Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chicken with Chiles

The first time I re-stocked my Chinese ingredients in San Francisco, I couldn't find rice wine in the store. I found that a bit odd, but there was so much else we picked up that it wasn't a big deal. Reviewing my recipes again, I realized that it was a big deal. I didn't even have sherry to substitute. A couple of weeks later, after going to a chocolate festival, we ended up wandering the city a bit. Somehow we ended up in Chinatown after walking up to Coit Tower. Popping into a store, I managed to rectify my lack of rice wine (only to be slightly overwhelmed by the selection this small shop had!). Re-stocking a kitchen is a long process, especially if you like to cook a variety of cuisines. I'm happy to no longer have a rice wine issue at least!

Don't be scared by this dish. It's a lot of chiles, but you don't get a crazy amount of heat. The original recipe calls for deep-frying the chicken. I pan-fried.

One year ago: Bagel-Egg
Two years ago: Fettucine Alfredo
Three years ago: Spinach Pomegranate Salad

Chicken with Chiles (from Land of Plenty)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (2/3 lb), cut into 1" cubes
2 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 small rice bowl filled with dried red chiles, snipped in half, seeds discarded (~2 ounces)
peanut oil
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tsp sliced ginger
1 tbsp whole Sichuan pepper
2 scallions, white parts only, cut into 3 sections
generous pinch sugar
2 tsp sesame oil

1. Mix together marinade ingredient in bowl and add chicken. Set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Heat oil in wok to either deep-fry or pan-fry. Cook chicken and set aside.
3. Either drain oil or add enough to have 3 tbsp in wok. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant.
4. Add chiles and Sichuan peppercorns and stir-fry 10 - 20 seconds. Don't burn the chiles.
5. Add chicken and scallions. Add pinch of sugar. Stir to coat.
6. Remove from heat, stir in sesame oil, and serve.

Persimmon Spice Tea Cake

This little cake is a perfect mid-morning snack. It also keeps surprisingly well. It makes 1 bundt cake or cut it in half for 1 loaf pan.

One year ago: Fennel Frond Pesto
Two years ago: Pomegranate and Fennel Salsa Quinoa
Three years ago: Red Velvet Cupcakes

Persimmon Spice Tea Cake (from Desserts for Breakfast)

2 cups (280 gr) AP flour
3/4 tspn salt
1 1/2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn baking soda
1 tspn ground cinnamon
2 tspn freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tspn ground cloves
255 gr persimmon puree (3 - 4 ripe persimmons, skinned, seeded, and blitzed in a food processor)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups (270 gr) sugar
3 eggs
powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour cake pans and set aside.
2. In a bowl, whisk to combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the persimmon puree, vegetable oil, and sugar until well-combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Do not overmix.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out cleanly.
5. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan, and let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Oven-Roasted Pork Butt with Rosemary, Garlic, and Black Pepper

It doesn't get much easier than this. I altered the methods a bit to make this an easy slow cooker dinner. I had some leeks hanging out in the fridge, so I sliced those and stuck them on the bottom. The pork came out perfectly cooked and the leeks were surprisingly good (well they had been braised in pork fat).

One year ago: Rum Chocolate Cake
Two years ago: Sweet and Sour Pork
Three years ago: Peanut Flavored Potatoes

Oven-Roasted Pork Butt with Rosemary, Garlic, and Black Pepper (slightly adapted from In The Kitchen with A Good Appetite)

1 boneless pork shoulder (5 - 7 lbs)
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
sliced leeks (if desired)

1. Using a mortar and pestle, mash together garlic and salt to form a paste. Stir in olive oil, rosemary, mustard, and black pepper. Rub mixture all over pork and marinate for 2 hours - overnight.
2. Place leeks (if using in the bottom of a slow cooker) and put pork on top. Cook on low for 8 hours or until very tender.

Slow-Braised Beef with Potatoes

The beef in this dish is richly flavoured and incredibly tender. August couldn't stop raving about the potatoes ... which I may have found a little odd given how good the meat was! I simplified the recipe a bit cutting out some extra steps and it turned out great, but the original probably would've been even better as Dunlop is a very reliable cook book writer. My simplified version is below.

One year ago: Roasted Beets with Cumin-Mint Vinaigrette
Two years ago: Mashed Brussels Sprouts
Three years ago: Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin

Slow-Braised Beef with Potatoes (adapted from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook)

1 3/4 lb rich stewing beef
1 1/2" piece ginger, thinly sliced
2 tbsp chili bean paste
1 small piece cassia
1/2 star anise
8 - 10 dried red chiles
2 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp clear rice vinegar
1 lb potatoes, quartered or left whole if small
peanut oil

1. Preheat oven to 300F.
2. Heat 3 tbsp peanut oil in a Dutch oven. Add chili bean paste and stir-fry until oil is red and richly fragrant.
3. Add ginger, cassia, and star anise and stir-fry until fragrant.
4. Add chiles.
5. Add beef and stir-fry until browned.
6. Add water. Bring to a boil and add soy sauces and vinegar.
7. Place dish in oven and cook for 1.5 - 2 hours.
8. Add potatoes and cook for another hour until meat and potatoes are tender.

