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Archive for March 3, 2017

ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Irish Nachos Recipe

Irish Nachos

Murphy's Irish Red

O'Hara's Irish Stout

[1] “Irish Nachos” for St. Pat’s. Find more recipees from the Idaho Potatoes. [2] and [3] Got beer? Serve the nachos with some Irish brew.

 

You won’t want to wait until St. Pat’s to enjoy this scrumptious snack.

Serve it with your favorite beer; or in the spirit of the holiday, these Irish beers.

How about an Irish beer tasting? Here are some of the most popular brands:

  • Beamish Irish Stout
  • Fuller’s
  • Guinness Draught, Extra Stout, and Foreign Extra Stout
  • Harp Lager
  • Murphy’s Irish Red
  • Murphy’s Irish Stout
  • O’Hara’s Celtic Stout
  • O’Hara’s Irish Wheat
  • Porterhouse Brewing Co. Oyster Stout
  • Smithwick’s Irish Ale
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    RECIPE: “IRISH NACHOS”

    This recipe, created by Idaho Potatoes, has no common ingredients with the popular Tex-Mex recipe—except perhaps for the scallion garnish.

    Instead, crisp slices of roasted potatoes are topped with corned beef, sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and homemade Thousand Island dressing. It’s a crowd-pleaser for sure, for St. Patrick’s Day or any other day of the year.

    Variation: You can also turn these ingredients into a layered “Irish Potato Salad” in a glass bowl—like a layered dip, but a side dish.

    Ingredients For The Nachos

  • 1 pound Idaho Red Potatoes, cut into 1/8-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 and ½ cups chopped corned beef
  • 1 and ½ cups sauerkraut, drained well
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • ½ cup pre-cooked crumbled bacon
  • 3 tablespoons thousand island dressing, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons sliced scallions, for garnish
  •  
    Ingredients For The Thousand Island Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 2 teaspoons finely diced red onion (or other onion)
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely minced garlic (about half of a small clove)
  • 1 teaspoon white or white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
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    Preparation

    1. MAKE the Thousand Island Dressing at least one hour in advance of using (and the day before, if desired). Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Taste and add additional seasoning if desired. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld.

    2. PREHEAT the oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

    3. PLACE the potato slices in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

    4. TRANSFER the potato slices to the prepared baking sheets, spreading them out in an even layer (be sure not to overlap the slices). Bake for 12 minutes on each side, or until golden and slightly crispy. Turn the oven down to 350°F.

    5. LIGHTLY GREASE a cast iron pan or small baking dish. Layer the potatoes in the bottom of the pan. Top with the chopped corned beef, sauerkraut, and grated Swiss cheese (in that order). Sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

    6. DRIZZLE the dressing over the top and garnish with the scallions. Serve immediately.
     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Serve It Three Ways

    One of our early food influencers was the late French chef, Jean Banchet, whose restaurant in Wheeling, Illinois was a destination for serious foodies the world over.

    In the days we visited, during the last decade of Le Français, the way in which his menu was unique was his approach to showcasing foods in different ways—all on one plate.

    Whether you wanted beef, chicken, foie gras, lamb, pork or seafood, he divided the portion and served it in different expressions, varying the technique, sauce, cut or other component.

    The potential variations were vast. You could order the lamb, say, at three different visits, and never have the same combination.

    This was, and still is, our kind of eating.

    As we don’t have a brigade de cuisine, we typically prepare a much simpler presentation: the protein, simply cooked (grilled, poached, whatever), served with different garnishes or sauces.

    You don’t need a special plate with different sections: Banchet use his regular porcelain dinner plates, as do we.

    You can take this approach with any course: Who would turn down cheesecake with three different toppings; or pound cake with custard sauce, caramel sauce and fudge sauce?

    The benefit of this approach is you don’t have to decide: Enjoy three favorites at once.

    HOW TO DO IT

    Depending on time and inclination, you can make this as simple or varied as you like.

  • Make one conventional, one spicy and one on the sweeter side (e.g., with fruit).
  • Vary the colors, and as appropriate, the textures.
  • If you’re really ambitious, vary the cooking technique (see below).
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    Simple Versus Complex

    It can be as simple as three salsas—red, green and corn or fruit salsa; or a similar treatment with barbecue sauce—fruit, smoky and spicy.

    If you’re a devoted saucier, try three mother sauces or secondary sauces from classic French cuisine.

    Or, go international, with sauces and garnishes from, say, Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean.
     
    Simple Approaches

    Here are examples of easy approaches to favorite proteins, that simply vary the sauce:

  • For steak or a roast: blue cheese, chimichurri, horseradish cream, mushroom sauce, salsa verde.
  • For chicken: barbecue, garlic wine, peanut, salsa verde.
  • For fish: classic butter sauce, pesto, teriyaki, uncooked tomato sauce.
  • For lamb: balsamic, Dijon, mint, rosemary-garlic.
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    Tuna 3 Ways

    Tuna 3 Ways

    Gravy Boat

    Mini Mousse Cups

    Here are how two restaurants approached the same fish: [1] Tuna three ways from Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita in Mexico. [2] Tuna three ways from Michalangelo’s Piccolo Mondo in Sandton, South Africa. [3] In addition to the gravy from pan drippings, serve two other sauces (photo courtesy Mackenzie Ltd.). [4] Three flavors of mousse in mini dishes (photo courtesy Simply Quinoa | YouTube).

