Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tuesday Night Grilling

I fired up the grill last night and made a trio of improvisations: Flatiron steak "escabeche", grilled eggplant salad, and grilled bananas with raspberry coulis and sour cream.

For the steak: marinate a flatiron (from our cow) in red wine vinegar, chipotle, garlic, salt, and freshly ground cumin, coriander, and black pepper for an hour or so, then grill it over a high fire until medium rare. After letting it rest for 5 minutes, slice it thin across the grain and put it back in the dish with the marinade. Add chopped cilantro and some lime juice, mix well, and serve.

For the salad: slice the eggplant lengthwise into pieces about 1 cm thick. Brush with oil and grill over a medium-hot fire until nicely browned and somewhat softened (don't turn it into mush). Coarsely dice the grilled pieces and mix them with diced tomatoes, minced red onion, fresh parsley, white balsamico, good olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temp.

We accompanied the steak and salad with a green salad and some corn on the cob.

For dessert: Slice two bananas in half, grill them flesh-side down over a medium fire for a couple minutes, then turn them over and move them to a cooler section of the grill. Let them stay there for 5-10 minutes, until they soften and the skin is black. Remove from the grill and let them cool. To serve, remove the peels, arrange two halves on each plate, spoon over raspberry coulis, put a blob of sour cream in the center, and sprinkle a bit of sugar over the top.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Sunday's Random Breakfast

We had egg whites leftover from making Saturday's creme brulee, so I came up with this egg-white-only version of huevos rancheros:

Cook some chopped bacon in a pan over medium heat until it's browned.
Add some chopped onion and cook a couple minutes until it starts to soften.
Add some cooked black beans and corn kernels (I cut these off an ear leftover from Saturday) and cook for a minute or two.
Beat the egg whites a bit to break them down, then add them to the pan and mix into the other stuff. Cover and cook until it starts to set up.
Add grated cheese, mix well, and cover again.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the egg whites are set.
Serve with corn tortillas, salsa, and sour cream.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Saturday Dessert: Tangelo Creme Brulee with Raspberry Coulis

I did a different recipe for the creme brulee than last time I made this (which was the first post on this blog... wow): I followed the creme brulee recipe in Bittman this time and used the zest from an entire tangelo. Somehow the Bittman recipe ends up with a lot of air in the custard, which just isn't right. So I'll switch back to the FStoS recipe next time.

I served the custards on top of the raspberry coulis (frozen raspberries macerated with a bit of sugar, then pressed through a strainer). Unfortunately, I neglected to think about the fact that I was going to be demolding the custards when I took them out of the oven, so they weren't really set hard enough to maintain their shape. Oh well, that's easy to fix. Demolding a creme brulee does, inevitably, result in the sugar crust being under the custard, but it's kind of fun to find that hidden crunchy bit while eating. :-)

Still, foam and shape issues aside, the custards tasted great and the coulis was an excellent contrast (color, flavor, and creaminess).

Saturday Dinner: Veal Fricassee, Brussels Sprouts, Corn on the Cob

The veal recipe (from JPT) is one that called to me on Saturday morning when I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Other than using smaller cubes of veal (maybe 1 inch instead of 2), I basically followed the recipe. Aside: for the bouquet garni I used parsley stems, bay leaves, thyme, lemon thyme, and some marjoram. The resulting stew is wonderfully thick, with a great density of herb flavor/smell.

We picked up the brussels sprouts because we saw them at the market when we bought the corn, and both Andrea and I were curious to see if we could do something good with them. I followed the recipe in Bittman for braised brussels sprouts with lemon juice and parsley and we were both pretty happy with them. I still don't think I'll be buying frozen brussels sprouts anytime soon, but I would certainly cook with fresh ones again.

For the corn we just did basic boiled corn on the cob... mmmm, fresh sweet corn with butter, salt, and pepper.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Thursday night: Fried Okra and White Beans with Chorizo

The okra was simplicity itself: Toss 1 cm okra slices in corn meal, shake off the excess, fry in peanut oil, salt while draining on newspaper, serve with a ketchup/hot sauce mixture. mmm, crunchy okra goodness.

