Showing posts with label Tyler Florence Fridays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tyler Florence Fridays. Show all posts

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cranberry-Apple Cider Shandy from Tyler Florence--A Perfect "Simple Saturday Sipper" for the Holidays

This week's "Simple Saturday Sipper", Cranberry-Apple Cider Shandies, are from Tyler Florence, via Oprah's website (here).

According to Wikipedia "Shandygaff or Shandy, a beverage first invented in the United Kingdom, is beer flavoured with ginger beer or ginger ale. Carbonated lemonade or citrus-flavored soda may also be used. The proportions of the two ingredients are adjusted to taste, normally half-and-half, although shandy that is sold canned or bottled is typically much weaker (about one part beer to ten parts sweet soda)." In this case, Tyler's Shandies are are great combination of fall flavors using cranberry juice and hard apple cider.

Tyler Florence's Cranberry-Apple Cider Shandy
Tyler Florence on
(Serves 4-6)

1 cup cranberry juice
2 cups ice
4 pints hard apple cider

In a food processor or blender, combine ice and cranberry juice and process for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture tightens up and takes on the texture of a slushy. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out among glasses, then top off with chilled hard cider. Garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve in mason jars for a fun presentation.

Notes/Results: Refreshing and good. I liked the combination of flavors as well as having the scoop of "slushy" cranberry juice with the slight carbonation of the hard cider. Since I used an unsweetened cranberry juice, I found that I needed to add a touch of agave to sweeten it just a bit. These were the perfect accompaniment to a slightly spicy curry soup I fixed (tune in tomorrow for that), and would be fun to serve at a holiday party. I would make this again.

Have you ever tried a Shandy?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Borlotti Beans with Woody Herbs: A Repeat for (Our Final!) Tyler Florence Fridays & A Few Of My Favorite Tyler Recipes

This Friday is a little sad for me as it marks the official end of Tyler Florence Fridays. Almost a year ago, it began as an idea; a cooking group with the recipes of a hunky and talented chef and flexibility--being able to select the recipes we wanted to make each week and not have them selected for us. Emails went back and forth, a fearless leader (Natashya) got us organized and whipped into shape with a website and a plan and TFF was born. It has been a fun year full of good food and good friends but like all good things, it must come to an end. (Or at least be morphed into a new group, I Heart Cooking Clubs currently featuring the recipes of Nigella Lawson).

So what recipe to close this chapter with? I decided to go with a repeat performance of one of my Tyler favorites, his delicious Borlotti Beans with Woody Herbs. I first posted these in March (here) after traipsing all over for months trying to find borlotti beans before I found out they are also called cranberry beans. I loved Tyler's recipe for these creamy, homey beans and since a recent trip to the farmer's market yielded some fresh borlottis from North Shore Farms, I thought I would make it again using fresh beans instead of the canned beans Tyler calls for.

Borlotti Beans with Woody Herbs
Tyler's Ultimate, Tyler Florence
(Serves 4-6)

1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, cut into large chunks
1 celery stock
3 garlic cloves
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh sage sprigs
1 small fresh rosemary sprig
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cans (28 ounces each) borlotti beans
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken broth
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Put the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a food processor and pulse to chop fine. Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the herbs and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the finely chopped vegetables and red pepper flakes and saute until the vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the beans, bay leaves, broth, and remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes, or until the beans are flavorful. Taste for salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaves before serving the beans.

Notes/Results: As good as I remember--a perfect, comfort food dish with lots of flavor from the finely-chopped carrots, celery, onion and garlic. I cut out most of the oil as I did before and used veggie stock instead of chicken to keep the dish vegetarian, but otherwise stuck to the recipe. Using fresh beans, I wasn't sure how long to cook them and found varying times and instructions so I just kept testing them. I ended up cooking them about 45 minutes total, as I wanted them pretty soft and creamy in this dish. In addition to the herbs (local from my CSA box) cooked in the beans, I used a bit of olive oil to quick cook some more to top the beans with. I like the crisp texture it adds to the dish. A delicious dish!

Tyler and I have cooked a lot of delicious dishes together this past year--in fact there were only a couple "clunker" recipes for me that I just didn't like. I look forward to cooking more of his recipes now and then, even without motivation from TFF. So which recipes did I enjoy the most? If I had to pick a few in addition to my beloved Borlotti Beans with Woody Herbs above, these five would be my all-time favorites.

