Monday, March 30, 2009

Provencal Oven Onion Saute

These days, inspiration in the kitchen has been hard to come by. A long winter probably hasn’t helped, but the promise of spring has me reaching for different cookbooks to read, different flavors to explore and getting myself excited about the food to come.

One of the most inspiring cookbooks whose inspiration is hidden in the simple, straightforward directions and hints, uses normal ingredients and allows you to end up with the most fabulous dinners is The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper.

This Provencal Oven Onion Saute is perfect for an easy, easy dinner that can impress friends as a pasta sauce, or as a bed for a beautiful piece of grilled steelhead trout, or as a topping for a quick homemade pizza, or whirled together with a bit more olive oil as a spread for crusty bread, or a stuffing for baked tomatoes….

See what I mean?


Provencal Oven Onion Saute
Adapted from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rosetto Kasper and Sally Swift

5 oil packed anchovies
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
5 good swirls extra virgin olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
½ tsp fennel seeds, bruised
½ large orange
2/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
4 canned San Marzano tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3 medium onions, all red or a mix of red and sweet yellow, sliced ¼ inch thick
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 450. Cover a large pan with aluminum foil. Slid into the oven to preheat.

In large bowl, mash the anchovies into the balsamic vinegar olive oil and garlic. Shred the zest of the orange into the bowl. Add fennel seeds, olives, tomatoes, onion, salt and pepper and toss with your hands to mix. It’s easier that way.
Spread mixture over the pan and roast, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Squeeze the lemon over to taste. Let your inspiration guide you!

Serves 3 generously.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Wednesday, March 25, 2009



A word that can put fear into even the most seasoned cook’s heart.

But fear not.

Hollandaise can be made the old fashioned way, in a double boiler on top of the stove, it can be done in the food processor and it can be done in the blender.

Put down that package of Hollandaise mix.

You can do it .


You just need this technique.

It works every time.

Remember one thing. Clarify the butter. It makes for a smoother sauce and less chance of the Hollandaise separating.


Melt one stick unsalted butter over very low heat. The milk solids will rise to the top and skim those off with a spoon. Take 3 egg yolks at room temperature, put into blender with a ½ tsp salt and a good pinch of cayenne, and squeeze 1 large lemon (about 2-1/2 tbsp ) in as well. Turn the blender on and add the melted clarified butter slowly and let rock for a few moments until smooth. Add ¾ cup boiling water slowly to the blender while it’s running and blend again til smooth.

Pour Hollandaise into a heavy ceramic saucepan and put over low heat. Stir til the Hollandaise thickens, may take about ten minutes. (if you don’t have the ceramic saucepan, put in double boiler over medium heat and stir til thick.) You can make this ahead and keep in the refrigerator. I am not speaking from experience here, but it can be done. If the sauce curdles while it is heating over low, add an ice cube and remove from heat. Beat til sauce goes back together. It has gotten too hot and the butter has melted.

Adjust seasoning, lick the spoon and serve with a perfectly steamed artichoke for a decadent dinner.

Makes 1 pint.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Green Chilaquiles with Shrimp

Sometimes dinner comes from within, a desire for a flavor.

A tomatillo or five sitting on the counter. You touch the husk and think about what you’ve read. And how to deal with them by removing the husk and rinsing the sticky green fruit.

Roasting those tomatillos, til they blacken, pureeing them in blender with half a chopped sweet red onion, a spoonful of garlic confit, one small fresh jalapeno, a small handful of fresh cilantro and a bit of coarse salt and pepper til blended ..then putting it in a hot skillet and cooking it in a bit of roasted garlic oil til it thickens a bit and covering it with homemade roasted chicken stock and cooking it down for twenty minutes til it coats the back of the spoon.

It’s a smooth motion. Seems to come from somewhere inside of you.

In the meantime, you’ve cut up some corn tortillas and stuck them in a 325 degree oven for twenty minutes to get crunchy. Of course you have swiftly sautéed a few big ole shrimp with a bit of coarse salt and pepper in a swirl of extra virgin olive oil ….worlds collide and everything is ready…you stir the crunchy corn tortillas into the tomatillo sauce…and the shrimp is thrown in with style grated Manchego cheese is sprinkled on top and chopped cilantro on the top of that and you say, “ thank you Martha Rose for the inspiration from Mexican Light Cooking” and you bring the skillet to the table with big napkins and forks and candles and have a sip of a great Shiraz from a dear friend and Teddy Pendergrass sings…Wake Up Everybody.

