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Steak and Sauce: An Iconic Duo Sure to Impress

We are all familiar with iconic pairings such as peanut butter and jelly, gin and tonic, movies and popcorn, football and beer, to suggest just a sampling. But few duos impress like steak and sauce, am I right? Well this Seared Skirt Steak with Garlicky Tequila-Lime Salsa Verde recipe will surely win you over if you harbor any doubt at all.

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No grill required. Here, a sautéed steak is drizzled with an elegant pan sauce made from basic pantry ingredients that comes together in about a half hour or less. The dressy preparation demands remarkably little effort on your part.

The warm butter sauce riffs on both a familiar marinade and the ubiquitous Central American green salsa. It is a lot of butter, I agree, so if that bothers you, just be judicious on the amount you allow yourself—because it is sooo worth it; and your steak is a sponge for the intense flavors of the sauce.

Skirt steak—cherished in cuisines around the globe—is a long, thin cut from the beef plate between the brisket and flank. It is best prepared with high heat and quick cooking to preserve the chewy texture and ensure it stays as tender as possible. To maximize tenderness, slice the steak against its clearly defined grain.

If you liked this recipe, Fine Cooking has several more to pair with skirt steak. Chances are, I will be posting some of these in the near future:

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Seared Skirt Steak with Garlicky Tequila-Lime Salsa Verde

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 lb. skirt steak, trimmed of excess fatty patches, cut into 4 even pieces, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium jalapeño, cored, seeded, and finely diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white tequila
  • 4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, soaked, thoroughly dried, and coarsely chopped (about 2 lightly packed cups); more chopped for garnish
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Directions

  1. Pat the steak dry, and season with 1-1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
  2. Put a large, heavy-based stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat for 1-1/2 minutes (it’s ready when a droplet of water instantly evaporates upon hitting the surface). Add 2 Tbs. of the oil. Once it’s shimmering hot, about 30 seconds, carefully add the steaks, evenly spaced. (We needed to do this in 2 batches because all 4 steaks would not fit in the pan at once.)
  3. Cook the steaks, undisturbed, until brown around the edges and a corner easily pulls up when lifted with tongs, about 3 minutes.
  4. Flip and cook the other side until medium rare, 2 to 3 minutes more; if checked with an instant-read thermometer, a thicker piece will register 130°F to 140°F and the steak will be bright pink when sliced.
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  5. Transfer to a cutting board, and tent with foil. Rest for at least 10 minutes while you make the sauce.
  6. Return the skillet to the stovetop, and lower the heat to medium. Add the bell pepper, jalapeño, and remaining 1 Tbs. of the oil, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until the peppers soften, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
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  8. Raise the heat to high, and carefully add the tequila. Using a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, cook until the tequila almost completely evaporates, about 2 minutes.
  9. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, accumulated meat juices, then the lime juice, and then the cilantro, and whisk until the butter melts. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper.
     

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  10. Spoon the sauce over the steak, garnish with more chopped cilantro, and serve immediately.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

By Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking

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Non Solo Pasta

Notta justa pasta place… Non Solo Pasta (NSP), nestled into a tiny, unassuming strip mall off a major road in Morrisville, PA, this fabulous Italian restaurant has been around for decades. Although it’s not BYO, a preferred option for us, they have a full-scale bar with a long list of available wines by the glass or bottle.

Back in the early 90’s, when there weren’t a plethora of dining options close by our Yardley home, NSP was one place my Ex, neighbors and boating friends often frequented. Then for some unexplained reason, I hadn’t patronized the place in years until my friend Jeremy mentioned going there for dinner after an art opening. Bingo, great idea!

There are no shortage of Italian restaurants in our surrounding area, but having frequented most of them many times over, it was 9 months since we had dinner at NSP after that previously mentioned art opening. When trying to think of where to dine one Friday night, it popped into Russ’s noggin’, so reservations we made.

On this visit, while not packed to the gills, a good two-thirds of the tables were already taken, with what sounded like mostly regulars. Once seated we were quickly given three menus, one of Specials, another with their regular offerings, and a large booklet of drink selections. With so many tempting choices, it took us some time for reflection, so while we pondered our options, the waitress brought us water and a basket of warm crusty rolls. Instead of using the prepackaged pats of butter, we asked for, and received, a dish of EVOO with herbs and red pepper flakes for dipping.

All entrées come with a choice of soup or salad, and both times everyone ordered the side salad with baby spinach, crisp greens, cucumber slices and grape tomatoes. Our after-the-art-opening dining choices with friend Jeremy are pictured below, followed by the second visit meal selections.

garden salad

bolognese biancaBolognese Bianca with peas over pappardelle.

itlaian wedding soup
Italian Wedding Soup

portobello appPortobello Mushroom appetizer.

raviolacciRaviolacci—Homemade ravioli filled with short ribs, sautéed mushrooms and red peppers with a parmigiano, brown butter and sage sauce.

On yet another visit with just the two of us, we first selected a bottle of wine, then we ordered the Long Hots with garlic and provolone as an appetizer. The cheese portion was unusually large (although doesn’t appear so in this photo), and we each tore off some bread chunks, dragged them through the olive oil and topped with a slice of pepper and cheese, perfecto!

