The Literate Chef

Archive for October, 2013|Monthly archive page

Coming Soon – Restaurant Reviews

In Restaurant Reviews on October 22, 2013 at 5:37 PM

As readers may have noticed, many of our recipe ideas are attempts at re-creating a memorable meal that we enjoyed at a restaurant.  Also, we are frequently asked by friends for restaurant recommendations and are pleased to freely provide them. In the past, some of these recommendations have also been posted on Trip Advisor and Yelp, as well as submitted to Zagat’s, for inclusion in the vote tallies for various guides. Accordingly, we will shortly be introducing this category, so please standby.

Chicken with Eight Flavors

In Chicken, Meat, Recipes on October 21, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Chicken with Eight Flavors

Chicken with Eight Flavors

Yesterday it was time to start cleaning out the freezer, before we once again lose power in a winter storm. Halfway into the freezer, we found a package of boneless, skinless, chicken thighs. It was to be chicken for dinner again, but I craved something different and didn’t feel like standing over a stove, so it would be baked or broiled.  In the mood for flavor and  crunch, I opted for marinated and broiled.  A perusal of the refrigerator and pantry revealed eight standby items with which to prepare a marinade. The result, accompanied by sautéed spinachwas excellent.

Active preparation – 20 minutes. Total time – 1 hour & 45 minutes.

Ingredients for the marinade:

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp hot chili sesame oil
1/2 tbsp white rice vinegar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
2 tbsp finely minced ginger
3 scallions, sliced
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed

1.25 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 6 thighs.


1. Prepare the marinade: add the first 4 ingredients to a small bowl and whisk briskly, then add the next four and whisk again.
2. Place the defrosted chicken pieces in a mid-sized bowl.
3. Pour the marinade over the chicken and mix well.
4. Let the chicken marinate at room temperature for one hour, stir several times.
5. Place chicken thighs on a rack on a broiler pan, add few tablespoons of marinade to each piece.
6. Place pan about 6 inches from broiler element and cook 25 minutes turning once halfway through. Add remaining marinade after chicken has been turned.
7. Remove broiled chicken to serving platter and pour all of the pan drippings and juices over them.


French Onion Soup

In Recipes, Soups on October 10, 2013 at 9:03 AM

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

(Serves 2 or 3 – Active preparation time about 1 hour)

We found these great oven-proof soup bowls with handles at  Williams-Sonoma a while back, and they have been sitting fallow in our cabinet ever since. But yesterday, with the weather turning to full Autumn here on Cape Cod, the bowls cried out to be used. Since they resemble those soup bowls one would see in un petit bistrot somewhere on La Rive Gauche, what better soup to christen them with than a hearty Soupe à l’Oignon.

Betty whipped this up last night for a light supper, and with the lights turned down low, a candle on the dinner table, and Edith Piaf warbling in the background on the stereo, we enjoyed a 30 minute flight of fantasy to The City of Light.


1/4 lb. unsalted butter
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 slices French bread, about 1″ thick
4 large onions, sliced thin
4 sprigs of thyme
4 tbsp. flour
3/4 cup of sherry (Amontillado)
6 cups of College Inn, Fat-Free, Low-Sodium Beef Broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 lb. Gruyere, sliced thin – sufficient to cover the top of each soup bowl


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large heavy pot, on medium heat, sauté the garlic in 4 tbsp of the butter.
3. Brush bread slices on both sides with the garlic butter mixture.
4. On a cookie sheet, bake the garlic bread in the oven for 6 minutes on each side, remove and set aside. Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees.
5. While the garlic bread is baking, add the remaining butter to the pot and melt, add onions and thyme sprigs, cook over medium heat until onions are well caramelized.
6. Remove the thyme sprigs, sift flour over the onions, mix well and cook over low heat for 8 minutes. Add sherry and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more.
7. Add beef broth, salt and paper, bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes until thickened as desired.
8. Place toasted garlic bread in soup bowls, add onion soup to the brim.
9. Cover bowls with layered Gruyere slices and place on a cookie sheet. Bake in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Serve immediately.


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