Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Supremes de Volaille a l'Ecossaise

Julia, oh,  how I love thee. Let me count the ways.
It could be the many flavorful ways you gussy up chicken breasts...
Mrs. Child provides one master recipe for "supremes," or deboned chicken breasts, cooked - and three variations on the theme. Back in her day, this might have been a complicated dish- boneless, skinless, perfectly trimmed pieces of meat weren't at the ready in the meat department. But, that step already completed by the butcher, these supremes are supreme, no matter which way you prepare them.

Last night, I whipped up Chicken Breasts with Diced Aromatic Vegetables and Cream. Divine!
(And don't forget my earlier post- Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Cream)
Chicken Breasts with Paprika, Onions, and Cream is also delish, with a Hungarian twist. I'll make that one later!

Event: I Heart Julia! 
Supremes de Volaille a l'Ecossaise- Chicken Breasts with Diced Aromatic Vegetables and Cream
Mashed Russets
Steamed Green Beans

For the chicken:
The following vegetables cut into neat 1/16th inch cubes:
1 medium carrot
1-2 tender celery stalks
1 medium onion
(Ya know, they sell pre-pack diced veggies in the produce section- another short cut!)
1/8 tsp salt
5 tbsp butter
4 "supremes" and the sauce ingredients in the master recipe

Master Recipe Ingredients:
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
big pinch white pepper
round of wax paper, cut into a 10 inch circle and buttered on one side
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup dry vermouth, sherry, madeira or port
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup whipping cream
salt and pepper, lemon juice to taste

Cook the diced veggies slowly with the salt and butter for about 10mins in a covered casserole or deep 12" saute pan. 
Meanwhile, sprinkle the chicken breasts with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken breasts to the pan with vegetables, and roll in butter quickly. Lay the buttered paper over them, cover casserole, and place in hot oven. After 6 minutes, press top of supremes with your finger. If still soft, return to oven for a moment or two (Mine needed 5 more. I think our chicken breasts are more "plump" than they used to be!) When meat is springy to the touch, it is done. Remove the supremes to a warm platter and cover while making the sauce. Pour the stock into the casserole with butter (and vegetables) and boil down quickly over high heat, until liquid is syrupy. Stir in the cream and boil down again over high heat until cream has thickened slightly. Off heat, taste carefully for seasoning and add drops of lemon juice to taste. Pour the sauce over the supremes and serve at once, sprinkled with parsley.

Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans. 

You may have to switch to sweatpants after this meal...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Menu for the Week

Monday~ Supremes de Volaille a l'Ecossaise- Chicken Breasts with Aromatic Veggies and Cream, ya'll!, parsley potatoes
Tuesday~ Potato-Leek Soup with Crostini
Wednesday~ Mini Sliders, Sauteed Acorn Squash with Rosemary and Brown Butter
Thursday~Chicken Paprikash with Whole Wheat Egg Noodles, Quick-Pickled Cucumber Salad
Friday~Dinner Party at arthouse! Congrats on the re-opening!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicken Chalupas and Ragu of Pork al Maialino

Our Supper Club met up at Diana's house last night. It's always such a wonderful surprise to find out what tasty creations we get to eat for the week!
Isaiah made Chicken Chalupas- but wasn't ready to share his secret recipe. Instead, I'll share my quick and easy version that may closely approximate Isaiah's dish. Maybe!
Tonight we dined on Ruth's fabulous Ragu of Pork from last week's NYT mag. Delish!

Chicken Chalupas
1 rotisserie chicken (meat removed and shredded), or 3 shredded chicken breasts
1 jar roasted red salsa
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp red wine vinegar
6 Tostadas
1 can refried black beans
2 avocados, sliced
1 jar pickled, sliced nopales (cactus)
1/2 c queso fresco, crumbled
1 jar Mexican crema

Heat salsa in a skillet over medium. Stir in chicken, cumin, red pepper and heat through, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in red wine vinegar. 
Meanwhile, heat refried black beans in microwave or on stovetop.
Carefully spread warm beans on tostadas. Top with chicken mixture, nopales, avocado slices, queso fresco, and drizzle with crema. 

Here is the NYT recipe for Ragu of Pork al Maialino... it is truly succulent! A bit of work- (which because this was Supper Club, I didn't have to do!) but completely worth it.

