Friday, June 16, 2017

Tarragon Chicken with Shallots


This recipe is from Risha Zimmern, Andrew Zimmern’s wife. Andrew is the host of the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods.”

I didn’t have fresh tarragon, so I used dried. It’s not the same. And in retrospect, I’d lose the tomatoes and use mushrooms instead, adding them in at Step 7. Still, it was tasty.

Ingredients 
  • CHICKEN THIGHS, 8, bone-in
  • FLOUR, 2 tablespoons
  • KOSHER SALT, 1 tablespoon
  • BLACK PEPPER, 1 TABLESPOON FRESHLY GROUND
  • BUTTER, unsalted, 2 tablespoons
  • SHALLOTS, 12-18 whole medium, peeled
  • WHITE WINE, 2 cups
  • DIJON MUSTARD, 2 tablespoons
  • TARRAGON, 2 sprigs
  • CHERRY TOMATOES, cut in half, 2 cups

Directions 
  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle with flower, salt and pepper.
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or skillet.
  3. Cook the chicken until well-browned and crisp on all sides. Set aside.
  4. Add the shallots to the pot, saute in the butter and chicken fat for 10-12 minutes until they begin to caramelize.
  5. Deglaze the pot with wine, then add the mustard and tarragon.
  6. Add the chicken thighs, cover, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid and cook an additional 15-20 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens.
  8. Add the cherry tomatoes to the pot, stir and serve immediately.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Slow Cooker Pork Chops


Pork chops cooked in a slow cooker are so "fall off the bone" tender and tasty. But they can turn out a little dry, so make sure you have plenty of gravy, extending what's in the pot with a little more water and/or chicken/beef stock.

I cut up some carrots and add them in about half-way through the cooking cycle. They pick up the gravy flavor and are delicious!

We had ours with corn nibblets and steamed rice.

Ingredients 
  • PORK CHOPS, 4 bone-in (¾11-inch thick)
  • KOSHER SALT, to taste
  • BLACK PEPPER, freshly ground, to taste
  • BROWN SUGAR (Optional), to taste
  • BUTTER, 2 tablespoons, divided (1½ and ½)
  • ONION, 1 large, sliced (about 2½-3 cups)
  • DRIED THYME or ROSEMARY, 1 teaspoon (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh)
  • CHICKEN BROTH, 1 cup
  • APPLE CIDER, ¼ cup apple cider
  • SOY SAUCE, 3 tablespoons
  • WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE, 1 tablespoon
  • CORNSTARCH SLURRY (2-3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water)

Directions 
  1. Season the pork chops with salt, black pepper, and optional brown sugar (if using) to taste.
  2. Heat 1½ tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Sear the chops on both sides until they’re golden brown, 3-5 minutes per side.)
  4. Add the seared chops to the slow cooker. (Overlap, but don’t stack.)
  5. Add the remaining ½ tablespoon of butter to the sauté pan, followed by the sliced onions. Cook the onions until they begin to brown, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add the herbs and cook for another 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  7. Add the chicken broth, apple cider, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to deglaze the pan.
  8. Stir everything to combine, and scraping up the fond from the bottom of the pan.
  9. Pour the cooking liquid and onions over the pork chops.
  10. Cook for 4 – 5 hours on low or for 2 – 3 hours on high.
  11. Remove the cooked pork chops from the slow cooker and set them aside on a plate.
  12. Whisk the slurry into the cooking liquid.
  13. Return the pork chops to the slow cooker and cook on high about 30-60 minutes until the sauce is thickened.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Creamy Garlic-Basil Chicken


This dish is pretty rich. If you use evaporated milk instead of the half-and-half, and eliminate the butter, that will tone it down.

But why do that? Enjoy! Enjoy! It’s uber-yummy.

Ingredients: Chicken 
  • OLIVE OIL, 2 tablespoons
  • CHICKEN THIGHS, 6-8
  • SALT and PEPPER, to taste
  • BASIL, minced, ½ tablespoon

Ingredients: Cream Sauce 
  • HALF AND HALF CREAM, 1½ cups
  • (Alternate) EVAPORATED MILK, 12-ounce can
  • FLOUR, 1½ tablespoons
  • GARLIC, minced, 1 tablespoon
  • BUTTER, 2 tablespoons, diced
  • BASIL, minced, 1 tablespoon
  • SALT and PEPPER, to taste
  • ASPARAGUS, 1-pound, 2-inch pieces
  • PARSLEY, minced, for garnish

Directions 
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet.
  2. Season the chicken with the salt, pepper, and dried basil.
  3. Place the chicken thighs in the skillet and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes, or until browned.
  4. Flip the chicken and cook for about 8 more minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Combine half and half (or evaporated milk), flour, minced garlic paste, butter, dried basil, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl; whisk until well combined.
  6. Add the prepared sauce to the hot skillet and bring to a boil.
  7. Stir in prepared asparagus, place the chicken back in the pan, and lower heat to a simmer.
  8. Cover and cook for 4 minutes, or until asparagus is tender and chicken is heated through.
  9. Garnish with parsley and serve.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Lemon Chicken Strips


This entree is a little messy to process, but believe me, the results are well worth it. Just be prepared to have flour-clumpy fingers that you'll need to clean off every now and then.

