Myanmar

We’ve really enjoyed the Burmese food we’ve eaten in the past year or so. One of our faves is Susan Feniger’s Burmese Melon Salad from Street. I’m not sure I’m ready to own a Burmese cookbook but I’ve read good things about Naomi Duguid’s “Burma: Rivers of Flavor.” Then I saw it on Eater’s list of 21 Essential Cookbooks for 2012.* And then I realized that I had the Food & Wine issue with the recipe pictured in the Eater article. Um, fate. This dish was relatively easy and quick delish. Is Burma (also known as Myanmar) the new black?!

*Also psyched to see our Vietnamese cookbook on the Eater list.

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Fried Rice with Shallots (Naomi Duguid’s “Burma: Rivers of Flavor,” via Food & Wine)

  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil, plus more for frying
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 4 1/2 cups cold cooked jasmine rice (see Note)
  • Salt
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  1. In a small skillet, heat 1/4 inch of peanut oil until shimmering. Add 1/4 cup of the sliced shallots and fry over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried shallots to paper towels to drain.
  2. In a wok or large skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the turmeric and the remaining 1/2 cup of shallots and stir-fry over moderately high heat until the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and 1 teaspoon of salt and stir-fry over high heat for 1 minute. Add the peas and stir-fry until the rice and peas are hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the fried shallots and season with salt. Transfer the rice to a bowl and serve with lime wedges.
Notes If you don’t have leftover rice on hand, you’ll need to cook 1 1/2 cups of rice.

Leftover

Leftover turkey? Meet mole! This was a good recipe but not an all-time fave. I’ve realized I’m not a chili fanatic, but if you are, you might give this a try.

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Turkey Mole Chili (Food & Wine)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons pure ancho or New Mexico chile powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or turkey stock
  • Two 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup finely ground tortilla chips
  • 1 1/4 pounds roast turkey, diced (4 cups)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Rice, warm tortillas, cilantro, chopped onion and sour cream, for serving

Preparation

  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chile powder, cumin and bay leaves and cook for 1 minute. In a small bowl, dissolve the cocoa powder and sugar in 1/4 cup of the broth and add it to the casserole, along with the remaining broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes over low heat.
  2. Stir the beans and ground tortilla chips into the sauce and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add the turkey, season with salt and pepper and simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Serve the chili with rice, tortillas, cilantro, onion and sour cream.
Make Ahead: The chili can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing: Ripe, black berry-inflected Malbec.

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And I decided to follow an actual recipe for the white rice, rather than just the bag. Butter is good. From our new favorite Mexican cookbook by the Border Grill chefs, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.

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White Rice (Mesa Mexicana)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Place the rice in a large bowl (not a colander) and rinse under cold running water for 5 minutes. (If you use a colander, the starch remains on the rice, leaving it sticky.) Drain

Pour the water into a medium saucepan, add the butter and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, salt and pepper and bring back to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

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And for the veg, we tried this super simple, very delicious chard recipe from the Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. Yes, there’s butter. And yes, we’ll be making this one again. And again. And again…

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Seared Greens (Mesa Mexicana)

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches red or green chard or mustard greens
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Trim and discard the stems of the greens and wash and dry the leaves. Stack the leaves, roll into cylinders and cut across the rolls into 1-inch strips.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until bubbly. Saute one-quarter of the greens with 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and a pinch of pepper until the greens are limp, 30 seconds to 1 minute. If the greens begin to brown before they wilt, sprinkle in a few drops of water for steam. Transfer to a covered platter and repeat the procedure with the remaining 3 batches of greens. Serve immediately.

Gumbo!

Ever since going to New Orleans this summer, we’ve talked about how we need to cook up a big pot of gumbo. Tonight was the night! We went with a full-on John Besh-athon. I’ve flipped through his beautiful, monster cookbook, My New Orleans, and was pleased to find it on Google Books! (I’m also linking to the recipe from elsewhere so it’s easier to read.)

Drew’s Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo (from My New Orleans, by John Besh)

Ingredients

For the Creole spices:

  • 2 tablespoons celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

For the gumbo:

  • 1 cup rendered chicken fat or canola oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 large chicken, cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Creole spices (above)
  • 2 pounds spicy smoked sausage, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked off
  • 3 quarts John Besh’s Chicken Stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 ounces Andouille sausage, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced fresh okra
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Filé powder
  • Tabasco
  • 4–6 cups cooked Basic Louisiana White Rice

Directions

For the Creole spices:

Mix together the celery salt, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and allspice in a bowl. Transfer the spices to a clean container with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and store.

