STRAWBERRIES AND PINEAPPLE

Strawberries and Pineapple

A nice combination of fruits.
Prep Time30 mins
Course: <= 30 Min Prep, Fruit
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • strawberries
  • pineapple

Instructions

  • Hull strawberries and cut into bite sized pieces. Cut pineapple into bite sized pieces. Combine just before serving.

PAPAYA WITH LIME

Papaya with Lime

This is a great combination and as simple as it can get.
Prep Time20 mins
Course: <= 30 Min Prep, Fruit
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe papaya
  • 2 limes

Instructions

  • Cut papaya in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and pulp. Cut into serving size wedges. Remove skin by cutting horizontally between fruit and skin. Arrange on plates and serve with wedges of lime.
  • Squeeze lime juice over fruit while eating.

CHICKEN ROASTED WITH MUSHROOMS

Chicken Roasted with Mushrooms

An easy recipe for a small whole chicken stuffed with quartered mushrooms and lots of herbs.
Based on a recipe by Florence Fabricant, The New York Times.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: <= 30 Min Prep, Main Course - Chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pound whole chicken
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces medium-size white cremini (baby bella), shiitake, oyster or morel mushrooms, or a mixture
  • 6 cloves garlic sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a roasting pan with foil for easy clean-up. 
  • Rub chicken with olive oil and season inside and out with salt and pepper.
  • Quarter mushrooms. If using shiitake mushrooms, remove stems. In a medium bowl combine mushrooms with garlic, parsley, and thyme; pack tightly into chicken cavity. Tuck wingtips behind chicken and tie legs together to secure stuffing. Place chicken on a rack in roasting pan and place in oven. Roast for an hour and 15 minutes. Use a thermometer to check for when done.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board. Pour all juices and browned bits into small saucepan, removing excess fat. To the saucepan add wine and mushroom mixture from chicken. Place saucepan on top of the stove and heat, scraping the bottom of the pan. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Cut chicken in pieces and arrange on a platter. Spoon mushroom mixture around chicken or pass separately in small bowl and serve.

Notes

Cooking time varies with weight of chicken. An 8 pound chick takes approximately 2 hours and its white meat will serve 6 people.

NEW YORK – STYLE CRUMB CAKE (9 INCH SQUARE)

New York - Style Crumb Cake (9 inch square cake)

A buttery cake topped with a thick layer of cinnamon - sugar crumbs.
From Cook's Illustrated, May & June 2007, Erika Bruce, p 23.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Cooling time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Desserts - Cakes
Servings: 9 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

Crumb Topping

  • 3/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/8 cup dark brown sugar
  • 7/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and still warm
  • 2 cups cake flour

Cake

  • 1 3/8 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, softened but still cool
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/8 cup buttermilk
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting

Instructions

FOR THE TOPPING

  • Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

FOR THE CAKE

  • Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut a length of parchment paper or aluminum oil long enough to have excess to overhang edges. Fit parchment into pan, pushing it into corners and up sides; allow excess to overhand edges of dish. The excess edges are needed to lift the cake out of the pan after baking.
  • In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.
  • Transfer batter to baking pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer. Break apart crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces and spread in even layer over batter, beginning with edges and then working toward center. Do not press topping into batter. Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, approximately 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment overhang. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

NEW YORK – STYLE CRUMB CAKE (13 X 9 INCH)

 

New York - Style Crumb Cake (13 x 9 inch cake)

A buttery cake with a thick topping of cinnamon-sugar crumbs.
From Cook's Illustrated, May & June 2007, Erika Bruce, p 23.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time35 mins
Cooling time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Desserts - Cakes
Servings: 18 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

Crumb Topping

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted and still warm
  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour

Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, softened but still cool
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting

Instructions

FOR THE TOPPING

  • Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

FOR THE CAKE

  • Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray 13 by 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut parchment paper or aluminum foil and fit into pan, pushing it into corners and up sides; allow excess to overhand edges of pan. The overhanging paper is needed to lift the cake out of the pan after baking.
  • In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.
  • Transfer batter to baking pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer. Break apart crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces and spread in even layer over batter, beginning with edges and then working toward center. Do not press crumbs into batter. Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, approximately 35 - 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment overhang. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

