Archive | August, 2010

Benihana hey

24 Aug

First he complains, “this place is very expensive,” then he fumbles with the chopsticks.

Your star is fading, Donald Draper. Fading.

Thankfully, here is some brightness from Benihana dipping sauce clones. Yes, it’s time again for Food of Mad Men.

Gingery, creamy, or salty — these are perfect for grilled shrimp, meat and vegetables. We will endeavor to try these and figure out which ones win. Then we will cull this lengthy list! Some call for mayo, others for cream. We’re intrigued by thickening the sauce in a blender with toasted sesame seeds.

BENIHANA SHRIMP SAUCE
http://www.epicurean.com

2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon garlic juice
3 to 4 teaspoons ketchup
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon white pepper

Whisk all ingredients together.
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From the formidable recipe sleuth Todd Wilbur:

“While most of the slicing and dicing at Benihana steakhouses takes place in front of the diners, these sauces are prepared behind the scenes where their secrets are kept. Here are recipes for Mustard Sauce, which goes particularly well with chicken and beef, and Ginger Sauce, which is used primarily with vegetables and seafood.”

BENIHANA MUSTARD SAUCE
Makes about 2/3 cup
Preparation time: about 5 minutes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons Oriental mustard
2 teaspoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

BENIHANA GINGER SAUCE
Makes about 1/2 cup
Preparation time: about 5 minutes
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 ounce gingerroot (a nickel-size slice), peeled and chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon (2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon white vinegar

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A quick poll of internet versions featuring cream:

BENIHANA CREAM SAUCE
2 cups soy sauce
1/3 cup sesame seeds (ground), roasted
1 cup whipping cream
1 pinch garlic powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard dissolved in 1 teaspoon water

Combine ingredients in blender or food processor and mix together for 15 seconds. Pour mixture and 1 cup whipping cream into saucepan, stirring over low heat. Sauce may be stored for up to 3 days.

When reheating, add 6 tablespoons whipping cream and stir completely before serving.

BENIHANA OF TOKYO MAGIC MUSTARD SAUCE
5 tsp. sesame seeds
1 cup soy sauce
2 tsp. dry mustard
3 cloves garlic
½ cup water
½ cup whipped cream

Place sesame seeds on a flat pan & put in a slow oven to toast.

Mix mustard & water in a small bowl until it forms a paste.

Place in blender w/ toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce & garlic.

Blend at high speed for 2 minutes.

Fold in cream.
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And the last….
Japanese Steakhouse White Sauce Chuck’s Easy Recipe

1-1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds


Using a fork or a whisk, blend all ingredients together thoroughly until well mixed and the sauce is smooth. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. Bring to room temperature before serving.

 Says the sauce will NOT taste right if you don’t let it sit overnight.
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Benihana Magic Mustard Sauce

3 tbsp mustard powder
2 tbsp hot water
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 garlic clove

blend mustard and water into a paste. Pour into blender, add remaining ingredients and blend.

Benihana Ginger Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 small piece of ginger.
Blend

Benihana Superb Salad Dressing

1/4 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup soybean oil
2 tbsp chopped onion
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt and pepper

Combine in blender or food processor until smooth.

Lost recipe

23 Aug

Arg. For all of our mad hoarding skillz, we have somehow managed to lose a recipe we clipped over a decade ago.

The worst part? It’s a simple chicken and rice bake that’s easy enough to just wing. In fact, we used to do just that — to delicious results. We transformed it into a Cajun version, an Italian version, even a half-hearted Jamaican riff that was pretty good.

But, stubbornly, we are obsessing over the exact ratio of ingredients.

God, somebody help us here. We’re sure it was a Lucy Waverman recipe from the Globe and Mail in 1998/1999ish.

Recipe calls for dredging and browning chicken breasts, then adding raw basmati, diced onion, tomato, red pepper, garlic, chicken broth and fresh lemon juice. Maybe oregano or thyme.

I guess it’s kind of similar to Arroz Con Pollo.

It was freaking great, and every time we take a stab at it from memory, it just ain’t the same.

 

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In the meantime, a different experience, but still chicken and rice:
Latino-Style Chicken and Rice (Arroz con Pollo)
Cook’s Illustrated September 1, 2006.

