Saturday, July 31, 2010

Even Better

"I didn't think this dish could get any better, " James said after a few bites of our house favorite spaghetti with clam sauce. I snuck a little chopped prosciutto into the pan with the garlic and red pepper.
Sauté sliced garlic (4 cloves) and crushed red peppers in olive oil. Add 3-4 slices prosciutto, 2 lbs of clams (we like Manilla best but they aren't as easy to fine in the summer), a handful of chopped parsley, juice of 1 lemon and 3/4 cup of wine, raise the heat to high and cover the pan. Steam the clams for about 8 minutes until they all open. Add the strained pasta (today I used a combo of spinach and wheat noodles) into the pan along with a good sized knob of butter and more chopped parsley. Give the noodles a good toss around over low - medium heat and serve.
Happy Birthday Honey

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Katz's Deli

No trip to New York is complete without a stop at Katz's deli, the legendary Lower East Side sandwich emporium that sent salamis to soldiers in WWII and hosted the most memorable scene of Meg Ryan's career.
Though Langer's in LA might edge slightly ahead because of it's brick oven toasted rye bread, the pastrami at Katz's is spicy and fatty and superb. The pickles crunchy, and the atmosphere -- well, let's just say uniquely NY -- 24 hours a day.


I have to admit, I've know about Jonathan Waxman for years but he was never really on my radar until his stint on Top Chef Masters. He isn't flashy or new but his simple cooking showcasing the best local ingredients won and gentle calm in the kitchen won us over and put his New York restaurant Barbuto on my must visit list.
I started with this raw zucchini salad. A tangle of shaved zucchini, toasted hazelnuts and a lemony vinaigrette served a top a smear of black olive paste. So simple and so delicious I am going to try a version of this at home.
From my seat I could see into the open kitchen and watched Chef Waxman expediting dishes while warmly greeting diners at the kitchen tables and across the cheerful dining room.
I was lucky enough to pop into the kitchen and meet the chef. We chatted about gardens (he's working on a NY schoolyard garden) and how he misses LA sometimes while he signed my copy of his cookbook, A Great American Cook.
When my waiter learned it was my first visit to Barbuto he "insisted" I try the roast chicken. I rarely order chicken in a restaurant but I gave in and was served a delightfully crisp-skinned meaty bird. Quality of the bird aside, the star of this dish was the salsa verde -- parsley, tarragon, fresh oregano, capers, garlic and olive oil. This super punch of flavor made simple chicken more than a weeknight dinner dish and I am going to work on a house sauce like this for James.
A great dinner from a great American cook.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blue Ribbon Sushi

I've been a fan of the Bromberg Brothers of New York's Blue Ribbon restaurants since they had one little jewel box of a bistro in Soho where the city's chefs filled the tiny room's tables, open until 4 am every night.
The original Blue Ribbon is still going strong and still serving what may have been New York's first plate of buttery bone marrow with the house specialty oxtail marmalade.
Since those early days the brothers have expanded to eight restaurants and a bakery across Manhattan and Brooklyn. Sushi may seem like a departure but as at all their outposts, the Bromberg's rely on simple preparation allowing the super fresh, high quality ingredients to shine.
Spicy lobster roll. . . delicious.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Les Halles

Culinary bad boy Anthony Bourdain's orignal New York outpost, Les Halles, is a busy cheerful restaurant specializing in the straight forward fare of French bistros. Not particularly inventive (although when it first opened there were few like it in the states) but unpretentious and executed with finesse.
The menu features onion soup, classic terrines, and the specialty -- steak frites. I had to order the dish what many claim are the city's best fries.
Reliable and something for everyone, that's Les Halles. Feeding the city like it's Paris market name sake once did.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Breakfast at Balthazar

Balthazar, long a go-to spot for chick Soho dining, offers French style all day dining for people who have time to dine all day. Morning brings eggs in puff pastry, addictive bread baskets, and flaky croissants courtesy of the adjacent bakery.
I slide into a booth among a room of regulars for a latte in a bowl and house made granola with yogurt and fruit.Balthazar is more French than France -- a slice of a time gone by we tourist go dream of finding, but it's right here at home.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Bread is Garbage

