Our second visit to Seasons & Suppers is a shot at Jennifer’s pan-roasted chicken thighs. We’ve talked at length her about how I prefer chicken thighs to other cuts of the bird, and I think we have even touched on my family’s attachment to garlic as an element of cooking.
Naturally, this recipe’s call for 20 to 22 garlic cloves caught my eye. The last time I cooked with this large quantity of garlic was a stab at sopa de ajo, where 30 cloves were put into play. Co-workers complained that I was emitting a garlic scent during the day and that they could not sit near me. I wasn’t sweating, but my natural Jared scent had been poisoned by a high concentration of garlic. I didn’t notice it until the first time I had to use the restroom that day. It turns out that eating large quantities of garlic has the same impact on your excretory system as consuming asparagus. Continue reading Wednesday Dinner: Rustic Chicken In Garlic Gravy
Convenience. It’s typically why I don’t use dry beans, going for the canned variety instead. While I plan dinners ahead of time each week, I rarely decide a given evening’s more than a few hours in advance. Soaking beans overnight requires more planning than the average Al Dente meal receives.
So, canned it is. Except when it isn’t. One of the things that stood out to me in Merrill Stubbs’ recipe at Food52 was the rapid soak-and-cook method of handling the beans. It worked…sort of.
I was a little disappointed that the beans weren’t softer, even after soaking them before boiling. In total, I soaked the beans for two hours, boiled them then let them sit for another hour. They were still a little too hard. Continue reading Meatless Monday: Brothy, Garlicky Beans
One of the underlying themes of the movie Goodfellas (and Wiseguy, the book it was based on) was Henry Hill constantly succumbing to his temptations. Joining the mob. Racketeering. Gambling. Stealing. Drugs. And women. Oh, the women. Among them was Debi Mazar who played Sandy, the steely-eyed brunette that was one of Henry’s girlfriends. She was arrested during the final scenes of the movie as an accomplice in his drug ring.
Debi Mazar was one of the faces you didn’t forget in a movie full of memorable faces and “that guy” actors and actresses. Admittedly, I didn’t really follow her post-Goodfellas career, though I was surprised to hear a few years ago that she hosted a cooking show, Extra Virgin, with her husband, Gabriele Corcos. Usually when actresses take to cooking, you get atrocities like Gwyneth Paltrow, but here was Mazar and Corcos presenting recipes that were both attainable and looked good. Continue reading Meatless Monday: Pici All’Aglione
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
If I were to look back at my childhood and make a list of the reasons why I was overweight, the regular consumption of pasta would be in the top five. I make pasta once a week here at Al Dente HQ. Macaroni, frozen or boxed, was the basis of at least two meals a week as a kid, and may have been found in soups or other dishes that popped up during the same seven-day span.
I have cut pasta out of my diet totally in the past (namely during The Weight Loss Story), but it makes it very tough to feed The Wife and me. Plus, I like pasta. Continue reading Wednesday Dinner: Pasta With Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts, and Parmesan
Melissa Hebert Meola, Martha Stewart accolyte and author of the Domestic Putterings blog, posted this to her Pinterest wall “Feed Yourself Why Not” last week. In my search for dinner ideas, I came across it and repinned it to my Pinterest wall “Things I Want To Cook.” Pinterest is fascinating to me, especially as the only heterosexual, naturally-born male in America that actively uses it. It’s a fantastic driver of traffic to Al Dente, and I’m grateful for that. It has led to more dinners featured on this blog than I can count.
It’s also everything I hate about people. Continue reading Tuesday Dinner: Tomato and Sausage Risotto (or Why I Hate Pinterest)
Technically, this recipe is called “Angel Hair Pasta with Shallots, Garlic, Broccoli & Lemon,” but I really can’t stand unnecessarily long titles. The author’s original title listed half of the ingredients, which seems excessive until you consider that all of the items in the title lend a distinct flavor or characteristic to the final product.
The shallot and garlic complement one another, adding a subtle sharpness and the solid foundation. The lemon brings an acidic profile to offset the fat within the olive oil. And the broccoli, well, the broccoli brings everything else: nutrients, flavor, sustenance, texture, color, etc.
All things considered, this recipe was fine though I’m more partial to the previous pasta and broccoli recipes I have published here.
Continue reading Meatless Monday: Angel Hair with Shallots and Broccoli
So, here’s the thing with my Christmas roast: it didn’t produce enough drippings to construct a gravy. All it really did was make a bunch of grease to burn on to the pan.
I was confident that roast would be moist, rendering a gravy or sauce unnecessary. But, people like something that they can ladle over roast beef. It’s habit and who am I to interrupt such a practice? Not wanting a traditional thick beef gravy and with a bunch of shallots in the house, I thought I would look for something else. Enter Gordon Ramsay’s shallot and red wine sauce.
Shallot and Red Wine Sauce
By Gordon Ramsay via BBC GoodFood (adapted and measures converted from metric)
- 8 oz. shallots, sliced
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
- sprig rosemary
- 5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 13 oz. red wine
- 13 oz. beef stock or brown chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 tbsp. butter
Heat oil in a medium saucepan until it shimmers. Add the shallots and cook until lightly browned and soft, 3 minutes. Season with ground black pepper and add the garlic and rosemary. Cook 3 more minutes, stirring to prevent the shallots from burning.
Add the vinegar and cook until it has a syrup consistency. Add the wine and reduce by two-thirds.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by two-thirds. Remove the garlic and rosemary, add a pinch of salt to taste and whisk in the butter.