Jerk-spiced chicken sandwich with chimichurri

This “jerk” is no trouble

Originally appeared in the July 14, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

The recipe’s title may sound intricate, but this is really just a simple sandwich.  There are really three key elements to any sandwich:  bread, spread (or condiment), and body.

Let’s start with the bread.  The distinctly rustic crust and tender-tunneled texture of ciabatta adds a nice “mouth-feel” effect, the buns acting like bookends to showcase the filling.  Read more after the jump: (more…)

Cavatelli with Sardinian meat sauce

On the radar:  cavatelli

Originally appeared in the February 03, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

As I write this, local meteorologists are forecasting the potential arrival of a record-breaking snow-and-ice storm.  If the Doppler-radar prophets of doom are correct, then we may all be thawing out from a few days of vicious precipitation.  But no worries.  This recipe, cavatelli with Sardinian meat sauce, will help knock-off the chill.  More after the jump: (more…)

Beer Beurre Blanc

  • 2 shallots, minced
  • As needed vegetable oil
  • 4 fluid ounces dry white wine
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 4-5 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 fluid ounces beer (of your choice)
  • 1 quart heavy cream, warmed
  • ¼ cup cornstarch (for slurry)
  • ¼ cup water (for slurry)
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, cut into medium cubes
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1.  In a saucepan with a small amount of vegetable oil, sweat shallot over medium-low heat.  When shallots are translucent, add white wine, pinch of salt, peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf; allow wine to reduce by half.  Add in beer.  Reduce slightly.

2.  Meanwhile, warm heavy cream in a separate pan, warm heavy cream.

3.  Slowly whisk in heavy cream, and gently bring to a simmer.

4.  In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water to make a slurry.  (Use your finger to make sure lumps are stirred out.)  Slowly stir in a small amount of slurry to thicken the cream mixture to nappe (should smoothly coat the back of a spoon, although you may need additional slurry to reach the proper thickness).  Bring mixture to a simmer then remove from heat.

5.  Whisk in cubed butter in small batches, waiting for previous installment of butter to melt and incorporate until next batch is added.  Whisk in lemon juice.  Reason.

6.  Strain through a china cap or chinoise.  Keep sauce warm in a bain marie throughout service.

Published in: on September 14, 2010 at 8:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Farfalle with Smoked Salmon Sauce

What’s your pasta personality?

Originally appeared in the September 9, 2010 edition of the Southside Times.

Pasta, in part, represents a sort of anarchic and independent spirit of Italy.  I like that.  Not just because it’s a spirit that’s endured, but because it’s a pleasantly contrarian attitude that staunchly clings to hundreds of different regional traditions and cuisines.  Farfalle—also known as bow-tie pasta—is just one of those hundreds of varieties of pastas.  Read more after the jump: (more…)

Published in: on September 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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