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Scampied, Pan-Fried Artichokes

Scampied pan-fried artichokes.

 

If you’ve never had crispy, pan-fried artichokes, you’re in for a treat! There is, seemingly, a lot of wasted artichoke with this preparation, but truthfully, you will be getting to enjoy the most edible parts of the vegetable, which is part of the thistle family. My preferred way to cook artichokes (before finishing them either in a pan or in the oven) is the microwave. The next best thing is to use a steamer basket-I don’t ever boil artichokes because this leaves them water-logged. And, as far as flavor goes, you can certainly forgo the addition of garlic and lemon, thus removing the “scampied” components, but these ingredients certainly make the dish more aromatic and delish. This dish scales up easily and, for a great cocktail nibble, use smaller artichokes and, instead of adding the garlic directly to the pan, serve with just a squeeze of lemon and/or a garlicy dip (like an aioli or a chipotle mayo).

Special Equipment:

  • Nonreactive bowl
  • Sharp kitchen scissors
  • Microwave or a steamer insert for a saucepan
  • Nonstick skillet

Ingredients:

  • 2 juicy lemons, one for the acidulated water, one for rubbing on the artichokes and one for finishing the dish (the latter is optional)
  • 4 medium globe artichokes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (or Garlic Confit Oil), as needed
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
  • Coarse kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated, best quality parmesan cheese, to taste (optional)

 

1) To prepare the artichokes for cooking: Fill a nonreactive bowl with cold water and add the juice of one lemon. Toss the  lemon into the water. Using a sharp knife, slice off the top ¼ of the artichoke. Using your hands, rip off all of the leaves that are colored green-tear down to the leaves that are just barely green-more tan in color. (If the tips of the leaves have thorns, use kitchen scissors to snip them off first.) Using a paring knife, trim off the ends of the artichoke stem, then remove just the outer skin of the stems, leaving as much intact as possible. Cut the trimmed artichoke in half, lengthwise and rub the entire exposed artichoke with a cut side of a juicy lemon. Using a spoon, or your thumb in the smaller artichokes, remove the fuzzy leaves from the interior-don’t take too much, however, or you’re cut into the heart. As each half is completed, drop the artichoke into the acidulated water. If doing a large batch, place a piece of wax paper over the top of the water to help keep the artichokes submerged. Continue

 

2) To cook the artichokes in a microwave: Place the artichoke halves, cut sides down, in a glass dish (I use a pie plate) with several tablespoons (about 1/4 cup)  of the acidulated water. Cover the dish taut with plastic wrap, then prick a few holes in the top. Microwave on high for 3 to 6 minutes (depending on their size), just until the base of the artichoke can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. As soon as they’re done, uncover the dish and place the artichokes on a doubled sheet of paper towels, cut sides down, to drain and cool.  If doing this several hours in advance, wrap the artichokes in the paper towels and refrigerate.

 

3) To cook the artichokes using a steamer basket: Place the artichokes in a steamer insert, cut sides down, over boiling water. Cover the pot and steam, as described above, but for several minutes longer. (Start testing after 5 minutes.) Drain and cool as directed.

 

4) To pan-fry and serve the artichokes: Heat a nonstick skillet with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the artichokes, cut sides down, to the hot oil and cook until golden brown, occasionally pressing lightly with a spatula, to help them brown evenly. Turn them over and allow to brown on the other sides. Add the minced garlic and, if desired, the butter, to the hot pan and shimmy the handle to help the butter melt and the garlic disperse. When the artichokes are golden, add a nice dose of salt, some pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Shimmy to help the flavors meld. Serve now, with or without parmesan cheese.

Comments (1)

Savory Clams, Broiled on a Bed of Sea Salt

 

Ahh...

 

If you love baked clams in restaurants, you’ll adore these! My rendition of this old time favorite, known as “clams oreganata” uses the broiler instead of the conventional bake setting on the oven. The raw clams sit, opened and on their half shell, perched on a bed of coarse sea salt and topped with an insanely savory compound butter and then broiled until golden. If desired, you can raw rice under the clams instead of the salt (although it’s not as dramatic looking). I usually make a double batch of the compound butter and store it, in long thin logs, in the freezer.  Because opening raw clams is quite challenging-and can be dangerous-I just ask my fish monger to do this. I ask that the clams be totally removed from their shells and placed, along with their nectar, into a plastic tub. I also take only half the shells home. It’s important to wash and dry the shells well, before putting things together, which will eliminate any chance of a stray piece of shell getting into the mix. And each clam, because of it’s size variation, will require a slightly different amount of butter. I like to be generous, and enclose the clam fully. When ordering Little Neck clams for this, remember that smaller clams are a bit more tender and are also easier for people to eat in one bite-something to think about if serving them with drinks at the start of the evening.