Zucchini Carpaccio: I posted this once before TFF started (here), then repeated it this past May and I make it all the time for an easy lunch or side dish for dinner. The paper-thin zucchini slices soak up the olive oil, salt and pepper, the herbs add a fresh flavor and the creamy ricotta brings it all together. It also looks stunning on the plate, making it a great dish for company too.

Saltimbocca: Another recipe I just had to repeat (I also made it here), because it was so darn delicious for being so incredibly easy. Veal cutlets pounded thin, crispy prosciutto and sage in a lemony sauce and it was on the table in way under 30 minutes--what's not to love?!

Salmon Potato Hash: The ultimate comfort food; roasted salmon, poached egg, crispy potatoes and a creamy, lemony sauce, this one even survived my lightening it up and taking the butter out. Great for brunch or a light dinner and better than the hash at my favorite breakfast spot.

Chicken Paillard with Fresh Fig Salad and Blue Cheese: This is one gorgeous salad--both in taste and on the plate. I was able to use fresh, local figs and the combination of their sweetness, along with the honey, the peppery arugula, sharp blue cheese and savory chicken was amazing. It was only helped along to its favorite status by being chosen as a TFF featured dish and being shown on Tyler Florence's blog. ;-)

Sauteed Feta Cheese with Parsley, Raisin, Caper & Pine Nut Sauce: One of my early Tyler recipes and still a favorite as it fills my need for a salty-cheesy fix. The combination of ingredients may seem unusual but the flavors work really well together and when the cheese is spread on a good crusty baguette or served on top of salad greens it is sublime.

Those are my favorites--so hard to choose just a few dishes as there have been so many Tyler recipes I really have enjoyed!

Mahalo to Natashya, and Megan and to all of the great friends who joined us at Tyler Florence Fridays, either popping in from time to time or coming by regularly. (I hope you all come join us at IHCC). You can check out the final TFF round-up here.

Happy Aloha Friday!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Easy Chicken Burritos with Mojo for Tyler Florence Fridays

Having leftover chicken meat in the freezer after making up a bunch of stock recently, I looked for a simple Tyler recipe that used cooked chicken and I found one in his Easy Chicken Burritos with Mojo. I made Tyler's recipe (below), for Spicy Black Beans but used a yellow rice mix I had in the pantry that needed to be used rather than making his rice. Once the beans and rice are done, this recipe goes together quickly and the Mojo has a lot of flavor and a lot of spice. (I toned it down just a bit and it was still spicy but very good). Served on whole wheat tortillas with extra beans and rice, it makes a pretty healthy dinner--as long as you don't pile on the cheese!

The recipes can be found at the Food Network site here.

Easy Chicken Burritos with Mojo
Food 911, Tyler Florence
(Makes 8 servings)

4 garlic cloves
2 serrano chilies, seeds removed
1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves
Juice 2 limes
Juice 1 orange
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 large flour tortillas
1 (3 to 4 pound) whole roasted chicken, shredded
Yellow Rice, recipe follows
Spicy Black Beans, recipe follows
2 avocados chopped
1 cup grated queso blanco or Monterey jack cheese
Sour cream, for garnish
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish

Make the Mojo Sauce: Put the garlic, chilies, cilantro, lime juice, orange juice, and olive oil into a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

To make the burritos: Warm the tortillas for 30 seconds in a dry skillet or on the grill until pliable. Place some chicken down the center of a tortilla and top with rice and beans, avocado, grated cheese, and Mojo Sauce. Roll up the burrito and serve topped with a generous drizzle of sour cream; garnish with cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime juice.

Yellow Rice:
2 cups long-grain rice
4 cups water
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bay leaf

Put all the ingredients into a heavy bottomed pot, stir well, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat until the rice has absorbed the water, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the garlic and bay leaf, fluff with a fork, and serve.

Spicy Black Beans:
2 cups (about 1 pound) dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Quick soak the beans: Put beans in a pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let soak for 1 hour. Drain the beans.

In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and bay leaf and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and cover with water by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Taste the beans and season them with salt and pepper.

Notes/Results: Really good. My original intention was to make the burritos using the homemade whole wheat tortillas from my review of King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking, but they ended up being a tad too small and thick so I made some tostadas out of my homemade tortillas (below) and used store-bought ones for the burritos.

I replaced the sour cream called for in the recipe with a scoop of non-fat Greek yogurt--great tangy flavor, less fat and a bigger nutritional boost. I ended up using just one Serrano pepper in my Mojo and it was still bordering on a bit too spicy for me (I am a bit of a wimp with food that is too fiery), so taste it and adjust the level of the heat for your own taste, or maybe use a milder pepper. I would make this one again.

