Sunday, February 28, 2010

Broiled Lamb Chops with Braised Root Vegetables and Colcannon - Creamy Kale and Potatoes,

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 4 servings


Braised Root Vegetables:

2 tablespoons butter
1 pound packaged baby carrots
1 rutabaga, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
Salt and pepper
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
8 loin lamb chops
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


4 medium to large all-purpose potatoes, such as Russet, peeled and cut into chunks
Coarse salt, for boiling water
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 head dark curly kale, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup whole milk, eyeball it
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, fresh or grated
1 teaspoon ground thyme
2 scallions, sliced
A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Prepared, store bought Irish soda bread or brown bread, warmed, for passing at table
Sweet butter, softened, for the bread


For braised vegetables: Heat a skillet with a cover over medium to medium high heat. Add butter, carrots, rutabaga and onion. Cook veggies 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth or stock, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat and cover. Cook vegetables 15 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat broiler to high for lamb.

Boil potatoes for 15 minutes in salted water. Drain potatoes and return them to the hot pot and mash.

Heat stock or broth to a simmer. Chop kale tops, discarding tough stems. Add kale to broth and cover. Simmer 10 to 12 minutes.

Place chops about 6 to 8 inches from broiler and cook 5 minutes on each side. Remove from broiler and season chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Let chops rest 3 to 5 minutes.

In a large skillet over moderate heat melt butter and add milk. Season with nutmeg and thyme and add scallions to the pan. Remove kale from cooking liquid to the milk and butter mixture using a slotted spoon. Stir in 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Add mashed potatoes to milk and kale and stir until combined and creamy, 1 or 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve the chops along with vegetable colcannon. Warm up store-bought Irish soda bread or brown bread with soft, unsweetened butter. The bread makes a nice starter, side or ending to this meal.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sausage O'Patties

Cook Time: 14 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


1 small Idaho potato, peeled
1 small onion, coarsely chopped, about 1/3 cup
3/4 pound ground pork
A few sprigs fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground thyme, 1/3 palm full
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan


Grate the potato onto a cutting board, salt it, then transfer to a paper towel lined bowl or plate to drain.

Place potato, onion, pork, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper in the food processor and pulse grind to form a sausage mixture. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat with extra-virgin olive oil. When oil is hot, form 8 potato-sausage patties 3 inches wide, 1/2-inch thick, and set into skillet. Cook patties 6 to 7 minutes on each side until they are deeply golden brown in color.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chicken Cutlets with Herbs

Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


1/2 loaf baguette bread - day old is fine
4 pieces chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
1 large egg
Several sprigs fresh thyme, leaves finely chopped
2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
A handful fresh chives, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
Olive oil, for sauteing cutlets


Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Tear bread into pieces and place on baking sheet. Toast bread until deep golden brown, 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and coarsely grind into bread crumbs.

While bread toasts pound out chicken breasts to 1/4-inch thick. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Coat chicken with flour, reserve. Beat egg with splash of water in shallow dish.

Transfer bread crumbs to a plate and season with herbs and poultry seasoning.

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Coat chicken in egg then bread crumbs and add to pan. Saute until golden and firm, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sloppy Buffalo Joes

Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 8 servings


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground chicken or turkey breast
1 carrot, peeled and chopped or grated
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 to 1/3 cup hot sauce (recommended: Frank's Red Hot)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken stock
8 good quality burger rolls, split and toasted
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 large dill pickles, chopped


Heat a large skillet with extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add meat and break it up with wooden spoon, cook 5 to 6 minutes. Add in carrots, celery, onions and garlic, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cook 7 to 8 minutes more. In a bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato sauce and stock. Pour into the pan and stir to combine. Simmer a few minutes more. Pile sloppy Buffalo filling onto buns and top with blue cheese and chopped pickles.