Pomegranate Chicken Stew

 

Pomegranate Chicken Stew 

Pomegranate Chicken Stew (Koreshe Morgh Nardooni) is a northern Iranian winter dish. I got this recipe from the New York Times (Naz Deravian). It’s a perfect main course served with rice.

Pomegranate Chicken Stew

Pomegranate Chicken StewHow to de-seed a pomegranate.

In a small bowl, grind the saffron with the handle of a wooden spoon. Add 2 tablespoons of hot water, stir, and let it steep.Pomegranate Chicken Stew

The Chicken:

Season the room temperature chicken parts with salt. Heat ¼ cup of oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken skin side down. Turn and cook until each side is lightly golden. Cook it in batches if you have to so you don’t crowd the pan. Remove the chicken to a plate. Discard all but ¼ cup of oil/chicken fat from the pan.
Put ½ of the diced onion in the pan and cook for 10 minutes until translucent – don’t brown. Add salt, black pepper and the turmeric. Stir and then add the chicken parts and any drippings back to the pan. Coat the chicken with the onion-turmeric mix and leave it skin side up. Add 1 ½ cups of water and deglaze the pan. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat, cover, and gently simmer the chicken for 25 minutes.

The Pomegranate Sauce:

While the chicken is cooking – In a small pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the remaining half of the diced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, and remaining ¼ teaspoon of turmeric, and stir for about 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the tomato paste, about 1 minute. Add the pomegranate molasses, then stir in 1 ¼ cups pomegranate seeds. Save the rest for garnish.
Pomegranate Chicken Stew

 
Add the pomegranate sauce and the saffron water to the chicken, gently stir, and simmer uncovered over medium heat until the sauce reduces by about half and the chicken is tender, about 25 minutes. Every once in a while, spoon a little sauce over the chicken. If the sauce reduces too quickly, reduce the heat to medium-low or low. Check for seasoning and add a little sugar if the pomegranate molasses is too sour. If your sauce is too sweet, balance it with a little lemon juice.

 
Garnish with reserved pomegranate seeds and mint.  

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Mushroom Dutch Baby

Mushroom Dutch Baby

Here’s something a little different – a Dutch baby.  I don’t know how it got its name but it’s basically a sort of airy pancake that’s served with various sweet or savory toppings. For sweets you can top it with powdered sugar, maple syrup, fresh fruit, apple sauce, etc. I made a mushroom Dutch baby based on a recipe that I got from the New York Times. I made some changes to the original replacing bacon, butter, thyme, and cheddar with pancetta, olive oil, oregano, and fontina as noted in the ingredient list below.

Mushroom Dutch Baby

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. sliced mushrooms (any kind you like)
  • ¼ lb. sliced pancetta (or bacon)
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp. oregano (or thyme)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil divided (or butter)
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 oz. grated fontina (or cheddar)
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
Pre-heat the oven to 450o.
Sauté the pancetta in one tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms and oregano and cook for approx. 20 minutes adding the garlic for the last 5 minutes.

Mushroom Dutch Baby

For the Dutch baby – In a blender add the eggs, flour, milk, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cornstarch, salt. (This is the basic Dutch baby batter recipe for the various toppings. You can use butter instead of oil.)Mushroom Dutch Baby
Remove the mushrooms from the pan. Wipe it out and add 1 tablespoon of oil while it’s still warm. Pour in the Dutch baby batter, place in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes until it’s lightly browned and puffy. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes.Mushroom Dutch Baby
When done spread the melted cheese around the top, then add the mushrooms and sprinkle the scallions and parsley over it. Slice and serve.Mushroom Dutch Baby

 

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Persimmons

Persimmons

Persimmons are an underutilized fruit. People see them in the market and are mystified. You can’t eat them like an apple or peel them like a banana so what do you do with them?


Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons

There are two types usually available, the Fuyu and the Hachiya. The Fuyu can be sliced and eaten as is, but the Hachiya needs to be soft and ripe or it’s much too astringent. Don’t buy Hachiya unless they’re very soft.  And make sure you have a napkin handy.

Hachiya Persimmons – a little sloppy but good.


 

Broiled Fuyu Persimmons

Fuyus are good raw but this is a pretty simple recipe and when served it appears to be something special and elegant. 

Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp. Bourbon
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 3 Fuyu persimmons
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tbsp. soft goat cheese
Turn on the broiler and mix together the Bourbon and honey in a small bowl.
Cut off the top, stem portion of the persimmon. Then cut the fruit into half inch slices. You may only get two slices. Put the sliced persimmons in a lightly oiled pan or oven proof dish and spoon half of the Bourbon-honey mix over them.  Put them under the broiler on a middle rack. After 6 or 7 minutes, spoon the rest of the mix over them and broil for another 4 or 5 minutes.
Watch closely so the honey doesn’t char. If it does, just lift the char off the slices with a spoon. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit. Sprinkle the top with the walnuts, add a teaspoon of the goat cheese to each and serve at room temperature or cold.

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Coquito

Coquito

Coquito is similar to eggnog but without the egg, it’s a Puerto Rican holiday drink that tastes like coconut candy. Family recipes vary a bit but this one is pretty standard. If you want to serve it to kids, replace the rum with whole milk and add some non-alcoholic rum extract.

Coquito

Ingredients:
  • 1 can cream of coconut (15 ounce)
  • 1 can evaporated milk (12 ounce)
  • 1 can of coconut milk (13 ½ ounce)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounce)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups white rum
  • Grated nutmeg for an optional garnish
Pour the cream of coconut, evaporated milk, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large saucepan. Heat on medium and stir until it well blended and starts to simmer. Remove from heat, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Coquito

Add in the rum and chill. Serve cold or on the rocks with a sprinkle of nutmeg.Coquito

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A Winter Holiday

A WINTER HOLIDAY

Whatever you celebrate, I hope I have it covered. Have a happy . . .

