Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Vinegar-Marinated Chicken with Buttered Greens and Radishes

Where do I even start, so much has happened since I last posted.  April was such a chaotic month full of fun and lots of not so fun crazy work projects.  So let's talk about the fun stuff, in the beginning of April I went to Austin, TX for the first time to visit one of my best friends and her lovely husband.  It was too short of a trip but we did do a lot of awesome things including eating at some very yummy restaurants.  My favorite restaurant was the Launderette the food and service were incredible.  I was blown away at how kind and genuine the staff was, makes me think twice about a lot of Portland restaurants now.  Let's talk food, we ordered labneh with crackers; Zucchini salad- feta, pine nuts, cilantro, mint, carrot dressing; Grilled Broccolini - romesco, fresno, almonds; Whole Branzino - sliced almond, preserved lemon, herbs; Charred Octopus - upland cress, garlic aioli, beluga lentils, avocado; and Brick Chicken - sauce aligot, braised greens (pictures below). I couldn't get enough of it. It was all cooked perfectly and well seasoned and super fresh with tons of herbs and citrus. The decor of this place was adorable too kind of like an old 50's restaurant.  If you are in Austin you must check this place out.  My good friend Branden (with this amazing blog) came up from Houston and joined us at this restaurant for dinner too.  We ended the night at this funny little dive bar that had a cockroach crawling on the wall, but hey what would my southern experience be like without some cockroaches.  Last night I adapted this incredibly delicious spring recipe and am having some leftovers for lunch, yum!

Serves 4

The Ingredients
2 pounds skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 radishes, quartered, halved if small
1 bunch mustard greens, leaves torn
2 tablespoons tarragon leaves, divided

The Process
1.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a large baking dish. Pour ¼ cup vinegar over chicken and let sit 30 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and pat skin dry. Reserve baking dish (no need to wipe it out).

2.  Preheat oven to 400°. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Working in batches (if need be), cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes; turn and cook until other side is just browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to reserved baking dish; reserve skillet. Bake chicken until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 165°, 10–12 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, heat butter in same skillet over medium-high. Add radishes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until radishes are browned and tender, about 4 minutes. Add mustard greens and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mustard greens are just wilted, about 2 minutes (they should still have some spring in their step). Add 1 Tbsp. tarragon and remaining 1 Tbsp. vinegar; toss to combine.

4.  Serve greens and radishes with chicken topped with remaining 1 Tbsp. tarragon.  I also added a little extra vinegar to my greens because I love vinegar.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Asparagus Salad with Toasted Almonds and Goat Cheese

Last night I got to see my favorite band of all time, The Smashing Pumpkins.  When I was younger and they were on their Infinite Sadness tour one of the band mates overdose on tour and died so the show they were suppose to play in Portland was canceled and I was heartbroken.  The band then proceeded to have a music career but it just wasn't as awesome as before and they eventually broke up.  Then come 2016 two of the original members including the main singer songwriter Billy Corgan decided to reunite and go on tour.  At first of course I was skeptical thinking to myself it just won't be the same...but boy was I surprised!  Their performance was so awesome that it brought me to tears several different times, it also reminded me of a time in my life as a youth that was hard. If you get a chance to catch them on this tour definitely do it.  Also I keep forgetting to write about my experience at Accanto at Portland Dining Month, so I promise next post I will get to it.  A couple weeks ago my friend Rebecca came over and we caught up on life and made this amazing salad from The Food Lab and paired it with a pan seared rib-eye and red wine pan sauce which I will blog about next time.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed, and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 medium shallot, finely sliced (about 1/4 cup)
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup red wine olive oil vinaigrette, vigorously shaken (recipe below)
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

(makes 1/2 cup)
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon Dijon
1 medium clove of garlic, grated
1 small shallot finely minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 fresh ground pepper

The Process:
1.  For salad dressing combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.

2.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add asparagus and cook until bright green and tender but still with a bit of a bite, about 3 minutes.  Drain in a colander and run under cold water until cool.  Drain and dry in a salad spinner.

