Posts Tagged ‘chicken’


A Turkish meal is usually cooked by a weathered and wise old grandma deep in the Anatolian heartland who couldn’t write down the recipe for Jacques Pepin himself.  She knows what she’s doing and would fight to the death over one pinch of salt or two.  For the culinary tourist such as yours truly, I’ll have to relate these recipes as best I observed it cooked in front of me.  Like much in Turkey, they’re fairly straightforward, just not very exact.


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chicken saltimbocca

About a month ago, I wrote about the weeknight dinner quandary — how to make a good dinner for a guest, on a weeknight, that won’t drive you crazy to the point where you are unattractively frazzled or smeared with olive oil or flour or the like or just terrifically drunk by the time your guest arrives.

I served this chicken saltimbocca along with the spaghetti in vino rosso that I cooked for the particular dinner in question, and the whole thing couldn’t have been easier unless I’d ordered delivery for the two of us. Plus, the word “saltimbocca” is Italian for “jumps in the mouth.” Could there be a more enticing name for a dish? (more…)

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enchiladas-finishedThings I learned while making enchiladas last night, on the eve of inauguration:

1. Enchiladas will never look that good in a photograph.

2. Enchiladas take at least 3-4 times as long to make as the recipe indicates.

3. Enchiladas are Barack Obama’s favorite food.

Okay, so number three isn’t really true, but who knows — it could be. After all, enchiladas are delicious, and particularly these enchiladas, from the Pink Adobe Restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a place I grew up going every summer. This is another one of my mom’s standbys, and it is certainly worth all the time and effort involved. The end result are incredibly creamy chicken enchiladas that — thanks to the abundant sour cream and cheddar cheese — literally do melt in your mouth. A homemade green chile (the cookbook spells it “chile,” so who am I to argue?) sauce lends a touch of pep and acidity. The whole thing is a dish to be proud of. (more…)

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As a recent college graduate, I’ve found that the meals I eat at home tend to fall into three categories:

1. Take-out

2. Cooked meals for one

3. Elaborate dinner parties with extensive menus that for some reason always involve cornbread.*

* I think for some reason cornbread satisfies some latent longing I have for home because it is warm, involves bread, and tastes like comfort, which is weird because I’ve never had cornbread at home.

Don’t even get me started on take out.


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Penang curry (also spelled panaeng and panang) is a delicious Thai curry that is named after a state in northern Malaysia. It is also commonly served in Australia (my co-chef Andrew’s homeland). Andrew lives at the intersection of the Lower East Side and Chinatown, so we recently made a curry containing ingredients from the little groceries that line Grand Street.

It’s all about the curry paste. And unless you have a few thousand dollars to take a cooking class in Chiang Mai, head to Bangkok Center Grocery in Chinatown and grab the Nittaya curry paste (we do have shares in both of these companies and they have survived the financial crisis nicely). Most Thai restaurants in NYC source their curries from this store, so you aren’t cheating. You might want to call ahead to make sure they have their curry paste in stock as it ships direct from Thailand and recent civil unrest has disrupted supply! You’ll need to pick up the Kaffir lime leaves (grown in back of the store) and the Thai basil here. You can procure everything else locally.

This Penang curry was easy to cook, easy on the wallet, and downright delicious. (more…)

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Booze in Your Food: Vermouth

Every 18-year-old is sent away to college with one great pearl of family wisdom echoing in their ears, a mantra to hover over their shoulder, cartoon angel-like, and guide them through the rest of their lives. Laertes got “to thine own self be true.” My roommate’s was “never funnel hard liquor.” And mine was this:

Dry vermouth can take the place of white wine in any recipe.

Um… no applause? Nothing? Ow, a tumbleweed.

Though I’ll admit it seems lacking in profundity, this little piece of advice has made my life in the kitchen much easier. Why, you ask? Because nobody likes a wet martini, that’s why.* Even if you pound martinis like Nick and Nora Charles, a bottle of vermouth is liable to stick around your kitchen for weeks, if not months: it won’t get used up, and it won’t go bad. White wine on the other hand only keeps for a few days after you’ve popped the cork. Granted it has probably been drunk by then, but the fact remains: to cook any of the million recipes that call for white wine you will have to run out and buy a new bottle. Does your apartment have a wine cellar? Mine neither. So give yourself a break: keep a bottle of vermouth at your side and you’ll always be ready. (more…)

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Another dinner party, another roast chicken. I don’t actually have that much more to say about this one, amazingly, other than that the original recipe comes from the magazine Real Simple, which the middle-aged woman in me just adores. Try the chicken (which literally takes 10 minutes or less of active time to produce true magnificence) and you’ll see why. (more…)

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