I am lucky enough to be in New York City on a job, with a little time off.
And so, on one not so sunny but still very hot morning I decided to make a bread pilgrimage to search out the bakery of my favorite baker, bread guru, Jim Lahey. I have been cooking my way through Lahey's revolutionary bread cookbook, My Bread, since James bought it for me last Christmas. I wanted to see what the real thing was like. And here -- very far from Sullivan Street, behind this unassuming facade (hardly the exterior one expects for a true king of the bread world) I came face to face with Lahey's creations.
I selected a small multigrain roll (paninetto as the bakery says). The minute I bit into the thick crisp crust and felt it shatter like beautiful toasty glass one thought popped into my head. "My bread is garbage."How does he do it? What am I doing wrong?
As I walked the nearly 4 miles back to my hotel in Soho (very near Sullivan street and the bakery's original location) I pondered on the more than 35 years that, somewhat halfheartedly, I have been playing with and have been taunted by homemade bread. I've done quick breads, biscuits, yeast cakes, eggs breads, whole wheat loaves, parkerhouse rolls practically bathed in melted butter but until Lahey's no-knead recipe convinced me to just let the dough sit I can't say homemade bread was a regular treat at our house, or that I was very proud of the results. I was proud that is -- until I took a bite of the real thing. One bite and it was over.
Though I rarely detail it, sometimes I have trouble getting Lahey's recipes to rise or the loaves are flat and sad. The original recipe and the whole wheat are pretty much no-fail but the more exotic flavors, carrot bread and walnut I wasn't sure about, until today. I wondered if my bread came out like the master's, now I know, sadly, it does not.
As I wandered home, flush with this new reality I thought, " there is one more pilgrimage to make."
About two years ago Lahey opened Co (pronounced Company) specializing in wood fired pizza with the baker's justly famous dough. I wandered in, a little worse for the sudden summer rainstorm that hit more somewhere around 34th street, and was met by a cheerful waiter who suggested I sit at the bar thinking it would be more fun than one of the long tables. "The bartender is really chill," he said.
I saddled up the the small marble bar in full view of the Co packaged salt and olive oil and a gleaming espresso machine.
Seemingly seconds later Siri, more charming than "chill", came to tell me about the specials of the day. I immediately fell for the raw vegetables with anchovy dip. A bagna calda I thought, until out came a superbly creamy concoction surrounded by crisp baby vegetables. Salty, savory, with an anchovy flavor so mild it seemed vaguely like the best caesar salad dressing ever. If not for the polite company I'd have been tempted to dive into this small bowl and lick it clean. Spectacular and simple -- I'm hoping My Bread has the recipe, this could be a new party regular at our house.
Sensing my interest (well maybe obsession) with the kitchen -- I could see the beautiful Earthstone oven from my perch at the bar -- Siri, bartender supreme, wrangled me an invitation to visit the kitchen, where Brendan, the man at the oven filled me in on the finer points of pizza cookery.
900 degrees of deliciousness -- Co's wood-fired oven hard at work. A finished pie takes about 5 minutes.
These are no ordinary pizzas. Sure there are Margherita and a meatball versions but Co is justly famous for it's Popeye -- gruyere, pecorino and mozzarella cheese topped with fresh spinach which toasts in the intense heat. Other pies feature fresh arugula, ham and cheese, and, the diet buster Flambé, a combination of lardons, caramelized onions, cheeses, and super-rich béchamel sauce. The menu is simple ( 9 pizzas, some salads, "toast" (crostini with a choice of toppings), and soups thickened with Lahey's delicious bread crumbs) and I suspect changes with the availability of the best ingredients.
Counseled by my new friend the bartender I went with the day's special. Corn purée topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, fresh Italian kale, and sweet juicy golden cherry tomatoes, added after the pie had baked.
Lahey's crust is at once crisp and chewy. The breadmaker's holy grail.
One bite in I swooned for the combination of sweet and yet savory corn and crisp, not quite bitter leaves. Two bites in I started to wonder what a purée so delicious was costing my diet. Three bites in a slight panic set in but I kept going.
Relief set in when my new friends in the Co kitchen shared the recipe with me: fresh corn kernels pureed in the "robocoup" -- the French original that inspired the Cuisinart home version -- and strained through a "China cap." That'll make a few dirty dishes at home but two of James favorite flavors on one crust is worth a home oven try.
While I'm happily munching, Siri tells me that Lahey is working on a pizza cookbook -- have to put that on a future Christmas list.
Better than dessert, after a few minutes of chatting at the bar, Siri knows a groupie when she sees one, and brings the man himself, Jim Lahey, over to say hello. We chat about crust and LA and my problems with some breads. Lahey offers to look at pictures of my home loaves to give some personalized direction (I'll update on that one). A doughy dream come true -- hero worship at the marble bar.
Thank you Siri, my fairy bread godmother!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ground Beef Pizza

