Garlicky baked chicken


If you love easy , quick , delicious , crispy , garlicky chicken , then you are in luck , as this chicken from  none other than Sara Moulton is sure to please . Sara notes , and I agree , it is best to buy a really good quality organic free range chicken for this dish as it contains less water than supermarket birds and  she also suggests baking the chicken on the rack of a roasting pan …guranteed crispy.

Serves 4

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

8 tbs ( 1 stick ) butter

4 garlic cloves , chopped

2 cups fresh bread crumbs , from about 6 slices of day old , firm textured white bread .

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

8 chicken thighs 0r 4 bone in single chicken breast halves with skin ( cut in half if very large )

Preheat oven to 350*F

In a small saucepan melt the butter with the garlic and pour it into a shallow bowl .

In a pie plate or shallow bowl , mix the bread crumbs with the salt , pepper and cheese.

Dip the chicken pieces one at a time into the garlic butter, coating them well on all sides . Then dip them into the breadcrumb mixture , patting the crumbs on so the coating is thick .

Place the chicken pieces , skin side up in a shallow baking pan and pat on any remaining bread crumb mixture. Drizzle any remaining garlic butter over the chicken.

Bake chicken for 50 minutes to 1 hour , or until crisp and golden brown . Serve hot or at room temperature.

Italian Shortbread with almonds and Jam


 If you ever wanted to look like a great pastry chef , try making this easy to prepare  dessert with a heavenly aroma as it bakes and is just as beautiful to look at . Amazingly it works so well as a make ahead dessert as it tastes so much better when allowed to rest and served the next day.

Cindy Mushet

Serves 6 to 8

12 Tbs ( 1 1/2 sticks ) unsalted butter , softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp pure almond extract

1  1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup low sugar apricot jam

1/3 cup sliced almonds

confectioners sugar , for serving

Preheat oven to 350*F and set a rack in the middle level. Have ready an ungreased 9 inch fluted springform pan.

Beat butter and sugar on medium speed in a stand mixer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until very light, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle from time to time . Add the almond extract and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds more to blend.

In a small bowl whisk the flour and salt together . Add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed, just until the dough is throughly blended 30 to 40 seconds. ( the dough will be stiff ). Remove 1/2 cup of dough and spread it on a small plate in a thin layer; place it in the freezer.

Press the remaining dough into the pan- it can be a little higher at the edge , but the center should not be elevated . Spread the jam evenly over the dough to within an inch of the edge . Retrieve the remaining dough from the freezer and crumble it over the jam , allowing some of the jam to peek through. Sprinkle the almonds over the top .

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes , or until golden brown . Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Stand the pan on a heavy can to remove the sides- the rim will just fall away. Transfer the shortbread , still on the pan bottom , to a platter or use a spatula to remove it from the pan.

To serve dust with powdered sugar .

Scottish Shortbread Cookies


I have long enjoyed store bought Scottish Shortbread cookies , till I learned just what a few simple , but fresh , quality ingredients could produce. The trick is cold fresh unsalted butter , not over working the dough and a low slow baking. You simply cannot go wrong with this recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

1/4 cup confectioners sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1  1/4 cups butter (2  1/2 sticks ) , refridgerated and cut into 8 to 10 pieces

2  1/2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 275*F.

Place sugars in food processor and process until very fine . Add butter ;pulse until sugar dissapears . Add flour ; pulse until no dry flour particles remain . (Mixture will be moist and crumbly .)

Place in plastic bag and press together to form dough . Knead lightly until dough holds together. Remove from bag . Shape dough into 1 inch balls .

Place on unbuttered cookie sheets 2 inches apart . Flatten each with a cookie press , fork , or bottom of a glass lightly moistened with water . Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until pale golden . Remove from cookie sheets ; cool completely on wire racks .

Grilled Salmon with chili-lime sauce


The surprising thing about this dish is that it is so quick and easy it makes a great weeknight dinner . Dress it up with with side dishes and you can have company over and look great doing it. This is a Vietnamese dish from Nancie Mc Dermott . Tone the spiciness to suit your taste.

serves 3 to 4

SALMON

2 tbs vegetable oil

2 tbs coarsely chopped fresh ginger

1 tbs chopped garlic

1 tbs chopped shallots or onion

2 tbs fish sauce

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs sugar

1  1/4 lbs thick salmon fillets , or tuna or halibut or other meaty fish

 

SAUCE

1/4 cup fish sauce

3 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice or white vinegar

2 tbs water

2 tbs sugar

1/4 tsp chili -garlic sauce or other hot sauce

1 tbs thinly sliced green onion

 

To marinate the fish , in a medium bowl , combine the oil , ginger , garlic , shallots , fish sauce , and sugar . Stir to dissolve the sugar and mix everything well. Place the salmon filets in the bowl and turn to coat with marinade. Cover and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes, or cover and refridgerate for up to 1 day .

