Meals

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Field Greens with Roasted Beets and Fresh Sheep’s Cheese

From James Beard Award winning Chef Melissa Kelly’s new book Mediterranean Women Stay Slim, Too, this healthy and fresh salad is super during the Spring, when beets are peaking.

Ingredients

  • 2 shallots, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 fresh beets, any type
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil (torn into bite size pieces)
  • 2 sprigs fresh Italian parsley (pick the leaves from the stems)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh chives, snipped into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 heads Belgian endive
  • 1/4 pound fresh sheep’s cheese (or goat cheese)

Tools

  • Cutting Board, Knife
  • Aluminum foil
  • Bowls for greens, vinaigrette

Directions

  1. First, make the vinaigrette. Place the shallots in a bowl and add the vinegars. Season with salt and pepper and let sit 15-20 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil and adjust the seasonings to taste. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the beets. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the beets and wrap each one in foil. Roast for about 1 hour or until a knife slides in with ease. Set aside to cool. When cool, peel the beets and cut into wedges. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the mesclun greens, basil, parsley, and chives. Pour half the vinaigrette over the greens and toss until all the greens are coated.
  4. To assemble the salads, arrange the endive on a platter or on four individual salad plates so that the leaves form a flower-petal pattern around the edge of the plate. Pie the salad greens in the middle. Arrange the beets on top of the salad greens and drizzle the beets with the remaining vinaigrette. Crumble the cheese over the top and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. You may serve it with crusty bread or pita wedges.

*Serves 4


Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Mussels and Chorizo in Saffron-Garlic Broth

“I don’t eat mussels in restaurants unless I know the chef, or have seen, with my own eyes, how they store and hold their mussels for service. I love mussels. But, in my experience, most cooks are less than scrupulous in their handling of them. It takes only a single bad mussel, one treacherous little guy hidden among an otherwise impeccable group … If I’m hungry for mussels, I’ll pick the good-looking ones out of your order.”Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential

Having inspected my own mussels (and discarding nearly 20% of them as cracked or open), I can see his point. This recipe is especially nice when New Zealand green-lipped mussels are available, but shown above with Prince Edward Island (PEI). Served with a crusty baguette, this recipe doesn’t generate a ton of broth, but its flavor is concentrated. You could double the sauce for 4 or just half the mussels to serve 2 if you’re looking to sop up a lot of bread.

Some notes on mussels: be sure to take them out of the bag when you get home to let them BREATHE and store in a cool place. They can keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Place in a bowl with room at the top and cover with a soaked then wrung towel to cover (they need moisture, but not too much). If any mussels are open at first, you can tap them gently on the counter and if they don’t close up in a few minutes, then discard. Clean by soaking (then scrubbing), discard any open or cracked mussels, and debeard towards the hinge to avoid tearing.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • large pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1/4 pound Spanish chorizo sausage, cut crosswise into very thin slices
  • 1 cup fish stock (you may substitute water, I used white wine)
  • 1/2 cup Pomi brand strained tomatoes or 1/2 cup tomato purée
  • dried hot red pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 pounds mussels, cleaned, scrubbed, and debearded (about 25 large New Zealand mussels or 40 to 60 regular mussels)

Tools

  • Cutting Board, Knife
  • Dutch Oven

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over moderately low heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, garlic, and saffron, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until onion is softened but not browned. Stir in the chorizo, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the fish stock and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Add crushed hot red pepper flakes to taste. Add the mussels, and cover tightly. Cook over high heat, shaking the pot once or twice during the cooking to move the mussels around, or stirring the mussels quickly with a large spoon, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mussels have opened. (Discard any that have not opened.)
  3. Spoon the mussel mixture into deep soup bowls and serve hot with crusty bread.

*Serves 4.


Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Deconstructed Fried Egg with Chorizo, Garlic and Thyme Oil

Thoroughly Spanish, and thoroughly stolen from José Andres. The revelation here is to separate the yolk from the white, fry the white separately and just warm the raw yolk on the dish with the hot garlic infused thyme oil. Spanish “Chori-tho” is different than Mexican varieties, and is much preferred here.

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Sea salt to taste

Tools

  • Cutting Board, Knife
  • Bowls for egg whites
  • Slotted Spoon, Spatula
  • 10-12 inch fry pan

Directions

  1. Gently crack open the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites, putting each yolk and each white into its own small bowl.
  2. Split open the garlic cloves by placing them on a chopping board and pressing down hard on them with the base of your hand or with the flat side of a kitchen knife. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer garlic to a plate and set aside.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Once the oil just begins to smoke, tip the sauté pan to a steep angle so the oil collects on one side to create a small bath. Carefully slide the egg white into the oil bath and spoon hot oil over the white 3 or 4 times. until the edges start to get brown, then flip the egg white over. Cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer egg white with a slotted spoon to a serving plate, set aside and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining egg whites.
  4. Pour the olive oil from the pan into a small bowl and set aside. Return the pan to the stovetop and continue to heat over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook for 30-45 seconds, flipping the rounds when the sides begin to brown. Add the thyme and continue cooking for 1 minute.
  5. Divide the egg whites between four plates. Gently spoon an egg yolk over each egg white. Divide the chorizo and thyme between the plates and garnish with the reserved garlic. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle the reserved cooking oil over each plate.