Around once a week we make pizza. James loves it and like to work on my dough skills.
The other day I took down one of beloved packages of Hearst Ranch ground beef to make James a plate of sliders and still had about half left in the fridge. Seemed like a good night for Hamburger Pizza. I sautéed the meat (along with several chopped slices of pancetta) in olive oil with oregano, fennel seeds, lots of garlic, crushed red peppers, and tomato paste until the meat was cooked through. As usual I spread the dough across an oiled 11 x 17 baking sheet. I toped the dough with the cooled meat, thinly sliced red onions, slivers of garlic, chopped parsley, rounds of fresh mozzarella and shaved parmesan cheese. Twenty minutes at 500) and we had an American take on an Italian favorite.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Grilled Shrimp

Honestly I hardly did a thing here. I had beautiful jumbo shrimp and a hot grill. I rubbed the shells with some olive oil and seasoned salt and popped these babies on the fire for about 8 minutes while I mixed up some homemade cocktail sauce -- much better than store bought -- try it, 1/2 cup each of ketchup and chili sauce, 1/4 cup of horseradish, juice of half a lemon, a dash of hot sauce and 1/2 tsp of worcestershire. Peel and eat. Done.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Steamed Clams and Corn

Really simple and really good. I found this recipe while reading Martha Stewart Living at the gym. Yes, I admit it, I read food magazines while I do my cardio -- I get quite a few odd looks. But this is a super simple delicious recipe. All I did was sauté two chopped shallots in olive oil along with a sliced jalapeno. After about 2 minutes I added 1/2 cup of white wine and brought that to a simmer over high heat and added in 3 ears of corn cut into "coins" (little rounds) and almost 4 lbs of little neck clams. I covered the pot and let it steam until the clams were all open -- about 12 minutes for these good sized littlenecks. I garnished the dish with some roughly chopped cilantro, brought out some nice crusty bread to dunk in the juices and served. Easy, delicious, summery. I'm already working on different flavor combinations to use with this super simple method.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Birthday Clambake

To celebrate (or mourn) the turning of another year James took me downtown to LA's great bastion of seafood and all things ocean, The Water Grill. Sophisticated food in a downtown setting. In spite of their fine dining reputation, this summer The Water Grill has been offering a weekly clambake. Picnic table food served by white jacketed men concerned that the color of my napkin be closer to the color of my "slacks" (they were jeans) -- I'm still not sure why. James had jeans on too but he got the regular white napkin. Birthday special I suppose.
This lobster was served with steamed clams, mussels, and sausage with a buttery sauce, creamed corn, and a starter salad of super fresh lettuce and shaved baby vegetables. For dessert was a delicate maple "budino" served in a cute little European canning jar with 3 sugary crisp pecan shortbread cookies on the lid. Happy Birthday to me.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Potato Salad

I dug up the last of our winter potatoes today. Red and purple fingerlings so delicious they don't need anything elaborate to mask their fresh flavor. I steamed the potatoes and when they were tender laid them on a bed of fresh arugula. Meanwhile I chopped 3 slices of bacon and cooked them in a skillet over medium heat to crisp the meat and render the fat. When the pork was crispy I removed it from the skillet with a slotted spoon and added 3 TB of white wine tarragon vinegar to the remaining fat to make a warm vinaigrette. I poured the dressing over the potatoes, sprinkled on coarse salt an a little pepper, and brought it to the table.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Vegetables For Dinner

It was getting late and I really didn't have a plan for dinner, so I took a look in the vegetable drawers. I found yellow squash, mushrooms, and half a head of cauliflower. I sliced and chopped everything up into pretty uniform sizes along with an onion I cut into thick wedges and added it to a deep pan along with a good glug of olive oil. I stirred the vegetables around in the oil for about a minute ad then aded in two sliced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of water. I covered the pan and let the vegetables cook on medium high heat for about 4 minutes. I uncovered the pan and let everything cook -- along with 1/2 a can of chick peas I found in the fridge until the water had cooked down a bit and everything was tender. Next I stirred in about 1/3 cup of pesto sauce and warmed it through. Dinner was served topped with a hefty wedge of delicate burrata cheese and an olive oil fried egg -- fresh from our hen house.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Garden Fresh Pasta Dinner