Because the portions are more than ample, we both took doggie bags home, and couldn’t even fathom the idea of dessert, although based on what other diners were consuming, the desserts looked very good indeed. Non Solo Pasta will definitely go back into our rotation of Italian eating establishments.

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Roasted Long Hots with garlic and sharp provolone.

chicken.sausage.cacciatore
Chicken and Sausage Cacciatore
with peppers, onions, herbs, in a light marinara, accompanied by the best side of potatoes I think I’ve ever eaten!

lamb.filettips.bologneseLamb & Filet Tips Bolognese—Meat sauce with hints of a full-bodied red wine, Mutti Pomodoro over pappardelle.

We made it back again, coincidentally, after another art opening in which me and my friend Jeremy both had pieces in the exhibit. Luckily we had made an advanced reservation for 5, because the place was packed and we still had to wait for a table.

By this time, we knew that whatever we ordered, it was going to be good. The problem is trying to narrow down our choices from the regular and Specials menus. But with a bottle of red ordered, we got down to the business of choosing.

Positano—A seafood option from the regular menu, was chockfull of colossal lump crab meat with a choice of a light marina or white garlic sauce. Three of us opted for this entrée, one with penne, two over linguine, all with the marina topping.

Bronzino MediterraneoBronzino Mediterraneo—A grilled filet of Branzino accompanied by sautéed spinach and perfectly cooked asparagus in a Mediterranean Citronette was a special that night.

Veal NapoletanoVeal Napoletano—Pan sautéed veal in a San Marzano sauce with garlic, kalamata olives and capers also hailed from the regular dinner menu.

If you live or work in the area, Non Solo Pasta is a sure bet when it comes to real good Italian food. You may just want to make a reservation ahead of time…

Grilled Chicken Slouvaki

This flavor-packed dish will appeal to the Mediterranean diet-followers, white meat chicken lovers, healthy food eaters, or just those who appreciate a good home meal. Chicken Souvlaki is almost always made with chunks of boneless skinless breasts, which have a marked tendency to dry out when grilled. This is prevented by swapping the traditional overnight soak in an acidic marinade for a quick 30-minute brine while the grill heats.

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The chunks of chicken get tossed in a flavorful mixture of lemon, olive oil, herbs, and honey right before grilling. To prevent the end pieces from overcooking, they are protected by threading red pepper pieces on the ends. Once cooked, the chicken is tossed with reserved sauce to ensure that the exterior is nicely flavored and just as tender and moist as the interior while delivering a bright citrus punch.

Found on Cook’s Illustrated, I roughly adapted the recipe to suit our cooking needs. First, for more assertive flavor, I increased the amount of garlic in the tzatziki sauce from 1 small clove to 2 large (I mean, really?). I also introduced a red bell pepper for another pop of color and to protect the end pieces of the chicken. But most importantly, the veggies usually take longer to cook than the meat, so I threaded them on different skewers as opposed to altogether.

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Grilled Chicken Slouvaki

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 large garlic clove, minced to paste (A garlic press makes quick work of turning the garlic into a paste.)
  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and diced fine (1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • ⅜ teaspoon salt

Chicken

  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 ½ -inch chunks
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest plus 1/4 cup juice (2 lemons)
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, quartered, each quarter cut into 4 chunks (16 pieces total)
  • ¾ red bell pepper, quartered lengthwise, 3 of the 4 slices cut into 2 chunks each (6 pieces total). Reserve the remaining slice for another use.
  • 1 small red onion, ends trimmed, peeled, halved lengthwise, each half cut into 4 chunks (8 pieces total)
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  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Steamed rice (preferably in chicken homemade stock instead of water)
  • 5 metal skewers

Directions

  1. FOR THE TZATZIKI SAUCE: Whisk lemon juice and garlic together in small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in yogurt, cucumber, mint, parsley, and salt. Cover and set aside.
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  2. FOR THE CHICKEN: Dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in 1 quart cold water. Submerge chicken in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
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  3. While chicken is brining, combine oil, parsley, lemon zest and juice, honey, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup oil mixture to large bowl and set aside to toss with cooked chicken.
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  4. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Toss chicken with remaining oil mixture. (Make sure to reserve a 1/4 cup of the mixture.)
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  5. Thread 1 piece of red bell pepper, concave side up, onto one 12-inch metal skewer. Thread one-third of chicken onto skewer. End with one more red bell pepper piece. Repeat on two more skewers.
  6. Thread the red onion pieces on the fourth skewer; and the green bell pieces on the final skewer. Spray each skewer of veggies on all sides with cooking spray.
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  7. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn other burner(s) to low.
  8. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place two veggie skewers on hot side of grill, turning a few times until charred on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Close lid between turns. Move skewers to low heat side of grill.
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  9. Place chicken skewers on hotter side of grill and cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is well-browned on all sides and meat registers 160 degrees, 8 to 10 minutes. Close lid between turns.
     

  10. Using fork, push chicken and vegetables off skewers into bowl of reserved oil mixture. Stir gently, breaking up onion chunks; cover with foil and let sit for 5 minutes.
     

