Sunday, June 5, 2011

Kale Chips

Nothing beats a salty snack right? Well how about a salty and crunchy snack that isn't bad for you? Try making kale chips. Kale is something that is rather new to my diet (okay, I honestly don't know if I ever even had it before), and I have been hearing raves about kale chips for months now. So when my parents told me that they grew some organic kale in their garden I was sure to take a few handfuls with me.

The great thing about these chips is that they are SO EASY TO MAKE. I even think I might have overcooked mine just slightly...but the flavor is so intense it doesn't matter how long you cook them for.

kale (doesn't matter what type...I used two different types of kale), with the stems cut off
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

Be sure to wash and thoroughly dry the kale. Cut off the stems and arrange them on a sheet pan. Drizzle them with olive oil and put a sprinkle of sea salt on them. Toss sure you coat both sides nicely. Pop them into a 425F oven for about 15 minutes or until they brown.

Now you can toss away your potato chips since kale is so much more nutritious. ENJOY!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Turkey Paillard With Arugula Salad

In the mood for something fried? We rarely fry when we do we like to keep the rest of the meal light. This Turkey Paillard with Arugula Salad fits the bill. The great thing about it is you can make it with just about any kind of meat you desire (turkey, chicken, veal, or pork).

turkey cutlets (or cutlets of whatever type of meat you decide to use)
2 or 3 eggs
flour, for dredging
panko breadcrumbs for coating
dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil
lemon, cut into wedges

for salad:
1 heaping tbsp. of dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tbsp. olive oil
half a lemon, juiced

Be sure you get cutlets that are sliced thin to begin with, and pound with a meat hammer between plastic wrap and your cutting board to make them even thinner. Set up the dredging station like shown in the picture above. You should have a container for the flour, the eggs, and the panko breadcrumbs (which you should season with the salt, pepper, and thyme). In case you don't know the rules of dredging this is the order that you do it: cutlets into the flour, then into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs. When you are finished coating the cutlets be sure to place them into the fridge uncovered for at least 15 minutes.

Commence fry-o-lation! Pour vegetable oil into a cast iron pan...about 1/2" deep. When frying, be sure you do not crowd the pan...else they won't crisp up properly. The oil should be heated to around 375F. Cook until golden brown on one side, then flip to finish. These are very thin, so it shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes.

For the salad, fill a bowl with arugula. Mix the other ingredients together for the dressing and toss.

Top the fried cutlets with the salad and serve with a lemon wedge. ENJOY!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Chicken With Asian Flavors

We aren't sure if this recipe is Thai, Vietnamese, or Korean...we just made it up. But the chicken comes out delicious!!! We served it with a cucumber and radish salad topped with a lime and cilantro vinaigrette and orange flavored brown rice with carrots.

2 tbsp. ginger, chopped
2 tbsp. garlic, chopped
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 heaping tbsp. of brown sugar
big pinch of crushed red pepper
1 tbsp. canola oil
zest of one orange
1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
a few grinds of black pepper
1 scallion, chopped into mulch

The Chicken-
1 whole chicken
salt and pepper to taste
butcher's twine
the orange you just zested for the marinade
1 scallion, chopped
1 scallion, sliced (for garnish)
handful of cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

Divide the marinade into two. Save half in the fridge...this will be your dipping sauce. Use the other half to marinate the chicken.

Wash the chicken and dry it will with paper towels (inside and out). Quarter the orange, and put 1/4 into the chicken's cavity along with the chopped scallion. Place the remaining 3/4 of the orange into the pan with the chicken. Use the butcher's twine to tie the chicken into as tight a ball as possible. I have no idea on the proper way to do this...just get it into a tight ball. Pour the marinade over the chicken and use your hands to rub it all over. Cover it with plastic wrap. Place into the fridge for at least 6 hours...but overnight if you can.

When you are ready to cook take the chicken out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature for one hour. Liberally salt and pepper the chicken. Pop it into a 350F oven for one hour. When the hour is up, remove it from the oven and turn the oven temperature up to 475F. Squeeze the juice of the orange that is in the pan over the chicken. When the oven hits 475F, put your chicken back in for another 10-15 minutes...until the skin gets brown and crispy. When the chicken is done let it rest out of the oven for at least 10 minutes...then you can carve it. We garnished the chicken with sliced scallions and cilantro.

