The Literate Chef

Archive for the ‘Meat’ Category

Wild Boar Stew

In Pork, Recipes, Stews on October 21, 2017 at 10:49 AM

Preparation time, 1 hour; Cooking time 4.5 hours. Serves 4.

Wild Boar Stew

Wild Boar Stew

Ingredients:

4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs. Wild Boar Shoulder, cubed 1.5-2.0 inches
Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped fine
3 stalks celery, chopped fine
2 cups of Chianti
1 28 oz. can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes, chopped, retain liquid
6 tbsp. chopped fresh herb combination, (2 tbsp. each of oregano, rosemary & sage)
3 bay leaves
¾ lb. (about 12-14) of small yellow potatoes, leave whole
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced

Procedure:

  1. In a heavy casserole pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat.
  2. In two batches, add the Wild Boar Meat, and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, turning frequently. When browned to your liking, remove meat and set aside.
  3. Add garlic, onions and celery to the pot and brown lightly, remove and set aside.
  4. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add back the meat and vegetables and any collected liquids.
  5. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, herbs and bay leaves, cover and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower heat, keep covered and cook for 3 hours.
  7. Remove bay leaves and discard. Remove meat and set aside.
  8. Transfer the gravy to a food processor and process until smooth. Add back the meat.
  9. Add the potatoes, and continue cooking on medium low for 1 hour.
  10. Add the carrots and continue cooking on medium low for 30 more minutes. The stew should cook for 4.5 hours total, excluding browning.

PLEASE SEE “IS IT AUTUMN YET?

Wild Boar Ragu

In Recipes, Pasta, Pork, Sauces on October 21, 2017 at 10:37 AM

Preparation time: Marinate-Overnight; Cutting & Chopping-1 hour; Cook Time 4 hours. Serves 6 – Adapted from NY Times and Epicurious Magazine

Wild Boar Ragu with Fettucine

Wild Boar Ragu with Fettuccine

Step 1: Marinate the Meat Overnight

Ingredients for Marinated Meat:

  • 2 lbs. Wild Boar Shoulder, cubed 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsps. whole peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 8 cloves garlic, halved
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 or more cups of Chianti, enough to cover the meat

    Mix the above in a non-reactive bowl, cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to make the Ragu, discard the rosemary, garlic and bay leaves. Drain the meat in a strainer over a bowl, and reserve the marinade.

Step 2: Make the Ragu

Ingredients for Ragu:

  • Meat & reserved marinade from Step 1
  • 6 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped fine
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 2 cans of tomatoes, chopped and use liquid
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsps. anchovy paste
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 3 or more cups of low-sodium vegetable broth

Procedure:

  1. In a heavy casserole pot, heat the olive oil on medium.
  2. Add onions, carrots and celery and lightly sauté for about 5 minutes, remove and set aside.
  3. In two or more batches, add the Wild Boar Meat, brown on all sides turning frequently for about 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Add back the vegetables from step 2.
  5. Add the marinade and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, garlic, red pepper flakes, anchovy paste and chopped herbs.
  7. Turn heat to medium low, and cook uncovered for at least 4 hours, until meat easily fall apart. (Note: Stir the ragu periodically and add 1 cup of vegetable broth at a time to prevent the ragu from burning. You may need to use a whole quart. You can also cover the ragu for the last 30 minutes so it doesn’t burn. (Note: Most of the liquid should be absorbed.)
  8. Remove bay leaves and discard. At this point the ragu is done and can be used immediately or frozen in small batches and used later. There should be enough for 6 meals, or a meal for 2 on 3 separate occasions.
  9. Serve with choice of pasta; Pappardelle, Tagliatelle or Fettuccine(Note: Heat the ragu & cook the pasta separately for 2 minutes short of al dente, remove 1 to 2 cups of pasta water, add to ragu and mix well, remove the pasta from the water, add to the ragu, mix well again for about two minutes.)
  10. Serve with chopped basil and grated Pecorino Romano, preferably Locatelli brand.

PLEASE SEE “IS IT AUTUMN YET?

Lamb Curry – West Indian Style Lamb Stew

In Lamb, Meat, Recipes, Stews on December 28, 2015 at 11:10 AM

(Adapted from “West Indian Lamb Curry” by Melissa Clark, New York Times Cooking)

Lamb Curry

This recipe doubles that from which it was adapted and should yield 10 to 12 servings. It lends itself to freezing and thereby could provide you with several nights meals, after you and your guests have had your fill.

