Chicken Cacciatore

Another way to braise chicken thighs. It’s Italian rather than Asian. Serves 4.

Sprinkle 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs with garlic powder all around. In a large deep skillet, in a little olive oil, brown the thighs until skin is crisp and golden, then turn and brown on the other side. Set chicken aside on a plate.

In the same skillet, brown 1 medium onion chopped. Add 6 – 8 mushrooms, chopped. Brown. Add 1 chopped zucchini. Brown. Deglaze with 1/4 cup dry red wine. Add back the chicken thighs.

Cover with 1 can San Marzano whole tomatoes, chopped with juices. Add 1 small bunch thinly sliced scallions and another 1/4 cup dry red wine. Season with generous amounts of dry basil, oregano and pepperoncini flakes. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 2 hours.

Add 1/2 cup capers and 1 cup chopped black olives. Simmer another 15 minutes.

Serve with pasta and grated cheese. Top with lemon zest.

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East Over Brisket

The usual Easter Passover overlap. Brisket is great for either.

A family recipe from the Strahl’s.

First cut brisket. 4-5 lbs. at least for 8 since it shrinks. Pat dry and generously sprinkle paprika and garlic powder over all sides of the meat. In a large baking pan, brown 2-3 large sliced onions in olive oil on the stovetop. The more the better. Push onions to the side and add the brisket. Brown on all sides.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover the brisket with an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce. Cover with foil. Bake the brisket for at least an hour. Remove from oven and add 1 cup dry red wine (the original calls for Manischewitz– but no). Add salt and ground black pepper to taste. Place back in the oven covered and cook for another hour.

Take the brisket out of the pan and slice against the grain. Medium thick slices. Place sliced meat back into the sauce and cover with a little chicken broth to keep the meat moist. Bake covered for another hour. Uncover and bake until meat falls apart. Serve with latkes. And such.

Marinated Skirt Steak

1 lb. skirt steak for 2 generous servings

Cut the steak into two crosswise pieces. Marinate in S&F carne asada sauce overnight in a large plastic zip-loc bag. When ready to cook take the steaks out of the marinade and pat dry. Discard the sauce and bag.

In a large non-stick skillet brown the steaks on both sides for 2-3 minutes depending on thickness until pink in the middle. Remove steaks to a cutting board. Slice pre-roasted bell peppers and put them in the same skillet without cleaning it and heat the peppers. Slice the steak against the grain and serve with rice and the roasted peppers.

Thanksgiving Braised Short Ribs

Turkey is boring. We prefer this rich late autumn feast instead.  Serves 8.

6 + lbs. short ribs cut 1/2″ thick and of like sizes. This recipe takes a whole bottle of red wine, so a French Beaujolais works well. It’s not too expensive, but good enough to be the main ingredient. The meat has to marinate overnight in the mirepoix.

For the marinade:

2 cups sliced celery
2 cups sliced carrots
1 cup sliced parsnips on a slant
2 cups sliced leek
2 cups parsley sprigs
1 tsp. juniper berries or 1/4 cup gin
1 bottle red wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2+ tsp. red, green, black whole peppercorn mix
Any leftover celery, carrot, parsnip chunks

Ditched the old glass baking dishes when we moved to the City, so using large freezer bags this year. Divide the short ribs into two large bags and add half of the marinade to each. Ziploc and put in a large bowl in case there is any leakage. Refrigerate overnight.photo-50

Before cooking take baggies out of the refrigerator and pour into large bowl. Take out the short ribs and pat dry on paper towels. Let all come to room temperature.

To Cook:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Strain the vegetables from the marinade liquid in a bowl. Reserve both liquid and strained veggies separately.

Dust short ribs with a little flour on all sides. In a large stock pot, brown meat on all sides, in a little olive oil. Brown in stages so not crowded. Remove meat from pot with tongs to a large bowl after each browning stage.

Add the strained vegetables to the pot and brown. Add 1/3 cup tomato paste to the middle of the pot and brown. Bring the vegetables into the paste and stir.

Return the meat and add the wine liquid from the marinade to the stock pot. Turn to medium high heat. Stir all veggies, meat, wine marinade lightly to blend. Cover and place pot on middle rack in oven at 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Peel 3 cups cipollini onions, add to the pot and stir in. Cover again and bake for another 1 hour until meat is tender. Add chicken broth if needed to keep meat covered and moist.

Uncover the pot and bake for another 20 minutes to brown. Remove pot from oven.

Serve with mashed turnips or horseradish mashed potatoes. Or both.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Autumnal Roast Chicken

hatfield pumpkins with truckConsistently succulent methodologies borrowed from Alfred Portale and Jacques Pépin. Moist with crispy skin. Secret is drying thoroughly and refrigerating with sea salt in the cavity. Then, rotating in the oven.

Serves 4-6.

4 lb. farm fresh whole chicken with giblets. Rinse chicken and giblets.

Put chicken in a deep roasting pan with paper towels on the bottom. Pat dry chicken all around and shake sea salt into the cavity. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

When ready to cook, take chicken out of refrigerator while oven preheats to 425 degrees. Remove paper towels from the pan. Stand chicken cavity side up. Place giblets around the chicken.