Ingredients

  • 1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely ground savory cracker crumbs such as Ritz or Breton whole wheat crackers)
  • Up to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup minced herbs (mix chives and flat-leaf Italian parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon aromatic dried oregano, crumbled
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine (or use equal amounts of wine and strained fresh lemon juice to make 3 tablespoons)
  • Coarse sea salt or rock salt or Kosher salt, as needed (use raw white rice as a substitute)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 dozen little neck clams, shucked and placed in a plastic container, along with their nectar-Reserve half the shells and discard the rest.
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional
  • Lemon wedges, as garnish

1) To assemble compound butter and chill: Place the softened butter, garlic, crumbs, cayenne, herbs, pepper and wine (and lemon, if using) into a bowl and, using a fork or sturdy rubber spatula, combine well. (If the butter is not very soft, and especially if making a double batch, I usually just use clean hands to squeeze the mixture together, which really distributes the butter more evenly throughout.)  Lay two separate sets of long, tripled,  14-to 16-inch sheets of plastic wrap on your work surface and divide the compound butter on the centers of the plastic. Working with one half at a time, fold one long side of the wrap over the butter mixture and roll it over, totally enclosing the butter in plastic, but not twisting the ends shut. Using your hands, roll gently, helping the mixture to start to resemble a log. Now, lift the log and, while holding one end of the plastic, pull the butter mixture down-going away from you, so that the butter travels down toward the other end. Rotate the log now and pull down on the other end. Keep doing this until you have a long, thin log, no more than 1 inch in diameter. Chill the log until firm. (The compound butter can be frozen for several months. If so, wrap the plastic covered log in foil before placing into the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator for several hours to thaw.)

2) To set up to assemble the clams: Sprinkle a baking sheet or flat, heat proof, decorative serving tray (mine is a large round cast-iron almost-rimless pan, with handles, by Lodge), with an even layer of coarse sea salt (use the coarsest grind you can find). Rinse and dry the clam shells. Place them on paper towels, opened sides up. Have the prepared baking tray close to the filling and clam shells.  Unwrap the compound butter and slice it into 24 slices (each about 1/2-inch thick). Place each clam (allowing the nectar to cling to the meat) on its half shell (still on the paper towels). Lift one slice of butter and flatten it in your hand to help it be able to cover (and enclose) the clam. Place the flattened butter mixture onto the clam. Do this will all the clams, then place them, side by side, on the salt. If the clam tips forward, use your working hand to help plant the bottom of the shell in the salt. The clams can be assembled 1 day ahead and kept well chilled, covered with plastic wrap.

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3) To cook the clams and serve: Position the oven rack place about 6 to 8 inches from the heat source (in my oven, it’s the second shelf from the heating element) and preheat the broiler. Broil the clams for 5 to 10 minutes (depending on their size and the intensity of your heat source), rotating the pan to cook the clams and brown them evenly. If using parmesan, remove the tray and sprinkle the tops of the clams very lightly with the cheese, for the last 2 minutes of the cooking process. Serve with cocktail forks.

Comments (0)

Latkes, Otherwise Known as Potato Pancakes

Crisp on the outside and wonderfully seasoned on the inside, these oil-fried potato pancakes are served during the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. Latkes, like most other traditional Jewish foods, represent much more than just something wonderful to eat. Chanukah commemorates the Jews’ defeat of the Syrians some two thousand years ago and the relighting of the eternal oil in the temple of Jerusalem. Thus during the eight nights of celebration, Jewish people all over the world light their menorahs (usually using candles instead of oil) and deliberately use oil to fry various foods. In this way, the Jewish heritage is kept alive through this annual re-enactment of events that symbolize the struggle, perseverance and ultimate survival of the Jewish people. However, this is one of those traditional recipes that tastes so great that anyone of any heritage will adore and enjoy serving it throughout the year.

Serve these potato pancakes hot, accompanied with Homemade Applesauce.

