weeknight gourmet

Posts Tagged ‘Bon Appetit’

Chicken & Sausage Cacciatore

IMG_1732Here’s a quick cacciatore with chicken and sausages.  It was delicious and perfect for a cold, snowy night.

Despite the two pints of grape tomatoes, the tomato flavor was not dominant.  Some reviewers of the recipe mentioned adding tomato paste.  If you want more tomato flavor, try this.  But I really enjoyed the earthiness from the mushrooms and red wine.

The store was out of skin-on, bone-in thighs so I used skinless, boneless.  If you make this change, add the chicken and sausages back to the pot at the same time.

We mopped up the delicious sauce with some crusty bread.

Chicken & Sausage Cacciatore
Bon Appetit

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 large chicken thighs with skin and bones (about 1 1/3 pounds)
  • 3/4 pound fresh mild or hot Italian sausages
  • 3/4 pound large mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 12-ounce containers grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken and sausages to skillet. Sauté until brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken and sausages to bowl.

Add mushrooms to skillet. Sauté until brown, about 4 minutes; add to same bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet; add tomatoes, red wine, garlic, and rosemary. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes. Using potato masher, lightly crush half of tomatoes. Return chicken to skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Add remaining contents of bowl and simmer uncovered until chicken and sausages are cooked through, turning often, about 15 minutes longer.

Place chicken and sausages on platter. Cut sausages on diagonal into thick slices. Stir basil into sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken.

Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

IMG_0760After making some less than stellar chicken thighs, I was on the quest for a better technique.  This recipe was easy and delicious!!

In addition to the salt and pepper, I added a touch of Italian seasoning.  But other than that, I followed the recipe exactly and the chicken was moist and the skin was crsipy. YUM!

 

 

Perfect Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs
Bon Appetit

  • 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 475°F. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12″ cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Transfer skillet to oven and cook 13 more minutes. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Orecchiette Carbonara with Charred Brussels Sprouts

IMG_0490After making my first disappointing Barefoot Contessa dish on Saturday, I was very happy to make a super tasty dinner tonight!  The recipe is a variation on a carbonara with the delicious addition of Brussels sprouts and lots of Pecorino.

Not many notes on this recipe.  I was able to buy some guanciale (un-smoked Italian bacon usually prepared with pig’s cheeks) at Dickson’s Farmstand, an amazing butcher in Chelsea Market.  I’m sure the recipe would be great with pancetta as well.  I only needed about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water.  I aslo added a pinch of kosher salt when I mixed in the Brussels sprouts.

Tim and both cleared our plates (and then some).

Orecchiette Carbonara with Charred Brussels Sprouts
Bon Appetit

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed, leaves separated
  • 12 ounces orecchiette or other fresh or dried small pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 ounces guanciale (salt-cured pork jowl) or pancetta (Italian bacon), finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino plus more
  • 2 large egg yolks, beaten to blend

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, add Brussels sprout leaves and cook, tossing occasionally, until charred in spots and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate and set aside. Wipe out skillet.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente (about 5 minutes for fresh pasta). Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add guanciale and cook, stirring often, until slightly crisp, about 4 minutes. Add pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Immediately add 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to keep pepper from burning; reduce heat to low and gradually add butter, swirling skillet and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until a thick, glossy sauce forms. (Taste as you go and switch to hot water once sauce is adequately seasoned.)

Add pasta to skillet and toss to coat. Add Pecorino; toss to combine. Remove from heat; mix in egg yolks. Add reserved Brussels sprout leaves; toss, adding pasta cooking liquid (or hot water) as needed to thin sauce.

Serve pasta topped with more Pecorino.

Chicken Tagine with Fennel & Olives

IMG_0414When I started this blog back in 2009 (holy sh%t it’s been that long!), I said I would post the winners and the losers.  This dish wasn’t a loser but it didn’t come together as I had hoped.  The sauce didn’t thicken as described in the recipe.  The chicken was flavorful and packed a bit of heat from the cayenne and paprika.  But the sauce was disappointing.

I find far more winners than disappointments but it is annoying after a long day to cook a dinner you are not thrilled with.  Oh well…onto the next recipe!

Chicken Tagine with Fennel & Olives
Bon Appetit

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks trimmed, bulbs halved vertically, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup pitted brine-cured green olives, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Mix cumin, paprika, salt, and cayenne in small bowl. Cut chicken crosswise into thirds. Toss in large bowl with spices.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; brown 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.

Add 1 tablespoon oil and fennel to same skillet. Sauté until golden in spots, 5 minutes. Return chicken and juices to skillet. Add broth and lemon juice. Bring to simmer, scraping up browned bits. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until chicken is cooked through, 15 minutes. Add olives. Simmer until sauce thickens, 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

Chicken Meatballs with Braised Lemon and Kale

IMG_0413Here’s a light and healthy dinner that only requires one pot!

