Saturday, May 21, 2011

Coq au Vin + Polenta + Roasted Zucchini, Carrots and Radicchio

I'm finally done with school and am home in Topanga for a week!! My mom and I went to the Topanga Farmer's Market yesterday and picked up a couple of chickens for dinner. I've been dying to make coq au vin and I figured that I could test out a recipe on the fam. It was also a really good way to try out my butchering skills (of which I have close to none).

Here are a few pictures of me butchering the chicken and marinating the pieces in red wine, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves:

I would have liked to marinate the chicken overnight, but I really wanted to eat the coq au vin that night so I marinated it for about 4 hours. I decided to make a quick chicken stock with the leftover bones. First, I chopped up some garlic, celery, carrot and onion and sautéed it all in some olive oil for a few minutes. I added in a few black pepper corns, bay leaves, thyme and the chicken carcasses and covered them with water. I've never made chicken stock before so I did the whole skimming thing over the course of about 2 and a half hours, something you don't have to do with vegetable stock. It wasn't the most intensely flavored stock but it was goooood for having only cooked for 2 hours.

When I was ready to start cooking the coq au vin, I patted the chicken dry and dredged each piece in some flour that I seasoned with salt and pepper.

I browned the chicken in batches:

Next, I chopped up a few carrots, a leek, half an onion, a few stalks of celery and some green garlic that we picked up at the farmers market.

I sautéed the vegetables in some of the leftover fat from the chicken.

I added in a little tomato paste and the browned chicken:

Next, I poured in the wine that the chicken had been marinating in, along with the herbs and a little extra thyme before topping it off with some of my chicken stock. I put the lid on and simmered it for about an hour. Next, I removed the chicken from the pot and reduced the sauce down for about 10 minutes. I then added the chicken back in and let it heat back up in the sauce for a few minutes before serving.

In the meantime, I made some polenta with about 6 parts water to 1 part milk. At the end of the cooking process, I whisked in about a tablespoon of butter and a cup of grated parmesan.

I roasted some radicchio with a little salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I also roasted some zucchini and carrots with salt, pepper, olive oil and a little drizzle of sherry vinegar.

For my sister, Kali, who doesn't eat meat, I made a little beurre rouge to go with the polenta and vegetables. I make this all the time to eat with polenta and roasted vegetables and it is sooooo good. First, I reduced down some red wine with a chopped shallot, rosemary and thyme. I then strained out the wine and slowly whisked in some butter. And that's pretty much it! yum.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Flat Iron Steak with Smashed Potato an Radicchio Salad

Okay, so I decided to make steak again and this time it worked out perfectly. After school today, Lucas and I walked over to the meat hook, our neighborhood butcher shop, and picked up a couple of flat iron steaks for dinner tonight. Honestly, I still have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to cooking meat but maybe I'm slowly getting the hang of it.

The steak was cooked pretty standardly - super hot pan, salt, pepper, then finished with thyme, butter and a rub of raw garlic. For the potato salad, first I cut up the potatoes and boiled them in salted water. For the last 10 minutes, I threw in 2 eggs to hard boil. I made a dressing with a ton of dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, raw garlic, anchovy paste, chives, tarragon, sautéed shallots, olive oil, salt and pepper. Once the potatoes and eggs were done cooking, I let the potatoes drain while I peeled the eggs. I gave the eggs a rough chop and tossed them with the potatoes, dressing and sliced radicchio (the radicchio should wilt a little from the heat of the potatoes). Finally, while the steak was resting, I made a little sauce in the pan with the leftover butter and some sherry vinegar and then poured that over the steak. That's it! Lucas rated this meal a 9.8 out f 10 - pretty good if you ask me.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Potatoe, Fennel and Smoked Jalepeño Hash + Fried Eggs and Chimichurri

Last night's leftovers turned into this morning's breakfast. I'm not really into the philosophy that everything is better with an egg on top, but for breakfast, an egg can really transform your leftovers from dinner.

This morning I decided to use the leftover roasted potatoes, chimichurri, arugula and raw fennel from last night.

