Friday, September 21, 2007

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad

I was very pleased with myself for making this one up, based loosely on the memory of a salad I had at Grub in Los Angeles a year ago.

Baby spinach
Goat cheese
1 large Asian "apple-pear"
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 C finely chopped pecans
3 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs honey
1 Egg
2 Tbs milk
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

In a shallow bowl, mix the pecans and cornstarch. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg, honey, and milk, and season with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture and then in the pecans to coat. Place in a shallow baking pan with a little olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, turning over halfway through. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

Cut the Asian pear into chunks. Toss with the spinach and orange dressing (see below). Serve with hunks of goat cheese and the sliced chicken on top.

Orange-Honey Dressing:

1 small orange (I used a tangelo)
2 Tbs honey
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper

Combine the zest of the orange, its juice, and all other ingredients.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Apple Sauce

This is a very simple recipe that I put together to use up the 60 pounds of apples my father gave me last week. I've left out the quantities since I imagine that most people will be putting up less than 20 quarts, but it's really just a matter of tasting as you go.

Tart apples (like Granny Smith), peeled and diced
Cinnamon, Cardamom, Nutmeg

Combine all ingredients to taste in a large stockpot. Simmer until the apples are extremely soft, and transfer to jars.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Summer Vegetable Risotto

6 handfulls arborio rice
Olive oil
1 bulb garlic
1 C cippolini onions, sliced thin
Handful fresh thyme
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 yellow squashes, chopped
1 C english peas, shelled
1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 C fresh corn kernels, removed from the cob
4 C vegetable broth
1/2 C white wine

Chop the top off the garlic bulb and wrap the bulb in foil, leaving an opening at the top. Place in the oven at 400 degrees and roast for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool, and then squeeze the garlic out of the paper and set aside.

Start the risotto by caramelizing the onion in a little olive oil. Once the onions are golden brown, deglaze the pan with the white wine and let it cook off. Add the rice and toss to coat in the oil. Add about a cup of broth and bring to a boil. After you have added the first cup of liquid, add a couple pinches of thyme, and the roasted garlic. When almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, add more. Keep adding broth until it runs out, and then use water. You want to keep the rice bubbling, but not sticking to the bottom of the pan, so you will need to keep stirring constantly for about 45 minutes. Once the rice is soft, add the vegetables and simmer until cooked through. Season as necessary, and remove from the heat. Add a tablespoon of butter (or two for a large amount) and let melt into the rice.