CHICKEN PARMESAN

Chicken Parmesan

This is a classic Italian-American recipe for boneless chicken breasts dredged in breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, browned in a skillet and then coated with marinara sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: <= 30 Min Prep, Main Course - Chicken, Sandwiches
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup flour for dredging
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 whole boneless chicken breasts if thick, slice in half
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup dry seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces Part skim milk mozzarella cheese
  • marinara sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge chicken breasts with seasoned flour. Dip them in egg lightly beaten with water and then dredge in a mixture of Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
  • In a large non-stick or cast iron skillet heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat, add chicken and brown on both sides. Remove breasts as they are cooked to a plate covered with paper towels. When one batch is done, wipe down skillet with paper towels and repeat until all of the meat is cooked.
  • Cover bottom of baking dish with thin layer of marinara sauce. Place chicken in single layer on top. Arrange slices of mozzarella on top of chicken and cover with additional marinara sauce. Bake in oven until cheese melts, approximately 15 minutes.
  • Serve with pasta and marinara sauce. Also makes a great sandwich on Italian or French bread.

COQ AU VIN

Coq Au Vin

This version of a classic French braised chicken recipe has a very savory sauce made by reducing wine and broth.
Based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, September, 2006.
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course - Chicken
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano

Ingredients

  • 1 liter red wine Pinot Noir works well
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 slices thick-sliced hickory smoked Canadian bacon julienned approximately 1 - 1 1/2 inches in length
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut lengthwise
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 24 frozen pearl onions thawed, drained, and dried
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms stems removed, halved
  • 2 medium garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, combine wine, broth, parsley, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until reduced in half.
  • Salt and pepper the chicken. In a hot Dutch oven, melt a tablespoon of butter and brown thighs in two batches. Remove to a plate. Add bacon to pot and render. Then add two tablespoons of butter and mushrooms; sautee for a few minutes. Then add pearl onions and garlic; sautee for 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste,  and some chopped parsley.
  • Return chicken thighs to Dutch oven. Use a strainer to pour liquid reduction over chicken. Add tomato paste and flour, and stir. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat. Cook uncovered over low heat approximately one hour.

Serve with egg noodles, garnish with chopped parsley.

    Notes

    Pinot Noir works well for this recipe. Don't use a wine that is too dry or too sweet.

    MERRYFIELD APPLE CAKE

    Merryfield Apple Cake

    A nice cake that travels well for outings and works equally well for guests. 
    Inspired by a recipe by the same name in The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook.
    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
    Total Time1 hr 40 mins
    Course: Desserts - Cakes
    Servings: 9 servings
    Author: Catherine Christiano

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups unbleached flour
    • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 2/3 cup canola oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 cups Granny Smith apples peeled and diced
    • 2/3 cup walnuts chopped
    • 1/3 cup raisins chopped
    • confectioner's sugar

    Instructions

    • Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven 325 degrees F. Grease well and flour a 9-inch square cake pan.
    • In large bowl of a stand-mixer at low speed, mix well first 7 ingredients (flour through eggs), scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat 3 more minutes. Stir in apples, nuts, and raisins.
    • Spread evenly in pan. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar just before serving.