The white beans dish was a "let's throw together stuff from the panty" special. White beans are fabulous things to have in the pantry. :-)

A green salad rounded it all out.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Wednesday Night: Chicken with Tomato-Pepper Relish

This meal was two parts of a menu from New Home Cooking.

Sauteed Chicken Breasts:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
juice of one lemon
1 Tbs good olive oil
salt and pepper

Combine the ingredients and set aside to marinate while you make the relish:

16 oz jar tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 colored bell pepper, coarse dice
1/2 red onion, minced
1 tsp good olive oil
crushed red chilli to taste

Combine all ingredients in a nonstick pan and cook over medium-high heat until the peppers soften and the relish is thick, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Put the chicken breasts in the pan and saute for 5-6 minutes per side, until they are nicely browned. Transfer to a plate.

Put the relish back in the pan for a couple minutes, until warmed through. Top the chicken breasts with the relish and a couple sauteed sage leaves.

We ate the chicken with orzo (1/2 cup orzo, cooked and sauteed with 2 Tbs butter, 1 Tbs chopped fresh sage, and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese) and a green salad dressed with a vinaigrette made with the juice from the canned tomatoes. mmm, using everything. :-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tuesday Night Leftovers

Last night I cooked up the last of the fish fingers from Monday night and served it with leftover brown rice, the last of the artichokes, and a quick stir fry of bok choy [CSA], purple pepper [CSA], onion and garlic.

I think the fish fingers are even better after spending a night in the fridge, but I don't have a rational reason for why that would be the case.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Monday Night: Fish Sticks and Artichokes

This was a repeat of the fish stick recipe from earlier this month. To accompany the fish, we had steamed artichokes [CSA] with lemon butter, brown rice, and a salad.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sunday's Random Bits

On Friday we had dinner at the Slanted Door with some friends, one of whom ordered a Campari and soda. This reminded me that we've been talking about making the Venetian cocktail that I remember being called, phonetically, "spritza bitta", but that actually seems to be called "spriss". Whatever, yesterday we picked up the makings and got all Venetian. :-)

The proportions I used for each drink were: 1 oz. Campari, 4 oz prosecco, 4 oz sparkling water, 1 olive. The smell and taste of this drink remind me powerfully of Venice, which is certainly not a bad thing.

To go with the second round of appertifs, I made a variant on the "Sweet Cheese Medley" recipe from JPFF, with feta, pecorino romano, cheddar, and mozzarella cheeses, pine nuts (instead of pumpkin seeds), chopped prunes (instead of raisins), lime juice, honey, black pepper, and sweet paprika. We ate this on sliced baguette with great gusto. :-)

Weekend Waffles

This weekend I tried a modification of the standard overnight yeasted waffles recipe: I replaced half the milk with buttermilk and only used 5 Tbs of butter instead of the normal 8.

My fears that the bacteria in the buttermilk would compete favorably with the yeast and prevent things from rising were unfounded: the texture of the waffles was just fine.

Overall, I think the reduction in the amount of butter was not a win (imagine that), but the addition of buttermilk added a nice tang to the waffles. So for the future: Using up leftover buttermilk in waffles is just fine, skimping on the butter is not! :-)

To Remember for Later: Caprespacho

Since tomato + basil + mozzarella + olive oil (caprese) is so good, and since gazpacho often contains tomato, basil, and olive oil, adding small cubes of mozzarella to a bowl of gazpacho is theoretically delicious.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Saturday Night Grilling

This meal was driven by a couple of things. Yesterday we finally managed to make it to the Palo Alto farmers' market (Saturday's have been way too busy this summer) and pick up some salmon and snapper. This week's CSA box had a bunch of plum-type tomatoes that were kind of taunting me to come up with a plan for them. Since the salmon was destined for the grill (I would have done the slow-cooking thing, but we had friends over for dinner and the timing wasn't going to work for that), I figured I'd throw the tomatoes on the grill too and make a grilled tomato gazpacho.

I did the grilling using the "charcoal + log" method (put an almond log across the coals after pouring them out of the chimney), which was just great for this. Having the open flame was very useful for the tomatoes and starting the salmon and then the smokiness after covering the grill flavored and colored the salmon beautifully.

