Bistro Chicken Tarragon

On February 28, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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There is nothing as simple and obviously delicious as a recipe that calls for the following key ingredients: chicken, wine, and a fresh herb. Add some broth, butter and a few shallots and you are on your way to a very flavorful meal that’s great any time of the year.

I took a French Bistro cooking class in Portland, Oregon back in 1993 and the teacher/chef, worked at the Heathman Hotel, made a few recipes from a classic book on French Bistro Cooking that is an excellent source for such classic recipes. The following is not from the cookbook, but rather a modification from the course I took almost 20 years ago.

Bistro Chicken Tarragon
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs., cut into pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
4 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter
2 bunches tarragon, leaves removed from stems, coarse chop
4 shallots, minced

In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Brush the pieces of chicken with the dijon mustard before placing in pan. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown and cook on both sides, about 10 minutes on each side. Adjust the heat, if necessary, to avoid burning the skin. Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Pour off some of the excess oil.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the wine. Deglaze the pan by scraping any browned bits down from the sides and reduce the wine by about half. Add the shallots and cook for several minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and reduce by about half. Whisk in the butter. Return the chicken to the skillet and coat with the sauce. Cover and cook until chicken is warmed through, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the tarragon leaves and turn the chicken pieces to coat. Serve immediately.

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Vegetable Korma

On February 15, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a vegetarian/vegan kick lately. My wife Stephanie decided to give it an extra boost for my birthday by getting me “Appetite for Reduction” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. It’s a brilliant book.

Here is one of the recipes from the book. It’s called 2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma and was an interpretation from one of the author’s favorite restaurants in New York City – Madras. Sounds like I have a new restaurant to checkout when I head back to New York in late March.

 
Full Recipe: 2nd Avenue Vegetable Korma.

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Lentil and Cauliflower Curry Stacks

On February 8, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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The flavors in this dish make up for its lack of beauty in presentation. The yellow curry with cinnamon really brings the dish to life.
If you don’t want to use Pappadums (a crisp Indian flatbread), you can also use the lentil mixture to fill a piecrust with for a vegetarian Indian Pie. Or you could make pastry stuff turnovers with the mixture too.

Lastly, if you want to make this dish Vegan, substitute the butter with a product like Earth’s Balance.

Lentil and Cauliflower Curry Stacks
Serves 4

2 Tbl butter (or Earths Balance for a vegan version)
1 medium onion, sliced thin in to quarter moons
1 1/2 Tbls yellow curry paste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 cremini mushrooms, thinly chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups dried brown or green lentils
1 (13 oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 head of fresh cauliflower, cut into small florets
oil for deep-frying
8 small Pappadums

Heat butter in a large pan over medium heat and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the curry paste, garlic and mushrooms cooking all for 2 minutes until mushrooms are soft.

Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, lentils and cinnamon and mix well. Bring to a boil and cook for 40 minutes until lentils become tender. Add the cauliflower in the last 10 minutes and cover. If the curry is too wet after 40 minutes, cook longer uncovered until most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove cinnamon sticks.

About 5 minutes before the lentil mixture is done, heat oil in a saucepan on medium-high. Drop Pappadums, one at a time, into oil. They will quickly puff up so act quick and flip using tongs to straighten out the Pappadum. Each one takes about 4 seconds on each side. Remove and pat both sides with a paper towel.

Assemble by putting one Pappadum on a plate and spoon lentil mixture into it. Place another Pappadum on top and add some more lentil mixture. Serve.

 

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Coffee Rubbed Skirt Steak with Onion Date Compote

On February 6, 2011, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Like food blogging, my watching Food TV also goes in spurts. In a recent channel surf I came across a show new to me called Aarti’s Party where I watched an episode making the following recipes. I modified both a little to my taste and also felt the amount of the onion compote was a bit much in the original recipe. Depending on how many guests you can adjust. I found the recipe below made enough for 4 people.

Coffee Rubbed Skirt Steak
Serves 4

1 1/2 Tbls chili powder
1 1/2 Tbls brown sugar
1 Tbl ground coffee
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 (1 1/2-2 pound) skirt or flank steak

Place all spices in a bowl that you’ll then use to let the steak sit and marinate for 2 hours or overnight. Mix the spices together and then add steak and rub into all sides.

Heat grill and cook marinated rubbed steak to desired taste. It’s a fairly thin steak so cooking on the grill for 10 minutes on each side is good for a medium to medium-well finish.

Onion-Date Compote

1 Tbl olive oil
2 medium onions sliced into thin half-moons
Kosher salt
3 dates, pitted and minced
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup water

Heat olive oil in small sauce pot. Add onions when oil is nice and hot on medium-high heat. Add salt and dates after a minute. Let it all cook until the onions become translucent. Add balsamic vinegar and water and cook on medium heat so that it is bubbling for a good 10-15 minutes until most of the liquid is gone. Serve with skirt steak.

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