Monday, November 26, 2007

Carrot Soup

8 servings

from Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Cooking

Melt in a heavy-bottomed pot:

4 tbl (1/2 stick) butter

2 onions,s liced
1 thyme sprig

Cook over medium-low heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add:

2.5 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced (about 6 cups)

Season with salt

Cook for 5 minutes. cooking the carrots with the onions for a while builds flavor. Add:

6 cups broth

Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. When done, season with salt to taste, and puree if desired

Serve with chopped fresh herbs and creme fraich.

Fresh Herb Butter

From the Art of Simple Cooking, Alice Waters

Stir together in a small bowl, mixing well

8 tblsp (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped herbs (such as parsley, chervil, and chives)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
squeeze of lemon juice
salt and fresh-ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
Taste and adjust the salt and lemon as needed


chopped shallots and pounded garlic are delicious additions
For a more lemony flavor, add finely grated lemon zest
For a more pungent butter that is perfect with corn on the cob, flavor with dried chile peppers, soaked drained and pounded to a paste.

Braised Chicken Legs

Season the day before if possible:

4 chicken legs
with Salt and fresh-ground black pepper

Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add:
2 tbl olive oil
Place the chicken legs into the pan skin side down and cook until crisp and brown, about 12 minutes. Turn and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove the chicken and add:

2 onions, sliced thick (or diced large)

Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add and cook for 2 minutes:

4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 bay leaf
1 small rosemary sprig

Arrange the chicken in the pan, skin side up, and pour in any juices that have collected. Pour in:

1 cup chicken broth

The liquid should reach halfway up the chicken; add more if needed.

Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. cover and cook at a bare simmer or in a 325F oven for 45 minutes. When done, pour the braising liquid into a small bowl and skim the fat. Discard the bay leaf and rosemary. Taste for salt adn adjust as needed. Return to the pan and serve.

Garnish with lemon zest and chopped fresh herbs and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Pork Shoulder Braised with Dried Chilies

from the Art of Simple Cooking, Alice Waters

Make a dry rub by mixing together:
1 tblsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tblsp choped fresh marjoram or oregano
1 tsp ground ancho chili

Use the dry rub to season, the day before if possible:

One 4-lb., bone in pork shoulder roast, trimmed of excess fat

Cover and refrigerate until 1 hour before cooking. Put in a heavy baking dish or roasting pan that just fits the roast:

2 onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, anc coarsely chopped
3 dried ancho chiles, split and seeds removed
1 dried chipotle chile, split and seeds removed
1 large head of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped.
A few black peppercorns
A few fresh marjoram or oregano sprigs.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the seasoned meat on top of the vegetables and pour in:

2 cups chicken broth (or water)

Check the level of the liquid; it should reach about one quarter of the way up the roast. Add more if needed. Cook in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the roast over and cook for 30 minuts, then turn again. Check the level of liquid every once in a while, adding more broth or water if it gets too low. Cook for another 30 mintuest and test the meat for doneness, continuing to turn and cook until done. Remove the meat from the pan. Strain the sauce and skim well. ass the vegetables through a food mill and return to the skimmed sauce. Remove the bones, slice the meat, and arrange on a warm platter. Serve with the sauce poured over or pass it around in a pitcher or sauceboat.

Use any combination of dried chile varieties
Sprinkle with chopped fresh marjoram or oregano before serving.
Pound 4 garlic cloves and stir into the dry rub with 2 tsp olive oil. Rub this on the roast to season.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Crispy Skin Salmon with Tamarind Sauce

One of my favorite recipes from Ana Mandara Restaurant 891 Beach St. (at Polk Street) SF; (415) 771-6800

Yields about 1 3/4 cups


1/2 package tamarind pulp (about 7 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sambal oelek (ground fresh red chile paste)
4 tablespoons fish sauce

Instructions for the sauce:

Instructions: Combine tamarind and water in a saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing pulp to extract tamarind liquid into a bowl. You should have about 1 1/2 cups tamarind liquid. Add sugar, sambal oelek and fish sauce. Stir until smooth.

Crispy Skin Salmon
Serves 4

Chinese chives have long, slender flat blades and are normally dark green in color. Also called garlic chives, they have a hint of garlic flavor. When grown under cover without light, Chinese chives are light yellow color or a shade of "gold," which symbolizes gold or wealth in Asia.


1 pound salmon fillet, about 1 1/2 inches thick
Salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups of 3-inch long strips of yellow chives or leeks
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
A few swirls of Tamarind Sauce (see Recipe)
A few sprigs of cilantro

Instructions for Salmon:

Preheat oven to 375°. Cut salmon into 4 equal pieces that are approximately 1 1/2 inches thick. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add salmon fillets skin-side down and sear until skin is crisp, about 2 minutes. Turn and sear for 1 minute. Continue to sear all four remaining sides for about 30 seconds on each side. Put salmon skin-side down in skillet. Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic and saute until golden brown. Add the chives and saute until they begin to wilt. Add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Reduce to a light glaze, about 3-5 minutes. Arrange chives on center of a plate, place salmon on top. Swirl tamarind sauce around perimeter of plate. Garnish with cilantro.

Per serving: 310 calories, 25 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 17 g fat (2 g saturated), 70 mg cholesterol, 277 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.