Dinner in a hurry. While the orecchiette were boiling I sautéed the filling from two links of Italian sausage in olive oil. When the sausage was browned I removed it to a plate and added 2 sliced cloves of garlic and a pinch of crushed red peppers to the pan. After about 30 seconds I added in one large bunch (chopped) of chicory -- straight from out garden. I let that cook, covered, with a little water for about 2 minutes. Then added the sausage back in and cooked for about 5 minutes more. When the pasta was tender I added it along with 1/3 cup of the cooking water and 1/4 mixed pecorino and parmesan cheeses to the pan and gave everything a good stir over medium heat. Just before serving, off heat, I tossed in a heavy TB of chopped fresh mint. A speedy taste of Southern Italy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Perfect Make Ahead Dessert

The other day while clearing out my baking cabinet I found an old jar of almond paste set to expire this september. I'd bought it quite some time ago for some Christmas cookies I intended to make and never got to -- or maybe that recipe really wanted marzipan. in any case it was sitting on the shelf and in danger of going to waste.
I did a quick internet search and found a lovely almond cake recipe from David Lebovitz's blog. Now Lebovitz's pedigree as a former Chaz Panisse pastry chef would be be enough to get me to pay attention to his blog. But that fact that the recipes are simple and inventive and delicious keeps me coming back. This almond cake mixes up in minutes, and keeps fresh for days if well wrapped. Easy to make ahead for dinners and summer parties. On top -- per the blogger's suggestion I made a quick blueberry compote with fresh blueberries and only a touch of sugar.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dinner on the Grill

Roasted vegetables with vinaigrette.
Super easy and still impressive. I put a variety of vegetable on the grill for a Spanish style salad, Escalivada in Catalan. Red peppers went whole, right on the flames. Eggplant, zucchini, beets (yes beets, they get super sweet on the grill) and yellow squash were sliced 1/4 inch thick and brushed with olive oil before being grilled. Onions, also brushed with oil were cut in to sixths through the rot end to hold them together. Just for fun I took some carrots from out yard, cherry tomatoes, and even a few fresh okra (I threaded those on skewers to keep them from falling through). When the vegetables were tender and decorated with nice golden grill marks Iarranged them on a platter and dressed the dish with a parsley vinaigrette of 2 TB sherry vinegar, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 TB chopped parsley (that's Barbecue authority Steven Raichlen's recipe).
Along with our platter of vegetables I grilled some chicken, chorizo sausages, and ears of fresh corn. I love summer cooking.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chicken Skewers

Not quite Thai food, but tonight's diet dinner was chicken skewers with peanut sauce and that seemed like something we could share. The strips of chicken breast marinated for about an hour in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, S&P, and chili powder. And then cooked, in just a few minutes, on a hot grill. For the peanut sauce I brought equal parts peanut butter and chicken broth (1/2 cup) to a boil along with a chopped clove of garlic, a pinch of crushed red chiles, 1 1/2 TB of soy sauce, and a 1/2 TB sesame oil and stirred just until the mixture was smooth. Then I added in a finely chopped shallot and let the sauce cool before dinner. Add a little steamed rice for the big man and call it done.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

When Eric Ate James' Dinner

James had a meeting out of the house and we had to re-schedule dinner with a friend so I needed some back up eaters. I invited our friend Eric to come and eat James' dinner. Eric is a good audience who appreciates my cooking so he is always a welcome guest, and his wife is out of town so we try to make him a regular at our dinner table.
We started off with a roasted corn and avocado salad from a recipe by Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake fame. She instructed to coat the ears of corn with olive oil and roast them in the oven (500)) until tender and lightly browned. After cutting the kernels form the ears some (1/2 cup) went into the blender along with 3 TB fresh lime juice, 2 TB sherry vinegar, a dash of hot sauce and a pinch of cinnamon. As those ingredients mixed I drizzled in 1/2 cup of olive oil to make a vinaigrette. The rest of the corn mixed with cubes of avocado, tomatoes (I had some roasted ones so I used those along with some fresh tomatoes), cucumbers and the finished dressing. I served spoons of the mixed salad on arugula leaves topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and feta cheese.
We don't do sandwiches for dinner too often but I thought I had a good combo and layered bread warm from the oven with butter, thinly sliced london broil (Eric was sort of invited for leftovers after all), parmesan cheese, spinach leaves, sliced mushrooms, and a thick coating of my green pepper romesco sauce. Sandwich and salad dinner for a good friend and a good guest.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Remember These?

