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 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 appé with some influence from a chicken and rice dish I published two years ago.


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


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.


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



Appetizers and Snacks

Main Dishes

Side Dishes


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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.


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


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.


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.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Spaghetti with Meatball Pearls for a New Year's #WeekdaySupper

Spaghetti with Meatball Pearls for a New Year's #WeekdaySupper

Happy 2015! I trust everyone reading this has a pleasant Holiday. If each new year offers the opportunity for a new start, 2015 is true for me on several levels. It is my first winter as a Washington resident. I'll also start the year with a new rear bumper on my car. It's more of an inconvenience than anything. I was stopped at a light when someone tapped me from behind as they were decelerating probably going 5 miles per hour or less. There were no injuries to either party involved in the collision.

Speaking of beginning again, today is the first day back at the office for most, so this dish is very timely. I like the concept of this dish because it's classic comfort food, but without the work normally required for the dish.

The Source

Adapted from pages 18 and 77 of Fabio's Italian Kitchen by Fabio Viviani with Melanie Rehak.


6 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a chef's knife
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 28-ounce can whole or diced San Marzano tomatoes, puréed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sweet Italian sausage meat, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh basil
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
12 ounces box spaghetti


1. Fire a large pot of well-salted water over high heat to bring to a boil. Separately, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Once the oil starts to smoke, add the garlic and sauté until the cloves are lightly browned. Stir in the tomato purée into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until the tomatoes reduce and the sauce thickens.

2. Stir the chicken stock into the tomato sauce and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Drop the pasta into the water and boil for 2 to 3 minutes less than the directions on the package instruct. Add the sausage pearls into the sauce and cook for at 10 to 12 minutes until the sausage has fully cooked through. Once the pasta has cooked, drain, then toss with the sauce. Serve in warmed bowls garnished with basil and parmesan.

Before you go, check out the other Weekday Suppers that follow this one!

Sunday Supper Movement