You can see what recipes the other TFF participants chose to make this week and find out what they thought of them by going to the TFF site here.

Happy Aloha Friday!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chicken Green Chili for Tyler Florence Fridays

Last weekend I re-stocked my freezer with chicken stock by making two large batches in my slow cooker using a two-pack of Costco organic, free-range chickens. Since I used the whole chickens with some veggies, parsley and a little vinegar, I ended up with a lot of chicken meat along with my many quarts of delicious stock. I found this Tyler recipe for Chicken Green Chili from How to Boil Water on the Food Network and since my chicken and broth were already made, it was quick and easy to throw together for this week's TFF. Tyler's recipe was written without beans, just the shredded chicken and poblano chilies, but since I like beans in my chili and they are a healthy choice as they add some good fiber, I threw in a couple of cans of no-salt cannellini beans. I also amped up the spices a lot and made a couple of other changes in red below. 

Tyler recommends serving this with a Smoky Chili Cornbread (the recipe for both the chili and cornbread can be found here), but I decided I have been indulging a bit too much this week and I didn't need the extra fat and calories, so I served my chili with some baked tortilla chips and a small green salad for a filling and healthy dinner.

Chicken Green Chili
How to Boil Water, Tyler Florence
(Makes 6-8 Servings)

1 chicken, about 3 1/2 pounds
1 large onion, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 bunch fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 poblano chiles
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin (used 1 Tbsp)
1 teaspoon ground coriander (used 1 Tbsp)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (used 1 Tbsp)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup finely ground tortilla chips (ground in a food processor) (Used a baked chili-lime tortilla chip)
2 cans no salt cannellini beans 
salt (& black pepper)
leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

For garnish:
Shredded jack cheese (used crumbled cotija cheese)
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

Remove the giblets from the chicken. Discard the liver (it makes the broth bitter) and hold onto everything else. Rinse the chicken with cool water. Put the chicken, onion, and giblets in a large stockpot. Pour in enough cold water just to cover by 1 inch (about 3 quarts). Toss in the garlic and herbs and allow the water to slowly come to a boil over medium heat. Skim off the foam then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through. Skim any impurities that rise to the surface; add more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered.

Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board and let it cool. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables, giblets, thyme and bay leaf from the pot and discard. Reserve chicken broth. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; shred the meat by hand.

Meanwhile, seed, core, and thinly slice the poblano peppers.

Heat a 2-count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Dust the vegetables with the ground cumin, coriander, and oregano, and stir; cook 1 minute. Stir in the ground tortillas. Pour in the reserved chicken broth, season with salt and cook 20 minutes. Now add the shredded chicken and chiles, and the cilantro and cook 5 more minutes. Taste for seasoning.

To serve, ladle the chili into big bowls and garnish with grated cheese, cilantro, and a wedge of lime.

Notes/Results: Healthy, filling and good, this was a unique chili with the poblanos, which I have not cooked a lot with. Since poblanos are a large, relatively mild chili and I wanted more of a flavor punch, I upped the amount of all of the spices and also added some cayenne pepper. Between the extra spices, the crushed baked chili-lime tortilla chips and the homemade stock, it gave the chili a lot of good flavor. The crushed tortilla chips add a nice thickness and good texture and the beans made the chili hearty but not too heavy, so I would use both of them again. Since I had salty, crumbly cotija cheese on hand I topped mine with it and I would provide extra lime wedges as it brightens the chili up nicely. A good recipe that I would make again. 

You can see what the other TFF participants selected to make and find out what they thought of their recipes by going to the TFF site here

***Cookbook Giveaway***
If you have not entered to win my giveaway, a copy of "My New Orleans: The Cookbook" by Chef John Besh, well why haven't you silly?!?! It is 374 pages of great reading and delicious recipes. Read my review and find out how to enter (you get up to 3 chances to win), here. You have until midnight Sunday to enter. Don't miss out, this is a terrific cookbook to add to your collection!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Crisp Potatoes with Salsa Verde Drizzle for Tyler Florence Fridays

My choice for Tyler Florence Fridays, his Crisp Potatoes with Salsa Verde, isn't the prettiest Tyler dish I have ever made but it is tasty. Yukon gold potatoes are crisped and browned in a pan ad the served with a green sauce of olives, garlic, capers, parsley and lemon. It is a good side dish or for me, a small plate with a simple green salad made a nice dinner.

