Monthly Archives: December 2009

Spanish Chicken and Rice with Roasted Vegetables, Butifarra, Morcilla and Chorizo

Pastured chicken pieces are roasted with winter vegetables then baked with stock-soaked bomba rice with saffron, garlic, fire-roasted tomatoes, piquillo peppers and butifarra, morcilla and chorizo sausages..

Spanish Chicken and Rice with Roasted Vegetables, Butifarra, Morcilla and Chorizo

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds chicken pieces
1 large carrot, oblique-cut
1 leek, split, rinsed and sliced
1-2 bulb onions, sliced
6 cloves whole, unpeeled garlic
1 tablespoon pastured butter
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup filtered water
3/4 cup fire-roasted tomatoes
3-4 piquillo peppers, chopped
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup bomba rice, rinsed
1 quart homemade chicken stock, divided
saffron threads, crushed
1/3 pound morcilla (blood sausage), sliced
1/3 pound butifarra (white garlic sausage), sliced
1/3 pound Spanish cooking chorizo, cubed
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.  Stir in paprika, then add chicken and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper, add water then roast in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and add carrot, leek, onion and garlic and put back in the oven for another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, begin cooking rice in chicken stock with saffron threads.

Remove pan from the oven and transfer chicken and garlic to a cutting board and allow to cool enough to be handled.  Transfer the vegetables and cooking liquid to a Dutch oven. Add in rice and stir to combine.

Briefly sauté the sausage then add to the pot with vegetables and rice.  Stir in fire-roasted tomatoes.

Peel and chop the garlic.  Pull the chicken meat from the bones and tear into chunks. Add to the pot with the vegetables and pour in 1 cup of chicken stock.  Cook uncovered until most of the stock has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and parsley and piquillo peppers and allow to stand 10 minutes.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary and serve hot.

Ventresca with Green Garlic-Tomato Concassé and Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise

In celebration of the fact that the temperature was in the 60’s today and we’re still getting fresh tomatoes here(!), I decided to toss up a summery plate of Ventresca (sustainably line-caught yellowfin tuna bellies) with green garlic-tomato concassé, lemon-caper mayonnaise, balsamic glaze and a relish of roasted peppers, black olives and fresh herbs..

Ventresca with Green Garlic-Tomato Concassé and Lemon-Caper Mayonnaise

For the Concassé

1-2 bulbs green garlic, including tops, thinly sliced
1 large plum tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil, preferably from the Ventresca tin
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Very slowly soften green garlic in olive oil over low heat, then add tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper and continue to warm until softened.  All to cool in mesh strainer, reserving the oil for the mayonnaise.

For the Mayonnaise

6-8 oz reserved olive oil
1 small pastured egg yolk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon baby capers, mashed
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
saffron threads, soaked

Soak the saffron threads in 1 teaspoon of cold, filtered water for 15 minutes, then whisk together with the lemon juice, egg yolk and salt.  Add the oil in a very thin stream, whisking continuously to form an emulsion.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

For the Relish

2 tablespoon roasted and pickled bell peppers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon ripe black olives, pitted and slivered
1 teaspoon fresh chiffonade-cut basil

Toss all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Balsamic Glaze

1/2 cup aceto balsamico tradizionale

Using a double boiler to prevent scorching, reduce unadulterated balsamic vinegar until reduced in volume by about half.  The resulting syrup will thicken as it stands.

To assemble, spoon tomato concassé onto a serving plate, then top with a layer of Vetresca and dress with mayonnaise.  Add a second layer of concassé, tuna and mayonnaise and top with roasted pepper relish.  Dab the plate with balsamic glaze and finish the dish with coarse sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Grilled Rib-eye Steak with Garlic-Lime Butter and Chili-Fried Onion Rings

Local, pastured bone-in rib-eye steak is basted with garlic-lime butter as it is grilled over a wood fire, then served with crispy chili-fried onion rings..

Grilled Rib-eye Steak with Garlic-Lime Butter and Chili-Fried Onion Rings

For the Compound Butter

1/4 cup pastured butter, softened
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white onions, finely diced and rinsed
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
sea salt and smoked black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.

For the Onion Rings

1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced into rings
1 cup fresh milk
1 cup sprouted wheat flour
2 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
beef tallow for frying

Soak the onion rings in the milk for 30 minutes.  Combine flour and seasonings in a bowl and set aside.  Heat tallow in a heavy, high-walled skillet over medium heat just until a wisp of smoke appears, then quickly drain the onions and toss in the seasoned flour.  Working in batches if necessary so as not to crowd the pan, fry the onions until golden brown.  Drain briefly on a clean kitchen cloth before serving hot.

For the Steaks

Lightly oil the steaks with peanut oil and season on both sides with salt and pepper.  Allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour while the fire is prepared.  Grill the steaks on the hottest part of the grill for 3 minutes without moving them, then turn 90 degrees and grill 2 minutes more. Turn the steaks over, move them to the cooler side of the grill and cook to the desired degree of doneness (approximately 8 minutes for medium-rare, depending on thickness), basting frequently with compound butter.

Remove from grill, baste again and allow to stand 10 minutes before serving topped with onion rings.

Steak Tacos Clásico

Grass-fed sirloin is quickly seared in a blazing hot skillet with garlic and onions, then slowly simmered with ancho purée and served atop roasted jalapeño tortillas with chopped yellow tomatoes, tomatillo-avocado salsa and fresh cilantro..

Steak Tacos Clásico

Bengali Ghugni with Garlic Naan

Curried split yellow peas with ghee-fried green onions, tomatoes and chilies, served with oven-baked garlic naan..