  • For pork: bourbon pan sauce, caramelized onions, honey-mustard, spiced sautéed apples.
  • For dessert: three different mini tarts, three different dessert sauces, ice cream with cubes of three different loaf cakes (e.g., banana bread, carrot cake, pound cake.
  •  
    Complex Approaches

    Here, the cooking technique is varied: You’re cooking three different dishes instead of making three different sauces.

  • Beef: brochette, roasted, tartare.
  • Chicken: fried, teriyaki roasted.
  • Fish: sashimi or ceviche, grilled, poached.
  •  
    The “three ways” concept works for everything from humble burgers and sliders and grilled cheese sandwiches to filet mignon and lobster.

    To adapt what a lesson from our high school algebra teacher: the permutations and combinations extend beyond our lifetime.

      

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    RECIPE: Crispy Chicken Thighs Two Ways

    Skillet Chicken Thighs

    Chicken Thighs

    Tuscan Kale

    Castelvetrano Olives

    [1] Chicken with kale and olives, recipe below, made with [2] chicken thighs, [3] Tuscan kale and [4] castelvetrano olives (photos 1-3 courtesy Good Eggs, photo 4 courtesy Maiden Lane Restaurant | NYC).

     

    Every time we see chicken thighs on sale, we load up and make recipes like these, plus a big vat of chicken soup (Jewish-style and Mexican-style chicken soup recipes).

    Chicken thighs are economical, versatile and more flavorful than white meat (frankly, we can’t understand the premium placed on white meat chicken and turkey).

    We also love the ease of one-pan cooking in the recipes that follow. You can bring the entire pan to the table and serve from there (be sure to lay down a trivet ahead of time).

    These two recipes are from Good Eggs—a terrific purveyor of groceries in the San Francisco area.

    Serve them with a green salad and some crusty bread to sop up the pan sauce.

    RECIPE #1: CRISPY CHICKEN THIGHS WITH KALE & OLIVES

    Sweet from the tomatoes and salty from the olives, this recipe features the it green of the moment, kale. If you don’t like kale, substitute beet greens, broccoli rabe, chard, collards, spinach or other greens (we used mustard greens).

    Cook time is 35 minutes.

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, or 2 whole chicken legs with drumstick
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, de-stemmed and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 handful Castelvetrano† green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks—or—2 cups diced canned tomatoes, drained*
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed
  • Fresh thyme or oregano stems, leaves removed
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    Preparation

    1. WARM a 9-inch cast iron pan inside an oven preheated to 425°F. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs on both sides. When the oven is hot, carefully (carefully!) remove the pan from the oven and add the thighs, skin side down. Place the pan back in the oven and cook the chicken until browned and the internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 30 minutes.

    While the chicken cooks…

    2. HEAT 2 tablespoons of olive oil (more as needed) in a second skillet (you can serve from this skillet). When the oil is hot, add the garlic cloves and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. When the cloves are lightly browned…

    3. ADD the tomatoes, thyme and olives and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook until the tomatoes have released their juices and the sauce has a nice consistency, about 15 minutes.

     
    4. ADD the kale to the tomatoes and combine with a pair of tongs. Cover the pan for a few minutes to let the greens wilt, then uncover and stir again with the tongs. Cook the kale and tomatoes together over low heat until the chicken is ready.

    5. PLACE the cooked chicken on top of the greens and serve in the skillet.
    ________________

    *We use canned San Marzano tomatoes when fresh tomatoes are out of season.

    †Castelvetrano olives from Sicily are the “greenest” green olives. Not only does the color look great, but these meaty olives have a unique flavor that makes them our favorite. Here’s more about Castelvetrano olives.

     

    RECIPE #2: CHICKEN THIGHS WITH CHERRY TOMATOES

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 2-4 chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 475°F. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; let it rest until it reaches room temperature.

    2. HEAT 2 tablespoons of olive oil (more as needed) in a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the chicken thighs skin side down. After 3 minutes, decrease the heat to medium high and cook the chicken for another 12 minutes. After another 5 minutes…

     

    Skillet Chicken With Cherry Tomatoes

    Here’s the recipe from the New York Times, which adds shallots and Dijon mustard to the recipe.

     
    3. ADD enough cherry tomatoes to fill in the gaps between the thighs and rearrange the chicken as needed to make sure all the tomatoes are getting equal heat. Add a few sprigs of thyme and the garlic. When the 12 minutes is up…

    4. USE a spoon to roll the tomatoes around in the chicken drippings, flip the thighs skin side up and transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook for another 13 minutes.

    5. REMOVE from the oven and check the chicken for doneness by making sure internal temperature is 165°F (or the juices run clear). Remove from the heat and let the chicken rest for a few minutes for the juices to settle.

    THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE CHICKEN

    Bet you can’t name them all! Check out our Chicken Glossary.

      

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