To keep the dish from becoming greasy, it is important to remove excess fat from the chicken thighs and trim the skin. To use long-grain rice instead of medium-grain, increase the water to 3/4 cup in step 2.

6 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
Table salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar plus 2 additional teaspoons
Ground black pepper
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), trimmed of excess skin and fat
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 small green bell pepper , stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup water
3 cups medium-grain rice (see note above)
1/2 cup green olives (manzanilla), pitted and halved
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 cup jarred pimentos , cut into 1/4 by 2-inch strips
Lemon wedges , for serving

Instructions
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic and 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl; using rubber spatula, mix to make smooth paste. Add oregano, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to garlic-salt mixture; stir to combine. Place chicken in bowl with marinade. Coat chicken pieces evenly with marinade; set aside for 15 minutes.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, green pepper, and pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 4 to 8 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons cilantro; stir to combine. Push vegetables to sides of pot and increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to clearing in center of pot, skin side down, in even layer. Cook, without moving chicken, until outer layer of meat becomes opaque, 2 to 4 minutes. (If chicken begins to brown, reduce heat to medium.) Using tongs, flip chicken and cook on second side until opaque, 2 to 4 minutes more. Add tomato sauce, broth, and water; stir to combine. Bring to simmer; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add rice, olives, capers, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; stir well. Bring to simmer, cover, and place pot in oven. After 10 minutes, remove pot from oven and stir chicken and rice once from bottom up. Return pot to oven. After another 10 minutes, stir once more, adding 1/4 cup water if rice appears dry and bottom of pot is beginning to burn. Cover and return pot to oven; cook until rice has absorbed all liquid and is tender but still holds its shape and temperature of chicken registers 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes longer.

4. Using tongs, remove chicken from pot; replace lid and set pot aside. Remove and discard chicken skin; using 2 spoons, pull meat off bones into large chunks. Using fingers, remove remaining fat or dark veins from chicken pieces. Place chicken in large bowl and toss with remaining tablespoon olive oil, remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro, and pimentos; season with salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken on top of rice, cover, and let stand until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve, passing lemon wedges separately.

End of Summer Shrimp Boil

23 Aug


We are total posers when it comes to shrimp boils (pronounce: bawls). Yes, we love them but we are landlocked most of the time and have to rely on thawed seafood.

No matter. Corn, new red potatoes, prairie kielbasa and the rest more than make up for the frozen fish.

We wonder if the leftover broth (with shrimp shells) could be reduced for making dirty rice — or maybe that’s just too much salt? Perhaps we could do half water to half broth for rice — would make a great start for jambalaya the next day…

PEEL AND EAT SHRIMP BOIL
Canadian Living 2007

We traditionally pour a liberal amount of Old Bay into our water, and more lemon. Heck, more garlic, too, if you desire. (1/4 cup Old Bay to 16 cups (4 quarts) of water with a beer.)

3 bay leaves
1 onion, quartered
2 lemons
4 smashed garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp peppercorns
6 small red potatoes, halved
4 ears corn, shucked and cut into fourths or thirds
6 oz narrow kielbasa sausages, cut in 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1 1lb large or jumbo shrimp, with shells
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

Garlic Butter
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 minced clove of garlic

hot sauce

horseradish cocktail sauce (1/3 cup mayo, 1/3 cup ketchup, heaping tablespoon prepared horseradish)

Preparation:
Pour enough water into large Dutch oven to come three-quarters up side. Add bay leaves, onion, two halves of one lemon, squeezed, garlic, salt and peppercorns; cover and bring to boil.

Add potatoes, corn, and kielbasa; return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are almost tender, about 8 minutes.

Add shrimp; cook until pink, about 3 minutes. Reserve a few cups of liquid for dipping and then drain well. Arrange on platter or dump on paper-lined table. Sprinkle with parsley. Garnish with remaining lemon cut into wedges and bowls with reserved broth.

Garlic Butter: In small bowl, mix melted butter with garlic; serve for dipping.

More food from Mad Men

17 Aug

We’re taking a page out of Mad Men yet again.

