1-minute Garlic Pan Sauce Transforms Spicy Chicken Traybake

Christopher Kimball wrote . . . . . . . . .

When you’re roasting food, air circulation is everything. That’s why we prefer low-rimmed baking sheets over roasting pans. They accelerate cooking and boost browning in our weeknight traybakes.

But in some instances, a bit of crowding on the pan can be beneficial, such as in this spicy chicken alla diavolo from our book “Tuesday Nights Mediterranean,” which features weeknight-friendly meals from the region. After tossing bone-in, skin-on chicken parts with ample red pepper flakes and thyme, we arrange the meat in a circle around eight whole, peeled garlic cloves.

The chicken roasts in a 475°F oven until deeply browned, but the cloves in the center are protected from scorching in the high heat. Instead, they soften and sweeten — perfect for mashing into a paste to mix with the chicken’s juices for a savory sauce that is ready in just a minute. Mixing lemon zest and peperoncini into the sauce gives it an extra kick.

Adding broccoli to the pan makes it a complete one-pan dinner that comes together in well under an hour. Just be careful not to cut the broccoli pieces too small. Keeping them in largish 3-inch pieces prevents them from overcooking. And use only the broccoli crowns, not the lower parts of the stems; the crowns don’t require peeling and are quick and easy to prep.

Chicken alla Diavola with Broccoli

Start to finish: 45 minutes Servings: 4

1 tablespoon dried thyme
1-1/4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 (12-ounce) bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds broccoli crowns, cut into 3-inch florets
8 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges to serve
1/2 cup chopped drained peperoncini
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh oregano, chopped

Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the middle position. In a large bowl, stir together the thyme, pepper flakes, and 2 teaspoons each salt and black pepper. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the mix onto all sides of the chicken. To the remaining seasoning mix in the bowl, add the 1/4 cup oil and the broccoli, then toss to coat.

Place the garlic in the center of a rimmed baking sheet, then arrange the chicken, skin up, around the garlic; this placement helps prevent the garlic from scorching during roasting. Arrange the broccoli in an even layer around the chicken. Roast until the thickest part of the breasts (if using) reaches 160°F and the thickest part of the thighs (if using) reaches 175°F, about 30 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken and broccoli to a serving platter. Transfer the garlic to a medium bowl and, using a fork, mash to a rough paste. Carefully pour 1/4 cup water onto the baking sheet and scrape up any browned bits. Pour the pan juices over the garlic and add the lemon zest and peperoncini, then whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli, then sprinkle with oregano. Serve with lemon wedges.

Source: AP






Quick Chinese-style ‘Omelets’ Come Packed with Veggies

Christopher Kimball wrote . . . . . . . . .

The omelet as most Americans know it is a French import. But cooks the world over have combined whipped eggs with cooked ingredients since at least the ancient Persians. And often, “omelets” from other cultures are a lot less fussy than the filled and folded bistro classic.

Take egg foo young, for instance. It may call to mind the deep-fried, heavily sauced egg dish offered in Chinese-American restaurants, but in China, Cantonese cooks use a lot less oil and a lot more crispy vegetables. In this recipe from our book “Cook What You Have,” which draws on pantry staples to assemble easy, weeknight meals, we take the Cantonese path for veggie-packed omelets. It also happens to be a great way to use up leftover vegetables.

We call for cabbage, onion and bell pepper, but bean sprouts, mushrooms and scallions also are good choices; you’ll need a total of about 4 cups raw vegetables. The vegetables are stir-fried to give them a head start, but are cooked only until crisp-tender. A bit of cornstarch mixed into the eggs helps bind the mixture together to form pancake-sized patties in the skillet.

To boost the protein, stir in some chopped cooked shrimp, pork or chicken. A quick sriracha mayonnaise served alongside makes a spicier, more complex substitution than the soy sauce-heavy gravy normally slathered on egg foo young.

And for a fun twist, make St. Paul sandwiches, a St. Louis favorite. Just slather the Sriracha mayo on white bread, then tuck the omelet, lettuce, tomato and pickles inside.

Chinese-Style Vegetable Omelets

Start to finish: 40 minutes (30 minutes active) Servings: 2 to 4

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Sriracha OR chili-garlic sauce
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Kosher salt and ground white OR black pepper
3-1/2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and Sriracha; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, soy sauce, cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set aside.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat 1-1/2 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add the cabbage, onion, bell pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk the egg mixture to recombine, then add the hot vegetables and, using a silicone spatula, stir until well combined. Wipe out the skillet.