3.  Transfer the asparagus to a large serving bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Add the almonds, shallots and half of the salad dressing and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with goat cheese and serve immediately, passing extra dressing at table.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spicy Pork and Mustard Greens Soup

I am in a full blown reading kick of reading memoirs of chefs right now.  I just finished Fresh off the Boat by Eddie Huang and it was such a good book.  Learning about his Taiwanese culture, the family he grew up in, the many brushes with the law he had, and to now see him so successful.  It is truly inspiring to see how people make their own unique way through this world and how they survive it.  Speaking of surviving it has been a hard day waking up to yet another terrorist attack in Brussels.  This world just doesn't make a lot of sense and it is so hard to see and experience such devastation.  This is why I hold my friends and family so close to my heart and cook for them as often as I can, because that is something that makes sense to me in this world.  We had a wonderful time in Eugene visiting with my fiance's family and I will say I had some very delicious Shepard's Pie.  This upcoming weekend is Easter and usually my parents host an Easter dinner but this year they are busy so I am going to create my own Easter meal for my fiance and I.  I am currently researching recipes and figuring out if I want to do the traditional ham or not.  Any of you have favorite Easter recipes?  Perhaps a treasured family recipe?  Well I recently adapted this wonderful recipe and felt very soothed and healed by it.  Enjoy!

Serves 4

The Ingredients
½ pound ground pork
3 cloves garlic, pressed
3 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
2 tablespoons chili garlic paste
½ teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 bunch mustard greens, torn (about 4 cups)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
8 oz. wide rice noodles

The Process
1.  Mix pork, garlic, ginger, garlic chili paste, and cumin in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add pork mixture; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.

2.  Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors meld, 8–10 minutes. Add mustard greens, scallions, tamari, and fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 5–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper.

3.  Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain.  Divide noodles among bowls and ladle soup over and serve.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Dublin Coddle

I have been feeling really inspired lately because I just finished reading Yes Chef by Marcus Samuelsson.  It is an amazing memoir that is very personal and really makes me appreciate him as a chef even more than before.  It is amazing the barriers he had to break down to get where he is now and how he is constantly trying to help better the world around him, he is a remarkable man.  What books have you all been reading lately?  I just can't seem to get away from books that revolve around food.  It just feeds my passion of cooking, discovering new foods, and learning about so many different cultures.  I love being whisked away into these food worlds.  Anyway every St. Patrick's day I love making an Irish meal, last year I made a not so traditional one so this year I went the very traditional route.  I love celebrating because it is an excuse to cook something different and I am 1/4 Irish myself.  I adapted this recipe last night and it was ridiculously delicious...the broth is pretty much a bacon onion broth, drool.  Enjoy!

Serves 3

The Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound fresh pork sausages (3 large sausages)
7 ounces thick cut bacon, cut into bite size pieces
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 large carrots, chopped into big chunks
1 pound yellow potatoes, quartered
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
Pepper to taste
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

The Process
1.  In a large, heavy bottomed pot, drizzle oil over medium heat. Once thoroughly heated, add the sausages. Cook just until all of the sides are browned. Remove to a plate.

2.  Add the bacon and onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and beginning to turn golden. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, and sausages.

3.  Cover with the chicken stock, then add pepper. Increase heat to bring stock to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover and remove from heat. Stir in parsley and serve immediately.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

I am so happy it is Thursday because the week is almost over and it is one of my favorite holidays, St. Patty's Day!  If you need something festive to make tonight make this: Corned Beef Tacos with Cabbage Slaw and Creamy Guinness Sauce.  I made it last year and it was absolutely delicious and a kind of different way to eat all the traditional Irish foods.  This weekend we are headed down to Eugene to visit my fiance's family and go to his grandpa's birthday which always includes lots of green champagne and corned beef which I can't ever seem to get enough of.  It will be nice to get out of town and go to a place that is relaxing and familiar.  Willamette Week put out their "best of" guide for people to vote what they think are the "best of" in Portland and you should go and vote for The Portland Kitchen as the "best nonprofit."  It only takes a couple minutes and is an easy way for you to support such a wonderful cause, here is the link.  Anyhow last weekend we had our neighbors over Saturday night and I adapted this delicious recipe.  Enjoy! Oh and I will talk about our dining experience at Accanto next post.

Serves 5

The Ingredients
1 small sweet onion, diced
2 cups chopped carrots
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
7 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 cup half and half

1 1/8 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. cold butter, cut up into small pieces
1/2 cup cold milk

The Process
1.  In the bottom of the slow cooker layer onions, carrots, and garlic.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and lay on top of the veggies.

