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Posts Tagged ‘scanpan’

chicken-breast_p5137169

Like the rest of America, we eat a lot of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Not because they are my preference, but because those of us on a cardiac-health diet are told to eliminate the skin. To make mine look as though they still have that delicious crisp skin, I lightly coat them in seasoned Wondra flour and sear them in a very hot nonstick (Scanpan, usually) pan with just a hint of olive oil for about 3 minutes per side or until golden. I then transfer to a very hot oven for about another 5 minutes or until just barely cooked through. I allow the breast to rest for another 5 minutes to finish cooking and to hold the juices in before slicing it, crosswise, on the bias. Because they are so large, one chicken breast serves both my husband and me. In this photo, I have transferred the cooked breast to a pan of warm old-fashioned creamy chicken gravy that I had saved (and froze) from a roast chicken dinner. I think if you try my method, you will find that you will end up with juicy meat with a slightly crisp exterior.

 

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scanpan-blini-pan

For the same DeGustibus Cooking School by Miele at Macy’s Herald Square I featured pans and knives from ScanpanUSA and Global Knives, two of my most favorite culinary aids. Scanpan makes superb nonstick cookware that I couldn’t live without. To make one of the tidbits to be served with the sparkling wine, we used the Scanpan blini pan to make the following shallot cakes. In the photo you see Amaral and I, cheering on my biggest supporter, Sarah Afana, as she makes the cakes. You can see how perfectly found they are going to be.

For the class, we also made the tapenade, but you could easily substitute a fine quality commercial tapenade. Each guest just had one cake, but you could do 3 slightly overlapping on an appetizer plate.

 

Shallot Cakes with Green Olive Tapenade

Serves 6

 

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

4 large shallots, peeled and chopped

1 large egg, at room temperature

⅓ cup milk

¾ cup self rising flour

Green Olive Tapenade (recipe follows)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Herb sprigs or toasted almonds for garnish, optional

 

Place the butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When melted, add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Combine the egg and milk in a small bowl, whisking to blend. Place the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisking constantly, add the egg mixture along with the cooled shallots.

Place either a blini pan or a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the blini indentations or into the frying pan. You want pancakes no larger than 3-inches. Cook , turning once, for about 2 minutes or until the golden on both sides. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the tapenade and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute or just until heated through.

Top each warm pancake with a small spoonful of the warm tapenade. Garnish with an herb sprig or toasted slivered almonds, if desired.

 

Green Olive Tapenade

Makes about 1½ cups

8 toasted almonds

3 cloves garlic, peeled

7 ounces (about 1 ½ cups) chopped pitted green olives, such as Cerignola

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped Italian parsley

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon well-drained capers

2 tablespoons white balsamic or moscato vinegar

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Pepper

 

 

Combine the almonds, garlic, olives, parsley, thyme, and capers in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process just until coarsely chopped. Scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in the vinegar and lemon zest. Season with pepper.

Serve at room temperature or slightly warm.

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Since there are just two of us when I roast a chicken I am faced with quite a lot of leftovers which translates to extra meals without a lot of cooking.  My first go-to is a chicken club sandwich – Steve, my dear husband is a lover of sandwich dinners.  At this time of the year the sandwich is not quite as delicious as it is in the summer with ripe juicy tomatoes on hand, but I chop up some of those sweet Sun Gold cherry tomatoes and they do the job quite nicely.

Even after making our sandwiches, there is still meat on the bones so I put the meaty carcass in a pot with cold water, onion, carrot, celery stalk (if I have it), herbs, and any leftover chicken stock or “jus” I have and simmer up a rich, chickeny broth.  I strain it, discarding everything but any meat floating about and the carcass.  I pull off the meat left on the bones and make a soup that will be dinner one night and a couple of lunches during the week.  For this particular broth, I added some diced carrots and onions along with a bag of chopped organic kale that was lurking in the freezer and some terrific Italian pasta from a brand called Rummo, a family-owned company in Campagna, Italy.  The pasta is what made the soup – it is extremely flavorful and stays al dente so you get that wonderful chewiness that great dried pasta reflects.  I was introduced to this brand by Rita, one of my favorite Italian baristas.  Although I haven’t seen this brand in many stores, Rita purchases it somewhere uptown in Manhattan.  I went on line and checked its availability and found an old review from New York Magazine where 3 NYC chefs rated it extremely low.  I can only assume that the company has changed its process because there is no way I’d rate it at the bottom of a list of dried pastas.  I find it has great flavor and cooks to the perfect “al dente” texture.