  11. Divide rice among 4 plates. Place chicken and veggies over the rice and serve with tzatziki sauce.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Roughly adapted from a recipe by Cook’s Illustrated

Perfection Does Exist

OMG, this Sichuan Stir-Fried Pork in Garlic Sauce immediately garnered a spot on the short list, the VERY SHORT list! We came across the recipe on Cook’s Illustrated website and knew immediately we wanted to dine on this deliciousness. Now I know the prep is a bit time consuming and uses quite a few bowls for a weeknight meal, but it is SO worth it!

To re-create the succulent pork found in the best restaurant stir-fries (usually achieved by low-temperature deep frying), the pork is soaked in a baking soda solution, which tenderizes and moisturizes the meat, and then it’s coated it in a velvetizing cornstarch slurry, which helps it retain moisture as it cooks. And the secret to the sauce’s silken texture and rich flavor? Ketchup (not kidding) and fish sauce, both high in glutamates.

Meat soaked in a solution of baking soda and water? I admit it sounds pretty unappetizing, but there’s a good reason for it. Fact is, alkaline baking soda makes the meat more tender by raising its pH. According to Cook’s Illustrated, the tenderizing effect is twofold: First, as the meat’s fibers break down, its texture softens. Second, since the meat’s looser consistency retains water better, it’s less likely to contract and expel moisture when heated, ensuring that the meat stays juicy throughout.

Ingredient Notes: If Chinese black vinegar is unavailable, substitute 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar. If Asian broad-bean chili paste is unavailable, substitute 2 teaspoons of Asian chili-garlic paste or Sriracha sauce. Pork loin, the usual stir-fry choice, is lean and dry. Instead, use boneless country-style spareribs, which are fattier (they’re cut from the blade end of the loin) and more tender.

Serve with steamed white rice. The original recipe indicates it serves 4-6 people. We beg to differ. We only got 3 decent size portions, so keep that in mind when making.

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Sichuan Stir-Fried Pork with Garlic Sauce

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

Sauce

  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 tsp. Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tsp. ketchup
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

Pork

  • 12 ounces boneless country-style pork ribs, trimmed
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 2 tsp. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

Stir-Fry

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 scallions, white parts minced, green parts sliced thin
  • 2 Tbsp. Asian broad-bean chili paste
  • 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thin
  • 2 celery ribs, cut on bias into 1/4-inch slices

Directions

  1. FOR THE SAUCE: Whisk all ingredients together in bowl; set aside.
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  2. FOR THE PORK: Cut pork into 2-inch lengths, then cut each length into 1/4-inch matchsticks. Combine pork with baking soda and water in bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
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  3. Rinse pork in cold water. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels. Whisk rice wine and cornstarch in bowl. Add pork and toss to coat.
  4. FOR THE STIR-FRY: Combine garlic, scallion whites, and chili paste in bowl.
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  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large wok over high heat until just smoking. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 2 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add celery and continue to cook until celery is crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer vegetables to separate bowl.
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  7. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to now-empty wok and place over medium-low heat. Add garlic-scallion mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer 1 tablespoon garlic-scallion oil to small bowl and set aside.
  8. Add pork to wok and cook, stirring frequently, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
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  9. Whisk sauce mixture to recombine and add to wok. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and pork is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes.
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  10. Return vegetables to wok and toss to combine. Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with scallion greens and reserved garlic-scallion oil, and serve.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

 

Simple, Tasty, Grilled Chicken Kebabs

Marinating chicken pieces in a tangy blend of yogurt, olive oil, garlic, and herbs tenderizes the poultry and adds valuable flavor—as long as the chicken only marinates for 3 to 6 hours. Don’t skimp on the marinating time though; any less than 3 hours and the chicken won’t be as flavorful or tender. Conversely, marinating for more than 6 hours will make the chicken mushy—also not a desired outcome.

To help prevent the kebabs from sticking to the grill (even when you oil the grates), spray them with a neutral oil just before placing them on the grill. Yes, you can use chicken breasts instead of thighs, however the white meat tends to dry out quicker and is not as juicy or full of flavor.

For the vegetable component of the meal, we also grilled a marinated medley of mixed vegetables with garlic cloves and fresh rosemary in a good extra virgin olive oil for several hours. In this instance, we used a red bell pepper, cremini mushrooms, red onion, baby eggplant, summer squash and zucchini all cut into bite-sized pieces.

Place the veggies in a grill basket, turning every so often for about 20 minutes over medium heat until slightly softened and charred here and there. We also included a side of Spanish Potatoes with Olive Oil which I blogged about recently. They were so good, we wanted to impress our guest, who BTW, was duly impressed!

Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. roasted garlic paste OR 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into approximately 2-inch pieces
  • Vegetable oil (for grates); spray oil (for kebabs)

Directions

  1. Whisk yogurt, olive oil, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, and cayenne in large bowl. Stir in chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 to 6 hours.
     

  2. Remove chicken from yogurt marinade; discard marinade. Divvy up the chicken and thread each skewer with even amounts of meat. You will have to fold over pieces so that nothing hangs down.
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  3. Preheat the grill for 10-15 minutes until very hot. Brush the grates with vegetable oil. Mist the kebabs with a neutral cooking spray.
  4. Grill the skewers over high heat until chicken is charred around edges on all four sides and cooked through, about ?? minutes total.
     