This recipe comes from Tyler's Food 911 on the Food Network and the recipe can be found here

Crisp Potatoes with Salsa Verde Drizzle 
Tyler Florence
(Yields 10 Servings)

3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves chopped
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, leaves chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced

Peel the potatoes and slice them into thin 1/8-inch thick slices. Put them into a large bowl and toss with the thyme, rosemary, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place a large skillet onto the grill and coat the bottom with olive oil. Place the slices into the pan, overlapping them in 1 layer until the entire surface is covered with potatoes. Drizzle some more olive oil over the top. Cook over medium-high heat until the bottoms are browned and crisp. Turn the potatoes over and cook the other side until they are browned and crisp.

In a food processor add the olives, capers, garlic, and parsley. Process, adding some olive oil in a thin stream, until you have a smooth puree. Mix in the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Coat the bottom of a large platter with some of the salsa, pile the potatoes on top, and drizzle on some more salsa.

Notes/Results: A great combination of flavors, the tangy salsa verde partners well with the creamy flavor and crispy texture of the potatoes and it goes together quickly and easily. The recipe calls for a skillet on the grill, I used a pan on the stove with just a bit of olive oil for the potatoes and made the salsa verde in the mini-chop. I used one potato as I wanted a light dinner with the potatoes and a green salad, but I went ahead and made a half batch of the salsa verde. I think the leftover salsa will be great on fish or chicken or even spooned on top of a baked potato. This is a simple dish that I will make again. 

You can check out what dishes the other TFF participants chose and see what they thought of the recipes by going to the round-up on the TFF site here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pan-Roasted Halibut Shutome (Swordfish) with Prosciutto, Lemon, White Wine, and Capers for Tyler Florence Fridays

This week my pick for Tyler Florence Friday's is his Pan-Roasted Halibut with Prosciutto, Lemon, White Wine and Capers. Although Tyler used halibut, fresh, local shutome or swordfish is about half the price of halibut here and is...well...fresh and local, so that is what I used. Served with some Ewa Sweet Corn and a Trader Joe's Multi-Grain Pilaf with millet, cracked wheat and soy beans in a tomato base with spices, it made an easy and delicious dinner.
The recipe is from Tyler's How to Boil Water on the Food Network. You can find the recipe here

Pan-Roasted Halibut Shutome with Prosciutto, Lemon, White Wine, & Capers
Adapted from Tyler Florence
(Serves 2)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground salt and pepper
2 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 slices prosciutto, cut into strips
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons capers
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley plus whole sprigs, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the flour on a deep plate or in a shallow bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish in the flour. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and the butter and get the skillet hot. Add the fillets and cook until browned on 1 side, 2 to 3 minutes. At the same time, add the prosciutto and cook, stirring, to brown. Then flip the fish, put the skillet in the oven, and roast until the fish is just cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Remove the fish to 2 serving plates. Dump the prosciutto out onto paper towels to drain. Put the skillet back over medium heat. Add another tablespoon olive oil, the white wine, lemon juice, capers, the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the parsley and bring to a boil; boil until reduced and thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the fish, top with the prosciutto, and serve immediately.

Notes/Results: Delicious--a great combination of some of my favorite flavors and ingredients. The shutome worked really well, it was fresh and stayed very moist and tender. I made just a few changes to the recipe, lessening the butter by about 1/2 and using just a bit of oil. I also used the entire lemon and doubled the capers. With the saltiness of the capers and the prosciutto, you will want to be careful with the salt on this one, I was right on that edge, although my Mom, who likes more salt on her food than I do, found it perfect for her. The fish went well with the sweet corn and the rice, which I topped with some chopped pistachios for a bit of crunch. All in all, it was quick to throw together and made for a tasty dinner.  

You can see what recipes the other TFF participants chose for this week and what they thought of them by checking out the round-up at the TFF site here.

Happy Aloha Friday!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Tyler "Twofer"--Veal Saltimbocca Alla Romana & Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Fresh Herbs and Garlic

This week I have two recipes for Tyler Florence Fridays. The first, Veal Saltimbocca Alla Romana is a repeat for me, I made it back in December of last year and really enjoyed it, and recently found myself craving it again. I decided to serve it with Tyler's Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Fresh Herbs and Garlic, (substituting some baby Yukon gold potatoes for the fingerlings). My Mom arrived today for a visit and I thought that these two dishes, combined with a simple salad, would be an easy but delicious dinner for her first night.

The recipes can be found at Food Network, the veal here and the potatoes here.