Any time I’ve suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that’s unfamiliar to you, you can go to Kitchen Management for more information.

Special Equipment

  • Food processor or hand-held grater
  • Triple-mesh strainer
  • 10- to 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet, preferably seasoned cast iron
  • Deep-fry thermometer (optional)
  • Small gravy ladle or 1/4 cup dry measuring cup
  • Spatter shield (optional)

Ingredients

  • 4 large Idaho baking potatoes
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 4 tablespoons matzo meal
  • 2 generous tablespoons chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley and/or fresh chives
  • Kosher or sea salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Flavorless vegetable oil or mild peanut oil, as needed for frying
  • Chopped chives, for garnish

1)To prepare and puree or grate the potatoes: Scrub and peel the potatoes and place them in a bowl of ice water to prevent discoloration and to remove some of the excess surface starch. When ready to fry, remove the potatoes from the water, rub dry and, if using a food processor, cut into chunks. Place the potatoes with the onion wedges into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until fairly smooth. Pour mixture into a triple-mesh strainer that sits over another bowl and place a doubled sheet of paper toweling directly on top of the potato mixture to keep it from turning brown. Allow to drain for 3 to 5 minutes, pressing gently on the paper towels to help remove excess liquid. Alternatively, for a more textural mixture, rub the potatoes and onion against a hand-held grater over a bowl and drain as directed above.

2)To heat the oil: Cover a few wire cooling racks with a double-thickness of paper toweling. Pour vegetable oil into a 10-to 12-inch skillet (preferably cast iron) to measure 1/2 inch. Heat until the top looks shimmering but not smoking (365o F).

3)To assemble the batter: Pour the drained potato mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, matzo meal, chopped parsley and/or chives and mix well with potato mixture. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4)To fry pancakes: Using 1/4 cup dry measuring cup, scoop portions of potato mixture and ease it into the hot oil. Use the bottom of the dry measure or a flat turning spatula (not a spoon) to flatten slightly. Fry until golden brown on both sides (turning once) and, using 2 spatulas to help press out excess oil, carefully remove each cooked pancake from the hot oil to drain on the prepared wire racks. Continue frying until you’ve finished the batter.

5)To serve: Serve hot on a warmed serving tray accompanied by fresh applesauce and, if desired, just before serving, sprinkle the tops of the latkes lightly with chives and salt. (Don’t salt the latkes until just before serving since applying salt to the exterior in advance will cause the potatoes to lose some of their crispness.)

Timing is Everything:

  • The potatoes can be peeled early in the day and kept totally submerged in water. Leave them at room temperature for a few hours or refrigerate for longer storage.
  • The latkes can be cooked up to 4 hours in advance and left at a comfortable room temperature. To reheat, place them on a wire rack that sits within a large shallow baking sheet in a preheated 350o F oven until hot and crisp, about 15 minutes.
  • Cooked latkes also can be frozen in a heavy freezer container separated by sheets of waxed paper. (If planning to freeze them, remove from hot oil when lightly golden but not a deep brown.) To reheat, don’t thaw but heat on a wire rack within a shallow baking sheet in a preheated 400o F oven until hot throughout, brown and very crisp, about 20 minutes. Cover pancakes loosely with aluminum foil (shiny side up to deflect heat), if the latkes start to become overly brown.

SHOPPING LIST

At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients:

Ingredients:

4 large Idaho baking potatoes
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1 extra-large egg
4 tablespoons matzo meal
2 generous tablespoons chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley and/or fresh chives
Kosher or sea salt, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Flavorless vegetable oil or mild peanut oil, as needed for frying
Chopped chives, for garnish

From the produce aisle:
4 large Idaho potatoes
1 medium-sized yellow onion
Flat-leaf Italian parsley
Chives
Coarse kosher or sea salt

From the supermarket shelf:
Vegetable oil
Matzo meal

From the refrigerated section:
Extra-large eggs

Comments (5)

Garlic Toasts for Crostini or Just Good Eating!

To me, this garlic toast recipe is like a favorite pair of shoes. I always pull it out when I want to feel comfortable. In addition to serving them before dinner, with cocktails, they are also a wonderful partner for a salad, a soup meal or a casual supper. When serving these toasts for cocktails, broil them about five minutes before your guests are due to arrive, since the aroma from both, the sizzling garlic and the parmesan cheese provides an awesome way to welcome your friends. Also, if planning to serve the toasts on a platter with further embellishments on top (try my Savory Mushroom Spread, a real family favorite!) don’t apply them until your guests arrive. Usually, after pre-broiling the toasts on both sides, I turn them over so the cheese side is up and I just keep the broiler on. That way, when my guests arrive, I can just run them under intense heat, to freshen things up.

