Chicken Piccata


Chicken Piccata 500

Makes 2 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded into cutlets
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or Chardonnay
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons unsalter butter
  • Fresh lemon slices
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Tools

  • Saute pan with lid (or use foil)
  • Tongs
  • Chef knife
  • Paring knife

Instructions

  1. Season cutlets with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.  Coat a saute pan with nonstick spray, add oil, and heat over medium-high.
  2. Saute cutlets 2-3 minutes on one side.  Flip cutlets over and saute the other side, covered, 1-2 minutes.  Transfer cutlets to a warmed platter; pour off the fat from the pan.
  3. Deglaze pan with wine and add minced garlic.  Cook until garlic is slightly brown and liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add broth, lemon juice, and capers.  Return cutlets to pan and cook on each side for 1 minute.  Transfer cutlets to warm plates.
  5. Finish sauce with butter and lemons.  Once butter melts, pour sauce over cutlets.
  6. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Note:  You can also make this dish with turkey instead of chicken.




Tip of the Month - 3/1/2015


Sized Right

When rolling dough to a specific dimension, placing masking tape on the work surface in the shape and size needed takes the guess work out of measuring.  I just roll until I get to the edge of the tape – no more stopping to measure in the middle of rolling.

dough

 

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Corned Beef and Cabbage


 

cornedbeefy

Ingredients

  • 1 corned beef, 3 to 5 pounds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 cloves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 5 allspice berries or a pinch or two of allspice
  • 1 onion, whole
  • 1 medium peeled waxy red or white potato per person
  • 1 or 2 medium peeled carrots per person
  • Cabbage
  • Any other root vegetables you may like such as peeled turnips, parsnips or onions.
  • Fresh parsley

Tools

  • Large, heavy pot
  • Peeler
  • Toothpicks

Instructions

  1. Put the corned beef in a large, heavy pot and cover with water.  Add the bay leaf, garlic, cloves, peppercorns, allspice berries, and 1 onion, whole.  Bring to a boil and skim the foam that rises to the surface.
  2. Lower the heat so that the water bubbles occasionally.  Cook turning every 30 minutes or so, for about 2 hours.  Pierce with a thin-bladed knife; the meat will probably be tough at this point, but it’s time to begin checking.  Add the following per person: 1 medium peeled waxy red or white potato; 1 or two peeled carrots; 1 wedge of cabbage, pierced with a couple of toothpicks to keep it from falling apart; and any other root vegetable you may like.  It’s best to leave the vegetables whole but if the meat is nearly done you may cut them in half or quarters, especially if they are large..  Do not overcook the vegetables.  When they are tender, remove them.
  3. Check every 15 minutes or so; when the corned beef allows the knife to pass through the center without any resistance, it is ready.  Drain; if you like, put the meat and vegetables into a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes to dry out the exterior of the meat a bit while warming the vegetables.  Slice across the grain, as you would a brisket, and serve meat and vegetables in a platter garnished with fresh parsley leaves.  You can also spritz some apple cider vinegar over the cabbage.



Clam Chowder


Clamchowder

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 2 cups medium-diced celery (4 stalks)
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots (6 carrots)
  • 4 cups peeled medium-diced boiling potatoes (8 potatoes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 quart (4 cups) clam juice
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups chopped fresh chowder clams (1 1/2 pounds shucked clams)

Tools

  • Large heavy-bottomed stock pot
  • Small pot
  • Peeler
  • Whisk

Instructions

  1. Melt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter in a large heavy-bottomed stockpot.  Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until translucent.  Add the celery, carrots, potatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 more minutes.  Add the clam juice, bring to a boil, and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. In a small pot, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and whisk in the flour.  Cook over very low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Whisk in a cup of the hot broth and then pour this mixture back into the cooked vegetables.  Simmer for a few minutes until the broth is thickened.
  3. Add the milk and clams and gently heat for a few minutes to cook the clams.  Taste for salt and pepper.  Serve hot.

Note:  If you use bottled clam juice instead of fresh, you may need to add more salt.




Slow Cooker Pot Roast


 

potroast

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 boneless chuck roast, trimmed, seasoned with salt and pepper (3-4 lb.)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into  2 to 3- inch pieces
  • 3 large celery ribs, cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Tools

  • Saute pan
  • Tongs
  • Slow Cooker
  • Peeler

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Sear roast on all sides, 10 minutes total.  Transfer roast to a 4-6- quart slow cooker.
  2. Stir flour into saute pan; cook 1 minute.  Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute more.
  3. Deglaze saute pan with wine, cooking until liquid evaporates.  Stir in broth and Worcestershire; bring mixture to a simmer, scraping up any brown bits.
  4. Transfer broth mixture to the slow cooker; add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves.  Cover and cook until the meat is fork-tender, on low-heat setting 8-10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4-5 hours.  Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves before serving.

Please visit the Blog Section of this website for more information on Slow Cooking.