Veal Saltimbocca Alla Romana
Eat This Book, Tyler Florence
(Serves 4)

4 (5-ounce) thinly sliced veal cutlets (scallopini)
4 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
8 fresh sage leaves, plus more for garnish
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
Lemon wedges, for serving

Put the veal cutlets side by side on a sheet of plastic wrap. Lay a piece of prosciutto on top of each piece of veal and cover with another piece of plastic. Gently flatten the cutlets with a rolling pin or meat mallet, until the pieces are about 1/4-inch thick and the prosciutto has adhered to the veal. Remove the plastic wrap and lay a couple of sage leaves in the center of each cutlet. Weave a toothpick in and out of the veal to secure the prosciutto and sage.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Fresh Herbs and Garlic
Tyler's Ultimate, Tyler Florence
(Makes 2-4 servings)

2 pints fingerling potatoes
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 to 3 sprigs fresh sage
3 sprigs fresh thyme
6 cloves garlic, left unpeeled
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus for sheet pan
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and place a baking sheet inside to heat. Add potatoes, rosemary, sage, thyme, and garlic to a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Remove sheet pan from oven, lightly coat with olive oil, and pour potatoes onto pan. Place potatoes in oven and reduce heat to 425 degrees F. Roast for 20 minutes, or until crispy on outside and tender on inside.

Notes/Results:  Delicious dinner. Saltimbocca means "jumps in mouth" and once again, this recipe certainly did. The veal cutlets at Whole Foods were pretty tiny, even pounded and rolled out, so I used just a half piece of prosciutto on each. They were incredibly tender though and paired so nicely with the sage. In addition to serving it with a wedge of lemon, I like to add the juice of a lemon to the sauce and find that it really brightens the dish. If you don't do veal, try the recipe with chicken, so you don't miss out. For the potatoes, although the recipe doesn't say to cut them, I like crispy sides, so I cut them in half and placed them on the pre-heated pan cut side down for about 25 minutes and they were perfect. To get some green on the plate, I made a simple salad of lettuce from my CSA box and local tiny sweet tomatoes with a vinaigrette dressing. A wonderful dinner that only looks like you made an effort, and my Mom loved it. Both recipes are keepers for me.

You can check out what the rest of our TFF members made this week and what they thought of their recipe picks by going to the TFF site here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Breakfast for Dinner "Frog in a Hole" Made Healthy for Tyler Florence Fridays

I was craving breakfast food this week when looking for my Tyler Florence Friday's pick, so I was happy when I saw a recipe for "Frog in a Hole" on the Food Network site from the old How to Boil Water show. I grew up eating these fried eggs cooked in the center of a piece of toast, (although at our  house it was known as "Ding Dong Eggs" and I have no idea why). My older brother Bill used to make them on Saturdays for us while we watched cartoons and it was one of the few ways I liked eggs back then. There was nothing better than that little circle of buttery, fried bread and I loved dipping the edges of the bread into the runny yolk. Since I have been feeling like I have been sliding a bit with my eating habits lately, I did want to get less fat and calories and more fiber into it but still have it be similar to the comfort food I remember. I kept the butter, lessening the amount, switched out the bread to a nice boule made with whole wheat flour, swapped out the regular bacon for my favorite natural (no nitrates/preservatives) turkey bacon and served it with a fruit salad of pineapple, watermelon, kiwi and papaya. A very easy--no effort meal!

You can find the recipe on Food Network, here.

"Frog in a Hole"
Tyler Florence
(Serves 4)

8 slices bacon
4 slices good-quality dense, white bread, such as Tuscan bread
4 to 8 tablespoons butter
4 eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lay the bacon in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Meanwhile, use a 2-inch cookie cutter or small glass to cut a hole in the center of each slice of bread. Heat the butter over medium heat in a skillet large enough to hold the bread slices in a single layer (or use 2 pans). Cook the butter until it turns a golden brown color. Add the bread and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Flip the bread with a spatula. Now break an egg into the hole in the center of each bread slice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until the eggs have set on the bottom. Then flip and cook 1 more minute. Transfer to plates and serve with the bacon.

Notes/Results: So good! It really hit the spot as a simple dinner. I baked the turkey bacon until it was nice and crisp on a cookie rack over a foil covered pan. To cook the bread and egg, rather than putting a bunch of butter in the pan, I just very lightly buttered both sides of the bread and used just a bit more in the center for the egg. For the egg, Tyler flips it over for a final minute but I prefer to just leave it until the white sets (no runny whites!), but the yolk is still nice and runny--the better to dip the bread in. A definite keeper recipe, in fact I'll probably eat it again tomorrow.

You can see what recipes the other TFF participants chose and what they thought of them by going to the round-up at the TFF website, here.

