a large, heavy skillet. Add the olive oil. Put coated chicken in the heated oil and saute slowly, turning to brown and cook evenly on both sides. Keep temperature on the low side; the parmesan cheese tends to burn fairly easily. Cook half the chicken at one time and keep warm in a 300 degree F oven or use two skillets large enough to cook all of the chicken at the same time. Do not crowd the breasts. Add more oil during cooking, if needed. To get a delicious crisp chicken that is fully cooked, slow and easy is the trick here. You can use an instant-read meat thermomenter to check for doneness -- insert from the side; chicken should register 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the meat.

Serve with tomato sauce:
1 large onion
8 fresh ripe tomatoes or a large can of san marzano tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced

In a food processor, finely mince the onion.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil gets hot, add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 or 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Put the drained tomatoes in the food processor and chop, add to the skillet and reduce the heat. Simmer for approximately 45 minutes, or until the sauce thickens a bit.

Makes 2 cups


Sweet Vidalia French Onion Soup

3 medium sweet onions (Vidalia or Maui), peeled and sliced thin
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups beef stock or consommé (homemade or any good quality organiic canned or boxed stock, such as Wolfgang Puck's)
1/4 cup red wine
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 large portobello mushroom
4 slices of Gruyere or provolone cheese
olive oil (for brushing onto the mushroom)

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Cut the stem off the portobello mushroom. Place the mushroom cap on its side and slice into 4 round thin pieces. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the mushroom slices with olive oil and place in the skillet, cooking for a couple of minutes on each side until lightly browned.

Ladle the soup into ovenproof bowls. Place a mushroom slice on top and then a slice of Gruyere cheese. This soup is best when served in stoneware or other ovenproof bowls on a cookie sheet under the broiler for a minute or two and let the cheese get brown and bubbly.


Moroccan Chicken in a Slow Cooker

6 pounds chicken pieces, skinned
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon saffron
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 large lemons, quartered
1 cup chicken stock

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with seasoning.

Place all the ingredients into a slow cooker.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Optional: Add 1 cup of Greek olives.


Tomato Sauce

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 T unsalted butter

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.


Chicken Parmigiana, Another Way

3 T olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 (3-ounces each) chicken cutlets
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
16 teaspoons grated Parmesan
2 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Stir the oil and herbs in a small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Brush both sides of the cutlets with the herb oil. Heat a heavy large oven-proof skillet over high heat. Add the cutlets and cook just until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Spoon the marinara sauce over and around the cutlets. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of mozzarella over each cutlet, then sprinkle 2 teaspoons of Parmesan over each. Sprinkle the butter pieces atop the cutlets. Bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 T unsalted butter

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

Serves 4


Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

For the chicken nuggets:
2 cups crushed sour-cream-and-onion-flavored potato chips
1 egg
2 T milk
6 chicken breast fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup butter, melted

For the honey mustard:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 T honey
2 T yellow mustard
1 T lemon juice or juice from 1/2 lemon
horseradish, to taste
2 T orange juice (more or less as needed)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the crushed potato chips in a shallow dish. Beat together the egg and milk in a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken cubes into the egg mixture and then dredge them in the chips. Place the chicken nuggets on a baking sheet and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. The chicken nuggets can be frozen after baking. Serve with your favorite sauce, such as honey mustard or ranch dressing.

Prepare the Honey Mustard:
Combine all ingredients except orange juice; stir well. Thin to pouring consistency for dressing or dipping consistency for dips with orange juice. Cover and chill for 2 or 3 hours.


Chicken and Green Chile Chilaquiles

1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 lime, juiced
4 garlic cloves, 2 smashed and 2 minced, divided
3/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, divided
1 bay leaf
2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 to 4 jalapenos or serrano chiles, seeded and minced
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed, with juices
3 poblano peppers, roasted, seeded and peeled, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup heavy cream
vegetable oil, for frying
12 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips
sour cream, for serving
crumbled queso fresco, queso anejo, or Parmesan, for garnish

In a large saucepan combine the chicken, chicken broth, wine, lime juice, smashed garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of salt, half of the oregano, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through. Remove from the heat and let chicken cool in the broth, then remove and shred chicken into bite size pieces. Strain broth and reserve separately.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and, when hot, add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the jalapenos and minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, remaining oregano, and 1 1/2 cups of the reserved chicken cooking liquid, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and flavors have come together, about 30 minutes. Add the poblano strips and heavy cream and season, to taste, with salt. Cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Set aside.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a saucepan or deep-fryer and fry the tortilla strips, in batches, until light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with salt. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips.

