Sunday, November 29, 2020

Boeuf Bourguignon

The recipe for this delicious dish is from Delphine, my French daughter-in-law. She gave it to me in French and the translation is mine. This is a dish that is definitely better the next day and that is why the cooking process takes two days. Because it only needs to be simmered the second day it is perfect for entertaining, whenever we are able to do that again. It tastes best when served in a chalet in the French Alps. It serves 6.

3 1/3 lbs. beef

1 1/3 lbs bacon cut into lardons (small strips)

4 or 5 onions, cut across and then cut into slices

4 or 5 carrots, cut into rings

50 ounces wine

1 bouquet garni (Delphine uses thyme and bay leaf, but you can include any herbs you like, all tied up in a bundle.)

2 or 3 cloves of garlic, diced

butter and olive oil.

salt and pepper.


Cut the beef into cubes and brown in a dutch oven in a mixture of butter and olive oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper. If all the beef won't fit in the pan without crowding, cook in batches, adding more butter if needed. Remove the beef to a bowl and then cook the bacon. Put the bacon to one side with the beef. Brown the onion in the fat from the beef and bacon. Season it with salt and pepper. Return the beef and bacon to the pan and sprinkle with flour. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Add the wine, the carrots, garlic, and the bouquet garni. Cook 3 or 4 hours over a low flame. Remove the bouquet garni and let cool. When cooled refrigerate. The next day simmer for about 2 hours.


Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Poulet à la Gaston Gérard (ou poulet aux moines)

 This chicken recipe is from Dijon, France. The wife of the mayor accidentally put mustard in her chicken dish. To save it she added wine, créme fraîche, and cheese. That saved the dish and she named it after her husband. Delphine prepared it for us at her family's chalet in the French Alps and it was absolutely delicious. Unfortunately American chickens are not the same type as French chickens. Just looking at them you can see they are different. French chickens have a longer body than our roly-poly American chickens and French chickens have more flavor. There is a farm in the Santa Cruz area that has the best chickens this side of France, Fogline Farm, and I will use their chickens whenever I can. I recommend you get the highest quality chicken you can find and not use one that has been water chilled.

Poulet à la Gaston Gérard
preparation time about 15 minutes
cooking time 1 hour

1 small whole chicken cut into serving pieces or 6 whole chicken legs, about 3 pounds, for 6 persons
2 onions, chopped
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 generous cup dry white wine
150 grams grated gruyère cheese plus more to top dish when placed in oven (150grams is 1 2/3 cups)
1 tablespoon strong mustard
250-300 grams crème fraîche (250 grams is just over 1 cup)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Salt the chicken pieces and then brown them in a mixture of the olive oil and butter in a dutch oven. Next add the onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and grate some pepper over it all. Cover and cook over a low burner for about three quarters of an hour. Remove the chicken and keep warm on a plate in a low oven. Add the wine to the dutch oven and then add the cornstarch and stir. Add the grated gruyére and then add the mustard and crème fraîche. Stir to combine and simmer for 10 minutes. Return the chicken to the dutch oven, sprinkle cheese on top and place uncovered  in oven set at 380ºF for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings

                                                      Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings

This is a recipe that I tore out of a copy of Gourmet Magazine. I was so sad when it was discontinued.   This recipe is another favorite of our family. It makes a great weeknight dinner because it is fast and easy. Serve on Japanese style rice which is unsalted sticky short grain rice. I always double the sauce ingredients.
4 servings

1 large garlic clove
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp mild honey
1 tbsp sesame oil
a generous pinch of cayenne
3 lbs chicken wings
1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
Place the rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat it to 425º. Slice the garlic and mash it into a paste with the salt using the side of a large heavy knife. Place the paste into a large bowl and stir in the soy sauce, hoisin, honey, sesame oil, and cayenne. Cut the wings into sections. You may not want to use the tips but my husband loves to chew on them so I keep them. Stir the wing sections in the sauce. Place the wing sections in one layer in a pan lined with foil and pour the sauce over them. Roast for about 35 minutes, turning after 20 minutes. They should be cooked through and if they are not roast for a bit longer. After serving sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds on top. The sesame seeds can be toasted in a dry cast iron frying pan.

Easy Bagels with a Cool Rise

We went into Shelter in Place for Covid-19 with cream cheese that needed to be used and our local bagel bakery closed. I found a good recipe on the Washington Post site to which I only needed to make small changes to make it work for me. The recipe calls for barley malt syrup which is not easy to find. In Santa Cruz I was only able to find it at Staff of Life grocery. The Post says that is often found at brewing supply stores. If you can't find it you can substitute molasses using 1/3 less though the flavor would be more harsh. I don't know that it would be a problem in the bagels. You can also use an amount equal to the syrup of non-diastatic malt powder. The reason for the malt syrup is to give a bagel the proper New York bagel flavor.