Eagle-eyed viewers may have spied a copy of Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook in
Betty Draper’s kitchen.

While we lovelovelove the show and, of course, retro cookbooks, it wasn’t published until 1967 and the show is set years earlier. No matter. We still love both.

UPDATE: Eek! We just snagged a vintage copy for $1.99! Only it is the 1970 version with a new cover, damn. But still, same copy and hilarious pictures of “gay supper parties” and “bright little brunches.” Sigh.
And –bwahahahaha- we actually found two of our mother’s secret party weapons in here! Olive cheese balls and sesame seed and soy covered cream cheese. Hoo boy.

BETTY DRAPER’S RUMAKI
From Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook, 1967

6 chicken livers, halved
1 can sliced water chestnuts
6 slices bacon, cut in half
brown sugar

Marinade:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup salad oil
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed.
Mix all ingredients, makes about 1 cup sauce.

Pour over livers and chestnuts.
Cover dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate four hours. Set oven control at broil and/or 550 degrees. Remove livers and water chestnuts from marinade. Wrap 1 liver and water chestnut slice in each piece of bacon, secure with toothpick. Roll in brown sugar, broil 10 minutes.

Of Mad Men and Pot Roasts…

17 Aug


Pot Roast on Mad Men: recurring character?

Betty Draper once snarked about her father’s lady friend, Gloria (“a vulture”), subjecting her to the horrors of a ketchup-covered pot roast during a seaside coastal vacation in the episode Long Weekend.

After Trudy commits unspeakable acts with her former beau in a humiliating effort to get Pete’s short story published, she dutifully prepares a pot roast. She’s got good news: Charlie has agreed to publish Pete’s rotten prose in Boy’s Life. Pete is far from thankful. “I could have gotten you in The New Yorker if I wanted to,” Trudy bleats. “I just don’t know why you’d put me in that position.”

In Season 4’s The Rejected, we see a much happier and freshly knocked up Trudy snuggling with Pete on the couch, as he tells her he has to dump her father’s Clearasil account.
Trudy, ever eager to please, offers to break the bad news for him.

“Tomorrow night. Yankee Pot Roast,” she crows.

Is she capable of cooking anything else?

Regardless, we can imagine Pete’s excitement over his dinner. His WASPy background surely includes an appreciation for all colonial-era New England boiled dinners. It’s frugal. It’s sensibile. We aren’t sure what exactly transforms pot roast into Yankee Pot Roast. But we suspect its the addition of root vegetables or tomato sauce. Damn Yankees.

Side note: We still have a recipe for Sauerbraten (a German variety of pot roast) from our beloved Seventeen magazine (recipe at bottom).

Here we have two classic pot roasts, and a more daring one to follow spiked with merlot and horseradish smashed potatoes.

SIMPLE POT ROAST
Cook’s Illustrated
For pot roast, we recommend a chuck-eye roast. Most markets sell this roast with

twine tied around the center. If necessary, do this yourself. Seven-bone and top-blade roasts are also good choices for this recipe. Remember to add only enough water to come halfway up the sides of these thinner roasts, and begin checking for doneness after 2 hours.

If using a top-blade roast, tie it before cooking to keep it from falling apart. Mashed or boiled potatoes are good accompaniments to pot roast.

1 chuck-eye roast (about 3 1/2 pounds), boneless
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion , chopped medium
1 small carrot , chopped medium
1 small rib celery , chopped medium
2 medium cloves garlic , minced
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 pounds carrots (about 8 medium carrots), sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes , halved if larger than 1 1/2 inches in diameter

(about 5 cups)
1 pound large parsnips (about 5), sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 3 cups)

