Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Chicken with Rice and Garlic

This is another yummy recipe from Natalie Dupree. It's pretty fattening, so you may want to save it for a special occasion. Of course, I omit the olives because your dad doesn't like them. I usually halve this recipe for the family. I have changed this recipe to make it a little easier and less fattening.

Serves 6-8
Preheat oven to 300. You'll need a large oven proof skillet with a lid.

2 whole heads garlic
2 tbl olive oil

1/3 cup olive oil
2 chickens, cut up
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/4 cups uncooked rice
1 16-oz can plum tomatoes with their juice, broken up
2 1/2-3 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup black olives, preferably Nicoise. (Don't use canned olives)
3 tbls fresh rosemary & thyme, mixed & chopped
4 oz Boursin, Montrachet, or other soft cheese, cut up
salt and pepper to taste

Place unpeeled heads of garlic on aluminum foil and drizzle with 2 tbl oil. Wrap tightly and bake for 1 hour-1 hour 15 minutes, or until a clove squeezed out is spreadable. Cool slightly, and pop all the cloves out of their skins and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the 1/3 cup oil in skillet. Dry and season chicken with salt & pepper. Brown, in batches, starting skin side down. Remove chicken and set aside. (I drain off all but 2-3 tbl of the fat.) Add the onions and saute until soft. Add the rice and cook 5 minutes without browning. Add the tomatoes and their juice, breaking them up. Add the stock,chicken, and half the herbs, and cook, covered, 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook,covered, 15 minutes more or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Sour cream swiss steak

This is from Natalie Dupree's New Southern Cooking. It has been a family favorite for years. I have made a few adjustments to lighten it up, but it's still delicious. I like to serve it with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans.

Preheat oven to 300. You'll need an oven proof skillet.

2 lbs top round or boneless chuck steak
2 tbl flour *
1 tsp salt *
1/2 tsp black pepper *
1/2 tsp paprika *
1/2 tsp dry mustard *
* I don't measure any of these ingredients

2-3 tbl olive oil
3 tbl butter (I omit this)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup water
3 tbl soy sauce
3 tbl brown sugar
3/4 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat)

Cut the meat into serving pieces. Dust with flour and pound with mallet. (If you're in a hurry, omit pounding and increase baking time.) Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and dry mustard.
Heat oil and brown meat on both sides. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and bake 60-90 minutes or until tender.

Creole Pecan Praline Bars

These are from Maida Heatter and they are delicious. They are easy too. The only time consuming part is lining up the pecans in rows so that the bars will cut easily.

Equipment: 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking pan

32 Bars or 64 bite-size pieces

Preheat oven to 350

Shortbread Layer:
1 stick butter @ room temp
1 Cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 Cups sifted flour
2 1/2 Cups large pecan halves

Praline Topping:
11/2 sticks butter
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar

Turn pan upside down and press a sheet of aluminum foil, shiny side down, onto the pan, shaping it to the pan. Remove the foil. Pour some water into the pan to wet it all over, and pour out all but 1 tbl. Place the foil in the pan and press it to the bottom and sides to adhere.

Make the shortbread layer: Using a mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar & salt & beat to mix. Add the flour and beat at low speed for 1-2 minutes until the ingredients form tiny crumbs that hold together when pinched. Tun dough into foil-lined pan. Using your fingertips, spread the dough to form an even layer and then press it down with the palm of her hand. Place the pecan halves, flat side down, in 1 direction, touching each other, to cover the dough.

Make the praline layer: In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over high heat. Stir until it comes to a rolling boil and continue stirring for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and pour over the nuts, coating as much as possible.

Bake the cake for 22 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days before slicing.

To slice, cover pan with a board or cookie sheet and invert. Remove the pan and peel off the foil. Cover with another board and invert again to turn right side up. Using a large, serrated knife, cut crosswise into quarters, then cut each strip crosswise into 8 bars (~31/4 x 1 inch). You may halve these bars to make pieces about 1 2/3 x 1 inch. Serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

WSJ - Five-Spice-and-Cocoa-Braised Short Ribs


Papa Joe made this last weekend. He says that it's great! It's from the Wall Street Journal.

[Braised short ribs]

Yield: 4 servings
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours 15 minutes

4 pounds well-marbled beef short ribs, cut 2 inches thick and preferably with the bone
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup soy sauce
The zest and juice of 1 orange
1 1/2 teaspoons ketchup
3 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

PAIRINGS
[wine]
Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher suggest wine pairings for this meal.
The ribs may be short, but the list of possible wine pairings is quite long. Chef Farmerie recommends a Southern Rhône-style blend or an Australian Shiraz and those would certainly be winners (though we'd avoid Shiraz under $20 because we generally find them overly simple and creamy, which wouldn't pair well with the short ribs). This dish is so yummy that if you stick with any red wine of some oomph and stature you can't go wrong. Barolo and Barbaresco from Italy, Syrah from California or Washington state, Pinot Noir from Oregon, Bordeaux -- any would be lovely. But how about trying something different tonight? Pick up a Petite Sirah from California. Petite Sirah is a deep, dark, big, peppery wine that's quite distinctive and really needs a substantial dish like this to make it shine. (Petite Sirah is sometimes spelled Petite Syrah, but is unrelated to Syrah.) Some names to look for under $20: Guenoc, Parducci, Bogle and Concannon. Over $20: David Bruce and Stags' Leap Winery (a long-time favorite that's worth a special search). Petite Sirah ages beautifully, so if you find a bottle with some years on it and it has been well cared-for, that's great. If you get a young bottle, you might consider decanting it after you have tasted it to make sure it needs decanting—your puckering mouth will let you know. You can contact us at wine@wsj.com.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the short ribs in an ovenproof casserole just big enough to fit them snugly.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the stock, soy sauce, zest, juice, ketchup, five-spice powder, brown sugar, cocoa powder, garlic, shallot and thyme. Pour the mixture over the short ribs.