*Serves 2 for dinner, or 4 as a smaller dish or breakfast.


Monday, March 11th, 2013

Seared Alaskan Halibut over Fork-Mashed Purple Potatoes, Whole Roasted Carrots and a Lemon Dijon Sauce.

Ingredients, Purple Potatoes

  • 1 pound Purple Majesty or other purple potatoes, washed
  • 4 small shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons good extra-virgin olive oil (we used half, and it was plenty for us)
  • Fleur de sel to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Ingredients, Lemon Dijon Sauce

  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh Herbs (I used more parsley but this is a versatile sauce)
  • 4 portions halibut fillet, each about 6 ounces

Ingredients, Roasted Carrots

  • 1 pound (medium) whole carrots, fronds removed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Tools

  • Baking Dish, Oven for Carrots
  • Stock pot, bowls for potatoes
  • Small Sauce pan for sauce
  • Large Saute pan for fish
  • Knife, Cutting board, and bowls for prep

Directions, Carrots

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. In a medium baking dish, combine the carrots with the water, garlic, oil and butter and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes, until tender.
  3. Uncover and roast for about 30 minutes longer, until the water has evaporated and the carrots are lightly browned in spots. Transfer the carrots and garlic to a plate and serve.

Directions, Purple Potatoes

  1. In a large pot, cook potatoes with skins on in heavily salted boiling water until tender, approximately 15 minutes.
  2. Remove potatoes from pot, and peel them while still warm.
  3. Place potatoes in a large bowl and, using a fork, gently smash them, maintaining a fairly chunky consistency.
  4. Fold in minced shallots, lemon juice, olive oil, fleur de sel, and white pepper. Finish with parsley.

Directions, Fish, Lemon Dijon Sauce

  1. Melt butter over low to medium-low heat (do not boil) with dijon, add herbs (squeeze lemon into bowl for addition/emulsification before service)
  2. To cook the halibut fillets, heat a couple tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet large enough to hold them. Season the fillets with salt and pepper and saute until they are golden brown and cooked through, moist but still flaky when the thickest part of one is pierced with a knife tip, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  3. Add lemon juice and whisk to emulsify. Serve immediately.

*Serves 4.


Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

Corned Venison

Adapted from this. Takes 5-7 days, but keeps for a couple weeks in the fridge. Excellent hot, but also delicious as cold cuts. I made little Tea Sandwiches of Corned Venison, French Dijon and Sauerkraut on Rye for a party.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 ounce Instacure No. 1 (sodium nitrite)
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon toasted coriander seeds
  • 12 bay leaves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves
  • 5-6 chopped garlic cloves
  • A 3-5 pound venison roast

Tools

  • Large pot for curing and cooking
  • Clean stone or similar for a weight on meat, to keep submerged
  • Cutting Board, Knife

Directions

  1. Add everything but the roast to a pot and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and cover, then let it cool to room temperature while covered. This will take a few hours.
  2. Meanwhile, trim any silverskin you find off the roast. Leave the fat.
  3. Once the brine is cool, find a container just about large enough to hold the roast, place the meat inside and cover with the brine. You might have extra, which you can discard.
  4. Make sure the roast is completely submerged in the brine; I use a clean stone to weigh the meat down. Cover and put in the fridge for 5-7 days, depending on the roast’s size. A 2-pound roast might only need 3 days. The longer you soak, the saltier it will get — but you want the salt and nitrate to work its way to the center of the roast, and that takes time. Err on extra days, not fewer days.
  5. After the week has passed, you have corned venison. To cook and eat, rinse off the meat, then put the roast in a pot just large enough to hold it and cover with fresh water. You don’t want too large a pot or the fresh water will leach out too much flavor from the salty meat — it’s an osmosis thing.
  6. Cover and simmer — don’t boil — the meat for 90 minutes (I’ve read 3-5 hours, but 90 was perfect, depends on the meat).
  7. Eat hot or cold. It is absolutely fantastic with good mustard and some sauerkraut on a sandwich.

*Makes 1 3-5 pound corned roast.


Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Woodland Mushrooms over Creamy Goat Cheese Grits

This simple vegetarian dish is hearty enough to satifsy a meaty craving, but light and lucious all the same. The basic concept is to roast the vegetables while you make the grits, which in all takes about 30 minutes. Variations abound, you could substitute the grits for a yellow polenta (use a coarse cornmeal instead of grits). You can omit the goat cheese entirely for lower calories, and instead garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsely.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (or chicken stock, vegetable stock or more water)
  • 1 cup stone-ground white corn grits
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, preferably a mixture, trimmed and halved if large
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Tools

  • Baking Sheet, Oven
  • Cutting Board, Knife
  • Medium Sauce Pan for Grits

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 450°. Put the Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet that can hold them in a single layer, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic, toss, and continue to roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until the sprouts and mushrooms are quite brown and tender, 10 to 20 minutes more. Taste, and adjust the seasoning.
  2. Meanwhile, In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Cook the grits over moderate heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until thickened and the grains are tender, about 30 minutes (10 to 15 for polenta).
  3. Stir the goat cheese into the grits, season with salt and pepper and cook just until heated through if they have cooled. Whisk in additional water if the consistency is too thick, it should be like a thick oatmeal.
  4. Divide the grits among four bowls; top with the vegetables.

