Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon, from the Dordogne

Chicken with Walnuts and Lemon, from the Dordogne

Recipe excerpt from:
Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy
by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Serves 4 to 6
Equipment: large heavy skillet with a lid, tongs
Preparation Time: 10 minutes if the chicken is in pieces; 20 if not
Cooking Time: 40 minutes max
Difficulty Level: simple

This is a dish from a farm in the Dordogne, where the walnuts are sweet, fat, and buttery tasting, and they make a perfect complement to poultry. This is the kind of dish that you settle down to with comfort and anticipation, because it’s got all the right elements, from cloves of garlic bursting with their sweet flavor to the golden chicken and walnuts and the tang of lemon that lifts the dish out of the ordinary. Serve this with a lovely Chardonnay.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 3½- to 4-pound (1.8 to 2 kg) chicken, cut into 8 pieces (2 breast pieces, 2 wings with portion of breast attached, 2 legs, 2 thighs), giblets reserved
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ to 2 cups (375 to 500 ml) white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1¼ cups (140 g) walnut halves or large pieces
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, brown the chicken pieces, seasoning them liberally with salt and pepper, until they are golden, about 5 minutes per side, using tongs to turn the chicken pieces.
  2. Add the lemon juice, ½ cup (125 ml) of the wine, and the garlic cloves to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the chicken is nearly cooked through, about 15 minutes. Then stir the walnuts into the skillet, along with the giblets, cover, and continue to cook for about 8 minutes. Remove the cover from the skillet and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the pan juices have evaporated and the chicken, walnuts, and garlic are golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Be sure to watch the walnuts, for they tend to brown easily. If they are getting too brown at any point in the cooking, remove and return them to the pan just before serving.
  3. Transfer the chicken, garlic, and walnuts to a warmed serving platter and deglaze the skillet with the remaining wine, scraping the bottom to loosen any caramelized bits. Begin by adding the smaller amount of wine; if you need more, top it up with the remaining wine and cook until the sauce is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Then pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with the parsley sprigs, and serve immediately.

Recipe from Plat Du Jour – French Dinners Made Easy by Susan Herrmann Loomis.  Used with permission.

Curly Endive Salad with Hot Bacon and Goat Cheese

Curly Endive Salad with Hot Bacon and Goat Cheese

Recipe excerpt from:
Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy
by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Serves 6
Equipment: large heatproof salad bowl, baking sheet, large heavy skillet
Preparation Time: 15 minutes max
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty Level: simple

There is no salad more classic nor more delicious than frisée aux lardons et chêvre, perhaps the most popular in the French retinue of composed salads that are served as plats du jour. This is certainly one of my favorites, because it offers everything—crunchy, fresh, salty, nourishing. Since frisée—curly endive—is a winter green and goat cheese is best in winter, this is a winter dish, to be eaten in a cozy environment, accompanied by a lightly chilled Sancerre Blanc.

For The Greens:
11 ounces (330 g) curly endive (about 12 cups, loosely packed) or escarole, rinsed, patted dry, and torn into small pieces
1 large shallot (2 ounces; 70 g), cut into paper-thin rounds
1 garlic clove, cut into tiny dice

For the Toasts:
12 small slices baguette or other fresh crusty bread
1 garlic clove
3 small goat cheeses (3.5 ounces; 105 g each), such as Crottin de Chavignol, each cut into 2 horizontal rounds, or six 1-inch (2.5 cm) rounds of goat cheese

For Serving:
8 ounces (250 g) slab bacon, rind removed, cut into 1-by-¼-by-¼-inch (2.5 cmby-6 mm-by-6 mm) pieces 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, if needed
3 tablespoons (45 ml) best quality red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt (optional)

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Prepare the greens: Place the curly endive, shallot, and garlic in a large heatproof salad bowl, and toss to mix.
  3. Prepare the toasts: Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them on one side about 3 inches (7.5 cm) from the heat element for about 2 minutes. Remove from the broiler and rub on both sides with the whole garlic clove. Place one round of cheese on the untoasted side of six toasted bread slices and place them, along with the remaining pieces of bread, untoasted side up, under the broiler. Broil until the cheese is golden and bubbling and the bread is toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Place the bacon in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, just until it is golden, about 5 minutes. Depending upon how much fat is rendered from the bacon, add up to 3 tablespoons oil because you want 4 tablespoons (60 ml) total of fat. Add the vinegar, standing back as it gives off steam. Stir, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then pour over the salad. Toss thoroughly, seasoning generously with pepper and salt if necessary, and toss again.
  5. Divide the salad among six warmed salad plates. Place a cheese-topped toast atop each salad, and one piece of plain toast on the side of the plate. Serve immediately.