  5. Transfer to platter and serve immediately with your choice of sides.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a similar recipe from Cook’s Country

“Nice Cream”—A Guilt-Free Dessert

Looking for a new, healthier way to get a sweet fix? Well the Yonanas dessert maker could be just the thing for you! It is a product that is sold by Dole, and is advertised as a way to use bananas (as a base) and other frozen fruit to create healthy ice cream, also cleverly known as “nice cream.”

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We recently hosted a (almost) vegan dinner for some friends and they brought along this machine to make dessert. Knowing ahead of time, we were prepared with enough frozen fruit: strawberries, blueberries, and of course, ripe bananas, all of which we keep on hand for smoothies.

IMG_4865Russ and Lisa watch David insert the fruit. Lisa said one of her favorite ingredients is frozen cherries.

The idea is that you can freeze all of your uneaten fruit before it goes bad and use it to make a healthy dessert later. Think of it as a frozen fruit smoothie, without all of the other stuff. In the recipe book that comes with the machine, it also says that you can put room temperature nut butter or chocolate into the mix. (I think chunks of dark chocolate would be the bomb!)

You can either freeze fresh fruit yourself or buy the bags of frozen fruit from the store. However, for the bananas, which provide a creamier product, it’s recommended that you ripen them at home until they have reached the desired phase—you know, when they have lots of brown spots on them and are soft to the touch.

IMG_4859Above, the machine is assembled and ready for action. Below is a video showing the Yonanas in use.

 

Some debatable cons, there are still random chunks of frozen fruit at the end (not sure why that’s a bad thing?); and you have to put in quite a bit of frozen fruit to get the machine to mix the product. On the plus side, it is very easy to clean and use, and the end product resembles ice cream in both taste and texture.

IMG_4868Dessert is ready to serve with a side of gluten-free chocolate wafers.

Delicious, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dairy- and Gluten-Free. Maybe you need to get this on your upcoming holiday wish list?

Obsessed with this Chicken and Green Bean Stir-Fry

All summer long we’ve enjoyed a pretty substantial haul of green beans from our garden. Using them in a variety of ways (including giving them away), one of my faves is this Chicken and Green Bean Stir-Fry recipe that highlights the veggie, instead of relegating it to a back seat. With relatively few main ingredients, and a handful of flavoring elements, this dinner comes together in no time.

Did you know green beans don’t count in the “beans and peas” category in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans? In fact, the difference between a legume and a bean is that a legume is a class of vegetables that includes beans. Although beans are always legumes, not all legumes are beans. Confusing? Who really cares, unless of course you have some dietary restriction that prohibits you from eating them…

Now back to the recipe… Shaoxing wine, a Chinese fermented rice wine, is the secret sauce that makes this recipe sing. It’s pretty easy to find at Asian markets, but don’t confuse it with rice vinegar! If you see bottles labeled “rice cooking wine” without the Shaoxing designation, they will work too. While you can substitute dry sherry, keep in mind, nothing else achieves quite the same flavor.

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When making a stir-fry, it’s essential that you prep everything ahead of time because once you start cooking, there’s precious little time to do anything but flip the spatula around. And it’s always a good idea to have your vent system going full blast as a stir-fry emits a lot of smoke. (When we first moved into this house, we didn’t have a good hooded vent system over the stovetop and we use to set off the fire alarm every time we stir-fried!)

If the slices of ginger are too large for your taste, go ahead and chop them down to your preference—we happen to like the larger discs. For the garni, I used both chopped roasted cashews and some scallion greens that I saved and sliced into thin rounds just for that purpose.

Oh, and the stir-fry makes for fabulous leftovers the next day if you happen to have any remaining…

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Chicken and Green Bean Stir-Fry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1.75 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, thinly sliced across the grain into bite-size strips
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, (more for a slurry if necessary)
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, (more if desired)
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 8 scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 12 oz. green beans, trimmed, halved crosswise (about 4 cups)
  • Steamed white rice, chopped toasted cashews or peanuts, sesame seeds, and/or thinly sliced fresh chiles (for serving; optional)
  • 2 cups cooked jasmine rice, made according to package directions, preferably with homemade chicken stock

Directions

  1. Make steamed rice according to package directions but use chicken stock (preferably homemade) in place of water.
  2. Toss chicken, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt, and 1½ Tbsp. soy sauce in a medium bowl.
  3. Stir vinegar, wine, and remaining 2½ Tbsp. soy sauce in a small bowl. Have all your other ingredients prepped and ready to go (once you start cooking, there isn’t a stopping point and you’ll need them handy).
  4. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large wok over high heat. When oil is shimmering and slides quickly around the surface of the pan, add scallions and ginger and cook, tossing, until scallions are browned and softened, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add green beans, another 1 Tbsp. of oil and a pinch of salt and cook, tossing often, until green beans are crisp-tender, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer green bean mixture to a medium bowl.
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  6. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in same wok over high. When oil is shimmering again, add chicken mixture and arrange slices in a single layer in skillet. Cook, undisturbed, until chicken is browned and caramelized on first side, about 1-2 minutes.
  7. Toss and continue to cook until meat is no longer pink and cooked through, about a minute or two longer.
  8. Pour in wine mixture and green bean mixture and cook, tossing briskly, until sauce is thickened and all ingredients are coated, about 30 seconds. (If sauce hasn’t thickened, make a small amount of corn starch slurry and stir in.) Remove from heat and taste, then season with more salt, if desired.
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  9. Divide steamed rice among plates, serve stir-fry over rice, and sprinkle with desired toppings.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Roughly adapted from a recipe by Claire Saffitz from bon appétit

Loaded Nachos, Harboring a Hankering

Nachos are a quintessential party food for Superbowl Sunday—although one could probably give equal billing to hot wings and chili—but, to stay on point… Of course, this unofficial American holiday only happens once annually, but this party favorite can be served anytime of year for any number of reasons, or just because you are harboring a hankering! How about during this Sunday’s football game?