 

Any time I’ve suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that’s unfamiliar to you, you can go to Kitchen Management for more information.

Special Equipment:

  • Large shallow baking sheet
  • For the garlic toasts:
  • 1 stick butter, softened or use ½ cup Garlic Confit oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 10 slices of best-quality, crusty Italian bread with sesame seeds, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • About ½ cup freshly grated best-quality Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. To assemble your garlic butter or oil: Combine the softened butter or oil with the garlic, parsley, basil, if using, and crumbled oregano. Season with pepper.

2. To assemble the garlic toast, in advance of broiling: Spread a thin layer of the compound butter on both sides of the bread slices and lay them on a shallow baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops, only, with the grated cheese and grind on more pepper.

3. To broil the garlic toasts: Position the oven rack close to the heat source and preheat the broiler. A few minutes before you’re ready to serve, broil the bread, turning once, until golden on both sides. After broiling the second side, turn the slices over, so the cheese-side faces up. Serve hot, piled and passed in a linen-lined basket as an accompaniment to soups or salads, or as a bed for a savory toppings.

Timing is Everything

  • The garlic butter can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator, well covered, for a week. If using oil, three days. If using butter, you can also freeze it for up to 1 month.
  • Thaw the butter until very spreadable before using.
  • If your bread is very fresh, the garlic toasts can be fully assembled, but not toasted, two days ahead, and stored in the refrigerator, securely covered. Let the slices come to room temperature before broiling

SHOPPING LIST

At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, softened or use ½ cup Garlic Confit Oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 10 slices of best-quality, crusty Italian bread with sesame seeds, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • About 1/2 cup freshly grated best-quality Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

From the supermarket shelf:

  • Crusty Italian bread or a French baguette, or pocket-less pita bread, for the garlic toast
  • Dried oregano
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (if not using Garlic Confit oil or butter)

From the produce section:

  • Garlic (2 heads)
  • Flat-leaf Italian parsley

From the dairy case:

  • 1 stick butter (if not using extra-virgin olive oil or Garlic Confit oil)
  • Wedge of Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)

Comments (2)

Savory Mushroom Spread

It always amazes me how this meatless spread really does look like perfectly prepared chopped liver. I’ll often include it when I want to serve something savory to my vegetarian friends and family members before dinner. Having said that, my family (most of whom are all devout carnivores) adores this wonderful mixture made from an abundance of mixed sautéed mushrooms, onions, garlic and firm cooked eggs. Jon, my husband, has requested that I keep this mushroom spread in the house all the time, so he can enjoy it for breakfast, on his morning toast!

Any time I’ve suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that’s unfamiliar to you, you can go to Kitchen Management for more information.

Special Equipment

  • Food processor

For the spread:

  • 1/2 pound each, button and shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (or more as needed) Garlic Confit oil or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced into very thin wedges and separated into strips
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
  • Suggested accompaniment: Garlic Toasts or warmed crackers

1. To prepare the mushrooms: Cut off and discard the stems of the shiitake mushrooms and trim away any tough bottoms on the stems of the button mushrooms. Chop the mushrooms, into small but textural pieces and combine them in one bowl.

2. To cook the eggs: Place them in a 2-quart saucepan and add enough cold water to cover the eggs by 2 inches. Place the pan, uncovered, over medium heat and, as soon as the water begins to bubble, sprinkle in a generous teaspoon of salt. Bring the water to a full boil, then cover the pan and remove it from the hot burner. Let the pan sit undisturbed for 15 minutes. Drain and immediately run the eggs under cool water, just until they’re cool enough to handle. While still very warm, crack and remove the shell. Place the eggs in a large mixing bowl.

3. To sauté the mushrooms and onions: Heat a large 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat and, when hot, add 2 tablespoons of the oil. When the oil is very hot, but not smoking, stir in the onions. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are reduced and they begin to turn golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in half of the garlic, reduce the heat to medium-high, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deeply caramelized, about 10 minutes more. (If at any time the pan seems too dry, causing the onions to burn, add a bit more oil.) Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Transfer the onions to a bowl and put the skillet back on the stove, without wiping out the interior.

