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Posts Tagged ‘stephen kolyer’

Radishes_DSC_4652

There were so many radishes in the farmers market that I just had to buy a few bunches.  I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but they were irresistible and only $1 a bunch.  We ate some chilled, with sweet butter and sea salt, tossed some in salads, and then I did the classic French side dish, radishes braised in butter to accompany some grilled chicken breasts.  You never see cooked radishes on menus anymore, but this braise is a very traditional French summer dish.  If you use bright red radishes, they will lose quite a bit of their color when cooked.

2 bunches crisp radishes
3 tablespoons butter
⅓ cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth or even water
½ to 1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

Trim the radishes, leaving just a bit of the stem.  Scrub them well as dirt can often cling around the stem and root end.  If they have stringy rootlets, pull these off and discard them.
Melt the butter in a frying pan large enough to hold the radishes in a single layer over medium heat.  Add the radishes, stock, and sugar and season with salt and pepper.  Cover, lower the heat, and braise for about 20 minutes or until easily pierced with the point of a small sharp knife.
Remove from the heat, stir in the zest, and serve.

 

©StephenKolyer_Radish

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Global_Vegetables_DSC_3067

I grab whatever vegetables I have on hand and my trusty 8-inch Global chef’s knife and I chop away until I have a big pile of mixed vegetables (usually red bell pepper, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, green beans, celery, mushrooms) of somewhat equal size to throw in the soup pot for a massive amount of vegetable soup to warm up the kitchen on the first snowy day.  I’ve already placed a can or two of diced tomatoes, a can or two of cannellini or kidney beans, and some frozen lima beans, corn, and okra to the pot.  When I’ve added all the chopped vegetables I add enough water to bring the pot to the brim, season with salt and pepper, and cover just until it all comes to a simmer.  Then, I uncover and let the soup simmer away until the house is filled with sweet vegetal smells, the vegetables are tender, and the broth perfectly seasoned.  It doesn’t take too long and I have enough soup to fill us for days……

 

©Stephen Kolyer_Carrots

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©Stephen Kolyer_strawberry

You can’t tell from looking at this photo, but here we have the most old-fashioned pie I can think to make in the spring – strawberry-rhubarb.  I only make it when rhubarb is fresh from the yard of my best buddy, Bee.  Her one gigantic plant yields enough rhubarb for quite a few pies and lots of jars of jam.  Steve took the photo of the pie just as it came out of the oven and then we forgot to take another photo once we cut a slice.  It was just so good we ate before we thought!  Will try to do better next time.

oldfashionedpie

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tomatillo_sauce_DSC_0636
We do love Mexican flavors and often have some version of Tex-Mex burritos, tacos, or enchiladas on the menu.  However, once in awhile I go to my Diana Kennedy cookbooks and do something traditionally Mexican.  And, sometimes, I will see an ingredient that says Mexico and buy it whether I’m putting a Mexican meal on the table or not.  The other day, the market had the freshest, greenest, perky paper skinned tomatillos that were singing “buy us, buy us”.  So, of course, I did.
I had planned to have grilled chicken for dinner – using my trusty grill pan and decided that a lovely Tomatillo Sauce would be just the thing to perk up the chicks.  Not only did it do that very nicely, but it also added some zest to some grilled sandwiches we had for lunch the following day.
I first grilled the tomatillo along with shallots and garlic. Then, I chopped the grilled mix in a food processor along with some cilantro and a jalapeño.  Seasoned it up with lime juice and salt and we had a most delicious charred tomatillo sauce to zest up our dinner.

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©stephenKolyer_tomatillo

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20130519_Kol+Mick_Mick's_Quail_DSC_0548

