Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Goose with Cranberry-Pomegranate Glaze



Adapted from Emeriel Lagasse's Roast Port Glazed Goose with Tawny Port Gravy

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion, plus 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, plus 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 domestic goose, about 10 - 12 pounds, well rinsed and patted dry, neck and giblets reserved
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine 1/2 cup of the onions, celery, carrots, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne in a mixing bowl. Remove any excess fat around the opening of the cavity of the goose. Prick other fatty areas with a fork at intervals. Do not prick the breast. Stuff cavity of goose with vegetable mixture. Season the outside of the goose with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and the black pepper. Place the goose in a large roasting pan on a rack and roast for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the drumsticks and thighs are easy to remove.

Pomegranate-Molasses Glaze:
1 or 2 Valencia oranges
1 lime
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup pomegranate-molasses sauce

Combine the juice of one or two Valencia oranges with the juice from one lime in a small pan and reduce by half. Add 1/3 cup pomegranate-molasses sauce and 1 tablespoon honey, and reduce until it form a glaze, about 5 minutes.

Using a brush, glaze the goose with the pomegranate-molasses reduction, and return to the oven for 5 minutes to allow the glaze to caramelize and set. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with the Port Gravy.

Port Gravy:
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Giblets and neck from the goose
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups Tawny port
2 cups water

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the giblets and neck, and brown, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the onions, celery, carrots, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and thyme and cook, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add the wine, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and strain into a clean container and keep warm until ready to serve. Yield: About 2 cups.

Pork Shoulder Braised with Oranges - Puerco en Naranja


recipe adapted from Diana Kennedy’s Essential Cuisines of Mexico

Puerco en Naranja
Pork Cooked in Orange Juice

5 pounds pork shoulder butt
5 garlic cloves, crushed
salt, to taste
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
12 peppercorns
zest of 1 orange (optional)
3 oranges

This dish could be adapted for a pressure cooker (about 50 minutes). --PKS

In the original recipe, the pork is roasted in an oven but I prefer adding a little water and braising on the stovetop. The braising liquid will be reduced to create a sauce so use a light hand when seasoning the pork. Crush the garlic, salt, oregano, and peppercorns. Moisten with the juice and zest of 1 orange then rub the mixture into the pork. Set aside for 1 hour or leave in the refrigerator overnight.

Place the pork in a dutch oven or heavy casserole and moisten with the juice of a second orange. Include the orange rinds in the pot. Add enough water to immerse half of the pork. Bring to a boil over high heat on the stovetop, then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer while covered with a tight lid. Braise for 2 to 3 hours. Let cool to room temperature.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Horseradish crusted flank steak


from Everyday Food, May 2004

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pound flank steak
1/3 cup prepared horseradish

Heat broiler. Fill 1/3 cup with prepared horseradish that has been squeezed of excess liquid.

Combine in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Cut 1 1/2 pounds flank steak into four equal pieces. Generously season steaks on both sides with coarse salt and ground pepper. Place on broiler pan; pat horseradish mixture on top of steaks.

Broil until crust is slightly browned and steak is cooked to desired doneness, 5 to 7 minutes for medium-rare.

Note: I use one piece of 1-inch thick sirloin steak, Mezzetta horseradish, and a pressed clove of garlic, broil for about 10 minutes, and then let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing on the diagonal.

Serves 4.

per serv.: 291 cal; 15.9 g fat; 33.1 g protein; 2.2 g carb; 0.7 g fiber

Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa


from Everyday Food, January 2008

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Hass avocado, pitted and cut into chunks

In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne; rub all over chicken.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add chicken, and cook until browned on the outside and opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine onion and lime juice; set aside. Just before serving, fold avocado chunks into onion mixture; season with salt and pepper. Serve chicken topped with salsa.