So we ended up having grilled tomato gazpacho with grilled tortillas, grilled salmon with ginger jam, and a green salad with a vinaigrette with a hint of sesame oil.

Grilled Tomato Gazpacho:
8 big plum tomatoes, halved
1 big cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 red onion, diced and rinsed with cold water
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped
chicken stock
good olive oil
sweet paprika
salt and pepper
sour cream for serving

Combine the cucumber and onion with some salt, mix well, and let stand while you do everything else. I actually let this stand for a couple hours, but I don't think that's necessary.

Grind some pepper over the cut side of the tomatoes and put them skin-side down on a very hot grill. Let the tomatoes sit until the skin starts to blacken, then gently move them to a cooler part of the grill until they soften.

Drain whatever liquid has come off the cukes and onion, then transfer them to a blender. Add some of the tomatoes and enough chicken stock to allow the blender to work. Blend until homogeneous but not smooth (you want some texture), then transfer to a serving bowl. Add most of the rest of the tomatoes to the blender (with enough stock) and blend until homogeneous (again, not too smooth) , then add to the serving bowl. Put the last bit of tomato in the blender along with a good slug of olive oil -- I eyeballed it, but I'd guess I put in 1/2 a cup -- and blend until it's emulsified (this time it'll be smooth), then mix with the rest of the stuff in the bowl.

Stir in balsamico to taste (several tablespoons), basil, pimenton, paprika, and black pepper. Adjust seasonings.

Serve at room temp with sour cream and some grilled tortillas.

For the grilled salmon:
Coat the flesh side of a nice fillet with salt and a mixture of coarsely ground cumin, white pepper, and black pepper.
Put the fish skin-side down on a very hot grill for 5-7 minutes, then very carefully move it to a cooler part of the grill. If it looks like the skin is sticking to the grill when you try to move it, let things cook another couple of minutes.
Cover the grill and cook the fish until it's done (10-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet and heat of the grill).
Remove the fish from the grill, let it stand for a couple of minutes, remove the skin (which is probably going to be a bit too burned to eat), and serve with ginger jam.

A couple of useful tips here:

  1. Moving the fish may cause a flare up; don't cover the grill until any sooty black smoke (from burning fish oil) finishes.
  2. If you're using a log (or something that's going to produce smoke), let the fish cook five minutes or so on the cooler part of the grill before covering it. This will help prevent the fish from picking up too much smoke, which would be overpowering.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Thursday night stirfy

We got a bunch of bok choy in the CSA box, so a stirfry was pretty much mandatory. For the veggies we used bok choy, red pepper, onion, mushroom, cilantro, and garlic. We also added a bit of chopped shrimp. The sauce was more or less equal quantities of hoisin, oyster sauce, black beans, ketchup, and chicken stock. Just before serving I stirred in some freshly ground Szechwan peppercorns and chopped cilantro.

The range in our new apartment can definitely pump out more heat than the old one, which is excellent for stirfrys. Lucky for us that we can close the door to the kitchen -- things did get a bit smoky. :-)

The sauce worked out well, these ingredients and proportions are a good set; it helps that I didn't oversauce the thing (maybe 1 Tbs of each component). I think I added a bit too much Szechwan peppercorn, because my mouth was tingly for a few minutes after eating. But that's not such a terrible thing.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Wednesday Night: Chicken Leftovers+

To accompany the last of the Kiev-style chicken, I made sauteed carrots (cut carrots [CSA] into 1" pieces, saute at high heat in butter until starting to brown, add water and lime juice, cover and simmer until carrots are soft and liquid is absorbed, add sugar to balance acidity) and rice with tomatoes (top basmati rice with strips of oven-dried tomatoes and black truffle oil). We also had a nice green salad (partially CSA).

For dessert we did strawberry (CSA) shortcake. I made shortcake using a new recipe that includes cornmeal to add texture. Since we were out of normal cornmeal, I substituted polenta (which is coarsely ground corn). The flavor of the shortcake was good, but they had a bit too much texture. :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Tuesday Night: Stuffed Chicken Breasts and Pan-Roasted Potatoes

For the chicken, I used the "Chicken, Kiev Style" recipe from JPT: butterflied chicken breasts with a mushroom-onion-garlic-cilantro stuffing, breaded with cilantro bread crumbs, and baked.

