Garlic and Herb Roasted Chicken

A very flavorful roast chicken from the Williams Sonoma blog. The chicken is so moist and flavorful! If you cannot find spring onions, substitute leeks or a regular onion.

1 chicken, about 4 lb. (2 kg)
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 lemons, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus 1 garlic head, halved crosswise
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) butter, at room temperature
1 bunch spring onions, halved lengthwise if large
2 Tbs. olive oil

Preheat an oven to 450°F (220°C).

Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken inside and out with the salt and pepper and place half of the lemon slices inside the chicken cavity. Tuck the wing tips behind the back and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.

In a small bowl, stir together the chives, thyme, oregano, parsley, tarragon, lemon zest and chopped garlic. Add the butter and stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

Starting at the cavity, slip your fingers underneath the chicken skin and loosen it all over, being careful not to tear it and reaching as far as possible into the thigh area. Using your fingers, rub the butter mixture under the skin, distributing it as evenly as possible.

Place the chicken, breast side up, in large round cocotte or Dutch oven and add the remaining lemon slices, garlic head and spring onions to the pot and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast the chicken until the skin is well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F (77°C), 50 to 60 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve the chicken and serve immediately with the lemon slices, garlic and spring onions alongside. Serves 4.

 

Advertisements

Ham and Cheese Brioche Pudding

From the wonderful David Tanis in the NY Times. I added the blanched asparagus and roasted red pepper.
This is a good occasion to use up any odds and ends of cheeses. This is perfect for lunch or dinner or even breakfast! I needed to cook this at least another 20+ minutes as I added the other ingredients that contain moisture. The flavor is great.

1 tablespoon butter, for greasing the pan
1 (12-ounce) brioche loaf or smaller brioches, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
6 eggs
4 cups half-and-half or whole milk
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
6 ounces thinly sliced ham, cut crosswise into matchsticks (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 ounces grated Gouda or Gruyère cheese (about 4 cups)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 11-by-11-inch baking dish. Fill dish with brioche cubes and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs well. Whisk in half-and-half, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne and scallions. Pour mixture over cubes in baking dish.
Sprinkle ham and cheese on top of mixture, and press down to make sure everything is submerged. Set baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet.
Transfer baking dish and baking sheet to the middle shelf of the oven, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the dish emerges dry. Let rest for 10 minutes or so before serving.
Tip
If desired, let pudding cool completely and cut into squares or wedges. Then reheat for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

Fusilli alla Vodka

From Jon and Vinny’s in LA, via Bon Appetit! I love that this recipe is based on tomato paste rather than a lot of canned tomatoes. The sauce is like velvet. This recipe is very simple and easy to make.

¼ cup olive oil
½ shallot, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
½ cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons vodka
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 pound fusilli
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ounce finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until paste is brick red and starts to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add vodka and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add cream and red pepper flakes and stir until well blended. Season with salt and pepper; remove from heat.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Add pasta to skillet with sauce along with butter and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly and adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed, until butter has melted and a thick, glossy sauce has formed, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 oz. Parmesan, tossing to coat. Divide pasta among bowls, then top with basil and more Parmesan.
Do Ahead: Vodka sauce can be made 5 days ahead; cover and chill.

Mongolian Pork Chops

From the wonderful Mustards Grill in Napa and their fabulous cookbook, Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook. My girlfriend Laurie Smith photographed this beautiful cookbook and it is full of great recipes. I found the perfect center cut bone in pork chops at Trader Joes. I used a half recipe for our two pork chops. I have never cooked a better pork chop-it was perfection! I served this with braised red cabbage, mashed potatoes and a wonderful mustard sauce, all from the same cookbook!

6 (10-ounce) center-cut double pork chops
Mongolian Marinade
1 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
11/2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce 11/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar 11/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 scallion, white and two-thirds of the green parts, minced 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
11/2 teaspoons Lee Kum Kee black bean chile sauce 11/2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
11/2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, minced 1 tablespoon sesame oil
Trim the excess meat and fat away from the ends of the chop bones, leaving them exposed. Put the pork chops in a clean plastic bag and lightly sprinkle with water to prevent the meat from tearing when pounded. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet, pound the meat down to an even 1-inch thickness, being careful not to hit the bones. Alternatively, have your butcher cut thinner chops and serve 2 per serving. To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Coat the pork chops liberally with the marinade and marinate for 3 hours and up to overnight in the refrigerator.
Place the chops on the grill and grill for 5 minutes on each side, rotating them a quarter turn after 2 to 3 minutes on each side to produce nice crosshatch marks. It’s good to baste with some of the marinade as the meat cooks. As with all marinated meats, you want to go longer and slower on the grill versus shorter and hotter, because if the marinated meat is charred, it may turn bitter. The pork is ready when it registers 139° on an instant-read thermometer.