Ingredients:

For the first step – marinate and refrigerate the lamb:
• 6 lb. boneless Leg of Lamb, cut into 2 inch cubes
• 2 tbsp. Curry Powder
• 2 tbsp. Kosher Salt
• 2 tsp. Ground Ginger
• 2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
• 2 large White Onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
• 12 Scallions, washed and coarsely chopped
• 16 cloves of Garlic, peeled and smashed
• 2 inch piece of fresh Ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
• 1/2 tsp. whole Allspice berries, crushed
• 12 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped and stems discarded
• 4 tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the second step – cooking:
• 4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 4 tsp. Curry Powder
• 2 cups dry White Wine
• 8 cups diced potatoes, about 4 whole potatoes, peeled
• 4 cups diced carrots, about 8 peeled
• 4 Habanero, Scotch Bonnet or Jalapeño peppers, chopped (with or without seeds depending on your tolerance to heat)

For the third step – serving:
• Cooked white Basmati Rice, about 1/4 cup uncooked per serving
• Fresh chopped cilantro
• Lime wedges
Major Grey’s Chutney

Preparation:

Prepare the marinade and refrigerate the lamb:
1. With paper toweling, pat dry the cubes of lamb, and place in a very large bowl.
2. Combine the next 4 ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Add to the lamb and toss well.
3. Combine the next 6 ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Working in batches place the mixture in a food processor, and, adding olive oil as necessary, purée into a paste. Add the puréed mixture to the lamb and toss well, coating each piece of spiced lamb.
4. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight or up to 72 hours.

Cook the lamb:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch Oven over medium-high heat, and add the 4 tsp. of Curry Powder, stirring for about 30 seconds.
2. Workings in batches to avoid overcrowding, add the marinated lamb cubes and brown on all sides, add additional olive oil to prevent the lamb from burning and sticking to the bottom, if necessary.
3. As the cubes are browned to your liking, transfer them to a large platter.
4. When all of the lamb has been browned, add the white wine and de-glaze the pot, scraping up the fond as you do so.
5. Return the lamb and any accumulated juices from the platter, as well as any left over marinade, to the Dutch Oven. Add water to just cover the lamb, add the cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover the Dutch Oven, lower the heat to a simmer and braise for 30 minutes.
6. Add the potatoes, carrots and peppers and continue cooking on medium-low heat for an additional 45 minutes.
7. Using tongs, or a slotted spoon, remove the meat and vegetables and place in a large bowl or pot, and keep warm.
8. Strain the liquid into a fat separator, and add the de-fatted gravy, as well as any solids, to the meat and vegetables.

To serve:
1. Cook the rice according to the directions on the box, using 1/4 cup of uncooked rice per person. (Note: only cook as much rice as you need for the first meal; for left overs, cook rice at that time.)
2. Serve the stew, rice, cilantro, lime wedges and chutney.

Pollo al Marsala con Funghi (Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms)

In Chicken, Recipes on July 26, 2015 at 2:50 PM

Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms

Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms (Pollo al Marsala con Funghi)

(Preparation time, 40 minutes; Serves 4)

Ingredients:

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1.5 lbs. skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
1/4 lb. unsalted butter
2 eggs, beaten & seasoned with salt & pepper
1 cup flour, seasoned with salt & pepper
Fresh sage, about 8 large leaves, chopped coarse
1 + 1/4 cup Sweet Marsala

Procedure:

1. Heat a large (12″ or more) non-stick skillet on medium-high.
2. Add 2 tbsp. of butter. When bubbling, add mushrooms and sauté until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
3. Pat dry the chicken breasts with paper towels, dip them in the seasoned egg and then in the seasoned flour and set aside until all pieces are floured.
4. Melt the remaining butter in the pan on medium heat.
5. When bubbling, add the floured chicken breasts and lightly brown for 5 minutes on each side.
6. Add the chopped sage and sautéed mushrooms and mix well. Add 1 cup of Marsala, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes, turning once after 5 minutes.
7. Turn heat to medium high, remove the cover and cook for 5 minutes more.
8. Check the chicken for doneness, remove all to a serving plate and keep warm.
9. Deglaze the skillet with the remaining 1/4 cup of Marsala, scraping up any fond and pour the sauce over the chicken.

Serve with a well-chilled bottle of Italian white wine, such as an Arneis.

Pan-Seared U-10 Scallops with Andouille Sausage, Spinach & Risotto

In Pork, Recipes, Scallops, Seafood on January 21, 2015 at 2:48 PM

Sautéed U-10 Scallops with Andouille Sausage

Pan-Seared U-10 Scallops with Andouille Sausage

(Cooking time – 45 minutes, serves 5 or 6)

Friends came to visit a few days ago and informed us that one of them is allergic to garlic. This presented The Literate Chef with a challenge, as garlic is a staple in our house. Rising to the occasion, and knowing that seafood and pork marry well, we decided to prepare a one-dish meal of Pan-Seared U-10 Sea Scallops, fried Andouille Sausage, spinach and a simple risotto. For extra flavor, we used smoked paprika, and white wine. The result far exceeded our expectations, everyone enjoyed the meal, and an allergic reaction was avoided.

Ingredients:

20 large (U-10) Scallops, about 2.5 lbs.
4 links of Andouille Sausage (about 1 lb.), sliced 1/4 inch thick
6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1 lb. Baby Spinach
1 cup Arborio Rice
1/2 large Yellow Onion, chopped
Smoked Paprika
1 qt. Seafood Stock
Dry White Wine, about 2 cups

Procedure:

Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees.

For the Risotto:

1. In a 2 qt. pot, bring the Seafood Stock to a boil.
2. In a 3 qt. pot, melt ½ the butter, add the chopped onion and cook until translucent.
3. Add the rice and stir well.
4. Add 1 cup of hot Seafood Stock to the rice and cook until the liquid is fully absorbed. Add some wine (1/4 cup or so) and when that is absorbed, repeat the process, alternately adding stock and wine (be sure to retain ½ cup of the stock for the gravy) until the risotto is done, about 30 minutes. Keep warm on the stove.