About every 3 months or so, Mickey, my son, and his best pal and our on-blog painter, Steve Kolyer (aka Uncle Kol) get together to cook a magnificent feast.  This past weekend we got the benefit of one such feast.
It began with pizza on the grill for all of us to snack on while the guys cooked.  We had a couple of different kinds – the usual margarita, a goat cheese and mushroom, and a fig mix that was delicious.
Then – just to help out, I threw some soft shell crabs on the grill, made some lemon butter, and this gave us another quick snack while more cooking was going on.  Not that we actually needed it!
The star of the day was Uncle Kol’s Lobster Salad with Gazpacho Aspic.  Here is what Kol did to WOW us.
•     Made the aspic ahead of time as follows:
•    To make the juices for the aspics:
•     Cucumber – shredded and mixed with salt and hung in a cheesecloth bag overnite allowing the juices to drain into a clean container.
•    Tomato – cut in half, crosswise, and roasted in the oven until soft; salted and hung in a cheesecloth bag overnite allowing the juices to drain into a clean container.
•    Bell peppers – whole, roasted in the oven until soft, chopped in a food processor and hung in a cheesecloth bag overnite allowing the juices to drain into a clean container.
•    Wine/herb Sauvignon Blanc with mint, basil, thyme, savory, celery leaves, lemon, orange zest, peppercorns.  Placed the herbs in the wine and heated until just hot.  Set aside to cool.  Reserved some of the herb-infused wine for the vinaigrette.  Salted and added a packet of unflavored gelatin to the remainder.  Placed in a cup and chilled.
•    After hanging, all of the vegetable waters were squeezed out of their cheesecloth bags.  Tasted for salt and, if necessary, sugar.  Warmed and individually added unflavored gelatin (1 cup liquid to 1 packet gelatin).  Placed in cups and chilled until set and well-set.
•    When ready to serve, cut the aspic into cubes, keeping each flavor separate.  Kept them well-chilled just until the last minute.
•     Poach the lobster and remove from the shell.  Cut the body, crosswise, into medallions.
•    Make a salad of baby watercress and arugula with sorrel, chives, oregano, basil, and edible flowers and dress with a lemon vinaigrette (extra virgin olive oil, lemon oil, Dijon mustard, herb-infused wine, salt and pepper).  Garnish the salad with heirloom cherry tomatoes and finely diced shallots.
•    To plate:  Place the sliced lobster and a claw on each plate.  Dress with a touch of the vinaigrette and garnish with chopped chives.  Place a little mound of salad to the side along with the tomatoes and a sprinkle of shallots.  Toss the cubes of aspic together and pile an equal portion on each plate.  Decorate each plate with dots of thickened sherry vinegar.
NOW HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT FOR A SATURDAY AFTERNOON SALAD????  AND AREN’T WE LUCKY?????
Then Mickey followed up with Grilled Whole Boneless Quail Stuffed with a Whole Fig (that had been wrapped in prosciutto).  This was quite an adventure as I tried to help him bone whole quail without tearing through to the flesh or skin.  We kinda succeeded, but if you really want to know how to do it properly I think you will find a tutorial by Jacques Pepin on YouTube.  Grilled, they were absolutely delicious, if not chef-perfect.  We are determined to practice and get it perfect next time.
And, finally, Mickey made a wonderful Grilled Tuna with White Beans, Olives and Tomatoes with a few sprigs of baby arugula for a touch of color.  Light, but wonderfully reminiscent of the south of France.  I would eat this every day if I could.
Do you think we are spoiled?  I do.

KolandMickey

20130519_Kol+Mick_Mick's_Tuna_DSC_0559

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We’ve all had those moments when we look in the fridge and just know that something’s gotta give – things in plastic containers, plastic baggies, plastic film, and even some things just as they’ve come from the market.  Saturday night was one of those moments for me.  What to do with a bit of chicken stock, a piece of ginger, couple of carrots, half an onion, 2 stalks of broccoli, a couple of pieces of pork filet – not to mention the various jars of “stuff” lining the shelves.  Among those jars I found black bean sauce, hoisin sauce, mushroom soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce (there were others that said Italian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern, too) and together they said “take out Chinese food.”  Checked to make sure I had some long grain rice – there was just a cup, so I was ready to wok it.  I’ll try to give you the gist of what I did and then you, too, can make a clean out your fridge Chinese dinner – not a feast exactly, but a pretty decent meal.

First I cut the veggies, added a couple of cloves of garlic, and grated the ginger.  Measured out some of the black bean sauce and chili garlic sauce.  Then, cut the pork into little pieces and tossed it in cornstarch.  Combined the black bean and chili-garlic sauces and added a good dose of mushroom soy sauce to the bowl.

I put the rice on to cook – it only takes about 20 minutes at most.

Then, I put a tablespoon of corn oil in a large frying pan – I did forget that my wok is in the country – and put it over high heat.  When it was very hot, I added the pork in batches and fried it until golden and crisp.  Took just a couple of minutes.  Drained it on some paper towel.

Poured off most of the oil and added the veggies, garlic, and ginger to the pan, tossing and turning to get them heated through.  Added about ½ cup of chicken stock along with the black bean sauce mixture and when everything was mixed and a little juicy, I tossed the pork back into the pan and gave the whole mess a couple of whirls.

Presto – dinner was ready just as the rice was perfection.  It made so much that we had leftovers for Sunday lunch.

 

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