Serves 4.

per serv.: 344 cal; 13.7 g fat (2.2 g sat fat); 47 g protein; 7 g carb; 3.5 g fiber

Jacques' Split Roasted Chicken

from Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home

5 1/2-to-6-pound roasting chicken
1 Tbs. butter, soft or melted

For the optional spice mix:
1 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp. caraway seed
1 tsp. dried herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. salt

For the deglazing sauce:
1 to 2 tbs. minced shallots
1/3 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 Tbs. or so unsalted butter (optional)

For serving:
a large bunch o fresh watercress

Butterflying the chicken:
Preheat the broiler. Trim off the excess neck skin. Remove the fat from the cavity and cut out the wishbone. With your knife or a cleaver, chop off the tips of the wings and the ends of the drumsticks. Lift a wing, exposing the "armpit," and slice into the shoulder joint to open it slightly, but not through it. Repeat with the other wing. To open the chicken , cut closely down one side of the backbone, starting at the side of the neck, cutting forcefully through the tail end. Cut down the other side to free the backbone (save it for stock with the other trimmings). Spread open the chicken, skin side down, and nick the breastbone with the blae of the knife to split it. Then press firmly on both sides of the breast to flatten the chicken. Lift the flap of skin that covers the leg and slice into the joint between the thigh and drumstick; open it slightly--just enough for the heat to get into the joint--but do not cut through it. Repeat with other leg joint. Fold the wing tips under the shoulder, to hold them in place.
Broiling the butterflied chicken:
Brush both sides of the chicken with the melted butter and arrange it skin side down in the pan. Place under the broiler, with the chicken about 6 inches from the heat, and broil for about 10 minutes, until the interior flesh is lightly browned. Remove the pan and set on a work surface. Set the oven temperature at 400ยบF.

Coasting with optional spices and roasting:
Place all the spices and the salt in the grinder and process briefly to a coarse powder. Sprinkle about a quarter of the spice mix over the broiled inside of the chicken, then turn it skin side up, flat in the pan. Sprinkle the rest of the spices over the skin, in a thick, even layer. Place the pan in the center of the oven and roast for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, basting once or twice--quickly, so not to lose oven heat--with the pan juices. Near the end of cooking time, check signs of doneness, the thigh should be tender, the juices from the breast and leg joint should be clear, and the skin should be deeply colored and crisp.

Carving and serving:
Remove the chicken toa platter and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes in a warm oven. Deglaze the pan, using 1 1/3 cups of liquid in all, to make a sauce for serving. To carve, cut the butterflied chicken into 2 halves, straight down the middle of the breast. With parallel cuts, slice 2 thick slabs of breast meat (about 3/4 inch thick) from the inside of each breast half. The remaining outside piece of breast on each side is served with wing attached. Cut through the hip joint to separate 1 whole leg from the breast. Cut off the drumstick and split the thigh into 2 pieces. Repeat with the other leg. You should have 12 nice-sized pieces of chicken. Arrange the pieces on a serving platter and garnish with bunches of watercress. Drizzle the pan sauce over all the pieces, and over the watercress as well. Serve, passing more sauce on the side.

Serves 8 to 10.

Jacques' Split Roasted Chicken with Mustard Sauce

from Jacques Pepin's More Fast Food My Way

I often make this recipe at home when I am in a hurry, because splitting and flattening the chicken and cutting between the joints of the leg and the shoulder reduce the cooking time by half. I use kitchen shears to split the chicken pen at the back and to cut the cooked bird into serving pieces and a knife to cut between the joints. The mustard crust can be made ahead and even spread on the chicken a day ahead, if you like. I pour the cooked chicken juices into a fat separator with a spout and serve over Fluffy Mashed Potatoes, leaving the fat behind.

Mustard Crust
• 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons dry white wine
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon Tabasco hot pepper sauce
• 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 chicken (about 31/2 pounds)
• Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

For the crust: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut alongside the backbone of the chicken to split it open. Spread and press on the chicken with your hands to flatten it. Using a sharp paring knife, cut halfway through both sides of the joints connecting the thighs and drumsticks and cut through the joints of the shoulder under the wings as well. (This will help the heat penetrate these joints and accelerate the cooking process.)

