Coq au Vin

Ingredients

10 oz shallots
3 tablespoons flour
6 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz chopped bacon or pancetta
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup brandy
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 bottle dry fruity red wine, 750 ml
8 oz small button mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter, softened (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
creamy mashed potatoes or tagliatelle, to serve

Method

  1. Cut the shallots into even-sized pieces, leaving the small ones whole and cutting the others in half or quarters.
  2. Put 2 tablespoons flour in a shallow dish and season it with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken breasts in the flour and coat both sides.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large lidded skillet or deep casserole, add the chicken breasts, and fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned—you may have to do this in 2 batches.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan, discard the oil, and wipe the pan with paper towels.
  5. Return the pan to the heat and pour in the remaining oil. Add the chopped bacon or pancetta and the shallots and fry until lightly browned. Stir in the garlic, then return the chicken to the pan.
  6. Put the brandy in a small saucepan and heat it until almost boiling. Set it alight with a long kitchen match and carefully pour it over the chicken. Let the flames die down, then add the thyme and bay leaf and pour in enough wine to just cover the chicken. Bring back to simmering point, then reduce the heat, half cover the pan, and simmer very gently for 45 minutes. (If you’re making this dish ahead of time, take the pan off the heat after 30 minutes, let cool, and refrigerate overnight.) Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pan, set aside, and keep it warm.
  8. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the shallots, bacon pieces or pancetta cubes, and mushrooms out of the pan and keep them warm. Increase the heat under the pan and let the sauce simmer until it has reduced by half. If the sauce needs thickening, mash 1 tablespoon soft butter with 1 tablespoon flour to give a smooth paste, then add it bit by bit to the sauce, beating well after each addition, until the sauce is smooth and glossy.
  9. Return the shallots, pancetta, and mushrooms to the pan. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, to taste. Cut each chicken breast into 4 slices and arrange them on warm serving plates. Spoon a generous amount of sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes or tagliatelle.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Cooking with Wine


Today’s Comic

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Brown Butter Pear

Ingredients

8 ounces gingersnap cookies, crushed
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Pear

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large, ripe Bartlett pears—peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
1 teaspoon sugar

Method

  1. Make th cheesecake. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the gingersnaps with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and a pinch of salt until fine crumbs form. Add the softened butter and process until moistened.
  3. Using your fingers, press the crumbs into the bottom of a buttered 9-inch springform pan in an even layer and brush any crumbs off the side of the pan.
  4. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Let the crust cool slightly, then wrap the bottom of the pan tightly in aluminum foil so it’s watertight. Set the pan in a large, deep skillet or a small roasting pan.
  5. Rinse out the food processor bowl and wipe it dry.
  6. Add the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, vanilla and the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar and process for about 30 seconds, or until smooth. Add the eggs and pulse to blend. Add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and process for about 30 seconds, or until smooth.
  7. Carefully pour the filling over the crust.
  8. Set the skillet in the oven and carefully pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake for about 55 minutes, until barely jiggly in the center. Carefully transfer the skillet to a rack and let the cheesecake cool.
  9. Remove the foil and refrigerate the cheesecake until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  10. Prepare the pears. In a large skillet, cook the butter over moderately high heat until lightly browned and nutty-smelling, about 3 minutes.
  11. Add the pears and cook, turning once, until softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
  12. Add the sugar and cook, turning once, until the pears are glazed, about 1 minute.
  13. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cheesecake and remove the springform ring. Cut the pumpkin cheesecake into wedges and serve with the warm pears.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Source: Chef Jane Tseng


Today’s Comic

Pistou

Ingredients

1 zucchini, diced
1 small potato, diced
1 shallot, chopped
1 carrot, diced
8-ounce can chopped tomatoes
5 cups vegetable stock
2 ounces green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen petits pois
1/2 cup small pasta shapes
4-6 tablespoons homemade or bought pesto
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
salt and ground black pepper
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Method

  1. Place the zucchini, potato, shallot, carrot and tomatoes in large pan. Add the vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the green beans, petits pois and pasta. Cook for another 10 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Adjust the seasoning.
  3. Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Mix together the pesto and sun-dried tomato paste, and stir a spoonful into each serving. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle into each bowl.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Healthy Mediterranean Cookbook


Today’s Comic

Eggplant Lasagne

Ingredients

3 medium eggplants, sliced
5 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 (14 oz) cans chopped tomatoes
l tsp dried mixed herbs
6 sheets no pre-cook lasagne
salt and black pepper

Cheese Sauce

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
1-1/4 cups milk
1/2 tsp mustard
8 tbsp grated mature Cheddar
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Layer the sliced eggplant in a colander, sprinkling lightly with salt between each layer. Leave to stand for 1 hour, then rinse and pat dry.
  2. Heat 4 tbsp oil in a large pan, fry the eggplant and drain on kitchen paper. Add the remaining oil to the pan, cook the onions for 5 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes, herbs, garlic and seasoning. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
  3. Make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring. Gradually stir in the milk. Bring to the boil, stirring, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard, cheeses and seasoning.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Arrange half the eggplant in the base of an ovenproof dish, spoon over half the tomato sauce. Arrange three sheets of lasagne on top. Repeat with a second layer.
  5. Spoon over the cheese sauce, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes to brown the crust.
  6. Serve hot with a mixed salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Vegetarian Classics


Today’s Comic

Pastrami Bleu Cheese Melt

Ingredients

olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
fresh bread rolls, enough for 2 sandwiches
pastrami slices
1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese

Method

  1. Pour a little olive oil in a saute pan, and over low-medium heat, slowly sauté onions and mushrooms until they are soft and somewhat caramelized.
  2. Slice rolls and assemble sandwiches by layering pastrami slices, bleu cheese, and cooked onions and mushrooms.
  3. Place sandwiches in a hot cast-iron grill pan with a cast-iron lid press on top or use a panini pan. Let bleu cheese melt and allow the bread to get crispy.
  4. Serve warm.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: The Organic Family Cookbook


Today’s Comic