The Missing Ingredient

A Food Blog

Baked Chicken with a Cream Sauce November 13, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,Uncategorized — xigumdrops @ 8:06 am
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Chicken with a cream sauce

This recipe was titled “Coq Au Vin, My Way.  I’m pretty sure that Coq Au Vin doesn’t have cheese or cream which probably makes this recipe better than a traditional one!  Replace the cream with milk for a lighter version.  My changes are in green.

Source: All Recipes.com

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 skinless chicken thighs

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset)

3 medium tomatoes, sliced

4 portobello mushrooms, sliced (omitted)

1 pinch salt (optional)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 sweet onion, chopped

1/3 cup Burgundy wine (Merlot)

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs, crushed garlic, and Italian seasoning. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides, then add the tomatoes and portobello mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Strain off about half of the liquid from the skillet, and pour in the Burgundy wine. Cover, and simmer for another 30 minutes. Remove the chicken, tomatoes and mushrooms to a 8 or 9 inch square baking dish. Cover with sliced onion, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring the liquid remaining in the skillet to the boiling point over medium-low heat. Gently whisk in the heavy cream and Gruyere cheese. Remove from the heat, and stir until smooth. If the sauce is not thick enough, whisk in the cornstarch, and simmer over very low heat until it thickens. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until onions are tender. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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Sage-Rubbed Pork Chops with Warm Apple Slaw November 2, 2009

Filed under: Apples,Pork,Uncategorized — xigumdrops @ 5:37 pm
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PorkChops with apple slaw

I’m not crazy about this picture since I didn’t get a very good browning on my pork chops.  Don’t worry about the apples being over-powering as they end up very savory.

Source: Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave

For the chops:
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
1 large clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon
Freshly ground black pepper
Four 3/4-inch-thick bone in pork loin chops (about 8 ounces each)
2 tablespoons olive oil (1 tablespoon)

For the slaw:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced into half-moons
1 large Granny Smith apple, cut in half, cored, and coarsely shredded
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and coarsely shredded (about 9 cups)
3 large carrots, coaresly shredded (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

  1. To make the chops, combine the sage, garlic, salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixuture all over the pork chops and let them sit at room temperature for 10 mibutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until good and hot. Add the chops and brown well on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a plate.
  3. To make the slaw, carefully wipe out the pan. Heat the oil over medium high heat and add the onion, apple, and sage. Cook, stirring a few times, until softened and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cabage, carrots, vinegar, and salt and continue cooking until the cabbage and carrots begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and return the pork chops to the pan, burying them in the vegetable mixture. Cover and cook just until the pork chops have just a slight blush in the center, 5 to 7 minutes longer.
  4. To serve, arrange the warm slaw on individual plates and top with a pork chop and some pan juices.
 

Strawberry Phyllo Harmony May 30, 2009

Filed under: Dessert,Strawberry,Uncategorized — xigumdrops @ 11:38 am
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Harmony Close up

I was inspired to make this dessert from a dish my husband and I love from Woo Lae Oak, a Korean BBQ restaurant in NY.  

8 layers phyllo dough, defrosted 

Non-stick butter flavored cooking spray

Sugar

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 pint strawberries, washed & sliced less than 1/4 inch thick

Low-fat strawberry ice cream, slightly softened  – look for cream/sugar as ingredients and not artificial stuff

Strawberry whipped cream:

1/2 cup whipping cream

4 teaspoons powdered sugar

3 strawberries, mashed

 

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lay out one sheet of phyllo dough on top of a large cutting board.  Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with 1 tsp. sugar.  Layer with another phyllo dough sheet, cooking spray and sugar, and repeat with all 8 layers.  Cut the dough into 16 pieces.  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.  Place one piece of the dough into half one of the wells and layer a second piece on the other half to create a bowl.  Brush butter into each muffin and around edges.  Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden.  Remove from pan and let cool completely.

2.  Whip cream and sugar to soft peaks.  Add berries and continue whipping until stiff peaks.  Refrigerate until you are ready to use.

