Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sauteed Chicken and Radishes with Mustard and Tarragon

Sometimes when anyone tries a new recipe, there are hits and misses. If the miss is from a cookbook, the reasons could be a. you didn't follow the recipe correctly or b. you just don't like the taste. If the miss is from you creating a recipe on your own, it most likely is because the flavors you brought together did not work out or the new technique of cooking did not work out. The more experienced of a chef you are, the more you know how to bring the flavors together or how to subsitute flavors in a recipe successfully.

I usually don't like to play around with a recipe until I've tried it at least once with exact ingredients and directions. Lately I've been playing around with recipes without even trying the original recipe. I wasn't a bad chef before but I typically cooked the ingredients I knew and the recipes I knew. Now I've branched out to new ingredients and new recipes. My confidence has grown in the kitchen. A lot of that is due to changing how and what I eat. I simply couldn't cook what I used to with a healthy conscience knowing what I know now. I no longer cook with white flour, white sugar, brown sugar, or canola oil. The list goes on. I now cook with coconut oil, honey and other subsitutes. What I knew previously in the kitchen, no longer worked. Definitely nervewracking but it is doable. You just have to keep trying and remember, some meals are hits and some are misses. Some just need to be tweeked more and others need to be thrown out for good.

With that said, I had radishes from the CSA I picked up two weeks ago. I don't like radishes in my salad and never really knew what else to do with it. Off I went to find a recipe to make the radishes with. I found this recipe and wanted to try it right away. I knew I had most of the ingredients. I needed to tweek it a bit though in the beginning. I hoped that it came out good especially since I never made it before. I'm proud to say, it came out delicious! Without further ado, I present:




Sauteed Chicken and Radishes with Mustard and Tarragon (Bon Appetit April 2011)

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts (preferably boneless

kosher salt

2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons minced onion

1 1/4 cup chicken broth

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard ( I like a lot of mustard)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon (I added more as I went)

2 bunches of radishes and stems (I used bok choy for the greens instead of the stems this time)

fresh tarragon for garnish




Directions:


1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and cook until browned and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Transfer chicken to plate; cover to keep warm. Add onion to same skillet; stir over medium-high heat 1 minute. add chicken broth to skillet; bring to boil. Whisk in mustard and chopped tarragon; boil until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon lightly and is reduced to scant 1/2 cup, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon butter; set aside.






2. Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter with remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add radishes; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper; cook without stirring until radishes begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Continue to cook radishes until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes longer.




3. Cut chicken breast halves crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices; arrange on platter. Place radishes around and over chicken. Spoon sauce over chicken and radishes. Garnish with tarragon sprigs and serve.









You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf (Jon Kabat-Zinn)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Butterflied Chicken with Onions

 I had been trying to figure out what to make one day. We still had a whole chicken left in the freezer. I wasn't really in the mood for the slow cooker chicken that I normally make. I wanted something else, a different taste. I found this recipe in my Deliciously Organic Cookbook. This chicken recipe is by far one of the best ones I've ever made and eaten. It's really easy to make. I substituted some ingredients as I went along and it still came out tasty! It is definitely going into myy rotation of chicken recipes to be cooked.


Butterflied chicken with Onions (adapted from Deliciously Organic Cookbook)

1 (4-5 lb) chicken, butterflied (to butterfly a chicken, lay it breast down. Take kitchen shears and remove the backbone by cutting it to the left and side of the spine all the way down. Remove)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1-3 tablespoons tarragon (you can use any fresh herb here)

1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 large onions, cut into wedges (original recipe called for red onions, I found it still tasty with regular onions)

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted



Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and adjust oven rack to medium position

2. Pat chicken with dry cloth to make sure skin is dry. Stir together soften butter, tarragon, and 1 teaspoon sea salt in a small bowl. Gently lift the skin and rub herbed butter under skin of breasts, thighs, and legs. Season the entire chicken generously with salt and pepper.

3. Place chicken in roasting pan. Toss onion wedges, coconut oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper in medium bowl. Pour onions around chicken in roasting pan. Roast chicken for 30 minutes and then rotate pan 180 degrees. Continue to roast about 25 minutes until crisp and golden brown and when a thermometer reaches 160 degrees F when inserted in the thickest part of the breast. Remove from the oven and before serving, let chicken rest about 15 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.






Wednesday, June 20, 2012

CSA pick up!

For those of you who know what CSA is, we started our first pick up last week!!! A CSA means community supported agriculture. A CSA is where you pay before hand for a part of the farm's produce. The main factor in deciding what you get each week is how much crop was harvested that week. This means you get fresh produce that is in season. I chose fruit, vegetable and egg share from the Garden of Eve farm in Riverhead. The reason we chose this farm is due to the drop offs. The drop off closest to us is in Bayport which is right down the road from my mom. This farm also allowed for variety which I liked. You can go to www.localharvest.org to find the closest farm to you. I also did a little research on my own. Not all farms are found on this website. It just makes it easier for most. After deciding back in March, I paid for CSA pick ups biweekly from June to November. I pick up fresh produce every other Wednesday between 3 and 7pm. You get what's in season, what's plentiful and freshly picked from the garden. Needless to say, we got tons of greens. I took pictures to show everyone. :) 









all the fresh produce!







View two







Kale







Radishes and Lettuce







Eggs straight from the chickens!










Kale










Bok Choy










Snap Peas










Mustard Greens










Baby Lettuce
















Turnip










Garlic Scapes












Strawberries










Blueberries






Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Potato Salad



On Long Island, every Memorial day is an extensive air show at Jones Beach. I've never gone. This year is my first year going! It however requires being at the beach all day. You have to get there early to get a good spot and then stay until about 3 or 4 when the show is over. I enjoyed the show greatly.

That being said, its required to bring your own food unless you want to spend money at all the food stands.  I I did not want to buy processed food nor bring processed food. We hit up the supermarket and our cookbooks the night before. We bought tons of fruit, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes and peppers to munch on. We made homemade roasted red pepper hummus, homemade fresh squeezed lemonade and homemade potato salad. Nothing contained chemicals which was what we were looking for. The only thing that contained sugar was the lemonade. To be honest, it was my first time making it, I didn't want to screw around with it by adding honey or maple syrup after hand squeezing 20 lemons! Next time I will. I wasn't too thrilled with the hummus this time around either, it wasn't creamy. I want to play around with those recipes and then once I feel satisfied with them, I'll put them up! I am however thrilled with the potato salad! No mayo involved! It's a great summer recipe and will be used often in our household.




Potato Salad with Herbs and Grilled Summer Squash (Cooking Light through the Seasons)

Salad:

2 lbs small red potatoes

3/4 lbs yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dressing:

1/3 cup chopped fresh chives

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped cornichons (I used 1 tablespoon drained capers)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper




1. preheat grill to med high heat

2. put potatoes in pot, fill with water, bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender. (About 18 minutes) Drain the water and cut potatoes into quarters

3. Coat squash with salt and pepper and grill. Grill until brown or tender. (about two minutes on each side). Add to potatoes

4. Combine all ingredients for dressing in bowl. Pour dressing over potatoes and squash. Toss until all ingredients are covered. May serve warm or cold.









"Sliding a wave removes our brains out of the ordinary and slips us into the extra ordinary of being there now. No more worries about mortgages or strife of being poor or rich. When you enter the domain of an ocean cylinder, that moment, those split seconds belong to the Zen part of just being. Period."