Archives for December 2015

Golden Roast Chicken with Apples, Leeks & Kale

Golden Roast Chicken with Apples, Leeks & Kale
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 t. dried ground sage
  2. 2 t. dried marjoram (or basil)
  3. 1 1/4 t. salt
  4. 1 t. dried thyme
  5. 1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1 whole broiler/fryer chicken, about 3 1/2 pounds
  7. 1 large leek, ends trimmed, split lengthwise, well rinsed
  8. 4 to 5 cups roughly chopped lacinato or other tender kale, about 6 ounces total
  9. 2 medium-large Honeycrisp apples, cored, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  10. 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix the sage, marjoram, salt, thyme and pepper in a small dish.
  2. Place chicken on cutting board, breast side down. Use sharp kitchen shears to cut out the backbone. Flip chicken over; split the chicken in half through the breastbone. Rinse the chicken, and pat dry. Rub it all over with half of the seasoning blend.
  3. Cut the rinsed leek crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Mix the leek, kale and apples in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning blend; toss to mix well. Add the oil; toss again to coat with oil.
  4. Set a wire rack over the vegetable mixture in the pan. Arrange the chicken halves on the rack. Roast, stirring the vegetables once, (be careful moving the chicken while you do this), until chicken juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a fork and vegetables are fork-tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Carefully move the chicken halves to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, spoon the vegetables and all the pan juices into a serving bowl. Cut the chicken halves into 2 pieces. Serve with the roasted vegetables.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

The Best Soup I’ve Ever Made by Heidi Kise

‘Tis the season to be thankful for what we have and attempt to avoid that creeping gluttonous feeling. Overindulgence is something our society has become very accustomed to. If we have a nice meal yet are not stuffed to the gills, we often think that the portions were too small. Other unfortunate habits include tossing away rotten food in the trash from the refrigerator and not eating/saving leftovers. Leftovers are often my favorite things to eat. Creating something magical for breakfast from last night’s dinner is a fun task in our home. When we have excess vegetables in our refrigerator, soup is one of the things I often make.

Sharing big bowls of soup with crusty Italian bread around the fireplace with wine, cozy sweaters and loved ones is one of my favorite things to do on these cold winter evenings. Soup is satiating and soulful and even though it can be eaten all year long, now really is the best time to enjoy a steaming bowl. It isn’t typically considered fancy and it can include just about anything at all.

freezerSoup gives you a chance to stretch your creativity by using what you have on hand. Most of you who know me well, know that I don’t like waste. In this attempt to avoid waste, I toss many goodies, that might otherwise go unused, in the freezer. Even if it’s just a quarter cup of something, I am often surprised at what I can do with it later. At any given time, you’ll find about a dozen labeled ziplocs in our freezer. Examples of what you might find may be: leftover caramelized onions, tomato paste, black beans, a myriad of sautéed vegetables, mushroom stock, and braised pork. If I know we won’t be able to enjoy some produce we have, before it goes bad, I briefly sauté it in olive oil with a pinch of salt and pop it in the freezer. This same rule applies if I have some cooked meat or grains that will go unused or even herbs and stock.

On a recent Sunday, I dove in to this surprise of ziplocs and made what will forever be called, the “Best Soup I’ve Ever Made.” I wouldn’t typically serve a “freezer” soup to guests, however, this one is tasty enough to! Sometimes all you need for dinner is right at your fingertips. That, and a pinch of creativity.

Freezer Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 T. olive oil
  2. 2 cups sautéed veg (carrot, onion, fennel)
  3. 1 t. mixed herbs, minced (thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc)
  4. ¼ cup sautéed green garlic
  5. 1 cup sautéed kale (or other greens like spinach or arugula)
  6. 1 cup whole white beans
  7. 2 cups farro, cooked (can use any grain you have)
  8. 2 chopped tomatoes and their juices
  9. enough stock to create desired consistency
  10. soy sauce
  11. Sriracha
Instructions
  1. In a dutch oven, add oil and sautéed veg and sauté on medium low for 2 minutes. Add herbs and sauté another 2 minutes. Add everything else and simmer for 10 minutes until all the flavors have melded.
  2. Add a splash of soy sauce and sriracha. Enjoy with bread.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Ricciarelli Cookies

Ricciarelli Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 3-3/4 cups blanched almond meal flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 4 oz. (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar; more for dusting
  4. Finely grated zest of 1 large orange (about 1 Tbs.)
  5. 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  6. 1-1/2 T. honey
  7. 1/2 t. pure almond extract
  8. 1/4 t. pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Line 4 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Pour the almond flour into a large bowl and use your fingers to break up any clumps. Add the granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, and the orange zest, and whisk to combine.
  3. In a small stainless-steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand-held mixer on high speed until they form soft peaks. With a spatula, gently fold the whites into the almond meal mixture. Add the honey and extracts, and mix well. The dough will be stiff and sticky.
  4. Put the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Pinch off about 2 tsp. of dough, roll it into a ball, and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is shaped into balls, placing 12 balls per sheet. Roll each ball in the confectioners’ sugar until well coated, then return to the baking sheet and gently pinch the ball into a diamond shape. Let the cookies sit, uncovered, for 1 to 2 hours to firm up and dry out a little.
  5. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until their tops have started to crack and they are barely tinged with gold around the edges, about 12 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to cooling racks and let cool completely.
  6. Dust with more confectioners’ sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Notes
  1. These cookies from the almond-growing region of Siena date back to at least the 15th century. They’re melt-in-your-mouth tender, but with a nice chew. Their cracked, snowy-white tops make a beautiful addition to a cookie platter, and they’re a great option for those on a gluten-free diet.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Grapes and Espresso

Grapes and Espresso
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. (2) 1.5 oz strong Espresso
  2. 1 T. olive oil
  3. 1 pound red and white grapes
  4. 5 oz. sweet white wine (Sauternes or Gewürztraminer)
  5. 3 sticks of cinnamon
  6. 1 T. honey
  7. ½ T. balsamic vinegar
  8. ½ T. butter
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan. Add the grapes and sauté for one minute. Add the espresso, white wine, cinnamon sticks and honey. Stir for two minutes and then remove from the heat.
  2. Add the vinegar and butter to the pan and stir until the butter melts. Serve warm.
Notes
  1. This elegant dish is a splendid blend of colors and tastes.
  2. Serve as an accompaniment to an Italian meal of roast meat or poultry with polenta or as a light dessert with cheese and biscotti.
Marcel's Culinary Experience http://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/