Saturday, June 30, 2007

forty clove garlic chicken & peach cobbler

This has to be one of our favorite recipes to make, it's from Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells. Whatever ails you this is the cure all. It's so easy. The chicken is juicy the sauce is amazing and the garlic, wow, it's powerful and savory. I used chicken thighs on the bone, they were on sale, seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Brown chicken in a skillet over high heat. About 5 minutes until skin is golden brown. We take the chicken out and reduce the heat to medium and throw in 40 cloves of garlic, saute them a bit then we put the chicken back in and slowly pour in white wine and chicken stock. Shake the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover and cook for about 10 to 12 more minutes. This creates the most heavenly garlic smell in our little apartment. We usually serve this with a wild rice. But today instead it will be with french bread. This of course is fantastic to spread the roasted garlic on. Oh divine.

Now here's my first try at a peach cobler. The peaches turned out perfect but I'm not that happy with the crust it was a little gummy underneath the top layer. The top was perfect, crispy and sweetened with a bit of sugar. Overall I was looking for the crust to have more crunch. I think I'll try brown sugar next time.

Cut up 7 peaches (should have bought 8, but I can't count today).
Toss them with 1/3 cup of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Now for the crust, I was suppose to use vegetable shortening in it, but I used butter instead (maybe why it isn't so flaky, but I hate the aftertaste of vegatable shortening).
Here's what I tried:
Mix 2 cups of flour, 8 tbsp butter (recipe said 2 tbsp butter, 1/3 cup vegatable shortening)
1 tbsp baking powder,
pinch of salt,
1 tbsp sugar
Use pastry blender until it's resembles course meal .

Lightly beat 1 egg and 1/3 milk (I used almond milk) and add to the flour mixture. Knead until it all comes together. Put the peaches in a nice deep dish completely cover them with the flour mixture, sprinkle top with about 2 tbsps of sugar and pop into the oven.

425 degree oven for 35 - 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Serve warm.

Friday, June 29, 2007

bread & butter

This has to be one of my favorite breakfast foods. I just love bread and butter no matter what my mood. Lately I've become partial to ciabatta bread. Ciabatta has been quite popular here in L.A. with much thanks to all the great bread makers in town, like Nancy Silverton. The ciabatta, in italian it means carpet slipper for it's shape, is originally from Italy. I'm not sure I think it looks like a carpet slipper, but some Italian thought so, it's more like a nicely folded towel. I just thought of my linen closet and that's the shape of my towels.

Today the ciabatta I ate was from Trader Joes, usually it's LaBrea bakery. I love the texture of the slice. After a light toasting, spread with nice soft salty butter, wow it's a great thing. This "light toasting" doesn't mean I don't ocassionally burn my toast, I do, and often, and I do eat it, unless flames are involved. My grandmother notoriously burnt toast in the morning, she ate it, so I and several of my cousins followed suit. We both still enjoy a nice burnt piece of toast slathered with butter in the morning.

Usually at night I have this bread with a little extra virgin olive oil and just a pinch of sea salt. With a glass of white crisp fruity wine it's the perfect way to end your day. It's become one of my favorite morning and evening meals.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

it's all about the ingredients

Whether you like to cook or travel or just live life what you put into it affects what you get out of it. With the food I make I love to put the freshest ingredients available. Fresh herbs from the Farmer's Market, the ripest fruit that's in season or that special King Arthurs flour. This thought plays into just about every aspect of life. When you travel don't you put the most effort in finding the right places to visit, the right food to eat and best place to stay. Isn't your trip a result of finding the right "ingredient" for what you had in mind at that destination. Our what about your favorite meal out, yes it's usually about the food, but isn't it also about the fantastic conversations you had with your friends or your significant other. Really what you put into your food. life. travel...makes all the difference in the world.


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