1 pork shoulder, bone in, roughly 4 pounds
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 rib celery, cut into large pieces
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into large pieces
1 quart chicken stock (or enough to almost cover the pork)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 9-ounce boxes dry lasagna, broken into 3-inch shards
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated grana Padano cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Small handful arugula leaves, cleaned.
1. Using a sharp knife, remove the thick skin from the pork, leaving a sheen of fat on top of the meat. Season aggressively with salt and place in the refrigerator until ready to use, as long as overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a deep saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When it shimmers, gently cook the onion, celery and fennel until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and thyme and bring to a simmer, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Rinse pork to remove excess salt, dry with a paper towel and add to seasoned broth. Cover and place in the oven for 90 minutes or more, until the meat just begins to pull away from the bone.
3. Allow both meat and broth to cool on the stove top for 30 minutes, or until you can touch the meat with your hands. Remove the pork and gently pull the meat from the bone, then tear the chunks into bite-size shreds. Place these in a large bowl.
4. Strain the liquid into a separate bowl and then pour enough of it over the meat to barely cover. (Use the rest for soup.) Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
5. Put a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil.
6. Place a large pan over medium-high heat and add the pork and braising liquid. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the butter and stir to emulsify.
7. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water according to the directions on the package, 10 to 12 minutes. When it is finished, drain and add to the sauce along with a splash of pasta water. Simmer for 1 minute, then add the lemon juice, half of the cheese, a tablespoon of olive oil and the parsley. Stir to incorporate.
8. Serve immediately, topped with arugula and the remaining cheese. Serves 4. Adapted from Nick Anderer at Maialino in New York.

Menu for the Week

Sunday- Chicken Chalupas (Supper Club creation by Isaiah)
Monday- Pork Ragu al Maialino (Supper Club creation by Ruth)
Tuesday- Southwest Chicken Soup
Wednesday- Justine's for Legal Build Fundraiser
Thursday- Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries
Friday- Tarragon-Cream Chicken and Polenta Pot Pies

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Have I mentioned...

how much I love RUE MAGAZINE!?
It's exclusively on-line, and created by design bloggers. My favorite feature- roll-over almost any object and you will be directed to a site that offers that item for sale. A fantastic time-saver! Rue has the "feel" of a traditional magazine- you can zoom in to read articles and see detail, or just flip through it to your hearts delight.
What a fab spin on traditional media! Congrats on the successful launch, Rue Magazine! (Funny thing, we've kinda got the same color scheme going on...)

Good Read: At Home

At Home: A Short History of Private Life

I followed Bill Bryson on his Walk in the Woods... and now he's headed back home. Bryson's new book explores the historical significance of our living spaces. I am fascinated by the premise alone. The icing on this literary cake is that Bryson is an entertaining and informed writer. A new addition to my goodreads.com "to-read" list: At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson. (Available on amazon.com)

"Houses aren't refuges from history. They are where history ends up." I like that.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On the Fence (Well, really... On the Wall)


I've been debating (for the last year or so) whether or not to wallpaper our guest/kids' bath. While I am entranced by all the gorgeous patterns and textures available- it's overwhelming... in a good way- it's hard to open the pocketbook to that kind of investment. Especially when the bottom half of the bathroom walls are covered in white epoxy-coated tile original to the house. Original tile can be a gorgeous thing... ours, I assure you, is not.
However, a girl can dream... and these papers are what dreams are made of.
(Above- Carey Lind Riviera Tiles Wallpaper from Wallpapers To Go)
Flower Power Grey Wallpaper by Kenneth James Echo Design from Wallpapers To Go
Fun Floral Blue and Taupe Wallpaper by Kenneth James Echo Design from Wallpapers To GoU99VWTUZ
Modern Damask Yellow Wallpaper by Kenneth James Echo Design from Wallpapers To Go
Hicks Hexagon in Black and Gold by Cole and Son from Walnut Wallpapers
Elysian Fields by Flavor Paper from Walnut Wallpapers (Yes, those are bats! LOVE IT!)
Awesome bathrooms with wallpaper (from housebeautiful.com):

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sitting Pretty

Haven't been able to get through the NYT Style Magazine DESIGN issue yet... I've been stuck on the Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams ad. I love this look- and it's helped me hone in on where I'm going with our living room. Here are some accent chairs that could fit the bill:

Manor Wing Chair by Baker 
White Leather Wingback Chair from 1stdibs
British Route Sign Wingback Chair from Home Economics
French Upholstered Wing Chair
French Upholstered Wing Chair from Restoration Hardware
La Salle Chair and Ottoman by Flexsteel from Gage Furniture

The State of the Living Room

I took a design risk... and I think it paid off. The Oversized Equator Pendant Light arrived in a gargantuan box- much fun for the little one- and it makes a quiet statement hovering above our cocktail table. With a newly installed dimmer switch, the living room is moving in the right direction. Still some decisions to make- re-painting, another chair to bring our seating capacity back up to six, new art- but I'm just so happy that the light works! (Both aesthetically and functionally...)

So now on to the chair decision...

Menu for the Week

Monday~Beef Kebabs with Couscous, Feta Salad
Tuesday~ Mommy's Night Out- Boys fend for themselves
Wednesday~Breaded Pork Tenderloins with Arugula Salad
Thursday~ Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup with Toasted Tortilla Strips