My two youngest boys are heading to Australia this Summer as part of a People to People Student Ambassador program….I am so jealous! Through class instruction and on-line study guides they have learned a lot about their destination, and for a final project prior to travel they were tasked with sharing something specific to the Australian culture with their fellow ambassadors. Arthas chose to do a project on indigenous wildlife in Australia, but in true "Oui, Chef" fashion, Boris set his sites on a food project.
Archives for June 2013
I love a good coleslaw, don't you?
Too bad they're so hard to find. Most are overdressed, sickly sweet and consist of just shredded green cabbage with maybe one or two carrots thrown in for color if you're lucky….ugh.
A shame really, because a good slaw is the perfect summer side dish. Crunchy and fresh with raw vegetable goodness and lightly dressed with a tart-sweet dressing, a good slaw is great with anything coming off the grill. Rather than the traditional (and in my opinion, rather boring) straight up cabbage slaw, I like to make mine with a broccoli slaw mix that not only adds some dark green veggie nutrition to the mix, but texturally is head (get it, broccoli comes in heads) and shoulders above just having plain old cabbage.
Every now and again our love of fresh, colorful fruit gets the best of us and between my wife and I, we end up buying a bit more than even our large family can maw through in a reasonable amount of time. So it was last week when the crisper bins of our fridge started to look something like a "Noah's Ark" of fruit, as they appeared to contain at least 2 of every variety known to mankind.
While scouting around for a light "Spring" dessert to serve at a dinner party we had on Saturday, I came across a couple versions of lemon pound cakes that caught my eye. Unfortunately there was something about each that gave me pause, but with a little recipe re-engineering I was able to come up with this hybrid of the two that we all loved.
It's funny how some recipes come to be. This one started out as a means to finally use up a few heads of roasted garlic that had been meandering around the fridge for a while. Luckily they were sharing a shelf with my preserved lemons and had become friendly. A few sprigs of rosemary asked if they could join the party and before you know it they were all crying for some butter to crash the gathering (guess they felt they needed a social lubricant to kick things up a bit).
The whole mash-up reminded me a bit of the compound butter used to make Ana Sortun's Crispy Lemon Chicken with Z'atar, and from there is wasn't long before I was pulling out my poultry shears and spatchcocking a few organic birds. Et voila….these stars were born!
Here is yet another Genius recipe from Food52 that I had to share. I promise you are going to want to make this, so don't screw around and put this recipe on the bottom of your to-cook pile, stick it on the top and make it the next sweet treat you make. Remember, rhubarb won't be available in the markets much longer.
Like the other "Genius" recipe we've posted here, Alice Medrich's Best Cocoa Brownies, this cake is absolute perfection. Rich with butter, sweet with sugar, slightly tart from the rhubarb and buttermilk, and with a spicy pop from the candied ginger, this confection is firing on all cylinders.
Ask a bunch of friends what defines a really great restaurant meal and you're likely to hear all sorts of answers. For some it's the service, for some the ambiance of the space, for others the caché of securing a table at the latest outpost of a top chef. For many though, the answer will be that it's all about the sauces. There is just something about a well made sauce that seems to elevate a restaurant meal well beyond what most folks ever hope to accomplish at home.
Fact is, many of the best sauces you'll enjoy in a top restaurant ARE daunting to make, taking days to craft from the initial roasting of bones and veggies for stock, to the long slow reduction of same, fortifying with aromatics, and finally finishing with cream or butter. A true made-from-scratch classic sauce is a labor of love, only attempted by the most devout and ambitious home cook.
This little ditty is something I whipped up with some leftover cooked barley from a Cooking Matters class I taught last week. It was the first class of a six week session and was all about healthy cooking basics, with a focus on the My Plate diet recommendations. Given that My Plate recommends a diet that leans heavily towards whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and looks to dairy and lean protiens (meats) to play a lesser role, I wanted to cook a meal with our students that pretty well reflected this thinking.