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Archive for September, 2011

From Dish Danielle:

I’m not one to keep track of high-profile chefs and the hippest new restaurants. I love food and I love to cook. For me it’s usually that simple. But alas….I do admit that there’s one professional chef whose recipes make me swoon, and those are the culinary delights of mister Marcus Samuelsson. His Ethiopian and Sweedish roots inspire unique flavor combinations that somehow fuse African and Scandinavian cuisine in an incredibly exciting and balanced way. The food he creates reflects his distinct heritage exquisitely and I’m inspired every time I try a new recipe of his.

Samuelsson’s second cookbook, ‘The Soul of a New Cuisine,’ is one of my all time favorites, and it’s not for a home cook who’s faint at heart. His dishes often have 3-4 parts, as each recipe requires the completion of a spice rub, infused oil, or special sauce – instructions for all of which can be found in the beginning pages of his book.

Let’s get to it. M. Samuelsson’s Jerk Chicken (slightly tweaked):

1. Compose his ‘Jerk’ Mix:


Place 2 tbsp olive oil in pan over med heat. Add 6 minced garlic cloves and 2 seeded & chopped jalepenos and cook for 3 minutes. Add 1 tbsp allspice, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cayenne, and 2 tbsp brown sugar. Stir constantly. Remove from heat when mixture starts to clump. Transfer mix to blender. Add 1 tsp white pepper, 1 tbsp dry thyme, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground ginger, 4 chopped scallions, 1/3c fresh lime juice and ½c red vinegar. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

2. Prep the chicken:
3-4lb chicken
½ c Jerk Mix
a few thyme springs
½ head garlic, top third cut off and papery skin removed
2 potatoes, peeled & cut into 1’’ cubes
1 sweet potato, peeled & cut into 1’’ cubes
1 parsnip, peeled & cut into 1’’ cubes
1 onion, cut into 1’’ cubes
1 pear, cut into 1’’ cubes
1 quince, cut into 1’’ cubes

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly salt & pepper the bird. Generously rub ½ jerk mix under the skin & all over it. Stuff some thyme under skin. Place garlic in cavity, (I also stuck ½ a lemon in there as well). Set aside. Toss potatoes & parsnips with remaining jerk mix. Spread on bottom of roasting pan in an even layer. Scatter few thyme springs atop. Place chicken on roasting rack above veggies and roast for 45 minutes.

3. Make his ‘Yogurt Dip’ accompaniment:
Place 2 tbsp olive oil in pan over med heat. Add 2 peeled garlic cloves, a 2’’ piece of minced ginger, and a seeded & minced jalapeno chili. Sauté for 5 min. Add ½ tsp fresh ground coriander (if you have seeds to grind yourself), ½ tsp cumin and sauté for 2 more mins. Let cool briefly. Transfer to blender. Add 2 limes worth of juice and 2c thick greek yogurt. Blend until smooth. Fold in 2 tsp fresh chopped cilantro and 2tsp fresh chopped parsley. Store in fridge until dinnertime.

4. Add pear/quince to roasting pan:
Pull chicken out of oven and remove chicken from roasting pan. Add pear & quince to veggies. Increase oven temp to 375. Return chicken to roasting pan and bake for additional 30-40 minutes, until juices run clear. Let cool for 10min before serving.


5. Do as Samuelsson says and ‘Cook with Love.’ Then, EAT!

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From Dish Erin:

Last Friday, I decided it was time to conquer a personal culinary hurdle: Chinese food. Sure, I’ve whipped up some fried rice, but that’s kind of like cooking up some macaroni and cheese and calling it Italian cooking. I definitely love going out of my comfort zone, but Chinese food has an extra degree of difficultly to it–though I eventually discovered it can be solved with a little cornstarch and soy sauce.

Naturally, I didn’t start slow. I wanted to make two dishes, not just one. And it took me about two hours. But then again, that’s my kind of Friday night: Elbow deep in flour, corn starch, beer in hand, making a Chinese Feast. And let’s face it, you can’t have a Chinese feast without a few dumplings. For those, I used Dish Rachelle’s recipe and put my own twist on it. I substituted red peppers for shiitake mushrooms, and for the sauce I added in red chili oil to make it nice and spicy. [Side note: her dumpling recipe is SPOT ON. Highly recommended.]

For the main course, I chose one of my standard Chinese favorites, Cashew Chicken.

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 cubes
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon + 2 tablespoons rice wine or rice vinegar
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 cup green beans or sugar snap peas
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
12 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup unsalted roasted cashews

In a medium bowl combine the chicken, garlic, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of rice wine, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Stir to combine and set aside to marinate.

In a small bowl, combine the broth, the remaining soy sauce, rice wine and corn starch.

Heat a saute pan or wok over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, then add the ginger and remaining teaspoon of garlic. Using a spatula or spoon, stir until the ginger is fragrant.

Add the chicken, spread it evenly in the pan and cook, undisturbed for about 1-2 minutes until the chicken is lightly browned, but not cooked all the way through.

Add the remaining oil to the pan, add the green beans (or snap peas) carrots, celery, and cashews. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes.

Re-stir the broth mixture, add to pan and cook about 2 minutes more until sauce thickens and veggies and chicken are cooked through.

Serve over white or brown rice.

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From Dish Jodi:

Full disclosure, this month’s recipe was inspired by Bon Appetit’s story on Osteria Mozza’s Nancy Silverton. Singing Mozza’s praises is nothing new – it’s truly delicious, and the site of some of the most memorable meals of my life. There was a birthday, an anniversary, and a celebratory dinner where a friend and I shared 4 different pastas. Also – LA folks – they have an amazing deal where, at the bar, Sunday-Thursday, you can get a mozzerella app, a pasta, a dessert and a glass of house wine for around 40 bucks. Damn.

They make a dish there that I fantasize about: Burracotta, Grilled Radicchio, Honeycomb, and Candied Walnuts on grilled bread. Sweet, bitter, creamy. Damn again. With a fridge full of dairy products that needed using, I decided to make my own version, with the stuff I had on hand…and to experiment a bit with the homemade “Ricotta” cheese from Bon Appetit this month.

For the cheese:
4 C whole milk
1 C heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice

For the crostini:
Sliced Italian bread
a couple medium of endives
honey
candied walnuts


Bring the cheese ingredients just to a boil in a medium saucepan, then remove from heat. While it sits for 15 minutes or so, it will start to curdle. If you don’t think it’s curdling enough, gently stir in a bit more lemon juice. After it has sat, use a slotted spoon to place curds in cheese cloth over a strainer and drain the curds for an hour or so. You should have a curdled, creamy, salty cheese – very spreadable.

Grill the bread and endives lightly.

Slice endive and divide pieces among toasts. Slather with the cheese, sprinkle chopped walnuts and drizzle them with honey.

(The endive is a little light in flavor for this, radicchio would be better, but no one was complaining here – it’s the combo of bitter and creamy that works.)

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