Frisee with Chevre

The original recipe calls for dipping rounds of goat cheese in egg and then panko bread crumbs in frying. I know that would've been amazing, but we were in a rush so it was crumbled on the salad instead. The Dijon dressing worked great even without warm goat cheese and is worthy of a repeat.

One year ago: Sichuanese Roast Duck
Two years ago: Orzo with Everything
Three years ago: Tortellini and Walnut Mascarpone Sauce

Frisee with Chevre (adapted from The Cheesemonger's Kitchen)

225g goat cheese
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
6 tbsp walnut oil
1 head frisee lettuce, cleaned and separated

1. Place vinegar, mustard, and shallot in a salad bowl and whisk until combined.
2. Add walnut oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Place frisee in bowl and toss to coat. Crumble goat cheese on top and serve.

Chicken Breasts Diable

I'm incredibly behind on recipes lately and also lacking inspiration on dinner. This fell into the easy to throw together with ingredients that are hiding in the fridge and quick to make category. It helps that it's also delicious. The mustard flavour is a bit strong, but white wine and cream is almost always a good combination.

One year ago: Pork and Tomatillo Stew
Two years ago: Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
Three years ago: Creamy Carrot Soup

Chicken Breasts Diable (from Around my French Table)

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 - 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1. Preheat oven to 200F.
2. Place large skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and oil.
3. Add chicken and cook until well browned and cooked through. Transfer to heatproof plate, season with salt and pepper, cover with foil, and warm in oven while you make the sauce.
4. Lower heat to medium and add shallot and garlic to skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until they soften, 2 minutes.
5. Pour in wine and let boil for a few seconds.
6. Pour in heavy cream.
7. As soon as heavy cream starts to boil, stir in mustard and worcestershire sauce.
8. Remove chicken from oven and place in skillet. Serve topped with sauce.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cod Baked with Tahini Sauce

My greatest failing as a cook is that I rarely cook seafood dishes. We never had much in our house growing up, so I never find myself drawn to it. I've branched out a bit to shrimp and scallops, but still seem to remain afraid of fish. In an attempt to solve this, we recently signed up for a seafood CSA box that will give us one serving of seafood per week that's freshly caught. This past week was our first trial and I was incredibly happy with both the quality of the fish and the outcome of our dinner. The tahini sauce complimented the black cod nicely without overwhelming the fish. The original recipe suggests pomegranate seeds or nigella seeds as a garnish. I went with pomegranate because we had some in the fridge, but I don't think I'd go out of my way to get them for this dish.

One year ago: Crisped Chicken with Chimichurri and Avocado
Two years ago: Spiced Pearsauce Cake
Three years ago: Potato Soup

Cod Baked with Tahini Sauce (from Moro)
4 thick cod fillets, skin on, 200g each
3 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds or 2 tsp nigella seeds, optional for garnish
Tahini Sauce
2 garlic cloves
3 tbsp tahini paste
juice of 1 lemon
5 tbsp water
sea salt and black pepper

1. Prepare sauce. Crush garlic cloves to a paste with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a mixing bowl and whisk in tahini and thin with lemon juice. Add water until the consistency of heavy cream.
2. Preheat oven to 425F.
3. Place an oven-safe frying pan over high heat. Add olive oil. Season code with salt and pepper.
4. Place cod skin-side up in hot pan and sear for 1 - 2 minutes.
5. Turn fish over and place in oven for 5 - 8 minutes until cooked through.
6. Pour tahini sauce into pan with fish to warm for 30 seconds.
7. Transfer fish to plates, spooning sauce over fish, and garnishing with seeds.

Saffron Rice

This elegant rice's subtle flavours makes an excellent pairing for Middle Eastern dishes. The original instructions call for soaking the rice for 3 hours. I soaked for 30 minutes and still had nicely cooked rice.

The recipe calls for parchment paper to be placed on top of the rice while it is cooking. I'm fairly certain this is to keep the rice from boiling over, so I highly recommend that you do this even if it seems odd to you!

One year ago: Hot and Sour Rhubarb and Crispy Pork with Noodles
Two years ago: Brisket
Three years ago: Bread Pudding

Saffron Rice (from Moro)

80g unsalted butter
1/2 cinnamon stick
5 whole green cardamom pods, cracked
3 whole black peppercorns
200g basmati rice, washed and soaked for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours
2 tbsp roughly chopped pistachios
2 tbsp barberries (optional)
1 pinch of saffron infused in 4 tbsp boiling water
sea salt

1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add cinnamon, cardamom, and black peppercorns and fry until fragrant, 4 minutes.
2. Drain rice and add it to the pan. Stir to coat for a minute.
3. Increase heat to medium-high. Add pistachios and barbarries. Pour in enough water to cover rice by 1 cm and season with salt. Place greaseproof paper on top of the water and replace lid. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Lift lid and paper and drizzle saffron water over rice. Replace paper and lid, reduce heat to medium-low and cook another 4 - 5 minutes. Serve.