2 teaspoons active dry yeast.
337 grams warm water/scant 1 1/2 cups (80ºF or 27ºC)
623 grams bread flour/approximately 4 cups (may substitute high-gluten flour)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon barley malt syrup.
cornmeal for dusting
baking stone or steel if possible

Sprinkle the yeast into the warm water in the measuring cup and let it start to foam while you prepare the dough. Whisk the salt into the flour in bowl of mixer that has a bread-hook. Stir in the barley malt syrup. Attach the bread-hook, add the yeast mixture and beat on the lowest speed until the dough starts to come together around the hook, about 4 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-low and beat for 7 to 10 minutes until you have a smooth stiff dough.
Dust a rimmed baking sheet large enough for 8 bagels with the cornmeal. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll them into smooth balls. Cover them with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest 5 minutes at room temperature on your kitchen counter.
Flatten the balls into disks. Next punch a hole into the middle of each disk with your thumbs. Carefully stretch the bagels, enlarging the holes by twirling the bagel around your fingers, trying to keep the ring even as you shape it. You want the center hole large enough that it will not disappear when the dough rises, about 2 inches or 5 centimeters. I know this seems large but it will shrink when the dough rises and cooks. As you finish shaping each bagel place it on the cornmeal dusted baking sheet. After the bagels are all shaped, cover the baking sheet with foil or plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 12 to 18 hours.
When you are ready to cook the bagels fill a large wide pot with 3 inches/7.5 centimeters of water and set your oven to 450ºF/232ºC with the stone or steel inside. Bring the water to a boil. Have a cooling rack nearby to place the boiled bagels on. Boil the bagels 3 or 4 at a time, for 30 seconds, flipping them after 15 seconds. Place them on the rack, bottom/flatter side down. Place the bagels right side up on a sheet of baking parchment on a pizza peel or an upside down baking sheet. You might feel more comfortable sliding 4 rather than 8 bagels at a time and so feel free to bake them in 2 batches.
Slide the bagels and the parchment sheet onto the stone/steel and bake on the middle rack of the over for 12 to 18 minutes. Actually I skipped the parchment instead re-dipping the bagels in the cornmeal and placing directly on my peel. When they are a deep golden brown, remove them from the oven and cool on a rack.

Variation: For topped bagels have a dish with your topping of choice such as sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dehydrated onion or garlic nearby when you are boiling the bagels. Dip the bagels into your topping while it is still wet from the boil, before the bake.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Joy of Cooking's Spaetzle

                                                      Joy of Cooking's Spaetzle

Spaetzle are a wonderful base for many different things. I only used to make them to have with chicken paprika because that was the way I first had them. Now I serve them with pipperade and tonight we are having them with a slow cooked shredded beef ragu. Think of them as a pasta to serve most anything over or next to. The last time we had spaetzle was with duck confit. This is a basic recipe that you can add herbs or spices to if you like. I highly recommend that you purchase a spaetzle maker if you find that you like spaetzle. They are fast and easy to make with the proper tool. If you don't have a spaetzle maker you can push the dough through the holes of a quarter inch grater or us a colander with 1/4 inch holes. The old fashioned way is to cut off small bits of dough from a plate with a spoon or a knife into the boiling water. That is the way an old family friend made them to go with her chicken paprika.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
a small grating of nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 cup water.
Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center and drop the eggs into it. Beat the eggs with the water in the well with a fork and then mix in the dry ingredients.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place a portion of the dough in the hopper of a spaetzle maker and force the dough into the boiling water. The spaetzle are done when they float to the top of the water. Scoop them out as they float to the top with a slotted spoon. Toss the cooked spaetzle with a bit of butter to keep them from sticking together.

Friday, February 7, 2020

New Mexico Style Chalupas

                                                           New Mexico Style Chalupas

This is an old recipe from Sunset magazine, from when it was still owned by the Lane family and they had the beautiful home in Menlo Park. To give you an idea of how old this recipe is, Sunset did not suggest using a food processor. This is a great way to use leftover chicken or turkey.

Chalupa Patties
1/4 cup butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups masa harina (corn masa)
1/2 tsp salt
about 3/4 cup water
Mix masa, salt, and butter in the bowl of a food processor or a mixer. Add water and mix until the dough holds together well. Form the dough into balls and then press into 6 circles about 5 inches in diameter. You can do this on wax paper or a silicone sheet. Cook until light brown on both sides using a griddle on medium heat, about 350ºF.

Chicken Topping
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, diced
chopped garlic to taste
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup taco sauce or to taste
About 3 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
Sauté onion in oil until golden. Add garlic and cook a bit more. Add tomato sauce and taco sauce and simmer uncovered, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add chicken or turkey, cover and remove from heat.

about 16 oz. refried beans heated. You may top with cheese if heated in oven.
guacamole, use 2 avocados
sour cream
add whatever else you like

Top chalupa patties with a layer of refried beans. Next layer on the chicken. Top that with guacamole and finally add some sour cream.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Roast Chicken Thighs over Spinach and Linguine

This is a delicious and easy recipe that Sunset Magazine published a long time ago, well before the Lane family sold the magazine to Time. Those were the days you could trust their recipes to always be good.

1/2 cup butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dry basil
1/2 tps Aleppo pepper
8 chicken thighs, dried with a paper towel and fat deposits removed
2 packages (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach
16 oz. linguine
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 orange cut in wedges.
Melt butter in a 10 by 15 baking pan in 400º oven. Stir onion, garlic, basil, and Aleppo pepper into the melted butter. Place the chicken, skin side down, in the butter mixture and then turn it over. Roast the chicken uncovered for 45 minutes, until it is 165º. While the chicken roasts, thaw the spinach in a baking pan next to the chicken. That will take about 30 minutes. Break it up into chunks after about 15 minutes to speed thawing. Pour the thawed spinach into a colander and squeeze out the liquid.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the linguine according to package directions. It will likely take about 12 minutes to cook the linguine.
When the chicken is done, remove it from the pan and keep it warm. Add the spinach to the pan along with the linguine and the cheese. Mix with forks and scrape any browned bits free. Season to taste with salt.
To serve, mound the pasta mixture on each plate, top with chicken, and place orange wedges on the side. The orange wedges should be squeezed on the chicken and pasta.