Archive for August, 2012

Chicken Breasts in Vermouth

Chicken Breasts in Vermouth

Chicken Breasts in Vermouth

The book, Chicken and Other Poultry, published by the California Culinary Academy in 1986 was a mainstay in my college apartment kitchen in 1992. So much so, that when I took a guy named John P. to the “Screw Your Roommate Dance” at Swarthmore that year, I made this dish for our special candlelight dinner beforehand. The book describes the dish as “elegant enough for guests, looks impressive, but it actually couldn’t be easier to put together.” It was perfect for a food-obsessed, but novice college chef like me. And if I could pull it off at age 20, and remember what it tasted like lo these 21 years later, this dish is worth adding to your repertoire, right?

I’ve adapted the recipe a bit here to account for all of the changes we’ve seen over the last 20 years. For example, when the book was published in 1986, boneless, skinless chicken breasts were not available at the grocery store, so they go to the trouble of telling you to split, bone and skin the breasts. I’ve boosted the flavorings a bit, by increasing the onions and mushrooms, but the the essence of the recipe is the same: a vermouth reduction serves as the foundation for a classic mushroom cream sauce.

If you like Jamie Oliver’s Chicken and Leek Stroganoff, you’ll love this dish too. Orange replaces lemon in this dish for the citrus burst that lightens the cream sauce. It’s a nice little surprise.

This dish is easy and fast. Make it for dinner tonight!

Chicken Breasts in Vermouth

Chicken Breasts in Vermouth

 

Chicken Breasts in Vermouth
 
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Elegant enough for guests, easy enough for novice home chefs.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • ¾ cup dry vermouth
  • ½ pint sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange rind
  • Wedges from leftover orange for garnish
  • 4 Tbsp flat, Italian parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200˚F.
  2. In a medium sautée pan over medium flame, heat oil with garlic, being careful not to scorch the garlic. Sauté breast halves in the oil until browned on both sides (about 7 minutes per side for thick breasts)
  3. Remove breasts to an ovenproof serving dish, keeping as much of the oil in the sautée pan as possible. Keep breasts warm in the oven while you prepare the cream sauce.
  4. If necessary, add another dab of olive oil and heat through. Then add the shallot and sautée until softened and turning golden brown. Add the vermouth and deglaze the pan, scraping brown pits from the side of the pan. simmer until reduced by about half. Add mushrooms and quickly heat through. Pour in cream and increase the flame to high. Bring to a boil and allow to thicken. Reduce the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  5. To add the egg yolk, beat it in a small bowl and stir in a few tablespoons of the hot sauce. Pour this mixture into the pan and stir to combine completely and thicken. Keep the heat low so that the egg doesn't curdle.
  6. Add the orange rind and simmer to heat through and release essential oils.
  7. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle parsley over the sauce, garnish with orange slices and serve. I like to serve it with jasmine rice, to have something to soak up all that yummy sauce.

 

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Julia Child’s 100th Birthday is August 15!

When StreamingGourmet first started back in 2008, it was primarily a video site, hence the word, “streaming.” Today, I return to those roots by sharing this video collection of Julia Child clips. She would have turned 100 this Wednesday, August 15. Bon Appétit!

Julia Child

Plum Clafoutis and a CSA Box Giveaway

Plum Clafoutis

Plum Clafoutis

A few weeks ago, a company called Full Circle reached out and offered me the opportunity to experience their CSA box delivery program free of charge for a brief period of time. They recently expanded into the Bay Area from Washington State and Idaho, and they wanted to give bloggers like me a chance to sample their new service. There was no requirement to review or purchase the product, but it is such a great service, I am happy to write about it here. In this week’s box, there were Santa Rosa Plums. I knew it was time to make Plum Clafoutis. More about that later. First, let me tell you about Full Circle Farms and invite you to enter a drawing to win one free farm box delivery from them! Details below.

Full Circle delivers a weekly box of local & organic fruits and veggies right to your doorstep. You can pick items from their artisan grocery list too – dairy, breads, pastas, grass-fed meats, coffee, jams and more. They started as an organic farm 15 years ago in North Bend, WA. Now, they’re CSA program has grown to serve thousands in the Northwest, Alaska and most recently, the Bay Area. They work with a bunch of the best organic and family farms on the West Coast. When I check my front step on Wednesdays, it feels like Christmas morning.