Cut top off a whole garlic head and place in the cavity of the chicken. Slice a lemon in half, squeeze juice on giblets and put remaining core into the cavity. Pour a tsp. dried thyme into the cavity.

Oil the bottom of the roasting pan. Place chicken onto its side on the olive oil. Slice 2 sweet onions and place around chicken and over the giblets. Drizzle olive oil over the wing, leg and side of the chicken. Sprinkle with garlic powder and ground black pepper. Place into preheated 425 degree oven on the middle rack. Roast for 30 minutes.

Take out of the oven and turn chicken to the other side, drizzle with olive oil over leg, wing, side and cover with garlic powder and ground black pepper. Return into the 425 degree oven for another 30 minutes.

Take out chicken and turn to breast side is up. Baste with juices all over breast, legs and wings. Put back into 425 degree oven for another 30 minutes. Take out of the oven and tent with aluminum foil for 15 minutes.

Onions and giblets should be crispy. Skin, golden. Meat moist.

Carve and serve with giblets and juices.

Burmese Lamb Stew

cropped-cropped-cropped-farmers-market-43.jpgHearty and spicy
Serves 4 – 6

Prepare spices:

In one small bowl, mix together 4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. ground coriander, 2 tsp. ground ginger, 2 tsp. turmeric.

In another small bowl, mix together 2 tsp. ground cardamon, 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1-2 tsp. cayenne to taste, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 2 tbs. sesame seeds.

Prepare 2 lbs. lamb stew meat. Not too lean. Trim and chop into 1″ cubes.

In a large stock pot on medium high heat, brown the lamb in stages in a little olive oil. Make sure meat doesn’t touch and deglaze with a little chicken broth. Scape and pour meat and broth into a large bowl after each stage. Keep all the meat and broth aside in the bowl.

To the stock pot, add 2-3 large Vidalia onions rough chopped. Brown. Add 2 bell peppers, julienned. Brown. Add 3-4 small chili peppers of any type, julienned. Spicy preferred, but to taste. Stir. Add back the meat and broth. Stir.

Sprinkle 1/2 of the coriander, garlic, turmeric, ginger, salt mix over the meat, onions and peppers. Add 2 cans whole Cento tomatoes with juice. Stir. Sprinkle the rest of the coriander spice mix over the tomatoes. Stir meat, onions, peppers and tomatoes together to blend all of the spices. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn to low heat.

In a small fry pan, heat 4 tbs. olive oil. Add the cardamon, cinnamon, cayenne, cloves, sesame seed mix. Heat and stir until sesame seeds are toasted and it forms a paste. Pour into the stock pot. Add a little broth to get all of the spices out of the fry pan and pour into the stock pot. Stir to blend spices evenly. Cover and bring back to a boil. Turn down to low heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Add 2 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed to the stock pot. Stir in. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn to low to simmer for another 1/2 hour or until potatoes are tender but still firm. Check seasoning and add salt to taste if needed.

Add 2 cups thawed frozen peas to the stock pot. Stir into the meat stew. Cover and simmer another 15 minutes. Serve with chutneys and naan.

Alternative to potatoes, add cauliflower florets until tender but firm. Serve with Kazmati rice, chutneys.

Even better after cooled, refrigerated and reheated the next day.

Cicchetti

Small Plates.

Crostini with parma ham asiago cheese and a native tomato slice. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Mini margherita. Top with fresh basil after baked.

Crostini with cheddar and black bean paste. Add salsa after baked as above. Mini mex.

Crostini with fresh mozzarella ball and bruschetta. Pop in the oven as above. Mini pizzas.

Pan Seared Pork Chops

Serves 2.

Dredge 2 thick bone-in pork chops in flour. Shake off excess flour. Season/rub with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic powder on each side.

In a heavy skillet, with no oil, sear the pork chops on high heat until golden brown on each side. Remove to plate.

Reduce heat to medium low and add olive oil and a pat or two of butter. Add a minced shallot and when browned, deglaze with a 1/2 cup white wine. Stir and reduce by half.

Put pork chops back into the pan and stir into sauce for a few minutes.

Plate with sauce and your favorite starch and veg.

Ragoût de Veau au Riz Jaune

VEAL STEW WITH YELLOW SAVORY RICE

About 3 lbs. veal stew meat cut into 1″ chunks. Serves four.

In a stock pot, brown the pieces of veal on all sides in a little olive oil. Brown in stages so meat isn’t touching. Deglaze after each stage with a 1/3 cup chicken broth and pour into a bowl with veal. Reserve all meat and broth in the bowl.

In the same pot, brown 1 chopped onion, and 2 sliced leeks in a little olive oil. Pour all the meat and broth back into the stock pot and sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour over it. Season with generous amount of cracked black pepper and garlic powder. Stir.

Add 1/2 cup dry white wine. Stir on high heat and when starts to boil cover. Reduce to simmer immediately for 1/2 hour.

Add 20 small, peeled pearl onions. Cover. Simmer another 1/2 hour.

Add 10-12 shiitake mushroom caps, cut into strips. Cover. Simmer another 15 minutes.

Add 1 crushed, seeded, peeled tomato, 20+ kalamata olives, pitted and halved. Simmer uncovered another five minutes.

Serve over turmeric – cayenne seasoned rice.