And this little figgy piggy screamed “kiwi, kiwi, kiwi” all the way home!
This semi-exotic fruit lends a clean, tart flavor to savory dishes.
Father’s Day. It’s always held such an ambiguous place in my life. I’ve never celebrated Father’s Day for as long as I can remember. To say that I’ve had somewhat distant relationships with the father figures in my life, my three stepfathers, is putting it mildly. I never knew my biological father. It’s not to […]
Poached chicken looks rather naked compared to a beautifully browned roasted hen. Add some spring baby vegetables to the pot and Henrietta Hen arrives at the table adorned with beautiful, edible bling.
When visiting the Queener Fruit Farm I was inspired by the sight of their huge, luscious peaches hanging on the trees waiting for Tommie to test its readiness to be harvested, I went beyond devouring them hand to mouth to incorporating these luscious beauties in a chicken dish. I remembered seeing a recipe on The Pioneer Woman Cooks using whiskey, barbecue sauce and peach preserves. Now the whole inspiration was complete.
The first time Charles brought home eggs purchased from some of his real-estate buddies, Karen Owen, who kept a few hens on their acreage seemed like it was almost a year ago. Since then, we’ve fallen in love with the eggs she provides us. With bright red yolks, like the sun. Tasty, buttery, creamy. Yes. Store-bought eggs will no longer do. Our love of these eggs led us to go visit Karen to meet the chickens, in a “Portlandia” moment.
I thought of this dish and my brief childhood sojourn in Singapore recently when I learned that a wonderful friend, a witty Singaporean now living with her charming husband in New York City, was coming through the Northwest on a tour to promote her new book, “A Tiger in the Kitchen,” a memoir about her experience reconnecting with her Singaporean roots and family by travelling home to learn her family recipes. I wish I had time to prepare the dish for Cheryl and Mike, but our visit was brief but fun.
Making chicken stock isn’t difficult. I watched Martha Stewart demonstrate it years ago, except she used two whole chickens and then tossed them! But if Martha can do it, so can you. You don’t need to use whole chickens like she did. Just think, how often are you stopping at the grocery store to get baked rotisserie chicken for your family meal? Instead of throwing out the carcass the next time, put it in a ziploc bag in the freezer, and on a lazy afternoon make some chicken stock and then freeze it.
In 2000 AD, I was gifted with a Showtime Rotisserie by Vic’s mom, Pranee. That’s right, it was the original “Set it and forget it” machine that you see on TV ads between midnight and dawn.
Being a southern boy who appreciated such retailers as Neiman-Marcus and Tiffany’s, I rolled my eyes at this one, discreetly of course. Hurting Pranee’s feelings is like fooling Mother Nature — it’s just not nice!
Adding fruit to foods makes a mundane meal more exciting. Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit are wonderful additions to salads and grilled seafood. You might not think of it, but tropical fruits like mangoes, which are now coming into season, and pineapple also make great additions to heartier fare like grilled pork or chicken, and they can be delicious when combined with stir-fry.
As far as American fare goes, chicken is one of those old stand-bys. Roasted, grilled or battered and fried, it has attained comfort-food status in most American households. In the Far East, chicken also has the coveted comfort-food status on many family tables. My recipe for this dish combines Thai and Chinese techniques of poaching a whole chicken in garlic and ginger and then serving it with a zingy sauce of crushed garlic and ginger, salted soybeans, soy sauce and vinegar.
Southern Fried Chicken! By all means, yes! Cornbread and buttermilk! Eew!
Fried chicken, be it Southern, Chinese crispy, Thai, Korean or wherever, it’s a universal enjoyment. Like Sara Lee, “Everybody doesn’t like something, but nobody doesn’t like fried chicken.” Cornbread and buttermilk aficionados are a cult unto themselves. No teetering on this fence – you’re either in or out. My mother was definitely in, and eventually I was in too.
Nam prik pao, a thick sauce made of ground-up roasted chilis, soybean oil, palm sugar, fish sauce, ground-up dried shrimp and shallots, has one of those unmistakable flavors. Literally translated, the name means roasted chili water. It’s a sauce that I grew up loving — believe it or not — on toast. Mom’s version of chicken and cashew nuts uses this delicious sauce, giving this Chinese dish a uniquely Thai twist.
Back home in the good ol’ US of A, we have our own ways of grazing through the 4th of July. Inevitably, most celebrations will be outdoors and around some sort of grill, as it should be. Hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled meat and chicken, barbecue, potato salad, cole slaw, deviled eggs, ice cream, strawberries, blueberries, baked beans, oysters, lobster, crab, to name more than a few likely table-toppers, depending on where you celebrate.
Cornish Game Hen, Poussin, Coquelet, or Baby Chicken – which stage name do you prefer for this pint-size poultry? All except “baby chicken” sound exotic. I learned that they are all one and the same and, despite the name hen, they can be of either sex, and they’re not really a game bird at all. Confused? Poussin and Coquelet do sound exotic but then again, French words are exotic to all except the French. Even Cornish Game Hen sounds exotic next to baby chicken which, to me, suggests cute little fuzzy chicks and Easter.
Assuming that Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic is is an ancient recipe, let’s say Medieval or 500-1500 years old, what was cutting edge, gastronomically speaking, then? Maybe this was it. One can certainly believe that a large handful of garlic wields phenomenal power. Raw garlic is powerful; pulverize enough of it and you could probably make a train take a dirt road or an onion cry.
Traditional Coq au Vin is usually thought of as a tough old bird braised in red wine, usually Burgundy. However, like most recipes, they get re-invented as they move from region to region. In Alsace, this dish is called Coq au Riesling and is a most elegant and lighter version of the original. Serving it with Hazelnut Spaetzle seems like the perfectly natural thing to do since Alsace has a rich heritage with both French and German influences.
In Oregon, we’ve got the best of two worlds. Wine lover? How ’bout some world-class pinot noir? Prefer white? No sweat. We’ve also got pinot gris that’ll knock your socks off. And what if you’re into beer? Well, besides great wine, we have GREAT beer. Turns out that Oregon has more breweries per capita than […]
When I came across a recipe for Sole Piccata with Grapes and Capers in Bon Appétit, I knew I had to try it. It was one of those “Holy capers Batman, this dish goes super kapow!” recipes. The grapes added a bold dimension without overpowering the lemon and capers but stood next to them equal in flavor. This is a weeknight dish that you can have on the table in a reasonably short time and can be dressed up for company if you don’t mind cooking at the last minute.
Oregon truffles have begun coming in and none too soon either. Some years they arrive in time to grace our Thanksgiving table. Some years we’re just glad to see them come in at all.
These precious babies were a real surprise for me upon arriving in Oregon in December of 2002. On my first visit to one of my favorite food markets, I spied two glass custard dishes in the produce cooler with strange shaped “things”. My mind was saying, “Could these be truffles in the supermarket?” I leaned over to take a whiff and was nearly swept off my feet by their earthy, intoxicating perfume.
Chicken Marsala is one of my main “go to” dishes when I’m too lazy to look for something new. Over the years I have added onions or shallots and mushrooms. Recently I found a recipe on epicurious.com for Chicken Marsala with Sage. Adding the sage to my evolving recipe was a hit, and using oyster mushrooms instead of white or crimini was perfect. The family proclaimed it the best Marsala I have made to date.