Coq Au Vin

Lets be honest and say that I mainly started cooking for one reason and one reason only. The Ladies love it! Thats right ladies. I like dinner by candle light and long romantic walks to the fridge!

For some of you gentlemen out there, Valentines day is fast approaching and if im a betting man, which I am…You have already made reservations at your favorite restaurant and have ordered the roses. Let me tell you something, that is the most boring thing I have ever heard in my life. There is nothing that makes your girl feel more special than by doing the same thing that every other couple in America does. Turn those berries you have between your legs into grapefruits and make your lady a romantic dinner. Don’t be scared to pull out all the stops either!

All thank you’s can be sent to my email!

Enough talk let’s get into some food.

Tonight I made a very classic dish called Coq Au Vin. It is a french dish that dates back way before you and I were roaming this earth. Coq Au Vin loosely translates to english to mean “rooster in wine.” It was traditionally made with poultry and braised or cooked in the wine from the region from where the chef derived. (typically Burgundy region of France)

Coq au vin

Cook time: ~ 1 hour 10 minutes

Serving size: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken thighs and legs
  • 6 bacon slices (coarsely chopped)
  • 4 tbsp Parsley (chopped)
  • 8 oz. Crimini mushrooms (halved)
  • 2 large carrots (chopped)
  • 6 shallots (halved)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup dry red wine (Syrah, Bordeaux, Tuscan)
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce (not necessary)
  • 4 teaspoons flour
  • Salt and Pepper

Firsts start by Preheating your oven to 400 degrees

Sautee bacon in a large nonstick pan over medium/high heat till crispy and remove with a slotted spoon and keep till later. Season your chicken with salt, pepper and 1 tbsp of parsley and add directly to the bacon drippings. sautee untill cooked through, about 8 minutes on each side. Transfer to baking dish and finish cooking in oven until sauce is complete. (save pan with grease and chicken drippings)

coq au vin

On medium heat in the same pan, add the mushrooms, shallots, garlic and carrots. season with salt and pepper and sautee untill brown, about 4 minutes. turn to high heat and add your bacon, wine and broth and another tbsp of parsley. (add the bbq sauce for a little smokeyness if you would like)

Bring to a boil then let boil on high heat for 8-10 minutes (stir ever 2 minutes). When the red wine has been reduced out add your flour and stir well. cook for another couple of minutes while the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.

Remove chicken from oven and add it back into the pan along with the juice from the baking dish. Mix together and serve in a large bowl!

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and as always,

Buon Appetito America!

JCL

Chicken Curry With Vegetables

Food is a funny thing. As much as I love Italian cuisine, the flavors of both Thai and Vietnamese cooking continues to captivate the senses. Thai food in particular is a cuisine that plays to its strengths by giving you a little salty, sweet, savory, spicy and umami. Now don’t get me wrong. I need my spaghetti alla carbonara at least once a week but that does not mean that I don’t crave some of that delicious Tom yum goong or Pad kaprow!

Thai cuisine is very well know for its curries and lucky for you I made a great one the other night. Not only is the flavor profile of this dish phenomenal but it also can be used to clean the fridge of any vegetables you may want to use.

Pollo al Curry con Verdure (Chicken Curry With Vegetables)

Cook time: ~ 1 hour 30 minutes

Serving size: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 tbsp curry paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp siracha
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts (sliced in 1″ pieces)
  • 1 small floret Broccoli (chopped)
  • 1 small floret cauliflower (chopped)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 carrot (chopped)

*I prepared over Farfalle pasta but many would use a long grain rice or Couscous

First and most importantly I would get all your ingredients chopped and prepared before turning on the stove.

Over medium heat in a large pan combine the oil, onion, ginger, garlic, curry paste, brown sugar and sautee until the onions have turned translucent and smell sweet. (about 5 minutes)

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Add the chicken till it is almost cooked and remove with slotted spoon and set aside. (about 5-7 minutes)

Add 1 cup of water along with the broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Loosely cover pan and cook for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add water as needed to maintain a saucy consistency.

Add the chicken and tomatoes cook for 5 more minutes

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Serve over your choice of starch

and as always,

Buon Appetito America!

JCL

*If you’re wondering I would go Riesling or light Pinot noir

Seafood Risotto

You say rice, I say Risotto”

Alright people listen up! ask not what your country can do for you. Ask whats for dinner instead! In college I had one roommate in particular who always was telling me that a good seafood risotto was one of his favorite dishes. unfortunately for us, all we ever had lying around the house where Ramen Noodles, some bread and a couple of cases of beer. The great thing about risotto is that once you get the fundamental recipe down you can enhance it with different seafood and vegetables. 

Risotto is best when made with an Arborio style rice:

Arborio Rice is a short grain rice with a pearly white color. It is most commonly used because of its higher level of starch content. This when cooked allows the rice to become more creamy and chewy which aids in helping it blend with other flavors. Arborio rice is cultivated in italy and some parts of the United States making it the most common used rice in dishes like risotto and rice pudding.

Without further ado I give to you:

Risotto con Gamberi (Shrimp Risotto)

Cook time: ~ 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Raw shrimp
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic(diced)
  • 1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Butter
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh Lemon
  • ~ 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt and Pepper

Cooking the Shrimp: Lets start by getting the shrimp going. Bring about 5 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. With shells still on add shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes till they turn from there raw grey color to a nice pink (save stock water). Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and put in an ice bath. remove shells from shrimp and place the shells back into the cooking water with the chopped onion. cover the pot and let simmer for about 30 min. After the time is up strain the cooking stock so it just leaves you with the liquid.

While your stock is prepping you can de-vein your shrimp:

run a knife 1/4 inch deep along the outer edge of the shrimp. Remove the black thread like vein with your finger or knife. This part holds a lot of the shrimps waste which is why we remove it if we can. If you cant see it then don’t bother.

Cooking the Risotto: In a pan heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and sautee the garlic and the other one of your onions. Add the rice and stir with a spoon till the rice has been coated by the oil.

 

 

 

 

Pour in the wine and let it reduce on a medium heat. We deglaze the pan with a little white wine because the acidity helps prevent the starch in the rice from disintegrating too quickly

After the alcohol has been reduced add 1/3 of the shrimp stock and stir continuously. stir until the rice has absorbed the stock and add another 1/3. do this step until all the stock has been added and absorbed by the rice. switch to a low heat and continue to cook the risotto. When done stir in a tbsp of butter and some grated parmesan cheese. season to taste with salt and pepper.

Lastly squeeze in lemon juice from 1/2 of a lemon with the last tbsp of olive oil, parsley and of course the shrimp. stir until shrimp are warm and serve!

 

There you have it! a shrimp risotto that would bring and man to his knees. This is a very easy but time-consuming dish that is made to impress anyone.

and as always,

Buon Appetito America!

JCL