Thursday, November 20, 2008

Corn, Sweet Potato and Ham Chowder

Another wonderful and absolutely gorgeous dish
from Williams -Sonoma's recipes.

Corn with Sweet Potato and Ham Chowder

5 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced firm, baked smoked ham
2 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 large sweet potato, about 1 lb., peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. hot-pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
* I added two small jalapeno peppers
* I also roasted all the peppers before dicing them.

Holding 1 of the ears of corn by its pointed end and steadying
its stalk end on a cutting board, cut down along the ear
with a sharp knife to strip off the kernels,
turning the ear with each cut.
Repeat with 2 of the ears of corn.
Put the kernels in a bowl and set aside.
Score the kernels on the remaining 2 ears of corn
by running the tip of a sharp knife
down the length of the ear.
Place each ear in a bowl and, using the back of a knife,
scrape down the length of the ear
to squeeze out the pulp from the scored kernels.
Set the pulp aside.
In a soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add the ham and cook, stirring once or twice,
until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl.
Add the onion and bell peppers to the pot,
cover and cook, stirring once or twice,
until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add the broth, sweet potato and the 1 tsp. salt.
Reduce the heat to low, partially cover
and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the ham and corn kernels.
Cover and cook until the potato
is just tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the corn pulp, cream and hot-pepper sauce.
Cook just until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.

This was a fantastic soup.
It is packed full of wonderful flavors.
We found that the flavors
intensified over time so
it was even better the second day!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Boy's Night In

Boy's Night In

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Big Apple Pancake

Yipee, Sunday morning breakfast
prepared just for me!
My husband made The Big Apple Pancake
by Gale Gand.
It was wonderful!
The apples were sweet and the
topping was baked to perfection.
What a great way to start the day!

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 cup whole, 2 percent fat, or 1 percent fat milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 lemon wedges
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a large ovenproof skillet (preferably with curved sides), melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the apple slices and cook, stirring, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and stir to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, milk, and flour. Pour this batter over the apples in the skillet, transfer to the oven, and bake until puffy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into pieces. When the pancake puffs, remove from the oven, dot with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and return to the oven to bake until browned, about 10 minutes more. As the pancake comes out of the oven, squeeze the lemon wedges over the top. Serve in wedges right out of the pan.


Scallops Gratin

The other day I caught the show
"The Perfect Dinner Party" by
the Barefoot Contessa.
I was intrigued when I heard her say
that she cooks simple things for her
dinner parties so that she does not
have to spend time in the kitchen
while her company is at her house.
That is great! I love the idea
of preparing ahead so that you
can enjoy time with company.
So I gave Barefoot Contessa's
Bay Scallop Gratin a test run
to see how easy it would be
to make for a dinner party.

Bay Scallop Gratin
by the Barefoot Contessa

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 medium shallots, minced
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma, minced
4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Pernod
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 cup panko
6 tablespoons dry white wine
2 pound fresh bay scallops
Lemon, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place 6 (6-inch round) gratin dishes on a sheet pan.
To make the topping, place the butter in the bowl
of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
(you can also use a hand mixer).
With the mixer on low speed, add the garlic, shallot,
prosciutto, parsley, lemon juice, Pernod,
salt, and pepper and mix until combined.
With the mixer still on low, add the olive oil
slowly as though making mayonnaise, until combined.
Fold the panko in with a rubber spatula and set aside.
Preheat the broiler, if it's separate from your oven.

Place 1 tablespoon of the wine in
the bottom of each gratin dish.
With a small sharp knife, remove the white muscle
and membrane from the side of each scallop and discard.
Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and distribute
them among the 3 dishes.
Spoon the garlic butter evenly
over the top of the scallops.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the topping
is golden and sizzling and the scallops
are barely done. If you want the top crustier,
place the dishes under the broiler for 2 minutes,
until browned. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon
juice and a sprinkling of chopped parsley
and serve immediately with crusty French bread.

Here are the steps in pictures:


and I have to admit pretty easy to make!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Chicken Stew in White Wine

Fall is here!
I love so many things about the Fall.
The leaves changing colors, the
weather cooling to 60 - 70 degrees
and the Fall flavors of sweet potatoes,
soups, squash and so many other great

This wonderful meal is from Williams Sonoma.
Chicken Stew in White Wine

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 chicken, 3 to 4 lb., cut into 8 serving pieces
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 bacon slices, chopped
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 oz. white button mushrooms, quartered
1 lb. red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups white wine

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper.

Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat,

warm half of the olive oil until just smoking.

Add half of the chicken and brown

on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total.

Transfer to a slow cooker.

Repeat with the remaining oil and chicken.

Add the bacon, onion, mushrooms, potatoes, garlic,

parsley, thyme, bay leaf and stock to the slow cooker

and stir to combine. Remove the sauté pan from the heat,

pour the wine into the pan and return

to medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer,

stirring to scrape up any

browned bits from the pan bottom.

Add the wine to the slow cooker, cover and cook

on high for 5 hours according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Spoon the stew into bowls and serve immediately.

** I made a few changes to this recipe. First, I don't have a
pressure cooker so I used a covered casserole dish.
I added carrots to the dish because I like the
sweetness that they add to stew.

This is an excellent dish!