The potatoes were a pan roasting variation, with shallots. For two servings:

10 Small Yukon gold potatoes (baby sized), peeled
3 chopped shallots
1-2 Tbs butter
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper

saute the shallots with a good pinch of salt in the butter over medium high heat for a couple of minutes, until they soften.
Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few more minutes until the shallots start to brown and the potatoes are well coated in butter.
Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to get a simmer. Simmer for 20-25 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of the stock has evaporated and the potatoes are done. If it's looking like the stock is all going to vanish before the potatoes are cooked, put a lid on for the last few minutes.
Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley, and adjust seasonings.
Serve immediately.

We had a big green salad to accompany the chicken and potatoes. The chicken was very good, but I think that stuffing the chicken breasts is a bit overly fancy for a weekday meal. This would taste just as good if the chicken was done as cutlets and served on top of the stuffing. The potatoes were most excellent.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Sunday Night Quesadillas

As an hors d'oeuvre, Andrea made mozarella-tomato-basil snacks using our tomatoes and basil. The different colored tomatoes made these just beautiful.

For the main course I made quickie chicken quesadillas:

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp pasilla chili powder
1/2 tsp each new mexico and chipotle chili powders
1 Tbs manteca de color
1 Tbs cider vinegar
salt and black pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
red onion, thinly sliced
canola oil

Combine the first 7 ingredients (up to and including the salt and pepper) in a bowl and mix well.
Put a 12" cast iron skillet over high heat and add the cumin and coriander to it. Once the spices become aromatic, add the chicken.
Cook the pieces over high heat until they start to brown and are cooked through, then remove to another bowl.
Assemble quesadillas by layering cheese, chicken, onion, and cheese onto a tortilla, then top with another tortilla.
Heat a small amount of canola oil in a non-stick pan and add a quesadilla. Flip when the bottom browns, brown the other side, then transfer to a 200 degree oven until the other quesadilla is complete.
Serve the quesadillas with salsa (or a mixture of ketchup and hot sauce if you discover that your salsa is moldy, stupid us).

To accompany this delight, which would have also benefited from a dollop of sour cream and a bit of cilantro, we had a nice green salad.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Thursday night schnitzel

We polished off the last of the potato-lentil salad last night accompanied by some schnitzel, oven-dried tomatoes, and summer squash (sauteed with onion, red pepper, and sweet paprika).

Rather than seasoning the breadcrumbs for the schnitzel, I seasoned the pork pieces themselves with salt, pepper, and cayenne before breading them. This was a lot more effective than the seasoned breadcrumbs approach.

Pork in this form also complemented the salad well.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Wednesday Night: Pork Chops with Lentil and Potato Salad

The lentil and potato salad recipe comes from one of my new cookbooks (Jacques Pepin's Table, or JPT) and turned out really nicely. The purple-skinned CSA potatoes provided good color and texture.

For the pork chops, I cut a thick boneless top-loin chop in half through the middle and then pounded the halves out to be about 1 cm thick. After seasoning with salt and pepper, I sauteed them in olive oil over very high heat until nicely browned. We ate the chops topped with the remaining tomato-cream sauce from Tuesday.

The pairing of the pork and the salad is certainly a good one.

As a quickie dessert, I halved a peach and served the halves with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It would have been smarter to sugar the peach and serve it with cream -- the peach did not compare well with the sweetness of the ice cream.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Tuesday Dinner: Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes with Tomato Cream Sauce

We had most of a cauliflower leftover from when I made the oil pickles this weekend, as well as some purple-skinned potatoes from the CSA box, so we decided to roast them. I envisioned a tomato sauce accompaniment, Andrea suggested a creamy sauce, so I did a creamy tomato sauce:

1 red onion, medium dice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pint tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
2 Tbs EV olive oil
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt to taste

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until nicely browned. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until they're well broken down and the sauce starts to thicken. Add the wine and continue to boil until nicely thick. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream. Blend with a stick blender, then adjust seasonings and serve hot.

To roast the cauliflower cut it into big pieces, place them in a pan with olive oil and dredge around a bit to get nicely coated with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sweet paprika. Drizzle some more olive oil over things if it's needed. Roast at 425 degrees, turning once, until soft and well browned (about 30 min).