    Notes

    COD CHOWDER WITH MADEIRA

    Cod Chowder with Madeira

    A creamy chowder with bite sized pieces of cod and diced vegetables.
    Total Time1 hr 5 mins
    Course: Soups - Main Course
    Servings: 6 servings
    Author: Catherine Christiano

    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 4 ounces Canadian bacon trimmed of fat and 1/4" diced
    • 1 cup diced yellow onions approximately 1 medium
    • 1/2 cup carrots peeled and 1/4 " diced, approximately 1 medium
    • 1/2 cup celery trimmed and 1/4 " diced, approximately 1 stalk
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 4 cups hot water
    • 2 cups Russet potatoes peeled and 1/3" diced, approximately 2 medium
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 teaspoons minced dried thyme leaves or 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
    • pinch cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 1/4 pounds cod fillet cut into 1" pieces
    • 2 cups 2% milk preheated in microwave
    • 3 tablespoons canola oil
    • 5 tablespoons flour
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 3 tablespoons Madeira
    • minced parsley for garnish

    Instructions

    • Place a 6-quart stock pot over medium heat; add canola oil. When hot, add Canadian bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. 
    • Add flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Gradually add water while whisking to prevent lumps from forming.
    • Add potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer. Continue simmering uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, in a 2-quart saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons canola oil over medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons of flour, whisk while cooking for about 3 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Gradually add preheated milk, whisking smooth between additions and until thickened and smooth.
    • To the stock pot with vegetables, add fish; cook another 3 minutes. Remove bay leaf and add milk mixture, stir to incorporate, and return to a simmer. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, stir in Madeira, sprinkle with minced parsley and serve.

    Notes

    Haddock fillet may be substituted for the cod.
    Makes 2 quarts.
    Serving Ideas: oyster crackers, cornbread, green salad or a side of steamed green vegetables.

    STRAWBERRIES AND GRAPEFRUIT

    Strawberries and Grapefruit

    A nice pairing. Can be served as an appetizer for a spring meal.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Course: Fruit
    Servings: 4 servings
    Author: Catherine Christiano

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups sliced strawberries
    • 2 cups sectioned grapefruit

    Instructions

    • Combine fruits and gently stir to incorporate.

    CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP

    Cream of Asparagus Soup

    This is a fabulous soup that does not have complex ingredients. Make sure the asparagus is in season for the best flavor.
    Based on a recipe from Favorite Meals from Williamsburg, compiled and adapted by Chalotte Turgeon, 1982, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, p 30.
    Total Time50 mins
    Course: Soups - Starter
    Servings: 6 servings
    Author: Catherine Christiano

    Ingredients

    • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    • 5 cups asparagus approximately 1 1/2 bunches, tough ends removed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
    • 2/3 cup roughly chopped yellow onion
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 6 tablespoons flour
    • 2 cups 2% milk preheated
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

    Instructions

    • In a 6-quart stock pot, boil chicken broth. Add asparagus, onion, and bay leaf. Return to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
    • Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow to brown. Add preheated milk in increments, whisking smooth between additions. Mixture should be smooth and thick. Set aside off heat. 
    • Puree asparagus-chicken broth mixture using an immersion blender or blender until very smooth. Add milk mixture and either use immersion blender or whisk to incorporate. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
    • Serve chilled or warm.

    Notes

    A double batch takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to prepare. 

    CHICKEN OR VEAL MARSALA

    Chicken or Veal Marsala

    Boneless chicken breast or veal scallopini browned in a frying pan and served with a simple Marsala wine sauce and sautéed mushrooms. Including mushrooms is optional.
    Based on a recipe from The New York Times Cookbook, Craig Claiborne, Harper & Row Publishers, NY, 1962, p 158.
    Total Time40 mins
    Course: Main Course - Chicken, Main Course - Veal
    Servings: 6 servings
    Author: Catherine Christiano

    Ingredients

    MUSHROOMS

    • 1 pound white mushrooms stems trimmed, sliced
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil

    MEAT

    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 pounds veal or boneless chicken breast cut laterally into thin even slices
    • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
    • 1/2 cup canned concentrated chicken bouillon
    • minced parsley for garnish

    Instructions

    MUSHROOMS

    • In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms; sauté until cooked. Set aside in covered bowl to keep warm.