Lightly grease an 8 by 11 1/2-inch casserole and lay half of the tortilla strips on the bottom of the casserole. Arrange half of the chicken over the tortilla strips, then spoon half of the tomato-poblano sauce over the chicken. Top with the remaining tortilla strips, remaining chicken and remaining tomato-poblano sauce, then sprinkle the top with the cheese and bake until bubbly and lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes. Serve while hot, with dollops of sour cream on top and garnished with some of the queso fresco.


Chicken Chili with Cheddar Hushpuppy Crust

1 T olive oil
1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 T chili powder
2 T fresh lime juice
1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
1 (4 1/2-ounce) can mild green chiles, drained
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
3 T butter or margarine, melted
1 (6-ounce) package cornbread mix
1 cup shredded cheddar

Garnishes: sour cream, salsa, chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare the Chili:
In a 10 1/2-inch cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 cup onion, garlic, green pepper, cumin, and chili powder, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the lime juice, cannellini beans, chicken, broth, and green chiles, and stir until just combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Prepare the Crust:
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg. Add the milk, butter, and cornbread mix, and blend well. Stir in 1/4 cup onion and the cheese. Pour over the chicken chili in the skillet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.

Top with sour cream, salsa, and cilantro before serving.

Serves 6


Chicken Parmigiana

Tomato sauce:
1 T olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 T balsamic vinegar
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Cooking spray
4 thin chicken cutlets (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
salt to taste
2 large egg whites
6 T dry Italian bread crumbs
2 T grated Parmesan
3 T all-purpose flour
4 to 5 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese

Tomato Sauce:
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the flavors are blended and the sauce begins to thicken slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the basil.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle the cutlets with the salt. Lightly beat the egg whites in a medium bowl. Combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan on a sheet of waxed paper. Spread the flour on another sheet of waxed paper. Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dip both sides into the flour, shaking off excess. Dip each piece into the egg whites, shaking off excess, and then press both sides into the breading to coat.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken (in batches, if necessary) and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken, in 1 layer, to the baking dish. Spoon the sauce over the chicken then sprinkle with the cheese. Bake, covered loosely with a tent of foil, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Serves 4

Nutritonal analysis per serving: 1 cutlet with 3/4 cup sauce and 2 tablespoons cheese.

Calories 435; Total Fat 14 g; (Sat Fat 4 g, Mono Fat 7 g, Poly Fat 1g) ; Protein 44 g; Carb 31 g; Fiber 4 g; Cholesterol 90 mg; Sodium 1435 mg


Veal Marsala with Egg Fettuccini

1 1/2 lbs. veal cutlets for scaloppini
salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour, a couple of scoops
4 T butter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 4 turns of the pan total
1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
24 crimini (baby portobello) mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup Marsala
1/2 cup beef stock
1 box, 12 to 14 ounces, egg fettuccini, cooked to al dente
finely chopped flat leaf parsley, for garnish

Season veal with salt and pepper. Place a large piece of plastic food wrap on a cutting board or work surface. Arrange veal between cutlets on the plastic wrap. Cover veal with additional plastic wrap and a sheet of waxed paper. Gently pound out veal with meat mallet or a small, heavy frying pan. Fold veal up in its plastic and waxed paper wrapper and set aside.

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Build an assembly line between the veal and the hot pan: veal, shallow dish with flour, butter and olive oil, pile of shallots and sliced mushrooms, Marsala and beef stock. Place a large platter over low heat on the burner adjacent to your veal pan. Warm it, then turn off the heat.

Begin cooking the veal Marsala just before your egg fettucini goes into cooking water; the veal will take 12 minutes, the pasta 7 or 8. If you are serving the suggested side dishes or a salad, these dishes should be assembled before the veal.