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Layering is the key to loaded nacho perfection. Although I must confess I couldn’t get on board with cooking the lettuce and avocado in the layers. So these ingredients went on top AFTER the nachos were cooked. (Many of the reviewers agreed with my stance on this issue.) And the tomatoes, which were supposed to be only a topping, were assimilated into all layers. The directions below are as written in the NYTimes, but it’s up to you how to assemble the goodies.

It seemed strange to add sliced radishes, but Russ assured me that they are traditional in Mexican cooking. Since bacon doesn’t sit well with me, we eliminated it (heresy to some!) and sautéed the onion in olive oil instead. And we like the color and taste of black olives, so slices of those were incorporated into the layers. Finally, our pantry produced dried ancho chiles—but no powder—so we ground up two anchos in a mini-blender to make the powder.

Nothing less than loaded nachos will do — the cheese and chips accompanied by a fragrant meat sauce, the fire of jalapeños, the chill and silkiness of sour cream, the tart excellence of a good tomato, decent shredded lettuce, thin-sliced radishes. Here is avocado; there, the awesome funk of chopped cilantro…
~Sam Sifton, NYTimes food author

Did we like them? Mucho grande! But despite a valiant attempt we could not finish them, even though it was our main meal of the day.

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Prepping the ingredients.

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Starting to brown the meat and onions.

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Combining all of the spices to add to the cooked meat.

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The meat mixture getting happy mixing with the spice combination.

Loaded Nachos

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ pound slab or thick-cut bacon, diced (optional)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef, like chuck or sirloin
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, hot or mild
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ to ⅔ cup chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium, or water
  • 1 12- to-16-ounce bag corn tortilla chips
  • ½ head iceberg or romaine lettuce, shredded
  • ½ cup pickled jalapeños
  • 2 avocados, pitted and sliced
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  • 3 radishes, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 limes, cut into eighths, for garnish
  • Hot sauce, if desired

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Assembling layer one on a rimmed baking sheet.

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All three layers are now complete.

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The nachos fresh out of the oven before the toppings are added.

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Toppings included fresh avocado, shredded lettuce, cilantro, dollops of sour cream, and thinly sliced radishes.

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put a large sauté pan with high sides over medium-high heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the pieces are crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes, then remove the bacon and set aside.
  2. Add the onions to the bacon fat and sauté, stirring occasionally, until they have softened and started to go brown around the edges, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and garlic and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chile powder, cumin, salt, paprika, black pepper, sugar, cornstarch and red pepper flakes and stir to combine and toast the spices. Add enough chicken stock or water to loosen the mixture, and allow it to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. (Add a little more stock or water if mixture is too thick.)
  4. Assemble the nachos on a half sheet pan: Put a layer of tortilla chips on the pan and cover with about 1/3 of the meat sauce, then add 1/3 of the jalapeños, about 1/3 of the lettuce, some avocado slices (or add these last two ingredients after cooking) and a handful of the Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses.
  5. Top with more tortilla chips, more meat sauce, more lettuce, jalapeños, avocado and cheese, then make a final layer of chips, meat, bacon, jalapeños, avocado and cheese. Top with crumbled Cotija cheese and slide the sheet pan into the oven to bake until the cheeses have melted through, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Top cooked nachos with the sliced radishes and tomatoes, and dot the tray with teaspoons of sour cream. Scatter the cilantro over the top and serve, accompanied by limes and hot sauce.

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Something tells me we won’t be waiting around for the next Superbowl before we make these bad boys again!

Portuguese Pica Pau

Pica pau (which translates as “woodpecker” in Portuguese), is a dish eaten with toothpicks and served as an appetizer or small plate with crusty bread and cold beer as accompaniments. This version of Portuguese-Style Beef with Pickled Onions and Olives uses strip steaks because of their meaty flavor and tender texture and they’re served on a bed of vinegar-marinated red onions and olives to balance the beef’s richness—as such, it’s more of an entrée.

Oddly, pickled cauliflower and carrots are often, but not always, included. And believe me, I think it would be overkill. We served ours over plain, steamed cauliflower because there were so many bold flavors already. Based on that thinking, we also did not make the Piri-Piri oil (recipe below).

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Plus I believe our jalapeño was actually a habañero in disguise as it was sooo hot! We often tend to consume both types of chilis, but this rather large jalapeño’s heat took us by surprise. A word to the wise, you may want to seed (added that to the directions) and devein the chili before slicing it into rounds to temper down some of that heat.

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In Step 4, I did not wipe out the pan, why get rid of those flavor-packed browned bits?? The wine in Step 5 will deglaze the pan and incorporate those luscious bits. Speaking of the wine, when measuring during prep, toss in the bay leaves to draw out some of that earthy goodness.