Bengali Ghugni with Garlic Naan

For the Peas

1 cup split yellow peas, rinsed and picked over
3 cups homemade vegetable stock
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon curry leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1-2 hot green chilies, chopped
6 green onions, including green tops, sliced
2 small Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon ghee
fresh cilantro, chopped
salt

1/2 teaspoon hulled cardamon seeds
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon sweet cinnamon shards
1/2 teaspoon ginger root

Bring vegetable stock to a boil in a heavy saucepan.  Add peas, turmeric, pepper and curry leaves.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the peas are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes.

Toast whole seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking often until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add the remaining spices and crush together in a mortar or spice grinder.

Heat ghee in a heavy skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onions and chilies (they should be sizzling) and sauté briefly.  Add tomatoes and cook until all the moisture has been absorbed.

Combined fried vegetables with cooked peas and season to taste with salt and the toasted spice mixture.  Add chopped cilantro and stir in 1 tablespoon ghee to finish, then serve hot with toasted naan.

For the Naan (adapted from a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey)

8 ounces organic all-purpose flour (can use sprouted or soaked flour)
6 cloves garlic, peeled, roasted and mashed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon unrefined sugar
1/3 cup fresh whole milk, hand-hot
1 tablespoon ghee, melted, plus a little extra
1/3 cup plain yoghurt, lightly beaten
1 small pastured egg, lightly beaten

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, yeast and sugar in a bowl and pour in the hand-hot milk, ghee, garlic, yoghurt and the beaten egg and mix it all together to form a ball of dough.  Place the dough on to a clean surface and knead it for 10 minutes or more, until smooth.

Pour about 1/4 tsp ghee into a large bowl and roll the ball of dough in it.  Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat oven and a heavy baking sheet to 500 degrees.

Punch down the dough and knead it again and divide into 9 equal balls.  While working on 1 ball, keep the remaining balls covered. Flatten the ball using your hands (or rolling pin) into a tear-shaped naan, about 6 inches in length and about 4 inches at its widest. Brush the top with melted ghee.

Remove the hot baking tray from the oven, grease it well with ghee and place the naan on to it.

Put the pan into the oven on the top rack for 2-3 minutes. It should puff up and brown slightly. It will go from browned to burnt quickly, so keep an eye on it.

Once puffed up and browned on one side, flip the naan and place back into the oven until browned, about 1 minute.

Wrap the naans in a clean tea towel and serve hot.

This post is in support of Meatless Monday, whose goal it is to goal is to help reduce
meat consumption by 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.

Ancho-Seared Duck Breast with Mole Rojo and Crunchy Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

Duck breast pan-seared in ancho and garlic-infused rendered duck fat and served with crispy duck skin, classic mole rojo and crunchy tomatillo-avocado salsa..

Ancho-Seared Duck Breast with Mole Rojo and Crunchy Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

For the Ancho-Infused Duck Fat

1/3 cup rendered duck fat
1 large ancho chile, stemmed, seeded and torn
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 teaspoon organic annatto seeds
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano

Melt duck fat in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat.  Add ancho, garlic, annatto and oregano and cook just until it begins to sizzle a little.  Turn the heat to the lowest setting and allow to steep 1 hour before straining into a clean container.  Store refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

For the Crunchy Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa (recipe by Rick Bayless)

8 ounces (about 4 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 cup (loosely packed) coarsely chopped cilantro
Hot green chiles to taste (roughly 2 small serranos or 1 small jalapeño), stemmed and roughly chopped
1 ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin
1 small white onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Salt

Roughly chop half of the tomatillos and scoop them into a food processor with the cilantro and green chiles.  Measure in 1/4 cup water and process to a slushy, coarse puree.  Roughly chop half the avocado, add it to the processor and pulse until it is incorporated into the salsa.  Scrape into a serving dish.  Scoop the onion into a small strainer and rinse under cold water.  Add to the salsa.  Finely chop the remaining tomatillos and add them, too.  Finally, chop the remaining avocado into 1/4-inch pieces and stir them into the salsa.  Taste and season with salt, usually about 3/4 teaspoon.

For the Mole Rojo

Made right, classic mole is a rather elaborate and time-consuming affair.  If you haven’t made it before, I would suggest studying Rick Bayless’ recipe for Mole Rojo Classico.  In a pinch, you can use store-bought El Conquistador Teloloapan Red Mole.

For the Cracklings

1/4 cup duck skin with fat, julienned
1 teaspoon Ancho-Infused Duck Fat
1/2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
coarse sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

Heat duck fat in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the julienned duck skin and sauté, stirring continuously, until dark golden brown and crisp.  Transfer to a napkin to drain and toss with cilantro, salt and pepper while still hot.

For the Duck

Use a sharp, thin knife to score a cross-hatch pattern into the fat side of the duck breast, taking care not to cut into the muscle.  Season on all sides with salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg, then lay bay leaves against the flesh, loosely wrap in butcher’s paper and refrigerate overnight (Thomas Keller).

Allow to duck breast to sit on the counter for 20 minutes while you pre-heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.  Add the duck breast skin-side down to the hot pan, then reduce heat to medium low and cook, moving often, until the skin is golden brown and much of the fat has been rendered out.

Flip the breast over and sauté for 1 minute, then pour off the fat and place the pan in a 375 degree oven and cook until until rare, about 8 minutes. Transfer the duck to a cutting board and allow to rest at least 15 minutes.

Heat ancho-infused duck fat in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add inch-thick slices of rare duck breast and quickly sear on all sides until medium rare.

To serve, spoon mole into the center of a dinner plate.  Position duck on top of the mole standing upright, dress with tomatillo-avocado salsa and garnish with cracklings.