Monthly Archives: July 2009
|July 23, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Chicken and Poultry, French, Sides, Special Occasions|
This is a recipe that you’ll definitely want to put on your list. I don’t know what to say about it other that that it is by far the most delicious thing I’ve eaten in a long time. It’s a perfect meal to serve if you’re entertaining – it actually made us realize that we really should have a dinner party soon. This meal is so good that it just needs to be shared.
Starting the duck in a pan and finishing it in the oven ensures that the skin gets nice and crispy but the meat doesn’t overcook and dry out. The spiced sauce has a hint of sweetness to it that pairs perfectly with the smokey duck. I was a little worried that the sauce would seem too wintery for the summertime, but it was really light and ddn’t seem out of season at all. It also doesn’t taste overwhelmingly like whisky, so if you’re like me and don’t really like whisky, don’t let that turn you off. If I didn’t know it was in there, I don’t think I would have been able to identify the flavor.
On the side, I served a tian with potato and some gorgeous swiss chard that I picked up at the farmer’s market. A tian is basically a fancy way of saying “baked layers of vegetables topped with cheese.” It sounds so much more fun though, doesn’t it? I topped the tian with gruyere and nutmeg to carry over the flavors of the whisky sauce. Overall, this was a really delicious plate of food.
Crispy Duck with Spiced Whisky Sauce
Adapted from Ricardo: Meals for Every Occasion
- 1 small, boneless duck breast
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup whisky (I used Glenlivit)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 whole allspice
- 3 whole cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 350.
Score skin of duck in a diamon pattern. Place garlic, thyme, and duck (skin-side down) in an oven proof skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the duck skin becomes brown and crispy. Drain and discard fat. Flip duck over and cook the meaty side for 2 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and roast for 7 about minutes.
Meanwhile, combine shallots and honey in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook about 5 minutes, allowing honey to begin to carmelize. Add whisky and cook 2 minutes. Add ramaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then allow to reduce by about half.
Transfer duck to a plate and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Discard any duck fat the is in the pan. Return the pan to the stove and add the whisky sauce. Simmer about 3 minutes over medium heat.
Slice the duck and spoon sauce on top.
Potato and Swiss Chard Tian
- 1/2 bunch swiss chard, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 large white potato, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup shredded gruyere
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350. Cook swiss chard and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until wilted. Set aside.
Layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the bottom of a 2-cup rammekin. Top with half of the swiss chard. Repeat, and top with remaining potatoes. Pour chicken stock over it all. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until potatoes become soft. Mix cheese with nutmeg. Top the tian with cheese mixture and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese melts.
|July 22, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Fish and Seafood, Lent, Light, Quick Weeknight Meals, Sides, Special Occasions, Summer|
I’ve fallen in love with the Schenectady Greenmarket – the other markets in the area are great too, but Schenectady has the craziest vegetables! Like the dandelion greens that I posted about last week and these gorgeous white beets. They taste exactly the same as purple beets but because there’s no pigment they don’t make a mess and stain everything in the kitchen.
It took me a while to decide what I wanted to do with these beauties. Since they were so pale, I knew I wanted some color on the plate, but I didn’t want them to be overshadowed either. I finally settled on the idea of using tuna. I usually pair tuna with Asian flavors, but I didn’t think that would go with the beets and I had some leftover fennel in the fridge, so I decided to use a Mediterranean flavor profile. This came out fantastically – Shawn loved it and said that it was my best original creation yet.
I made an orange vinaigrette to go with the fennel salad and the beets and used orange zest on the tuna to pull all of the componants of the dish together. The leftover dressing was also great mixed into the orzo that I served as a side dish!
Tuna with Beets and Fennel Salad
- 3 white beets, peeled (you can sub purple beets)
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 1 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 1/2 fennel bulb, sliced thinly (I used the slicing edge of my microplane)
- 6 small black olives (such as kalamata or nicoise), pitted and chopped
- 6 basil leaves, chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tuna steak
- 1 tsp olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add beets and lemon juice and cook until beets are soft – about 25 minutes. Drain beets, and cut into thick rounds.
To make dressing: Combine orange juice, vinegar, mustard and honey in a small bowl. Mix well with a wire whisk or an immersion blender until mixture becomes emulsified and smooth. Set aside.
To make fennel salad: Set a medium skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and cook until it begins to softens- about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Combine fennel with about 1 Tbs vinaigrette, olives, basil, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine a pinch of salt, pepper, cumin, and orange zest. Rub this mixture into the tuna. Heat oil in a pan over high heat. Add tuna and sear – about 3 minutes on each side. Remove tuna from heat to prevent additional cooking, and slice into two portions.
To plate: Arrange beet slices on a plate. Drizzle with a little of the vinaigrette. Top with a portion of the tuna. Arrange fennel salad on top of the tuna.
|July 21, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Beef, Lamb, and Pork, Mexican and Southwestern, Special Occasions, Weekend Meals|
Rick Bayless is probably my all-time favorite celebrity chef. I started watching him on PBS way before he won the James Beard award or was catapulted into stardom by a hearty endorsement from Barrack Obama. But after all these years of drooling front if my tv, I only tried making one of his recipes for the first time a few weeks ago. I attempted his duck tacos and to my disappointment, they were a huge flop. (To Rick’s credit I’m pretty sure the failure was my fault for substituting duck breast for roast duck. And the accompanying tomatillo and avocado salsa may be one of the most delicious salsas I’ve ever made.)