The broth has a nice flavor from the shallots and lemon.  The meatballs — which are gluten-free — are quite tasty thanks to the garlic, shallots, scallions, and red pepper flakes.  The braised kale is tender.

Overall an easy, healthy weeknight meal.

Gluten-Free Chicken Meatballs with Braised Lemon and Kale
Bon Appetit

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium shallots, minced, divided
  • 1 scallion, minced (all parts), plus thinly sliced green tops for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound ground chicken meat
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • 1 lemon, very thinly sliced and seeds removed
  • 2 cups low salt chicken broth
  • 1 large bunch curly kale, destemmed

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add shallot, scallion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly until softened and fragrant, about 6 minutes.

Add 1/3 of ground chicken and cook just until cooked through, breaking up any clumps. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool slightly. Add remaining chicken meat, salt, and several grindings of black pepper. Mix just to combine. Wipe out pot and add remaining Tbsp. oil. Heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Form meat mixture into 8 meatballs each about 2–2 1⁄2-inch in diameter and add to pot (mixture will be soft). Cook until light golden brown on all sides, 6–8 minutes total. Remove meatballs to a plate; set aside.

Add remaining shallot and lemon slices and cook until lemon slices are tender and starting to turn light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and return meatballs to pot.

Bring to simmer, lower heat and cover. Cook meatballs until cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Add kale to pot, and cook until tender and bright green, 4–5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Divide kale and sauce among 4 shallow bowls, topping with meatballs and lemon slices. Garnish with sliced scallion tops and serve.

Weeknight Chicken: Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce

IMG_0320Delicious and easy weeknight chicken!  There is basically no chopping required except for one little shallot!

I followed the recipe and the chicken turned out quite moist.  But the tomatoes are the real star of the show.  So much flavor from the roasting; the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce add a nice touch.

Will definitely be making this again!

 

 

 

 

Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce
Bon Appetit

  • 1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes or other small tomatoes on the vine
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, and herbes de Provence in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy ovenproof skillet until oil shimmers. Carefully add tomatoes to pan (oil may spatter). Transfer skillet to oven and roast, turning once, until tomatoes burst and give up some of their juices, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and drizzle with Worcestershire sauce.

Meanwhile, season chicken all over with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chicken on both sides until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and roast chicken until cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet; heat over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze pan with vinegar, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan; add tomatoes and their juices and simmer until sauce is just beginning to thicken, about 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Slice chicken; divide among plates. Spoon tomatoes and sauce over; garnish with herbs.

Grown-Up Franks & Beans

IMG_0274Break out your dutch oven!  Here’s a great fall dish!

White beans and some browned sausage cook with white wine, broth, onion, and lots of garlic and herbs for nearly an hour.  The tender and flavorful beans are served with sweet Italian sausage on top.  Serve with a green salad or crusty bread.

A couple of notes: I actually forgot to buy fresh thyme and didn’t realize we were out of bay leaves.  I added about 1/2 teaspoon of Herbes de Provence along with the parsley. I also seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper when I added the butter in the final step.

I’m happy to be reunited with my Le Creuset Dutch Oven. Look out for many more stews, soups, and braised dishes as the cooler weather takes hold!

Franks & Beans
Bon Appetit

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1½ lb sweet Italian sausage links (about 6), divided
  • 2 15-oz. cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 10 flat-leaf parsley stems
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (such as oregano, flat-leaf parsley, and tarragon), divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5–8 minutes. Remove and discard casings from 2 sausages; add sausages to pot. Cook, breaking up with a spoon, until sausages and onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Add beans and wine to pot and cook until wine is reduced by half, 8–10 minutes. Using kitchen twine, tie parsley and thyme into a bundle; add to pot along with bay leaves and broth. Cook on medium-low heat, partially covered and stirring often, until liquid thickens, 40–50 minutes. Discard bundle and bay leaves. Mix in butter and 2 Tbsp. chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, after beans have been cooking for about 25 minutes, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook remaining sausages, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 15–20 minutes. Slice.

Divide bean mixture among bowls. Top with sausage slices and remaining 1 Tbsp. chopped herbs.

What kind of lettuce is that? KALE!

Charlotte had kale twice this week!  Tim and I both love the leafy green so I was excited she took a liking to it as well.  The first introduction to kale was in a sausage and bean stew I like to make in the fall and winter.  Charlotte picked the kale out of the bowl and asked “what kind of lettuce is this?”.  I was impressed with her food identification, but more thrilled that she liked the superfood.

Later in the week, I used kale to make this delicious pesto.  Charlotte loved it and ate two bowls.  Tim and I devoured ours as well.  I followed the directions below and it turned out very well.  We have some extra for dinner next week!

A sprinkle of extra parmesan on top added a nice touch.  Enjoy!