In the same skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil until shimmering. Drop 2 heaping 1/2-cup portions of the egg-vegetable mixture into the skillet, spacing them on opposite sides of the pan. Using the spatula, spread each portion into a 4- to 5-inch round; if they spread into an oval shape, don’t worry, just keep them separated. Cook until the edges start to brown and puff and the omelets are nicely browned on the bottoms, about 3 minutes. Using a wide spatula, flip the omelets and cook, reducing the heat as needed if the omelets are cooking too quickly, until golden brown on the second sides, about another 2 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.

Cook the remaining 2 omelets in the same way using the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Serve with the Sriracha mayo.

Optional garnish: Toasted sesame oil OR thinly sliced scallions OR both.

Source: AP





Filipino Breakfast Is a Tasty Garlic Fried Rice for Any Meal

Christopher Kimball wrote . . . . . . . . .

In Filipino homes, the smell that wakes up many families is not coffee brewing or bacon frying, but slices of garlic sizzling in oil.

It’s for a fried rice known as sinangag, a way to use up the previous day’s rice by packing it chock-full of crisp, toasted garlic. Sliced garlic is deeply browned in oil to create golden garlic chips that are mixed into the rice along with a flavorful oil that infuses the entire dish.

In this recipe from our book “Cook What You Have,” which draws on pantry staples to assemble easy, weeknight meals, we add chicken to transform it into a main dish that can be eaten any time of the day. Soy sauce, scallions and a small amount of sugar give the rice complexity.

For the best texture, use cooked rice that’s been refrigerated until firm. To make enough for this recipe, in a large saucepan, combine 2 cups water and 1-1/2 cups jasmine rice (or regular long-grain white rice) that’s been rinsed and drained. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to low, cover and cook for 15 to 18 minutes.

Let the rice stand, covered, for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wide, shallow bowl. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled.

Garlic Fried Rice with Chicken

Start to finish: 35 minutes

Servings: 4

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
8 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts reserved separately
4 cups cooked and chilled long-grain white rice, preferably jasmine rice (see headnote)

In a medium bowl, stir together the chicken, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add the chicken in an even layer and cook without stirring until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the chicken, then cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned all over and cooked through, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside.

Wash and dry the skillet. Set it over medium-low and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the garlic. Cook, stirring only occasionally at first then more often once the garlic begins to color, until some of the slices are light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the scallion whites and cook, stirring, until most of the garlic is golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Add the rice, breaking up any clumps, followed by the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium-high, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate the garlic and any browned bits, until the rice is heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices; cook, stirring, until warmed through, about 1 minute.

Off heat, taste and season with salt. Transfer to a serving dish, then sprinkle with the scallion greens and pepper.

Source: AP





Crab Cream Croquettes

Makiko Itoh wrote . . . . . . . . .

Seafood lovers should know: We’re still in the peak of Japan’s crab season.

While fresh, whole, boiled crab and crab sushi usually come first to mind, one perennially favorite kani (crab) dish that doesn’t get much publicity is crab cream croquettes.

Called “korokke” in Japanese, these crunchy and silky morsels are a standby at yōshoku (Japanese-style Western cuisine) restaurants. Filled with old-fashioned béchamel sauce and shredded crabmeat, piping hot korokke are as much a feast for the mouth as the eye: When bitten, the creamy filling oozes out in a most satisfying way.

Crab cream croquettes have been enjoyed in Japan since the early 20th century, when they began to be featured at “fancy” Western-style restaurants. It is believed that one such establishment, Tokyo Kaikan in the Marunouchi area, was one of the first to serve this delicacy after opening in 1922.

Most restaurants these days usually make their korokke with canned crabmeat, With fresh crab, though, these treats are much more fragrant and full of umami. They do take time to make mainly because of the béchamel, which needs several hours to cool down. But if you’d like to challenge yourself, preparing these rich morsels at least once will add to your culinary repertoire — not to mention that they’ll taste a lot better than anything you can find in your local supermarket’s frozen food section.