For the Rest of the Dish:

5. Add ½ cup of wine to the ½ cup of retained stock and keep warm on the stove.
6. In the meantime steam the spinach. When done remove to oven to keep warm.
7. In a non-stick sauté pan, brown the sliced Andouille sausage on both sides. When done remove to the oven.
8. Pat dry the scallops with paper toweling and liberally sprinkle one side with the smoked paprika.
9. Heat the remaining butter in the sauté pan, add the scallops, paprika side down, and sprinkle their tops with additional paprika. Pan-sear the scallops 5 minutes (if using smaller scallops, adjust time accordingly) turn the scallops and continue cooking for another 4 minutes.
10. While the scallops are cooking, assemble the other ingredients, preferably in bowls.
11. Divide the risotto evenly in each bowl, follow with the spinach, placing it atop the risotto, and then add the sausage slices around the sides of the bowls.
12. Pour the cup of stock/wine over the scallops and bring to boil for 30 seconds or so.
13. Remove the scallops from the pan and place them atop the spinach.
14. Spoon the sauce equally over each serving.

Roast Tenderloin of Beef (Filet Mignon) with Port Wine Reduction Sauce

In Beef, Meat, Recipes on December 28, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Filet Mignon with Port Wine Reduction Sauce

Filet Mignon with Port Wine Reduction Sauce

Ingredients:

1 Tenderloin of Beef Roast (Filet Mignon), 3.5 to 4 lbs. (preferably trimmed and tied)
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 and ½ cups of Port Wine Reduction Sauce
1 digital instant-read meat thermometer

Preparation:

1. One hour before cooking, remove the roast from the refrigerator, pat dry with paper towels; rub the roast with the olive oil, Kosher salt and black pepper and bring to room temperature for the hour.
2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Heat a roasting pan on the cook top on medium high for 1 minute, than add the roast.
4. Sear the meat on all sides for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan, place a rack in the pan and lay the meat on the rack.
5. Lower the oven temperature to 275 degrees and place the roasting pan on the top shelf of the oven. The lower roasting temperature should help to ensure even cooking throughout the roast.
6. Roast the tenderloin for approximately 40 to 50 minutes, checking the internal temperature after 30 minutes with a digital instant-read meat thermometer. Keep checking every 5 minutes or so, until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 120 degrees. The total roasting time will vary depending upon the thickness of the roast, as well as for how long it has been seared.
7. Once the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees, remove the roast from the oven and keep warm by loosely covering it with aluminum foil. The roast will continue to cook internally as the juices settle. For RARE let sit for about 5 to 8 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees. After sitting for 15 minutes, the internal temperature will probably rise to 130 to 135 degrees – perfect for MEDIUM RARE.
8. While the roast is sitting, re-heat the Port Wine Reduction Sauce on a low flame. Slice the roast into one-inch thick pieces, cut and remove the strings and pour the sauce over the sliced beef, or alternatively, serve the meat on a platter and serve the sauce in a gravy boat on the side. Serve immediately.

Da’s Famous, Flame-O Chili (Five Alarm)

In Meat, Recipes on November 16, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Da’s Famous, Flame-O Chili (Five Alarm)

Da’s Famous, Flame-O Chili (Five Alarm)

(Preparation Time – Active 1 hour; Total – 3 hours – Makes about 6 quarts)

I’ve been perfecting this chili over the past 45 or so years, in an attempt to replicate the one served at the long-defunct Alamo Chili House on West 44th Street in Midtown Manhattan. Several friends and I used to visit the “Alamo” for the perfect hangover remedy, back in the days of youthful imbibing. A bowl of their famous chili and a bottle or three of Dos Equis, and we were ready to go back to work and get through the afternoon, relatively unscathed by the vestiges of our hangovers.

This is a seriously hot chili. The meat to bean ration is about 3:1, so adding more beans and reducing the number of jalapeños and/or dried spices, may make it more palatable to those who can’t take the heat. The addition of sour cream and/or shredded cheddar cheese with each serving, will also help tone down the heat factor.

This recipe makes about 6 quarts of Chili. It will easily serve 8 people and leave 2 quarts, which can be individually frozen for those coming cold winter days and nights.

Ingredients:

1/4-cup canola oil
5 – 6 pounds ground chuck
2 large or 3 medium yellow onions, chopped coarsely
10 cloves of garlic, chopped coarsely
2 bottles of beer

Dry Spice Mix Of:

7 Tbsps. Chili Powder
4 Tbsps. Ground Cumin
4 Tbsps. Hot Hungarian Paprika
4 Tbsps. Whole Cumin Seeds
1 Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper (Note)
½ Tbsp. Dried Oregano

2 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes, chopped and with liquid
3 Jalapeño peppers, chopped coarsely
2 Jalapeño peppers sliced (Note)
2 19 oz. cans of Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed (Note)

Procedure:

1. In a large sauté pan, heat canola oil, add meat, break it up and brown it stirring frequently, transfer meat and liquid to an 8 quart pot.
2. Add beer, onions and garlic to the pot, cook 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the dry spice mix.
4. Add tomatoes and jalapeños, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, uncovered.
6. Cover and cook on low heat for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Add beans and cook 30 minutes more, uncovered.

