Friday, January 30, 2015

Presenting: Warm Spinach Salad with Cannellini Beans and Shrimp

Warm Spinach Salad with Cannellini Beans and Shrimp




Like millions of us in the United States, Mrs. Stuntman has wanted to start 2015 eating healthier so I thought I'd use it as an opportunity to practice my photography skills. This dish can be found on foodandwine.com appeared in the results of my winter salads google search. It appeals to me because the preparation was more involved than simply tossing some raw vegetables together with a vinaigrette, but I was hoping the pink color in the shrimp would have been brighter to contrast the cannellini beans.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chicken Rice Pilaf for a Hometown Food #SundaySupper

Chicken Rice Pilaf for a Hometown Food #SundaySupper




Might I be nostalgic for a moment?

When I first married Mrs. Stuntman, my cooking skills were still in it's infancy. One evening when we were still newlyweds, I remember Mrs. Stuntman came home with some pre-marinaded boneless skinless chicken breasts which she dredged in breadcrumbs then sautéed and served with a side of Rice-A-Roni. It was a dish we enjoyed at the time so it made repeat appearances on the dinner table maybe once a month for a while.

I was reminded of this dish when I saw this week's #SundaySupper theme of Hometown Foods which has been hosted by Coleen of The Redhead Baker. I grew up in San Jose which hasn't distinguished a culinary identity from other cities yet so I chose San Francisco with it's iconic side dish.

The Challenge

Replicate the classic dish, but improve it with natural ingredients.

The Source

I was inspired by an article I found on bon appétit.com with some influence from a chicken and rice dish I published two years ago.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup long grain white rice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot to sweat, approximately 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds. Add the chicken to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the chicken until brown and caramelized, approximately 4 minutes.


2. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat the grains, approximately 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer until all the chicken stock has been absorbed, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Then remove from heat, fluff with a fork and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Cover and let it rest for approximately 10 minutes. Garnish with the parsley before serving it with your protein.

Successful?

This has been an educational experience, to say the least. I wanted to sear the chicken before adding the broth because I was concerned it wouldn't cook through if I were to just poach the pieces in the stock, which I found is exactly the manufacturer of Rice-A-Roni suggests on their box package as an alternative. I know this because I prepared the box version a couple of nights after I prepared my dish. Regardless of it being full of artificial ingredients, I found it to be rather bland. On a side note, I was amused to find that, despite the jingle claiming the dish to be the San Francisco Treat, Rice-A-Roni is owned by the Golden Grain Company out of Chicago, which is a unit of PepsiCo.

Before you go, please have a look at some of the other regional foods from this week's #SundaySupper participants

Breakfast

Drinks

Appetizers and Snacks

Main Dishes

Side Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Light Stunt: Weeknight Porchetta

Light Stunt: Weeknight Porchetta




If you hadn't noticed from the picture above, I went rustic with this dish.

Porchetta is a traditionally an Italian dish that originates out of central Italy and is traditionally a boneless whole pig, gutted, seasoned with garlic, rosemary and fennel, and slow roasted on a spit over an open flame for several hours. This dish version is considerably faster without sacrificing flavor.

The Challenge

It's been a while, so I thought I'd use this space to explain a Light Stunt. The dishes I publish under this category are quick but flavorful dinners, similar to a #WeekdaySupper.

The Source

Adapted from page 30 of Bon Appétit magazine's January 2015 issue but I also found the recipe reprinted on their website.

Ingredients

8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fennel seeds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 1-pound pork tenderloins
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 slicers bacon
2 heads garlic, halved through the equator

Method

1. Season the pork. Before you head to the office in the morning, combine the minced garlic, chopped rosemary, fennel seeds, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl. Rub this mixture on all sides of each tenderloin. Cover, and refrigerate until you get back from the office in the evening.


2. Roast the pork. Preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Scatter the rosemary sprigs in a large baking dish, then place the seasoned pork on top of the rosemary. Wrap each tenderloin in 4 slices bacon, pushing the ends of the bacon slices underneath the tenderloin so they stay in place, then place the garlic heads around the pork and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Roast in the oven until the internal temperature of each tenderloin reaches 145° Fahrenheit, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Once finished, transfer the tenderloins to a cutting board and let them rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Analysis

This dish is very satisfying for a cold winter evening and, from a technique standpoint, is very creative with the use of bacon. As the bacon cooks, it's rendered fat is soaked up by the tenderloin, thereby keeping it moist and adding flavor.