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Archive for the ‘From Shana’s Kitchen’ Category

panade

After my last throat-clearing post, I’d wanted to return with something really lovely and inspiring to share with you.

Instead, I have one of the most homely dishes ever to appear in these digital pages.

I’m glad I’m posting it nonetheless for a few reasons. Blogging, like cooking, entails a good deal of putting oneself “out there.” It can be a risky transaction, the self-exposure. G3 has been blessed with gracious readers and commenters (food blogs, like many online spaces, aren’t always so lucky), so I’ve never been terribly afraid of censure from our audience or readers. It’s that I’m typically a harsh self-critic, so posting a picture of something as humble – and homely – as this dish is a good way for me to tell that critic to hush up.

Let me assure you: this dish makes up in flavor what it lacks in beauty. This is oozy, hearty stuff — even a little decadent. Somewhere between onion soup and a casserole, it’s the perfect thing for the wintery weather that’s undeniably upon us here in southeast Michigan. Making this with the last of the Tantre winter share greens, as well as some bits and ends of day-old bread that I’ve been throwing in the freezer for the past months, eases my conscience (I’m not wasting!) and domestic tensions regarding our over-stuffed freezer. Relieving us of a few bags of bread means it’s less likely that we’ll be assaulted by projectile paths of bags of frozen Locavorious produce.

Yep, it makes E happy on a few levels, and that makes me happy.

Onion, Greens, and Gruyere Panade

1 ½ lbs yellow onions, preferably a sweet variety, thinly sliced
About ½ cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, slivered
Salt
1 lb or so of winter greens – kale or chard are my favorites – cut into 1-inch-wide ribbons
Water
10 ounces day-old chewy artisan bread, cut into rough 1-inch cubes
2 cups chicken broth
About 2 loosely packed cups good-quality Swiss gruyère

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cook the onions in lots of olive oil — about 1/4 cup or so. I use my Dutch oven for this, but a deep saucepan would work well. Cook until golden on the edges for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then lower the heat and add the garlic and some salt. Let cook until the onions are a nice amber color, for about 15 mins or so.

Heat a little oil in a large skillet and saute the greens for a few minutes. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Set aside.

Toss and massage the cubed bread with 2 or 3 Tbs olive oil, ¼ cup of the broth, and a few pinches of salt.

Now, I usually assemble the panade in my Dutch oven (the same one I used for the onions, above), but you could use a souffle dish if you like. Start with a good smear of onions, followed by a loose scattering of bread cubes, then a little more onion, some greens, and a handful of cheese. Repeat, continuing until all ingredients are incorporated and the dish is full. Aim for 2 to 3 layers of each component, but don’t fuss over it. This is peasant food, and as I already mentioned, it’s not going to end up pretty.

Pour the remaining broth and water in slowly over the assembled panade, drizzling it down the sides of the dish. The liquid should come up nearly to the top of the layered ingredients.

Set the dish over low heat on the stovetop, and bring its liquid to a simmer. Cover the top of the dish with parchment paper, then with the lid of your Dutch oven or with some foil. Place the panade on a baking sheet in the oven, and bake it until hot and bubbly, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. The top should be pale golden and a bit darker on the edges.

Uncover the panade, raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees, and leave until for another 10-20 minutes, to brown the top a bit. Remove from oven, and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

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I will not vouch for the authenticity–the “Korean-ness”–of this soup. I will, however, vouch for its being the the thing to make for the person you love who loves spicy food and is suffering from a terrible head cold. The very head cold that you gave him.

It’s also the perfect way to say “thank you” for off-the-chain-delicious chocolate chip cookies he made for you last week when you were the one who was sneezingcoughingrunnynosesick.

While ambitious for a weeknight dinner, a shortcut version of this soup could be dashed off with some store-bought broth, or doctored-up stock from the fridge, and some poached chicken breasts.

Korean Chicken Soup
Adapted from Food & Wine

One 3-lb. chicken
3 1/2 quarts water
1 medium unpeeled onion, quartered
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large unpeeled garlic clove, smashed
1 t. whole black peppercorns
3 1/2 quarts water
1 bay leaf
A bunch of fresh herbs, like thyme and parsley
Kosher salt
8 oz. thick udon noodles (I buy them pre-cooked in a package from Asian grocery stores, but you could use dried)
2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 lb. shiitake (or other) mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c. finely julienne peeled ginger
One 12-oz. block firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 c. (or more) kimchee, thinly sliced
2 T (or more) Asian fish sauce
1 t. Asian sesame oil

In a stockpot, combine the chicken with the water, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, and herbs and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Discard the skin. Pull the meat off the bones, cut it into 1/2-inch pieces (if you feel like it) and refrigerate.

