Saturday, April 21, 2007



2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups canned, drained artichoke hearts (two 14-ounce cans), rinsed and cut into halves or quarters
3/4 pound fusilli
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped chives, scallion tops, or parsley

1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the cream, salt, pepper, and artichoke hearts. Cook until just heated through, about 3 minutes.

2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fusilli until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the cream sauce, Parmesan, and chives.

Canned vs. Marinated Artichoke Hearts
We vastly prefer canned artichoke hearts to the marinated type that come in small jars. The marinated ones often have an acrid taste. When using the canned artichokes, drain and rinse them first to remove any "tinny" flavor from the can.

Chicken with Prosciutto and Balsamic

When searing the chicken breasts, be sure to use a large, heavy pan and don’t crowd the food. This would lower the temperature, trap moisture and create steam, preventing the chicken from browning properly. The drippings left in the pan after searing contribute rich flavor to the sauce.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves,
lightly pounded to 1⁄2-inch thickness
3 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus
more as needed
1 1⁄2 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned
2 to 3 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Sprinkle the chicken evenly with the sage and season lightly with salt and pepper. Put the flour in a shallow dish. Dredge the chicken in the flour and shake off the excess.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches, cook the chicken until golden brown underneath, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook until golden brown underneath, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a platter.

Whisk the stock into the pan. Add the prosciutto and vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, return the chicken to the pan and cook, basting occasionally with the sauce, until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a knife, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and serve alongside. Serves 6.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Chicken Cutlets with Artichoke Hearts

Recipe By: Chef John J. Vyhnanek

Serving Size: 2

Preparation Time: 1:00

Amount /Measure/ Ingredient

2 6-ounce chicken breasts, boneless & skinless, well trimmed, pounded to 1/4" thickness

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil, not extra virgin

1 clove garlic , chopped

1 tablespoon shallots, chopped

1 cup mushrooms, quartered

4 ounces dry white wine

4 slices lemon

6 ounces rich chicken stock

1 cup frozen or canned artichoke hearts, cut in quarters

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

salt and white pepper to taste


2 sprigs parsley


Dip the well trimmed and pounded chicken breasts in flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt. In a sauté pan that has been preheated along with the olive oil, put in the chicken breasts as the oil begins to shimmer. Cook until light golden on both sides, about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Now add the shallots, mushrooms and garlic and cook for two minutes (do not brown). Add the lemon slices, white wine and chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is reduced to half its original volume, now about 5 ounces. Season with salt and ground white pepper to your liking (I would start with 2 or 3 dashes of white pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt). Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat and reduce to simmer. Place the artichoke hearts and warm chicken breasts back in with the sauce and cook half-covered for 3-4 minutes to re-heat the chicken. Add the chopped parsley and serve with pasta of your choice; thin linguine is a good choice. Garnish everything with sprigs of parsley.

Note* In Italy this dish is finished at the last minute by adding a mixture of chopped garlic, grated lemon, oregano and, believe it or not-- butter. If you would like to do the same, here's how to make this butter. Combine 2 tablespoons unsalted butter with 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind and a pinch of oregano. Just before serving the dish, blend the butter into the sauce over very low heat, do not boil!



In this recipe, chipotle and dried, smoked jalapeno chiles give the sauce a
smoky heat. Slicing the steak very thin against the grain keeps it tender.

Prep time: 25 minutes plus marinating
Grilling time: 10 to 14 minutes
Degree of difficulty: easy

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 canned chipotle chile,* chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 flank steaks (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs. each), trimmed
Cracked black pepper
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 canned chipotle chiles* (don’t forget to remove the seeds)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Combine lime juice, oil, chile, cilantro and garlic in large non-aluminum
baking dish. Add steaks, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 or
up to 24 hours, turning once or twice. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes
before grilling.

2. Make Chipotle-Honey Sauce: Combine honey, lime juice, chiles, oil, vinegar,
mustard, garlic, salt, cumin and pepper in blender; blend until smooth. Stir in
cilantro. Makes 1 cup.

3. Prepare grill.

4. Grill steak over medium-hot heat 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let stand 5 minutes. Slice very thin against the grain.

Serve with Chipotle Honey Sauce. Makes 8 servings.

*Chipotle chiles are available in Hispanic markets and by mail from Mo-Hotta Mo Betta, 800-462-3220.

