Archive for ‘Noodles’

October 4, 2010

Dinner, Day Two: Needmore Chicken

Sunday dinner with the family is important to me.  It’s a time when the extended family  is invited (tonight it was Cronus and Rhea) and everyone partakes of a leisurely meal.  It’s a great thing for Cherub, who is three: she gets to practice her table manners and eat something the whole family is enjoying.    

For Local Foods Week, I thought chicken would make for a good Sunday dinner.  As it turns out, Hill Family Farm is in Xenia, about an hour away.  We bought a whole bird and decided to take it the French country route, a riff on a Coq au Vin.  Anthony Bourdain’s recipe in the les Halles Cookbook was a jumping off point.  I used Ohio wines for marinating and for the table.  Since we purchased our bird at Dorothy Lane Market, what better musical inspiration than Dayton’s Guided by Voices.   

Hades has hung with Franz Liszt; gave the odd tip to Stravinsky.  He’s held his own with Shane MacGowan, and there’s a rumor that he wrote the bassline to “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”  In short, he knows music.  He cannot impress upon me the greatness of Guided by Voices often enough.  Its time to rock.  Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, Ohio’s own, Needmore Chicken!    

Needmore Chicken    

1 whole roasting chicken, giblets removed and reserved for another use    

2 parsnips, sliced (ours were from the backyard)    

4 green onions, white parts only, sliced in two lengthwise (we were late to the farmer’s market, feel free to use a whole diced onion)    

Bouquet Garni – cheesecloth wrapped bay leaf, 10 peppercorns, small sprig of fresh thyme, two sprigs of parsley)    

1 bottle of red wine (we used Firelands Cab Sauv)   

  

    

In a large bowl that will hold the chicken comfortably, combine all ingredients.  Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate overnight to 24 hours.    

Notice the lighter parts where a parsnip or chicken wing stuck close to the breast skin during marinating.

 

    

2 T butter    

1 T flour    

Salt and pepper    

After marinating, remove chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Season inside and out with salt and pepper.    

Remove the bouquet garni, and strain the solids out of the marinade, reserving each seperately.  In a large, heavy lidded pot, add 2T of butter and heat over medium high heat until almost smoking.  

    

Using it for its God given purpose.

 

Place the chicken in the pot and sear on all sides until golden brown, turning as needed.  Remove chicken from the pot and set aside.  Tip in reserved vegtables from the marinade and cook until softened, about three to five minutes.  Sprinkle the vegetables with 1T of flour and stir to coat, cook for another minute.  Add back in the chicken, pour in the marinade.  Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer for an hour and 15 minutes.   

1/4 pound bacon ends, chopped finely   

 1 large handful of shitake mushrooms, stems sliced, tops quartered   

 6 to 8 whole baby shallots (or pearl onions)   

Pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, water   

In a small skillet, render the bacon ends until crisp.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.  Keeping only 1 T of bacon drippings, heat over medium high heat and add in the mushrooms.  Sear until browned, remove to same paper towel lined plate as the bacon.  In the same pan, add in the shallots or onions, along with the salt, sugar and water to cover.  Cut a piece of parchment or wax paper to cover the pan, reduce heat to low and cook until the liquid is evaporated and the shallots are carmelized a bit.  Add in two ladlefuls of the cooking liquid from the chicken and reduce until syrupy.  Remove from heat.   

When finished cooking, remove the chicken from the sauce and place on a cutting board to slice up.  Strain the liquid from the pot and add to the skillet with the reduction.  Mix in the bacon and mushrooms, remove from heat and whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter to finish the sauce.   

A simple, elegant appetizer for this meal, or any meal, let’s be honest, is French breakfast radishes with herb butter.  The butter was from Snowville cream, and mixed with backyard herbs (this time, parsley, tarragon, rosemary, basil, and green onion).   

Serve with egg noodles and Provencal tomatoes (tomatoes halved and stuffed with breadcrumbs, parsely, garlic and chopped tomatoes).  Pour a ladle of sauce over the noodles for good measure.   