Heat the same pan over high heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and cook them, stirring frequently, over high heat until they begin to release their juices. Stir in the remaining minced garlic and continue to cook, until the mushrooms turn golden and give off a very savory aroma. (If at any time the pan seems too dry, causing the mushrooms to burn, add a bit more oil.) Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the cooked onions and the chives. Heat the vegetables together, just for a minute, then use a wooden spatula to scrape up any caramelized bits of onions and mushrooms from the bottom of the skillet. Transfer the sautéed mixture to the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a steel blade.

4. To finish the spread: Place the cooked eggs on top of the sautéed mixture and add a good dose of salt and black pepper. Pulse the vegetables and eggs together until finely chopped, but not pureed (the mixture will look exactly like a batch of chopped chicken liver). Transfer the spread to a decorative bowl or crock and smooth the top. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top, then let the spread cool, covered with a doubled sheet of paper towels, at room temperature. Once cool, for best flavor, chill the spread for several hours (or up to two days), leaving the paper towels in place and wrapping over it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Let the dish sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving with garlic toast, or your favorite store-bought crackers, warmed on a shallow baking sheet, in a preheated 350°F oven, for 5 to 10 minutes.

Timing is Everything

  • The spread can be fully assembled two days ahead and kept refrigerated, well covered. Leftovers stay good for a couple of days after that (about 5 days total).
SHOPPING LIST

At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound each, button and shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (or more as needed) Garlic Confit oil or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced into very thin wedges and separated into strips
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
  • Suggested accompaniment: Garlic Toasts or warmed crackers

From the supermarket shelf:

From the produce section:

  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms (mix button or cremini and shiitake)
  • Garlic (2 heads)
  • Large yellow onion (1 large)
  • Chives

From the refrigerated section:

  • Extra-large eggs

Comments (0)

Mama’s Chopped Chicken Liver

If you need more information about any of the cooking terms or equipment requested, just go to Kitchen Management.

Special Equipment

  • 12-inch, heavy-bottomed skillet
  • Food processor or a long sharp chef’s knife

Ingredients:

  • 3 extra-large eggs, firm-cooked and peeled (see step # 1)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons Rendered Chicken Fat
  • 2 extra-large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch sugar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or more chicken fat
  • 1 pound very fresh chicken livers rinsed, patted dry and any connective tissue removed with a knife
  • Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • As Garnish:
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup minced yellow onion or 1 medium yellow onion sautéed in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until deeply caramelized, about 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  • 1 sprig of curly parsley or crisp Gribenes

1) To firm-cook eggs: Place eggs into a 2-quart saucepan. Run enough cold water into the pot to cover eggs by 2 inches. (Don’t run water directly over eggs as the pressure from the tap can cause the eggs to crack.) Place pan, uncovered, over medium heat. As soon as the water begins to bubble, sprinkle in a generous teaspoon of salt. (The salt cushions the eggs from each other as the water begins to move more aggressively.) Bring water to a full boil, cover pan and remove from heat. Let pan sit undisturbed for 15 minutes. Drain and immediately run eggs under cold water until just cool enough to handle. One at a time, tap each egg with the back of a spoon all over to crack the shell. Gently roll the egg between your hands to loosen the shell. Peel off shells and discard. (The yolks of hard-cooked eggs should be bright, bright yellow (almost orange); any greenish film or pungent odor, indicates an overcooked egg.)

2) To caramelize onions: Melt chicken fat in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions, stir to coat with the fat and cook until softened and fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and, if desired, add a pinch of sugar. Cook the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and caramelized, about 25 minutes (I use really large onions, so this takes a while…).

3) To cook chicken livers: When onions are golden, push them to the sides of the skillet and in the center melt the 2 tablespoons butter or add more fat. When hot and bubbling, add chicken livers in a single layer and sear until very golden on one side, about 5 minutes over high heat. Turn the livers over and sear briefly on the second side then cover the pan and reduce the heat to very low. Cook until the livers are just cooked through but retain some pink in the center, about 5 minutes. Uncover skillet, raise heat to high and fold the onions and livers together, scraping up any caramelized bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook about 2 more minutes over high heat. Season the mixture with salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.