Astuces:

 • French bacon, and some American brands, are notably lean, so your bacon may need oil for cooking. Have oil at the ready if you need it. If you don’t and wind up with more than 4 tablespoons in the pan, simply drain any excess.

• Note that I ask you to cut the garlic into tiny dice rather than mince it. This is because the “bite” of a piece of garlic is necessary, and if it’s minced, it tends to disappear into the salad.

Recipe from Plat Du Jour – French Dinners Made Easy by Susan Herrmann Loomis.  Used with permission.

Five Spice Old Fashioned

Five Spice Old Fashioned Cocktail by Nancy Chen

Recipe excerpt from:
101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon
by Nancy Chen

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tsp of honey (or add more to taste, can use simple syrup or maple syrup as well)
  • ⅛ tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 2.5 oz whiskey (I like Japanese whiskey)
  • 3 segments of mandarin orange
  • 1-2 dashes of orange bitters
  • 2 dried star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, for garnish
  • Ice

Directions

  1. Combine orange, whiskey, five spice powder, and sweetner and muddle together.
  2. Top with ice and star anise, then use a cinnamon stick to stir and garnish. Enjoy!

Cabbage & Sticky Rice Cake Stir Fry “Chao Nian Gao” with Chinese Chili Oil

Chao Nian Gao by Nancy Chen

Recipe excerpt from:
101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon
by Nancy Chen

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tbsp avocado oil (for cooking)
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 4 cups cabbage or Napa cabbage, chopped
  • 16 oz sticky rice cakes (I like the refrigerated vacuum-packed ones that you don’t have to pre-soak)
  • 4 eggs

For Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce (you can add more to taste)
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp black rice vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp Chinese Chili Oil (you can add more or less to taste)

Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients for sauce in a small bowl.
  2. Heat large pan on high heat and add the avocado oil. Next, add the garlic, ginger, and scallions and cook until the garlic is browned.
  3. Add the rice cakes and half the sauce. Stir fry the rice cakes together for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the cabbage and cook until the cabbage is wilted. (Note: if you have a smaller pan, you can cook the cabbage separately and then add it all together at the end.)
  5. In another bowl, beat together the 4 eggs and pour on top of the cabbage.
  6. Add the rest of the sauce and cook until the eggs are cooked through.
  7. Enjoy!

Chinese Chili Oil

Chinese Chili Oil by Nancy Chen

Recipe excerpt from:
101 Amazing Uses for Cinnamon
by Nancy Chen

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
  • ¾ cup crushed red pepper flakes (I recommend Sichuan chili flakes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups grapeseed oil
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

Directions

  1. Mix the sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Mix the oil, star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, peppercorns, and ginger in a small saucepan and set over medium-high heat.
  3. Once you see the oil bubble, turn the heat down to low. You want to avoid burning the oil and spices, so if you have a thermometer, make sure the temperature is between 200°F and 225°F.
  4. Simmer the oil for 30 minutes. It should be slightly bubbling the whole time; adjust the heat slightly if it’s not.
  5. Remove from the heat and strain the mixture over the bowl with the sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  6. Stir well and let cool. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to three months.

Broccoli Salad with Pickled Cranberries and Herb Yogurt Dressing

Broccoli Salad with Pickled Cranberries by Carly KnowlesRecipe excerpt from: The Nutritionist’s Kitchen
by Carly Knowles

Broccoli is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables out there. It’s loaded with vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, and many other valuable nutrients. It’s part of the cruciferous vegetable family that promotes natural detoxification and has been shown to decrease cancer risk and increase heart health.

Serves 8–10

SALAD

  • ½ cup dried cranberries (I prefer apple juice–sweetened)
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups broccoli florets (about 2 broccoli heads)
  • 6 cups broccoli stalks, finely chopped or shredded (from 2 broccoli heads)
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion

DRESSING

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley (plus more for garnish)
  • ⅓ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Start by quick-pickling the cranberries. Soak them in apple cider vinegar in a small bowl for at least 20 minutes, until they are plump and saturated (the longer the soak time, the better!).