Portuguese-Style Beef with Pickled Onion and Olives

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 12- to 14-ounce beef strip steaks, each about 1 inch thick, trimmed of fat and gristle, patted dry
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup (good) sherry vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, finely grated (I used a garlic press)
  • 1 jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into thin rounds
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter, cut into 2 pieces and chilled
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Piri-piri oil, to serve (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together 2 teaspoons each salt and pepper. Season both sides of each steak with the mixture, rubbing it into the meat. Set aside.
    IMG_4639
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the onion, olives, vinegar and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Let the steaks and onion mixture stand for 30 minutes, stirring the onion mixture once halfway through.
    IMG_4638
  3. In a nonstick 10-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until barely smoking. Add the steaks and cook without disturbing until well browned on the bottoms, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until well browned on the second sides and the centers reach 120°F (for medium-rare), another 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.
     

  4. Pour off and discard the fat from the skillet, then wipe out the pan. (I did not wipe the pan as I wanted to incorporate the browned bits, plus there was very little discernable fat.) Set over medium-high and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the garlic and chili. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    IMG_4649
  5. Add the wine and bay, then bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 2 to 4 minutes. Off heat, stir in the butter until melted.
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  6. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board. Cut each steak lengthwise into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into ½-inch pieces.
  7. Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Add the parsley and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
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  8. Drain off and discard the liquid from the onion mixture and transfer to a platter. Pour the steak mixture over the onions, then drizzle with piri-piri oil, if using. Discard bay leaves.
    img_4655.jpeg

Piri-Piri Oil

Milk Street’s offers this version of the spicy, herbal piri-piri oil, a condiment on nearly every restaurant table in Lisbon. Instead of hard-to-find piri-piri chilies, use árbol chilies. To get the right heat level and color, coarsely grind half of them and simply break the rest by hand. Store the oil in a tightly sealed container for up to one month. If you like, the recipe can be halved. If you can’t find árbol, substitute with 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes and 2 teaspoons sweet paprika.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup árbol chilies, stemmed and broken in half
  • 2 cups sunflower oil
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 8 bay leaves, broken into small pieces
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano

Directions

  1. Place half of the chilies in a spice grinder and pulse until coarsely ground, about 10 pulses.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the ground chilies and the remaining halved chilies. Add the oil, garlic, bay and rosemary. Heat over low, stirring occasionally, until the mixture registers 275°F, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Off heat, stir in the oregano. Cool to room temperature. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl, then transfer to a clean jar and seal tightly.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipes adapted from Diane Unger of 177MilkStreet.com

 

No Meat, No Problem

Tofu and Summer Veg Curry is a perfect way to savor some summer vegetables and transport them to bright and cozy comfort. This quick vegetarian curry from Heidi Swanson, the vegetarian cookbook author and blogger behind 101 Cookbooks, is a great way to use a bounty of eggplant, summer squash and green beans.

Maddeningly, the supermarket was not carrying Japanese eggplant at the time I went food shopping, so I used Italian, which still had a great finish. I was rather surprised at the low amount of moisture in the dish, considering that the recipe didn’t call for sweating the zucchini and eggplant beforehand—which saved a lot of time.

A third-cup of red curry paste may seem like overload, but the dish was not very spicy in our humble opinion. If anything, The Hubster and I both thought it could have been MORE spicy. You can eat it as is, but we agreed that it definitely needed to be ladled over some sort of noodle or rice—in our case, it was rice noodles.

FYI—I eliminated the 1/2 cup water to form a richer broth. If you want it back in, it was in Step 5 with the coconut milk.

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Tofu and Summer Veg Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 14-oz. package firm or extra-firm tofu, patted dry, cut into ½” cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup red curry paste
  • 2 large zucchini, cut into ½” pieces
  • 1 large or 2 small Japanese eggplant, cut into ½” pieces
  • 8 oz. green beans, trimmed, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 13.5-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
  • Lime wedges, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and coarsely chopped salted, roasted peanuts (for garnish)
  • Rice noodles

Directions

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high. Add tofu in a single layer and cook, turning over once, until cooked sides are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season with kosher salt.
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  2. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large pot or high-sided skillet over medium-high. Add onions and a generous pinch of salt and stir to coat. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in curry paste and cook, stirring often, until darkened in color, about 2 minutes.
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  4. Add zucchini, eggplant, and green beans and cook, tossing to coat, until vegetables are softened and starting to brown in spots, 5–7 minutes.
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  5. Pour in coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add tofu to pot and stir gently to combine. Cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Season with more salt if needed.
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  7. Meanwhile, make rice noodles according to package directions.
  8. Divide rice noodles among bowls, ladle curry over noodles, and add a generous squeeze of lime juice to each. Top with cilantro and peanuts.IMG_4602

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Rum-Glazed Pork Skewers with Coconut Rice, Yah Mon

There was a period of about 10-12 years that we annually visited some Caribbean island, or the Riviera Maya, during the long Winter months to ease that bleak period of time between the holidays and the start of Spring. And those fond memories include some of the best food. The flavors in this Rum-Glazed Pork Skewers with Coconut Rice recipe remind me of those blissful days.

