Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Szechuan Green Beans

1 lb fresh green beans
vegetable oil cooking spray or 2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon ginger, peeled, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Wash beans, trim ends and remove strings.

Coat a large nonstick skillet (or wok) with cooking spray or peanut oil and heat until hot. Add ginger and garlic and saute 30 secs. Add beans, saute 5 minutes.

Combine 2 tablespoons water and remaining 5 ingredients. Stir well. Add to beans, cook 30 seconds or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Parsnip Soup

3 large parsnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons butter
1 leek, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk
pinch of ground allspice
6 bacon strips, sliced and baked with parsnips
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread out parsnips and chopped bacon in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Roast parsnips until brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add parsnips and bacon and sauté 5 minutes. Add stock and boil until parsnips are tender, about 5 minutes. Add milk. Remove from heat. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return to saucepan. Stir in allspice. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool, then cover and chill.) Bring soup to simmer. Ladle into bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream and serve.

Variation of Creamy Parsnip Soup from Epicurious

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chicken Piccata

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Additional all purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup drained capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place chicken between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Using meat pounder or rolling pin, lightly pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Mix 1 tablespoon butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons flour in small bowl until smooth. Place additional flour in shallow baking dish. Dip chicken into flour to coat; shake off excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in each of 2 heavy large skillets. Add 2 chicken breasts to each skillet and cook until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter; tent with foil to keep warm.

Bring wine, lemon juice and broth to boil in 1 skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in butter-flour mixture and boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in capers, parsley and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.