Monday, April 29, 2013

Talbots' Marinade

S. marinated and B. grilled, and the chicken was so good. 

The recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated, May 1, 2009.

3 T olive oil
1 T minced fresh herbs, such as tarragon, chives, basil, or parsley
1 T fresh lemon juice
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 1 T)
1 t sugar
1 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
2 T water

Whisk together in medium bowl. Place marinade and up to 2 lbs chicken in gallon-sized zipper-lock bag; press out as much air as possible and seal bag. Depending on chicken type, refrigerate 30-90 minutes. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts should be marinated for no less than 30 minutes and no more than 1 hour. Skin-on, bone-in chicken should be marinated for at least 45 minutes and no longer than 90 minutes.Flip bag halfway through to ensure that chicken marinates evenly.


Curried Chicken (or turkey) Salad

A crowd-pleaser, expertly made by Meredith.

When asked about the recipe, she sounded like Mom: "It's in The Joy! Look in The Joy!"

Curried Chicken or Turkey Salad
combine in a medium bowl:
           2 c diced cooked chicken or turkey
           1/4 c chopped toasted walnuts, almonds, or cashews (Mere used cashews)
           3 scallions, chopped
           2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
           (1 apple, cored, peeled, and coarsely chopped)
           (1/4 c dark or golden raisins)
mix in:
          a mayonnaise made of:
                 1 T curry powder toasted 30-60 sec in a skillet over low heat with 1T vegetable oil, cooled
                 1/2 c mayonnaise
                 1/2 t lime juice
                 1/2 t honey
                 1/8 t salt      
          salt and black pepper to taste
serve on a bed of lettuce leaves.

**Alternatives for the fruit might include water chestnuts, cucumber, red bell pepper, sweet onion


This last week I planned a baby shower for my dear friend ALB. It turned out nicely! The menu was well-received: curried chicken salad, a nice green salad with dried fruits and nuts, fruit salad, and rolls. For dessert I made a layered semifreddo dish that I sort of made up out of various epicurious recipes. I based my white, pink, and yellow semifreddo terrine off of recipes for marshmallow semifreddo, raspberry semifreddo (converted to strawberry), and meyer lemon semifreddo. Each recipe makes a loaf pan's worth, so I just made the recipes one at a time and layered them among three loaf pans total. It is important to let each layer freeze thoroughly before trying to add the next.

I'll post the recipes to the marshmallow and meyer lemon layers (I simplified both considerably), because I was satisfied with those. The strawberry layer turned out a wee bit icy (which some people claimed to like!), no doubt because I messed with it after it was "done" because it wasn't pink enough. So I kept adding more strawberry product until I liked the color.

Also of note: first, meyer lemons were cheaper at Wegmans than regular lemons, and I am glad, because I really think they do have a lovely flavor. Second, I had planned to put toasted sliced almonds at the bottom of the pans, but then I burnt my almonds. Arrgh. I still think that would be a good textural and flavor touch. The idea comes from the meyer lemon recipe, but I think it would be nice snug against a marshmallow layer.

To slice the semifreddos, turn them out of their pans and use a large knife dipped in hot water to cut 1 inch slices. Work fast! I served mine with sugared strawberries.

Marshmallow Semifreddo

2 c chilled heavy whipping cream
14 oz marshmallow creme

With electric mixer, beat cream to soft peaks-- not past. Beat in marshmallow creme. This will require a lot of beating, so be sure to not beat it too much at first. It might never feel fully incorporated. Fine. Do not create marshmallow-flecked butter. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap (leaving a generous overhang) or use a spring-form pan. Spread in pan and freeze till firm, at least 4 hours but up to 1 day.

Meyer Lemon Semifreddo

1 3/4 c chilled heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 c sugar
7 large egg yolks
1/2 c fresh Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice
1 T plus 2 t finely grated Meyer lemon peel or regular lemon peel
1/4 t salt

With electric mixer, beat cream to soft peaks. Refrigerate.

Whisk 1 1/4 c sugar, yolks, juice, zest, and salt in large metal bowl. Set bowl over large saucepan of simmering water. Whisk continuously until thick and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Remove bowl from over simmering water. Beat with mixer till thick, cool, and doubled in volume, about 6 minutes. Fold in chilled whipped cream. Transfer to loaf pan lined with plastic wrap (with a generous overhang). Tap lightly to remove air pockets. Cover and freeze until firm, 8 hours or overnight.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cheddar Chorizo Grits

Sticky Lips BBQ here in Rochester has won me over with their barbecue sauce and their cheddar chorizo grits, served as a side with pretty much anything you order. I decided they would probably be pretty easy to replicate. I found some recipes online that seemed similar, and modified one from a hospitality-industry site. I think I pretty much hit the nail on the head. I brought these to a potluck dinner, and some people hate on grits, so not many got eaten. I didn't mind because I knew that not many people would try them, and that grits are an acquired taste, and that I am in a land of yanks who would likely be wary both before and after the first-taste process.

So I had a lot of leftovers, which was ok, because I really liked the grits I made. Pooh-pooh to the haters. And despite my very grits-literate, Carolina-sired roommate's advice to NEVER LET THEM GET COLD (Hi CS!), I like them even better re-warmed to the point of crunchy edges. Although it would be better for one's health to share them with other grits-lovers.

Cheddar Chorizo Grits
2 1/2 c milk
1/2 c regular white grits
2 T butter
2 T cream
1 c diced chorizo
1 c grated cheddar cheese
Tabasco and mustard to taste
salt, pepper

Bring milk and chorizo to boil. Add butter. While stirring, slowly add grits, breaking up any lumps. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until grits are tender and slightly thick, 15 to 20 minutes. Add cream and cheese, stirring till cheese is completely melted. Season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco.  I added some prepared mustard because I know from making Welsh Rarebit that mustard makes cheese taste cheesier than cheese. I think the trick worked.