Dredge the veal lightly in flour. Saute cutlets in a single layer 2 minutes on each side. For each batch of veal, use 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, and 1 tablespoon butter. Transfer cooked cutlets to the warm serving platter. If you have a 12 to 14-inch skillet, you should be able to make just 2 batches. Add another tablespoon extra-virgin oil and 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet. Add half of the chopped shallots and all of the sliced mushrooms to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Saute the shallots and mushrooms for 5 minutes. Add Marsala to the pan and bring up pan drippings. Add 1/4 cup beef stock and when it bubbles, add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan to gloss your sauce. Spoon mushrooms and Marsala down over the veal. Return the pan to the stove. Add remaining extra-virgin oil, butter and remaining shallots to the skillet. Cook shallots 1 to 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 cup beef stock to the shallots and add the egg fettucini to the pan. Toss fettuccini with broth and butter and season with salt and chopped parsley. Transfer pasta to a serving dish and serve with warm veal Marsala.


New York Cioppino with Anchovy Butter Croutons

6 T olive oil, divided
1 large onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups fish stock
1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds bass fillets, cut into 2-inch squares
16 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
32 littleneck clams
24 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 T chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 T honey
few dashes hot sauce

Sour Dough Croutons:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 heaping tablespoon anchovy paste
8 (1/2-inch) thick slices sourdough bread
olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Fish Cioppino:
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the fish stock, drained tomatoes, bay and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes

While the broth is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat in separate large saute pan. Season the bass on both sides with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.

To the same pan, add another 2 tablespoons of oil, season the shrimp and saute until lightly golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Remove to the plate with the bass.

Add the clams, mussels, bass and shrimp to the reduced broth and cook until the clams and mussels open, discarding any that do not open, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and tarragon and season with honey, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add hot sauce, to taste.

For the Sourdough Croutons:
Preheat grill pan to medium-high heat.

Stir together butter and anchovy paste in a small bowl. Set aside.

Brush bread with oil on 1 side and season with salt and pepper. Grill, oil side down on preheated grill pan until lightly golden brown, turn over and continue grilling until lightly golden brown on both sides.

Remove bread to a platter and spread some of the butter-anchovy mixture on the seasoned side. Cut each slice in half, crosswise.

Place 1/2 slice of the bread in each bowl, ladle some of the mixture on top and top with the remaining 1/2 slice of bread. Garnish with parsley leaves, if desired.


Sephardic Chicken Soup with Sofrito and Herbed Matzo Balls

Saffron matzo balls:
8 large eggs
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chicken fat, melted (schmaltz), plus 2 tablespoons, for optional garnish
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
2 T kosher salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups matzo meal
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) chicken
4 quarts chicken stock

2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup quartered cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 cup diced (1/4-inch) red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced (1/4-inch) green bell pepper
2 T freshly chopped cilantro leaves
4 garlic cloves, minced
small pinch saffron
1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce, optional

To make the matzo balls, bring a large pot of salted water or chicken broth to a boil over high heat. Whisk the eggs, oils, chicken fat, water, parsley, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, add the matzo meal and sift in the baking powder. Mix together, then fold into the eggs. Cover with plastic wrap, pressed tightly against the batter and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

Moisten your hands lightly with water and form the matzo mixture into 24 walnut-sized balls. Carefully drop the matzo balls into the water or broth. Reduce the heat to medium and partially cover. Simmer gently until the matzo balls are cooked through, about 40 minutes. Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer the matzo balls to a large bowl of cold water.

Meanwhile, make the soup. Bring the chicken pieces and stock to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat, skimming off the foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the soup. Remove and discard the skin, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, and reserve the meat until service. Return the remaining bones back to the broth and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes more to further develop the soup's flavor.

While the soup is simmering, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, tomatoes, red and green peppers, cilantro, garlic and saffron. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables in the sofrito are tender, but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the hot sauce, if using. Set the sofrito aside.

When ready to serve, strain the soup and discard the bones. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the sofrito and chicken pieces. Add the matzo balls and simmer until the matzo balls are heated through, about 5 minutes. (The soup and matzo balls can be prepared up to 2 days ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated. Reheat before serving.)

Ladle the soup, along with sofrito, chicken and matzo balls into bowls and serve hot, with an optional drizzle of the additional melted chicken fat (schmaltz).