Vietnamese Braised Baby Back Ribs

From The New York Times by David Tanis. Wonderful flavors in the super tender ribs.

2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layer removed, lightly smashed and very finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce (such as Red Boat)
1 tablespoon hot chile paste (such as sambal oelek)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon grated garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped or grated ginger
3 to 4 pounds baby back ribs
4 scallions, slivered or chopped, for garnish
Cilantro and mint sprigs, for garnish

Make the marinade: In a small bowl, put the shallots, lemongrass, soy sauce, fish sauce, chile paste, salt, sugar, five-spice powder, garlic and ginger. Mix well.
Put the meat in a deep baking dish or roasting pan and add marinade. Using your hands, coat ribs well. Let marinate, refrigerated, for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight, well wrapped. Bring back to room temperature before proceeding.
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Add 2 cups water to the pan, cover tightly with foil and place pan in oven. Cook for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees for 1 hour more. When done, the meat should be very tender, nearly but not quite falling off the bone. Remove cover and return to the oven for about 15 minutes until the ribs are nicely browned.
Remove ribs from pan. Pour pan juices into a saucepan and skim fat. Reduce over high heat until somewhat thickened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, divide ribs with a sharp knife and pile them onto a platter.
Serve family style with steamed rice and pan juices. Garnish with scallions, cilantro and mint sprigs.

Al Forno’s Five Cheese Pasta

From Al Forno, the wonderful restaurant in Providence, RI. This is a delicious pasta that comes together very quickly. I usually make it in the morning of the day I am going to eat it and bake it for dinner. I use Parmesan cheese instead of the Pecorino but you can use whatever cheeses you like. I reduced a can of diced tomatoes with some tomato paste to get a thicker sauce to add to the cream, cheeses and pasta. **Note-I gave the leftovers of this to my neighbor, Hannah and she added the rest of the 16 oz. ricotta, chicken and peas and said it was delicious! I think it is a brilliant idea!

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup chopped canned tomatoes in heavy puree
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese, (1 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup coarsely shredded (1 1/2 ounces) Fontina cheese
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, (1 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1/4 pound thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for pasta water
6 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 pound penne rigate or conchiglie rigate
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, sliced thinly Heat oven to 500 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the pasta and butter. Stir well to combine. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and parboil for 4 minutes. Drain in a colander and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl, tossing to combine. Divide the pasta mixture among six to eight shallow ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2 to 2 cups in capacity) or place in a shallow (1-inch) layer in larger baking dishes. Dot with the butter, and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes.

Pork Vindaloo

From my favorite Indian chef Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking book, this is a hot and sour curry from Goa on the west coast of India. The sauce is made with lots of wonderful spices and an onion broth that has a little vinegar in it. Some of the spices are a little rare but I have found a line in small green boxes called Spicely and they have every spice in small amounts! You could substitute beef or lamb instead of the pork if you wish. I serve it with basmati rice and a vegetable side dish, like the cabbage and carrots from my Indian feast post.

2 t. whole cumin seeds
2-3 hot dried red chilies
1 t. black peppercorns
1 t. cardamom seeds
3″ stick of cinnamon
1 1/2 t. whole black (or brown) mustard seed
1 t. fenugreek seeds
5 T. white wine vinegar
1 t. light brown sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
5 T. oil or ghee (I used grape seed oil)
1 1/3 c. water
2# boneless pork shoulder meat, cut into 1″ cubes
1″ cube of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
a small whole head of garlic, with cloves separated and peeled
1 T. ground coriander seeds
1/2 t. turmeric
Grind the top seven spices together in a spice or coffee grinder and put in a bowl. Add vinegar, salt and sugar-mix well and set aside.
In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium and fry onions, stirring frequently until bring and crisp. This takes some time but is essential to the dish! It took me almost one hour to brown the onions. Remove onions with a slotted spoon and put into a blender or food processor. Add 2-3 T of the water to blend and puree the onions. Add this puree to the spice mixture in the bowl. You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze.
While the onions are cooking, dry off the meat cubes and cut off any fat.
Put ginger and garlic in the blender and puree into a paste with 2-3 T. of the water, or more as needed.
Heat 5 T. oil in the pot again over medium high flame. Add the pork cubes, a few at a time and brown on all sides. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. After the pork is browned, add the garlic ginger paste, turn down heat to medium. Stir for a few seconds. Add coriander and turmeric, stirring well for a few minutes. Add the meat and vindaloo paste and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently for on hour or until pork is tender. Stir a few times during cooking period.

