Wednesday, April 20, 2011

caramelized onion


It takes forever... and ever... and ever.... to make this amazing ... thing. I say "thing", because it's not really a dish on it's own, but it can be a secret ingredients to so many things. It's like roasted garlic, but with a lot more work. I almost always use sweet Onion, here in GA, I would use Vadalia onions. I cut them thinly, but not too thin, and sautee with ample amount of oil (maybe about 1/8 of a cup... or more) for about 45 minutes. I do it on low heat the entire time. One will have to be really patient to do this the right way. for about 20 minutes, it will look like it's not changing at all, but it will come... when 45 min to an hour is over, you will end up with these amber, rich, goodness.

Top pizzas with it, fill frittata with it, make caramelized onion galette with it, have it as a base to your beef stew, have it in savory crepe with brie and pear, put it on polenta.. there's countless of use for these jewel.

This is mid-way through. starting to take on some color


This is the end product. If you are going apply much more heat to this in the next cooking step... like put this on pizza and bake it some more, I would not wait until onions are this deep in its amber color.

note: Onion is good for your health! it's been around for a long long time, and many cultures believe in it's healing power!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Roasted chicken

Anne Burrell's roasted chicken recipe

I loove Anne Burrell. and I loove Roasted chicken. Such a family friendly meal it is. I make Roasted chicken often and it's usually the EVOO, salt and pepper and maybe some thyme. BUT I happened to see her on TV when she was making her roasted chicken and it looked scrumptious. I was still unable to get that ridiculous golden color she had on the bird's skin, but I'm sure that is an oven issue...? the herb paste she makes really flavors the chicken and going under the skin of my chicken was fun fun fun~ it prevents all the garlic pieces and chopped herbs from burning outside the skin. yum.
very very blurry, but you get the idea

You get under the skin of that chicken! and slather the green paste inside

can you see the green-ness under the skin?

Again with a blurry photo! but you can see the nice browning of the skin, yes? big thumbs up!

here's the recipe :)

Ingredients

  • 5 sprigs rosemary, picked and finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
  • 10 sage leaves, picked and finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 (3 to 3 1/2-pound) whole chickens
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large or 2 small onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bundle thyme, about 10 sprigs tied together with string
  • 4 cups rich chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine

  • Special equipment: butcher's twine

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

In a small bowl combine the chopped rosemary, sage, garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Season generously with salt. Using your fingertips carefully work your way under the skin of the chickens to separate the skin from the breast to develop a pocket. Schmear the herb paste under the skin of both chickens. Use all of the paste and try to distribute evenly. Drizzle each chicken with more olive oil and massage the skin. The idea here is to lube them up like suntan lotion. This will really help to get a nice brown crispy skin. Sprinkle each chicken generously with salt. Truss each chicken.

Place the diced veggies, bay leaves and thyme bundle in a roasting pan large enough to accommodate the 2 chickens without touching. Usually a 9 by 13-inch roasting pan will be perfect. Add 2 cups of chicken stock and season generously with salt. Arrange the chickens on top of the veggies in the roasting pan and place in the preheated oven.

Check the chickens about 15 minutes into the cooking process, the skin should be starting to turn a lovely brown. Lower the heat to 375 degrees F and continue roasting. After another 15 minutes, remove the chickens from the oven and turn over. At this point check the level of liquid in the roasting pan. If most of the liquid has evaporated, add another cup of stock and return the chickens to the oven. When the chickens have browned on the bottom, about 15 minutes, remove them from the oven and turn them back over. Return the chickens to the oven for the final 15 minutes of cooking. During this time the skin on the chickens should be very brown and crispy. Remove the chickens from the oven and take the temperature in the crease between the thigh and the breast. (When doing this be sure not to have the thermometer probe touch a bone or you will get an inaccurate reading.) The thermometer should read between 160 and 170 degrees F. When cooking poultry in general the rule is 17 minutes per pound. If the thermometer reads less than 160 degrees F return the chicken to the oven for an additional 10 minutes and then re-check the temperature.

When chickens have reached the proper temp remove them from the roasting pan, place them on a warm platter and cover loosely with foil. Let sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

After the chickens have been removed from the roasting pan, skim off the excess fat from the surface of the liquid. The easiest way to do this is to prop up 1 end of the pan and allow the fat to run to the other end of the pan. You may not be able to get all of the fat, which is ok-fat tastes good! Put the roasting pan on a burner, add the wine, bring to a medium heat and reduce by half. Add the remaining chicken stock and taste. Add salt if needed- you probably will need salt. At this point you can decide if you are a "strainer" or not a strainer, meaning if you would like to strain the chunky vegetables out of the sauce or not. I myself, am not a strainer. When the sauce has reached the desired consistency and flavor remove from the heat and pour into desired serving vessel.

To carve the chickens: Cut off the twine. Pull the thigh and leg away from the breast of the chicken until the thigh bone "pops" out of the socket. This is also a sign that the chicken is cooked properly. Separate the thigh and drumstick. Remove the breast from the carcass by feeling for the ridge of the breastbone in the center of the chicken and slicing around the rib cage. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter or on individual plates with the mashed potatoes and gravy

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pizza~

Pizza night sounds good?
making pizza at home is so satisfying and also SO MUCH healthier.
Jason recently made a pizza stone purchase, and I must say that it was a really good buy. not only does pizza stones work for pizza, we can make Naan too! I love Naan...

our topping of choice was:
pizza #1 Tomato sauce /pepperoni/ thinly sliced jalapeno/Mozz cheese
pizza #2 caramelized onion/ sauteed mushrooms/ goat cheese/ bacon/ balsamic vinegar





We had a GREAT deal of difficulty rolling out the dough and putting the toppings on without the bottom of the dough sticking to the board that we were building our pizzas on. I think part of it was that the recipe asked for too much water, and we should've added more flour as we kneaded. I was unable to make mine into a circular disc... so it ended up taking a shape of.. what looks like a made up country. Jason's pizza was beautifully round with a nice pinched edge, but since at least half of the bottom was sticking to the board so badly, it ended up being folded over and becoming a calzone, which was very very tasty :)

I don't think I need to write a recipe. what was in there is what is listed above. I think people can have as much mushroom or goat cheese as they want. I ended up caramelizing 2 whole onion for a medium pizza. I only used two strips of bacon and crumbled it on top, but I think anyone could put more or none! but the above combination was a winner! do caramelize the onion Niiice and sloooow. It took me about 45 minutes, until nice and golden throughout. don't rush and crank up the heat, do this when you have plenty of time.

With Pizza #1, I think THINLY sliced jalapeno is the best part. It just gave that wonderful KICK! like I said, the calzone started out looking like a pizza, then was folded in half. that worked very well for us :)

For the pizza dough, I cannot recommend the recipe I used.. since it did not rise well and it was a little too wet/sticky. But the first place I would've gone for pizza dough recipe would be Mario Batali's cook book or on Tastespotting.com. It IS economical and you can be in control of what goes in there. No silly named chemicals in your home made dough!