Santa Rosa Plums

Santa Rosa Plums

If you’d like to have fresh, organic produce delivered to your doorstep too, enter “STREAMINGGOURMET’S 1 FREE FARM BOX FROM FULL CIRCLE GIVEAWAY” Entries could include: a TWEET, a FB share, a PIN, a Google+, or a BLOG POST. All entries must link back to this post. LEAVE A COMMENT at the bottom detailing your entries and you will be entered into the drawing. The DEADLINE is Sunday, August 12 at midnight PDT. To win, you must reside within one of Full Circle’s Delivery Areas.

FullCircleDeliveryAreas

If you are the winner, you will be contacted by email, and given a coupon code to enter during the registration process on the Full Circle website. We will also announce the winner on FB and Twitter. You will be under no obligation to purchase any items from Full Circle. (Credit card required at signup. Membership required through online registration, automatic renewal unless cancelled.) So starting sharing and comment below to enter! The more ways you share, the better your chances of winning.

And when you get your box, if plums are still in season, you just might want to make this classic French dessert, Plum Clafoutis. It’s like a custardy cake. Or is it a cakey custard? I like mine particularly eggy, so this one is more like a cakey custard. For extra oomph, you could do what Julia Child would do and soak your plums in cognac first, or I like the idea of soaking them in Cointreau, a French liqueur with orange overtones. I didn’t have any Cointreau on hand, so I went without and it still tasted great. Make sure you eat the clafoutis soon after it leaves the oven. Because it has certain soufflée qualities, it’s just not the same the next day.

Plum Clafoutis
 
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The classic French dessert, not too sweet and just right for a summer's CSA box full of plums.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 6-8 Santa Rosa plums (or any variety of plum or stone fruit)
  • 1 Tbsp of sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp butter
  • 5 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1½ cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • Powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray a 9x12 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Slice the plums in half and remove the pits. Place the plums in the pan with the skin side down. Sprinkle with the sugar and dot with a little butter on each one.
  2. In a stand-up mixer, beat the eggs for about 2 minutes until they start to get stiff. Add the sugar and beat until sugar is nearly dissolved. Add the milk and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add the sifted flour and whisk to combine. Do not overmix.
  3. Pour the batter over the plums. Bake in the oven for about an hour. The batter will puff up and then start to brown. When it is golden brown on top, it's done.
  4. After the clafoutis has cooled a bit, dust it with the powdered sugar and serve. Clafoutis is best eaten right out of the oven! Serve with vanilla ice cream for a extra punch.

More great clafoutis recipes from around the web:

Cherry Almond Clafoutis

Julia Child’s Plum Clafouti

Cherry-Almond Clafoutis

Cherry Clafouti

Gratinee Blog Use Real Butter Blog Simply Recipes Blog

California Breakfast Sandwich

California Breakfast Sandwich

With summer in full swing, I am enjoying the spoils of California produce, namely avocados and heirloom tomatoes. They are put to good use in this, my version of an egg McMuffin.

I used a egg ring to contain my egg while it was cooking, but it was only a modest success. I sprayed the egg ring and pan liberally with nonstick cooking spray, but the egg still stuck to the ring. All the same, it did reign in the cooked egg, making a prettier sandwich, but if you don’t want to fool with it, no worries!

California Breakfast Sandwich
 
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Heirloom tomatoes and avocado boost this morning treat.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 Oroweat Sandwich thin
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with a tsp of water
  • ¼ of an avocado, sliced thinly
  • ¼ of a medium tomato, sliced
  • 1 slice of Tilamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Put the sandwich thin in the toaster just as you are about to add the eggs to the pan. Add the eggs to the pan and scramble them, stirring constantly. Before they are cooked through, add the cheese to the top and cover to allow the cheese to melt.
  2. To assemble, place the egg and cheese mixture on top of the bottom half of the sandwich thin. Garnish with avocado, tomato and cilantro. Salt and Pepper to taste. Top with the other slice of sandwich thin. Eat immediately!
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