Cover the baking container tightly with foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 21/2 to 3 hours (depending on the size of the ribs). The meat should be falling off the bone and give little resistance when pressed with a fork. Uncover and return to the oven to allow the juices to thicken, about 15 minutes more.

Transfer the ribs to a plate and carefully pour the braising liquid into a large glass measuring cup. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes so the fat will rise to the top. Using a small ladle or cup, skim off the fat.

Serve the ribs with a few spoonfuls of sauce drizzled over the top. If making ahead of time, pour the defatted sauce back over the ribs and cover the dish with foil. Reheat for 20 minutes before serving.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Roast rack of lamb with mint sauce Bon Appétit | February 1996

I made this for Debbie's birthday. It was delicious--just perfect. I thought the sauce was a little strange, but it was perfect with the lamb. I served this with garlic mashed potatoes and green and white asparagus with brown butter.

I used veal stock in place of beef broth, and onions and garlic instead of shallots. I also doubled the sauce recipe.

Serves 6.

ingredients
3 8-chop racks of lamb, trimmed
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
6 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Fresh mint sprigs

Mint Sauce
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup canned beef broth
1/3 cup minced shallots
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

preparation
To make lamb:
Preheat oven to 450°F. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon mustard on each side of each lamb rack. Mix breadcrumbs and mint in medium bowl. Press breadcrumb mixture onto lamb, coating completely.

Arrange lamb, meat side up, on large baking sheet with rim.

Roast lamb 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Roast until thermometer inserted into lamb registers 130°F. for medium-rare, about 20 minutes longer.

Transfer lamb to work surface.

Tent with foil; let stand 5 minutes. Cut lamb racks between bones into chops. Arrange chops on plates. Garnish with mint sprigs; pass Mint Sauce separately.

To make sauce:
Combine 1 cup mint, broth, shallots, vinegar and sugar in heavy small non-aluminum saucepan.

Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Cover and let stand 2 hours.

Strain sauce into large glass measuring cup.

Place cornstarch in same saucepan. Gradually whisk in sauce. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir until sauce thickens slightly and turns translucent, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before continuing.) Stir in remaining 2 tablespoon mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 1 cup.
Cover and let stand 2 hours.

Strain sauce into large glass measuring cup.

Place cornstarch in same saucepan. Gradually whisk in sauce. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir until sauce thickens slightly and turns translucent, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before continuing.) Stir in remaining 2 tablespoon mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 1 cup.

brazilian banana and white chocolate ice cream torte Bon Appétit | December 1991

I made this for Debbie's birthday dinner because she likes bananas so much. It was easy and could be done 1 or 2 days early which is always a plus. I did make a few changes. I used a graham cracker crust because Deb doesn't like nuts, but I think that it would be better with the nut crust. Also, instead of decorating the torte I served slices of it with strawberries and bananas on the side, and chocolate sauce drizzled over the top. I melted raspberry jelly and coated the strawberries in it. I sauteed the sliced bananas in butter and brown sugar with some rum and a squeeze of lemon. It turned this into an upscale banana split.

Note that if you are using a table top ice cream maker, you will need to make two batches of ice cream, so plan accordingly.

Serves 12.

ingredients
Crust
3 cups walnuts (about 12 ounces)
1 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled

Ice Cream
3 cups whipping cream
1 cup half and half
3/4 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
8 ounces imported white chocolate (such as Lindt), chopped

1 1/2 pounds very ripe bananas
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Sauce
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate,
chopped

3 large ripe bananas, peeled, cut on diagonal into 1/4-inch-wide slices
15 small strawberries with stems

preparation
For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely chop all nuts with sugar in processor. Add butter and blend until well combined. Press mixture firmly onto sides, then bottom of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Freeze 10 minutes. Bake until light brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on rack.

For Ice Cream:
Bring 1 cup cream, half and half and sugar to simmer in heavy medium saucepan, stirring occasionally.

Whisk yolks in medium bowl. Whisk in hot cream mixture.
Return mixture to saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes; do not boil. Strain into bowl. Add white chocolate; whisk until melted. Mix in remaining 2 cups cream. Chill until cold.

Peel and slice 1 1/2 pounds bananas.

Puree bananas with lemon juice in processor. Mix puree into custard. Transfer custard to ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon ice cream into prepared crust; smooth top. Cover and freeze overnight. (Can be made 1 week ahead; keep frozen.)

For sauce:
Bring cream and syrup to simmer in medium saucepan.

Reduce heat to low. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool to lukewarm. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm over low heat before using; do not boil.)

Remove pan sides from torte.

Arrange bananas and strawberries in rows atop ice cream. Serve with sauce.
Return mixture to saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes; do not boil. Strain into bowl. Add white chocolate; whisk until melted. Mix in remaining 2 cups cream. Chill until cold.

Peel and slice 1 1/2 pounds bananas.

Puree bananas with lemon juice in processor. Mix puree into custard. Transfer custard to ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon ice cream into prepared crust; smooth top. Cover and freeze overnight. (Can be made 1 week ahead; keep frozen.)

For sauce:
Bring cream and syrup to simmer in medium saucepan.

Reduce heat to low. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool to lukewarm. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm over low heat before using; do not boil.)

Remove pan sides from torte.

Arrange bananas and strawberries in rows atop ice cream. Serve with sauce.