Put the chicken skin side down on a cutting board and spread it with about half the mustard mixture. Place the chicken flat in a large skillet, mustard side down. Spread the remaining mustard on the skin side of the chicken. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, then place the skillet in the oven and cook the chicken for about 30 minutes. It should be well browned and dark on top.

Let the chicken rest in the skillet at room temperature for a few minutes, then cut it into 8 pieces with clean kitchen shears. Defat the cooking juices. If you like, mound some Fluffy Mashed Potatoes on each of four warm dinner plates and place 2 pieces of chicken on each plate. Pour some juice on the mashed potatoes and chicken and serve.

Serves 4.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tandoori Chicken



from Cook's Illustrated

Very easy to prepare, moist and flavorful. If you are hungry for tandoori, this is a great recipe. I made is with store-bought garam masala. --PKS

We prefer this dish with whole-milk yogurt, but low-fat yogurt can be substituted. If garam masala is unavailable, substitute 2 teaspoons ground coriander, ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper. It is important to remove the chicken from the oven before switching to the broiler setting to allow the broiler element to come up to temperature. Serve with basmati rice and a few chutneys or relishes.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon garam masala (see note)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (see note)
4 tablespoons juice from 2 limes, plus 1 lime, cut into wedges
2 teaspoons table salt
3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, or a mix, with breasts cut in half), trimmed of excess fat and skin removed

1. Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garam masala, cumin, and chili powder; continue to cook until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds longer. Transfer half of garlic-spice mixture to medium bowl; stir in yogurt and 2 tablespoons lime juice and set aside.

2. In large bowl, combine remaining garlic-spice mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, and salt. Using sharp knife, lightly score skinned side of each piece of chicken, making 2 or 3 shallow cuts about 1 inch apart and about 1/8 inch deep; transfer to bowl. Using hands, gently massage salt-spice mixture into chicken until all pieces are evenly coated; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

3. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat oven to 325 degrees. Pour yogurt mixture over chicken and toss until chicken is evenly coated with thick layer. Arrange chicken pieces, scored-side down, on wire rack set in foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Bake chicken until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 125 degrees for breasts and 130 for legs and thighs, 15 to 25 minutes. (Smaller pieces may cook faster than larger pieces. Transfer chicken pieces to plate as they reach correct temperature.)

4. After removing chicken from oven, turn oven to broil and heat 10 minutes. Once broiler is heated, flip chicken pieces over and broil until chicken is lightly charred in spots and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 165 degrees for breasts and 175 for legs and thighs, 8 to 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to large plate, tent loosely with foil, and rest 5 minutes. Serve with chutney or relish, passing lime wedges separately.

Serves 4.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Broccoli Crunch


Broccoli Crunch

1/2 cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. sugar or to taste
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
8 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
3/4 c. raisins
1/2 c. red onion, finely chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped to small florets

Combine 1st three ingredients in a small bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing over salad, and stir to combine well. Make sure to refrigerate a couple hours before serving to let flavors combine.

This is sometimes served at my Whole Foods' salad bar, but it's pricey; however, it is easy and cheap to make!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pressure Cooker Ham & Beans


1 or 2 ham hocks or ham ends or a combination of each
fresh thyme
1 onion, peeled and cut into 8 pieces
1 pound small white beans

Wash beans and place in pressure cooker. Add ham, fresh thyme, onion, and enough water to cover for 4 inches. Bring to full pressure and cook for 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the beans. Depressurize, remove thyme stems, and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Steamed Barbecued Pork Buns

from Dim Sum by Rhoda Fong Yee

Filling:
4 c barbecued pork, diced fine
1/2 c dehydrated onion flakes

Sauce:
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons sherry
4 teaspoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons catsup
1 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 c chicken stock

TO MAKE FILLING: Soak onion flakes in a cup with just enough water to cover flakes. Mix sauce in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat until sauce thickens. Stir in the diced pork and onion flakes. Chill 3-4 hours.