Serve with your cerveza favorita!

Note: If you think you can’t take the heat, then consider eliminating the Cayenne and 2 sliced jalapeños, as well as adding an extra can of Kidney Beans. Also serve wit sour cream and shredded cheddar. 

Pollo con Pesto (Pesto-Crusted Pan-Roasted Chicken)

In Chicken, Recipes on July 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Pesto-Crusted Roast Chicken

Pesto-Crusted Pan-Roasted Chicken

(Preparation time, about 1 hour – Serves from 2 to 4, depending on chicken size)

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, halved
3 tbsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. Pesto Sauce
½ cup + 2 tbsp. dry white wine
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Procedure:

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a cast iron skillet large enough to hold the chicken, heat the olive oil on medium high until shimmering, about 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Rinse and pat dry the chicken.
4. Sprinkle both sides of each chicken half liberally with salt & pepper.
5. Gently place chicken halves skin side down in the pan, and brown for 8 to 9 minutes. Periodically place a weight on the chicken pieces pressing down to insure that the skin gets crispy.
6. Turn chicken pieces skin side up and remove pan to top rack of oven. Roast for 30 minutes, basting skin with fat drippings after 15 minutes.
7. In the meantime mix the pesto with 2 tbsp. of the white wine.
8. When chicken is done, remove the pan from the oven, re-baste the chicken and spoon pesto over each half. Return to oven and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
9. When done, remove chicken from the pan, set aside and keep warm while preparing the gravy.
10. To make the gravy, pour off all but 2 tbsp. of fat, retaining the solids, heat pan on stove on high, add the ½ cup of wine, bring to boil and de-glaze the pan scraping up the fond. Serve gravy alongside the chicken.

Please see: Summer Serendipity

Pan-Seared Scallops with Spinach, Corn & Chorizo

In Pork, Recipes, Seafood, Vegetables on June 15, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Seafood and pork seem to have a natural affinity, see Shrimp & Grits, Spaghetti con Vongole & Chorizo, Roasted Halibut with Chouriço & Mushrooms and of course, Paella. This recipe, is for a perfect one-dish meal that serves 2 and can be prepared in about 45 minutes. You’ll need a large non-stick skillet, about 12 inches to give the scallops enough room to properly sear, a large deep pot for the spinach, a strainer and tongs.

scallops r

Ingredients:

3/4 lb. Sea Scallops
2 Ears of corn
1 lb. Baby spinach
1/4 lb. Chorizo or Andouille Sausage
2 tbsps. Unsalted butter
2 tbsps. Light cream
1/2 cup dry white wine
Hot Hungarian Paprika, to taste

Procedure:

1. Rinse the scallops and thoroughly dry them with paper toweling. Sprinkle one side of each scallop with paprika and let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Heat oven to 175 for warming.
3. Remove kernels from the ears of corn.
4. Slice and dice the chorizos.
5. Pre-heat skillet on high, add and melt 1 tbsp. of the butter, add the corn and sauté 4 to 5 minutes, until lightly caramelized.
6. In the meantime, bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a large pot, add the spinach. When spinach is done, drain well and transfer to oven to keep warm.
7. When the corn is done remove to a blender and process, add the cream and process again until fairly smooth. Transfer corn to a small bowl and keep warm in the oven.
8. Add the chorizo to the skillet and lightly brown. Place in oven to keep warm.
9. Get the skillet very hot and melt the remaining tbsp. of butter. When smoking add the scallops, coated side down, and sprinkle top side with paprika. Pan-sear them for 2 minutes, turn and repeat.
10. In the meantime remove the spinach, corn and chorizo from the oven and begin to assemble each serving: divide the spinach between the two bowls; top with the corn. When the scallops are done divide them between the two bowls and arrange them atop the corn. Sprinkle each bowl with the chorizos.
11. After the scallops are removed from the pan, pour in the wine, bring to a boil and deglaze the pan. Cook the wine down by about half and divide the sauce among the two bowls. Serve at once.

Spaghetti con Vongole & Chorizo

In Clams, Pasta, Pork, Recipes, Seafood on February 21, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Spaghetti con Vongole & Chorizo

Spaghetti con Vongole & Chorizo

A few nights ago, Betty made a big platter of her famous Paella Isabella. It served 5 for dinner very nicely. However, not all of the clams and chorizo that we had bought wound up in the paella, which got me thinking about what to do with them the next day.

Having a vague recollection of a pasta dish with clams and pancetta, and thinking about dishes where seafood and pork combine nicely, I decided to experiment with these leftovers. A light tomato sauce, almost a Marechiaro, seemed to be the right approach. Rather than parsley, Betty suggested a little cilantro to finish the dish. It was the right thing to do, and the result was sublime.