Instructions
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Thoroughly pat roast dry with paper towels; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown roast thoroughly on all sides, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer roast to large plate; set aside. Reduce heat to medium; add onion, carrot, and celery to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and beef broths and thyme, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Return roast and any accumulated juices to pot; add enough water to come halfway up sides of roast. Bring liquid to simmer over medium heat, then place large piece of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid; transfer pot to oven. Cook, turning roast every 30 minutes, until roast is almost tender (sharp knife should meet little resistance), 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Add carrots, red potatoes, and parsnips to Dutch oven, submerging them in liquid.
Continue to cook until vegetables are almost tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Transfer roast to carving board; tent with foil to keep warm. Allow liquid in pot to settle about 5 minutes, then use wide spoon to skim fat off surface; discard thyme sprig. Add wine and salt and pepper to taste; boil over high heat until vegetables are fully tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to warmed serving bowl or platter. Using chef’s or carving knife, cut meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices or pull apart into large pieces; transfer to bowl or platter with vegetables and pour about 1/2 cup sauce over meat and vegetables. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

COUNTRY STYLE POT ROAST WITH GRAVY
Source: “Cook’s Country, Charter Issue”
6 pounds boneless beef chuck roast — tied (1 large or 2 3-pound)
salt and pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 medium onions — chopped
1 large celery rib — chopped
4 medium carrots — chopped
6 medium garlic cloves — minced
1 cup red wine
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Season roast liberally with salt/pepper. Heat 2 tsp oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown roast thoroughly on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer browned roast to slow-cooker insert.

Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 2 tsp oil to empty skillet, along with onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to slow-cooker insert.

Increase heat to high. Add red wine to empty skillet, scraping up any browned bits with wooden spoon, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to boil. Add pepper flakes, bay leaves and thyme and transfer to slow-cooker insert.

Set slow cooker to high, cover and cook until tender, 6 to 7 hours. (Alternatively, cook on low for 9 to 10 hours.) Transfer roast to carving board; loosely tent with foil to keep warm. Discard bay leaves. Allow liquid in pot to settle, about 5 minutes, then use wide spoon to skim fat off surface. Puree liquid and solids in batches in blender or food processor. (Alternatively, use immersion blender and process utnil smooth.) Stir in parsely and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove strings from roast and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Transfer meat to warmed serving platter. Pour about 1 cup gravy over meat. Serve, passing more gravy separately.

NOTES : Boneless chuck roast is essential in this recipe–other cuts will cook up dry and tough. In most markets, you will have to order a large 5 1/2-6 pound chuck roast. Alternatively, use two 3-pound roasts (which are common in most markets). If making Beef Barely Soup with Mushrooms, reserve 6 cups of gravy and 3 cups of meat.

Pot Roast Key Points:
1. Start with a boneless chuck roast. Buy one big or two small raosts–5 1/2 to 6 pounds of meat in total. The meat shrinks alot as it cooks so if you want to serve something substantial, you must start with a lot of beef.
2. Brown the meat and vegetagbles for maximum flavor. You can do this a day in advance. Prepare recipe through step 3. Instead of transferring the meat, vegetables and sauce to the slow cooker, refrigerate them. (Wrap the browned meat in plastic; the browned veg/liquid ingredients can be refrigerated together in a container.) In the morning, just transfer everything to the slow cooker. The cooking time will run to the high end of the ranges given in the recipes.
3. Trying to trim fat from the family diet? Make the recipe a day ahead. Transfer the roast and gravy to a large bowl and refrigerate overnight. The next day, you can easily remove the fat from the surface of the bowl. Take out the roast, then slice and transfer it to a microwave-safe casserole dish. Puree the gravy as directed, moisten the meat with gravy, and heat until warmed through. More gravy can be heated in a microwave-safe bowl and served on the side.

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MERLOT POT ROAST WITH HORSERADISH SMASHED POTATOES

Prep/cook time 8/12 to 9 1/2 hrs on low, 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hrs on high

notes: prepare the smashed potatoes as soon as the beef is tender; the meat can continue to cook until they are ready. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

1 tied fat trimmed boned beef chck roast (3-31/2 lb) fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
3 carrots (about 1/4 lb. each ) rinsed and peeled
1 onion (1/2 lb), peeled and chopped
2/3 cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
1 cup Merlot or other dry wine
1/3 cup canned tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Horseradish smashed potatoes
(recipe follows)
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 to 2 cups watercress sprigs, rinsed and crisped (optional) salt

Rince beef, pat dry, and sprinkle generously all over with fresh ground pepper. Melt butter in a 10-12 inch nonstickfrying pan over high heat. When hot, add beef and brown wekk on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Meanwhile, cut carrots into sticks about 3/8 inch thick and 2 inches long. In a 4 1/2 quart or larger electric slow cooker, combine carrots, onion, celery,garlic, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Set beef on vegetables: add drippings. In a small bowl, mix wine and tomato paste; pour over meat and vegetables.

