Monday, November 7, 2011

I Love Food

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw

In case my kind readers may not have noticed, I have been having a passionate affair with food these past few months. I'm in love with salt and cream, venison and chocolate, pumpkin and strawberries and garlic and butter (to name just a few) -- and how lucky I am to be able to indulge in them all with wild abandon. Well, perhaps not with complete abandon as I have to admit to a teensy bit of guilt and reserve, but my heart swooned tonight as Chef Ken Lefebour of Chef and Wife - Gourmet to Go poured in the cream and dolloped the garlic in various dishes.

After another great cooking class at The Spectator, I came away with three great dishes to share with family and friends: rack of lamp chops served with pumpkinseed and truffle pesto as the appetizer, chicken with porcini cream sauce served over pasta and goat cheese, followed by dark chocolate and pink peppercorn tart with merlot and star anise syrup. Rapture. Cynics might say "rupture", but who wants to break bread with a cynic, anyway?

Wishing everyone cream-filled dreams. Good night.

Tuesday Update: As requested. Dish is not as complicated as it looks. Enjoy!

Chicken in a Porcini Mushroom Jus
6 servings

3 chicken breasts, cut into 3 or 4 pieces, width-wise
Italian seasoning to taste
Cracked black pepper and sea salt
About 1/2 cup of flour to dust
Olive oil to sear

1. In a bowl, using your hands to mix, work Italian seasoning, pepper and salt over the chicken pieces.
2. Put a scoop of flour into another bowl. Transfer chicken to new bowl and mix the chicken with the flour to coat.
3. Heat a heavy pan on a hot flame. When pan is hot, add olive oil. Then carefully place chicken in pan and sear on all sides.
4. Remove from pan and set aside.

Porcini Mushroom Cream
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1 sprig of rosemary
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup chardonnay, reduced by 2/3's
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups 35% cream
Nutmeg to taste
Cracked pepper and sea salt
4 oz porcini mushrooms, by volume (no need to reconstitute)

1. In the chicken pan, melt butter. Add garlic and rosemary and cook over medium heat until fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.
2. Add flour and cook, scraping the pan until a nutty aroma emerges.
3. Add stock and porcini mushrooms gradually, whisking steadily.
4. Increase heat to high and add cream.
5. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat.
6. Add chardonnay and chicken. Season with pepper, salt and nutmeg to taste.
7. Simmer 10-15 minutes and prepare pasta.
8. Just before serving, and tomatoes.

Pasta Aglio Olio
500 gr pasta
salt and pepper
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp garlic, chopped
goat cheese (no amount specified)
1 small sprig rosemary
4 sprigs thyme

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Cook pasta a la dente.
3. Over medium/low heat, warm olive oil, garlic, rosemary and thyme until fragrant.
4. Rome from heat and toss with pasta and a small amount of pasta water.

To plate: on a bed of pasta, place a portion of goat cheese to one side and a serving of chicken with porcini sauce on the other.

Source: Chef Ken Lefebour of Chef and Wife Gourmet to Go


Anonymous said...

The pasta dish sounds divine. I may need that recipe.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. I can't wait to try it.