4) To process livers: Pour the contents of the skillet into a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add hard-cooked eggs and 1 teaspoon salt. Process mixture using on-off pulses until finely chopped but still somewhat textural. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and fresh pepper until well seasoned. Alternatively, mince cooked livers with onions on a large chopping board using a sharp chef’s knife and mash the cooked eggs separately; combine livers, onions, eggs and seasoning.

5) To chill: Turn mixture into a crock or pretty bowl and cover with paper toweling until cool enough to refrigerate. Then cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, so the flavors can meld.

6) To serve:An hour before serving, remove chopped liver from refrigerator so that it’s only slightly chilled. Sprinkle the top lightly with salt and pepper and either place some minced onion in a 1-inch border around the edge of the bowl or border the chopped liver with caramelized onions. If you’ve got them, you can also sprinkle the top with crisp Gribenes.

SHOPPING LIST

At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients

  • 3 extra-large eggs, firm-cooked and peeled (see step # 1)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons Rendered Chicken Fat
  • 2 extra-large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch sugar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or more chicken fat
  • 1 pound very fresh chicken livers rinsed, patted dry and any connective tissue removed with a knife
  • Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • As Garnish:
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup minced yellow onion or 1 medium yellow onion sautéed in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until deeply caramelized, about 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  • 1 sprig of curly parsley or crisp Gribenes

From the refrigerated section:

  • Extra-large eggs

From the frozen-food section:

  • Rendered chicken fat

From the produce section:

  • Large yellow onions
  • Garlic

From the dairy case:

  • Unsalted butter (if not using all chicken fat)

From the supermarket shelf:

  • Sugar (just a pinch…)

From the meat shelf:

  • 1 pound very fresh, firm chicken livers

Comments (4)

Friends Want Me To Bottle This! Savory Tuna Spread


This dip is so popular with my friends and students that I’ve been asked to manufacture it in bulk, bottle it and sell it to the public! As delicious as this is, however, it only takes a few minutes to prepare. I don’t suggest using a blender in place of a food processor since the blender tends to give the dip an undesirable mousse-like texture. If a food processor is not available, use a chef’s knife to mince together finely the tuna, scallions, anchovies and garlic before incorporating the remaining ingredients.

Special Equipment

  • Food processor or chef’s knife

Ingredients

  • 1 can (6 ounces) light tuna, preferably packed in olive oil, drained
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Scant 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 scallions (green onions), coarsely chopped (trimmed white parts and 1 1/2 inches of the tender green)
  • 2 teaspoons strained fresh lemon juice
  • 4 or 5 firm anchovy fillets, drained and torn into pieces
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Suggested Accompaniments

  • Assorted raw vegetables
  • Garlic toast
  • Warmed crackers
  • Sliced un-toasted crusty Italian bread

1) To assemble the dip: Put all the ingredients, except capers, black peppers and accompaniments, into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until well blended. Remove to a bowl and fold in chopped capers. Grind in some fresh black pepper. (Or finely mince together all of the solid ingredients with a chef’s knife and stir in mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice and pepper.) Refrigerate (well covered) until serving time.

2) To serve: Surround the spread with assorted raw vegetables or a pile of hot slices of freshly broiled garlic toasts or a basket of warmed crackers or spread on slices of crusty Italian bread.

Timing is Everything

• Make this spread two days ahead and refrigerate securely covered.

• If serving this spread with assorted raw vegetables (crudites), the vegetables can be prepared a day ahead and kept well covered in the refrigerator.

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Garlic Confit With Cracked Pepper and Herbs

This is one recipe that I prepare every week (without fail) and use it almost every day. Whole garlic cloves, still in their papery skins, simmer away, at the barest bubble, in extra-virgin olive oil that’s laced with dried red pepper flakes, cracked black peppercorns, fresh basil and crumbled dried Herbs de Provence. If your stove doesn’t have a very low simmer mode, I suggest using a “flame-tamer” to protect the integrity of the oil. You might need to adjust the timing a bit. I use the oil to brush on meat, fish, poultry and vegetables before (and even after) grilling, roasting or pan-searing. I also serve the garlic-scented oil with the tender nuggets of cooked garlic (still in their skins) in small bowls, at the table. We squeeze out the garlic meat onto slices of crusty bread, and drizzle some of the oil on top and finish it off with a light sprinkle of coarse salt.

I hope you love this condiment as much as we do, and remember, any time I’ve suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that’s unfamiliar to you, you can go to Kitchen Management for more information.