To prepare sauce , combine all ingredients in a small bowl . Stir to dissolve the sugar and mix everything well . Place on the serving platter you will use for the fish .

To cook the fish build a hot charcoal fire , preheat a gas grill or preheat oven to 375*F . place the fish steaks carefully on the grill and grill for about 5 minutes on each side , or until cooked to your liking , or bake about 15 minutes . Transfer to the serving platter alongside the chili lime sauce and serve hot or warm.

The easiest eggless butterscotch tart


Butterscotch tart evokes great memories from my childhood. I must admit this butterscotch tart is so quick and easy to make , I almost looked it over , but , as good eggless desserts are hard to come by , and I adapted the recipe to using store bought pie crust , as opposed to the time consuming chore of making my own , I went for it.  The only requirement that you NOT stray from is using real Barbados sugar or Moscavado sugar or the filling will not set well.

Serves 8

Adapted from Orlando Murrin

1  frozen pie shell

Small can ( 7 oz evaporated milk , chilled )

1  1/4 cups packed light Barbados sugar or Moscavado sugar (NOT BROWN SUGAR )

confectioners sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder , for dusting

light cream, to serve

Heat oven to 400 *F.

Place the frozen pie shell on a baking sheet and line the pie shell with wax paper . Fill with pie weights or dry beans . Bake for 20 minutes . Remove beans and wax paper . Set the pie shell aside while you prepare the filling.

In a bowl , using an electric mixer , beat together the evaporated milk and sugar ; about 5 minutes. The mixture should be  thick and pale. Pour it into the pastry case and return to the oven for 10 minutes . Leave tart to cool in the pan , then slide it out onto a serving plate.

Cut into thin slices and dust with confectioners sugar and cocoa powder . Serve with a drizzle of cream.

Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime Marinated pork skewers


This is a very light and refreshing take on pork , with the citrsusy , floral notes from the lemon grass. It has all the Asian elements of hot , spicy ,sweet and salty.

serves 6 to 8

Corrine Trang

3/4 cup palm sugar

3/4 cup fish sauce

3 lemongrass stalks , trimmed , peeled , and finely grated ( white and light green parts)

4 large garlic cloves , finely grated

4 large fresh kaffir lime leaves , minced

2 tbs vegetable oil

2 lbs pork tenderloin , cut into 1/8 inch thick diagonal slices

18 long bamboo skewers

In a medium bowl , whisk together the sugar and fish sauce until sugar is completely dissolved . Stir in the lemongrass , garlic , kaffir lime leaves and oil until evenly distributed.

Put the pork and marinade in a resealable gallon plastic bag. Squeezing out the air , seal the bag . Holding on to the ends , shake the bag to coat the pieces evenly with the marinade . Refridgerate for 1 hour , turning the bag over every 15 minutes or so to redistrubite the marinade.

Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile , prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill , or preheat a gas grill to 500*F (high).

Thread the pork on the skewers , leaving about 1  1/2 inches free on either end . grill the pork skewers , turning them once , until golden , 1 to 2 minutes . transfer pork to a serving dish .

Spicy Thai Basil and lime Marinated Jumbo Shrimp


Jumbo shrimp is sometimes referred to as Tiger shrimp . They are sold as approximately 10 to a pound . They are sweet , meaty and firm a nd ideal for grilling . The recipe from Corinne Trang , calls for the whole shrimp deveined with the head , tail and shell intact. This marinade marries well with other seafood , such as scallops , lobster tails , squid and other fish steaks .

Serves 6 to 8

Corinne Trang

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

24 jumbo tiger shrimp  , dark vein removed

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice

1/4 cup palm sugar or granulated sugar

1 Tbs vegetable oil

1 large garlic clove , finely grated

1/4 cup packed fresh thai basil , or mint or cilantro leaves , minced

1 or 2 red Thai chillies , stemmed , seeded and minced

In a large bowl , whisk together the fish sauce , lime or lemon juice and sugar , until sugar is completely dissolved. Add the oil , garlic , basil and chili. Puree till smooth.

Place the shrimp and marinade in a resealable gallon plastic bag , holding on to the two ends , shake the bag to coat the pieces evenly with the marinade. Refridgerate for 4 hours , turning bag over every 30 minutes or so to redistribute the marinade.

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill , or preheat a gas grill to 500 *F (high) . Grill the shrimp , turning them frequently to prevent burning , until evenly pink and golden on both sides 2 to 3 minutes.