Return the bones to the pot, partially cover and simmer for 1 hour, until the broth is richly flavored. Strain the broth into a clean heat proof bowl and rinse out the pot. Return the broth to the pot and boil over moderate heat until reduced a bit, about 20 minutes. Season with a generous amount of kosher salt.

If using dried noodles: in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the udon until al dente. Drain and cool under running water. Drain again.

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring, until golden, about 7 minutes. Scrape the mushrooms into the stockpot and add the udon, ginger, tofu, kimchee, fish sauce and sesame oil. Season with salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer until just heated through. Ladle into bowls and serve.

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mushroom bourginon

Upon ordering roasted marrow bones and toast at an Ann Arbor restaurant recently, the waiter asked me if I was from France, or had lived in France. When I told him that I had studied there years ago, he said, “Well that explains it. Only people who have spent time in France ever order marrow bones.” “Ah, but I was a vegetarian when I lived in France!” I thus confounded his theory. (The story of how I went from eating no meat to loving marrow bones is perhaps for another day. Let’s say that bacon played a key role.)

Since I learned my way around the kitchen during the years when I was not eating meat, vegetarian cooking is my foundation. I don’t really feel like anything is “missing” from a dish if it lacks meat. That said, I had been on quite a tear lately with the heavy, meat-laden dishes: in the space of about two weeks, I had made braised short ribs, cassoulet, roast chicken, coq au vin, and a meaty lasagne. I think this is my way of battling the brutal Michigan winter: spend hours in the kitchen, tending to something steamy and comforting in the oven or on the stovetop. This has the lovely effect of filling the house with awesome smells and the belly with hearty fare. It also has the unlovely effect of fattening up both me and E.

Something had to give.

The dish I want to share with you is the best of both words: a traditional French dish, sans beef. It’s great for when you want something that will sustain you on a cold February night, but don’t have the time or will to go to the gym twice a day to pay for it.

pearls

Mushroom Bourguignon
[Modified version of the recipe from Smitten Kitchen]

2 T or more olive oil
2 T or more butter
2 pounds mushrooms (I used some portobello and button, but crimini would be nice as well)
1/2 carrot, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red wine
2 cups broth (veg, chicken, or beef – whatever you have on hand)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup pearl onions, peeled
Egg noodles, for serving
Sour cream and chopped chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a medium Dutch oven or heavy sauce pan over medium-high heat. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do this in two batches. Sear the mushrooms until they begin to darken, about three or four minutes. Remove them from pan.

Lower the flame to medium and add the second tablespoon of olive oil. Add carrots, onions, thyme, salt and pepper into the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.

Add the wine to the pot, scraping any stuck bits off the bottom, then turn up the heat until the liquid reduces by half. Stir in the tomato paste and the broth. Add the mushrooms with any juices that have collected and once the liquid has boiled, reduce the temperature so it simmers for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender. Add the pearl onions and simmer for five minutes. Combine remaining butter and the flour with a fork until combined; stir in. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. If the sauce is too thin, continue to boil it down to reduce to the right consistency. Season to taste.

Spoon the stew over a bowl of egg noodles and sprinkle with chives or parsley; add some sour cream if you like, though I don’t think it’s all that necessary.

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2009 will be a good cooking year for me if the past several weeks are any indication. I finally overcame a decade-long fear of baking with yeast, after a baking experiment gone terribly awry in an old boyfriend’s Red Hook apartment, and took the plunge with that No-Knead Bread everyone was talking about, well, forever ago. For any of you who placed “yeast baking” on your list of New Year’s Resolutions or bucket list or what-have-you, I heartily recommend you try this method. For such a teensy bit of effort, such glorious results.

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No-Knead Bread – Shana’s Way
Yield one 1 1/2 pound loaf

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting [I used King Arthur’s all-purpose flour]
¼ teaspoon instant yeast [I used Red Star brand]
1¼ teaspoons salt [I used Baleine fine sea salt]
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed [I used coarse-ground yellow cornmeal]

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. [I let my dough rest at least 18 hours both times I’ve made it.]

