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Forget the Snow, It’s Stew-A-Palooza - 2015
Jan 27th, 2015 by

(This is one of my favorite recipes from the weekly Dorm Room Chef series I produced during 2014. It’s steak pizzaiola made in a slow cooker: easy and delicious. Watch the video above, or read the recipe here.)

Here’s a collection of stews I compiled from good restaurants and cookbooks. I’ve made them all and enjoyed eating them more. Hopefully, you’ll have some of these ingredients on hand so you can make one of these dishes. But if not, watch the video and look at the pretty photos. It will warm you up more than looking at snow photos on Facebook.

The governor of Massachusetts declared a snow emergency and I’m declaring it stew-a-palooza — 2015!

STEWS TO MAKE ON A COLD WINTER DAY

  1. Geneva’s Quick Chicken And Shrimp Gumbo
  2. Shrimp Saute
  3. Easy Beef Bourguignon
  4. Coq Au Vin Blanc (The same as Easy Beef Bourguignon, only with chicken)
  5. Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon
  6. Blanquette De Veau (French Veal Stew)
  7. Lobster Stew
  8. Steak Pizzaiola

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Coq Au Vin Blanc
Jan 16th, 2015 by

The sauce, with hints of brandy, white wine and herbs blends well with the savory flavor or hot mashed potatoes.

The sauce, with hints of brandy, white wine and herbs blends well with the savory flavor of hot mashed potatoes.

Coq au vin is traditionally made with red wine but I wasn’t in the mood for such a deep strong flavor. So I decided to make it using white wine and the results were perfect.

A few nights ago, I made a traditional beef bourguignon and followed that recipe, substituting bone-in chicken breasts and thighs for beef and white wine for red. I also used chicken stock, instead of beef.

The result was a light orange-colored sauce that had hints of brandy, white wine and gentle herbs. It went well with mashed potatoes.

Here’s the recipe:

Coq Au Vin Blanc

Ingredients:

  • Salt, to taste
  • 5 slices thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb. crimini mushrooms, stems removed and cut into quarters (I used button mushrooms and portobello; oyster mushrooms would be nice too.)
  • 5 lbs (roughly), bone-in chicken breasts and thighs, cut up into large 2-inch chunks.
  • 1 cup chicken broth, divided
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb. whole pearl onions, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • 3 cups chardonnay (or white burgundy)
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Bouquet garni, 1
Procedure:
Heat a 5 qt. cocotte over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, stirring often, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate.

Add the mushrooms to the cocotte and cook until golden and just tender, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to the plate with the bacon.

Season the chicken generously with the salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, warm the cocotte. Working in 3 batches, brown the chicken on all sides until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

After the last batch of chicken is browned, deglaze the cocotte with 1/2 cup chicken broth, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon.  Return all the chicken, bacon, and mushrooms to the cocotte. Add the flour, stir to coat evenly, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the carrots, pearl onions, garlic, and tomato paste to the cocotte. Add the brandy and simmer for 30 seconds. Add the wine, remaining chicken broth, and bouquet garni to the cocotte and increase the heat to medium-high, bringing the liquid to a boil.

Transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour. Check the stew and give it a stir. Continue cooking the stew, covered, until the chicken is fork-tender, about 30 minutes more. Taste the liquid and season with salt and pepper, if desired, and discard the bouquet garni.

Spoon the coq au vin into a shallow bowl. Serve with potatoes and garnish with parsley.

Find more recipes in the Food section.

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Christmas Eve Dinner
Dec 30th, 2014 by


(Chef Gina Palmacci from Legal Oysteria demonstrates how to make Antipasti Platter.)

The menu this Christmas Eve for 11 people at our house was as follows:

Appetizers included the prosciutto wrapped bread sticks and parmesan stuffed peppadew peppers demonstrated here by the head chef at Legal Oysteria in Charlestown. And of course dessert included espresso with your choice of poisons: dark rum, sambuca, or grappa.
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Dorm Room Chef: Microwave Chocolate Cake In One Minute
Aug 5th, 2014 by

Several months ago I created two weekly video series for the Boston Globe and Boston.com. Dorm Room Chef features Boston chefs preparing a dish that a college student could prepare in their dorm room. Drink of the Week features Boston bartenders creating a specialty cocktail on camera.

Periodically, I’ll be posting some of my favorite episodes of each series here on Rootsliving.

This dessert from B&G Oysters is one of my favorite recipes. I created it at home and served it with whipped cream. It’s fast, easy-to-make, and delicious, especially when the cake is served hot.

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Stuffed Zucchini Flowers The Way My Mother Made Them
Aug 1st, 2014 by

Drain on a paper towel after frying.

Drain on a paper towel after frying.

I hope you find the wait has been worth it. For several months I abandoned this column. But now I return with one of my favorite dishes: stuffed zucchini flowers.

My mother used to make these maybe once a year, or once every two years. They are a true delicacy. It requires that you get up early in the morning and pick the flowers from your zucchini plants while they’re open. If you don’t grow zucchini, you can usually find them at farmers markets. Avoid italian specialty shops as they’ll charge you a king’s ransom for them.

What you do is pick the flowers, early in the morning, and stuff them right away. If you have to wait to stuff them, place them face down between two paper towels. This will prevent the flowers from closing. Then follow these instructions:

Make a stuffing following the directions for my mother’s stuffed peppers, here.

Then, using a demitasse spoon carefully stuff each flower. Be very careful as the petals tear easily.

Dip the flowers in a beaten egg wash and then in bread crumbs.

Fry in a little olive oil until brown on both sides. Then let the oil drain off them on a paper towel.

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Frozen Fruit and Yogurt Rollups
Feb 2nd, 2014 by

Here a blueberry and mango combination was used.

Here a blueberry and mango combination was used.

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and I’m making chili, chicken wings and pub kettle chips but to make myself feel better about those indulgences I searched online for something healthier.

You have to let the rollups sit in the freezer for 2 hours before you can eat them.

You have to let the rollups sit in the freezer for 2 hours before you can eat them.

I found this recipe for frozen fruit rollups: a perfect dish to make with kids. And lucky me I had kids on hand to help out as my great niece and two great nephews spent the night with us. With a little guidance, they were able to make their own rollups and had fun choosing which frozen fruit to use.

I bought bags of frozen blueberries, strawberries, mangos, and a bag that had a combination of bananas and strawberries. And I used vanilla-flavored greek yogurt.

Find more recipes in the Recipe index.

This one had strawberries and bananas.

This one had strawberries and bananas.

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