3.  Scoop ice cream into the bottom of each phyllo bowl, add a layer of strawberries and top with whipped cream.  Serve with sliced strawberries immediately.  Serves 8.

Harmony Pan

 

Mock Risotto May 2, 2009

Filed under: Cheese,Pasta,Vegetarian — xigumdrops @ 11:55 am
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mock-risotto
I’m finally back! It’s been awhile as I’ve been super busy at work. This was an awesome alternative to labor-intensive risotto and a “light” recipe! It works well as a vegetarian main dish but I served it was simple baked chicken.

Source: eatingwell.com

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups instant brown rice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 cups vegetable or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese, plus more for passing
1/4 cup minced chives or scallion greens

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring often, until soft and just beginning to brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add rice and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Remove cover and spread asparagus and bell pepper on top of the simmering rice- – do not stir into the rice mixture. Replace cover and continue simmering, adjusting the heat if necessary, until the liquid is almost absorbed and the asparagus is bright green but still crisp, about 5 minutes.
3. Add peas and cream cheese; stir until the mixture if creamy and the cheese is incorporated. Return to a simmer and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and the asparagus is tender, abut 5 minutes more. Stir in 1/2 cup of Asiago cheese. Serve topped and chives/scallions and additional grated cheese.

 

Spanish-Style Brine & Rub for Pork Tenderloin with Maduros and Spicy Slaw January 13, 2009

spanish-pork

After brining our Thanksgiving turkey, I was hooked on the method.  This book includes several brining recipes for pork and I really wanted to give one a try.  This was fantastic!  If you love pork and intense flavor this recipe is for you!  Think Bobby Flay.   I just love Spanish flavors and this recipe really hits the mark.  I had 2 plantains ripe on the counter and was excited to make Maduros (or fried plantains).  There is a small Peruvian place in the Upper East Side of Manhattan (Pio Pio) that has the best maduros and chicken you will ever eat.  Mine didn’t come out quite as good (but we still ate every last bite so you know this is good!) and I think it was because my oil wasn’t hot enough.  I made a spicy slaw to serve with the pork as well. 

Source:  Bruce Aidells’s Complete Book of Pork; I recently got this book as a gift and it really is a go to book for pork.  My changes are in green.

Spanish Style Brine

3 1/2 cups cold water

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar)

1 cup ice cubes

4 bone-in rib pork chops (about 3 pounds total) 1.5 pound pork tenderloin

1.  Pour the water into a large bowl or plastic storage tub.  Stir in the salt and continue stirring until the salt dissolves.  Stir in the sugar and vinegar and continue stirring until they dissolve.  Add the ice cubes and stir to chill the mixture down.  It should be 45 F or colder on an instant-read thermometer.  Add the pork, cover, and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.  Remove the pork and discard the brine.  Pat dry with paper towels, and either proceed with the recipe or cover with plastic wrap.  The pork can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before being cooked.

Spanish Style Rub

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon of chopped fresh sage

1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoons sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar)

1.  Combine all above ingredients.  Coat the brined pork generously on both sides with the rub.  Set the chops aside while you prepare a grill.  

2.  I used a gas grill and cooked the pork uncovered high heat 3 minutes per side (6 minutes total) and then covered for an additional 10 minutes.  Pork reached an internal temperature of 145 F and juices were no longer pink.  

3.  Slice pork and serve with spicy coleslaw, avocados, bell pepper, and maduros (below).

 

maduros

Maduros (Fried plantains)

2 ripe plantains (yellow with some black spotting)

Canola oil

1.  Slice plantains on the bias.   

2.  Heat oil in a small saucepan until very hot.  Oil should reach to top of plantains.  Oil must be very hot or it will soak into the plantains while cooking.  Cook plantains 4 minutes per side or until golden brown.  Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel to drain.

 

spicy-slaw

Spicy Slaw

4-5 cups precut slaw mix

1/2 cup low-fat mayo

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon white sugar

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce 

1 teaspoon Frank’s hot sauce

salt & pepper

1.  Combine first 6 ingredients.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Serve immediately if you prefer a crunchy slaw or chill in refrigerator for a few hours.

