Posts Tagged ‘Tablespoon’

It’s a spring thing

March 23, 2013

It's a spring thing

The local fish monger had shad fillets and roe sets today. Just what I wanted for dinner.

I melted a couple of tablespoons of sweet butter in a large skillet with an equal amount of olive oil. When it got hot, I placed the shad fillet in the skillet skin side down. I had already salted and peppered the fillet.

I spooned some of the butter/oil over the top of the fillet and, after two minutes on the stove top, I placed the skillet in a pre-heated, 350 degree oven.

For the roe set, I had soaked them for an hour or so in some cool water with a hit of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Then I rinsed the set and patted it dry.

I gently separated the sacks and dusted them with some flour seasoned with white pepper and salt.

I heated up some bacon fat in small skillet over medium low heat and placed the roe set into the fat.

Meanwhile, I pulled the pan with the fillet out of the over and set it back on the stove top over medium heat. I let it cook for a couple of minutes and then poured in about 3 ounces of white wine. Turning the flame up to medium high, I let the wine reduce by half. Then I added a couple more tablespoons of butter and a few ounces of heavy cream. I removed the fish to a plate and kept it warm while continuing to sitr and reduce the wine/butter/cream mixture.

The roe set I turned over just as it was crisping up…about three minutes. I let the roe continue to cook for another three minutes or so and then removed from the heat.

As the sauce thickened, I added some finely chopped parsely, tasted for seasoning and salted and peppered as needed.

I napped the fillet with the sauce and sprinkled on more chopped parsely.

The roe set I placed on the side of the plate with the fillet. I had a small sprig of bronze fennel I got out of the garden that I minced up and sprinkled over the top of the roe.

As an accompaniment, I sauteed some oyster mushrooms and put them on the plate as well.

Spring had sprung!

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I hate Mondays (sometimes)

December 20, 2011

Mondays.

While I don’t normally think the worst of the first day of the work week, sometimes they just don’t get off to a good start. It had been one of those days.

By the time I was grabbing my second cup of coffee, I was getting agitated with various and sundry “things.” A walk to city hall and then the bank to take care of a couple of errands chilled me a little but upon returning home found the aggravation level going up again due to some computer “issues.”

The question came up about dinner and was solved with grabbing a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts out of the freezer. Sort of.

The way the day had started I thought it might be advisable to come up with something more pleasing than some dry old sautéed chicken breasts accompanied by some yellow rice or a baked potato.

I started taking a mental inventory of what we had on hand in the pantry and a plan began to take shape. Something warm and comforting. And out of the ordinary.

Chicken paprikas came to mind. While I had eaten paprikas (veal or chicken) dozens of times, I had never made it. Well, once, I just sort of dusted some cut up chicken breasts with paprika, browned them off and made a quick pan gravy with some stock and a little butter/flour roux. I knew there was more to the dish so I did a quick Google and looked at the first entry that came up.

It was a link to this entry on Food.com. I had just about everything I needed, except sour cream. But there was a half of a half pint of light cream in the fridge. I bet I could make this work.

So, using the recipe provided by the late BoxO’Wine on Food.com, I put together what I referred to as my “half a**sed chicken paprikas” for the two of us. It passed the test. It might not be 100% authentic but I gotta tell ya it was quite tasty.

There can be no denying, the key is good paprika and I was fortunate to have not one but three tins of Spanish smoked paprika purchased through La Tienda. This assortment of La Chinata paprika includes one, 2.5 ounce tin each of sweet, bittersweet and hot paprikas. And I put all three to work.

The paprikas smelled great while it was cooking (and that was no small feat because I was also braising the brisket for the next night’s Hanukkah dinner and IT smelled pretty good too). I wished I had a bottle of “Bulls Blood” on hand to go with the dish. A California Merlot would have to do.

It was a pretty good ending for what had started off as a less than spectacular day. Not bad for a half-a**ed attempt at a classic.

Half A**ed Chicken Paprikas (for two)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into pieces approximately 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons Spanish smoked paprika, 1 each sweet and bittersweet
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish sweet, smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon Spanish hot, smoked paprika (can use cayenne pepper in a pinch)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or, in a pinch light cream)

Mix flour, paprikas, salt and black pepper in a plastic bag large enough to hold all the chicken slices.  Add the chicken, seal the bag and toss to coat evenly.  Remove the chicken and reserve the seasoned flour.

Add oil to Dutch oven or large skillet and heat over medium high flame until shimmering. Place chicken in pan and brown on each side.

Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and set aside. Add butter and a little more oil to the pan. Once butter has melted, toss in onions sweet and hot paprika (or cayenne) and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions have softened, 2 or 3 minutes.

Add chicken back to the pan along with the can of chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer.  Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let paprikas cool down.

Whisk the reserved flour into the light or sour cream until well blended and smooth.

Add small amount of liquid from pot into flour/cream mixture and stir until mixed thoroughly. This tempers the dairy product so it won’t break when you add it, stirring constantly, back into the pot.

Simmer 5 minutes. Ladle over egg noodles.  Pour some nice, but not expensive red wine and accompany with a tossed salad.

Serves 2 (with a little left over for lunch the next day).