Cover and cook until beef is very tender when pierced, 8 to 9 hours on low, 5 to 6 hours on high. If possible, turn meat over halfway through cooking.

With 2 slotted spoons, transfer meat to a platter; keep warm. Skim and discard any fat from cooking liquid. Turn cooker to high. In a small bowl, blend cornstarch with a 1 1/2 tablespoons water; pour into cooker and stir often until sauce is bubbling, 10-15 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, lift vegetables from cooker and arrange beside meat. Spoon horsradish smashed potatoes onto platter; sprinkle with parsley. Garnish Platter with watercress. Spoon sauce over meat. Slice meat and serve with vegetables, potatoes, and sauce, adding salt to taste.

Per serving without potatoes: 314 calories, 40%(126 cal.) from fal” 34 g protein; 14 g fat (5.6 g sat.) 11 g carb. (2.3 g fiber); 256 mg sodium; 115 mg chol.

Horseradish smashed potatoes

Scrub and peel 13 to 3 1/2 lbs. russett potatoes; cut into 1 1/2 inch chunkd. Put into a 4-5 quart pan with 2 1/2 quarts water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes mash easily when pressed, 20=25 minutes.

When potatoes are done, heat 1 to 1 1/2 cups half and half or fat skimmed chicken broth with 2 T. butter or margerine in a microwave safe container in a microwave oven at fullpower just until steaming 1 to 3 minutes. Or warm in a 1 to 1 1/2 quart pan over medium heat.

While cream heats, drain potatoes and mash in pan with a mixer or potato masher until almost smooth. Add cream, a portion at a time, and mix until potatoes have the consistency desired. Stir in salt, pepper, and 1 to 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish to taste. Mound beside Merlot pot roast or scrape into a bowl. makes6 to 7 cups 6 to 8 servings.
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SAUERBRATEN WITH GINGER SNAP GRAVY
3-4 lb. pot roast
1 1/2 c. ground ginger snaps

BRINE & GRAVY:
2 c. water
2 c. cider vinegar
4 bay leaves
8-12 pepper corns
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 med. onion, chopped

Bring brine to a boil; boil for 3 minutes then let cool. Place pot roast in the brine (glass or plastic container) NO METAL! Turn roast over in brine 3 or 4 times a day for 5 to 7 days while in refrigerator. Strain brine into Dutch oven. Put roast in, cover and cook over low to medium heat for 2 1/2 hours. Remove roast, bring gravy/brine to boil still in Dutch oven, but now stir in the ginger snaps to make completed gravy.

Slice roast and serve with ginger snap gravy and either potato pancakes or fried bread cubes and egg noodles.

The Food of Mad Men

17 Aug


“You know they make you wear a bib…”

It’s about time we talked about Mad Men. More importantly, the food of Mad Men.

We’ll begin with sexy chicken Kiev, circa 1964.

After fixing Don Draper up with his wife’s friend, Bethany, on a restaurant dinner date at Jimmy’s La Grange, Roger Sterling says, “Have the chicken Kiev. Butter squirts everywhere.”

We’ve always been a bit meh about chicken Kiev. Too many frozen, stale poultry logs with plasticy fake butter goo oozing out.

But like anything, if prepared correctly, the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.

We like the idea of serving this without rice or potatoes, lest anything to get in the way of an herby butter pool. The chicken is enough to soak up the butter sauce. Let the breading do its job.

Below is a classic version. Underneath that is a wacky 1960s canned soup retro version, for nostalgia’s sake.

CHICKEN KIEV

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated March 1, 2006
These can be refrigerated overnight or frozen. If frozen, do not thaw and increase the baking time to 50-55 minutes.