The Recipe

Serves 4 to 6
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 90 minutes (plus time for the béchamel to cool and set overnight)

Béchamel ingredients:

600 milliliters milk
8 tablespoons butter
12 tablespoons cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Crab mix ingredients:

150 grams crabmeat
1 medium onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Breading ingredients:

2 large eggs
Panko breadcrumbs (about 150 grams)
Flour, as needed
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Japanese-style Worcestershire sauce or ketchup
Garnishes: shredded cabbage, cherry tomatoes, parsley

1. Start with the béchamel. Melt your butter in a 26-centimeter diameter or larger nonstick frying pan until it’s bubbling gently at the edges. Add the flour, and sauté it until it becomes loose and grainy — take care not to let it burn. Add the milk little by little, stirring well between additions. If any lumps form, you can break them up with a whisk. When all the milk has been added, stir everything into a smooth paste that runs away from the sides of the pan. Add the salt and nutmeg, mix gently and set aside.

2. In a separate pan, add the tablespoon of vegetable oil and minced onion. Sauté until the onion is translucent, then add the crabmeat and sauté for another minute. Mix your crab and onion into the béchamel sauce evenly, then transfer everything into a shallow container, cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.

3. When the crab, onion and béchamel mixture has firmly set, divide into 12 portions and form each into a small, flat cylinder.

4. In a bowl, beat your eggs. Set out the flour and panko breadcrumbs into separate containers, then coat the crab, onion and béchamel cylinders in the flour first followed by the egg and, finally, the panko.

5. Heat your frying oil to 180 degrees Celsius. Put one or two of the croquettes into the hot oil at a time and deep-fry until golden brown. Be sure to drain the oil from your fried croquettes well. Serve while piping hot with shredded cabbage, cherry tomatoes, parsley and, optionally, some Japanese-style Worcestershire sauce or ketchup.

Source: The Japan Times





Eight-ingredient Beef, Bean Chili Hides Super Bowl Surprise

Christopher Kimball wrote . . . . . . . . .

A hearty and easy way to feed a crowd, chili is an ideal addition to a Super Bowl party. But to add interest to this savory winter staple, we reach for an ingredient from the baking world.

This recipe from our book “Cook What You Have,” which draws on pantry staples to assemble easy, weeknight meals, has all the usual suspects: ground meat, beans, cumin, chili powder, tomato and onion. But it also has one unconventional ingredient — cocoa powder.

At least, it’s unconventional in most of the country. In Cincinnati, cocoa and other warm spices, such as cinnamon and allspice, are common components of chili (as is spaghetti, but we skipped that this time). Just a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder adds surprising depth and complexity —without making the dish taste like chocolate. Because cocoa is a fermented product, it adds a subtle richness that builds on the umami of a generous amount of tomato paste.

To create a flavor-packed chili using just eight ingredients, we’re not shy about the seasonings. In addition to the cocoa, we add ¼ cup of chili powder and a full tablespoon of cumin. We also cook the tomato paste until deeply browned, a trick that develops rich, concentrated flavor. Another trick is mashing half the beans to thicken the sauce without needing extra time simmering on the stove to reduce it.

Since chili loves garnishes, be sure to offer bowls of any combination of sour cream, cilantro, pickled jalapeños, shredded cheddar cheese, hot sauce and tortilla chips.

Eight-Ingredient Beef and Bean Chili

Start to finish: 40 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6

1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 pound ground beef OR pork OR turkey
Two (15-1/2 ounce) cans pinto beans OR red kidney beans, drained but not rinsed
28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped, plus more, finely chopped, to serve
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, combine the beef, 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water. Using your hands, mix well; set aside.

In a large bowl, using a potato masher, mash half of the beans to a coarse paste. Add the tomatoes with juices and mash until they are broken down. Stir in the remaining whole beans; set aside.

In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften and brown, about 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining spice mixture and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add 2 cups water and bring to a simmer over medium-high, scraping up any browned bits. Add the meat mixture and cook, breaking it into small bits, until the meat is no longer pink, about 1 minute. Add the bean-tomato mixture and cocoa, then return to a simmer. Reduce to medium and simmer gently, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the chili has thickened, about 30 minutes. Off heat, taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with finely chopped onion for sprinkling.

Optional garnish: Sour cream OR chopped fresh cilantro OR pickled jalapeños OR shredded cheddar cheese OR hot sauce OR tortilla chips OR a combination.

Source: AP