Serve with the remaining marinade to use as dipping sauce (as shown below).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Don't let this photo intimidate your cooking skills or your palate. I know when I saw an image of this (in countless cookbooks) I remember saying how I thought it looked gross. But boy was I way off! It is absolutely delicious! Slightly salty from the anchovies and olives, yet sweet from the roasted onions. This is perfect for an appetizer or even a lunch. Chris made this the other day and we couldn't wait to share his recipe with our readers. ENJOY!

3 softball sized onions, ¼ inch slices
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
2 small tins of anchovies
a handful of pitted black olives (low salt is great)
fresh thyme

2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
warm tap water to make the dough ½ cup plus more as needed
extra virgin olive oil for bowl

To make the dough/crust, bring all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and stir with your hands until combined. If the dough won’t stick into a ball, add more water. If you have glop or a wet sticky blob, add more flour. Do these adjustments a teaspoon at a time. Dust some flour on your impeccably clean countertop and knead the dough until it’s smooth. This will take 8-10 minutes. Grease the bowl lightly with EVOO and but the dough back in to it. Cover the dough lightly with a glug of oil as well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it some place where the wind or AC vent doesn’t blow on it. It will double in size in about 3 hours, at which point, you should put it in the refrigerator overnight. Take the dough out of the fridge 4 hours prior to your planned baking time.

The filling is traditionally made by sautéing the onions in a metric ton of butter (hey, it’s French). I’ve done it this way before and, shock of the century, it was pretty damn greasy. Instead, put the sliced onions into a roasting tin and toss them around in a light drizzle of olive oil. Roast them in a 450F oven for an hour, tossing them around half way through cooking. Take them out of the oven, they should be a golden light brown. If not, roast longer. If they’re black, you screwed up. Oops! Be sure to keep an eye on them!

When the onions are done, your dough should have been out of the fridge for 4 hours. Spread it out evenly over a metal oven tray. The one I used is 11X14. Next, spread the roasted onions out evenly over the crust. Next, lay out the lattice pattern over the onions using anchovies. Finally, place an olive in the center of each rhombus/parallelogram you have created and sprinkle the whole thing with half the fresh thyme leaves you have on hand. Pop the tray in to a 450F oven and bake it until the crust turns a medium brown around the edges. When you take it out of the oven you can sprinkle the remainder of your thyme over it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cauliflower Soup with Frizzled Beets

So I was watching Hoda and Kathy Lee the other morning and saw a segment all about chilled soups. I'll be the first to admit it, soups aren't really my thing. There are really only a few kinds that I like...and none of which are chilled. So I made my own version of Souper Jenny's cauliflower soup with frizzled beets yesterday (and I made my version hot, not chilled)...and it was AMAZING! Click here to follow Jenny's recipe.

I did not have all the ingredients for her I changed a few things around and was still very happy with the end result! This is what I did---

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
3/4 of a large red onion, chopped
a few pats of unsalted butter
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of sake (it was all I had left...)
1 cup of low sodium chicken stock
1 cup of water
1 tbsp. potato flour
salt and pepper to taste
2 beets, cut into matchsticks
vegetable oil, for frying beets

To start, place a few pats of butter and a hefty drizzle of olive oil in the bottom of a large pot. Once heated, throw in the diced onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over don't want them to burn. Once the onions are soft, toss in the cauliflower. Next, add in the sake, chicken stock, and water. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, put the soup (carefully) into a blender. Add in the potato flour and blend the soup until it is velvety smooth.

To make the frizzled beets you will need to put some vegetable oil into a pot and when the oil is hot enough toss in the matchstick sliced beets. Leave them in there a few minutes. You want them to have a nice little crunch. Place them on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Top the soup with a handful of the beets. They add a sweet crunch to the soup. Chris hates beets...but he couldn't get enough of these!!!

Souper Jenny said this soup is a chilled summery soup...but I really prefer to eat it hot.

Pizza Party

There are a million recipes out there for pizza. Want one? Google it. Today we just want to show off pictures of our most recent pizzas we made the other week. Are you drooling yet???

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chicken Breasts with Pan Sauce

I'm constantly learning new techniques for roasting chicken. The goal is to get a crispy skin and juicy, tender flesh. This takes lots of practice and experimenting with oven temperatures, utensils, and little details here and there that seem so insignificant that you would never imagine they make such a huge difference in the end product. Follow these instructions carefully on how to prepare this chicken.