Herb Butter
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/8 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Chicken
4 – 5 slices white sandwich bread , cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (7 to 8 ounces each), tenderloins removed
1 cup all-purpose flour

3 large eggs , beaten
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
For the Herb Butter: Mix all ingredients until combined. Form into 3-inch square on plastic wrap; wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

For the Chicken: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 300 degrees. Make bread crumbs in two batches: Add half of bread cubes to food processor and pulse until cubes are coarsely ground. Repeat with remaining bread cubes (aim for 3 1/2 cups crumbs). Add salt and pepper to crumbs.

Add oil and toss to coat crumbs. Spread on a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Shake pan twice during baking. Let cool to room temperature (you should have about 2 1/2 cups bread crumbs).

Butterfly chicken breasts starting at thinnest side and by slicing lengthwise almost in half. Open breast up to create a single, flat cutlet.
With cutlet between sheets of plastic wrap, pound (starting at center) to 1/4-inch thickness. Pound outer perimeter to 1/8 inch.

Unwrap butter and cut into 4 rectangular pieces. Place chicken breast cut side up on work surface; season both sides with salt and pepper.

Place butter slices in centre of bottom half of chicken. Roll bottom edge of chicken over butter, then fold in sides and continue rolling to form neat, tight package, pressing on seam to seal. Repeat with remaining butter and chicken. Refrigerate chicken, uncovered, to allow edges to seal, about 1 hour.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate pie plates or shallow dishes. Season flour with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; season bread crumbs with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add mustard to eggs and whisk to combine.

Dredge rolls in flour, then coat with egg mixture. Coat rolls entirely with bread crumbs, pressing crumbs in if you have to.
Place on wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet.
Bake until 160 degrees inside, 40 to 45 minutes. Rest five minutes before serving.

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HOUSEWIFE CHICKEN KIEV

1/2 cup butter
1 Tbsp. minced parsley
1 clove (medium) garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp rosemary, crushed
2 lb chicken breasts, boned/split
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. fine dry bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. minced onion
1 Tbsp. minced parsley
2 Tbsp. butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 c. lowfat milk
2 Tbsp. Sherry

Blend together 1/2 c. butter, parsley, garlic, rosemary and pepper. On waxed paper, form patty 1 inch thick; place in freezer till hard.
Meanwhile flatten chicken breasts with meat hammer or possibly edge of heavy saucer to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut butter into 6 equal pcs, place one in centre of each breast. Tuck in ends and roll out tightly. Secure with toothpicks or possibly skewers. Dip in egg and then in bread crumbs. Chill.
In saucepan, cook onion with parsley in 2 Tbsp. of butter till tender. Blend in soup, lowfat milk and sherry. Heat; stir occasionally. Fry 2 breast rolls at a time in deep fat at 350 degrees for 10-12 min till well browned. Drain on absorbant paper, serve with sauce.

Strawberry salsa

11 Aug

We love fruit salsa and spicy chutneys paired with tangy chevre.

Our tried and true peach chutney is a winner, but we’re keen give this strawberry salsa a whirl.

Perhaps a good match for that dreamy Tommy Bahama Big Island Goat Cheese we’ve been meaning to duplicate — warm macadamia nut encrusted goat cheese served with mango salsa, flatbread and a sweet soy glaze.
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STRAWBERRY-SALSA-AND-GOAT-CHEESE BRUSCHETTA
Lucy Waverman, Globe and Mail
This savoury/sweet appetizer is notable for its simple yet rich flavour. Get your goat cheese to room temperature so it will be easier to spread.

6 slices grilled bread

12 ounces (375 grams) goat cheese

Strawberry salsa:

1 cup diced strawberries

1 cup diced tomatoes

Pinch sugar

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion such as Vidalia

Pinch freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Method

Spread goat cheese over each piece of toast. Combine strawberries, tomatoes, sugar, lime juice, jalapeno, onion and pepper. Stir in basil. Top toasts with salsa.

Serves 6.

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STRAWBERRY AND CUCUMBER SALAD

This recipe was inspired by cookbook author and chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s strawberry and cucumber pickles. The salad makes a wonderful accompaniment to chicken or a great topping for melted brie.