Here, a Caribbean-accented spice rub and glaze boost the flavor of quick-cooking pork tenderloin pieces which are quickly grilled with fresh bell pepper and red onion. Rice cooked with coconut milk and a sprinkle of lime zest add to the tropical feel of the dish.

To amp up the nutrients and provide an additional splash of color, we served ours with a side of rainbow chard sautéed in olive oil and roasted garlic. Go ahead, dive into the Caribbean flavors…

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Rum-Glazed Pork Skewers with Coconut Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 3/4 cup well-shaken unsweetened coconut milk
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup dark rum
  • 3 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 medium limes, finely grated to yield 1 tsp. zest and squeezed to yield 1/4 cup juice
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil; more for grill grates
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1- to 1-1/4-lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Lime wedges for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Melt 1 Tbs. of the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir until well coated.
  2. Add the coconut milk, 1-1/2 cups water, and 3/4 tsp. salt; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, cover, and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the rum, brown sugar, 2 Tbs. of the lime juice, and the remaining 2 Tbs. butter in a 1-quart saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until syrupy, about 5 minutes (this took me more like 12 minutes). Stir in 1/8 tsp. salt and remove from the heat.
     

  4. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice with the oil, allspice, cayenne, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Add the pork and toss to coat.
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  5. Thread the pork, bell pepper, and onions onto four 12-inch metal skewers, alternating the meat and vegetables.
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  6. Prepare a medium-high (400°F) gas or charcoal grill fire or heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Oil the grate or pan. Grill the skewers until seared on all sides, about 4 minutes total.
  7. Brush the skewers with the glaze and grill, turning occasionally, until the pork is browned on the outside but still slightly pink in the center, 2 to 4 minutes more.
    IMG_4730
  8. Add the zest to the rice and fluff. Brush the skewers with any additional glaze and serve with the rice and lime wedges, if you like.
    IMG_4736

http://www.lynnandruss.com

By Laraine Perri from Fine Cooking

Love At First Bite

Another roast chicken recipe?? You betcha! Peruvian-Style Roast Chicken with Potatoes is a really tasty, juicy and rather easy one at that. Yes, you do need to plan on some extra time with the prep because the bird needs to get happy in the rub for at least one hour, or up to overnight. But once it’s in the oven, most of the work is done. And OMG, those potatoes, among the best I’ve ever had, seriously!

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As I’ve come to learn, there are many variations on Peruvian-Style Roast Chicken, but the one thing they seem to have in common is a cumin- and paprika-spiced coating which gets added punch from an addictively tangy green sauce. Those crispy/creamy potatoes don’t suffer from a drizzle of that sauce either.

These directions have you cut only one side of the backbone, while I spatchcocked (removed backbone entirely) our chicken and added the back to our bag of “body parts” for making stock. And in lieu of the olive oil and grated garlic, I used a homemade concoction of our roasted garlic and EVOO and spread it all over the poultry before adding the spice mixture. Basically the same difference, it just saved me the step of grating garlic cloves.

Once that was done, I put into the fridge, covered with tinfoil, and let the mixture do its magic for 8 hours. If the aromas don’t having you swooning while dinner is roasting, just wait until you have your first taste—love at first bite.

Peruvian-Style Roast Chicken with Potatoes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp.sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 whole chicken, 4-5 lbs.
  • 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, 3 finely grated, 1 chopped
  • 2 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes (about 4)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cop mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Combine cumin, paprika, oregano, 1 Tbsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
  2. With kitchen shears, cut chicken along its backbone along one side; open like a book. (Or remove backbone entirely and save for a future use such as homemade stock.) Place on a rimmed baking sheet, breast-side up; press down flat.
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  3. Rub all over with 2 Tbsp. oil and grated garlic. Sprinkle with spice mixture. Let stand 1 hours (or refrigerate, covered for several hours or overnight).
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  4. In a sauce pan, cover potatoes with 2″ of water and bring to a boil; add a generous amount of salt. Boil until just tender, 11 to 13 minutes.
  5. Drain and immediately return to pan; toss with remaining 3 Tbsp. of oil and season with salt and pepper. (Potatoes will break apart slightly.)
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  6. Scatter potatoes around chicken on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until chicken is golden and a thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 160°, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and let rest while potatoes continue cooking.
  7. Flip potatoes and continue to roast until golden and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes more.
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  8. Meanwhile, purée cilantro, jalapeño, chopped garlic, mayonnaise, lime juice and 1 Tbsp. water. (If sauce is too thick, add more water 1 tsp. at a time.) Season with salt.
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  9. Carve chicken and serve with potatoes and cilantro sauce, garnished with cilantro leaves and lime wedges.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart Living

Summer Pasta Puttanesca

According to the NYTimes website, there are almost as many explanations for the origins of pasta puttanesca as there are ways to make it. Ostensibly a sauce invented and made by prostitutes, it was designed to lure customers with its powerful aroma. No need to patronize a bordello though, you can make this summer version in the confines of your own abode.

The basis is a garlicky tomato sauce which is brought to a high level of flavor by the addition of anchovies, capers and olives. Red pepper flakes make things even better. The whole process is ridiculously easy. Even if you’re not an anchovy fan, don’t omit them, they are a key component in the overall flavor profile.