 

Savory Sweet Potato Pear Soup and Soft Parsley and Garlic Pretzels January 9, 2009

sweet-potato-soup-finished

I didn’t think I was going to be able to enter this round of Platinum Chef being out of town for the two weeks prior to the deadline.  Lucky for me the deadline was extended!  These ingredients were fun and I just love sweet potatoes and pears so this was right up my alley.  Kate from Paved with Good Intentions picked the following ingredients:  carrots, potatoes, pears, parsley, and egg.  I had a heck of a time thinking about that egg.  I thought long and hard about a quiche or frittata or my favorite…pot pie!  Mmm love that stuff.  I wanted to use my new emersion blender (thank you Lien!) so I figured soup would be fun.  I wanted bread with my soup (of course) and thought a flavored pretzel would be fun!

Savory Sweet Potato Pear Soup

1-tablespoon butter

½ red onion, chopped

½ cut carrot, chopped

½ cut celery, chopped

2 very large sweet potatoes (about 1.5 pounds), peeled and diced

2 pears, peeled and diced

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1-teaspoon curry powder

½ teaspoon cumin

5 cups low sodium low fat chicken broth

1.     In a large pot, melt butter on medium heat.  Sauté onion, carrot and celery 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent.

2.     Add potatoes, pears, coriander, curry, and cumin and sauté 1-2 minutes.

3.     Add chicken broth and bring to boil, simmer 20-25 minutes until sweet potato is soft.

4.     Using emersion blender, blend until smooth.  Serve warm.

sweet-potato-soup

5.     Leftover soup can be frozen flat in large freezer bags and defrosted in a saucepan.

 

 

Soft Parsley & Garlic Pretzels

Inspiration:  # 117047 Recipezaar 

1 package dry yeast

1 ½ cups warm water (100-110 degrees)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

4 cups flour

2 tablespoons packed finely chopped parsley

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 large egg, beaten

Coarse salt or sea salt

1.     Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper.

2.     Dissolve yeast in water in a small bowl. Tiny bubbles form around edges to ensure yeast is active.  Add salt and sugar. 

3.     Pour mixture into stand mixer and add all the flour, parsley, and garlic powder.  Using hook attachment, knead until well blended and smooth, approximately 4 minutes. 

pretzel-dough

4.     That kind of looks like a turkey, huh?!  Anyways, cut dough into 6 even pieces and roll into approximately 2-foot ropes.  Create a rainbow shape and using each end, wrap around each other 3 times.  Invert twisted center and press ends into dough to form pretzel shape.  Place onto prepared baking sheet. 

pretzels-shape

5.     Brush pretzels with the beaten egg.  Sprinkle with coarse salt or freshly ground sea salt. 

6.     Bake approximately 17-19 minutes or until golden brown.

pretzel-finishes

pclogo

 

Stir-fry Chicken with Jalapeno and Allspice Marinade January 4, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,Spice rubs and Marinades — xigumdrops @ 5:02 pm
Tags: ,

jalapeno-chicken

I used the ingredients found in the Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Chicken book but changed the prep and cooking instructions.  The marinade was quick to make and I pretty much always have these ingredients on-hand so it was convenient too.  The chicken was not spicy at all as the heat from the pepper is lost in the high heat cooking.  Changes to the original ingredients are in green; prep instructions are different from original recipe.

Inspiration:  Grilled Chicken Skewers with habanero chile and allspice from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Chicken cookbook

1/2 habanero chile (1 Jalapeno pepper)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 small red onion, cut into pieces

2 tablespoons cider vinegar (Rice Wine Vinegar)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup canola oil (1/3 cup olive oil)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves cut into pieces

1 large red bell pepper cut into 1-inch squares (green bell pepper)

 

1.  Combine all ingredients into a large nonreactive bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 6 hours.  Time was not on my side so I marinated for 1 hour.

2.  Heat large skillet to wok on high heat and add all ingredients.  Cook over high heat for approximately 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.  You may need to push onion and bell pepper to the side to prevent burning.  Serve hot with white rice.

jalapeno-chicken-cooking