Serves 10-12


Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup smooth or crunch peanut butter (use any good, organic peanut butter, either salted or unsalted. If using unsalted peanut butter, you may want to increase the salt to 1 teaspoon)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 T pure vanilla extract
2 T light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 teaspoons water, as needed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or two.

Cream together the brown sugar, peanut butter, oil, egg, vanilla, and corn syrup. On a piece of wax paper or in a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and blend thoroughly. The dough will be stiff and crumbly. If it won't hold together, add a teaspoon or so of water.

With your hands, shape and roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Place them on the baking sheet and, with the bottom of a glass, press them into flat circles. Smooth the cracked edges a little with your fingers. If you like, press the tops with the tines of a fork to give them the mark of classic peanut butter cookies. If you like them brown and crisp on top, spray a light coat of oil on the tops of the unbaked cookies.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a rack and store in a cookie jar.

Yields about 30 cookies
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 10 minutes


Creamy Potato-Cheese Soup

A rich soup, cream cheese is the secret for giving it a velvety texture. Substitute Neufchatel cheese which is lower in fat, tastes very similar, and is also very creamy.

3 to 4 T butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 large garlic clove, minced or pressed
2 large potatoes, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 1/2 cups milk (or part cream)
4 ounces of cream cheese or Neufchatel
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
salt and black pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley

In a large soup pot, sauté the onions and garlic in the butter until the onions are translucent. Add the potatoes and carrots and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes longer. Add the stock or water and dill and simmer until all the vegetables are tender.

Puree the vegetables with the cream cheese and milk in a blender or food processor. Return the soup to the soup pot. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheddar cheese and reheat gently.

Serve each cup or bowl garnished with chopped fresh parsley.

Serves 4 to 6


Basic Butter Cookies

A simple butter cookie recipe can be the starting point for many delightful creations. Ours have a light, delicate texture and the unmistakable richness of butter.

The basic cookie dough is great baked just as it is or topped with a whole or half nut, a few chocolate chips, or sprinkling of sugar just before baking. However, we have provided directions for three of our favorite variations. Butternut Cookies, Jam Drops, and Pinwheel Cookies.

The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. In the freezer, it will keep for up to 6 months. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator for a day before using.

Ingredients for basic cookie dough:
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature*
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Equipment: electric mixer (optional); double boiler; baking sheet.

To Make Butternut Cookies:
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts

To Make Jam Drops:
1/2 cup preserves or fruit spread

To Make Pinwheel Cookies:
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

With a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, cream the butter until light. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then add the vanilla and beat until smooth. Gradually add the flour and salt, mixing just until the dough ins uniformly smooth. The dough is now ready to chill, shape, and bake or freeze or flavor for one of the three variations below.

At the end of the chilling time preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into 1/4-inch-thick cookies and place them about an inch apart on unoiled baking sheets. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden. Cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to racks to finish cooling.

For Butternut Cookies:
Stir the chopped nuts into the dough. For the dough into two 6-inch-long cylindrical logs about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours. The dough needs to be firm enough to hold its shape when sliced.

For Jam Drops:
Cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour. When it is firm, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Gently roll teaspoonfuls of the dough between your palms to form 1-inch balls. It is best not to over handle the dough. Place the balls about 1 1/2 inches apart on lightly oiled baking sheets.

With your fingertip, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Fill each hollow with a scant 1/4 teaspoon of fruit preserves. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden. Cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

For Pinwheel Cookies:
Gently melt the chocolate with the sugar and cinnamon in a double boiler. Remove half of the dough from the bowl and set aside. Add the melted chocolate to the bowl and stir to make an evenly colored brown dough. Cut both the dark (chocolate) and the light (vanilla) balls of dough into halves. Wrap each piece in plastic and flatten into a 1/2-inch-thick disk. Chill for at least 1 hour.

On four lightly floured pieces of wax paper, roll the disks into 12-inch squares. Flip each dark square onto a light square, peel off the wax paper, and press lightly with the rolling pin to seal the two dough layers together. You will have two double-layered 12-inch squares. [If the dough is already soft and sticky, refrigerate it for 10 minutes.] Roll up each square of dough, jellyroll fashion, to form two logs, removing the wax paper as you roll. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 1/2 hours, until the dough is firm enough to hold its shape when sliced.