    MEAT

    • In a pie plate combine flour, salt, and pepper.
    • In same skillet over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons oil and heat until shimmering.
    • Dredge meat in seasoned flour and place in single layer in skillet. Brown chicken in two batches, if necessary. Brown on both sides until slightly under-done and transfer to paper towel lined plate.
    • When all chicken has been browned, return to skillet, add Marsala, cook one minute longer over medium heat. Transfer meat to warm serving platter; top with reserved mushrooms.
    • Add bouillon to pan juices. Use whisk to scrape loose browned bits and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste. Pour over mushrooms and meat. Sprinkle with some minced parsley and serve immediately.

    Notes

    This recipe can be scaled up for a party. Instead of using chicken cutlets, cut chicken into nuggets and cook in a big batch.

    ANDALUSIAN CREAM SOUP

    Andalusian Cream Soup

    A creamy textured soup with a flavor that offers a balance of tomatoes, celery, and onions. It is rice based but is finished with some light cream.
    Inspired by the popular menu fixture, Crème Andalouse, at La Bonne Soupe in midtown Manhattan.
    Total Time1 hr 15 mins
    Course: Soups - Starter, Vegetarian
    Servings: 11 cups
    Author: Catherine Christiano

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups yellow onions sliced 1/4" thick, approximately 2 medium-size
    • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
    • 2 1/2 cups diced celery with leaves
    • 4 cups peeled and diced tomatoes approximately 2 pounds
    • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth preheated
    • 6 ounces tomato paste
    • 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice
    • 1 cup light cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • salt to taste approximately 1 teaspoon

    GARNISH

    • fresh parsley leaves chopped

    Instructions

    • Place sliced onions in medium bowl and add cold water to cover and cider vinegar. Let soak at least 15 minutes while preparing remaining ingredients. Drain, use towel to squeeze out excess moisture. Roughly chop; a food processor saves time.
    • Place a 6-quart stock pot over medium heat. Add butter or margarine and melt.  Add onions and garlic; saute until onion is transparent, approximately 4 minutes. Add celery; saute until celery begins to soften, approximately 4 minutes.
    • Add tomatoes, broth, and tomato paste; stir to blend well. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add rice, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until rice is tender, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
    • Remove from heat, cool slightly. Use an immersion blender  or blender to puree until very smooth.
    • Add salt and pepper to taste. If too thick, adjust consistency using additional broth. If planning freeze a portion, set it aside before adding cream. Use a whisk to slowly add correct portion of cream to remaining soup. Reheat, if necessary. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve hot.

    Notes

    Using a food processor to chop onions and celery will save time.
    For vegetarian version, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
    If doubling, use an 8 quart stock pot and allow additional time. 
    Use field tomatoes or canned for the best flavor. If using fresh tomatoes, add additional time.

    STIR-FRIED PORK AND PEPPERS WITH GINGER, SCALLIONS AND HOISIN SAUCE

    Stir-Fried Pork and Peppers with Ginger, Scallions and Hoisin Sauce

    A nice stir-fry with pork loin, marinated in soy sauce and sherry, combined with red and green peppers, green onions and a sauce made with hoisin and dry sherry. Sesame oil drizzled on just before serving lends a nice, slightly nutty flavor.
    Based on a recipe by Rosa Ross, New Wok Cooking, Clarkson Potter, May, 2000.
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Main Course - Pork
    Servings: 4 servings
    Author: Catherine Christiano

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin sliced 1/4" thick

    MARINADE

    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

    REMAINING INGREDIENTS

    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • 4 scallions (green & white part), minced
    • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
    • 1 green bell pepper seeded and diced 3/4 inch
    • 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced 3/4 inch
    • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
    • 1/4 cup dry sherry
    • pinch salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil

    Instructions

    • If serving with rice, start rice first.

    MARINADE

    • In a medium bowl, add all marinade ingredients; stir to combine. Add sliced pork, toss to combine; allow to marinate at least 10 minutes.

    STIR-FRY

    • Place a large non-stick or cast iron skillet (approximately 11 inches) or carbon-steel wok on stove, add canola oil and over high heat, heat until just smoking. Add scallions and ginger; stir-fry until aromatic, approximately 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, add only pork, reserving excess marinade for sauce at end. Stir-fry pork until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add peppers; stir-fry another minute. Add hoisin sauce, sherry, salt, and black pepper; stir to combine. To reserved marinade, add 2 tablespoons of water, then add to skillet. Heat through, stirring to blend well. Remove from heat, drizzle with sesame oil, and serve immediately.