WRAPPING: Divide filling into 24 portions. Divide dough into 24 balls. Slightly flatten each ball then roll out into 4-inch discs, leaving the center of the disc twice as thick as the side. Place 1
portion of the filling in the center of the dough. Gather up the sides around the filling and twist dough to seal. Place on a 2 inch square piece of wax paper, twist side down. Put the
wrapped buns at least 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet and allow the buns to rise in a draft-free place (the oven) for another hour.

STEAMING: Steam for 15 minutes. Turn heat off and let the steam subside before lifting the cover. BAKING: Cha Siu Bow can also be baked. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Set buns 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Brush with a mixture of 1 beaten egg white, 1 tsp. water and 1/4 tsp. sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter.

DO AHEAD NOTES: Cook and freeze. Reheat by steaming if steam-cooked originally. Steam frozen buns for 1/2 hour to reheat. If baked, thaw and wrap buns in foil or cover pan with foil and reheat in slow oven for 1/2 hour.

COMMENTS: A good filling should have some pork fat mixed in with the lean meat. Most importantly, Cha Siu Bow filling should be very juicy. That's why Ms. Yee uses so much liquid in the sauce mixture. By chilling the filling thoroughly, the sauce, which is very thick, adheres to the filling much better. Ideally, when you make the barbecued pork, you should try to save the pork drippings and use them as part of the sauce mixture. Ms. Yee deliberately leaves the center of the dough a bit thick because, if you roll it out to an even thickness, the top of the bun will ended up being too thin in comparison to the bottom due to of the way the dough is wrapped. In a pinch, you may use frozen bread dough as a substitute. However, frozen dough works best when baked. It does not steam well.

Source: "Dim Sum" by Rhoda Fong Yee.

White Pizzas with Arugula



Recipe courtesy Ina Garten for Food Network Magazine, Vol. 1, Issue 1

For the dough:
1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110) water
2 packages dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
Good olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
Kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, sliced
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the topping:
3 cups grated Italian fontina cheese (8 ounces)
1 1/2 cups grated fresh mozzarella cheese (7 ounces)
11 ounces creamy goat cheese, such as montrachet, crumbled

For the vinaigrette:
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces baby arugula
1 lemon, sliced

Mix the dough.
Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.
Knead by hand.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic.

Let it rise.
Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Make garlic oil.
Place 1/2 cup of olive oil, the garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't burn. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. (Be sure your oven is clean!)

Portion the dough.
Dump the dough onto a board and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Place the doughs on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Stretch the dough.
Press and stretch each ball into an 8-inch circle and place 2 circles on each sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (If you've chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature.)

Top the dough.
Brush the pizzas with the garlic oil, and sprinkle each one liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with fontina, mozzarella and goat cheese. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon more of the garlic oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crusts are crisp and the cheeses begin to brown.

Make the vinaigrette.
Meanwhile, whisk together 1/2 cup of olive oil, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Add the greens.
When the pizzas are done, place the arugula in a large bowl and toss with just enough lemon vinaigrette to moisten. Place a large bunch of arugula on each pizza and a slice of lemon and serve immediately.

TIP Make sure the bowl is warm before you put the water and yeast in; the water must be warm for the yeast to develop.

TIP Salt inhibits the growth of yeast; add half the flour, then the salt, and then the rest of the flour.