Chicken goes well with citrus, and this recipe takes advantage of the partnership.

I garnished mine with minced sweet pickled peppadaw and green onions.


Ingredients 
  • CHICKEN (Options: breasts or tenders) 1 pound
  • CORN STARCH, ½ cup
  • FLOUR, ½ cup
  • EGGS, 3, beaten
  • SOY SAUCE, 1 tablespoon
  • LEMON JUICE, 1 lemon
  • LEMON JUICE, ½ cup
  • WATER, ½ cup
  • SUGAR, 2 tablespoons
  • LEMON ZEST, 1 lemon
  • SALT, pinch
  • CORN STARCH SLURRY, 1 tablespoon

Directions 
  1. Heat a deep pan of canola oil.
  2. If using chicken breasts, pound to flatten, and cut into 1-inch wide strips.
  3. Combine the corn starch and flour, mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, soy sauce, and juice of 1 lemon.
  5. Dredge the chicken in the flour, coat in the egg mixture, and again in the flour.
  6. Deep-fry the coated chicken until golden brown on both sides.
  7. In another pan, combine ½ cup of lemon juice, water, sugar, lemon zest and salt, whisking to combine as it cooks.
  8. Thicken the sauce with the cornstarch slurry.
  9. Coat the chicken in the sauce and serve on steamed rice.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Honey Tangerine Dressing


This is amazing on a Romaine and Apple Salad—subtly flavored, not overly sweet, and so light that the olive oil almost disappears.

Chop up some Romaine lettuce (purists may rip the leaves apart); peel, core, slice and acidulate some apples (I like Fuji) to prevent browning, add some crispy, crunchy cucumbers, and toss everything in about a third of a cup of dressing … not too much now!

This recipe makes one cup. You’ll have plenty leftover to keep in the fridge.

Ingredients 
  • DIJON MUSTARD, 1 teaspoon
  • HONEY, 1 tablespoon
  • GARLIC, 1 small clove, minced
  • SHALLOT, 1½ teaspoons, minced fine
  • TANGERINE JUICE, freshly squeezed, ⅓ cup
  • WHITE WINE VINEGAR, 1 tablespoon
  • SALT and PEPPER, to taste
  • OLIVE OIL, ⅔ cup

Directions 
  1. Briskly combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil, whipping very briskly until everything is emulsified evenly.

And that’s it!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Zuppa Toscana II


Here's a similar, yet different and easier version of Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup) that I’d previously posted. This one-pot soup is copied from an Olive Garden Tuscany soup recipe. Five minutes to prep, 40 minutes to cook. And that's it. Serves 6.

Oh, and it is delicious beyond belief! Comfort food.

Ingredients

  • ITALIAN SAUSAGE, 16 ounces
  • BACON, 8 slices cut into lardons
  • ONION, ½ large, diced
  • GARLIC, 2-3 cloves, minced
  • CHICKEN BROTH, 3½ cups (28 ounces)
  • WATER, 3 cups
  • RUSSET POTATOES, 5 medium, thinly sliced
  • CRUSHED RED PEPPER FLAKES, crushed, 1 teaspoon (optional)
  • SALT and PEPPER
  • KALE, 4 cups chopped
  • HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM, 1 cup
  • PARMESAN CHEESE, grated, to garnish

Directions

  1. Brown sausage in a large pot.
  2. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add bacon to pot and cook until crispy.
  4. Stir in chopped onion. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  5. Stir in minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  6. Add chicken broth and water to the pot. Add crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper if desired.
  7. Add thinly sliced potatoes and the cooked sausage to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  8. Continue cooking until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  9. Add the kale to the soup, and simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Stir in the heavy cream and let heat through.
  11. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Hawaiian Pasta Salad


This is a wonderfully light, cold, tasty and filling dinner with very little work involved—most of it is chopping. I didn’t have bow-tie pasta and I didn’t want to go shopping, so I used some left-over rotini pasta.

Advisory: This recipe makes a helluva big bowlful, enough to feed at least 6 people.

Ingredients
  • ROTINI or BOW-TIE PASTA, 8 ounces
  • PINEAPPLE (CRUSHED), 1 14-ounce can, juice reserved
  • RED PEPPER, 1, diced
  • HAM, 2 cups, diced
  • GREEN ONION, 1, chopped
  • PINEAPPLE CHUNKS, 1 14-ounce can, for topping

Dressing

  • MAYONNAISE, ½ cup
  • SOUR CREAM, ¼ cup
  • DIJON MUSTARD, 1 tablespoon
  • PINEAPPLE JUICE, ⅓ cup
  • CIDER VINEGAR, 1 teaspoon
  • HONEY, 1 teaspoon
  • GARLIC POWDER, ¼ teaspoon
  • BLACK PEPPER to taste

Directions
  1. Cook the pasta.
  2. Chop the red peppers, ham and green onions.
  3. Add the pineapple and mix.
  4. Make the dressing.
  5. Mix everything together and refrigerate to cool and meld the flavors.