Kale Pesto
Bon Appetit

Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Blanch 4 garlic cloves for 2-3 minutes; remove from water with a slotted spoon. In same water, blanch 1 bunch of stemmed kale for 30 seconds; drain. Purée garlic and kale in a food processor; with motor running, gradually add about 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, about 1 cup grated Parmesan, and 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use pesto to dress cooked pasta of your choice or as a sauce for vegetables or fish.

Christmas Candy: Dark Chocolate Almond Bark

I’ve never really made candy before.  I associated making candy with other recipes that require you to be more precise than I really enjoy being.  I assumed you always needed a candy thermometer and I already have way more kitchen equipment than either of my kitchens can handle.

But this Dark Chocolate Almond Bark changes everything!!!  It was amazing and so easy to make!  The caramel – which is the only thing you actually have to prepare — comes together quickly.  I could not find Marcona almonds so I used blanched and slivered almonds.

I think the key to the bark though is high quality chocolate and not to forget the coarse sea salt!  I used Guittard 63% Extra Dark Chocolate Chips.  Yum!

I plan to make another batch tonight using pistachios in my attempt to recreate Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Roasted Pistachio Toffee.  Unfortunately I’m out of Guittard chocolate so we’ll see how Trader Joe’s dark chocolate does.

Note: Thank you to Bon Appetit’s website for the photo.  I didn’t have my camera when I made the bark.

Chocolate-Almond Bark with Sea Salt
Bon Appetit

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted Marcona almonds (not in oil)
  • 1 pound good-quality dark chocolate (62%–70% cacao), finely chopped
  • Coarse sea salt (for sprinkling)

Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or foil. Combine sugar with 2 Tbsp. water in a small saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until caramel is dark amber, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Immediately add butter; whisk until melted. Add almonds; stir until well coated. Transfer to baking sheet, spreading out to separate nuts. Let cool. Break up any large clumps of nuts. Set aside 1/4 of nuts.

Stir chocolate in a medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted. Remove from heat, add nuts from baking sheet, and stir quickly to combine. Spread chocolate-nut mixture on same baking sheet, keeping nuts in a single layer. Top with the reserved nuts; sprinkle with salt. Chill until chocolate is set, about 3 hours.

Break bark into pieces and store between layers of parchment or waxed paper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled.

Makes about 1 3/4 lb.

Ooh la la: French Onion Soup and Goat Cheese Salad

Tim and I both love a good French bistro or brasserie.  In case you are not sure of the difference, here’s an explanation from Wikipedia:

In France, a brasserie is a café doubling as a restaurant and serving single dishes and other meals in a relaxed setting. A bistro is a familiar name for a café serving moderately priced simple meals in an unpretentious setting, especially in Paris; bistros have become increasingly popular with tourists. When used in English, the term bistro usually indicates either a fast casual dining restaurant with a European-influenced menu or a cafés with a larger menu of food.

Regardless of whether it is the more casual bistro or the brasserie, casual French dining used to be a staple of ours before having Charlotte.  In our neighborhood we have the amazing Pastis just a couple of blocks away.  Even when we do have a babysitter, the long wait at Pastis doesn’t usually fit our schedule.  And, while they do deliver, it’s jut not as good.

I love many of their dishes but they have a delicious French onion soup and a wonderful warm goat cheese salad.  Last night’s dinner was my attempt to have a little taste of Pastis (and Paris) at our kitchen table.

I was skeptical of this onion soup recipe because it only takes 40 minutes and you saute chopped onions (as opposed to sliced) in a dry non-stick skillet.  But the recipe was very tasty!  I definitely needed to add some salt and pepper after the soup reduced.  I used Applejack brandy and Gruyere cheese.  How bad can anything be when topped with a baguette slice and melted cheese!  And, I actually forgot to add the butter so perhaps it would have even been better!

For the goat cheese salad I just sliced some goat cheese and then coated the slices in breadcrumbs.  The breaded goat cheese cooked in a small frying pan for a couple of minutes per side to brown the breadcrumbs and warm the cheese.  The green salad was dressed in a simple vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper.

Our delicious dinner, along with a tasty Côtes du Rhône, gave us a little taste of France right here in apartment 104.

French Onion Soup
Bon Appetit

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Calvados, Applejack, or other brandy
  • 4 cups low-salt beef stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4–8 1/2″-thick slices baguette, cut to fit ramekins
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère or raclette cheese

Special equipment: Four 10-ounces ramekins

Preheat oven to 450°F. Cook onions in a 12″ nonstick skillet over high heat, stirring constantly, until soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add butter and toss onions to coat. Remove pan from heat and stir in Calvados. Return pan to heat and continue cooking until Calvados is absorbed, about 30 seconds. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer until soup is reduced to 4 cups, about 5 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide soup among ramekins. Top each ramekin with 1-2 slices of bread. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over each. Transfer baking sheet with ramekins to oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and browned in spots, about 4 minutes.