First, I sautéed an onion in a little olive oil and added in one of my favorite dried smoked jalepeños that my mom gets from the Santa Monica farmers' market. They are super spicy and have this really subtle smoky flavor that just kind of lingers in the background of whatever you put them with. After about 5 minutes, I added in some sliced fennel and about a tablespoon of butter and let that cook for another 2-3 minutes before adding in some roughly chopped leftover potatoes. Once the potatoes had warmed through, I turned off the heat and threw in a few handfuls of arugula to wilt. I then fried a few eggs and topped them with some of my chimichurri.

Best breakfast ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Roasted Branzino with Fingerling Potatoes, Chimichurri and Bread Crumbs + Cucumber and Radish Salad

I've been cooking a lot lately but haven't really felt like posting about anything until right now. Last night I made a reaaalllyyy delicious meal which I then turned into the best breakfast ever this morning (I'll be posting about that next).

First, I cut the potatoes into even pieces and coated them in salt, pepper and olive oil before roasting them at 400 degrees. Next, I prepared the stuffing for the fish. I sliced up a shallot, a bulb of fennel, some parsley stems and a meyer lemon and seasoned them in a bowl with salt and olive oil. I then seasoned the fish and filled each cavity with a handful of the fennel mixture. The fish were roasted at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.

For the Chimichurri, I combined parsley, mint, tarragon and chives with a clove of garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and sherry vinegar in a blender.

For the salad, I sliced some radishes and cucumber and then at the last minute tossed them with a little wild arugula, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Finally, at the last minute, I toasted up some homemade sour dough bread crumbs in a little butter and olive oil with salt and some chili flakes.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Quinoa with Beets, Red Onion, Shitake Mushrooms and Snap Peas + Roasted Potatoes

This is one of my favorite ways to eat. Super vegetable-y and delicious. First, I cooked the beets in vinegar, water, salt and sugar in the oven until they became tender but NOT mushy!! Next, I sautéed a small red onion in olive oil before adding in roughly chopped snap peas and shitake mushrooms. In a separate pot, I cooked the quinoa until just done. When the beets were ready, I mixed everything together with a little lemon juice, olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. Served with a side of roasted potatoes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Trout with Romesco Sauce + Roasted Asparagus and Yellow Squash

Sorry about the lack of posts, I haven't really felt like taking photos of my meals lately, although I can assure you that I've been cooking a lot. Last night I made some of the best banana bread I've ever made before (very exciting considering that I totally mixed up the measurements for baking powder and baking soda). I've tried about a billion banana bread recipes but I always go back to this one. SO GOOD but having said that, I can recommend a few adjustments.

1) Reverse the quantities of baking powder and baking soda (I need to figure out why this worked)
2) Substitute 1/2 cup of the flour for whole wheat flour
3) Add in some cinnamon
4) Also add in about 1/2 cup of dried unsweetened coconut

Anyways, onto tonight's meal.

One night when Lucas and I were in Barcelona, every restaurant we wanted to go to was either closed or packed. After wandering around for about an hour, we finally decided to settle on some mediocre touristy spot that we had remembered reading about on a blog somewhere. The food was mostly ok, but one thing that really stood out was a side of roasted asparagus with romesco sauce. It might have even been one of the best things I ate on the entire trip! Anyways, I've been thinking about that asparagus a lot so I decided to try making my own romesco.

I read a bunch of recipes for research and went with the following ingredients -
(most called for hazelnuts but I skipped them because I didn't have any)

- 2 medium sized tomatoes, sliced in half and roasted in the over at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes
- 1 dried ancho chile, toasted in a pan for a few minutes on each side
- 1 piece of stale whole wheat bread, chopped into cubes and then toasted in olive oil
- about a tablespoon of almonds, toasted
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped and briefly sautéed in olive oil
- a few pinches of dried chili flakes
- about 3 tablespoons of jarred pimientos
- a small handful of parsley
- a tablespoon of anchovy paste (apparently not traditional but it just seemed to make sense to me)
- a tiny bit of grated orange zest (maybe half of a teaspoon)
- a bunch of olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- salt
- pepper

I threw all of the ingredients into my food processor, blended until smooth and adjusted the seasoning with salt/vinegar.

Then, I roasted some yellow squash and asparagus at about 425 degrees until cooked but still a little crunchy and seared my fish briefly in olive oil. Turned out really well!

Looking forward to Thanksgiving! I'll be taking lots of photos!!