Thursday, September 15, 2016

Zuni Cafe Roast Chicken and Bread Salad

Adapted from the Zuni Cafe, San Francisco
 Serves 2 to 4
One small chicken, approx. 3 pounds
4 tender sprigs fresh thyme, marjoram, rosemary or sage
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 to 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
A little water

At least one day before serving, slide a finger under the skin of each of the breasts, making 2 little pockets as well as on the thickest section of each thigh. Using your finger, shove an herb sprig into each of the 4 pockets. Season the chicken liberally all over with salt and pepper. Cover loosely and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Choose a shallow flameproof roasting pan or dish barely larger than the chicken, or use a 10-inch skillet with an all-metal handle ( cast iron frying pan is perfect). Preheat the pan over medium heat. Wipe the chicken dry and set it breast side up in the pan. It should sizzle.

Place the chicken in the pan in the center of the oven and allow to start browning within 20 minutes.  The skin should blister, but if the chicken begins to char, or the fat is smoking, reduce temperature by 25 degrees. After about 30 minutes, turn the bird over — drying the bird and preheating the pan should keep the skin from sticking. Roast for another 10 to 20 minutes, depending on size, then flip back over to recrisp the breast skin, another 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the oven and turn off the heat. Lift the chicken from the roasting pan and set on a plate. Carefully pour the clear fat from the roasting pan, leaving the lean drippings behind. Add about a tablespoon of water to the hot pan and swirl it.

Slash the stretched skin between the thighs and breasts of the chicken, then tilt the bird and plate over the roasting pan to drain the juice into the drippings. You can let it rest while you finish your side dishes (or Bread Salad). The meat will become more tender and uniformly succulent as it cools.

Set a platter in the oven to warm for a minute or two.  Tilt the roasting pan and skim the last of the fat. Place over medium-low heat, add any juice that has collected under the chicken, and bring to a simmer. Stir and scrape to soften any hard golden drippings.

Cut the chicken into pieces, spread on the warm platter on top of the Bread Salad.

Zuni Cafe Bread Salad
Adapted from the Zuni Cafe, San Francisco
Generous 8 ounces slightly stale, chewy, peasant-style bread
6 to 8 tablespoons mild-tasting olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon dried currants plumped in 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon warm water for ten minutes or so
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 to 3 garlic cloves, slivered
1/4 cup slivered scallions (about 4 scallions)
2 tablespoons lightly salted chicken stock or lightly salted water
A few handfuls of arugula, frisée, or red mustard greens, carefully washed and dried

Preheat the broiler. Carve off all of the bottom and most of the top and side crusts from your bread and tear into irregular 2- to 3-inch chunks. You should get about 4 cups.
Toss them with just a tablespoon or two of olive oil, lightly coating them, and broil them very briefly, just to lightly color the edges. Toast the pine nuts under the broiler tray as well, but watch them very carefully — they cook quickly!

Combine about 1/4 cup of the olive oil with the Champagne or white wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Toss about 1/4 cup of this tart vinaigrette with the torn bread in a wide salad bowl; the bread will be unevenly dressed. Taste one of the more saturated pieces.

Heat a spoonful of the olive oil in a small skillet, add the garlic and scallions, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until softened. Don’t let them color. Scrape into the bread and fold to combine. Drain the plumped currants and fold them in, along with the pine nuts, if they were not already mixed with the bread scraps from the broiling step. Dribble the chicken stock or lightly salted water over the salad and fold again.

Pile the bread salad on the serving dish you want to use and tent it with foil. Place the salad in the oven after you flip the chicken the final time, for about 5 to 10 minutes. Tip the bread salad back into the salad bowl. Drizzle and toss with a spoonful of the pan juices. Add the greens, a drizzle of vinaigrette, and fold well.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Plain Pound Cake

A perfect summer dessert to slice into and serve with the fresh raspberries and blueberries now in season on the East End.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large Organic eggs at room temperature
3 cups of flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cups buttermilk at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. 

Cream the butter and sugar until light & fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time. 

In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.  In another bowl, combine buttermilk and vanilla.  Add flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with flour. 

Divide batter evenly into pans and smooth tops.  Bake for 45 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes.  Take out of pans and cool on rack completely.  Store in the fridge. 

Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Frittata Dell' Ortolano

Recipe courtesy of Lauren Lombardi of Lombardi's Love Lane Market. Keep an eye for Lauren's cookbook on sale this Spring for more great recipes.

