Cauli-orzo with chicken and peas

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, lightly pounded to an inch thick
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 6 oz cauliflower rice
  • 1 cup peas
  • 4 oz Parmesan, grated
  • 1 tsp light vinegar or 1/3 cup wine
  • 1.25 cup stock
  • .5 a white or yellow onion
  • 1 tsp dry savory herb
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter

Pound and season chicken. Dry with towel. Sauté on med high til golden brown, flip. Sauté other side. Add a bit of stock to deglaze. 8-10 min . Remove chicken, reserve. Add onion, sauté 1 min in 1.5 tbsp butter and season. Add herbs and wine or vinegar. Cook a few min then add cauli and orzo, sauté a few min. Add stock stir. Being to boil reduce to simmer. Add lid. Cook 10 min. Remove top. If still liquidy, then cook uncovered medium. Add peas. Still. remove heat and stir in 3oz parm and remaining butter. Stir. Add chicken. Serve

Spatchcock holiday turkey

13-15 lb turkey, backbone removed, flattened, wings akimbo

3-4 tbsp diamond kosher salt

1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tsp black or lemon pepper

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp dried sage (optional)

Course chopped mirepoix (optional)

Fresh thyme (optional)

2-3 cups Chicken stock

1-2 cups white Wine

1 tsp dried rosemary, marjoram or any other spice or herb you fancy.

  1. Remove backbone with poultry sheers
  2. On cavity side, cut into breast bone/cartilage.
  3. Turn bird skin side up and press down til flat and tuck wings.
  4. Prep wire rack and jelly roll sheet
  5. Pat bird dry then season all over, both sides on rack
  6. Put in fridge for roughly 48 hours, uncovered
  7. Remove from fridge 1-2 hours before cooking
  8. Preheat @ 400F
  9. On a clean jellyroll pan, add mirepoix and 1 cup stock
  10. Cook uncovered for 40 min
  11. Remove from oven, baste, add remaining stock and wine
  12. Cook another 40 min or so, basting about halfway through. Tent with foil if skin is burning.
  13. Check the temp of the leg, if it’s 160F in the thick part of thigh it’s done.
  14. REST TURKEY under foil for 40 min before carving.
  15. Strain pan juices and veggies, squeezing into a fat separator.
  16. . Use pan juices as they are or make a richer sauce with butter or make a gravy with roux and more stock .
  17. . Carve and serve

Paprikash

  • 4 chicken legs, sectioned if you please (~2 lbs)
  • 3-4 tbsp cooking fat or oil
  • 2-3 yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 3-4 tbsp high quality sweet Hungarian paprika (try to find stuff with a package date or better yet, get at Market south of Danube River in Buda)
  • 1 Cubanelle peppers, de-seed/de-stem left whole or sliced
  • 1 yellow, red or orange bell pepper, de-seed/de-stem left whole or sliced
  • 1 fresh hot pepper, stemmed and de-seeded (opt)
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1.5-2 tsp gelatin
  • 1-2 dry chili de arbol chopped fine (opt)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • Chopped fresh dill
  • Lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp Diamond Kosher salt per lb of meat
  1. Season chicken 30 min and up to one day before cooking
  2. Prep all veggies
  3. Add cooking fat or oil to hot dutch oven, add onions and stir to coat.
  4. Cook med/high stirring as needed to avoid browning. 5-7 min.
  5. OFF HEAT. Add paprika to onions. Stir gently to coat.
  6. Add meat and all peppers, stir to coat.
  7. Add about half the stock gelatin mix, stir. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer cover.
  8. Either simmer low for about an hour with occasional stirring or cook in oven at 300 degrees. Add more stock as needed. If too much liquid is the issue, remove the lid.
  9. At 45-60 min mark, remove from heat and reserve chicken and peppers (if left whole) on a side platter. slice or cut whole peppers for serving later.
  10. .Blitz the contents of the pot with a hand blender, until smooth. (Optional)
  11. Add flavorings: lemon, fish sauce, dill (opt), more paprika or salt if desired stir and reduce over medium heat if desired.
  12. . Temper in sour cream. Add chicken and peppers back to pot. Serve with dill and sour cream dollops. Accompany with Hungarian dumplings (galuska or nokedli), potatoes, egg noodles, rice, gnocchi and fresh salad.

