The first Panini Sunday of Autumn 2014 was actually last week. I made a sopressata, genoa salami and fresh mozzarella panini that turned into a greasy, sloppy mess. Worse, there were spots in the meat that got hotter than others, so in those spaces where the sandwich did hold up, you could incinerate your tongue.
So, we’ll pretend that this was the first week of panini season here and say that last week was like a preseason game. Continue reading Panini Sunday: Chicken and Brie
Chicken thighs are far superior to breast meat when you are roasting. I’ll let Albert Burneko from Deadspin explain:
You can get all the bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs in the industrialized world for, like, 10 bucks; the great thing about these is that they taste better than all other things; the worst thing about them is that roughly 97% of their matter takes the form of fat, which will convert to liquid grease the instant they are exposed to any heat warmer than the inside of your refrigerator.
So, all of the extra fat that gets exuded from the chicken thigh makes it a self-basting meat when roasting. It’s pretty cool when you think about it. Plus, you really have to work hard at screwing up a roasted chicken thigh. Drying out a chicken breast in the oven happens more often than not.
But, chicken thighs on their own? That’s boring. What we need is a complementary vegetable. Something hearty. Something that stands up on its own. Something like…broccoli.
Continue reading Thursday Dinner: Roasted Chicken Thighs with Pureed Broccoli
Lime is not what one would expect to find on a list of soup ingredients. Soups usually evoke carrots, celery, and bay leaf from your flavor memory, not cilantro, chili peppers and lime.
This soup bears a striking resemblance to sopa de lima, or Yucatan lime soup. Budget Bytes, the website where I found this, took some short cuts away from authentic, but not enough to affect the integrity of the traditional sopa too greatly. Continue reading Wednesday Dinner: Sopa De Lima
So, why is this Pre-Birth Salad?
Because Afterbirth Salad does not have the same ring to it.
Actually, it’s called Pre-Birth Salad because I made this for dinner on the night The Wife went into labor. Yeah, I sent my wife into the delivery room with only a salad in her stomach. We ate at 6 p.m., she started contractions around 11 or so, our first trip to the hospital was at 2 a.m. and our second trip was around 7 a.m. By the time she gave birth she was a little hungry.
Continue reading Tuesday Dinner: Pre-Birth Salad
One would think that a cream sauce might be a little rich for a mid-week dinner. One would be right.
But, you really only live once (a couple of times if you subscribe to such teachings), and a sherry-cream sauce on a Thursday night will not be listed by your local medical examiner as the cause of death. Cream sauce for dinner five nights a week, on the other hand, and you will likely need to put a cardiologist on retainer.
Continue reading Thursday Dinner: Spaghetti With Chicken and Bell Pepper in Sherry Lemon-Cream Sauce
The name Yasmin Fahr has appeared here quite frequently in the past six months. We’ve never met, though she wields tremendous influence over what I make for dinner. Regular readers of Al Dente know of my affinity for Serious Eats, which is where I first came across her work as a recipe developer and food writer. Her work appears on a number of different online food publications, including Food & Wine and The Daily Meal.
What draws me to her recipes are the simplicity and use of fresh produce. I know, a lot of people have easy recipes that utilize fruits and veggies, but there is something more to her work. Rather than load down recipes with tons of aromatics and herbs, her Mediterranean-influenced dishes allow ingredients like tomatoes, leafy greens and citrus fruits to stand out in a dish. Tonight’s chicken soulvaki utilized lemon as the dominant ingredient. This dish typically features meat marinated in a lot of herbs and vinegar. Hers uses mint, oregano and lemon. That’s all.
Simple, right? Effective too. Continue reading Wednesday Dinner: Yasmin Fahr’s Chicken Souvlaki
I didn’t know you could make a chicken bouillabaisse. My deteriorating knowledge of the French language had me convinced that “bouillabaisse” shared some meaning with seafood. I was wrong. Before I cooked this for dinner I poked around on the history of the fish stew to see if I was missing something. I got this from Wikipedia (and if it’s there, it must be true):
Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provençal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille. The French and English form bouillabaisse comes from the Provençal Occitan word bolhabaissa, a compound that consists of the two verbs bolhir (to boil) and abaissar (to reduce heat, i.e., simmer).
So, it turns out bouillabaisse is a lot like lasagna. You can do pretty much whatever you want with it, as long as it includes noodles and cheese, but an authentic bouillabaisse has fish and an authentic lasagna has ricotta and tomato sauce.
Fair enough. Continue reading Wednesday Dinner: Easy One-Pot Chicken Bouillabaisse
This will be a very short post. Time is a premium right now, what with the year wrapping up at work and the holidays creeping slowly towards reality. It’s a shame, really, because this dish was really good.
Serious Eats writer Yasmin Fahr does a tremendous job of matching flavors here, with shallot, saffron and cumin all intertwining with the lemon and kale. The beauty is well…
WHAT WORKED: The cooking process. One pot, quick and easy. Cook the chicken, set aside, brown the shallots, toss everything in the pan and walk away for 20 minutes. Does it get better than that?
WHAT DIDN’T: I didn’t cut my kale into ribbons, instead opting for the big bag o’ kale from Wegmans. I’m very lazy when it comes to such things.
Continue reading Thursday Dinner: Lemon Chicken and Rice With Kale