For garlic confit:

  • 3 or 4 whole heads garlic, broken into individual cloves but not peeled (remove any excess papery skins)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 rounded teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
  • large sprig of fresh basil (with stem attached)
  • Pinch dried Herbs de Provence, crumbled (optional)

1. To simmer the garlic cloves: Place them in a 1-1/2 quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and add enough extra-virgin olive oil to cover the cloves by 1 inch. Crack open black peppercorns, using either a mortar and pestle or, lay the peppercorns on a sturdy work surface and cover them with a clean kitchen towel. Give the peppercorns several swift whacks, until most are split open. Add the cracked pepper and dried pepper flakes, if using, to the oil and place the pan over very low heat.

After about 5 minutes, you’ll see the oil begin to bubble. Let the oil and garlic simmer extremely gently for 10 minutes, uncovered. Don’t let the oil simmer too briskly or the garlic might burst and actually jump out of the pan (I once found a few cloves clinging to my kitchen ceiling!) Add the basil sprig and let cook for another 5 minutes (Again, the word “cook” seems too aggressive should only barely move.) Add the Herbs de Provence, if using and remove from the stove.

2. To cool and store: Let the garlic confit cool and then remove the basil. After you’ve used what you need for that day, store the rest in the refrigerator, in tightly covered jar, to use throughout the week. For best flavor and ease of use, bring the oil to room temperature, before using.

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TO MARKET, TO MARKET FOR GARLIC CONFIT

At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients

For garlic confit:

  • 2 whole heads garlic (or more), broken into individual cloves but not peeled (remove any excess papery skins)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 rounded teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Pinch dried Herbs de Provence, crumbled (optional)

From the produce section:

  • Whole heads garlic (Buy several, making sure that the heads feel meaty with cloves that are full and plump. Avoid those with dry, puckered papery skins or green spouts, since this indicates old age.)
  • Fresh basil

From the supermarket shelf:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

From the spice section:

  • Herbs de Provence (optional)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Whole black peppercorns (optional)

Watch the Video.

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White Bean and Garlic Dip

No, I’m not crazy for listing ten cloves of garlic in this smooth, silky and oh-so-savory bean dip. When you cook garlic very slowly in hot olive oil, the flavor becomes much milder than when eaten raw. Of course, if you want to use less garlic, you certainly can–that’s one of the benefits of home cooking–it’s personalized! When covered securely, this dip stays great sitting in the fridge for a few days, so it’s a dip that can take care of you and your guests all through the weekend. Wide strips of sweet red bell peppers and endive, standing decoratively in separate pretty dishes or stemmed glasses, make colorful (and nutritious!) accompaniments.

For something crisp and wonderful to use as a scoop, try some delicious Savory Garlic Pita Chips, which also can be made well ahead. Any time I’ve suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that’s unfamiliar to you, you can go to Kitchen Management for more information.

Special Equipment

  • Food processor

For the bean dip :

  • 3 generous tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (19 ounces) can, plus one can (9 or 10 ounces) white cannelini beans, drained
  • 10 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, but highly suggested)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Conventional Cooking

1) To assemble the dip:Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat and, when warm, add the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and reduce the heat to low. Sauté very gently, until tender but barely colored, 5 to 8 minutes, occasionally stirring with a flat edge spatula to redistribute. Stir in the thyme, parsley and red pepper flakes (if using), and let heat for a few seconds, just to release the herb’s flavor. Drag the pan to a cool burner. Pour the drained beans into the food processor, fitted with the steel blade. Add the sautéed garlic and any surrounding olive oil and the lemon juice. Purée until smooth. Add salt and black pepper to taste (mixture should be well seasoned).

2) To store and serve: Scrape the bean dip into a crock and chill, well covered, until 30 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh vegetables and Savory Garlic Pita Chips.

Timing is Everything

  • The bean dip can be made 2 days ahead and kept refrigerated, well covered.
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At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients

  • 3 generous tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (19 ounces) can, plus one can (9 or 10 ounces) white cannelini beans, drained
  • 10 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, but highly suggested)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

From the supermarket shelf:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (19 ounces), plus 1 can (9 or 10 ounces) white cannelini beans

From the spice section:

  • Black pepper (preferably whole, to grind at home)
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

From the produce section:

  • 3 heads garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 juicy lemon

Comments (111)