3 cups strawberries, hulled and halved

1 small English cucumber, cut into small chunks (about 2 cups)

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon chopped mint

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place strawberries and cucumber in a mixing bowl and toss with vinegar, sugar, mint and olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow flavours to develop. Serve salad drizzled with juices from the bottom of the bowl. Serves 4.

Tarts R Us

10 Aug

We seem to hoard an awful lot of Canadian Living recipes. This was our very first tomato tart, and we still love it. Nothing’s easier than rolling out puff pastry, but our beloved GR’s parmesan pastry recipe at bottom is mighty tempting. River Cafe chanterelle and gouda is also a winner.

HARVEST TOMATO TART
Recipe from Canadian Living
(our very favourite roasted tomato tart)
9 freshly harvested vine ripened tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 (4 1/2 ounce) package goat cheese, softened
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh basil or parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Garnish
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil or parsley
Directions
Cut tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices; spread on parchment paper lined, rimmed baking sheet.
Brush with 2 tablespoon of the oil; sprinkle with salt.
Bake at 400f degrees oven until slightly shrivelled, about 45 minutes; let cool (Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate on tray for up to 24 hours).
On lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry 1 inch larger that 14 x 4 inch rectangular or 9 inch round tart pan.
Press into pan and trim edges; prick bottom with fork.
Brush bottom with mustard; spread with cheese.
Cover with tomatoes; tuck garlic among slices.
Sprinkle with basil, pepper, then remaining oil.
Bake in bottom third of 400f degree oven until pastry is golden, about 30 minutes.
Garnish with basil or parsley.
Note: If all you really want is the tomatoes, the tart is wonderful without the cheese.


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Chanterelle Mushroom and Leek Tart from River Cafe

Tart Shell

1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (115 g) cold unsalted butter (1 stick)

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

2 tbsp (25 mL) ice-cold water

Filling

2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter

2 1/2 cups (625 mL) sliced leeks, washed well

1 cup (250 mL) diced yellow onion (1/2-inch/1-cm dice)

2/3 cup (150 mL) sliced shallots

1 tbsp (15 mL) minced garlic

6 oz (150 g) chanterelle mushrooms, brushed and rinsed

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh parsley

1/3 cup (75 mL) whipping cream

1/3 cup (75 mL) skim milk

1 egg

1/4 cup (50 mL) grated Gouda cheese

For Tart Shell

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Combine flour, butter, and salt in a food processor. Cover and process until mixture reaches consistency of fine grain. Transfer into a bowl and add water. Combine with hands until smooth.

Roll out pastry to fit a 9-inch (23-cm) quiche pan. Line pan with pastry and cover with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in the preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for 40 minutes. Remove pie weights or dried beans and bake another 10 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown.

For Filling

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Mix in leeks, onions, shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until tender. Add mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, about another 10 minutes, or until most of liquid has dissipated. Season well with salt and pepper. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in parsley.

Combine cream, milk, and egg in the container of an electric blender. Cover and puree about 2 minutes — this will add air so that tart will have a light texture.

Spread mushroom mixture evenly into baked tart shell. Pour cream mixture over top and then sprinkle on cheese. Bake in the preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for about 30 minutes, or until custard has set and top is browned. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 1 hour before cutting.

Serves 4 as main dish or 6 as appetizer.

Cook’s Notes: If you don’t have a food processor for making tart shell, mix flour and salt together in a bowl and then cut in butter until mixture reaches consistency of fine grain. Then add water and carry on with recipe.

Also, if you don’t have an electric blender for making the filling, you can use a whisk, though tart will not be as light as it would be using a blender.

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ONION PIE WITH JARLSBERG AND THYME
By Andreas Viestad

In Norway, this simple dish is usually made with Jarlsberg or Gouda, but Andreas has also made it with Parmesan or Gruyere. This dish goes well with meat or poultry.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4-5 red onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 bay leaf
5 black peppercorns
2-3 whole cloves
fine sea salt
1 sheet puff pastry (thawed if frozen)
1 cup grated Jarlsberg, Gouda, Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns and cloves, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the onions are soft but not brown. Season with salt to taste.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Line a medium-size ovenproof dish with puff pastry. Remove the cloves, peppercorns and bay leaf from the onions and discard.