TIP To make sure yeast is still "alive," or active, put it in water and allow it to sit for a few minutes. If it becomes creamy or foamy, it's active.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sohui Kim’s Pork-and-Chive Dumplings

2 tbsp. canola oil, plus more for frying dumplings
1 cup diced onion
3 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. minced ginger
1 cup chopped garlic (or Chinese) chives
1 1/2 lbs. ground pork
1 8-oz. package firm tofu
3 tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 16-oz. package dumpling wrappers (look for the Twin Marquis brand, Hong Kong style, available in many Asian food stores)
1 egg, beaten and reserved in a small bowl
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and garlic chives and cook for 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and let cool. In a large bowl, combine pork, tofu, and hoisin sauce with the chive mixture. Test-fry a small portion of the pork mixture and adjust seasoning. (1) Holding dumpling wrapper flour side down, place a teaspoonful of pork mixture onto the middle of the wrapper. (2) Dip your index finger into the beaten egg and rub it over half of the outer edge of the dumpling. (3) Fold dumpling in half, crimping it in the middle and sealing along the egg-moistened edge, taking care not to leave any air pockets. Repeat procedure and pan-fry the dumplings until crisp and brown on both sides. Serve with a combination of soy sauce and rice-wine vinegar to dip. Note: makes about four dozen dumplings; extras will keep in the freezer for two weeks or so.

Chinese Dumpling Soup


from Food Network Magazine, Vol. 1, Issue 1

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
1 tablespoon soy sauce, preferably dark
1/4 cup Chinese Shaoxing rice wine, dry sherry or white vermouth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt
2 carrots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 pound frozen Chinese dumplings, pork or shrimp (about 24) (no surprise, but I made my own--PKS)
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
4 cups baby spinach

Bring the broth, ginger, soy sauce, wine, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and a pinch of salt to a boil in a soup pot over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Add the carrots and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the dumplings and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the scallions and spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.

Serves 4.

Shaoxing Wine


Shaoxing wine
Shaohsing, Shao hsing, Hsao Shing wine, Chinese Rice Wine

A Chinese rice wine used for drinking and cooking. The wine is named after a famous wine making city of the same name in China. Shaoxing rice wine is commonly aged for 10 or more years and it resembles the taste of dry sherry.

Buy in Asian grocery stores.
Ingredient Substitutions
Dry Sherry or Japanese Sake (sweeter)

Tandoori Chicken

from EatingWell.com

A highly seasoned yogurt marinade tenderizes these chicken thighs. Baking them at an extremely high temperature simulates a tandoori clay oven, creating a deliciously caramelized surface.

A highly seasoned yogurt marinade tenderizes these chicken thighs. Baking them at an extremely high temperature simulates a tandoori clay oven, creating a deliciously caramelized surface.

1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
4 bone-in chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds), skinned and trimmed of fat

Stir together yogurt, onion and garlic in a shallow glass dish. Add lemon juice, cilantro, paprika, cumin, turmeric, ginger, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cloves. Add chicken and coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 500°F. Coat a wire rack with cooking spray and set it over a foil-covered baking sheet. Place the chicken on the prepared rack.

Bake the chicken until browned and no trace of pink remains in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 4.

Per serving: 227 calories, 10 fat, 1 fiber

Friday, December 05, 2008

Fruit, Nut, Cheese, and Vegetable Equivalents

Chicken Stuffed with Golden Onions and Fontina

from Eatingwell.com

A semi-firm cheese that's nonetheless quite creamy, fontina melts into pure heaven. Combined with caramelized onions, fontina becomes a nutty, gooey, irresistible filling for chicken breasts.

One reviewer commented: Recipe turned out very well. The gravy was delicious and the chicken was very moist. Make sure you don't combine the onion and the cheese until the onions have chilled, otherwise the cheese may melt too soon, making stuffing impossible.

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, divided (I will use 1 tablespoon next time --PKS)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2/3 cup shredded fontina cheese, preferably aged (about 3 1/3 ounces)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), trimmed of fat (I used 2 8-ounce breasts--PKS)
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon rosemary; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool; stir in fontina (I used Italian fontina for it superior taste and melting quality).