(Serves 2, preparation time, 30 minutes)

Ingredients:

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
7 cloves of garlic, minced
2 dozen Littleneck Clams, scrubbed and rinsed
¼ lb. Chorizo, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 cup of dry white wine
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut-up
½ lb. spaghetti
Chopped cilantro, about 3 tablespoons

Procedure:

1. Boil a large pot of water for the spaghetti.
2. Heat olive oil in a separate pot, about 5 qt. sized.
3. Add the garlic to the oil, and sauté lightly; do not let it burn.
4. Add the wine and bring to a boil.
5. Add the clams and cover the pot.
6. After about 2 or 3 minutes, add the tomatoes and chorizo.
7. When clams begin to steam open, add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook according to directions.
8. Once most of the clams have opened, to avoid over-cooking them, remove them to a bowl while the sauce continues to boil and thicken, and until the spaghetti is done.
9. When the spaghetti is al dente to the taste, drain it and add it to the sauce.
10. Transfer the spaghetti and sauce to a large serving bowl, add the clams and garnish with cilantro.
11. Serve immediately.
12. Feel free to add grated pecorino-romano cheese, if so desired.

Web-Logo

Guinness Braised Boneless Short Ribs

In Beef, Meat, Recipes, Stews on February 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Guinness Braised Short Ri

Guinness Braised Boneless Short Ribs

(Active Preparation Time – 1 hour, Marinate Overnight, Cooking Time- 3 hours; Serves 4 to 6)

Recently, we invited  my good friend John, and his brother Pat and sister-in-law Kathleen who were visiting the U.S. from Grange, County Sligo, to dinner.  Pat & Kathleen had hosted us several times on our trips to Ireland and this was a perfect time to reciprocate their hospitality.  In their honor, we prepared these short ribs, in a manner appropriate for the occasion. Happily it was enjoyed by all. The Guinness imparted an earthy flavor to the meaty ribs, and the gravy from the marinade proved to be a perfect dressing for the noodles. Sláinte!

Ingredients:

3 lbs. Boneless Short Ribs, cut into 1 & 1/2 inch pieces
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
2 cans of Draft Guinness
½ cup flour
2 tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large onion chopped
7 cloves of garlic chopped
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
2 cups of low-sodium beef broth
1 lb. package of baby carrots
1 lb. broad noodles
Chopped parsley for garnish

Procedure:

1. Sprinkle ribs with salt & pepper, place in a shallow non-reactive bowl, pour in the Guinness, cover with plastic wrap and marinate refrigerated over night. In the morning turn the pieces and return to the refrigerator.
2. About 4 hours before you plan to eat, pour the marinade into a large pot and reduce by ½.
3. Toss the ribs with the flour in a 1-gallon plastic storage bag. Divide into two equal-sized batches.
4. Heat the olive in a large sauté pan and brown each batch of ribs well.
5. Remove the browned ribs to a bowl and set aside.
6. Deglaze the sauté pan with the onions and garlic.
7. When the marinade is reduced by ½, add the browned ribs, onions and garlic and any scrapings from the sauté pan to the reduced marinade.
8. Add the beef broth and thyme sprigs, cover and bring to a boil.
9. When boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 2 & ½ hours. Stir the meat periodically and check to make sure the liquid does not burn off.
10. Test the meat for doneness, it should separate easily with a fork, add the carrots and cook an additional 30 minutes.
11. Cook the noodles separately.
12. Pick over the meat to remove the thyme sprigs and serve as in the picture above.

Web-Logo

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.

Procedure:

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.

Web-Logo

Dorothea’s Broiled Chicken with Lemon Gravy

In Chicken, Recipes on August 12, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Dorothea's Chicken with Lemon Gravy

Dorothea’s Chicken with Lemon Gravy

Eating the Ersatz Moroccan Chicken, which I concocted a few weeks ago, triggered a memory of one of my best-loved childhood meals, my mother’s Chicken with Lemon Gravy. It was my favorite comfort food (a term which admittedly was non-existent 60 years ago). Not only was the chicken juicy and tender, even the breast meat, but the skin was crispy and delicious. The lemon gravy was redolent of oregano and garlic; and, as a reward if I ate all of my chicken, I could pour some of the extra gravy onto my plate and sop it up with Italian bread.

So last night in memory of mom, I cooked up a batch of her Chicken with Lemon Gravy and after eating all of my portion, 1/2 of a split-breast and a thigh, I sopped up the extra gravy with several chunks of Italian bread. It was a great trip down memory lane and I felt very comforted. With a nod toward more contemporary cuisine, the chicken was accompanied by Grilled Summer Vegetables and roasted sweet potato slices drizzled with balsamic glaze; the latter, an idea introduced to us by a friend.

