Julia Child’s Provençale Tomato Sauce

20 Aug

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Flavours of summer! We added a splash of cream and poached shrimp in the sauce.

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Julia Child’s Provençale Tomato Sauce

¼ cup olive oil

⅔ cup finely minced yellow onions

Kosher salt and black pepper

4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

5 to 6 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered

⅛ teaspoon sugar, plus more to taste

4 cloves garlic, minced or put through a press

A large herb bouquet: 8 sprigs parsley, 1 bay leaf and 4 sprigs thyme, all tied in cheesecloth

¼ teaspoon fennel seeds

½ teaspoon dried basil, oregano, marjoram or savory

Large pinch saffron threads

1 dozen coriander seeds, lightly crushed

1 2-inch piece dried orange peel (or 1/2 teaspoon granules)

2 to 3 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)

In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with salt and cook slowly for about 10 minutes, until tender but not browned. Sprinkle on the flour and cook slowly for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally; do not brown.

Meanwhile, fit a food processor with the coarse grating blade. Working in batches to avoid overfilling the machine, push the tomatoes through the feed tube to make a coarse purée.

Stir the tomatoes, sugar, garlic, herb bouquet, fennel, basil, saffron, coriander, orange peel and 1 teaspoon salt into the pot. Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes, so the tomatoes will render more of their juice. Then uncover and simmer for about an hour, until thick. The sauce is done when it tastes thoroughly cooked and is thick enough to form a mass in the spoon. Remove herb bouquet and taste. Season with salt, pepper, sugar and tomato paste, and simmer two minutes more. The sauce may be used immediately, refrigerated or frozen for up to 6 months.

 

 

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Chez Panisse Garlic Butter

11 Jun

For sizzling summer steaks. Recipe is adapted from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Cooking (Random House, 1988).

CHEZ PANISSE GARLIC BUTTER
MAKES 1 CUP
12 cloves garlic, peeled
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1⁄2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. cayenne
Salt and pepper

Bring the peeled garlic cloves to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan of salted water. Reduce heat to medium; cook until garlic is tender, 15–20 minutes. Drain and transfer garlic to a bowl; mash cloves into a paste. Stir in softened unsalted butter, white wine vinegar, cayenne, and salt.
Use butter right away or wrap in a log shape in plastic wrap and chill up to 1 week.

 

BEURRE ROUGE
Anthony Bourdain
½ cup red wine
1 shallot, finely chopped
8 oz (220 g) butter, softened
1 bunch of Italian parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper

In a small pot, combine wine and shallot and bring to a boil. Cook until the wine has almost completely evaporated, taking care not to let the shallots burn. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool. In a food processor, combine butter and wine/shallot mix, parsley and salt and pepper. Mix well.

Scrape the butter out and place on a sheet of plastic wrap. Form a log and refrigerate until the butter is firm enough to slice. Freeze the leftovers. Put a slice of the red wine butter on each steak before serving.

Church Lady Chewy Bars

9 Jun

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Chewy Bars

This dough is baked in “logs” which spread to about 3 inches in width;the finished product has a crust surrounding a chewy center.

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup granulated suigar

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cloves

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped candied cherries, pineapple or citron, or dried fruit such as apricots

1/4 cup walnuts (optional)

2 cups all –  purpose or whole wheat flour

Granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, then molasses, baking soda and spices. Stir in raisins, fruit and walnuts. Blend in about three-quarters of the flour. Continue adding flour until dough is very stiff.

 

Because this is such an unusual recipe and it’s easy to overbake, you may want to bake one test log first. Cut into bars while hot, the allow to cool completely, checking for chewiness before baking remaining logs.

On a lightly- floured surface, working with one-quarter of the dough at a time,shape each portion into a log 12 inches long. Place on greased cookie sheet, leaving about 12 inches between logs, as they spread and flatten during baking. Bake for 10 minutes ( check after 8 min. – should not be dry looking – .better  if soft. Do not overbake. When done, cookie is soft to the touch, and may appear to be underbaked, but will become chewy as it cools.

While still hot, sprinkle with a little granulated sugar and cut into diagonal bars. Transfer to racks to cool. Store in a tightly covered container.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Terrific Chicken

17 Apr

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Health burgers

23 Mar

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We clipped this from Bon Appetit’s RSVP section from a reader asking for a California restaurant’s recipe. Very 1980s, no?

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We toasted the nuts but made the mistake of pureeing the whole mess, resulting in a homogeneous mixture. Next time, we’ll stir chopped nuts and onion into the puréed chickpea, curry and parsley mix. In other words, we’ll follow the goddamned recipe as written. Sheesh!

NUTBURGERS

8 servings
3 15-oz cans garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and mashed (we used 2 19 oz) or pureed
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 cup chopped almonds (toasted)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (toasted)
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1 tsp curry power
1/2 tsp vegetable salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

oil for frying
sharp cheddar slices
8 pitas
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 avocados, finely diced
1/2 bunch green leaf lettuce, chopped (we used alfalfa sprouts)

Combine beans, onion, parsley, nuts, seeds, curry powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add egg and mix well. Form into eight 3 x 3/4 inch patties.
Pour oil into heavy large skillet to depth of 1/4 inch. Place over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add patties and fry until lightly browned, about four minutes. Turn and fry the other side for four minutes, topping with cheese while the other side cooks.
Drain patties on paper towel.
Lightly spread inside of pitas with mustard. Place patty in each, add tomato, avocado and lettuce. Spoon dressing over filling.

Update: frying was a disaster so the second time we baked them at 350F on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Success! They stayed intact.

Creamy Herbal Dressing
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/4 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp Worchestershire
1/4 tsp vegetable salt
combine in a processor or blender until smooth.

We spooned into a squeeze bottle.

Monterey Chicken

6 Mar

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There’s good reason Chili’s removed Monterey Chicken from its menu: with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy (and broccoli) it topped the scales at a whopping 3,000 calories. Yeesh.

We managed to recreate the delicious combination of smokey sweet grilled chicken with monterey jack cheese and bacon but showered it with juicy diced tomatoes and green onion. We served it with a side of roasted vegetables (mushrooms, broccoli and mixed peppers) so tasty on their own that they needed no embellishment. Pictured below: crispy smashed baby potatoes roasted with olive oil and fresh rosemary.

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Monterey Chicken

6 chicken thighs

1/2 cup barbecue sauce (We used Stubbs)

6 slices monterey jack cheese (we used deli counter slices)

1/2 lb applewood smoked bacon, baked on an elevated rack for 20 minutes at 375F, and blotted after cooking

container of grape tomatoes, diced

3 green onions, chopped

parsley or cilantro (if you have)

Grill chicken on medium heat, basting with barbecue sauce.

When done, turn heat on low and top chicken with cheese slices to melt. Remove from grill onto a warmed platter and immediately top with bacon (slices or crumbled – we put the bacon underneath the cheese the first time and learned it’s better on top). Scatter tomatoes and green onion and greens on top.

 

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Nashville Hot Sauce for Chicken

22 Feb

1/2 cup butter

2 Tbsp brown sugar

cayenne pepper (dealer’s choice, here up to 2 Tbsp.)

kosher salt, black pepper 2 tsp each

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp garlic powder

Melt butter in saucepan on low and add spices to bloom. Add sugar, stirring to melt heat until sauce is combined.