Place the onions in the dish and add the grated cheese and one teaspoon of thyme. Bake in the oven on the lowest rack for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Just before serving, sprinkle on the rest of the thyme.

ALTERNATE ONION FILLING
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons port wine
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces finely grated Gruyère cheese
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 egg, slightly beaten

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a deep skillet or pot. Add onions and salt. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until they are golden, about 30 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the pepper. Cool.

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ASPARAGUS GRUYERE TART
Martha Stewart

Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

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ROASTED CHERRY TOMATO TART
by Gwendolyn Richards

GR’s pastry looks amazing, and she tops it with a pound of so of cherry/grape tomatoes tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper. She tops the whole thing with fresh basil. Amazing.

1½ cups (375 mL) flour
7 tbsp (115 mL) butter, cold and cut into small cubes
½ cup (125 mL) cream
1 cup (250 mL) finely grated Parmesan
pinch salt

Add the flour and pinch of salt to the bowl of a food processor, then sprinkle the butter cubes on top. Pulse two or three times until the butter starts to break down, then add the Parmesan. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is in pieces no larger than a pea.

Add the cream slowly while pulsing until the dough starts to come together. (It will bunch up and the food processor noise will change.)

Empty the contents onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few times to pull the dough together.

Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C).

Toss the tomatoes in a bowl with the olive oil, 1 tsp salt and pepper. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/3 inch to 1/4 inch (8 millimetres to 6 mm) thick. Press into tart tin (9 inch/23 cm round tin or a 14-inch/35 cm rectangular tin), stretching it as little as possible, and cut off excess. Arrange tomatoes in the tart tin.

Bake for an hour until tomatoes are soft and pastry is golden brown. Remove and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Roll basil leaves like a cigar and then slice them to make herb strips. Sprinkle over tart.

Serve while still warm.

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/Tastes+Summer/3034156/story.html#ixzz0oEZanLcf

Bar-B-Qooz

6 Aug

Again with the fantasy cottage food. Cedar-planked brie topped with a mash of wild berries sounds like a good plan. We may not have a summer getaway, but you can bet these oozy cheese treats will be just as good cooked on our city balcony barbecue.

 

FANTASY CAMPFIRE CAMEMBERT
Recipe by Laura Calder
1 block Camembert cheese with its box
white wine
1 sprinkle chopped thyme leaves
Pepper
Remove the cheese from its box and unwrap it.
Put the cheese back in its box.
Poke all over the top with a fork, and splash on a little wine to run into the holes.
Scatter over the thyme and sprinkle over the pepper.
Close the box.
Wrap in foil.
Bake at 400ºF/200ºC for 10 minutes or until very hot and runny.
Serve immediately with crusty bread.

A Summer Place

2 Aug


The year: 1983, summertime.

The place: our best pal’s lakeside cabin.

The soundtrack (rather horrifying, courtesy of ever present Top 40 AM radio):

Our House – Madness
Come Dancing – Kinks
China Girl – David Bowie
Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – Eurythmics
Too Shy – Kajagoogoo
Rock The Casbah – Clash
Goody Two Shoes – Adam Ant
Let’s Dance – David Bowie
Beat It – Michael Jackson
Total Eclipse Of The Heart – Bonnie Tyler
The Safety Dance – Men Without Hats

When we weren’t waterskiing or holed up in the cabin reading Archie comics, People, and Seventeen, there was baking to do — that’s what 14-year-old girls do.

This is an especially good project for a rainy summer day. Here’s a perfect farmer’s stand classic. It’s light as air, and as we snacked on this last night, we sprinkled a touch of icing sugar over top. We later wondered if we shouldn’t have split the slices and filled them with whipped cream and summer berries. Or added orange zest to the batter, or copied Dave Lebovitz and drizzled a puckery lemon glaze over top.

CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
Recipes from Best of Bridge: Winners
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
2 cups grated zucchini
1/4 cup chocolate chips (we upped to a full cup, naturally.)

Instructions:
Cream butter, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Sift dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Mix in zucchini and chocolate chips. Bake in a greased and floured bundt pan or a 9″x13″ greased pan at 325 F. for 45 minutes.