Meanwhile, cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of each chicken breast half, nearly through to the opposite side. Stuff each breast with 1/4 cup of the onion-cheese mixture.

Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden, about 5 minutes per side (my opinion is that 5 minutes might be too long; you don't have to cook the chicken all the way though because it continues to cook as it rests on a platter and when it get transfered back to the pan). Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add wine and the remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Whisk broth and flour in a bowl until smooth; add to the pan, reduce heat to low and whisk until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan and coat with the sauce. Cook, covered, until the chicken is just cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve the chicken topped with the sauce.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, arguably the most versatile cut of chicken, are very low in fat, only 1 to 2 grams of fat per serving. Conveniently, one 4- to 5-ounce breast, tender removed, yields a perfect 3-ounce cooked portion. When preparing, trim any excess fat from the outer edge of the breast. Chicken tenders, virtually fat-free, are a strip of rib meat typically found attached to the underside of the chicken breast, but they can also be purchased separately. Four 1-ounce tenders will yield a 3-ounce cooked portion. Tenders are perfect for quick stir-fries, chicken satay or kid-friendly breaded "chicken fingers."

Serves 2 to 4.

Nutritional Analysis Per serving: Calories 258, Carbohydrates 7 g,Protein 33 g, Fat12 g, Saturated Fat5 g, Cholesterol 88 g, Monounsaturated Fat 6 g, Dietary Fiber 1 g, Sodium 328 mg, Potassium 388 mg .

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Remoulade Sauce

from Wolfgang Puck

1 cup Mayonnaise, recipe follows
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers, minced
1 cornichon, minced
1 or 2 anchovies, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh chives
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients until well blended. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated until needed.

Yield: 2 cups

Sweet and Tangy Tartar Sauce

from Cook's Illustrated, Sept. 2008

This sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 small shallot , minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons drained capers , minced
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand to blend flavors, about 15 minutes. Stir again before serving.

Calamari Steak with Garlic & Capers


According to Randy Gruber from Restaurant Americana, the key to making non-rubbery calamari is to use high heat so it sears and cooks quickly. Have everything at the ready when you start - it goes fast.

1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil or parsley
2 Roma tomatoes, cut in half
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
olive oil

Season calamari with salt & pepper
Heat olive oil in medium pan on high heat
Pan sear calamari until cooked on both sides - about one minute each side
Add butter, garlic, tomatoes, capers, 1/2 the parsley & basil or parsley and lemon juice
Cook for just a minute and serve with sauce from pan.

Serves 2.

Pressure Cooker Pork Shoulder Roast



Adapted from Pressure Perfect by Lorna Sass

This is the first time I have ever cooked this cut of meat and I highly recommend it. Although pork shoulder is fairly fatty (see image), when compared to pork loin roasts, much of its fat liquifies under pressure and can be strained off. The result of using this inexpensive cut of meat is a very tasty pork roast (much more flavorful than pork loin) that is ideal for a hearty dinner served with mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Left overs make great sandwiches. The longer you cook it the softer it gets. I cooked ours for 40 minutes, which left it tender for still firm enough to make nice even slices. I used some portobello mushrooms that were on their last legs. --PKS

3 to 4 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
2 tablespoon oil
10 ounces mushrooms (any variety), sliced thickly
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine or vermouth
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
freshly ground pepper and salt
2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch (use 1 tablespoon per cup of gravy)

Salt and pepper roast. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pressure cooker and brown on all sides. Remove roast to a platter and discard oil. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in cooker and sweat onion, carrot, and celery mixture with a little salt until softened, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, wine, broth, and bay leaves. Place roast on top, add sliced mushrooms, wine, and chicken broth, cover and bring up to full pressure. Cook for 40 to 50 minutes. Let cooker decompress on its own. Remove roast and let rest 10 minutes. Strain broth to remove fat and thicken with cornstarch, if desired. Serve with mashed potatoes or cooked egg noodles.

Serves 6.

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