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth)–or a piece of parchment paper, if you want to avoid washing extra towels– with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal [as above, I used coarse cornmeal]; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel or piece of parchment paper and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. [I used my Le Creuset 6 quart dutch oven–it’s enameled- coated cast iron and works beautifully for this.] When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. [I notice that my oven runs hot, so I only do 5 minutes with the lid off.] Cool on a rack.

* * *

The other small miracle I’d like to share with you was the side of salmon I roasted over the holiday. Again, it’s a tiny bit of effort with awesome results: my favorite style of cooking. You can easily halve the recipe for an easy weeknight meal, and serve it with some roasted potatoes and a salad. Or you could make the whole recipe for an easy yet elegant dish for entertaining; try it with wild mushroom risotto and braised fennel.

Roast Side of Salmon with Mustard, Tarragon, and Chive Sauce
Epicurious

2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup spicy brown mustard (such as Gulden’s)
6 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
6 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1 3 1/2-to 3 3/4-pound whole side of salmon with skin (about 1 1/2 inches thick at thickest part)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 450°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix first 7 ingredients in medium bowl. Season mustard sauce lightly with salt and generously with pepper. Place salmon, skin side down, on diagonal on prepared sheet. Spoon 1/2 cup mustard sauce atop salmon, then spread over, covering completely. Sprinkle salmon generously with salt and pepper. Roast just until salmon is opaque in center, about 15 minutes. Using parchment as aid, transfer salmon to platter. Cut crosswise into pieces and serve with remaining mustard sauce. Can be served right away or at room temperature.

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The prodigious amounts of leftovers from our Thanksgiving feast are tucked away in many (dozens?) of tupperware containers or wrapped in various layers of foil and plastic. I indulged with such abandon yesterday that today I wasn’t even tempted by the possibilities of turkey sandwiches or any creative way to use up what remains. I was, however, seduced by the pan of noodle kugel my mom made this afternoon — one of her standbys, a traditional dish she learned how to make from her mother-in-law. It was due to accompany my sister back to school tomorrow, and I had to plead with her to let me have some. She finally relented, and I savored this pudding which I have never thought to make myself. I’m not sure why, exactly, except that it’s one of those special things I look forward when I come home. It’s my mom’s dish, but I think it’s time I add it to my repertoire. Tasting it today, I was struck by the small but unmistakable miracle of such humble, traditional foods — how a few eggs and noodles and cheese and butter, sweetened with some sugar and spice, becomes something so much greater than the sum of its parts.

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Lokshen Kugel (Noodle Pudding)
8 oz. broad noodles, cooked and drained (we use Mrs. Weiss’s broad egg noodles)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cottage cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into greased 8 x 8 pan. Bake, uncovered in 350 F oven for an hour.

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It’s Thanksgiving Eve and I’m back in my hometown. I walked in the door with armfuls of groceries, including big stalks of Brussels sprouts. My father screwed up his face in a “I hate those things” expression and my mom exclaimed “I’ve never seen how Brussels sprouts grow! How unusual!” So I’m dealing with some skeptics here. But you’ve asked for Brussels sprouts recipes and I won’t let you down.

I’m making Molly Orangette’s recipe this year. I’m thinking that the lemon and poppyseed flavors will contrast nicely with of the heavy meal. It was a toss up between this one and a recipe featuring currants and chestnuts. Claire suggests cutting the sprouts in half, lengthwise, and roasting in some olive oil, and tossing the lot with some blue cheese and some pine nuts. My friend Liz made the recipe below for the pre-Thanksgiving meal, with one modification: substituting chicken broth for water. For tomorrow, she’ll try caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar as substitutions.And Maria is making their household classic, braised with bacon, shallots and chestnuts.

That’s a whole lot of choice in good autumnal flavors for the Thanksgiving table. So defy the skeptics and break out the sprouts. They’ll win the hearts and minds of your dinner guests.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Bon Appétit, via Epicurious
November 2007
Molly Stevens

Brussels Sprout Hash with Caramelized Shallots
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, divided
1/2 pound shallots, thinly sliced
Coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup water

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Sauté until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Stir until brown and glazed, about 3 minutes.

Halve brussels sprouts lengthwise. Cut lengthwise into thin (1/8-inch) slices. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sprouts; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until brown at edges, 6 minutes. Add 1 cup water and 3 tablespoons butter. Sauté until most of water evaporates and sprouts are tender but still bright green, 3 minutes. Add shallots; season with salt and pepper.

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