I didn’t want to give up on him though, so I decided to try out a more traditional recipe. I decided that I wanted to make chile rellenos, and that I wanted to find a Bayless recipe for them. Not easy!! It took some digging, but I eventually found a recipe on his web site that I could work with. I did end up changing it quite a bit – the filling is completely different, I used less batter, made a thicker sauce instead of a broth, and topped them with cheese. But the general idea is his. Sort of. If nothing else, they’re delicious and are everything that I had always hoped a Bayless dish would be.
I’m filing this recipe under “weekend meals” because it does take longer than most of my recipes. The pork filling can be made in advance and frozen, which will save you some time. If you can’t find poblanos, substitute any other large, mild chile.
Chipotle-Cherry Chilles Relleno
Adapted from Frontera Kitchen’s Classic Pork Picadillo-Stuffed Chiles in Tomato Broth
- 1/2 chipotle-cherry pork loin (see below)
- 1 Tbs butter
- 2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbs cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
- 6 fresh poblano chiles
- 1 egg
- 2 tbs plus 1 cup flour
- 1 cup queso quesadilla or other good melting cheese, shredded
To prepare the sauce: Puree the tomatoes with the juices until smooth. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Sautee onions until soft. Add pureed tomatoes and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes or until a thick sauce forms. Set aside.
To prepare filling: Pulse pork in food processor until it is coarsely ground. Add to a large skillet and cook until browned. Drain fat. Add 1 cup of tomato sauce and vinegar. Simmer about 10 minutes.
Heat oil for frying in a deep skillet. Fry chiles until blistered all over – about 1 minute. Remove and allow to drain on paper towels. When cool enough to handle, rub off the pepper skins. The cut a vertical slit in each pepper, starting about 1/2″ from the top and ending about 1/2″ for the bottom. Reach in a remove seeds, the gently rinse the inside of the pepper (try not to tear the incision while you do this).
Beat the egg white with a little salt until stiff. Stir in beaten egg yolk and 2 Tbs flour to form a batter. Spread remaining flour in a dish.
Heat oven to 400. Spoon the pork filling into each pepper. Roll each pepper in flour, then dunk in egg mixture. Fry in hot oil about4 minutes, or until golden.Transfer peppers to a baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes Top with sauce and cheese and bake until cheese melts – about an additional 5 minutes.
Chipotle-Cherry Pork Loin
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
- 1 chipotle chile, stemmed
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1-pound pork tenderloin
Combine broth, chili, and cheeries in a microwave safe dish. Heat for about 2 minute, until the cherries plump up. Transfer to food processor. Add next 6 ingredients (through gralic) and process until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup. Slather the rest all over the pork. Let pork marinate for at least 1 hour. Place pork on broiler pan and cook at 450 for about 30 minutes.
|July 20, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Fruit|
After waiting all week, its fianlly time to see what everyone has come up with for BSI: Plum! We definitely had some amazing submissions that were creative and look delicious! I do have to say though, that I was surpised that only one person did a savory dish! For that, Comfy Cook gets a special shout out. I was definitley expecting to see more dishes using plum sauce or grilled plums this time around.
Another plum tart – this one is a rustic plum, ginger, and almond tart from girlichef. It turns out ahe was hoping for a BSI: Plum week because she had just bought a whole bunch of them! I love the idea of ginger in this tart – that sounds so good to me!!
CG made a super simple vanilla bean plum frozen yogurt that’s healthy enough for breakfast! I can’t wait to try this one myself!
Last but not least, Sarah from Mom on the Run made grilled pork terderloin salad with plums and almonds. This was her first time submitting a post to the BSI, and i think she did a fantastic job! You should all go over there and say hi to her – she has a great blog full of family friends recipes and product reviews. She’s also hosting a giveaway that ends today!
To find out about this week’s ingredient, head on over to Confy Cook!
|July 17, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Asian, Lent, Light, Sides, Summer, Vegetarian or Vegan|
Don’t forget to submit your plum recipe for this week’s BSI! Deadline is this Sunday!
I’ve gotten a few requests for more vegetarian “meat free Friday” dishes – this is one that everyone will be able to enjoy.
When I saw dandelion greens at the farmer’s market last weekend, I couldn’t resist. I remembered liking them a lot when I had Korean food in NYC and I thought they would be something fun and different to make at home. Mo always write about how much she loves Korean baked tofu, so I decided to give that a try too.
I loved the flavors on the tofu! The sesame oil gave it a slight sweetness that paired really well with the red peppers and garlic. Since tofu doens’t taste like much, this is really all about the sauce. I sliced the tofu into 8 pieces to get more surface area and made extra sauce, which I think was a good call. My husband was kind of indifferent toward this dish, but he’s not really a fan of tofu.
