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Green & Wax Bean Salad

This is the season for string beans and my garden is bursting with them. My wax beans need to be harvested twice a day when it’s warm and sunny. As a result, I make a variation of this salad every week or so during the summer. It’s great for company as a make ahead side dish or first course and it’s great to make a batch to have as a snack or lunch item during the week. This version of adapted from Jerusalem, one of my favorite cookbooks by Yotam Ottolenghi. His new book, SIMPLE, will be published in October and of course I have pre-ordered it and will post a review when I begin to try the recipes!

¾ pound wax beans

¾ pound green beans

1 yellow pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips

1 red pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips

¼ cup olive oil

3-5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1/3 cup capers, washed and drained

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp coriander seeds

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

1/3 cup fresh tarragon, chopped

½ cup Italian parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill or 2 tsp dried dill

Grated zest of 1 large lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated zest of 1 large lemon

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and toss in the wax beans for 1 min. Then toss in the green beans and continue boiling them for another 4 min. Drain and submerge them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When cool, spread on a kitchen towel to dry. Add them to a large bowl.

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a heavy skillet (my favorite is cast iron) and add the pepper strips and saute for several minutes until starting to brown but not soggy. Remove them from the skillet and add to the beans.

Add 3 Tbsp more olive oil to the skillet. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 20-30 seconds. Add the capers for another 10 seconds. Add seeds for another 10 seconds. Remove from the stove and add the contents of the pan to the bowl of beans and peppers, using a rubber spatula to add every drop of the luscious olive oil mixture. Toss the mixture, adding the scallions, herbs, lemon zest and S&P if using. This can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. Make sure to serve this at room temperature for the richest flavor!

Sesame Asparagus

 

Whenever I can find fresh asparagus, I find myself buying 2 pounds just to make this simple but elegant dish. I sometimes peel the asparagus if the stalks are very large or the skin seems thick.

All you need to do is to place the asparagus on a plate or in a glass container such as the one shown here and microwave for approximately 90 seconds per pound. Then immediately plunge the asparagus in icy cold water with lots of ice cubes to stop the cooking. Then drain the stalks and pat dry on an absorbent kitchen towel.

Simply drizzle some toasted sesame oil (about 2-3 tsp per pound) and sprinkle with white and/or black sesame seeds. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days, but I find it seldom lasts that long. It makes a great snack, a colorful addition to a salad or lunch, or heated for a great side dish for dinner. It’s also a great dish to bring to a picnic or pot luck…

Tired of the the same old Chicken?

the-indian-family-kitchen-image

Many of my clients who are trying to include more chicken in their diets instead of red meat complain that they are tired of chicken. Here’s a recipe that is sure to awaken your interest in the bird! This is an Indian version of Drunken Chicken adapted from The Indian Family Kitchen: Classic Dishes for a New Generation by Anjali Pathak. My daughter gave me this book and I am working my way through it as summer produce such as baby eggplants pictured on the cover becomes more available.

Drunken Chicken recipes are found in cuisines from Asia to Latin America and the Mediterranean. They often include beer, wine or some other types of alcohol which are often used to marinate the chicken. This recipe uses beer but it never actually touches the chicken. The alcohol serves to release the flavors of the seasonings in the pan and helps to infuse the chicken with flavor without actually adding alcohol or calories. So the kids can enjoy this too! I make it with Gluten free beer for my husband and it’s become one of his favorites. I especially like spatchcoking the chicken since it cooks in half the time and it also cooks more evenly…

  • 1 12 oz bottle of beer (or gluten free beer, non-alcoholic beer, hard cider or root beer)
  • 1 Tbsp peeled and chopped ginger
  • Grated zest of a lime (save the lime for squeezing over the chicken when it’s served)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3-4 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 fresh red chili or jalepeno pepper, roughly chopped
  • About 2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3.5 pound chicken, spatchcocked to lie flat in the pan

Preheat your oven to 400F. Pour the beer in a deep roasting pan. Add the ginger and garlic.

To make the rub use a food processor (I like to use my Cuisinart Mini-prep for this). Grind up the cumin seeds first, then add scallions, garlic, pepper and rosemary. Pulse or grind the ingredients before stirring in the smoked paprika, turmeric, oil, salt and pepper. Mix well to form a paste and rub it all over the chicken, inside and out making sure to rub some under the skin.

Lay the chicken cut-side down on a rack in the roasting pan. Cook for 40 min or longer, using an instant read thermometer to tell when the chicken reached 160F. Turn on the broiler and allow the skin to crisp up for about 5 minutes but watch it closely to prevent burning. You can also skip the broiling and leave the chicken in the oven for approx 8-10 extra minutes if you’re going to remove the skin anyway.

Rest the chicken for 10 minutes before serving with a squeeze of lemon and a crisp salad or sides of green beans and cauliflower.

 

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