*Serves 4.


Monday, November 19th, 2012

Peppery Spaghetti Carbonara with Tarragon and Poached Egg

Peppery Spaghetti Carbonara with Tarragon and Poached Egg. So traditionally a raw egg is mixed into the hot pasta, but in line with my current obsession, I instead poached the egg right in the pasta water.

Ingredients

  • 2 bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus additional for serving
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon or parsley
  • 1 large egg

Tools

  • 10-inch nonstick skillet (cast iron works)
  • Stock Pot and strainer for pasta
  • Cup for egg

Directions

  1. Cook bacon in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
  2. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a 4-quart saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup cooking water, then transfer spaghetti with tongs to a small bowl, shaking off excess water, and keep pan of water simmering.
  3. Pour off all but 2 teaspoons bacon fat from skillet, then whisk butter into fat in skillet over medium heat. Add spaghetti, reserved cooking water, cheese, and a rounded 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened and almost completely absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Add bacon and 1 tablespoon tarragon and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Break egg into a cup and gently slide into water. Poach at a bare simmer to desired doneness (I prefer a firm white with a runny yolk, 2 to 3 minutes).
  5. Serve pasta topped with egg (transfer using a slotted spoon). Sprinkle with remaining tarragon if desired.

*Serves 1


Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Chicken Marsala with Oyster, Fresh Sage and Haricot Vert

Whistle While You Work: Or drink the wine you’re supposed to be cooking with…whichever. Chicken Marsala with Oyster, Fresh Sage and Haricot Vert.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10 oz mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (2 lb total)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Tools

    Tools

    • 2-quart saucepan
    • 8- to 10-inch heavy skillet for Mushrooms
    • 10-inch heavy skillet for Chicken
    • Wide shallow bowl for flour
    • Mallet and saran wrap for pounding chicken
    • wax paper
    • Platter and oven to hold Chicken
    • Knife, cutting board

    Directions

    1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200°F.
    2. Bring broth to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat, then boil, uncovered, until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes.
    3. Cook shallot in 3 tablespoons butter in an 8- to 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until shallot begins to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon sage, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
    4. Put flour in a wide shallow bowl. Gently pound chicken to 1/4 inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic wrap using the flat side of a meat pounder or a rolling pin.
    5. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, 1 piece at a time, shaking off excess. Transfer to sheets of wax paper, arranging chicken in 1 layer.
    6. Heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté half of chicken, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes total. Transfer cooked chicken to a large heatproof platter, arranging in 1 layer, then put platter in oven to keep warm. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and cook remaining chicken in same manner, then transfer to oven, arranging in 1 layer.
    7. Add 1/2 cup wine to skillet and boil over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, about 30 seconds. Add reduced broth, cream, and mushrooms, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons wine and 1/2 teaspoon sage.
    8. Serve chicken with sauce.

    *Serves 4


Monday, November 5th, 2012

Salmon with Fennel and Pernod

Think Licorice: Fennel, Anise, Pernod, Pastis, Absinthe, Sambuca, Ouzo, Arak…all that same sharp and sweet signature flavor. A one-pan meal, it’s Salmon with Fennel and Pernod, served with Bubbles.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 large fennel bulb with fronds; bulb quartered, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices; 2 tablespoons fronds chopped, divided
  • 2 6- to 7-ounce salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons Pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur

Tools

  • Large nonstick skillet with lid
  • Small bowl
  • Knife, cutting board

Directions

  1. Stir fennel seeds in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer seeds to small bowl; cool. Mix in butter, shallots, and 1 tablespoon fennel fronds; season butter mixture with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter mixture in same large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sliced fennel bulb and 1/4 cup water to skillet; cover and cook until fennel is crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Uncover skillet and sauté until fennel begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer fennel to plate.
  3. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon butter mixture to same skillet and melt over medium heat. Add salmon; cover and cook 5 minutes. Turn salmon over; add 1/4 cup water to skillet. Cover and continue cooking until salmon is just opaque in center, about 5 minutes longer. Slide salmon to 1 side of skillet; return fennel to skillet. Add Pernod, 2 teaspoons butter mixture, and remaining 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds; stir to heat through.
  4. Divide fennel mixture between 2 plates. Top with salmon; spoon remaining butter mixture over salmon.

*Serves 2



All recipes stolen/borrowed from somewhere, butchered/adapted exclusively by CHEF BOY/R/C.