For the dandelion greens, I made something vaguely similar to kimchee. Or at least as similar as I could get with ingredients that I had on hand and less than an hour. I also served them warm. I liked them that way, but they’re also really good cold. I used sriarcha, which I don’t normally like because I find it too vinegary. It worked really well with this though (except I used way to much!! whoa spicy!!). My husband liked the greens a lot more than the tofu. I liked the tofu more, but that could have had something to do with the fact that my mouth felt like it was on fire! The flavor really was delicious, and I look forward to making them again.
Dandelion greens are also extremely healthy- 1 cup (chopped) has 500% of your RDA of vitamin k and over 100% of your day’s vitamin a. They also contain calcium and iron, and help support digestion, reduce swelling and inflammation. All for just 25 calories!
Spicy Dandelion Greens
- 1 bunch dandelion greens, rinsed well
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 Tbs sriracha (adjust to taste- this will be very spicy!!)
- 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, grates
Cut green into 1-inch pices. Place in a bowl and toss with salt. Let sit 10-15 minutes to extract some of the liquid. Pour off/ squeeze out liquid. Combine remaining ingredients. Add to greens and let marinate for another 15 minutes. Transfer to a skillet and cook until thoroughly wilted and warmed through.
Korean Baked Tofu
- 1 brick extra-firm tofu
- 4 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbs crushed red pepper
- 6 green onions
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 Tbs black sesame seeds
Place tofy under a heavy weight (a plate with a large can on top works well)to drain some of the water out. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a food processor. Process until a chunky paste is formed.
Cut tofu into 8 slices. Arrange on a baking sheet and top with sauce. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
|July 16, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Beef, Lamb, and Pork, Breads, French, Vegetarian or Vegan|
If you’d like a second helping of Healthy Delicious, go check out my guest post on 5 Star Foodie’s blog. It’s a good one!
Also, don’t forget to submit your plum recips for this week’s BSI- you have until Sunday!
When I went to France I ate a lot of wonderful food. But what I remember enjoying the most was the simple street food that I would pick up from a cart or a sidewalk cafe. In particular, I loved the hot dogs, which were serves with spicy dijon mustard inside a baguette. They were the best hot dogs that I’ve ever had, and even though it s been a few years, I still cave them from time to time. To celebrate Bastille Day (yeah, not exactly timely with the post) I decided to try to recreate them at home. With homemade baguettes and hot dogs from a local butcher, these were every bit as good as the ones I had in France.
The key to these are the homemade baguettes, which are surprisingly easy to make. They have a nice soft, slightly salty interior with a nice, crispy crust that is exactly what you want in a baguette. Start to finish, they take under 2 hours and they only use 4 ingredients that you probably have in your cabinets right now. Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on packages bread? It’s so long and full of weird things that just don’t belong in bread. These baguettes are as simple as it gets, and they taste better than any bread that you can gte int the store. Because they don’t have ay preservative though, they won’t keep very long so you’ll want to freeze whatever you don’t use after a day. You can reheat them in the oven and the crust will crisp back up very nicely. If you want, you can purposefully underbake them a little so that when you rebake them they don’t get too dark. I honestly could have let these get darker, but I was impatient (they were fully cooked, just not very dark). They’ll be perfect and golden when I reheat them.
- 2 cups warm water, divided
- 1 tsp dry yeast
- 4 cups AP flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 egg mixed with 1 Tbs cold water
Combine yeast with 1/4 cup warm water. Mix thoroughly to dissolve, the let sit for 10 minutes. Combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and remaining warm water, mixing until a dough begins to form. Knead for about 6 minutes. Cover with a towel and let rise for bout 45 minutes in a warm spot in your kitchen (I rise mine in the oven set to “proof”). Punch down and divide into however many loaves you want (for sandwiches or subs, I like to split it into 6 loaves.) Shapes loaves and arrange on a baking sheet. Let rise another 20 minutes, or until nearly doubled in size.Brush with egg and water mixture and use a sharp knife to score the tops of the loaves.
Place a dish of water in the bottom of the oven (to create steam) and heat oven to 400. Bake baguettes for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until crusts are golden.
Thanks to ValleyWriter for the Kreativ Blogger Award!
The rules of the Kreative Blogger award are as follows:
1. Thank the person who has given you the award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on which of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.
So here goes… 7 things about me:
- It wasn’t that long ago that I ate almost exclusively canned soup and lean cuisines. Now I hardly ever eat either of those.
- I am petrified of snakes. I hate zoos, pet stores, and parks.
- I have a BA in political science and a MA in political management.
- I get really excited by post-it notes, binder clips, and label makers.
- I love stupid TV shows like Real Housewives
- I used to be a competitive Irish step dancer
- I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 25.
Passing it on to (so hard to pick because so many people deserve this!!):
- CG at Uncovering Food
- Mary at One Perfect Bite
- Sophie at Sophie’s Food Files
- Zoe at Zoe Blog
- Happy Cook at My Kitchen Treasures
- Rebecca at Rosey Rebecca
- Sara at Small Kitchen Big Ideas