For the gumbo:

Make a roux by heating the chicken fat or oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Whisk the flour into the hot oil. It will immediately begin to sizzle. Reduce the heat to moderate and continue whisking until the roux takes on a deep brown color, about 15 minutes. Add the onions, stirring them into the roux with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue stirring until the roux is a glossy dark brown, about 10 minutes.

Season the chicken with Creole spices. Add the chicken to the pot, raise heat to moderate, and cook, turning the pieces until browned, about 10 minutes.

Add the smoked sausage and stir for a minute before adding the celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Add the thyme, stock, and bay leaves. Bring the gumbo to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim off the fat from the surface of the gumbo every so often.

Add the Andouille, okra, and Worcestershire and season with salt and pepper, several dashes of filé powder, and Tabasco. Simmer for another 45 minutes, continuing to skim the fat off the surface of the gumbo. Remove the bay leaves and serve in bowls over rice. Pass more filé at the table.

 

John Besh’s Chicken Stock (from My New Orleans, by John Besh)

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 leek, white part only, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 pound roasted chicken bones and carcass
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Directions

Heat the canola oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Cook the onions, celery, carrots, leeks, and garlic, stirring often, until they are soft but not brown, about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken bones and carcass, the bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, and 3 quarts water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the surface, until the stock has reduced by half, about 2 hours.
Strain through a fine sieve into a container with a cover. Allow the stock to cool, cover and refrigerate, then skim off the fat. Freeze the stock in small batches to use later.

 

Basic Louisiana White Rice (from My New Orleans, by John Besh)

Ingredients

Directions

Put the fat, oil, or butter and the onions into a medium saucepan and sweat the onions over moderate heat until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour the rice into the pan and stir for 2 minutes. Then add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf and salt.

Cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 18 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve.

 

First, a shot of the roux:

Don’t be fooled by the milk chocolate brown color. That is oil and flour. (And non-stop whisking. 15 minutes… and go.)

And now the whole shebang:

A couple notes: I ended up browning the chicken, taking it out, chopping it up, and returning it the the pot. (There didn’t seem to be enough room for everything with the chicken still on the bone. I also recommend doing this a couple pieces at a time, rather than cramming an entire chicken into the pot. Rookie error.) I used andouille sausage exclusively. And in our house, Crystal beats Tabasco. (Hard to find, but worth it.)

 

And for something green, our favorite: Braised Kale (but it was really rainbow chard).

Braised Kale (John Besh)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 3 pounds kale, stems and inner ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. In a very large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, then add the kale in large handfuls, letting it wilt slightly before adding more. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook over moderate heat until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the lid and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

 

Aw man, that was so good. It’s been a long time since we cooked a meat-heavy meal. (True, a few links of sausage have made the rare appearance, but we’ve been vegging out recently.)  This was totally worth the wait. We know what it means to miss New Orleans, but now we know we can cook some of it up right here in LA!

Super Veg Night!

Had a whole lotta veg from the farmers. So I whipped up some old favorites with a new one.

A quick note about the magical Momofuku Roasted Brussels Sprouts: I make these all the time. I have made the rice krispie topping once, and it was good, but you can certainly throw this dish together without it and be blissfully happy.

Just noticed that this is my 100th post. Wawaweewa!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts (David Chang, Momofuku)

For brussels sprouts:

  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For dressing:

  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce (preferably Tiparos brand)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro stems
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (1 1/2-inch) fresh red Thai chile, thinly sliced crosswise, including seeds

For puffed rice:

  • 1/2 cup crisp rice cereal such as Rice Krispies
  • 1/4 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice blend)
  • Garnish: cilantro sprigs; torn mint leaves; chopped scallions

Preparation

Roast brussels sprouts:
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in upper third.

Toss Brussels sprouts with oil, then arrange, cut sides down, in a 17- by 12-inch shallow baking pan. Roast, without turning, until outer leaves are tender and very dark brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Add butter and toss to coat.

Make dressing:
Stir together all dressing ingredients until sugar has dissolved.

Make puffed rice while sprouts roast:
Cook cereal, oil, and shichimi togarashi in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking skillet and stirring, until rice is coated and begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally.

Finish dish:
Put Brussels sprouts in a serving bowl, then toss with just enough dressing to coat. Sprinkle with puffed rice and serve remaining dressing on the side.