Drain and add to a large mixing bowl. You can forgo quick-pickling the cranberries if you’d like and just add dried cranberries directly to the bowl. Next, add the broccoli florets and stalks, almonds, and red onion. Mix together until combined.

In a medium bowl, mix together all dressing ingredients.

Pour the dressing over the broccoli salad and mix together until the salad is evenly coated. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes or until cool. Give the salad a quick stir and garnish with additional tarragon and parsley before serving.

Cultured Key Lime Cashew Yogurt

Cultured Key Lime Cashew Yogurt Recipe excerpt from: The Nutritionist’s Kitchen
by Carly Knowles

You’ll feel like a magician after making this probiotic-rich vegan yogurt!
For something so easy, the outcome is complex and incredibly healthy, especially for your gut. Probiotics have been shown to support a healthy digestive tract while also boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, helping to manage anxiety, and so much more!

If you can’t find key limes at your local grocery store or farmer’s market, you can easily substitute conventional (Persian) limes.

Makes four 8 ounce jars.

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour or overnight
  • 1½ cups unsweetened plain cashew milk or other plant based milk
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons key lime or Persian lime zest (about 16 key limes or 3 Persian limes)
  • ½ cup fresh key lime or Persian lime juice (about 16 key limes or 3 Persian limes)
  • 3 tablespoons packed kale or spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • Probiotic capsules or powder (see note)

Drain and rinse the cashews. Place the cashews, milk, and maple syrup in a blender; blend on high until very smooth with no lumps, about 1 to 2 minutes if you’re using a
high-powered blender. If you want plain cashew yogurt, you can omit the lime and move on to the next step. Or you can substitute other fresh seasonal juice/flavors, if you prefer, such as orange or passion fruit.

Zest your limes and set the zest aside. Add the lime juice and kale or spinach (for a subtle green color) to your blender; blend on high until puréed and smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add the lime zest, stirring with a rubber spatula until incorporated.

Finally, add the probiotics to the cashew blend and whisk in thoroughly. Divide the cashew yogurt evenly between four 8-ounce glass jars. Place small squares of cheesecloth or paper towel over the jars; screw on the metal jar rings or use rubber bands to secure the cheesecloth. Do not use the full lid at this point; you want some air flow into the jar.

Once all the jars are assembled, arrange them on a baking sheet and place
in the oven, with the heat off and the oven light on, near the oven light for residual low heat. Let the yogurt incubate in the oven for at least 8 hours or overnight. The longer you leave it, the tangier and thicker it becomes.

Remove the jars and the cheesecloth or paper towel, and seal the jars completely with airtight lids. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or more until chilled and ready to serve. Yogurt will keep in the refrigerator for about 7 days. Stir each yogurt before serving—natural separation may occur after one to two days.

NOTE: There are many types of probiotics, including different bacterial strains, doses or amounts of colony forming units (CFUs), and forms. Here, you’ll want to use a total of 20 to 30 billion CFUs of a lactobacillus blend in either capsule or powder form (read the label). If you use less than this, you won’t get that tangy yogurt flavor, and the texture will be slightly looser or thinner. More, and your yogurt will become really sour and may be unappealing.

Butternut Squash Stuffed with Apples and Cranberries

Butternut Squash Stuffed with Apples and Cranberries by Laura TheodoreRecipe excerpt from: Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease
by Laura Theodore
Jazzy Vegetarian

Makes 4 servings

In the northeast, late fall at the farm market brings many enticing kinds of squash. Butternut is one of my favorite varieties of winter squash to cook with because of its nutty sweetness. Stuffed with a savory and sweet blend of rice, spinach, apples, walnuts and cranberries, this cold weather seasonal dish makes a festive, nutritious and appealing entrée for any special meal.

  • 1 very large butternut squash, peeled
  • 2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice
  • 1½ cups lightly packed baby spinach
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning blend or Italian seasoning blend
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large casserole dish with unbleached parchment paper.

Cut 2- to 3-inches off the top of the squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and then cut each piece in half lengthwise to make 4 sections of squash, equal in size. Scrape out the seeds from each section.

Put the rice, spinach, apple, cranberries, walnuts, all-purpose seasoning, sea salt and ground cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine. Divide the stuffing mixture evenly, mounding it into the hollowed center in each of the four squash pieces, mounding it as you go (see note).

