Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What I'm Reading Today

In today's LA Times Sarah Karnasiewicz writes all about savory pies.  Coming off the holidays you may have dabbled in pumpkin pie, apple pie, or pecan pie.  But, winter is here and having a rich pie crust filled with warm savory fillings like Chicken Pot Pie with Leek and Fennel or Curried Lamb Pasties with Spicy Sweet Potato and Tamarind could be one of the best things to store in your freezer, ever.  Sarah offers two types of crust-a basic dough made with a combo of shortening and butter (for perfect flake and flavor) and a cream cheese variation, which is the best for people who hate making dough (the cream cheese keeps it tender every time).  I taught a class last night where I did a variation on the savory pie, filling my version of cream cheese dough with diced mushrooms that were sauteed in shallots and butter and stirred with some sour cream.  Like the pasties, these were individual small pies but we were serving ours as appetizers so we made them two-bite sized.  So good!  Once you have these doughs mastered (and it doesn't take long), play with your favorite fillings and shapes-the variations are endless.  If freezing is your thing, make both recipes all the way through except the final baking.  Freeze them, tightly wrapped, for up to a month, and no need to thaw before baking (just add 10-15 minutes of extra time). 

Like Mark Bitmman, Melissa Clark writes a damn good recipe.  Well tested and simple, when I cook her food from the  NY Times, it just works.  Today it's all about suprêmes de volaille-yes, a fancy French way to refer to boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  In my kitchen, the white meat is often overlooked in favor of juicier more flavorful cuts like legs and thighs.  Melissa might win me back with four recipes that will make your weeknight dinner table a lot more exciting.  Chicken Paillard with Oyster Mushrooms, Olive Oil Chicken Confit with Anchovy Parm Dressing, Crispy Stuffed Chicken Cutlets with Ham, Cheese, and Sauerkraut, and Gently Cooked Chicken Breasts with Garlic, Chili, Ginger Sauce.  If you're like my dad and can eat chicken every night, these new recipes will be a welcome change of pace.  I'm starting with the Chicken Confit-flavors remind me of a Caesar Salad and I think poaching the chicken in olive is a great technique for keeping it juicy.

I love chorizo.  The Mexican variety, which is more like a sausage-not cured or cooked, is my favorite.  But, the Spanish style, cured more like salami and much firmer, is also packed with heat, paprika, and garlic, giving tons of flavor to any dish where you use it.  In today's Washington Post they play with Mexican chorizo in four recipes.  I'm partial to the Crispy Mexican Tacos with Potato, Scallion, and Chorizo but check them all out here.

Happy Reading and Happy Cooking!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting story as for me. It would be great to read more about this theme. Thnx for giving that material.
Joan Stepsen
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