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Posts Tagged ‘Garlic’

Chicken Caesar Salad

Finally a use for the salad tongs I bought the Resident Frenchman ages ago. They are clearly too big for our bowl, anyone want to donate a large wooden salad bowl to us?

When I saw this recipe in Fine Cooking this month, I thought it would be perfect for this weather – much lighter than the dense food we’ve been eating all winter. Plus it looked super good. But, this recipe wasn’t just good, it was amazing. It was difficult not to eat all the croutons before they made it into the salad and lick the dressing bowl clean (okay, maybe I did do that). Seriously, I know this recipe looks a little involved, but it is surprisingly simple and the results are delicious. I’ve never made my own croutons before and it was well worth it, they tasted fresh and perfectly crunchy. And the dressing…well, I want to marry this dressing. Mmm…thick, flavorful, perfect.

To speed up the cooking of the chicken in the salad, I pounded the chicken into paillards. Paillards literally means flattened meat in French. They are what you would use in chicken piccata. Paillards are a great – they cook up extremely quickly, which is nice when you are short on time. You can buy them at the grocery store, but they are extremely easy to do on your own, especially when you have a meat mallet and some frustrations to work out. In case my directions and photos are not enlightening, Martha, of course, has a slide show on how to make them. Oh Martha, I love you even though you might run me over if I was in your way.

Pre pounded Post pounded

A few notes: Fine Cooking recommends grating your own cheese. I’m sure that is amazing, but store bought grated is just fine, as long as it is decent quality (i.e. not Kraft). Try to find more coarsely grated cheese to add texture to the salad and dressing. If you do grate your own cheese, use the food processor. Don’t skip the anchovies. They may look gross, but they give the dressing the classic Caesar flavor and don’t add fishiness. Finally, the dressing has a raw egg yolk in it. I buy organic, cage free eggs and we go through them regularly. The Salmonella rate for eggs is extremely small (0.005% to be exact). If you buy quality fresh eggs, a raw yolk will mostly likely not make you ill. If you disagree, then coddle the egg by placing a room temperature egg in its shell in boiling water for 45 seconds to slightly cook it.

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This is the dish that made me fall in love with my food processor. My food processor, incidentally, is a genuine antique. It is a Cuisinart, but it is so old, it doesn’t have any buttons or switches. You have to line up all the contact points to get it to process. I think its from about 1980. (The Resident Frenchman has the mid 80s button version). My mom lugged all 30 pounds of it (the thing is seriously heavy) down to New Orleans for me in her carry on luggage after buying it in a church sale for a dollar. It is a powerful food processor and is far superior to what is available these days. Moral of the story here, unless you are willing to drop a ton of money on a high end food processor, buy a vintage if you can find one. And then make this dish. It is a a great perfect processor dish. Just throw everything in, pulse to combine and that’s it!

The first time I made this, I was really doubtful that it would be good. Frankly, this isn’t the best looking dish out there. Everything combines into a, well, paste? It is sort of like a bizarro pesto. It looks really strange looking. But not everything is going to look Martha Stewart perfect. At least, that is what I keep telling myself.

A final note about the peppers. I used dried Mexican chilies because I usually cannot find jalapenos. I am not a peppers person at all, so I have little knowledge here. Use what spicy chilies you like, as long as you are aware of how spicy they are. This is a dish with a kick, but the peppers shouldn’t be the overwhelming flavor. I recommend removing the seeds if you are unsure of the strength of the peppers. And if things are too spicy, toss in some more cilantro and cashews to balance things out.

P.S. If you are one of those weird people who don’t like the taste of cilantro, I think parsley would work well here.

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My Resident Frenchman’s dad used to live in Tribeca and they were constantly ordering takeout from this restaurant called Edward’s. Edward’s makes a mean sausage pasta. It is perfect – creamy sauce, perfectly cooked sausage, lots of basil, all melded together. So naturally, when I had some leftover sausage links, I thought, I need to make Edward’s pasta.

The recipe is actually (mostly) my own. The internet has been rather spotty here and before I could look up a few recipes for sausage pasta and cream tomato sauces, it booted me off. I spent a few minutes freaking out – the idea of cooking without a recipe and/or the internet to guide me was rather upsetting. But I was running out of time and needed to get going. So I started to cook the sausage, dice up an onion and some garlic and went from there. Eventually, the internet did work and I cheated a little bit to check out a sauce recipe (I thought a cup of cream seemed about right, but also slightly too much, so I wanted to check it out).

Result=delicious. Tasted just like Edward’s. I love love love cream based pasta sauces and they taste even better when you make them yourself. This will definitely be joining the “make all the time” recipes.

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To be honest, I have never really eaten squash until this winter. I know the amount of butternut squash recipes on this site would suggest otherwise, but it’s true! My mom never made squash, I generally avoided anything healthy in college and the weather in New Orleans never really lent itself to squash eating, as I very much associate it with cold winters (though I hear things are verrrry different this year!). I don’t know what shifted, but moving back to the Northeast has really encouraged my squash consumption.

This is probably the first time I’ve tried spaghetti squash and I really liked it! Eating it made me feel very earthy and healthy. The spice combination is Moroccan and it is very flavorful. This is the exact sort of dish that you try the first bit and think, hmmmm, interesting and then keep taking bite after bite, until it is all gone. The spice combination is very addicting! Like the best of Gourmet recipes, it is simple, yet delicious.

P.S. How cute are my new pinch bowls? I love them, so they will be making many appearances on the site from now on!

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Roasted Garlic Potatoes

I cannot resist roasted garlic. Or roasted potatoes. Basically this was my kryptonite. The smell was out of this world. This is essentially the perfect potatoes side dish. Simple, delicious and goes with anything. I could write more, but this is roasted garlic we’re talking about. You should need no convincing.

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