 

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Rhubarb

 

The other day Steve, my photographer husband, had to shoot some rhubarb for a client. Since winter was still in the air, I wasn’t sure that I could find it. But, lo and behold, I found bright pink stalks stacked up at my local Whole Foods. Once he photographed it, I couldn’t let it go to waste. So, what does rhubarb say to me? Spring! Strawberries! Pie! But there really has been no sign of spring here in New York City – as March stilled its winds we still had snow in the air.

Besides, I really didn’t have enough rhubarb or strawberries to make anything significant. I cut what I did have into small pieces, added maybe a cup of sugar, a tablespoon or so of lemon juice, and grated a bit of fresh ginger into the mix. I popped it on the stove while we ate dinner and ended up with a lovely 10 ounce jar of rhubarb/strawberry compote that will be delicious over ice cream or yogurt, drizzled on roast pork or even on a slice of whole grain toast. But, most of all I had a taste of spring!

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eggplant

 

My family does not really love eggplant very much so I am always trying to think of ways to make it inviting.  My newest trick works beautifully with baby eggplant.  I trim the stems and then cut them in half, lengthwise.  I toss the cut eggplant in olive oil, whatever fresh herb I have on hand (or none when I don’t), and salt and pepper.  I grill them, cut side down first, in my trusty stovetop grill pan (Scanpan again, of course – loving their nonstick surface) for a few minutes or until just barely cooked through.  I serve the warm grilled eggplant drizzled with a bit of balsamic vinaigrette or syrupy aged balsamic (when I have it on hand) with a glass of Prosecco or an Aperol spritzer.  Every single one of those little guys is gone before the drinks are.

 

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Mussels cooking

 

Fortunately, our Union Square Green Market isn’t just vegetables and fruits – we have cheeses, meats, poultry, fish, plants, and cut flowers to complete the outdoor shopping experience.  I was looking for some inspiration on Saturday and found some merguez sausage at the Flying Pigs Farm (www.flyingpigsfarm.com) stall.  That purchase led to a couple of pounds of mussels at Seatuck Fish Company (www.seatuckfish.com) and the two of them led to dinner pulled together in my beautiful Scanpan covered chef’s pan.
Here’s how it came about:  I sautéed some onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil until just softened.  I sliced up the sausage and added it to the pan and cooked it until it had lost its color.  Then I added about 1 cup of dry white wine, brought the mix to a boil and then lowered the heat and simmered for about 4 or 5 minutes to evaporate the alcohol.  That was followed with ¾ cup of pureed fresh tomatoes, 1 cup of clam broth, and some basil and chile flakes.  I cooked the liquid for a bit to allow the flavors to blend.  Then I added the scrubbed mussels and covered the pan.  Since the lid is glass I could watch the mussels open so just as they began to open I added a big handful of yellow cherry tomatoes and another handful of sliced baby red, yellow, and orange bell peppers.  Again, I covered and watched the mussels finish popping open.  Voila! A one pot dinner came to the table, 1,2,3!

 

Mussels plated

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Sausage_Kale_IMG_0167

This is a quick winter’s dinner that was tasty and satisfying with minimal impact on our calorie intake for the day.  Very, very lean handmade pork sausage, sided with some nutritionally-laden kale, and a little pick-me-up from blood orange.  The sausage and orange slices were easily cooked in my nonstick Scanpan stovetop grill.  The kale was chopped and given a quick sauté with mushrooms, shallots, and a touch of blood orange juice and zest and seasoned with salt and red pepper flakes.  Took all of 15 minutes to put together and an hour to linger over at the table with heart-healthy red wine.

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