Put the squash quarters, stuffing side up, in the prepared casserole dish. Tent with foil and bake for 1 to 11⁄2 hours, or until the squash is very soft. For a crisp topping, remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

Chef’s Note: If you end up with extra stuffing, put it in a small, covered casserole and bake alongside the squash like a holiday stuffing. Makes a great side dish.

Amount per serving, based on 4 servings:  332 Calories; 6g Fat; 1g Saturated fat; 9g Protein; 35mg Sodium; 70g Total Carbohydrate; 17g Sugars; 11g Fiber

Photo Credit: David Kaplan

Recipe from Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet
©Laura Theodore 2015, 2020. Reprinted by permission.

Moroccan Kebabs with Chermoula Sauce

Moroccan Kebabs with Chermoula Sauce by Tara Teaspoonby Tara Bench
Tara Teaspoon

This is your new party-table centerpiece. Colorful and tasty skewers arranged around a dipping sauce is easy to make happen and creates a stunning platter. And the chermoula sauce (pronounced like the singer “Cher” then “moola,” like money) is expressive and lemony. The sauce is based on a Moroccan and Tunisian relish with a strong herb and spice situation. I keep the skewers of meat and veggies small so they can be bite-sized for a gathering, but you can make them more robust if you’d like to serve this recipe as a meal.

Kebabs

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup warm water
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1⁄2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips that are
  • 2 inches long and 1⁄2 inch thick
  • 2 yellow or orange bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced into strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 (14.4-ounce) bag frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 45 (6-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in water 20 minutes
  • 1 recipe Chermoula Sauce (see below), prepared
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together turmeric and pepper with 1⁄4 cup warm water. Let sit 3 minutes. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lemon juice, tomato paste, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, paprika, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon.
  2. Season chicken strips with 1 teaspoon salt and add to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate to marinate 30 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, toss peppers, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Thread chicken on half of the skewers and vegetables on the other half, adding several slices of zucchini to each skewer. Discard chicken marinade.
  4. Heat grill to medium-high. Grill skewers, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes total. Remove the vegetables from the grill as soon as they are done; they will cook faster than the chicken.
  5. Serve on a platter with the chermoula sauce for drizzling and dipping.

Chermoula Sauce

this spiced herb sauce is used on fish, meat, chicken, and vegetables and has a heady and unique flavor.

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup packed cilantro
  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 1⁄2 cup packed mint leaves
  1. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, toast coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and crush in a mortar and pestle or with the bottom of a pan.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine crushed seeds, garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, paprika, salt, and red pepper flakes. Pulse to finely chop garlic. Add cilantro, parsley, and mint and blend until herbs are well combined. Store sauce in refrigerator until ready to use, up to 3 days.

Mandarin and Prosciutto Crostini

Mandarin and Prosciutto Crostini by Tara Teaspoonby Tata Bench
Tara Teaspoon

This is my essential appetizer. Toasted Crostini topped with a little slice of salty Prosciutto and some tangy Mandarin and Shallot Chutney. I’ve been known to make a full meal of these little bites. Double the caramelized shallot and mandarin portion of this recipe and keep the extra in the fridge. It works beautifully on top of chicken or a roast ham sandwich—or even for your next batch of crostini bites.

Chutney

  • 2 cups sliced shallots, sliced root to tip
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 cup fresh mandarin or clementine segments, roughly chopped
  • 1 recipe Crostini (below), prepared
  • 14 slices prosciutto
  • Toasted hazelnuts, crushed Fresh thyme
  1. In a medium, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, sauté the shallots and salt in olive oil, stirring often, until soft and translucent, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaf, and coriander seeds and let simmer until vinegar is reduced and almost gone, 10 to 12 minutes more. Stir in the mandarin seg- ments. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  2. Top crostini with a half piece of prosciutto and a spoonful of the mandarin chutney. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and thyme leaves.

Crostini

  • 1 baguette, sliced 1⁄4-inch thick
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  1. Heat oven to 375oF. Brush slices of bread lightly with olive oil on both sides. Lay slices flat on rimmed baking sheets and sprinkle with some salt.
  2. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until lightly golden and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Store crostinis in a zip-top bag for up to 3 days.

Looks Delicious. Whenever I caramelize onions or shallots, I slice them from their root to the tip. Slicing them crosswise into rings or half-moons causes them to cook into long, stringy worms. The root-to-tip method allows the shallot or onion to hold its shape, looks better, and is easier to eat.