Happy Weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Crisp Soba Noodles (With Chicken) for Tyler Florence Fridays

It's OK, my little dish of Tyler's Crisp Soba Noodles knows that it won't win any beauty awards this week and is fine with it. There is just not a lot you can do to make pan-fried brown buckwheat noodles attractive! However, if there is an award for an easy, tasty dish, this recipe will be a contender. With Asian flavors and simple ingredients, it makes a good side dish or the foundation for a light meal.

This recipe is from Food 911 on Food Network (here).

Crisp Soba Noodles
Tyler Florence
(Makes 4-6 Servings)

1 package soba noodles* (400 grams or about 14 ounces) or thin spaghetti
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, plus more for frying
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 bunch scallions, sliced thin
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped

*available in the Asian section of your market

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the soba noodles until done, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the noodles but do not rinse them. Drizzle the sesame oil over them and toss them well. Add the sesame seeds, scallions, cilantro, and ginger. Mix well to combine the ingredients.

Heat a non stick or cast iron pan over medium heat. Add a bit of sesame oil to the skillet. Layer the noodle mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Cook the noodles, stirring often, until they are brown and crispy, about 15 minutes. Serve as a side dish or use them as a garnish for soups or salads.

Notes/Results: Great! Good flavor with the ginger, sesame oil, scallions and cilantro. I made a half batch and lightened the oil up by about 1/2, which worked fine. I found it needed just a bit of salt so I threw in a couple splashes of low-sodium soy sauce which was perfect. The noodles have a nice texture, a little chewy (in a good way), combined with little bites of crispy. I topped my noodles with some sliced grilled chicken breast and with a small salad it made a perfect dinner. I would make this again. 

You can check out what recipes our other Tyler Florence Fridays members picked this week and what they thought of them by going to the TFF site (here).

BTW--If you love cooking groups, check out the new, "I Heart Cooking Clubs" being hosted by my friends Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies and Heather of girlichef and of course, yours truly. 

Our plan is to spend time cooking with different chefs and cooks, starting out with the Domestic Goddess herself, Nigella Lawson. There will be a different theme each week but you get to pick the recipes you want to make for each theme and can jump in for any of the themes you want to do. Fun & flexible! Check out the IHCC site (here) for more details and to see the theme we are starting of with. (No Nigella cookbooks? That's OK, the Food Network site has plenty of her recipes as does her own site (here), so problem solved!). Hope you join us!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tyler "Twofer": Angel Hair Pasta with Pesto and Ripped Baguette with Garlic-Parsley Butter

I have had a semi-crazy week so was looking for a very quick and low-effort dish for Tyler Florence Fridays. I found two; Angel Hair Pasta with Pesto and a Ripped Baguette with Garlic-Parsley Butter and since they both sounded so good, I combined them into one dinner, with some shrimp from "The Silver Palate Cookbook". Served with a small side salad it was a delicious and easy meal.

Both recipes came from the Food Network, "How to Boil Water" and can be found at the FN site, (pasta and baguette).

Angel Hair Pasta with Pesto
Tyler Florence
(Serves 4-6 as a side dish)

Leaves from 2 bunch fresh basil
2 tablespoons pine nuts, untoasted
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound angel hair pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil in a blender and blend to a puree. Add the cheese, salt and pepper, and blend again.

Cook the pasta in the boiling, salted water until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pesto and toss. Taste for salt and pepper, and add a drizzle of oil, if you like.

And now the Ripped Baguette:

Ripped Baguette with Garlic Parsley Butter
Tyler Florence
(4 Servings)

5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 baguette

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it softens but does not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool. Then stir this garlic butter into the remaining butter in a small bowl. Stir in the parsley, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Rip open the baguette lengthwise, so that it opens like a book but is not ripped entirely in half. Smear the inside of the baguette with the garlic butter. Wrap the baguette in aluminum foil and bake until heated through, 10 to 12 minutes.

Notes/Results: Very good. The pesto is pretty much your basic pesto, a simple classic recipe. I used half a package of fresh angel hair pasta and just did a half batch of the pesto and it was plenty. The bread is delicious, but how can you go wrong with the basics of garlic, butter and parsley? As all garlic bread, it is pretty terrific when eaten warm from the oven. For the bread I also did a half batch, using a mini-baguette, and lightened the amount of butter and upped the amount garlic a bit. I would make both recipes again--especially the bread. 

You can see which Tyler dishes the rest of the group picked and find out what they thought about them at the TFF round-up here.