A Perfectly Cooked Steak


 

steak2

I recently visited DelFrisco’s Steakhouse in New York City and had the most delicious steak.  A perfectly cooked steak is an essential part of every good cook’s repertoire.  The best part is, anybody can do it!  Perfectly cooked tender cuts of meat like tenderloin requires two steps:  searing and roasting.  Once the tenderloin is trimmed and cut into filets, rub them with salt and pepper.  Then heat a heavy ovenproof skillet or saute pan on the stove for 5 minutes.  Add oil to the pan.  Once the oil is hot, sear the filets well on one side.  This adds flavor.  Turn the steaks and transfer them to the oven to finish roasting at a high temperature.  This technique keeps all the natural flavor and moisture in the filets while they finish cooking.

DONENESS CHART

Use the chart below to determine how long to cook your steaks.  Don’t rely on an internal temperature.  The holes the thermometers leave behind allow juices to leak.  And be sure to let the steaks rest before serving.  This is based on 2 inch thick filets.

RARE

  • Sear: 5 minutes
  • Roast at 425 degrees: 5 minutes
  • Rest: 5 minutes

MEDIUM-RARE

  • Sear: 5 minutes
  • Roast at 425 degrees: 7 minutes
  • Rest: 5 minutes

MEDIUM

  • Sear: 5 minutes
  • Roast at 425 degrees: 9 minutes
  • Rest 5 minutes



Tip of the Month 2/17/2015


Stay-Clean Twine

twinebainmarie

To keep butcher’s twine clean and tangle-free, I feed it through a hole cut into one corner of a resealable plastic bag.  That way it’s always sanitary and easy to use when I need it.  Another way is to place it inside a bain marie and pull the string as needed.  Either way, it stays clean.

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Dazzle Me With Your Questions - February 2014


Use the comment section below to ask me any question!




Bolognese Sauce - Cynthia's Favorite!


Makes 7 cups

Rigatoni Bolognese

Rigatoni Bolognese

Ingredients

  • Olive oil, 1/4 cup
  • Onion, small diced, 1/2
  • Celery, small diced, 4 tablespoons
  • Carrots, small diced, 4 tablespoons
  • Garlic, chopped finely, 2 tablespoons
  • Beef, 1 lb.
  • Sweet or hot italian sausage, casing removed, 1/2 lb.
  • Fresh basil, chopped, 2 tablespoons
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, 2 tablespoons
  • Bay leaf, 1
  • Fresh rosemary, chopped, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fresh oregano, chopped, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper
  • 1.5 cups of Pinot Noir or Cabernet Wine
  • Italian plum tomatoes, 1 can, 26-28 ounce, drained and coarsely crushed
  • Chicken stock, 2 cups low sodium
  • Romano cheese, grated, 1/2-3/4 cup
  • Unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons

Tools

  • Large pot
  • Paring knife
  • Chef knife
  • Peeler
  • Wooden spoon

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, cook and stir for 1-2 minutes, add the carrots, cook and stir for 1 minute, add the celery, cook and stir for 1 minutes, and add the garlic, cook and stir for about a minute. Make sure the vegetables are softened slightly.
  2. Add the beef and sausage and while using a wooden spoon, break up the meat so it will cook evenly. Cook the mixture for 5-7 minutes or until the meat is browned. Stir it occasionally after the first 2 or 3 minutes of cooking.
  3. Add the basil, parsley, bay leaf, rosemary, oregano, a pinch of crushed red pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the mixture, stirring for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil it for about 3 minutes or until the red wine is reduced to 1/4 cup. Add the tomatoes and stock and return it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer it for about 50 minutes until it is well blended. Increase the heat to high and boil it for 10 minutes or until some of the liquid evaporates and it is a slightly thickened consistency.
  5. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the grated cheese and butter. Season the sauce, if needed, with salt and pepper. Serve the sauce immediately, ladled over cooked pasta.
  6. Refrigerate cooled sauce for up to a week or freeze it up to a month. Enjoy!



Valentine's Chocolate Babycakes!


Chocolate Babycakes

Time: 25 minutes, Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter, 4 tablespoons, and more for greasing
  • Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, 70% cocoa, 12 ounces
  • Eggs, 4 large
  • Kosher salt
  • Superfine sugar, 3/4 cup
  • Pure vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon
  • Flour, 1/3 cup

Tools

  • Baking sheet
  • Six 6-oz. heatproof glass or ceramic baking dishes
  • Small saucepan
  • Medium bowl
  • Whisk
  • Mixer
  • Oven mitts

Instructions

  1. Place a baking sheet on center rack in oven and heat oven to 400 degrees. Butter insides of six 6-ounce heatproof glass or ceramic baking dishes.
  2.  In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate; set aside to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, beat eggs together with a pinch of salt until frothy; set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream together 4 tablespoons better and the sugar. Gradually add egg mixture, then vanilla. Add flour and mix well. Add chocolate and blend until smooth.
  3. Divide batter among six baking dishes and arrange them on a baking sheet hot from the oven. Bake until firm and dry on surface, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove dishes from oven and immediately invert cakes onto small plates or shallow bowls. Serve hot. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top with a side of whipped cream and some fresh berries to Dazzle those Babycakes! Enjoy!