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KotW: Citrus Chicken. February 25, 2009

Posted by panterazero in chicken, entertaining, fruit, Kip of the Week, quick & dirty, saucy.
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This is just about guaranteed to be new to your guests, and it’s soooo easy.

chicken pieces
flour [optional]
1 or 2 oranges
1 or 2 lemons
1/2 to 1 bottle white wine (I prefer a dry one like a pinot grigio, but you could experiment with something like a riesling, just stay away from chardonnay which doesn’t cook well)

If you like extra browning, shake the chicken pieces in a bag with flour, salt and pepper, but that’s really optional. In a large skillet brown them nicely on both sides, being careful to dry out but not burn the juices in the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile seed the fruit, if necessary, and slice it thinly, discarding the ends.

Remove the browned chicken from the pan and line the pan with a layer of orange and lemon slices, then replace the chicken and season it with salt, pepper and thyme. Cover the chicken evenly with the rest of the orange and lemon slices.

Add half the bottle of wine, raise the heat, and bring the wine just to a boil. lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and let everything cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Check it two or three times and, if a lot of the wine has evaporated, add more; there should be plenty of pan juice when the dish is done.

Serve with rice, couscous, orzo, kasha, or anything sort of grainy that’ll soak up the juice. I’ve made this dish two or three times a year for thirty years and it usually gets raves.

© February 2009 /KC


Quickie: Not-so-original pinwheels. September 15, 2008

Posted by sarawr in appetizers, cheesy goodness, pig pig pig, quick & dirty.
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I should probably put in a disclaimer here: when I came up with the recipe I’m about to post, I truly thought I was a genius. People, I bragged about this. “It’s so good!” I said. “It’s so easy!” I was very smug, and I planned this post in meticulous detail.

Then I told my friend Heather about this recipe and she was like, “Oh, yeah, pinwheels. Those are good.” D’oh. Also, duh. Still, while this little snack-or-lunch option isn’t as creative as I’d thought, it is still tasty and super easy.


Several slices of deli ham — or, even better, prosciutto
Cream cheese (whipped, if you’re feeling fancy)
Chives or green onions
Paper towels


Chop up a small handful of the chives/onions. Lay out your ham slices and blot them with the paper towels. Put a teaspoon or so of cream cheese in the center of each slice, then dampen your hands with water and spread the cream cheese with your fingers. (I have tried to do this with a knife, and without blotting the ham, and all that happens is Cream Cheese Ham Skating.) Sprinkle a generous line of chopped chives down the center of each ham-cheese concoction, then roll the whole thing up.

Et voila. You have either a tasty snack, a delicious hors d’oeuvre, or — if you’re a busy freelancer with a deadline and a hungry pre-schooler — dinner. You can cut the rolls in half and place each one on a garlic Triscuit if you want to be really fancy. Black olives make a nice accompaniment too.

(Be gentle with me, guys. I’m going to attempt gingerbread in the next few days — if it turns out well I might have a real recipe for you!)

KotW: Homemade Tahini. August 27, 2008

Posted by schizodigestive in Kip of the Week, quick & dirty, vegetarian.
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Eggplants, like so many vegetables, have become stunningly expensive in my neighborhood. So when they’re on sale I tend to buy quite a few… and that’s why I ended up needing to make baba ghanouj the other day. But I was out of tahini — the oily paste of finely ground sesame seeds that’s indispensable for Middle Eastern appetizers.

My usual supermarket had stopped carrying it. I went to Trader Joe’s and they didn’t have it, which was silly, because they had eight or nine kinds of peanut butter. I went to the supermarket I don’t go to, and they didn’t have it either, which was unnerving, because I think of this stuff as a staple. Then I said to myself, c’mon, scruffy, you know tahini doesn’t grow in tin cans on trees.

I bought half a pound of Mexican sesame seed, brought it home and started poking around for technique. This is what I came up with:

1 1/2 cups hulled white sesame seed
about 1 1/2 cups boiling water

Put the seed in a large measuring cup and pour the boiling water over it — it should just cover. Put a saucer over the top of the cup and leave it undisturbed for 45 minutes. All, or almost all, of the water should be absorbed. Drain off surplus water if any and put the soaked seed in a food processor with

1/4 teaspoon salt

Start the mixture spinning while you drizzle in

Five tablespoons light sesame oil, or a mixture of three tablespoons corn or canola oil with two tablespoons dark (Japanese) sesame oil

Process this for a good five to ten minutes. Pack it tightly in an airtight container and refrigerate. Your result won’t be as smooth as commercial tahini, because it won’t be as finely ground; but mine came out with hints of the seeds in it, a beautiful arctic white, and with absolutely profound flavor. Not only is this excellent recourse if you can’t find ready-made tahini at the market, but if you have a good source of bulk sesame seeds, it’s a whole lot cheaper!

© /KC August 2008

Portobello Mushrooms & Mozzarella August 21, 2008

Posted by sarawr in quick & dirty, vegetarian.
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I have been so busy lately, guys. Busy, and kind of whacked out by the weather — it’s hot! Now it’s cold! It’s wet and gloomy! No, it’s sunny and bright! Between the insane not-quite-fall weather and the busybusybusy pace, I was a little stressed out about cooking. Sandwiches aren’t quite right for a day that started out with hot coffee and cold toes, but roasts make my sunny afternoon kitchen all sweaty and hellish. What to make?

Enter: portobello mushrooms with mozzarella. They’re just the right combination of hot, but not hell-kitchen hot; fresh, but not out-of-season spring salad fresh; summery, but not, you know, July summery. And? They’re hella quick and easy, which is great for that “OMG school just started and I’m on deadline and GAHHHHHH who invented 24-hour days, anyway?” panic.

A bunch of portobellos, dependent upon how many people you’re feeding and how hungry they are
Soy sauce
Some water
Three or four cloves of garlic
Mozzarella cheese

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Mix up a marinade composed of 1 part soy sauce, 2 parts water, and some crushed and chopped garlic. (I usually make three ‘shrooms and use 1/4 cup soy sauce, 3/4 cup water.) Lay your mushrooms out in a glass baking dish, frilly side up. Pour the marinade over them so that they’re completely soaked, there’s a generous puddle in the dish, but they’re not actually floating. Pop the whole thing, uncovered, into the oven for about 15 minutes. While they’re sizzling away, grate a very generous handful (or two) of mozzarella. Add it to the mushrooms when the 15 minutes are up and continue to cook for about five minutes more — just long enough that the cheese melts and the mushrooms turn a little dark and wilty.

NOM NOM NOM. You can eat these on a delicious whole-wheat roll like burgers, chomp them down plain, or cut them into strips and have them with bleu cheese dip. (Yes. Mozzarella and bleu cheese. YOU WILL THANK ME LATER.) They make an awesome easy lunch, and they’re a great substitute for summer meats (burgers, steaks, etc.). Go forth and savor the fungal flavor.