1 skin on, bone in split chicken breast (this is actually 2 breast halves)
1/4 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 heaping tbsp. of dijon mustard
2 shots of brandy
1/4 cup of low sodium chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 sprigs of thyme and rosemary, stems removed, leaves chopped

5 hours before you roast the chicken, rinse under cold water, dry well with paper towels, and liberally season with salt. Put the breasts on a plate (uncovered), and place in the fridge. 1 hour before roasting, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Add black pepper and rub into skin. Place the chicken into an oven proof saute pan or casserole dish. With the point of a sharp knife, prick the skin in several places. Pierce the skin but do not stab the meat. We are creating spots for the fat to drain out of. Place into a 475F oven. You do not need any olive oil or want the meat dry so that the skin will crisp. In exactly 20 minutes lower the temperature to 350F and wait another 10 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven, and cover with tin foil. Put the pan onto a stovetop burner over low heat and saute the onions and garlic, along with the thyme and rosemary, until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock and brandy. Careful with the brandy...or you will burn off your eyebrows! Whisk the sauce, scraping the pan to get all the burnt on bits of chickeny goodness. When the sauce starts boiling and has reduced by half, whisk in the butter (a small piece at a time). When the sauce has emulsified you are done. Pour the sauce over the chicken and enjoy!!! We paired our chicken with some oven roasted potatoes and a quick arugula salad.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Turkish Pita Bread

It's 3am, you've been drinking all're in front of Kebab Garden and you don't know how you got there. There is only one thing that can make you feel good right's calling to you. The smell of lamb grease and garlic has drawn you to this mystical spot. You are ready to stuff delicious Turkish food in your face, and it will be delivered by this utensil, Turkish Pita Bread. Don't get me wrong, this bread is perfectly delicious making any other type of sandwich, but it is the most superiour of the "drunk foods". Any kind of kebab stuffed into this bread will be heavenly.

Chris adapted this recipe from one he got out of The Sultan's Kitchen. The main differences are the wetter sponge starter and the period of time spent in the fridge following Peter Reinhardt's pain ancienne method. Here is how Chris made his bread---

1 tbsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups warm water from tap
4 cups bread flour
2 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup milk
black caraway seeds (also called nigella or black cumin seeds)

In a bowl combine the yeast, sugar and water and stir very well. Wait 10 minutes. Sift 1 cup of the flour into this liquid. Stir very well. You'll get a soupy batter. Cover the bowl and wait 30 minutes. Now sift the other 3 cups of flour  and salt into this mixture and stir well. Empty out onto a well floured surface and knead until smooth (this should take around 10 minutes). Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise until it is doubled in size (around 1 hour). Put in fridge overnight. 3 hours before you are ready to bake, remove the bowl from the fridge. Give the dough an hour to take the chill out, then remove it from the bowl. Roll it into a cylinder. Cut it into 6 equal size discs. Gently stretch each disc out into a 6-8" flat bread. Try not to squeeze all the air out of it while doing this. Cover the loaves with plastic wrap and a dish towel. Give them 2 hours to re-inflate. They are now ready for the oven. The oven should be pre-heated to 450F. Take the egg yolk and beat it into the milk. Cover each loaf with the egg glaze (use a brush or your hands). Sprinkle the seeds onto the loaves (they will stick to the glaze). Now place into the oven. They will take around 10-15 minutes.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Banh Mi Adventure...a Porkalicious Journey into Porktastic Porkocity

This was a monster task for us. Some might say this recipe is completely frightening. Just look at all the ingredients needed!

