Entries Tagged as 'herbs'

Chimichurri Sauce

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Verdant. That’s what comes to mind with chimichurri sauce. Well, that and Rachel Ray because she says “verdant” all the time. Damn. Anyway, chimichurri is a sauce that is said to have originated in Argentina. It’s used on steak and chorizo, but would be great on chicken too. The greens in chimichurri lend an earthy note, while the acid gives sharp notes that enhance the flavor of the meat in a manner similar to a gremolata.

Did I mention garlic? Yes, you will want to be sure that you and your significant other both eat the sauce because you will have garlic coming out of your pores when you eat chimichurri! You’ll be a one-person vampire repellent, and on a brighter note, you’ll be reaping the many purported health benefits from these amazing stinky cloves.Chimichurri is very easy to make in mere minutes, but your best bet is to make it at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to mingle. Now, there are many variations on chimichurri sauce-some are made with parsley, some with cilantro. I think it depends on your taste and what you have on hand. For example, this version include cilantro, but you could omit it and just use parsley. You can add paprika, or fresh bay leaves too.

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My method goes like this: into a food processor, throw in a bunch of parsley and a bunch of cilantro (go ahead and throw the stems in too), juice of one lemon, 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar, about a teaspoon of dried oregano, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 2 cloves garlic (if you want more, go for it!), 1/4 red onion,  salt and pepper. Turn the food processor on and slowly drizzle in about 1/3-1/2 cup of olive oil until you get a thick soup consistency. Adjust seasoning to taste. Cover tightly and refrigerate for an hour if you have the time.

Braised Chicken Thighs With Morels And Ramps In A White Wine Cream Sauce

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I was excited and a bit nervous when it came to using my $16 box of morel mushrooms, and $6 bunch of ramps on Sunday. At $21 for just the vegetables, I wanted to make those ingredients shine in a dish for dinner. I consulted a few of my cookbooks and riffed on a braised chicken dish from Molly Steven’s “All About Braising”, and while my chicken dish was cooking, I made a batch of ramp crepes to use with the leftover braise.

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I found that my small container of 8 or so morels was more than adequate to add an earthy flavor to the braised chicken, while the ramps were mild and somewhat sweet in both the braise and the crepes. I think both dishes would work for entertaining guests, and the chicken filled crepes would make for a terrific brunch item-especially since everything can be made ahead of time.

For the ramp crepe recipe, head over to DC Foodies to check it out!

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Braised Chicken Thighs with Morels and Ramps in a White Wine Cream Sauce

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken thighs with bone and skin
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8-10 morel mushrooms
  • bunch ramps, about a dozen, trimmed at each end and rough chopped
  • 1 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup half and half or light cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flour for dredging

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat a large dutch oven over high heat.

Generously salt and pepper chicken thighs on both sides. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter to heated dutch oven. When the oil begins to shimmer, add chicken to the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan. Allow chicken to brown for 4-5 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a platter.

Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon butter to the dutch oven. Add morels and ramps. Sautee for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sautee for an additional minute. Transfer vegetables to the chicken platter.

Increase heat to high and deglaze with white wine. Reduce to a strong simmer and allow wine to reduce by a third. Add chicke stock, thyme and marjoram. Return chicken and vegetables to  braising vessel.

Place dutch oven in lower third of the oven. Braise for 90 minutes.

Remove chicken from the dutch oven, skim fat as needed with a large spoon, and add cream. Serve chicken with sauce over top.

I suggest serving this dish over egg noodles or parsley potatoes.

This recipe is submitted for Weekend Herb Blogging, a weekly blog event started by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, and is being hosted this week by Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook.

Herbed Gnocchi With Dill And Pecorino For Weekend Herb Blogging*

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 As I reported in the most recent At The Market, I bought a large bunch of really fresh and fragrant dill last Sunday from Gardener’s Gourmet. The first dish in which I incorporated the dill is gnocchi. Gnocchi (roughly pronounced NYOK-kee) are Italian dumplings and are named for gnocco, which is slang for “lump”.

Gnocchi are made from potatoes and other ingredients. They can be used as pasta and be accompanied by a variety of things, from a light tomato sauce, to braised meats, to butter and cheese.

Gnocchi recipes reach back to as far as the 12th century are are most common to Northern Italy. Typically, gnocchi are made by boiling potatoes, followed by ricing them, adding flour, egg and salt. Kneading this dough together is quick and portions of the dough are then rolled into batons and cut into 1 inch long pieces. The gnocchi pieces are then rolled on a fork, or gnocchi roller to give them their signature ridges which are great for holding sauce. Once formed, the gnocchi are quickly cooked in boiling water and are done when they float to the top.

After cooking, gnocchi can be added to a dish, or fried in butter to name just a couple ways to use them.

Here’s a recipe for gnocchi which is adapted from Mario Batali’s recipe on Food Network’s website. You will notice that I chose to use Yukon Gold potatoes as a change from more traditional Russett potatoes. The result was still light, yet creamy and the dough came together quickly without having to add more flour (which has unfortunately been a problem which has bitten me in the ass before- I call those gnocchi “sinkers”).

I served the gnocchi browned in butter and topped with Pecorino Romano cheese. The recipe makes about 90-100 gnocchi, but don’t fear, they freeze well and cook up frozen only a bit slower than when fresh.

To freeze, place the gnocchi on a lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until solid. Store frozen gnocchi is an airtight Ziploc baggie.

Herbed Gnocchi with Dill and Pecorino

makes 90-100 gnocchi

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (more for garnish)

Directions

Peel and quarter potatoes, keeping size uniform. Rinse potatoes in cold water. Place potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and allow potatoes to simmer, partially covered, until a fork is easily inserted (about 20  minutes).

Drain the potatoes in a collander and allow to cool for several minutes. Using a food mill or ricer, run potatoes through onto a lightly floured surface. Bring milled potatoes together and make a well in the center. Sprinkle all of the flour, dill and Pecorino cheese over the potatoes. Place egg and salt in the center of the well, and using a fork, stir into flour and potato. Once the egg is mixed in, bring the dough together by kneading it gently until a ball is formed. Knead for 3-4 minutes until the ball is dry to the touch.

Lightly four surface and your hands. Cut a 1 inch thick slice of the dough ball off. Gently roll into a baton or rope, until 1 inch thick throughout. Cut the rope into 1 inch pieces. Using your thumb, roll each piece (uncut side) on the tines of a fork, or gnocchi roller. Here’s a great pictorial from Food Network to guide you through this technique.

To cook gnocchi, place in boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes, until they float. Transfer to sauce, or as I did, fry them up in a bit of butter, until browned, in a non-stick skillet. Sprinkle with extra Pecorino Romano.

Enjoy!

*Weekend Herb Blogging is a weekly event started by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen. This week, WHB is hosted by Thyme For Cooking.