Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Braised Lamb Shanks with Potato Root Vegetable Mash

Braised Lamb Shanks with Potato Root Vegetable Mash


There are many recipes for lamb shanks and they all call for long, slow cooking to tenderize the meat. But you are rewarded with tender, velvety meat in beautiful rich sauce. This recipe source is a combo. The Braised Lamb part comes from seriouslygood.com and the Potato Root Veg Mash comes from Bon Appetit Jan 1996 by way of epicurious.com.

2 Lamb Shanks -- closely trimmed of fat
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions -- cut into eighths
3 medium carrots -- peeled and cut into 1 chunks
1 ea celery stalk -- cut into 1/4 pieces
2 cloves garlic -- sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 TB dried Herbes de Provence
1 TB juniper berries -- smashed (optional, but good)
2 c red wine
1 - 2 c beef stock
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 325F.

Generously season lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add lamb shanks and brown on all sides, including end. Remove to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium and add onions, carrots, and celery to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until ingredients begin to brown. Add tomato paste, juniper, herbs, and garlic. add salt and pepper to taste. Cook an addition 1 1/2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine, deglaze pan, and reduce by half. Return shanks to the pot and add enough beef stock to come halfway up the sides of the shanks.

Cover and place in the center of the oven, and cook for 3 hours, turning shanks over about halfway through the cooking time. The meat should be just about falling from the bone when done.


Published in Dinner
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Chicken Curry with Cashews

Chicken Curry with Cashews


This is one of my favorite chicken recipes that a friend gave me years ago and one that I make over and over. It calls for adding the chicken to the dish raw and cooking it, but I always have whole chickens to deal with and since I can't be bothered cutting them up before cooking, I used cooked meat. Usually I roast the whole bird on the day prior, eat one meal from the bird, and the following day I throw the rest into this dish. Honestly this dish is so good it's like dessert. You can't stop eating it.

1/4 c butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 TB finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 TB curry powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne

1 chicken, cut into pieces
14-16 oz diced tomatoes
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro (this is nice but not essential)
3/4 c cashews (this I suppose is not essential but is what makes the dish dessert like)
3/4 c. whole milk plain yogurt

Heat butter over moderately low heat until foam subsided, then cook onions, garlic, and ginger, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, salt, cumin, and cayenne and cook, stirring, 2 mins. Add chicken and cook stirring to coat, 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice, and cilantro and bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes.

*If making with cooked chicken, add the tomatoes and cilantro after cooking the spices for 2 mins, and let simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Then add the cooked chicken and heat through. Then move to the steps below.

Just before serving (or heating up- the above can be cooked well in advance):
pulse cashews in a food processor until very finely ground, then add to curry along with yogurt and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Serve with basmati rice.


Published in Soups and Stews
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Mama's Potato Soup

Mama's Potato Soup


I made a pot of this soup last night and savored every bite, again. I have been making this soup for 12 years or more and it never lets me down. It's a simple Mexican style soup that uses a pretty basic assortment of vegetables, but they come together beautifully and it's delicious. And spicy! The recipe comes from the Garlic Lovers Cookbook put out by Gilroy Garlic Festival Association. (Gilroy, CA is the self proclaimed garlic capitol of the world). Makes 4-6 servings.

2 TB sunflower oil
4 cloves garlic
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 medium sized tomatoes (perfect place to use your frozen tomatoes - I used 2 cups of tomatoes I had canned)
1/2 cup green chilies (or just 2 jalapenos or chili peppers or what have you - see below!)
1 TB flour
2 Quarts chicken broth (I used turkey this time and veggie broth is great too)
2.5 cups peeled raw potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp black pepper
2 medium-sized carrorts, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini (or half a bag frozen)

Garnish with handful of grated cheddar for each bowl of soup.
*Optional - a dollop of sour cream in the bowls
*Optional - Cilantro - if you have fresh or frozen cilantro, toss it in!

*Hot peppers - I once actually put the amount of peppers specified in the recipe, using jalapenos and served it at a party. Holy Moly. I would come across people who'd been sitting for half an hour or more at the table, teary eyed and sweating, trying to get through a bowl of soup, having downed a couple beers in the process just to cool it down. I find that just a couple peppers is plenty spice. In the summer I can hot peppers so I have them around to use in winter. I used 2 canned green chile peppers in my most recent batch.

Heat oil in a 3-Quart saucepan and add garlic, onions, tomatoes and green chilies; saute for 3 mins. Stir in flour and cook for 2 more. Continue stirring as you pour in the hot broth. Add potatoes, salt and pepper. Cover pan and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add carrots and zucchini and cook for 15 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender. Top dress with a handful of grated cheddar and add a dollop of sour cream if it suits you.

Published in Soups and Stews
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Tunisian Stew

Tunisian Stew


This one has been adapted slightly from a recipe in Andrea Chessman's Serving Up the Harvest. This is a simple and tasty way to get to know this vegetable a bit better.

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 TB olive oil
1 lb turnips, peeled and grated
1 lb tomatoes, skinned and cut into pieces
Sea salt
Black pepper, coarsely ground
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp coriander powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 lb spinach
Large handful of parsley, finely chopped

Fry the onion in oil in a saucepan. When the onion is soft, add the turnips and tomatoes. Season with salt, organic black pepper and organic spices, half cover with water and simmer, uncovered until the turnips are cooked but still crisp. Turn the turnips over once so that they cook evenly. Wash spinach, cut off stems and cut leaves into ribbons. Put them into the saucepan and cook, stirring, until they crumble. Serve hot and garnished with parsley.

