Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Chicken Breasts with honey-raisin compote
3/4C dark raisins
1/4C red wine vinegar
1C chicken stock
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. finely chopped rosemary
1 tsp. finely chopped thyme
6 chicken breast halves, trimmed well
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. spice rub of choice
1 Tbsp. thyme leaves
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, cover the raisins with vinegar and 1/2C of stock and
let stand 10 minutes.

Melt butter in a sauté pan, add shallot and cook until softened, add raisin mixture along with honey and herbs and simmer until syrupy, about 5 minutes.  Let cool, then transfer to a food processor and coarsely puree.

Preheat oven to 425F.  Heat olive oil in a sauté pan.  Toss chicken breasts with spice rub and sear on both sides until golden.  Place the pan in the oven and finish cooking chicken breasts – about 6 – 8 minutes.  Remove the chicken and set aside.  Add ½ chicken stock to the pan and reduce by half.  Add the raisin mixture and 1 Tbsp. thyme leaves and cook over moderate heat just until thickened, about one minute.  Add butter and swirl in.  Season with salt and pepper.  Slice chicken and divide among plates.  Spoon Sauce over and serve.
MAKES:  6 servings

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Cauliflower Pilaf with toasted pine nuts
one head cauliflower (about 2-1/2 lb.), cored removed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4C toasted pine nuts
small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp. spices
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4C basmati rice
1-1/4C chicken stock
1/4C dried currants
1/4C Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. melted butter
½ tsp. smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 400F.  Separate the cauliflower into florets and cut in half so they lay flat.  Toss with olive oil, spices and salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for 15 – 20 minutes, turning once, until golden and tender.
Coarsely chop half the cauliflower.

Heat the butter in a pan, add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown.  Add the rice and stir to coat.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender.  Transfer rice to a bowl and toss in the chopped cauliflower, Italian parsley, pine nuts and currants.  Transfer to a 2 quart soufflé dish and press lightly on top.  Arrange remaining florets on top.  Combine melted butter and paprika in a small bowl and brush half of it over the cauliflower.  Bake until heated through – about 15 minutes.  Preheat the broiler.  Brush the cauliflower with remaining butter and broil, about 6 inches from the heat, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Serve hot or warm.
MAKES:  6 servings

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Port Tenderloin with Merlot vinaigrette
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 lb. each), trimmed
2 Tbsp. Italian parsley leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp. basil leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil (plus more for sautéing)
salt and pepper to taste

1-1/2C Merlot
6 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. Italian parsley leaves, chopped

Reduce the Merlot to ¼ cup in a medium pan.  Remove from the heat and whisk in olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in the parsley.  Preheat oven to 400F.

Mix the parsley, basil and 1 tablespoon olive oil together and rub into the port tenderloins.  Cut each in half crosswise.  Heat an ovenproof pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Sear the tenderloins on all sides.  Lightly cover with foil and place in the oven to roast for 10 – 15 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.  Add any juices to the Merlot mixture.  Slice pork and serve with Merlot sauce.
MAKES:  6 servings

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Rolled leg of lamb with herb garlic sauce
3 - 4 lb. boneless leg of lamb, boneless, butterflied

herb garlic sauce
1 Tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1-1/2C (lightly packed) Italian parsley leaves
1/2C (lightly packed) mint leaves
1/2C (lightly packed) cilantro leaves
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
6 Tbsp. olive oil (4 Tbsp., 2 Tbsp.)
2 Tbsp. Sherry wine vinegar

1/4C white wine
1/4C chicken stock

For the herb garlic sauce:  Place all ingredients in a food processor except the oil and process until coarse paste forms.  With the machine running, add 4 tablespoons oil.  Transfer 1/4C sauce to a bowl and add vinegar and remaining olive oil.  Set aside.

Lay the meat flat and pat dry with paper towels.  Trim any excess fat.  If there are portions that are much thicker than others, butterfly the thicker portions of the lamb to make it evenly thick.  Lightly pound the lamb with meat mallet, if necessary.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread the lamb with ¾ of the remaining sauce.  Starting at the short end, roll the lamb up tightly.  Tie and rub with remaining sauce.  Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill at least 8 and up to 24 hours.  Let stand at room temperature about one hour before roasting. 

Preheat oven to 350F.  Unwrap the lamb and transfer to a roasting pan.  Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat reads 125 – 135F, about 45 minutes to 1-1/4 hours for medium rare.  Begin checking early.  Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
 Meanwhile, add wine and chicken stock to the roasting pan and simmer until slightly reduced.  Add the sauce that was set aside.  Cut lamb into ½-inch thick slices, snipping away the twine as you go and transfer to a platter.  Add any juice from the cutting board to the roasting pan.  Serve lamb with sauce.
MAKES:  6 – 8 servings

Friday, November 23, 2018

Baby Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
3C baby kale
12 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed, shredded
2 Persimmons, thinly sliced
1/3C almonds with skins, roasted, coarsely chopped
1/2C pomegranate seeds
1C pecorino Romano cheese or sharp Vermont cheddar
  cheese, shaved

3 Tbsp. raspberry vinegar
1 Tbsp. pear vinegar
2 tsp. honey mustard
6 Tbsp. olive oil

Shake the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and set aside.

Mix the baby kale and Brussels sprouts together in a bowl.  Add the persimmons, pomegranate seeds and toss with vinaigrette to coat.  Add the almonds and cheese and lightly toss again.
MAKES:  8 servings