    Notes

    The ingredients will just fit in an 11 inch skillet, to scale-up a larger pan is required.

    CHICKEN CANZANESE

    Chicken Canzanese

    This braised chicken recipe is all about the sauce, made with white wine, broth, prosciutto, sage, bay leaves, cloves, and pepper. At the end it is finished with a bit of lemon juice and rosemary. 
    Based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, Kenji Lopez-Alt, May & June 2010, p 19.
    Prep Time1 hr 20 mins
    Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
    Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
    Course: Can Prepare Ahead, Main Course - Chicken
    Servings: 6 servings
    Author: Catherine Christiano

    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
    • 2 ounces prosciutto 1/4 inch thick cut into 1/4 inch cubes
    • 4 medium garlic cloves sliced thin lengthwise
    • 3 pounds chicken thighs about 8, bone-in, skin-on trimmed of excess fat and skin, keep skin on
    • ground black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons unbleached flour
    • 2 cups dry white wine
    • 1 cup no-sodium chicken broth
    • 12 whole fresh sage leaves
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 4 cloves whole
    • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves minced fine, stem reserved
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

    Instructions

    • Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Use 12-inch cast iron skillet, Dutch oven, or oven-proof pot.
    • Place pot on stove, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and heat until shimmering over medium heat. Add prosciutto; saute approximately 3 minutes when it just begins to brown. Add sliced garlic and saute until golden brown, approximately 1 1/2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic and prosciutto to small bowl. Do not rinse pan.
    • Increase heat to medium-high; add remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and heat until just smoking. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, season with black pepper, then place skin side down in pot (if using skinless chicken, place bone side up). Cook , without moving until well browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Use tongs to turn; brown on second side, approximately 5 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to large plate.
    • Discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot. Over heat, add flour, and whisking constantly, cook for 1 minute. Gradually add wine and broth, using whisk to loosen browned bits from bottom of pot. Bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly reduced, 3 minutes. Add cloves, rosemary stem, sage leaves, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and reserved prosciutto and garlic; stir to incorporate. Place chicken in pot, skin side up (skin should be above surface of liquid), and bake, uncovered, until meat is fork tender but not falling off bones, approximately 1 hour 15 minutes. (Check after 15 minutes; if bubbling vigorously, reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F, so liquid gently bubbles.)
    • Using tongs, transfer chicken to rimmed serving platter and cover to keep warm. Discard sage leaves, rosemary stem, cloves, and bay leaves. Place skillet with sauce over high heat, bring to a boil, and reduce to 1 1/4 cups, approximately 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in minced rosemary and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce around chicken and serve.

    Notes

    The chicken in this recipe is braised in an uncovered skillet, so chicken with the skin on works best. However, skinless chicken is alright as well but will be a bit drier.

    MOCHA CREAM CHOCOLATE ROLL

    Mocha Cream Chocolate Roll

    Making this phenomenal cake is not too difficult. A light, chocolate cake is baked in a rimmed baking pan and then rolled up while hot. Once cool, it is filled with coffee flavored whipped cream and glazed with melted semisweet chocolate.
    The cake for this recipe is based on a Jelly Roll cake from Betty Crocker's Cookbook, Golden Press, NY, 1983, p 244.
    Prep Time25 mins
    Cook Time15 mins
    Cooling Time30 mins
    Total Time40 mins
    Course: Desserts - Cakes
    Servings: 8
    Author: Catherine Christiano

    Ingredients

    CHOCOLATE ROLL CAKE

    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • confectioner's sugar

    MOCHA CREAM

    • 1 3/4 tablespoons hot water
    • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa
    • 3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar

    CHOCOLATE GLAZE

    • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted margarine or butter
    • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
    • 3 tablespoons milk