Published in Soups and Stews
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Moroccan Style Chicken and Root Vegetable Stew

Moroccan Style Chicken and Root Vegetable Stew


This recipe from epicurious comes with many solid reviews. I offer it here as a theme, and there is lots of room for improvisation. If you are vegetarian, you can substitute chick peas for the chicken and veggie broth for the chicken broth. You can dig through your fridge and use different root vegetables. Potatoes, winter squash, carrots, parsnips, turnips, celeriac, even some cabbage, all would work great in this stew. Serve it up with couscous and some salad for a fine meal. Adapted from Bon Appetit January 1998, the recipe serves 6.

1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (or chicken thighs or some leftover cooked chicken would work great!)

1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled parsnips (or more turnips, carrots, potatoes)
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled turnips
1 cup 1/2-inch pieces peeled rutabaga (or potatoes)
2 cups canned chicken (or veggie) broth
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
1 cup drained diced tomatoes
Chopped fresh cilantro (or dried or frozen)

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pot and sauté until light golden but not cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer chicken to bowl. (Skip this step if you are using leftover roast chicken from a previous meal.)

Add onion to pot and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add curry powder, cumin and cinnamon stick and stir 30 seconds. Add sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, broth and currants. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and chicken with any accumulated juices to pot. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and flavors blend, about 5 minutes longer. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Published in Soups and Stews
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup


To go along with my salad, I also made a simple tomato soup. It's very basic, and could be made richer with the addition of some milk or cream, some grated cheese (cheddar or a parm would be great). Serve with some nice fresh flax bread for a good quick meal.

4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 onion sliced thin
3 whole cloves
2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (more or less depending on the stock and your taste)
2 teaspoons honey

In a stockpot, over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, onion, cloves and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and gently boil for about 20 minutes to blend all of the flavors. Remove from heat. Remove cloves. Run the mixture through a food mill into a large bowl, or pan. Or puree in blender or food processor (Carefully! Hot liquid!).

In the now empty stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, cooking until the roux is a medium brown. Gradually whisk in a bit of the tomato mixture, so that no lumps form, then stir in the rest. Season with honey and salt, and adjust to taste.

Optional - After adjusting seasonings, you could add a touch of cream, or some grated cheese if desired.

Published in Soups and Stews
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Fast Tomato Sauce

Fast Tomato Sauce


Here's another from Mark Bittman's great book. The recipe calls for canned tomatoes but you can use the frozen ones in your share. Just run each frozen tomato under hot water and the skins will slip from them. Core the tomatoes as needed and then follow the recipe below.

3 Tbs olive oil or butter
1 med onion, chopped
1 24-32 oz can tomatoes drained and chopped
salt and fresh ground pepper
Freshly grated parmesan or other cheese

Heat olive oil in 12 skillet over med-high heat. Add onions and stir 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break up and the mixture comes together, thickening about 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Immediately toss with your hot just cooked pasta, garnish with cheese as you desire.

Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

South American Butternut Bisque

South American Butternut Bisque



3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chili, seeded, chopped
2 pounds winter squash peeled, cut into 1/2 cubes such as butternut or acorn
4 cups vegetable stock
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 bunch parsley or cilantro, washed and finely chopped

Saute onions, tomato, garlic, and hot peppers in the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the onion is softened and the mixture is thick, about 15 minutes. Stir in the squash and the stock and simmer. Reduce heat, stir in salt and sugar, then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Turn of heat and stir in cilantro or parsley. Garnish with dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

Published in Soups and Stews
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Greek Flatbread

Greek Flatbread



Pizza dough
8 oz. Feta cheese
2 Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped roughly
Pete’s Greens
1/2 cucumber, rough chop
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Preheat your oven to 450 and place a cookie sheet in the oven.

Pull dough from fridge and let it rest, about 10 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the vegetables. Place chopped tomatoes and olives in a small bowl, toss with some olive oil and pepper. Once the dough has rested, sprinkle some flour on the counter and roll it out until a quarter inch think. If you don’t have a peel, slide it onto another cookie sheet, with some flour or cornmeal on it. Top the dough with the tomatoes, olives and feta. Slide the flatbread onto the cookie sheet in the oven. While the flatbread is cooking, mix the greens, cucumber and balsamic in a bowl and toss, seasoning with salt and pepper. When the flatbread is nicely browned on the edges, remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes. Cut into desired slices, slide onto large round plate and top with Pete's salad.

Published in Pizzas
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Chicken with Oaxacan Mole

Chicken with Oaxacan Mole


In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, here is a favorite recipe from one of my favorite regions of Mexico. While it might seem daunting at first, if you double it you can refrigerate what you don’t use on the chicken and use it for lamb. As well, these spices are available at most local stores. While you're at it, check out the story of mole, at least one of them, since there is still debate as to where it originated. ~Bill

1 chicken, quartered
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
4 cinnamon sticks, crushed
3/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup coriander seeds
4 oz. butter
1 onion, rough chop
2 poblano peppers, seeded, rough chop
2 ripe plantains, sliced
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice
2 cups plum tomatoes, rough chop
2 oz. dark chocolate
For the chicken:

Heat some oil in a heavy braiser or large saucepot. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper and seared until golden on all sides. Place in 350 degree oven and roast until the chicken juices run clear from the chicken when pierced with a knife. Pull from oven, place on a platter and serve with sauce.
For the mole:

Toast first set of ingredients in heavy sauté pan until sesame seeds start to pop. Add coriander and toast for 1 minute more.

Transfer this to a food processor and pulse until you have a powder.

In a heavy saucepot, melt butter and add onions and poblano peppers and sauté until translucent. Add remaining ingredients, with the exception of the chocolate, spice powder and simmer for 30 minutes on very low heat, stirring often. Puree mole in blender. Add crushed tomatoes and chocolate and whisk until incorporated. Season with salt.

Published in Mexican
Page 1 of 6