Tuesday, June 28, 2011
What's the 4th of July without great food and fireworks?
The easiest way for some people to throw a party is to order platters from a restaurant or a supermarket. For others, only home cooked food will do.
But with busy lives, how to find the time to do any cooking?
A friend complains when the kids want to know what's to eat, she throws up her hands and says, "Ok, let's go out." But on the 4th, it's more fun if the food is home cooked.
One solution is to use easy-to-make recipes so you're not stuck in the kitchen. And to give you ideas, take a walk around the farmers market and pick out fruit and vegetables that take no time at all to prepare.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
I like meat. There, I said it. Give me a thick ribeye steak with sauteed onions and roasted fingerling potatoes, a simple arugula salad with a reduced balsamic vinaigrette and I'm a happy camper.
Sometimes I crave a big plate of veggies, but I still want some meat. In which case, a little meat goes a long way. A bit of sausage and chicken on the bone adds flavor and some comfort-food "stickiness" that is oh so very satisfying.
The simplest meal to prepare is a lot of sauteed vegetables added to a braise of chicken thighs, wings or legs. Some Italian sausage or something spicier like chorizo is frosting on the cake, as it were.
Get some help cleaning and peeling the veggies and it's 30-45 minutes start to finish. What a great meal it is.
Sauteed Vegetables and Chicken on the Bone
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 30-45 minutes
8 chicken wings, washed
4 chicken thighs, washed
4 chicken legs, washed
4 carrots, washed, trimmed, peeled, cut into rounds
1 medium yellow onion, trimmed, peeled, washed, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1 medium sized broccoli crown, washed, end trimmed, stem peeled and julienned, florets quartered
2 Italian sausages, washed, grilled or roasted
1/2 cup Italian parsley, washed, leaves only, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Use two pans. In one put a tablespoon of olive oil and heat over a medium flame. Season the chicken with sea salt and pepper. Saute until lightly browned, turning frequently. Add 3 cups water and raise the flame to high. Lightly cover with a piece of aluminum foil but do not seal.
Cook for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the liquid. If need be, add water, a 1/4 cup at a time.
At the same time, get the veggies going in the second pan. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil seasoned with sea salt and pepper. Add the veggies and saute for 10 minutes.
The braising liquid should be greatly reduced to about 1 cup. The chicken should be close to falling off the bone. If not, cook another 5-10 minutes.
Using a silicone spatula, transfer the veggies and their liquid into the pan with the chicken. Add 3 cups of water for a second braise. Stir well.
Reduce the flame to medium. Lightly cover with a piece of aluminum foil and, again, do not seal. Simmer 10 minutes, checking the broccoli and carrots, making sure they don't over cook.
Serve in large soup bowls because there will be sauce.
Add 1 tablespoon sweet butter to the second braise.
Omit the sausage.
Substitute chorizo or another sausage for the Italian sausage.
Substitute 3 pieces finely chopped bacon instead of the sausage.
Add 1/2 pound cooked pasta to the second braise.
Add 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes to the veggie saute for heat.
Add 3 cups washed, roughly chopped spinach to the second braise.
Add 6 shiitake mushrooms, washed, finely sliced to the veggie saute.