When the dough is firm, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into 1/2-inch-thick cookies and place them an inch apart on lightly oiled baking sheets. Bake until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Makes 60 to 70 cookies
Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes
Baking time: 15 to 20 minutes per batch
Chilling time: about 1 to 2 hours


Cinnabons with a Bread Machine

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 T ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.

After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll dough into a 16- x 21-inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Serves 12


Farmhouse Chicken in Vinegar Sauce

In the absence of Alsatian honey-perfumed melfor vinegar use cider vinegar sweetened with a drop of honey to make this classic dish.

1 3 1/2-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T canola oil
6 T butter
8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 shallots, peeled and minced
1 cup cider vinegar mixed with 1 drop honey
1 cup Alsatian riesling or other dry but fruity white wine
1 T tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 T finely chopped fresh parsley

Rinse chicken, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil and 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken, skin side down, and brown, turning once, about 10 minutes per side. Remove and set aside. Repeat procees with remaining chicken. Remove from pan and pour off most of the fat, leaving just enough to thinly coat skillet.

Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and shallots, and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Deglaze skillet with vinegar and wine, scraping brown bits off bottom with a wooden spoon. Reduce vinegar mixture by about one-third, 3-5 minutes, then stir in tomato paste. Return chicken to skillet, pour in stock, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Turn chicken and continue cooking until juices from chicken run clear, about 15 minutes. [If sauce becomes too thick, thin with a small amount of chicken stock or water.]

Remove chicken from skillet with a fork and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high, skim foam from sauce and continue cooking until sauce is thick and glossy, about 5 minutes. Cut remaining butter into small pieces. Remove skillet from heat and whisk butter into sauce. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. [Sauce should be smooth but tart; add additional vinegar if desired.] Return chicken to skillet, turning to coat evenly with sauce. To serve, transfer chicken and sauce to a serving platter and garnish with parsley.

Serves 4


Roast Chicken

After roasting is completed, turn off the oven, leaving the door ajar, and leave the chicken to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. This enables the flesh to relax gently, retaining the juices in the meat and ensuring easy, trouble-free carving and a moist bird.

4 ounces good butter at room temperature
1 4-lb. free-range chicken
salt and pepper
1 lemon
several sprigs of thyme or tarragon, or a mixture of the two
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Smear the butter with your hands all over the bird. Put the chicken in a roasting pan that will accommodate it with room to spare. Season liberally with salt and pepper and squeeze over with the juice of the lemon.

Put the herbs and garlic inside the cavity, together with the squeezed-out lemon halves—this will add a fragrant lemony flavor to the finished dish.

Roast the chicken in the oven for 10–15 minutes. Baste, then turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees F and roast for a further 30–45 minutes with further occasional basting. The bird should be golden brown all over with a crisp skin and have buttery, lemony juices of a nut-brown color in the bottom of the pan.

Serves 4


For the chicken:
4 branches fresh rosemary, bruised
6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 3 1/2–4-lb. chicken
salt and freshly ground white pepper

For the vegetables:
6 cloves garlic, peeled
6 small new potatoes, quartered
2 bell peppers, 1 red and 1 green, cored, seeded, and cut into 2" squares
1/2 small kabocha squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into 2" squares
2–3 celery hearts, cut in half lengthwise,
then into thirds
2–3 leeks, white part only, trimmed, halved lengthwise, cleaned, blanched for 30 seconds, and cooled in ice water
1 red onion, peeled and halved crosswise, each half quartered
salt and freshly ground white pepper

For the sauce:
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled, blanched for 15 seconds, cooled in ice water, then sliced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 cup rich Chicken Stock
4 T butter, cut into pieces
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/4 bunch parsley, leaves chopped

For the chicken:
Strip leaves from 2 of the rosemary branches and finely chop. Finely chop 3 of the garlic cloves. Combine chopped rosemary and garlic and oil in a bowl and set aside. Generously season chicken cavity with salt and pepper, then stuff with remaining 2 branches rosemary and 3 garlic cloves. Tie legs together with kitchen twine and rub all over with half the prepared oil. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Rub chicken with half the remaining prepared oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Put chicken, breast side up, directly on an oven rack set in the middle of the oven and set a large roasting pan on an oven rack underneath the chicken. Roast until skin is deeply golden and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, 50–60 minutes.