Dorothea 1943

Dorothea 1943

Ingredients:

5 lbs. of chicken pieces with skin on (we used 5 thighs and two split breasts, each cleaved in half*)
Juice of 8 lemons, approximately 1 cup
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped fresh oregano
1/3 cup thinly sliced garlic, about 16 cloves.
Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Procedure:

1. Sprinkle both sides of each chicken piece with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, water, oregano and garlic to make a marinade.
3. Place chicken skin side down in a non-reactive pan and add marinade.
4. Marinate 1 hour at room temperature turning once after 30 minutes. If you have the time, marinate overnight in the refrigerator and turn pieces periodically.
5. Position oven rack about 6 inches below broiler element, remove chicken from marinade, place skin side up on a broiler pan and baste before placing under heat.
6. Add marinade to a small pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer while chicken is broiling.
7. Broil chicken for about 22 minutes, basting frequently with the marinade. Turn pieces and broil 22 minutes more, basting frequently.
8. Raise rack one level, turn chicken pieces skin side up, baste with marinade and broil for about 4 minutes to crisp the skin.
9. When chicken is done, remove to a plate and keep warm.
10. Add pan juices to the boiled marinade, skim the fat and serve with chicken.

*Note: This recipe provided a main course for two, with enough leftovers for another meal.

Web-Logo

Ersatz Moroccan Chicken with Couscous

In Chicken, Meat, Recipes on August 1, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Ersatz Moroccan Chicken with Couscous

Ersatz Moroccan Chicken with Couscous

The jar of Preserved Lemons was hanging around in the pantry for several years and would soon reach its expiration date. The pantry also contained a box of Trader Joe’s Couscous, as well as a jar of Zatar, the latter thanks to a Penzey’s gift certificate from my daughter. A quick perusal of the freezer revealed four chicken legs, both thighs and drumsticks; so it seemed to me that I had the basics for a Moroccan dinner.

While I had eaten a chicken tagine on more than one occasion in New York, which pretty much has a restaurant for every type of ethnic food, I had never prepared a Moroccan meal. As luck would have it, the pantry also disclosed a jar of Harissa Spices, compliments of Williams-Sonoma and the refrigerator gave up a jar of Kalamata olives, as well as some green olives, albeit with pits. Good enough for me to give it a go.

Improvising as I went along, I browned the chicken pieces in olive oil, tossed in Zatar, then Harissa, added a dash of powdered ginger on a whim, deglazed the pan with the preserved lemon liquid, then added the preserved lemons and olives, covered the pan and cooked the concoction for 10 minutes. In the meantime, following Trader Joe’s directions, I made a batch of couscous.

When the chicken was done and I tasted the sauce, I knew I had a winner! There were no leftovers worth worrying about, and whether it was real or ersatz Moroccan, neither I nor my wife gave a fig.

Ingredients:

4 whole chicken legs split
3 tbsps. Extra virgin olive oil
1 & 1/2 tsps. Zatar
2 tbsps. Harissa spices
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
12 oz. jar preserved lemons, about 8 lemons
2/3 cup green olives
1/3 cup Kalamata olives

Procedure:

1. In a sauté pan with a cover, and large enough to comfortably hold the chicken, heat the olive oil on medium, then add the chicken pieces. Reduce the heat to medium – low and brown the chicken for 20 minutes, turning frequently, about every 3 or 4 minutes. After the first complete turn slowly sprinkle the Zatar all over the chicken and after the second complete turn do the same with the Harissa Spices. Then sprinkle the powdered ginger all over the chicken.
2. After 20 minutes remove the chicken, add the liquid from the preserved lemon jar, but not the lemons, and de-glaze the pan.
3. Add back the chicken, toss in the lemon and olives, raise heat to medium, cover and cook  for 10 minutes turning the pieces once or twice to make sure they are well coated.
4. In the meantime cook the couscous according to the directions on the box.
5. When the chicken is done, transfer the cooked couscous to a serving platter, remove the chicken and place over the couscous. Raise the heat to thicken the sauce, then pour it over the chicken and couscous. Serve immediately.

Web-Logo

Sauerbraten

In Beef, Meat, Recipes on November 2, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Sauerbraten

(Active preparation-45 minutes; inactive preparation-4 days; cooking time 5 hours)

Ingredients

4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 6.5 lb. Bottom Round Roast
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. Kosher salt

For the marinade:

2 cups of water
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups red wine vinegar
2 cups cider vinegar
2 large carrots peeled and sliced
2 medium onions, chopped coarsely
2 tsps. yellow mustard seeds
24 juniper berries
12 cloves
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp. whole black peppercorns

For cooking and finishing:

½ cup of sugar
3 dozen Gingersnap Cookies, crushed

Preparation

Marinate the Roast:

1.    Pat dry the roast with paper toweling and sprinkle with Kosher salt and ground black pepper.
2.    In a 5 quart or larger pot, melt the butter, add the seasoned roast, fat side down, and brown on all sides for about 10 or 12 minutes in total.
3.    When fully browned, remove the roast and set aside in an enameled Dutch Oven, or large non-reactive bowl, preferably one with a cover.
4.   Next, prepare the marinade: add the 11 ingredients to the pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
5.    When the marinade has cooled, pour it over the roast, cover and refrigerate for 4 to 5 days, turning it once each day.