    Instructions

    CHOCOLATE ROLL CAKE:

    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line rimmed baking pan , 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch, with waxed paper and grease generously. 
    • In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
    • To the large bowl of a stand mixer, add eggs. Beat at high speed until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in granulated sugar. On low speed, beat in water and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture; beating just until smooth. Evenly distribute batter in prepared pan. Bake until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, place paper towels that are slightly wider and longer than cake pan on a clean work surface and sprinkle generously with confectioner's sugar. When cake is done, immediately loosen from edges of pan, and invert on prepared  paper towels. Carefully remove waxed-paper. Trim off edges, if necessary. While hot, carefully roll up cake together with towel from narrow end. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. 

    MOCHA CREAM:

    • Dissolve coffee in water and allow to cool. In bowl of stand-mixer combine whipping cream, cocoa, confectioner's sugar, and dissolved coffee. Beat at medium speed until stiff peaks form.

    CHOCOLATE GLAZE:

    • Place bowl of mixer over a pot of hot, not boiling, water, melt chocolate together with margarine or butter. Chocolate may be somewhat stiff. Beat in corn syrup and milk until smooth and cooled. Glaze will thicken as it cools. 

    FILLING AND GLAZING CAKE:

    • Unroll cake and remove towel. Spread Mocha Cream evenly over cake. Roll up. Place on serving dish, seam side down. To protect serving plate from dripping glaze, line edges around cake with waxed-paper. Spread Chocolate Glaze while still warm over top and down sides of roll. Remove waxed-paper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Notes

    Variations include substituting the mocha cream with whipped cream that has been flavored with cocoa and hazelnut or coffee liqueur, or ice cream.
    This recipe can be used to make a Buche de Noel by dusting with some cocoa, adding meringue mushrooms and other decorations. 

    HUMMUS

    Hummus

    Based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, Matthew Herron, May & June 2008, p 19.
    Prep Time25 mins
    Resting time30 mins
    Course: <= 30 Min Prep, Can Prepare Ahead, Hors D'Oeuvres, Snacks, Vegetarian
    Author: Catherine Christiano

    Ingredients

    • 6 tablespoons tahini stirred well ( Joyva or Krinos are best)
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
    • 14 ounces canned chickpeas drained and rinsed (Pastene or Goya are best)
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic minced, 1 average clove
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • pinch cayenne
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 to 2 lemons
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or parsley leaves

    Instructions

    • Add all ingredients except cilantro or parsley to a food processor and process until fully ground and smooth, scraping down sides of bowl periodically. 
    • Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle with cilantro or parsley, cover tightly and allow to sit at least 30 minutes so flavors meld. Before serving drizzle with some olive oil.

    Notes

    Serving ideas:  Use as a dip for raw vegetables, tortilla chips or chips with sesame seeds, and pita bread. Use to make a vegetarian wrap with vegetables.
    To prepare using dried chickpeas, place 1/2 cup rinsed chickpeas in large bowl and cover with 1 quart of water. Soak overnight. Drain. In large saucepan over high heat, add chickpeas, 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 quart water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are tender, about 1 hour. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water then drain and cool. Continue with recipe for Hummus, using  cooking water in place of tap water.

    CREME CARAMEL

    Crème Caramel

    A classic French restaurant dessert menu item. The caramel turns to a sauce as the custard cooks and, when inverted onto a plate, yields a beautiful golden color.
    Based on a recipe from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, Zoe Coulson, Hearst Books, New York, 1980, p. 359.
    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time1 hr
    Total Time1 hr 30 mins
    Course: Desserts - Other
    Servings: 8 servings
    Author: Catherine Christiano

    Ingredients

    Caramel

    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

    Custard

    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 cups milk
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Butter eight 6-ounce custard cups very well. Gather a rimmed baking pan to fit custard cups.

    Caramel

    • In small saucepan, over medium heat, add 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Stir with a whisk continually, until sugar melts and turns to a light brown syrup. Distribute evenly into prepared custard cups. Place cups in rimmed baking pan.