2.  Heat a saucepan with butter over medium heat and melt the butter. Once sizzling whisk in the flour and cook 2-3 minutes until golden, to make a roux. Add 2 cups chicken broth and mix well. Bring to a boil. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour over the chicken and veggies.  Add the rest of the broth to the crock-pot, cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

3.  After the 6 hours, shred the chicken breasts (this should be easy). Stir in the half & half. Turn to high and cover.

4.  In a bowl combine the dry dumpling ingredients. Crumble in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the milk until the dough is sticky.
Measure out each dumpling using a tablespoon and drop them into the slow cooker, start at the outside.  Cook 1-1 1/2 hours, until the dumplings are cooked and now raw, but soft.  Taste and season more if desired.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sukuma Wiki (Kenyan Braised Collard Greens and Ground Beef)

Tonight is the night we are headed to Accanto for Portland Dining Month, this day needs to go a little quicker I'm so excited!  Now here is a fun 4am my fiance and I were woken up by the sound of gushing water so we ran out into our kitchen to see gallons of water pouring down from our ceiling.  We immediately put all our trash cans out to catch the water falling and tried to dry up some water with towels but the water kept coming.  I immediately texted our upstairs neighbor to see what was overflowing in her bathroom and she said it was the toilet (clean water). I think it continued to pour for about 20 minutes and this whole time we realized there was nothing we could do but watch and wait for it to stop (pictured below).  Once it finally started slowing down we just went back to bed.  I thought about calling into work to deal with all of this when I woke up several hours later but then decided hell no I don't want to deal with this, I'm going to work and email my landlord.  I am so thankful that we don't own this house or a house yet because what a mess.  So I am very happy it is Friday but I am definitely tired and not wanting to go home.  So let's talk about yummy food now, I adapted this amazing paleo recipe last night for a very delicious and healthy meal.  Enjoy!

Serves 4

The Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp each sea salt, cumin, coriander
1/2 tsp each black pepper, cinnamon, ground ginger, fennel seeds, turmeric
1 lb ground beef
1 bunch collard greens (about 8 leaves), stems removed, sliced or chopped
16 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp lemon juice
Apple cider vinegar (just a drizzle over your bowl, optional)

The Process
1.  Warm the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat for a minute, then add the onion. Sauté the onion until softened, about four minutes. Add the chopped garlic and jalapeño and sauté until fragrant, about one minute.

2.  Add the ground beef and seasonings, and cook until mostly done, about six minutes, stirring frequently so the ground beef doesn’t clump.  Then add the collard greens and tomatoes, and sauté until the collard greens are wilted, about four minutes. Stir everything around carefully as it cooks – be sure to do this step gently so you don’t mush up the tomatoes.

3.  Add the lemon juice and season to taste by adding salt and pepper as needed, and serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa and Chickpeas

Happy Wednesday everyone, that means I am only a couple days away from going on my Portland Dining Month adventure!  We finally narrowed it down to our top choice and my fiance and I are going to go to Accanto on a double date this Friday.  Their special dining month menu just ultimately looks the best to us, it is:

First course (choose one):
Paté di Campagna: pork terrine with whole grain mustard, charred bread and parsley
Tortino di riso con carciofi: risotto pancake stuffed with artichokes, pecorino and tomato jam
Second course (choose one):
Zuppa di pasta e fagioli with cannellini beans, macaroni, tomatoes and vegetable broth
Insalata di Caesar with chicories, crispy ciabatta, parmigiano and boquerones
Third course (choose one):
Strozzapreti con funghi e: ricotta, house pasta, soffrito with mushrooms, spinach, ricotta and soft boiled egg
Lombata di maiale balsamico: roasted pork loin, portabello and sundried tomatoes, escarole and balsamic demi-glace
Fourth course:

Plus most of the menus are only 3 courses and this one is 4, can't beat that!  Of course I will take pictures and give you a full review next week.  I also have never been to Accanto and the Yelp reviews seemed to definitely give it a good name!  Onto the food I made, I adapted this recipe and enjoyed this meal so much I couldn't wait to eat the leftovers! And I served it with a side of wilted spinach.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 lb.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed
¼ cup harissa paste
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges, for serving

The Process
1.  Preheat oven to 425°. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.

2.  Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. drippings from pan. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until beginning to darken, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas, harissa, and broth; bring to a simmer.

3.  Nestle chicken, skin side up, in chickpeas; transfer skillet to oven. Roast until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Top with parsley and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.