Garlicky Sesame-Cured Broccoli Salad

This salad comes together quickly, but does require a bit of planning ahead as it should marinate at least an hour and preferably a day or more. This is a great alternative to standard broccoli dishes. The sesame flavour is quite pronounced, so menu plan accordingly.

One year ago: Penne with a Cashew Dill Sauce
Two years ago: Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake
Three years ago: Tomato and Sausage Risotto

Garlicky Sesame-Cured Broccoli Salad (from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite)

1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
2 heads broccoli, 1 lb each, cut into bite-size florets
3/4 cup olive oil
4 fat garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp roasted sesame oil
large pinch red pepper flakes

1. In large bowl, combine vinegar and salt. Add broccoli and toss to combine.
2. In large skillet, heat olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, 1 minutes.
3. Stir in sesame oil and pepper flakes to olive oil. Pour mixture over broccoli and toss well.
4. Let sit for at least one hour at room temperature and up to 48 hours chilled.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Chicken Fricassee with Porcini Mushrooms, White Wine and Tomatoes

The dish gives you a rich flavoured chicken that's incredibly tender. The original calls for a full chicken, but I cut it in half and just used thighs. The original recipe is below.

One year ago: Chipped Beets and Beet Greens
Two years ago: Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake
Three years ago: Chocolate Layer Cake

Chicken Fricassee with Porcini Mushrooms, White Wine and Tomatoes (from Essentials of Classical Italian Cooking)

1 chicken, cut into 4 pieces
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked, drained, and cut up (water reserved)
1/4 cup canned tomatoes, chopped with juices
1 tbsp butter

1. Put oil in saute pan, turn heat to medium heat, and brown chicken pieces skin side down. Flip and brown other side.
2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and turn.
3. Add wine and scrape pan to deglaze.
4. Add chopped porcini, porcini water, and chopped tomatoes. Adjust heat to a slow simmer, put on lid slightly ajar, and cook until tender, 50 minutes.
5. Transfer chicken to a serving platter.
6. Add butter to sauce and then pour over chicken and serve.

Pot Roast Studded with Almonds and Bacon

I realize that lately I've just gotten lazy. The effort to put up recipes has gotten higher as there's more going on. So that means the bar to appear on here is higher. A delicious gorgonzola cream sauce gets passed over because the beets in the sauce make it look like Pepto-Bismol. There's also no co-worker sniff test anymore to save a recipe from languishing away. With that in mind, we move on from a month of curries to a bit more variety. I had a bit of difficulty with this recipe trying to work out how the bacon and almonds should be fit into the meat. I decided not to work about that little detail. The meat in this turned out incredibly tender and moist. I expected the sauce to have more kick, but it's fairly mild with the meat. It's a good, hearty meal for fall. Note that the original calls for parboiling the potatoes and peeling them, I think you can safely skip that if your potatoes are small enough.

One year ago: Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
Two years ago: Blue Cheese and Red Potato Tart
Three years ago: Asparagus, Oka, Pine Nuts, and Lemon Pasta

Pot Roast Studded with Almonds and Bacon (adapted slightly from Essential Cuisines of Mexico)

3 lb brisket (I made a half recipe using crossrib)
1 1/2 tbsp slivered almonds
8 ounces (225g) bacon, cut into small pieces
3 large ancho chiles, seeds and veins removed
1 1/2 tbsp mild vinegar
3 whole cloves, crushed
1/2 inch piece cinnamon stick, crushed
4 peppercorns, crushed
6 sprigs fresh thyme
6 sprigs fresh marjoram
1/4 tsp Mexican oregano
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tbsp lard or vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs small potatoes

1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Pierce meat all over with a knife and insert almonds and bacon. (If that doesn't work, you can keep the almonds and bacon aside to add to the sauce later.)
3. Toast chiles lightly. Cover with hot water and let soak for 10 minutes.
4. Put vinegar and 3/4 cup water in blender. Add spices, herbs, and garlic and blend. Add chiles and blend until smooth.
5. Heat lard in a Dutch oven and when hot sear meat on all sides. Remove and set aside. Drain off fat, leaving only 2 tbsp.
6. Add sauce to pan and let cook for 5 minutes (if the bacon and almonds wouldn't stay in the meat, add them not). Add salt to taste.
7. Return meat to pan and baste with sauce. I added another 3/4 cup water or so and highly recommend you do the same. Cover and cook in oven for 2 hours.
8. Add potatoes to Dutch oven and if needed more water. Cook in oven until meat is very tender and potatoes are cooked through, about 1 hour 10 minutes.
9. Serve with sauce poured over meat.