    Custard

    • In large bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and 1/2 cup granulated sugar on low speed, until lemon colored. Beat in milk and vanilla. Distribute evenly on top of caramel in custard cups.
    • Put hot water in rimmed pan to just within one inch of top of cups. Bake 1 hour or until when a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
    • Cool on wire rack, then refrigerate until cold. To serve, run a knife around edge of custard cup, place dessert plate on top and invert. Caramel should flow over edges of custard, forming a pool of sauce around it. 

    Notes

    Prepare a day in advance or early in the morning.

    CHICKEN CACCIATORE

     

    Chicken Cacciatore

    Based on a recipe by Lisa Schroeder, Danielle Centoni that was excerpted from the cookbook Mother's Best and found on finecooking.com.
    Total Time2 hrs
    Course: Main Course - Chicken
    Servings: 4 servings
    Author: Catherine Christiano

    Ingredients

    • 3 1/2 pounds chicken cut into serving pieces or 3 pounds chicken legs and thighs
    • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 pound button or cremini mushrooms sliced 1/4-inch thick, approximately 2 cups
    • 1 1/2 cups yellow onion sliced 1/4-inch thick
    • 3/4 cup carrots peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick, about 1 large carrot
    • 1 1/2 cups green bell pepper seeded and sliced 1/4- inch thick, about 1 medium pepper
    • 1 tablespoon garlic finely chopped, about 3 large cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc ( for a deeper flavor use red wine and add a tsp of dry oregano)
    • 28 ounces canned unsalted diced tomatoes with juice

    Instructions

    • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a Dutch oven with lid works best, but a cast iron skillet or oven-proof non-stick skillet that can be covered tightly with a lid is fine too.
    • Mix flour, 1 tsp. pepper, and 2 tsp. Kosher salt in a shallow dish. Coat the chicken on all sides.
    • Heat Dutch oven over medium heat for several minutes. When hot, add 1/4 cup of oil; heat until shimmering. Add chicken, skin side down in single layer; cook over medium heat without moving for about 4 minutes, or until browned on first side. Turn over and repeat, reduce heat if it browns too quickly. Transfer to large plate lined with paper towels.
    • In oil remaining in pot, saute onions until translucent., about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, carrots, green pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook while stirring an additional 2 minutes. Add wine and stir to scrape up browned bits. Add tomatoes and their liquid.
    • Return chicken to pan, submerging in vegetable mixture; bring to a simmer. Cover tightly with lid and place in oven. Cook for about 1 hour, or until chicken is very tender.
    • Sauce should have a rich-soup consistency. If watery, transfer chicken to a bowl and cover to keep warm, reduce sauce over medium-high heat until thickened. Add additional salt to taste.

    Notes

    Skinless and boneless chicken thighs work well. Serving suggestions include wide egg noodles or farfalle pasta.

    SHRIMP SCAMPI

    Shrimp Scampi

    This is a classic recipe for shrimp broiled in lemon, garlic, and butter. A fun fact is that if the garlic is a bit old the acid in the lemon will turn it a blue-green color, so make sure the garlic is fresh!
    Based on a recipe from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, Zoe Coulson, Hearst Books, New York, 1980, p 164.
    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time8 mins
    Total Time38 mins
    Course: Main Course - Seafood
    Servings: 6 servings
    Author: Catherine Christiano

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 pounds large fresh shrimp shelled and deveined
    • 4 large garlic cloves finely minced
    • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
    • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

    Garnish

    • lemon wedges

    Instructions

    • Preheat broiler. Line rimmed baking pan with foil. 
    • Place shrimp in single layer on pan.
    • In 1-quart saucepan or microwave dish, add minced garlic, butter, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper). Heat until butter is melted.
    • Spoon butter mixture evenly over shrimp. Broil until shrimp are pink and cooked, about 5 - 8 minutes.
    • Serve immediately sprinkled with parsley and garnished with lemon.

    Notes

    Serving suggestions include rice and steamed vegetables.