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Posts Tagged ‘Celebrity Chefs’

I’ve been curious about Nate Appleman of San Francisco’s A16 and SPQR ever since I saw him battle Michael Symon on Iron Chef.  Now that he just won a James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef, going to one of his restaurants is topping my list of things to do this summer.  In the meantime, however, this month’s Food and Wine magazine comes through with a couple of his recipes.

We got a huge bunch of asparagus in our farm share on Friday, so it seemed like a good opportunity to try his Smoky Glazed Asparagus recipe.  I never would have thought to marinade vegetables in a mayonnaise-based sauce before cooking them, but it works.  Most of the sauce cooks off as you grill them, so they don’t taste mayo-y at all, but rather, get this great creamy, charred taste to them.

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The recipe comes in two versions, so if you want to make Sean Hannity cry, you can opt for the fancy mustard flavor.

Smoky Glazed Asparagus

Ingredients

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika 
1 teaspoon kosher salt  (The recipe called for 2 teaspoons, which was way too much.)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds  (I used 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin powder.)
1 pound thick asparagus, trimmed

Directions

Light a grill. In a shallow dish, whisk the mayonnaise with the oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, salt and cumin. Add the asparagus and toss; let stand for 30 minutes.

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Grill the asparagus over moderately high heat, turning, until tender and blistered in spots, 6 minutes; serve.

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This is, without a doubt, the best thing I have ever made. It is so amazing that I don’t even know where to start. It tastes like a restaurant dish. It is sophisticated and comforting at the same time, and it is just absolutely delicious.

The recipe is a little tricky, but the marmalade can be made in advance, so I recommend doing that so you can focus. But, I’ll try to break down the steps as simply as possible. If you take your time and don’t do two things at once, you will be fine.

The recipe also suggests making the marmalade to spread on bread or serve over polenta, which I think would be wonderful.

Like almost all of my recipes, this one comes from Food and Wine (best foodie magazine ever).

Marmalade
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 pound fresh porcini or stemmed shiitake mushrooms—1/2 pound cut into 1/2 -inch dice, 1/4 pound sliced 1/4 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup dry red wine, such as Amarone
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter

Risotto
5 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 cup arborio rice (6 ounces)
1/2 cup dry red wine, such as Amarone
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
One 2-ounce piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for shaving
2 teaspoons chopped mixed herbs, such as chives, mint and tarragon
I used cremini mushrooms instead and it worked out fine. I have read that you are not supposed to wash mushrooms before cooking them as it throws their water content off, so I didn’t. I just wiped the dirt off with paper towels, which took forever, but I think it made a difference. They didn’t give off as much water and retained their shape a little better.


I think if you were planning this as a main course, I would recommend using a meatier mushroom like cremini or portabella (or a mix of them with the more delicate kind), and perhaps doubling the amount of marmalade.

For the wine, I used a zinfandel blend. Apparently Amarone is a peppery, fruity wine, so I figured zinfandel would be a good bet. I found a lovely bottle from one of my favorite Napa vineyards at Trader Joes for $15. If you can find this wine, I highly recommend it – for cooking, drinking, bathing in, whatever. It is fantastic and at $15, a total steal.


Marmalade Directions

In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Add the diced mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat until tender, 5 minutes.

Uncover and cook, stirring, until browned. I took them off the stove after about a minute. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate.

In the same skillet, heat another 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over low heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked mushrooms.

In a small saucepan, simmer the sugar and water over moderate heat, washing down the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush, until amber, 6 minutes.

Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Add the vinegar and boil over high heat until reduced by half. The recipe says this will take about 12 minutes, but I found it took only about 8. Just keep an eye on it. It will turn from liquid to syrup fast and you want to catch it right when it turns to syrup. The consistency was very thick and when it cooled, it stuck to my wooden spoon like candy. So, work quickly.

Stir the mixture into the skillet and cook over moderate heat until the mushrooms are glazed, 3 minutes. Season with salt. Take it off the heat and cover.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. The recipe says to use a clean skillet, but I didn’t feel like washing another pot, so I just used the pan that the wine syrup was in. I figured this way I could soak up the last of the wine syrup goodness. I didn’t have an problems doing this.

Add the sliced mushrooms, season with salt and cook over moderate heat until tender and lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Stir the mushrooms into the marmalade, and swirl in the butter. There is a lot of liquid in the pan at this point, but some will evaporate out, and some will re-absorb into the mushrooms.


And voila! Mushroom marmalade! At this point, I covered the pan, removed it from the heat and placed it on a rack. I started cooking the risotto an hour or so later. As soon as the risotto was done, I put the mushrooms back on the stove over medium heat and slowly warmed them up. It took about 2 minutes.

Risotto Directions

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer; cover and keep warm over low heat.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated.


Pour in about 1 cup of the hot stock, or enough to cover the rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until the stock has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Repeat, adding 1 cup of stock at a time and stirring until all of the stock has been absorbed. The risotto is done when the rice is just cooked and suspended in the creamy sauce, about 25 minutes. You may not need all 5 cups of liquid. Once you’ve got 4 cups in, start tasting it. You want the rice soft, but not mushy. I only used about 4 and a half cups of liquid, so add that last cup very, very slowly.

Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper.

The recipe suggests shaving parmigiano-reggiano over the top of the risotto, but I went with the traditional route of mixing the grated cheese into the risotto right after adding the butter.

Garnish with the herbs (which I forgot to do) and enjoy your amazing restaurant quality dish.

Yum.

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Does something still count as a green vegetable if it is coated with bacony goodness? Probably not, but this is an incredibly delicious way to cook chard, fat content be damned. It also uses the stems, unlike so many other ways of preparing chard, so the dish ends up looking very pretty and colorful, in addition to being so tasty.

This recipe comes from Food and Wine was created by Stephanie Izard, winner of the 4th season of Top Chef. If you drooled over her amazing cooking, here is your chance to try some without having to fly to Chicago.

The original recipe calls for it to be served with scallops, but my husband is allergic to them, so I served it with another part of the pig – pork chops.

Ingredients
2 thick slices of bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1 3/4 pounds rainbow chard—stems sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick, leaves cut into 1-inch strips
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

The bacon I used did not give up enough fat, so I ended up adding some. If the bacon you are using doesn’t look particularly fatty, you may want to use an additional strip or just keep some butter or oil around to add if you need to. I also didn’t bother seeding my tomato and I don’t think it made a difference. Finally, I ended up using a couple tablespoons of chicken broth, which you may or may not need, depending on your pan and your stove.

Directions

In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, 4 minutes. Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until tender but not browned, 2 minutes.

At this point, some of the fat was sticking to the pan, so I added a splash of chicken broth to deglaze it a bit. I think everything would have burned if I didn’t, so use your judgment here. If it looks like it’s drying up and sticking, add a tablespoon or two of liquid.

Add the tomato and cook until it begins to break down, 2 minutes. Even when the tomato broke down, I found I needed another small splash of broth to keep it from sticking and to remove the fatty bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add the chard stems and cook until crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Add the chard leaves and cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until wilted, 5 minutes; drain off any liquid. Add the soy sauce and cook until the leaves are tender, 2 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
I really wish I didn’t have camera issues this time around because the dish really did look colorful and pretty, but this is the best I got.

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