Follow a similar procedure for the quartered potatoes.

I served this by spooning a layer of sauce onto warmed plates, surrounding it with the roasted vegetables, and sprinkling julienned basil over everything.

mmm, gooood eating.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Monday Night Grilling

I fired up the grill last night and made one of the flatiron steaks from our cow. I rubbed the steak with freshly ground cumin and coriander, salt, and pepper (the salt just before going on the grill, the others a bit in advance), and grilled it over a hot fire. To go with the steak, I made a quick salsa:

2 Tbs minced onion, rinsed
1 clove garlic, minced
juice from 1 1/2 limes
2 small tomatoes (CSA)
2 Tbs cilantro (CSA), minced
1-2 Tbs ketchup
5 Hungarian yellow peppers (CSA)

Combine all the ingredients except the peppers in a bowl and mix gently.
Grill the peppers over a hot fire until nicely charred, then chop them coarsely (removing most of the seeds) and add them to the salsa.

I served the steak thinly sliced on the bias with salsa on the side. It was very nice.

To go with the steak we had grilled summer squash (CSA), brown rice with feta, and a salad.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Sunday Night: Summer Pasta

This is yet another "let's use up stuff from the CSA box" pasta recipe. It turned out quite well.

Leeks, thinly sliced
Summer squash, diced (1/2")
Peppers, chopped (we used Hungarian yellow from the CSA box)
parsley, coarsely chopped
basil, julienned
garlic, converted to a paste (not too much, it's going to be added raw. I used one clove for two servings)
olive oil
chicken stock

saute the leeks with a bit of salt in a mixture of olive oil and butter over medium-high heat until they start to brown, Add the summer squash, the peppers, a grind of pepper, and some stock, cover and lower the heat to get a simmer. Simmer until the squash is soft, then remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, basil, and garlic. Wait a couple minutes, then adjust seasonings and serve over pasta with a drizzle of good olive oil.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Shower Cooking List

This is the list of stuff I made for yesterday's wedding shower:

  1. Cheese plate with piave, tallegio, and fontal (to go with this I also got a bottle of port and a bottle of moscato d'asti)
  2. Panforte (following the recipe in The Cheese Course) to accompany the cheese
  3. Grilled pork tenderloin with ginger jam (from this week's Bittman column)
  4. Fresh cucumber salad (from Dakshin)
  5. Curd rice salad (from Dakshin)
  6. Oil Pickles ("Mixed Vegetable Atvar" from Salsas, Sambals, Chutneys, and Chowchows, but I used sambar powder instead of curry powder)
  7. Shrimp and cabbage salad ("Grilled and Chilled Shrimp with Cabbage and Peanuts" from Thrill of the Grill, but I left out the peanuts and broiled the shrimp instead of grilling them)
  8. Devil Shrimp (from JPFF, but I used pre-peeled shrimp, reduced the sauce by about half after they cooked, and thickened it with a bit of cornstarch so that the dish was better suited to serving on a plate and eating with toothpicks)
  9. Canapes of toasted baguette slices topped with goat cheese, fresh basil, oven-dried tomatoes, and good olive oil.
  10. I also made a batch of "Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Dip" from Big Flavors, but I forgot to bring the pita bread (for grilling) with me to the party and there was more than enough food anyway.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Thursday Night: Fish Sticks

I was doing a ton of cooking for Saturday's wedding shower last night, so the kitchen was super hot and I didn't want to do anything involved. There were some pieces of red snapper in the freezer from two weeks ago, so this is what I made up. The connection to fish sticks occurred to me as I was eating.

Red snapper, cut into fish-stick sized strips
good bread crumbs
salt, pepper, cayenne

Soak the fish in the milk for a bit (I'm not sure why you do this, but I see it all the time in recipes, so there ya go... if nothing else, it adds some moisture to help the crumbs stick).
Season the bread crumbs with salt, pepper, and cayenne and spread them on a small plate.
Shake excess milk off the fish pieces and roll them in the crumbs.
Melt some butter in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and wait until it stops foaming. Add the fish pieces and cook until each side is lightly browned.
While the fish is cooking, make a quick cocktail sauce by combining equal quantities of mayo and ketchup, add some dashes of hot sauce (I used Valentina) and Worcestershire, and a good hit of horseradish.
Serve the fish sticks with the sauce.

I ate these very enjoyable treats with a green salad and some sliced tomatoes and I was very happy.

Wednesday Salad

This was driven by a summer-salad recipe in JPFF and the contents of this week's CSA box. All the veggies (except the chives) were from the box.

zucchini-like summer squash, very thinly sliced lengthwise or shaved with a vegetable peeler
tomatoes, seeded (reserve seeds) and diced medium
Armenian cucumber, diced medium
feta cheese, diced medium
coarsely chopped cilantro
chopped chives
lemon juice
good olive oil
salt and pepper

Salt the squash liberally and let them stand in a strainer for at least 30 minutes.
Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, cilantro, and chives in a bowl and mix gently.
Whisk together the tomato seeds/water, lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper to make a dressing (no salt because of the feta and salted squash).
Rinse the squash well and squeeze as much liquid as possible. Arrange some squash on each plate in a ring. Dress the vegetables (gently), then spoon them into the squash rings.
Drizzle with good olive oil and serve with crusty bread.

mmmm, was this good. I made enough salad that I didn't need any other food for dinner, but this could be done in smaller portions in ring molds for an elegant little side salad.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Tuesday Night: Broiled Shrimp

The shrimp recipe I used is the same as from a few weeks ago, but this time I did have some crusty bread to soak up the oil. mmmm.

To accompany I had some steamed summer squash and a green salad.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Memo to myself

Accompanying the cheeses at Lula Cafe was a dense bread/fruitcake type thing they called panforte. It wasn't particularly sweet, and it complemented the cheeses really nicely. I've found some recipes on the web, and the one in the Il Fornaio Baking Book sounds the closest to what we had. Many of the web recipes contain cocoa, which definitely was not in the thing we had.
There's another recipe in a book called The Cheese Course (Janet Fletcher) that explicitly mentions serving it with cheeses, but that one has cocoa and fennel, which also wasn't in our app.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Sunday Dinner: Lemony Chicken on Brown Rice

Yesterday I developed a mysterious desire to make something with brown rice. I have no idea how long it's been since I did anything with brown rice, so this really was odd. Still, it seemed like an interesting idea, so this is what I did:

4 boneless chicken thighs, cut into big bite-size pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2-4 Tbs chives, chopped
juice of 2 lemons
salt, pepper, sweet paprika
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs butter
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, small dice
2 wax peppers, coarsely chopped
chicken stock
chopped chives and parsley as garnish

Marinate the chicken with the garlic, chives, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and paprika for a couple hours.
Heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat until the butter stops foaming. Add the chicken (reserve the marinade), scallions, and celery and raise the heat to high. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the liquid all evaporates and the scallions start to brown.
Add the reserved marinade and enough stock to cover the chicken pieces 3/4 of the way and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 10 minutes, add more sweet paprika and some thyme and adjust seasonings of the sauce. Simmer another 10 minutes then add the peppers and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the peppers start to soften.

Serve over brown rice, topped with chives and parsley.

To make the brown rice: steam 1 cup rice with 1 cup chix stock, 1 cup water, and a good pinch of salt in the stovetop rice cooker for about 45 minutes.

Travel Abstract

We were in Chicago last week, so there was no cooking. There was plenty of eating though; here are a couple things to remember:

  1. Dinners:
    1. Geno's East: nice sauce and toppings, but the crust was excessively yeasty
    2. Frontera Grill: wow
    3. Smoke Daddy: good, but not great BBQ. The smoked corn on the cob was, IMO, a failure (Andrea disagrees).
    4. Lula Cafe: very good
  2. The mezcal margarita at Frontera Grill was really something else. The mezcal they use (Del Maguey "Single Village Mezcal") is super smoky, so the drink is very different from a normal margarita. It's not food friendly, but it is one hell of a cocktail.
  3. At Lula we had a bottle of Cheverny, a Loire white that was really good with food. Definite wet rocks in this one. I think Andrea has the winery name.
  4. For lunch on Saturday we randomly ended up at a Persian place called "Noon O Kebab" and left very pleased indeed.