Calories 345
Total Fat 19 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Cholesterol 78 mg
Sodium 519 mg
Carbohydrates 11 g
Protein 32 g

Calories 2,000 (F), 2,500 (M)
Total Fat 60 g or less (F), 70 g or less (M)
Saturated Fat 20 g or less (F), 23 g or less (M)
Cholesterol 300 mg or less
Sodium 2,400 mg or less
Carbohydrates 250 g or more
Protein 55 g to 90 g

EXCELLENT SAUCE TOPPING --- (nice compliment or replacement for above)


  • 6 husked and finely chopped tomatillos (1-1/2 cups)

  • 2 to 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, drained, seeded, and finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

  • 1/4 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel

  • 1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh cilantro

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For Chipotle-Tomatillo Salsa, stir together tomatillos, the 2 to 3 finely chopped chipotle peppers, red onion, the lime peel, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon cilantro, 2 cloves garlic, honey, and salt. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to blend flavors.

Salsa Mexicana
Mexican Sauce

If the sweet field-ripened tomato is used to make this classic condiment, which is served in every Mexican restaurant, it is the perfect complement to antojitos. Notice that the ingredients for this salsa should be finely chopped and not put in a blender.

3 ripe tomatoes, chopped

½ cup (4 oz/125 g) chopped onion

4 - 6 chiles serranos, chopped ( we use 1 to 2 seranno chilies, de-seeded… it is always easier to add more chilies to taste)

½ cup (3/4 oz/20 g) chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons lime juice

Combine the tomatoes, onion, chilies, cilantro, salt and lime juice in a sauce dish. Stir well and correct the seasonings. The salsa is bet if prepared 1 hour in advance so the flavors will blend.

Makes about 1 ½ cups


Cooked Tomate Verde Sauce

An earthy, everyday salsa found sitting in bowls on the table of small restaurants throughout Mexico.

3 cups (24 fl oz/750 ml) water

2 ½ teaspoons salt

2 cloves garlic

4 chiles serranos ( We start with 1 to 2, and then taste. You can always add more. We cook the additional chiles at the same time, but separate them and keep them out of the blender until we are satisfied with the degree of spiciness)

1 lb (500 g) tomates verdes, husks removed

½ cup (¾ oz/20 g) loosely packed cilantro (coriander)

¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) chopped onion

* In a saucepan, bring the water and 1 teaspoon of & salt to a boil. Add the garlic, chiles and tomates verdes and simmer, uncovered, for 8—10 minutes. Drain, reserving ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) of the liquid.
* Transfer the garlic, chiles, tomates verdes and liquid to blender. Add the cilantro and remaining salt and puree briefly. Transfer to a bowl.
* Stir in the onion and let the sauce cool before serving. Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
MAKES 2 CUPS (16 FL 0ZJ500 ML)



2 cups plus 3 tablespoons dry white Riesling or Chablis wine
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2-1/2 cups shredded Emmentaler cheese (10 ounces)
1-1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (6 ounces)
1-1/2 tablespoons arrowroot
2 loaves whole wheat French bread
3 tablespoons Kirschwasser liqueur
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

There are two important things for making a successful fondue. First, the cheese must be cooked over a very low heat so it does not become stringy. Second, the fondue must be kept hot at an even, low temperature.


1. In a fondue pot or electric wok,* heat 2 cups of the wine and the garlic over medium heat until air bubbles rise to the surface. Reduce the heat to low and add a handful of cheese to the wine. Using a wooden spoon, stir the cheese until it melts. Add the cheese in small amounts while continually stirring. (Do not worry that the cheese and wine do not blend completely.)

2. Dissolve the arrowroot in 3 tablespoons of wine, then stir it into the fondue. Cook over low heat until the cheese and wine have become a homogeneous mass.

3. Cut the bread into bite-sized cubes, keeping a crust on each cube. Place the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them in the center of a 350oF oven until crisp and lightly browned (about 12 minutes).

4. Add the kirschwasser, pepper, and nutmeg to the fondue and stir until well blended.

5. Using a fondue fork, spear a crisp bread cube and dip it into the gently bubbling fondue. Remember, you owe your partner a kiss if you lose your bread in the fondue.

* A wok's sloping sides make melting and stirring the ingredients easier and retrieving the dunked bread simpler. But, better still, a wok is a natural gathering place for a crowd.

Makes 4 servings.