This frittata is named after the Italian farmers who sell their produce in the local markets. 


12 Browder's Organic Eggs
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 bunch of asparagus
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp olive oil
Handful of cherry tomatoes


Whisk the eggs, Pecorino, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In a 12-inch frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat.  Saute the sliced potatoes for about 5 minutes then sprinkle with salt.

Trim off the ends of asparagus and cut into 1-inch pieces.  Add to potatoes.  Add chopped shallots, stir and continue to saute for another 15 minutes, until vegetables are soft.

Add the egg mixture.

With a spatula, even out the top and gently lift the sides to allow the egg to fill in the spaces.  Continue to do so while the eggs are settling for about 3-4 minutes over medium low heat.

Turn the oven onto broil.  Pace cherry tomatoes on the top and broil in oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove and let stand for about 2 minutes.

Loosen from the skillet with a spatula and slide onto a plate.  Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Classic Coconut Cake

Note: Room temperature ingredients make all the difference in this cake.


2 cups all purpose flour
1-1/3 cups sweetened, flake coconut
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 duck egg yolks
5 duck egg whites, at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar
1 package of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray; line bottom of pans with parchment paper rounds.

Mix flour and coconut in medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk and baking soda in small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks and beat to blend. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions, beating just to blend after each addition. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon salt in another large bowl until peaks form. Add 1/3 of egg white mixture to batter; fold into batter just to blend. Fold in remaining egg white mixture in 2 additions. Divide batter between pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around sides of cake pans. Invert cakes onto racks. Carefully peel off parchment. Cool cakes completely.

Using electric mixer, beat sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in large bowl until blended. Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting. Place second layer, flat side up, atop frosting. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle some of coconut over top of cake; pat more coconut on sides of cake.

DO AHEAD: can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Duck Egg Donuts

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
2 duck eggs
3/4 cup milk

Heat your cooking oil in a small cast iron pan, so it is about half full, and heat to 375 degrees- if the oil is not hot enough, the dough will just absorb the fat, not fry properly.

Mix 1 1/2 cups flour with rest of the ingredients, blend 30 seconds on low speed, and then 2 minutes on medium. Scrape the batter off the sides of the bowl into the middle. Stir in remaining flour, mix and turn dough out onto a floured board. Roll to about 3/8 inch thick and cut with a floured doughnut or biscuit cutter.
Slide doughnuts into hot oil, just covering the surface area of the pan. After about 2 minutes, they should rise to the surface, now flip them over. Cook another 2-3 minutes on the other side, then carefully remove them without pricking the surface and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Continue with the remaining doughnuts. Eat as is, or sprinkle with sugar.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Avgolemono Soup

A Greek staple that is made in two parts:  chicken broth plus a rich egg-lemon sauce. 

1 whole Organic chicken
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
2 onions
1 tsp salt
pinch pepper
8 quarts of water
1-1/2 cups orzo

3/4 cup flour
1-1/2 cups water

7 egg yolks, whisked
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1. Add chicken and vegetables to water.  Cover, bring to boil and simmer 1 hour.  Skim any inpurities.  Strain broth.  Cool chicken and shred.

2.  Add broth back to pot and simmer with Orzo.  Whisk together flour and 1-1/2 cups water and slowly stir into broth and let thicken. Turn off heat and let rest 10 minutes. 

3.   Whisk the lemon juice and egg yolks to make a sauce, and add to the pot slowly while whisking together.  To serve, top each bowl of soup with shredded chicken.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Brunswick Stew

This dish was originally made with squirrel (!), but chicken makes a practical substitute. Serve in bowls topped with hot rice, if desired. 

4 to 6 servings.

1 (4-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 teaspoons of salt
Paprika to taste
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
1 medium green pepper, diced
3 cups of water
2 cups canned tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups whole-kernel corn
2 cups lima beans
1 pound potatoes, peeled and quartered

1.  Sprinkle chicken with 1 tsp salt and paprika.  Heat oil in a deep kettle and brown chicken on all sides.

2.  Add the onions and green peppers and cook until onions are transparent.  Add the water, tomatoes, parsley, remaining salt, Tabasco and Worcestershire and bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.  Add the corn and lima beans and cook 20 minutes longer.

3.  Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until tender, drain and mash.  Add to the soup and stir. Cook 10 minutes longer.