Cook the Roast:

6.    When ready to cook the roast, remove from the refrigerator and pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Alternatively, cook on stove top.
7.    Add sugar to marinade and stir well, place Dutch Oven on middle rack of oven and slow cook, covered for 5 hours until roast is fork-tender. If using stove top, bring to a boil, reduce heat so liquid is just bubbling, cover and cook 5 hours.
8.    With either cooking method, if roast is not completely covered by the liquid, turn it once or twice during the 5 hours.
9.    When done, shut the oven, or heat, remove the meat to a platter and keep warm.
10.    Strain the solids from the marinade and discard them. Wipe clean the Dutch Oven, and remove and discard any solids still attached to the roast.
11.    Add the strained marinade back to the Dutch Oven, place it on the stove top, bring to a boil and whisk in the crushed gingersnap cookies.
12.    Add back the roast and keep warm on a low flame until ready to serve.
13.    Slice the roast and pour the gravy over the slices. Serve at once with sides of red cabbage and mashed potatoes.

Please see Where Have All the Germans Gone?

Roasted Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

In Meat, Pork, Recipes on September 16, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Roasted and Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

(Serves 4: preparation time 1 hour, cooking time 30 minutes)

Ingredients:
2 Pork Tenderloins (they usually come two in a package) about 2.5 to 3 lbs.
1 medium sized fresh mozzarella, diced into small pieces
1 small jar (7 or 8 oz.) sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 & ¼ cup dry white wine
2 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Special items you will need:
10 lengths of butcher’s twine – each 15 inches in length
Meat mallet

Procedure:
1.    Cut a deep, lengthwise, slice into each tenderloin; taking care not to cut all the way through.
2.    Cover each sliced tenderloin with wax paper and flatten as much as possible with meat mallet.
3.    Add olive oil to sauté pan and sear the outside of each tenderloin (one at a time) for about 2 minutes on medium heat. Remove meat to plate and let cool, retain the drippings in the pan.
4.    In the meantime make the stuffing: first add the basil leaves to a food processor and pulse chop, then add the sun-dried tomatoes and pulse chop again, finally add the diced mozzarella and pulse chop. Add pepper, blend and set aside.
5.    Re-heat the drippings from the tenderloins in the sauté pan, add the wine and bring to a boil, de-glazing the pan. Reduce the wine by about one-third  and add about 3 tbsps. of the stuffing to the gravy. You should have about ¾ to 1 cup of gravy. Set it aside.
6.    Once the pork has cooled, lay out 5 pieces of cut butcher’s twine on a cutting board, place one tenderloin over the strings, browned side down.

Flattened and ready for tying

7.    Spoon approximately ½ of the stuffing onto the tenderloin and close it up, tying off the strings, snip any excess string length after knotting.
8.    Repeat for the second tenderloin.
9.    At this point the stuffed tenderloins can be placed in the refrigerator until ready to be finished cooking the same day.

Ready for the Oven

10.    When ready, pre-heat oven to 450 degrees, place the stuffed tenderloins directly on a low-sided roasting pan and roast for about 25 to 30 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
11.    Heat the gravy in a small sauce pot.
12.    When the meat is ready, remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
13.    Cut the strings and slice each tenderloin into 2 inch thick pieces, add any spilled stuffing to the gravy and pour the gravy over the slices. Serve immediately with sides of Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli. Serve with a fine Valpolicella such as a 2009 Corte Figaretto.

Please see: An Experiment in Stuffing a Roast

Pork Medallions with Prunes and Calvados

In For Moms on the Go, Meat, Pork, Recipes on April 30, 2012 at 11:04 AM

(Preparation time 15 minutes; serves 4.)

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Pork Tenderloin, (plain, i.e. unseasoned) about 2 lbs., sliced into 1 inch medallions – You should have about 16-18 pieces
24-30 Ready-to-Serve Prunes, drained and pitted (between 1 and 2 for each medallion). As an alternative, soak dried, pitted prunes in 1 quart of boiled water. In either case reserve about 1/4 cup of liquid to enhance the sauce. Or an even better suggestion soak them in Calvados as suggested by Jeannie.
1/2 cup Calvados
Salt and Freshly Ground pepper to taste

Procedure:

1.    In a 12 inch non-stick skillet, on high heat, melt the butter.
2.    Add the Pork Medallions, sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste and sauté for 10 minutes, turning several times to brown evenly.
3.    When browned, add the prunes and then the Calvados. Shut the heat and ignite the Calvados.

CAUTION: When igniting, stand back from the stove, and if you have a vent fan directly over the stove be sure to shut it before igniting the Calvados.

4.    Once ignited return heat to low, and with long tongs, carefully turn the medallions several times times to coat them well with the sauce, continuing cooking 2 to 3 minutes longer.
5.    Place 4 to 5 medallions on each plate, cover with an equivalent number of prunes and 2 or 3 extra, and pour the sauce over all. Serve immediately with vegetable of choice, or a small salad.

Please refer to Pork & Prunes – Yum or Yuck?