Corn Risotto

From the NY Times. Our corn in CO is almost gone so I had to make this at least once this season! Making the corn stock from the cobs is so easy and adds great flavor. I love fresh marjoram on my corn risotto but my husband prefers basil so I garnish them separately. I am not sure that the softly whipped cream is necessary but it adds to the beauty and texture! I did not have a leek so I used shallots.


FOR THE CORN STOCK (OPTIONAL, YOU MAY USE CHICKEN STOCK):
2 corn cobs (kernels removed and reserved for risotto)
1 onion, cut into quarters
1 carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 celery rib, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
Dark green leaves from 1 leek (reserve white and light green parts for risotto)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
FOR THE RISOTTO:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
6 cups hot corn stock or chicken stock
1 ½ cups raw corn kernels (from about 2 ears corn)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced chives (optional)

FOR THE STOCK:
Combine all ingredients with 6 cups water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat so liquid is simmering; cover pot and let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Add enough water to bring liquid up to 6 cups.
FOR THE RISOTTO:
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a wide, high-sided sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add rice and cook, stirring, until grains look slightly translucent.
Pour in wine and cook, stirring, until it has all been absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Add a ladleful of hot corn stock to the rice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until rice has absorbed all of the stock. Continue cooking, adding ladlefuls of stock whenever rice mixture looks dry and stirring continuously. When half the stock has been added, stir in corn. Continue cooking until all of the stock is incorporated, corn is tender and rice is creamy and tender, about 30 to 40 minutes total.
Remove risotto from heat and stir in Parmesan and remaining tablespoon of butter. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream at high speed until it holds stiff peaks. Uncover risotto, stir vigorously and season to taste with salt and pepper. Immediately before serving, stir in the chives, if using, then gently fold in cream.

Loca’s Pork Green Chile

From Denver’s Work+Class restaurant, this is the best green chile recipe I have ever made! I skinned and seeded all of the peppers as there was no way I would be able to eat it with the heat from all of the chilies. The poblano peppers add so much depth to the recipe, both in flavor and texture.

10 fresh New Mexico or Anaheim green chiles, or 1 lb. thawed frozen New Mexico green chiles
5 poblano chiles
2 jalapeño chiles
6 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed well in warm water, then dried
1 large white onion, halved and peeled
About 6 tbsp. canola oil, divided
3 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-in. cubes
6 garlic cloves, gently smashed and peeled
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
About 1 tbsp. kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 qts. low-sodium or homemade chicken stock
1 bunch fresh cilantro with stems
6 fresh epazote leaves* (optional)
For topping:
2/3 cup each crumbled fresh goat cheese or queso fresco
very thinly sliced red radishes
toasted salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
chopped cilantro
Warm corn tortillas

Preheat a grill to medium heat (350° to 400°). Put chiles, tomatillos, and onion in a very large bowl. Drizzle with about 3 tbsp. oil and turn to coat well. Grill vegetables, covered, turning as needed, until softened and charred in spots, about 12 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp. oil in a 6- to 8-qt. pot over medium-high heat. In three or four batches, brown pork pieces until golden brown, adding more oil as needed, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer pork with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
Stem chiles, but don’t peel or seed them **I highly recommend seeding them and peeling them as much as you can
Return pot to medium heat, add garlic, and cook until pale brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in cumin, coriander, oregano, 1 tsp. salt, and the pepper; let sizzle 1 minute. Stir in grilled vegetables and cook, uncovered and stirring occasion­ally, 5 to 8 minutes to blend flavors.
Add stock, cover pot, and bring to a boil; then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes, covered.
In batches, blend vegetables with their liquid, the cilantro, and epazote (if using) until almost smooth. Fill blender no more than half-full and cover blender top with a towel, since hot liquids can spurt up.
Pour green chile sauce back into pot, add pork, and simmer, covered, over low heat until pork is very tender, about 1 hour. Season with 2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste.
Ladle into bowls and top with goat cheese, radishes, pepitas, and chopped cilantro. Serve with tortillas.

Pasta with Pesto, Peas and Chicken

I like all of the flavors in this pasta-it is good hot, cold or room temperature. I use the pesto recipe from my August 10, 2015 recipe. You can use leftover chicken from a roast chicken dinner or buy a rotisserie chicken from the market. I think you could use any pasta but I chose small bowtie pasta as it is similar to the size of the shredded chicken.

1 recipe pesto, see above link
1 c. frozen peas
2 c. bowtie pasta
reserved pasta water
2 c. shredded chicken

Cook the pasta til al dente, add frozen peas for 20 seconds. Reserve about 1 c. of pasta water. Drain pasta and peas. Thin the pesto out with 1/2 c. of pasta water. Add pasta, peas and chicken. Season to taste.