Winter Solstice 12/21

 

Yule 12/21

 

Saturnalia 12/26 – 1/1

 

Hanukkah 11/28 – 12/6

 

Festivus 12/23

 

Kwanza 12/26

 

Feast of the Seven Fish 12/24

 

Christmas 12/25

 

Boxing Day 12/26
A little something extra . . . 

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Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

Here’s a simple lentil soup recipe. My doctor goes over my diet each time I see her for an annual physical. She inevitably tells me that I eat too much meat and not enough vegetables. Well, this should make her happy.  And if you replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock it would be vegan. According to Medical News Today lentils really are pretty healthy.
Lentil Soup
Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Italian trinity (carrot/onion/celery)
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 cups dried rinsed lentils
  • 14 oz crushed tomato
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander powder – optional
  • 1 ½ tsp. paprika
  • 2 dried bay leaves
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add the trinity and cook for 10 minutes until it begins to dry.
Lentil Soup

Add all remaining ingredients and stir. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 45-50 minutes or until lentils are soft.
Lentil Soup

Remove bay leaves and take a cup of the soup and put it into a blender. Blend until it’s smooth and put it back into the pot. Lentil Soup

Taste for seasoning. If the soup is too thick add some water.Lentil Soup

For a variation you can stir in some cooked white rice when the lentil soup is almost done.

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Giuggiulena

Giuggiulena

Giuggiulena (ju – ju – lay – na) is a simple Calabrese recipe. It’s something like a cookie and something like candy and very easy to make.

Giuggiulena

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 cups sesame seeds
  • ½ cup roasted almonds
Put the honey and sugar in a pot over low heat. Stir for a few minutes until it’s blended.
When it begins to bubble, add the sesame seeds and coarsely chopped almonds. Keeping it at a low heat, stir until everything is well blended and the sesame seeds start to darken.Giuggiulena
When it’s done, pour the mixture on a lightly oiled counter and flatten it until it’s about ½ inch thick.
Giuggiulena
Cut it with a knife into bit sized pieces and let it cool to room temperature.

Sesame seed facts –

Giuggiulena

 

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Peperoncini Chicken

Peperoncini Chicken

This is adapted from a recipe created by Grant Melton that I found in Bon Appetit. It’s something like a sheet pan roast but with a couple of extra steps. The chicken retains its crisp skin and the vegetables cook in olive oil, brine, and chicken fat. 
Peperoncini  Chicken – Ingredients:
  • 4 skin on, bone in chicken thighs
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil divided
  • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 10 peperoncini and ½ cup brine
  • 2 finely grated garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ medium red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 425o.
Season the room temperature chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan, Place chicken in the pan and cook for 13-15 minutes without turning.

In the meantime, toss the potatoes, peperoncini, garlic, oregano, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.


Turn the chicken skin side up and arrange the potato mixture around it. Pour the peperoncini liquid around it and give the pan a shake to distribute it. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 40 minutes.

When it’s done transfer the chicken and peperoncini to a serving dish Place the pan with the potatoes on a burner – medium/high heat. Add the onion, celery, and parsley. Blend and cook for 5 minutes. Pour it over the chicken and potatoes and serve.

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Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

The last time I had fried green tomatoes in a restaurant was over two years ago in Hot Springs, Arkansas. They’re not too common in New York restaurants so we have to make our own. It’s really very simple recipe but the hard part is finding firm, unripe green tomatoes. 

 

Fried Green Tomatoes

Ingredients:
  • 3 or 4 large unripe tomatoes cut crosswise into ½-inch slices
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup corn meal
  • ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. Cajun Spice Mix
  • Salt and black pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
Fried Green TomatoesPut the flour in one dish, the beaten egg and milk in a bowl and the corn meal/breadcrumbs/Cajun seasoning, salt and black pepper in another dish.
Fried Green TomatoesPut  a half inch of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. After patting them dry, dip each tomato slice first in the flour, then in the egg, and finally in the breadcrumbs, letting any excess coating drip off. Fry them in batches and don’t let them touch in the pan.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Cook until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes on each other side. Drain on paper towels and serve.
Fried Green Tomatoes

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Sheet Pan Chicken with Tomatoes and Parmigiano

Sheet-Pan Chicken with Tomatoes and Parmigiano

I adapted this from a Melissa Clark recipe in the New York Times. Everything cooks in the same pan and the same amount of time keeping preparation simple. 
 
Sheet-Pan Chicken with Tomatoes and Parmigiano
Ingredients:
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  •  Kosher salt & black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar, plus more for serving
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 poblano pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Season room temperature chicken with salt and black pepper and place it on an oiled, rimmed baking sheet.
In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, paprika, and oregano. Pour over chicken, tossing to coat.
Add tomatoes, poblano and bell pepper to baking sheet, spread vegetables around the chicken.  Sheet-Pan Chicken with Tomatoes and Parmigiano

Season vegetables lightly with salt and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Sprinkle Parmigiano all over the vegetables and some on the chicken.  Sheet-Pan Chicken with Tomatoes and Parmigiano

Roast until chicken is golden, crisp and cooked through, 25 to 35 minutes. Stir the vegetables halfway through cooking but don’t disturb the chicken. Transfer chicken to plates. Stir vegetables around in pan. Stir in the parsley Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Spoon vegetables over the chicken to serve. Sheet-Pan Chicken with Tomatoes and Parmigiano

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