Roasted Halibut with Chouriço and Porcini Mushrooms

In Fish, Pork, Recipes, Seafood on March 25, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Roasted Halibut with Chouriço and Porcini Mushrooms

Ingredients:

1 lb. Halibut fillet
.5 oz. Dried Porcini Mushrooms
8 oz. fresh spinach
4 tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 oz. Hot Chouriço or Hot Chorizo,* sliced into ¼ inch thick pieces and then quartered
2 San Marzano tomatoes, chopped and drained
1 tbsp. chopped Cherry Pepper*, stem removed
1 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives

Preparation:

1.    Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees with the rack on the highest level.
2.    Rehydrate the mushrooms according to instructions on the package. If no instructions are included, soak the mushrooms in 1 cup of warm water for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and set aside, reserve the liquid for use in the sauce.
3.    Steam the spinach in 1 cup of water; drain, and when cooled, squeeze out and discard any liquid, set the spinach aside.
4.    Place the halibut in a greased roasting pan and roast for 18 minutes. When done, place under the broiler for 2 minutes.
5.    While the halibut is roasting, heat the olive oil in a 10-12 inch sauté pan on medium heat; add the chorizo and lightly brown for 3 minutes, turning frequently.
6.    Add the tomatoes, cherry pepper and mushrooms, reduce heat to medium low and mix well, cook for 3 minutes more.
7.    Add the wine, raise the heat to medium-high and let boil for 3 minutes until reduced by approximately half.
8.    Add the reserved mushroom-soaking water and boil for 3 more minutes. You should wind up with about 1 cup of liquid.
9.    Divide the spinach in half and place in the center of two bowls. When the halibut is done, slice in half and place each piece atop the spinach ‘bed’.
10.    With a slotted spoon, remove most of the chorizo and mushrooms from the sauce (reserving some for garnish) and spread around the halibut/spinach combination in the bottom of the bowl.
11.    Pour the sauce and the remaining chorizo and mushrooms over the halibut and sprinkle with the chives.

*If the spicy (but not overwhelming so) combination of hot chorizo and cherry pepper is not for your palate, leave out the cherry pepper and use regular chouriço, chorizo or linguiça.

Serve with a well-chilled bottle of dry white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a crisp, fresh, Arneis from the Italian Piedmont.

Please see: A Serendipitous Halibut Dinner

Dorothea’s Homemade Italian Sauce

In Beef, Meat, Pork, Recipes, Sauces on March 10, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Dorothea’s Homemade Italian Sauce served Over Penne

By Grammy Betty

Ingredients:

3 35 oz. cans of San Marzano Tomatoes, mashed
3 small cans (8 oz.), of Del Monte Tomato Sauce
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 ½ tsp. sugar
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
16 Grammy’s Meatballs – 2 lbs. prime (90% lean beef) chopped meat, 1 ½ lbs. used for Grammy’s Meatballs and the remainder reserved for adding to the sauce.)
2 small cans (6 oz.) of Contadina Tomato Paste

Preparation:

1.    Add the mashed tomatoes and their juice to a large (8 qt.) pot.
2.    Add the garlic, sugar and Del Monte tomato sauce.
3.    Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer.
4.    In the meantime, add the sausage to a skillet, pierce them with a fork, and cook over medium heat until done.
5.    Remove cooked sausage and add to the sauce, and remove all but 2 tbsps. of rendered fat and add to sauce.
6.    Add chopped onion to the scrapings and remaining fat  from the sausage, brown and deglaze the pan, add to the sauce.
7.    Make the 16 meatballs (see Grammy’s Meatballs for recipe) and add to the sauce.
8.    Brown the remaining ½ lb. of chopped meat, add in the tomato paste, stir and cook for 5 minutes or so, over medium heat, remove and add to the sauce.
9.    Simmer sauce uncovered, on a low flame, for approximately 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.

Due to the thickness of the sauce, it is best served over a pasta shape that will trap and hold the sauce, such as Penne, Ziti, Rigatoni or Shells (conchiglie). Add some chopped fresh basil to each bowl, and serve with grated imported Italian Cheese, and Dorothea’s Homemade Hot Pepper Sauce, on the side.

A good bottle of Italian red wine, such as a Rosso di Montalcino, the less expensive cousin of Brunello, makes this pasta dish just perfect!

Please see: The Secret’s Out!

Note: The unused sauce can be frozen in meal sized batches. Often it thickens after taken from the freezer. When this happens, simply add some water to thin the sauce to your liking.

Grammy’s Meatballs

In Beef, For Moms on the Go, Meat, Pasta, Recipes, Sauces on March 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Grammy’s Meatballs

By Grammy Betty

Our granddaughter, May, defines the term fussy eater. So imagine how thrilled The Literate Chef and I were when she devoured my meatballs during a recent visit. With the love of our granddaughter in mind, I share my recipe for Grammy’s Meatballs.

Ingredients:

1 ½  lbs. prime (90% lean beef) chopped meat
2 eggs
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Locatelli-Romano
½ cup whole milk
½ cup Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil for browning the meatballs

Preparation:

1.    Place all of the above ingredients, except the olive oil, in a large bowl, and kneed them together until well mixed and spongy.
2.    Form into 16 medium size (about 2 inches in diameter) meatballs.
3.    Heat the olive oil in a skillet over a medium-high flame.

Browning the Meatballs

4.    Add the meatballs and brown on all sides for approximately 5 minutes.
5.    Reduce flame to medium and continue cooking, turning frequently, for an additional 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

(Note: If adding the meatballs to Dorothea’s Homemade Italian Sauce, skip the last step and add the browned meatballs directly to the sauce, where they will continue to cook.)

Please see: The Secret’s Out!

%d bloggers like this: