Keeping Veggies Dry

When chopping or slicing fresh veggies, it’s important that they be dry before sauté or salad. So, I place a paper towel or two into a bowl and place cut veggies on the towel in the bowl before cooking or tossing. Moisture drains out. When ready to use, slide towels away. Veggies are crunchy and dry.


Burmese Chicken & Mushrooms

Marinade chicken breasts, skin-on, bone-in overnight in a mixture of: 1 cup plain yogurt. Juice of 1 lime. 1/2 tsp. each cayenne, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, ginger. 1/4 tsp cloves. When ready to cook, bring to room temperature.

In a large deep skillet, sauté 1 Vidalia onion, sliced, chopped mushrooms. Add the chicken breasts and marinade to the skillet. Place in preheated 425 degree oven for about an hour until chicken skin crispy, meat cooked through but still juicy.

Serve with chilled Cucumber & Red Onion Yogurt salad.

Spring Herbs Couscous

In a casserole dish, pour 1 cup dry couscous for two. Add 2-3 fresh basil leaves chiffonade. Add fresh cut garlic chives, oregano, thyme. Add dry cracked red pepper flakes. Add your other favorite fresh garden herbs to taste.

In a medium skillet, sauté sliced scallions, kale in a little olive oil. Add to couscous dish. Boil 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth in a small saucepan with a pat of butter or drizzle of olive oil. Pour over couscous mix in dish. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and enjoy with a glass of Sancerre.

Veal Asparagus Rollatini

1 1/2 lbs. Frigo’s (your market’s) milk-fed veal cutlets. Pound to 1/8″ thick. Spread light coating of anchovy paste and butter on each cutlet. Put 2-3 Hadley grass (spring asparagus) tips on each cutlet. Add shredded cheese of your choice. Fontina. Asiago. Romano. Comté. Whatever’s in the fridge. Add a fresh basil leaf. Roll up cutlets and secure with toothpicks.

In a large fry pan, brown cutlet rolls on all sides in a little olive oil. Remove browned rolls to a platter. In the same fry pan, brown a diced shallot. Add 3 tbs. butter. Deglaze with 1/2 cup dry white wine. Scrape and stir. Reduce by half. Add back the veal rolls and squeeze juice of one lemon over them. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cover. Bring to boil. Add a handful of capers. Optional. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with Spring Herbs Couscous.

Rice & Beans~ Friday Dinner

End of the week. What’s in the cupboard? Fridge? Kazmati rice. Can of black beans. Canned whole tomatoes. Leftover pork chop. Onion. A zucchini.

In a small saucepan sauté 3/4 cup rice in a little olive oil. Season with 1/4 tsp. turmeric, 1/4 tsp. cayenne. Stir. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, stir, bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

In a large fry pan, in a little olive oil, sauté chopped onion, pork chop, zucchini until browned. Season with garlic powder, cracked black pepper to taste. Add can of black beans, drained. Stir. Add can of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped. Stir over high heat, then cover and turn to low.

When rice is cooked, fluff and add to fry pan. Stir. Add a little more chicken broth and simmer covered until ready to eat.

Serve with jalapeños, or mixed olives, or sliced lime as garnish.

Pioneer Valley Spring Supper

In a heavy oval skillet, sauté Hatfield bacon until crispy, add Hadley grass tips and julienned farm stand bell pepper until brown. Whisk together 3 fresh Williamsburg eggs with Side Hill Farm milk. Add to skillet and stir until set on the bottom. Season with cracked black pepper and chopped fresh chives.

Put pan under the broiler until golden brown on top. Serve with salsa, jalapeños.

First Hadley Grass!

125-50_Hadley_grass_feature_250Finally here! The best day of the year. Farm stand opens with Hadley grass. The Pioneer Valley’s world-renowned asparagus. Steam it. Roast it. Break it where it naturally splits. Never peel it. Steamed: I like to steam it until still firm. Blanche with cold water to stop cooking. Serve with vinegar & oil, cracked black pepper, oregano as a salad with fish or chicken. Roasted: Place stalks on a baking sheet so not touching. Drizzle olive oil. Roll around in the oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, cracked peppercorns, shaved asiago. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until crispy. Good with anything.

Photo: James Baigrie, Saveur 2007