For the vegetables:
While chicken is roasting, put garlic, potatoes, peppers, squash, celery hearts, leeks, and onions into a large bowl. Add the remaining prepared oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and mix well. After chicken has been roasting for 25 minutes, put vegetables in roasting pan under chicken to roast until chicken is cooked and vegetables are soft, another 25–35 minutes.

For the sauce:
Heat oil, garlic, and rosemary in a small pan over medium heat until garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add stock and simmer until reduced by half, 8–10 minutes; discard rosemary. Whisk in butter, a few pieces at a time, then add lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add parsley just before serving.

Transfer vegetables and chicken to a deep platter, remove kitchen twine, then pour sauce over top.

Serves 2-4


Pan-Roasted Chicken with Madeira Sauce

Brining the chicken for this dish before cooking yields remarkably tender and savory meat.

For the chicken:
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1 cup white wine vinegar
2 T freshly ground black pepper
1 T mustard seeds
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
6 cups ice cubes (about 1 lb.)
2 boneless skin-on chicken breasts
2 boneless skin-on chicken thighs

For the sauce:
4 T extra virgin olive oil
4 whole chicken wings
10 whole black peppercorns
5 shallots, finely chopped
5 sprigs thyme
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup madeira
2 cups chicken broth

Brine the chicken: Bring sugar, salt, vinegar, pepper, mustard seeds, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and 12 cups water to a boil in an 8-quart pot. Remove from heat; let cool for 10 minutes. Add ice and refrigerate brine until well chilled. Submerge the chicken pieces in the brine, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Make the sauce: Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken wings in a single layer and cook, flipping once with tongs, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add the peppercorns, shallots, 2 sprigs thyme, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are soft, about 2 minutes. Add the madeira and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, bring to a broil, and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced to 1/4 cup, about 25 minutes. Skim fat from the sauce and strain sauce through a fine sieve into a 1-quart saucepan; discard solids. Set sauce aside and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove chicken pieces from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Heat remaining oil in a 12" ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken skin side down and cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining thyme sprigs and transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook until chicken is almost cooked through, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken and cook until skin is crisp, 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. To serve, spoon some of the sauce onto 4 plates. Halve thighs and cut breasts into 1" slices and fan out on plates. Spoon remaining sauce over top of chicken.

Serves 2


Brick Chicken

Using a brick wrapped in aluminum foil to press down on a partially deboned chicken as it cooks in a skillet reduces cooking time and yields an especially juicy, crisp bird.

1 3–4-lb. chicken, halved, backbone, ribcage, and thigh bones removed
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 T canola oil
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 T lemon juice

Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 10" skillet over high heat. When oil begins to smoke, add the 2 chicken halves to skillet skin side down. Place another 10" skillet, right side up, on top of chicken and gently place a heavy brick (or several soup cans in it; weight should be at least 20 pounds).

Reduce heat to medium-high and cook chicken until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 18 minutes. Remove the top skillet and weight, flip the chicken halves with tongs, and pour off excess fat.

Add the chicken broth and lemon juice and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the chicken's thigh registers 160 degrees, about 3 more minutes. Serve chicken with pan sauce.

Serves 2


Preserved or Confites Tomatoes

4 tomatoes, cored and peeled
6 T extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 sprigs thyme
4 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Halve tomatoes crosswise and gently squeeze out seeds.

Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the oil into a medium baking dish, add tomatoes, cut side up, drizzle with remaining 4 tbsp. of oil, and sprinkle with sugar and salt. Season with pepper.

Scatter thyme, bay leaves, and garlic into dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn tomatoes cut side down and bake, turning them every 1/2 hour, until soft but not falling apart, about 5 1/2 hours more.


Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

A side dish, mixed into cold or hot pasta, served on grilled or toasted bread as antipasto, interleaved with fried eggplant slices, or as a pizza topping.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 T fresh rosemary leaves
3 T fresh parsley
2 28-ounce cans peeled whole san marzano tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Pour 1/4 cup of the oil into a large non-reactive baking pan. Add onion, garlic, rosemary, and parsley. Toss, then spread evenly on bottom of pan.

Gently squeeze tomatoes to release excess juices, then place in pan in a single layer. Drizzle with remaining oil. Sprinkle with sugar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake for 3 hours.

Serves 4


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