05 March 2010

Firecrackers - AB

In my fit to say I knew of NO carrot recipes for the February Tigress' Can Jam, I forgot one thing... that I did know one recipe for pickled carrots. It wouldn't work for the Can Jam since it's not hot water processed, but I have made it before (in 2002) for the MotH. Here it is... 

Alton Brown
1/2 pound mini carrots
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 dried chilies

Place carrots in a spring-top glass jar. Bring the water, sugar, cider vinegar, onion powder, mustard seeds, salt, and chili flakes to a boil in a non-reactive saucepan. Boil for 4 minutes.
Slowly pour the hot pickling liquid over the carrots, filling the jar to the top. Place the chilies in the jar. Allow the carrots to cool before sealing. Refrigerate for 2 days up to 1 week.

Comment from the Counter: 
* Used crinkle cut carrots - had a noble idea of cutting carrots on mandoline, then reality set in and I just bought them - a little weak to be sure, but the firecrackers got made this way. 
* Used more onion powder (2 tsp) - I don't keep onion powder on hand, so had to purchase, but now I'm not sure what to do with the rest of it ...
* 1 tsp mustard seed - how can that hurt?
* 1 heaping tsp of red pepper flakes - don't we want it hot?
*Instead of two dried chilies (which I can't find at the damn store, except for dried ancho peppers - boring), I used two fresh finger hots (Jwala). 

Gorgonzola & Craisin-stuffed chicken breast salad - Portabello Market

1/2 c toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 c Craisins
1/2 c Gorgonzola cheese
4 boneless chicken breasts
Blend together walnuts, Craisins, and Gorgonzola. Lay chicken out top side down on cutting board. Smooth mixture over breasts. Roll chicken breasts (these can be tied with kitchen string to hold the shape). Cook at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Let rest for five minutes and slice into circular pieces.

1/2 c cider vinegar
2 T honey
1T Dijon mustard
1/4 c Mandarin oranges
1/4 c Craisins
1 c canola oil
Process all except canola oil in food processor. Slowly drizzle in oil until mixture thickens. [Don't think food process monster should look like that.]

4 c field greens
4 c romaine hearts, chopped
1 c roasted shallots *
1 c Mandarin orange segments
Mix all salad ingredients in bowl. Drizzle with dressing and top with sliced chicken breast. For added garnish, slice an apple, drizzle with oil and lightly grill. Place 2 slices of apple on each plate. Serves 4.

* Roasted shallots - peel shallots and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper; bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

Erika Thomas
Owner/chef - Portabello Market (A WONDERFUL restaurant in downtown Pensacola)

Published in the Pensacola News Journal, December 3, 2008
Too bad the PNJ doesn't keep recipes available - weak
[My photography isn't the best yet - this tastes much better than my photo makes it looks  - I'm a work in progress.]

Comments from the Counter:
Toast walnuts (approx 8-10 minutes until fragrant) while shallots roast.
Honey - used local honey from K's on Mobile Highway
4 oz of bleu cheese
Little bit of extra stuffing left (did not cross contaminate - not to worry) used as crumbles on the salad - very nice
160 degrees for chicken - just to be safe

A little bit of work for a weeknight, but chicken could be made a day ahead (I didn't want warm chicken on the greens, so room temperature worked well). Will be great for warmer weather. Dressing was truly! wonderful. Great leftovers the next day too.

04 March 2010

Allium Search ...

The Victorian Kitchen Book of Pickles & Preserves
Pickled onion recipe on page 32 looked pretty good, until you get to the point that says, "pickles ready to eat with in six to eight months after pickling"

I think not.