Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Chicken Vesuvio Recap

This was a good, solid recipe. I think what makes this dish really good is the butter added in the end. I just gives it a nice finish and complements the acidity of the artichokes nicely.

I discovered that when trying out new recipes, it takes me longer to cook everything so we end up eating dinner at around 10 pm. Not good. From here on, I will have to try out new recipes on the weekends.

Letterpress March Goal: take product photos and finish the website.

Posted by Maria @ 11:07 AM :: (0) comments

March: Chicken Vesuvio

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis/Giada's Family Dinners Book

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 chicken breast with skin and bones , split in half crosswise
4 chicken thighs with skin and bones
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, halved
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
8 ounces frozen artichoke hearts or 1 cup frozen lima beans, thawed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat the oil in large ovenproof pot over high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches if necessary, cook the chicken in the pot until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl.

Carefully add the potatoes to the same pot and cook until they are golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the wine and stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the broth, oregano, and thyme. Return the chicken to the pot. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Cover and bake in the oven until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a platter. Arrange the potatoes around chicken. Add the artichoke hearts to the sauce in the pot. Cover and simmer over high heat until the artichokes are tender, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Turn heat to low. Stir in the butter. Pour the sauce over chicken and potatoes, and serve.

Posted by Maria @ 11:03 AM :: (0) comments

French Macaroon Recap

This was the second recipe I tried.

This recipe from Gale Gand was easy to follow and I made sure my batter was stiff. The first batch of cookies were hard to peel off from the parchment paper and in the end, I used the technique suggested on the first recipe when baking the cookies. The secret is to put the cookie sheet on the top rack for 8 minutes then turn it around and put it in the middle rack for another 8 minutes. You could then put a second cookie sheet on the top rack to start baking the next batch.

The first recipe took a long time and the cookies were flat. I didn't even bother to make the filling. Although making the first batch was unsuccessful in my book, the cookies did turn out great tasting and had a very chewy nature which my sister-in-law Sherry liked.

Letterpress February Goal: Start printing the notecards and start re-designing the website.

Posted by Maria @ 10:55 AM :: (0) comments

Thursday, March 08, 2007

February: French Macaroons

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
7/8 cups almond flour
1/2 cup egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar
3 drops food coloring
1/4 cup water
Easy Buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Stir together the confectioners' sugar and almond flour and sift it through a tammie or very open mesh strainer. In a mixer with a whip attachment, whip the whites until frothy. Add the sugar (and food coloring if using) and whip until stiff. Add 1/3 of the almond mixture and fold part way in. Add another 1/3 and fold partway in. Add final 1/3 and fold in leaving a few specks of egg whites. It will look like deflated marshmallow. Place a pastry bag with a close pin holding it shut in a tall round container folding the edge over the rim of the container to fill it easily. Pipe dots of meringue at each corner to stick down some parchment paper on a sheet pan. Pipe rows of kisses 1-inch each (size of a quarter) one half inch apart. Bake about 17 minutes until very light brown. Pour 1/4 cup water under the parchment paper at both ends of the sheet to steam them loose. Let cool and peel off.

Easy Buttercream: In a mixer with a whip attachment whip the butter very well, scraping the bowl often until it's light and fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix on low. Drizzle in the flavorings with the hot water. Chill up to a week until ready to use, then bring to room temperature.

Pipe macaroons with buttercream and make little sandwiches. Keep in a covered box chilled.

Posted by Maria @ 10:57 AM :: (0) comments