Jollaf rice with beef and onion

Jollaf rice is a West African rice dish – this version hails from Nigeria. And it’s bonkers good. Here’s my take for doing it at home. First you have to make Obe Ata. It’s a spicy, saucy base used in a lot of Nigerian and West African cooking. Similar, but not the same as Harissa.

OBE ATA

  • 3 jalapeños or 1 habanero, destemmed
  • 1 red, orange or yellow pepper, broken down, seeds removed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 a red onion
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 8 oz whole canned tomatoes
  • 1 tbs avocado oil

Use about a cup of the Obe Ata in rice, freeze the rest for later. This should yield two cups.

JOLLAF RICE

  • 1.5 cups rice, basmati unwashed (trust me)
  • 2.5 cups chicken, beef, or veggie stock
  • Splash of liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1 lb sliced beef (sirloin, chuck, boneless short rib all good choices)
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1 tsp paprika, sweet or smoked
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp savory dried herbs or 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme

** preheat oven to 350 degrees ** While your Obe Ata cooks, fry the beef, reserve. Then soften onions in the same heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven. Once softened, reserve about Half, then add Garlic (Cook about a minute, then add tomato paste, spices). Cook another few minutes keeping food from burning with splashes of stock or water.

Add Obe Ata, stir and cook for a few min then

Add herbs, stir

Add rice, stir

Add stock, stir

Add reserved beef, stir

Cover lid, add to stove and cook for 40 min.

Remove and let sit for 15 min – DO NOT PEEK

– after 15 min, add the reserved onion, fluff up but do not stir rice with a heavy hand. Add juice of half a lemon if desired and taste and adjust seasoning.

Top with chopped parsley, scallions, chives an/ or cilantro – serve immediately

Indoor grilled pork chops

The chops are the easy part.

First, make sure you’re set up to grill indoors. I live in New York City in a 50s era brick Brooklyn building. Suffice it to say, i have a gas oven. It’s taken me years to perfect indoor grilling – and i finally have! The trick? Use an UNSEASONED (i can not stress this enough) cast iron griddle with deep grates, and grill INSIDE your oven, directly on the bottom on top of the gas broiler below the oven floor. Not on the stove top. By grilling in your oven, you are closer replicating the heat radiation you get when grilling over coals than cooking with only direct heat from your stove. Also by opening and closing the oven door, you can mirror the convention effect of a lid. All in all, this is THE way to grill in your teeny tiny NYC kitchen all year long. You’re welcome! Never use oil directly on the grill. Make sure your protein or veg has a good coating of oil, but not too much or it’s smoke city.

Okay now to the chops. Opt for bone in if you can. Get a quality piece of pork – if you’re cooking with a gas stove chances are you live close enough to a butcher or farmers market – do it.

For the marinade I opt to dress a few hours ahead of time.

  • Fish sauce, 1 tbsp per 2 chops.
  • Acid (lemon or rice vinegar), 2 tsp per 2 chops.
  • Oil (avocado, olive or any high heat cooking oil) 2 tbsp per 2 chops.
  • Spices (mix of all or some ground cumin, coriander, paprika, black pepper, 5 spice, cayenne, garlic powder, turmeric, red pepper flake, allspice) roughly a tbsp per 2 chops. Optional.
  • Aromatics (all or some of crushed garlic, fresh ginger, lemongrass) an ounce or two per two chops. Optional.
  • Liquid smoke, 2 tsp. Optional.

Toss chops in marinade in a bag or dish, coat well. Set in fridge for later.

When you’re ready to grill – remove chops 30 min before cooking. Add skillet to bottom of oven, removing top grates. Preheat oven to 450. When the grill is hot and the chops are ready, Add chops to the grill pan, do not move or crowd. Close oven and cook for about 5 min. Turn using tongs. Grill another 5 min and test internal temp. Should be about 140-150 degrees (135 if boneless). Remove. Rest for 5-10 min. Serve.