It’s a good night.

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Chana Punjabi with Roast Chicken

Occasionally, I entertain the idea of joining the world of vegetarianism.

I entertained it wholeheartedly years ago only to fall off head first into a lamb chop and pretty much haven’t entertained it at all since then.

I do try to incorporate several meatless meals a week into our food routine, but Groom is not much on them. He tolerates the Hay Stacks and the various pasta sauces. The question always asked after I announce our dinner plans usually is “Could we have some chorizo with that?”, “ Didn’t I see a bit of prosciutto in the fridge?”, “ We have some roast chicken left over …that would be a delectable option.” He has his moments.

I understand his thinking. And I usually pretend that I didn’t hear him (he’s a very patient man with me).

But, last night I did listen.
Because I had to.

I had come across a column by Elaine Louie (she of the divine ONE POT Columns) in the N Y Times called The Temporary Vegetarian which featured a recipe called Chana Punjabi. A chick pea sauce cooked til thick and creamy and served over rice with fresh cilantro, tomatoes and ginger. It looked divine, sounded perfect and was vegetarian and would be easy to do in a pinch.

Absolutely perfect.

Except I only had one can of chick peas and as I was pondering the lack thereof, there was Groom.

“We have roast chicken. It would be great in this.”

He was right.

Chana Punjabi with Chicken
Adapted from Elaine Louie’s adaptation of Heather Carlucci - Rodriguez’s recipe

Extra virgin olive oil
½ large onion, chopped
Small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Garam masala
1 spoonful garlic confit, smushed
6 San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
½ small lemon
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained
2 cups chopped roasted chicken
1 cup chicken broth
Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Cooked rice

Heat a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat and add a couple of good swirls of extra virgin olive oil. Add the chopped onion, jalapeno pepper and fresh ginger. Cook til onion is soft and golden, add the smushed garlic confit and tomatoes. Add about a ¼ cup chicken broth, stir to blend and then put in food processor and hit it with a couple of pulses. Add back to the pan on the stove and add all the spices, season with a bit of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Squeeze half a small lemon into pot.

Add chick peas, and chicken broth to cover bring boil. Add roast chicken and lower heat . Let simmer along while the rice cooks, adding more chicken broth if you need it.

Add chopped fresh cilantro right before serving.

Serves 3 generously.

This was fabulous on rice, but the ultimate side dish is smushed potatoes. I‘m sure there is a support group for people like me who like smushed potatoes with everything. If not, I’ll be happy to start one.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Anchor Bar Buffalo Chicken Drummettes

What better way to celebrate the possibility of snow last weekend than with two people who grew up in knee deep snow. Both from upstate New York, adventurous cooking buddies who know how to eat.. witness other feastings with them. This time the decision was made to do casual food ahead of time. Sit around and munch and laugh and will it to snow in a place that when it does time stops and grocers celebrate.

Well, we willed it to snow, but apparently our aim was off. We got a dusting and one county to the south of us got 9 inches.

I guess we need to do a bit of adjusting on our mental "wishforsnownometers."

The food was divine: Buffalo chicken wings perfectly cooked.. the recipe from the Anchor Bar in Buffalo…crispy hot spicy and divinely cooled off with celery sticks and creamy blue cheese dressing.

And….the best ribs ever…which seem to taste better in the dead of winter than in the summer..spicy, sweet, sticky … a chunky potato salad and wine, red and white and flowing in all directions.


Who needs it!

Anchor Bar Buffalo Chicken Drummettes
from Charley's recipe box

36 chicken drummettes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp coarse salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1-½ tbsp white vinegar
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/ tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp coarse salt
6 tbsp Frank’s Louisiana Hot Sauce
6 tbsp unsalted butter
Celery sticks
Blue Cheese Dressing (we used Marzetti’s Gorgonzola because we love it)

Preheat oven to 425.

Toss the drummettes in a large bowl with the oil and a tsp of salt. Put the drummettes into a large plastic bag and add the flour. Shake well, and remove the drummettes from the bag. Shake off excess flour and place on foil lined baking sheet making sure you don’t crowd them. Bake for 20 minutes, turn and bake for 20 more minutes until the drummettes are golden brown and cooked through.

Mix sauce ingredients and heat over low til simmers, and remove from heat.

Transfer drummettes to large bowl and pour sauce over, coating well and serve.
Can be reheated for 15 minutes in 350 oven before serving.

Serves 6.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom