It’s impossible to resist this recipe. There’s an article over at Kitchn titled the “Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk is Probably The Best Chicken Recipe of All Time“; a good friend (aka the Hungry Dog) — a person I trust 200% in all matters food-related — swears by it; and it has even shown up in my email box at least once with a note from Simran saying, “please make this and invite me over!”. So I finally cooked up some of this irresistible chicken, or rather threw it together one night when I found myself staring blankly into the refrigerator wishing it was someone else’s turn to make dinner. The verdict: this is as tasty as advertised, especially given the extra liberties I took (no sage, forgot the cinnamon stick, chicken pieces instead of whole…). What can I say? This is just one more reason to love Jamie Oliver. Continue reading
On Sundays if we don’t get up and out of the house right away, we lounge around and make a real breakfast. I like making pancakes or waffles and Tim likes to practice his Jacques Pepin omelet technique. While I like the idea of exotic pancakes, I find I always come back to the more straight-up variety. I guess I’m looking for that perfect in between pancake.
I was intrigued by the “Blueberry Orange Cornmeal Pancake” recipe I found on a blog called “Satisfied” and I’m giving it a thumbs up. The cornmeal adds just enough texture and the zest gives things a nice little zip. I made a few small alterations: lemon zest instead of orange zest and omitting the blueberries because I prefer fresh fruit on top vs. cooked fruit inside my pancakes. I also didn’t have buttermilk on hand, so I used the handy substitution of 1Tbl of lemon juice with enough milk added to make 1 cup (let it sit 5 minutes, don’t stir).
So if you like classic pancakes with just a little twist, give this one a try. You’ll like it. Luca did, but then again, I think he’s pretty much a fan of most pancakes he encounters. For those exotic pancake fans, check out Simran’s famous coconut-mango pancake recipe.
The crazier life gets, the more I am won over by the versatility and ease of risotto. It’s serious comfort food, endlessly adaptable and an old standby that can be pulled together last minute with ingredients I almost always have in my pantry (arborio rice, chicken stock, an onion, a hunk of parmegiano reggiano) and jazzed up with a few bits of whatever else is around. While stove-side stirring is required, it somehow feels less stressful than recipes that require a lot of chopping or ingredients…. or thinking!
Before I get to some notes on risotto, here are three of our favorite variations:
- Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Peas — Some Diced Roast Chicken or Sauteed Shrimp Would Be Nice!
- Crumbled Sausage; a Can of Crushed Tomatoes Mixed with Broth for the Cooking Liquid; Fresh Spinach for Garnish (chiffonade)
- Roasted Garlic; Toasted Sliced Almonds & a Dollop of Mascarpone (gotta give credit to Jamie Oliver for this one. Here’s his recipe)
Stacie’s Risotto Crib Sheet:
- Bring your stock to a simmer (you’ll need ~2.5 cups for every cup of uncooked arborio rice). [Since I had some asparagus I wanted to use up, I just trimmed it and blanched it right in the stock for 2-3 minutes until tender crisp, then set it aside.]
- Saute some finely diced onion and celery in olive oil until softened. Add the uncooked arborio rice to the pan and saute for several minutes until it starts looking less chalky and more translucent.
- If you have some available, add a splash of white wine (1/2 cup or so) and let it completely absorb before starting to add the stock (if you don’t have any, you can skip it without sacrificing too much). Then, start adding the warm stock one ladle at a time, stirring until the liquid is completely absorbed between each addition. My Italian cooking guru Marcella Hazan says to start checking the rice for done-ness after about 20 minutes.
- When you’re getting close to your preferred done-ness, add your goodies [in this case the zest of 1 lemon and the juice of 1.5 lemons, a handful of frozen peas which I didn’t bother defrosting].
- Off heat stir in a generous amount of grated parmeggiano and a little pat of butter if it strikes your fancy. Taste taste taste and correct your seasonings. [I scattered my blanched asparagus on top. For a little zip, I also garnished with some finely chopped chives, crispy fried sage leaves (nice for texture and takes the intensity way down), a little squeeze of lemon and drizzle of good olive oil.]
Unfortunately, my little one objects to most green foods lately and picked around the peas & asparagus with determination– even after we made happy face bites on our forks — but my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this dinner of creamy, lemony, comfort food yumminess which we enjoyed with some crispy fish fillets and sauteed asparagus. Yum yum good!