Cook’s Illustrated’s version of fresh pasta puttanesca uses grape or cherry tomatoes, which are excellent in summer and among the best variety of tomato available year-round. To retain fresh tomato flavor, purée and drain them, after which their juices get cooked down briefly, while the pulp is added at the end of cooking.

I did make a few alterations. First and foremost, I reduced the amount of pasta by half, using only 8 ounces—we tend to prefer saucier finishes. In addition, I incorporated the mixed variety of grape tomatoes which resulted in a lighter colored sauce. Next, I increased the garlic and olives by about 50%; and added grated parmesan as a final topper. The dish was packed with flavor!

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Summer Pasta Puttanesca

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ pounds grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound campanelle pasta
  • Salt
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped coarse
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and minced
  • ½ cup minced fresh parsley
  • Grated parmesan for garnish, optional

Directions

  1. Combine oil, garlic, anchovy paste, pepper flakes, and oregano in bowl.
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  2. Process tomatoes in blender until finely chopped but not puréed, 15 to 45 seconds.
  3. Transfer to fine-mesh strainer set in large bowl and let drain for 5 minutes, occasionally pressing gently on solids with rubber spatula to extract liquid (this should yield about 3/4 cup). Reserve tomato liquid in bowl and tomato pulp in strainer.
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  4. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add campanelle and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain campanelle and return it to pot.
  5. While campanelle is cooking, cook garlic-anchovy mixture in 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant but not brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
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  6. Add tomato liquid and simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. (This step took nearly 8 minutes in my case.)
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  7. Add tomato pulp, olives, and capers; cook until just heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in parsley.
     

  8. Pour sauce over campanelle and toss to combine, adding reserved cooking water as needed to adjust consistency. Season with salt to taste; add grated parm if using. Serve immediately.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Grilled Garlic-Herb Shrimp, Yes Please!

Not much time on your hands and love shrimp? Look no further, this uncomplicated recipe goes from grill to table in only 5 minutes, plus a bit of prep time. And it’s wildly versatile in that you can serve the shrimp on the skewers with crusty bread and a vegetable side, over couscous, rice or lo mein noodles, or slide them off the skewers and add them to grain bowls or leafy green salads.

A simple purée of fresh herbs, garlic and olive oil does double duty in this recipe. It first coats the uncooked shrimp as a quick marinade. Then, with a splash of lemon juice stirred in, it’s drizzled on as a sauce after cooking—and, can be used as a topper for your sides.

Don’t forget to pat the shrimp dry before coating them with the herb purée; too much moisture will prevent it from clinging to them. If you don’t have any growing in your herb garden, one large bunch or “clamshell” container of tarragon should yield the amount of tarragon leaves needed for this recipe.  We served ours over tricolored couscous with a side salad.

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Grilled Garlic-Herb Shrimp

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1½ Lbs. jumbo shrimp (21/25 per pound), peeled, deveined and patted dry
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil
  • ⅓ cup lightly packed fresh tarragon
  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • 1½ tsp. grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Thread the shrimp onto eight 8- to 10-inch metal skewers, dividing them evenly; skewer each shrimp in a C shape, piercing through 2 points. Place the skewers on a rimmed baking sheet or in a large baking dish.
  2. In a blender, combine the basil, tarragon, garlic, lemon zest and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pulse until chopped. Scrape down the sides, add the oil and puree until bright green and almost smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl.
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  3. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney filled ¾ full of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute the coals evenly over the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents and the lid vent. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high and heat, covered, for 15 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate.
  4. In another small bowl, stir together ½ cup of the herb puree, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, then slather onto one side of the shrimp. Place on grill marinated side down, then slather top side with mixture.
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  5. Grill the skewers until the shrimp turn opaque and are lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the shrimp are just opaque, about another 2 to 3 minutes.
     

  6. Transfer the skewers to a serving platter. Stir the lemon juice into the remaining herb puree and drizzle over the shrimp.
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http://www.lynnandruss.com

Original recipe  

Hot Honey Butter Bath Corn

Fresh corn is just fabulous this year, so we’ve been on a streak with trying new recipes since early July. Recently we found this interesting Hot Honey Butter Bath Corn from thekitchn.com—with flavoring added right in with the water. It was an instant hit with dinner guests and paired perfectly with our BBQ of Carolina-Style Grilled Baby Back Ribs.

You might be appalled at using an entire stick of butter, but most of it gets left behind in the pot; plus it’s not necessary to put any more on the table for dredging purposes. I was somewhat dubious about the small amount of liquid used, it didn’t even cover all of the corn. To ensure every cob got bathed in all of the goodness, I moved them around every so often. In the end, they were perfect!

And since this was a laid-back affair, we simply put the entire pot right on the table with a set of tongs for guests to retrieve a cob or two as they pleased. No reason to stand on ceremony with this approach. Simple is, as simple gets.

corn bath

Hot Honey Butter Bath Corn

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: super easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ears corn, shucked and halved

Directions

  1. Add the water to a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add milk, butter, honey, red pepper flakes and salt.
  3. Carefully add corn and reduce the heat to medium. Boil the corn for 8 minutes.
  4. Use tongs to remove the corn from the butter bath and serve immediately.

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