The last of this year's white peaches went into this summery peach blueberry pie. Flaky crust, not too sweet filling with just a touch of lemon. Who doesn't love pie?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Griilled London Broil

Simple summer pleasures.
I love meals I can prep in advance and finish at the last minute. London broil benefits from long marinating and so yesterday I whipped up a flavorful dressing from a recipe I found online (form Gourmet magazine) of 4 cloves of garlic, 4 TB balsamic vinegar, 4 TB lemon juice, 3 TB dijon mustard, 1 1/2 TB Worcestershire sauce, 1 TB soy sauce, 1 tsp each dried oregano, basil, and thyme, 1/2 tsp crushed red chiles, and 2/3 cup olive oil. I whirled all those ingredients in the blender, put the meat in a zip lock bag, poured the marinade over top, and let it sit in the fridge overnight until it was time to grill.
London broil can be tough and if it isn't cooked carefully (and sliced carefully) chewy too. For advice I turned to the tireless recipe testers at Cook's Illustrated. Some cooks delight in trying new recipes and conquering new dishes, others, like the dedicated folks at Cook's Illustrated will test and tweak and test and re-test until they have achieved the best cooking method, the perfect recipe and then move onto the next. they are the kind of people who are always building a better mousetrap. I knew they would have useful advice. To combat the sometimes chewy texture of London broil, CI suggested cooking the meat over high heat and turning every four minutes (instead of 10 straight minutes on a side) saying it keeps the muscle from seizing up basically and keeps the meat more tender. Sure enough after twenty minutes total on the grill, almost ten minutes resting time and slicing very very thinly (as CI suggested) James had meat tender slices of juicy beef -- prime flavor at a budget price, and grass fed to boot.
On the side I whipped up a quick romesco sauce since I happened to have roasted piquillo peppers in the fridge I had been trying to use up. The Spanish sauce is great on grilled meats and fish, stirred into rice, over steamed vegetables anywhere you need a little extra flavor and couldn't be easer. I piled 2/3 cup of roasted peppers (most people use red but I had roasted green so I used those), 1/4 cup of rehydrated sun dried tomatoes (unusual for romesco but it's the way John Besh does it so why not), 1 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika, 2 TB sherry vinegar, 1/2 cup toasted almonds, 3/4 cup olive oil, S&P, into the food processor and hit "on." In seconds I had a jar of tasty, use on everything sauce tucked away in the fridge. It's an easy make ahead party worthy sauce just right for James' dinner.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Soup and Sandwich Night

The bottom vegetable bin in our new fridge is just too cold. James says it's because I stuff them too full. Maybe true.
None the less we ended up with some partially frozen asparagus -- a shame to waste but too frosty to serve as a side dish. Soup was the only way to salvage it I figured. And so it seemed like a night for soup and sandwich dinner.
I chopped the asparagus (2 bunches), 1 large shallot, and 2 cloves of garlic and added them to a sauce pan along with chicken broth to cover, and a pinch of crushed red peppers. I brought the mixture up to a boil and allowed it to simmer for about 15 minutes until the shallots were tender. I put the contents of the saucepan, along with 2 TB of olive oil and a large handful of fresh spinach into the blender and pureed. I served James' soup with a dollop of fresh ricotta.
On the side some dressed up grilled cheese. Rosemary bread, prosciutto, parmesan cheese, butter and a extra thin layer of honey toasted in a pan and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Eggplant Pizza