Meal notes: breadcrumbs for the tomatoes were from the left over biscuits from this morning.  Noodles were from Mrs. Miller’s Homemade Noodles, Fredrickstown, Ohio.  Herbs were from Cronus’s garden.  All other sourcing can be found on the Farms and Producers page.  Wine served with dinner was a 2008 Syrah from Kinkead Ridge, Ripley, Ohio.  

  

Playlist included Bulldog Skin because it totally rocks and it’s my personal favorite GBV, unless you count My Valuable Hunting Knife…

September 22, 2010

At the Noodle Bar with Mr. Bob Harris

When I first saw Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, it took me somewhere I’d never been.  Those beautiful shots, that dreamy music, the insomnia, discovery and wistful alienation not only transported me to Tokyo, but somehow soothed me as well.

I think Bob and Charlotte might’ve shared a dish like this one night between pachinko and karaoke.  It’s simple, but the Japanese flavors, as always, are sneaky in their complexity.  Take your time making it, and take your time eating it.

Sofia’s masterpiece shows us that the unfamiliar can be scary, but that’s always outweighed by new experiences, new acquaintances, and maybe some lessons learned.  Best of all, it gives us some time to think, daydream, or escape.  Again, this may seem complicated, but it’s really only 4 relatively easy steps.  So just organize your mise en place and relax.  These are calming flavors.  You’ll make a beautiful dish.  Most importantly, if only in your mind, you’ll take a wonderful trip.

Charlotte’s Maguro with Somen, Leek Broth, and Crispy Squid

Serves 2

2/3 – ¾ lbs. of Sashimi-grade Tuna steaks

2 “bands” of somen noodles

For the marinade:

2 generous tablespoons of sake

2 generous tablespoons of soy sauce

1 clove of garlic, finely diced

1 teaspoon of mirin

1 squeeze of lime juice, but yuzu is ideal

Combine the marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl, give it a stir, and set it aside for now.

For the broth:

1 heaped tablespoon of miso

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of mirin

1 tablespoon of rice vinegar

a small drizzle of sesame oil

1 leek, white and light green part only, thinly sliced

3-4 shitake mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated finely

In a saucepan over low heat, add the liquid ingredients.  Then whisk in the miso.  Make sure to whisk until thoroughly incorporated, so as not to leave any clumps.  Then add three cups of water, and bring it to just below a simmer.  Finally, add the ginger, mushrooms, and leeks, and set it on the back burner on low heat until you’re ready to serve.

For the Squid:

2-3 small squid, (cleaned, bodies only)

¼ cup of Panko

1 cup of vegetable oil

Pinch of salt

Cut the squid crossways to make rings.  Place the rings in paper lunch bag or small Ziploc bag with the panko and a pinch of salt and shake.  Heat the vegetable oil to 350˚ in a very small sauce pan and carefully drop in the rings.  They will turn golden brown in about a minute or ninety seconds.  Remove the rings onto a paper towel to drain and sprinkle with a little salt immediately.  Be careful not to eat them all before dinner.

Then get the noodles started.  Somen noodles only take about three minutes in vigorously boiling, unsalted water to cook. 

Sear the tuna.  You can make the tuna on your grill, but since its only cooking for about a minute on each side, this is probably overkill.  Instead, just get your grill pan super hot, lay the tuna in (unseasoned), and sear, for about a minute on each side.  Please do not overcook this fish or it will become mealy and horrible.  A note to the novice:  the fish will be a beautiful red/pink on the inside – and that’s how we want it.  (Red if you’re using yellowfin, pink if you’re using albacore.)

Let it rest for a few minutes and slice into ¼ inch pieces.  Then place these pieces in the waiting marinade for about a minute or two on each side.  This has the advantage of giving you time to plate.

To serve:  Place two ladlefuls of broth in the bottom of a shallow bowl.  Heap the noodles atop the broth.  Then arrange the tuna slices atop the noodles.  Finally, sprinkle the bowl nonchalantly with the crispy squid rings.

Serve with at least one Asahi Super Dry.  Please, seriously, do this.

Playlist included Shugo Tokumaru’s whimsical Parachute, and of course the LiT Soundtrack (nerds, I mean serious fans like me, have the bound, deluxe edition).

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