Enchiladas Verdes

According to Renato Luduc, the writer and poet from the state of Aguascalientes, “After the cock fights, after card games, there is no Aguascalientes visitor or family member who doesn’t go on to savor a plate of chicken enchiladas or some other regional dish at the stands lined up alongside the beautiful gardens of San Marcos.”

Green Enchiladas

1 whole chicken breast, about 12 oz (375 g)
6 cups (48 fl oz/1.5 1) water
5 cloves garlic
1 small onion (4 oz/125 g), 1,4 cut in half, ½ thinly sliced
3 small sprigs parsley
1 carrot, cut into large pieces
2 - 4 chiles serranos
2 lb (1 kg) tomates verdes, husks removed
½ cup (¾ oz/20 g) coarsely chopped cilantro (coriander)
1 tablespoon oil
12 corn tortillas
oil for frying
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) thick cream (crème fraiche) (optional)
1/2 cup (2 oz/60 g) crumbled queso fresco or grated Cheddar cheese (optional)

* Place the chicken, water, 3 cloves garlic, ¼ onion, parsley, salt to taste and carrot in a large saucepan, cover and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove and shred the chicken, reserving the stock.
* Add 2 cloves garlic and the chiles to a saucepan of boiling water. After 5 minutes, add the tomates verdes and cook another 7 minutes. Drain.
* In a blender, purée the tomates verdes with the garlic, chiles and another onion quarter. Add the cilantro and process briefly so that the dilantro is not ground too fine. Add 1 cup (8 floz/250ml) of the reserved chicken stock.
* Heat the oil in a small skillet and sauté the puréed tomates verdes in it. Add 1 teaspoon salt and correct the seasonings. Lower the heat and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add another ½ cup

(4 floz/250 ml) stock.

* Heat ½ in (1 cm) oil in a skillet and fry the tortillas in it until they just begin to soften, 10 seconds on each side. Immerse each tortilla in the warm sauce, then transfer to a plate. Place some chicken in the center of each tortilla, roll up and arrange on a platter. Spoon the warm sauce over the enchiladas, garnish with the sliced onion and add cream and queso fresco if you wish.
* Variation: The enchiladas can be placed in an oven- proof dish, covered with sauce, wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in a preheated oven (375°F/190°C) for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with
Cheddar cheese and return to the oven until the cheese browns slightly.

SERVES 6 Photograph page 50

Italian Broiled Shrimp

20 min

Back in “the good ol’ days”. . . when shrimp was inexpensive, we enjoyed this dish frequently. It is fantastic eating.

18to 24 large (jumbo are better) shrimp

2tbs. all-purpose flour

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup olive oil

Drawn Butter Sauce

4 tbs. butter

2 tbs. all-purpose flour

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 cup hot water

2 tbs. finely chopped garlic

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

1/2 tsp. oregano

Dust shrimp generously with flour. In a flat broiling pan, melt 1/4 cup butter under broiler. Add oil and heat until bubbly Place shrimp in pan, coat with butter-oil mixture. Broil under heat about 3 minutes. Shrimp will not be done.

Prepare Drawn Butter Sauce. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, salt and pepper. Stir well. Whisk in lemon juice and water. Cook about 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and stir until melted. Just before removing from heat, add garlic, parsley and oregano to sauce. Heat about 1 minute. Pour over broiled shrimp and stir until shrimp are coated. Return shrimp to broiler and broil under high heat 3 to 4 minutes, or just until shrimp turn pink. Serve with plenty of French bread to soak up that marvelous sauce. Serves 6.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Tagliolini with Eggplant and Mint



1 pound tagliolini or linguine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, very finely chopped
1 large Japanese eggplant (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces (2 cups)
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 cup chopped canned tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons chopped mint
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese, plus more for serving

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the tagliolini until al dente.

2. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderately high heat until softened, about 1 minute. Add the eggplant pieces in an even layer and cook undisturbed until browned on the bottom, about 1 minute. Cook, stirring a few times, until tender, about 2 minutes longer. Add the vegetable stock and simmer for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and mint, season with salt and pepper and cook over low heat for 4 minutes.

3. Drain the tagliolini, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the skillet along with the butter and 1/4 cup of the Romano cheese and toss well. Add enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to moisten the pasta, then season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve with extra Romano cheese.

--Celestino Drago

This recipe originally appeared in February 2004.