The Banh mi sandwich resulted from the French colonization of Vietnam. Asian cured and seasoned pork with pickled vegetables on a French baguette (made partly of rice flour to be authentic) with a smear of French pate, kewpie mayo, and Sriracha sauce. Most of these ingredients originated on the other side of the world. When we lived in New York City, we could leave our apartment for a 15 minute walk and return with all of these ingredients and assemble. French baguette? Tons of bakeries just south of Union Square, take your pick. Asian sauces and seasonings? You don’t even need to go to Chinatown. Supermarkets and corner bodegas have that stuff. Pâté? Sold in a vacuum sealed package at any deli counter.
We now live in rural Pennsylvania. You want fresh bread? You’re baking it! The 1 hour drive to Costco will get you the next best thing, at the cost of a few dollars and a quarter tank of gas. Kewpie mayo? or make it. Pâté? There’s scrapple out here but no French pâté. We’re making that too. Pickled vegetables? Start pickling! The mutant cucumbers floating around in the jar of high fructose corn syrup in your grocer’s condiments aisle won’t work here.
For sandwiches on Saturday, you need to start Thursday night after work (using our recipes). That’s when the pickles start pickling, the sponge starter for the bread is made, and the pork butt starts marinating. Friday night, you add flour to the sponge to make the bread dough. Rotate the pork butt that’s marinating/curing in the fridge, and make the pâté and kewpie mayo. Saturday morning, bake the bread and then toss in the pork and turn the oven down to 300F.  You should be ready to assemble your sandwich 4-6 hours later.

Ingredients for Pork:
5lb. bone-in pork butt
2 heaping tbsp. garlic, chopped
2 heaping tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped
1 tsp. red chili flakes
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
a big squirt of Sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
3 tbsp. canola oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. mirin
1 heaping tsp. kosher salt
2 scallions, chopped

Mix everything together in a bowl and spread onto meat. Be sure to massage into every crevice and flap of pork flesh. Place into fridge for 36 hours. Keep it covered. Rotate halfway through. Discard excess marinade before roasting.
Roast in an oven for 6 hours at 300F covered in a Dutch oven. Baste every 2 hours. The last hour of cooking should be uncovered. When finished, the meat should fall apart and the bone should easily be removed with little resistance.

Ingredients for Asian Vinegar Pickles:
(Momofuku's recipe)
1 cup water, piping hot from the tap
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
6 tbsp. granulated sugar
carrots cucumbers, daikon, cut into matchsticks (our produce guy didn't know what a daikon was, so we used regular radishes cut into 1/4" rounds)
big pinch of whole peppercorns

Mix everything together. Put into a mason jar. Put into fridge. The pickles will be ready to eat in about 6 hours and will keep for 4 days.

*Recipe for Pâté
*Recipe for bread (you could really use any kind of CRUSTY hoagie not use a hot dog bun)

Ingredients for Kewpie Mayo:
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 egg yolks
around 1/2 cup canola oil

Whisk together the first 4 ingredients. While whisking, add the oil one drop at a time until mayo forms. You can also do this in a blender or food processor like they do on TV.

How to Assemble Banh Mi:

1) Spread pâté onto one side of the bread.

2) Spread mayo onto other side of the bread.

3) Add in fresh cilantro.

4) Place shredded pork on sandwich.

5) Top it off with pickled veg.

6) Cut in half and insert into mouth.

This was a lot of work, but WELL WORTH IT! ***Note to Kelleny, Chris says this was better than Saigon's (and I gotta say it was definitely up there).

Spanish Tortilla

This is a perfect item for breakfast, brunch, served with a salad for lunch, a first course for dinner, or cut up into bite sized pieces for an appetizer at a cocktail party. There are tons of recipes for a Spanish Tortilla, here is our favorite way to make it---

4 eggs, scrambled
1-2 Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced as thinly as possible
1 large Spanish onion, sliced
1/2 cup of dried chorizo, diced
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
smoked Spanish paprika

Heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a 10" pan over medium heat. Toss the potatoes into the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft. Do not brown them. If they start to brown, your flame is too hot! Once they are soft, take them out of the pan and set them into a large bowl. Next drop the onions into the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Again, cook until not brown. Once they are soft, toss the chorizo in and cook until the onions turn red. Dump the contents of the pan into the bowl with the potatoes. Toss half of your parsley into the bowl along with the scrambled eggs. Mix everything together. Put everything into an 8" nonstick pan that has been greased with olive oil. Put the pan into a 400F oven for 10-15 minutes depending how cooked you like your eggs. Once the omelet is cooked you will be able to slide a rubber spatula under the corners to loosen it. Now put a plate over the pan, and flippity-flop. Your omelet should release. If any sticks, it's okay...the Michelin Star committee isn't at your door. Top with a sprinkle of the smoked paprika and the rest of the parsley. Slice it up like a pizza and eat up!