"I like your pizzas honey, but you know it's not what most people think of . . . I mean asparagus . . . ????"
That's how James greeted my latest vegetable pizza creation -- eggplant. But I am so delighted with our nearly fool proof vegetable pizza recipe I just keep making them -- and my pizza lover, no matter what the topping, keeps on eating them.
After I've stretched the dough across the baking pan I dot the top with prosciutto (or pancetta) and cheese, today it was a mixture of mozzarella and goat cheese. On top of the cheese I put plenty of chopped garlic. Then I slice the vegetable of choice (today it was eggplant, last week zucchini) as thinly as possible using a vegetable peeler or a mandolin. I mix the sliced vegetable with herbs (tonight it was fresh oregano, dried oregano and thyme), S&P, and olive oil and lay the dressed vegetables on top of the crust in a tangle. I sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 500º. Maybe it's not what other people would call pizza, but it works for us.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Easy Summer Dinner

I'm getting used to fish for dinner, although it's still not my favorite. But, following the new theme of our healthy dinner summer I am trying to make fish (not seafood which James and I both love and prefer) at least twice a week.
Tonight I took a clue from the fishermen and fishermen's wives of Nantucket who, rumor is, spread a coating of seasoned (salt and pepper) mayonnaise on filets before cooking them on the grill. I took that idea just a bit further by adding chopped basil, garlic, capers, and lemon juice to the mayo and blending it in the food processor. After about six minute on each side the fish was tender and super moist with just a hint of appealing golden brown.
And yet, healthy summer or not, man can't live by grilled fish alone. Earlier this afternoon I had some girlfriends (hi cousin Randy) to lunch and made a quick pasta with sautéed zucchini, garlic, chiles, chopped mint, and cubed fresh mozzarella. To keep it a bit light, and because I wasn't ready for a whole new stack of dirty dishes, instead of a heavy cream sauce I whisked together milk, one egg, and 1 TB of cornstarch and poured it over the pasta leftovers sprinkled in some grated parmesan cheese and baked the mini casserole for 20 minutes at 350º.
Super easy, super fast, and even used up some leftovers. The perfect summer dinner.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Beef Is Here

Finally, our cattle share from the Hearst Ranch is here, I unpacked a huge box of steaks, roasts, chops, and Heart Ranch's delicious ground beef and figured that James needed a break from joining me in my detox dinners. The perfect time for a steakhouse supper.
I rubbed the filet (James' favorite cut) with a drizzle of vegetable oil and then packed a combo of Maldon salt and cracked black peppercorns onto the meat and seared it on all sides in a dry cast iron skillet I'd heated on the stove for 10 minutes. After the meat was browned on all sides I popped the skillet into a 450º oven for about 8 minutes to cook through.
On the side some country style mashed potatoes with spuds from our garden and fresh steamed broccoli dusted with parmesan cheese.
"That was a really good dinner, honey" James said.
Mission Accomplished.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fish for Dinner

Once again the diet called for a fish dinner. Pacific halibut is in season these days, and since it's best choice on my Monterey Bay Aquarium sustainable seafood guide, we've been eating a lot of it this year while trying to make lighter meals. For something just a little different I chopped eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, and for a change -- shallots, and mixed them up with a little olive oil, oregano, S&P, and thyme. I laid the vegetables on a baking tray and popped them, along with some sliced potatoes for James into a 450º oven for about 10 - 15 minutes. When the vegetables were getting tender I added a seasoned halibut file, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, to the tray and returned it to the oven for 10 minutes. I turned the fist over and cooked for 8 minutes ore (this was a pretty thick filet). For a little flavor punch and to play up the Provencal style I already had going I whipped up a basil vinaigrette (1 bunch basil, 1 clove garlic, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 TB white balsamic vinegar, S&P, and a pinch of crushed red peppers) for a quick topping/ sauce.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Chicken Again

"There's a lot of chicken in dieting, huh?" James said as he looked down at his dinner plate heaped high enough with yellow rice and buttery naan to take it far away from any dieter's realm. Chicken two nights in a row -- pretty unusual for us.
For this grilled Tandoori style chicken I made a paste of chili powder (1/2 tsp), crushed fresh ginger (1 TB), crushed garlic (1 TB), 1 TB lemon juice, 1 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1 TB of mustard oil, and 1/2 cup yogurt and added in 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts and 2 skinless legs. I cut a few slits into the chicken before adding it to the marinade to help absorb the flavor. I let the meat marinate overnight and to get dinner ready I grilled the pieces along with some thick slices of onion brushed with the remaining marinade. A couple minutes before the chicken as cooked through I basted the meat with a little melted butter for extra flavor. There's a lot of grilling in dieting too.