 

Braised Kale (John Besh)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 3 pounds kale, stems and inner ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. In a very large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, then add the kale in large handfuls, letting it wilt slightly before adding more. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook over moderate heat until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the lid and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

 

Polenta (Cookus Interruptus)

  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon + 1-2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter
  • 1 cup polenta or corn grits
  • 4-6 tablespoons asiago or pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Bring stock and water to boil in a heavy stock pot. Add salt and 1 tablespoon oil or butter. Slowly add polenta, stirring continuously with a whisk. Turn heat to low and continue stirring in a clockwise motion with a wooden spoon for 30-40 minutes, adjusting heat to maintain a soft puckering of the polenta. The goal is a smooth and thick polenta that looks creamy, grains are less individual.

Stir in the cheese and corn kernels a few minutes before you pour out the polenta.  Lightly oil a pie plate or 8×8 baking dish.  Pour polenta into pan and smooth the top.  Polenta must be completely cooled to set properly.  This will take about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the room temperature).

Serve polenta at room temperature or re-heated. To re-heat, preheat broiler.  Brush top of polenta with a little olive oil and broil 3 minutes.  This re-heat may also be done on a grill (yum).

Preparation time: 50 minutes plus cooling time
Makes 8 slices

 

Sauteed Green Beans with Shallots

No real recipe, but since it’s in the picture: just sauteed in olive oil with shallots, salt, pepper, and red chile pepper flakes.

Zukes and friends

The first trip to the farmers market of the year = another successful veg night!

Our new favorite: Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower

A twist on a recent hit: Braised Swiss Chard (same recipe as Braised Kale)

And a new phenom: Zucchini Pancakes (these were a little too liquidy despite extra flour. Maybe next time I’ll drain some of the zuke liquid before mixing everything else in…)

Just realized that this plate looks shockingly similar to our Hannukah fest dinner:

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower (from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?)

Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
  • 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets
  • 4 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the garlic cloves. Boil for 15 seconds; drain and peel. Cut the largest cloves in half lengthwise.
2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with the garlic, 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp salt, and black pepper. Spread into a single layer and roast, stirring twice, until the cauliflower is tender and the garlic is lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl with the garlic and pan juices. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, parsley, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt, toss well and serve hot or warm. Serves 6.

Braised Kale (John Besh, Food & Wine)

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 3 pounds kale, stems and inner ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a very large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, then add the kale in large handfuls, letting it wilt slightly before adding more. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook over moderate heat until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the lid and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl and serve.
Make Ahead: The braised kale can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Reheat before serving.
Zucchini Pancakes (Barefoot Contessa)

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons grated red onion
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Unsalted butter and vegetable oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Grate the zucchini into a bowl using the large grating side of a box grater. Immediately stir in the onion and eggs. Stir in 6 tablespoons of the flour, the baking powder, salt, and pepper. (If the batter gets too thin from the liquid in the zucchini, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.)

Heat a large (10 to 12-inch) saute pan over medium heat and melt 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil together in the pan. When the butter is hot but not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and drop heaping soup spoons of batter into the pan. Cook the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place the pancakes on a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the pan with a dry paper towel, add more butter and oil to the pan, and continue to fry the pancakes until all the batter is used. The pancakes can stay warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Good jews

We celebrated the Festival of Lights by cooking with olive oil. Another veg night success!

 

Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, peeled
  • 4 large russet or Idaho potatoes (about 3 1/2 pounds), peeled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Applesauce and/or sour cream, for serving

Preparation

Preheat oven to 200°F. Place 2 nonstick baking sheets in oven.

Using box grater or food processor fitted with grating disc, coarsely grate onion and place in colander set in sink. Coarsely grate potatoes, add to colander, and set aside to drain.

In large mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs, then whisk in flour.

Press potatoes and onion to extract as much liquid as possible, then add to egg/flour mixture. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using wooden spoon or hands, mix well, but do not overwork.

In heavy-bottomed, 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter until hot but not smoking. Drop 4 scant 1/4-cup portions of potato mixture into pan and flatten with spatula to form four 3-inch pancakes.

Fry until bottoms are golden-brown, 4 to 5 minutes, then turn over and fry until golden-brown and crisp, an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; season immediately with salt and pepper. Keep warm on baking sheets in oven while making remaining pancakes.

Using paper towels, carefully wipe out pan. Add 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter and fry 4 more pancakes. Repeat with remaining batter, wiping out pan and adding 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter before each batch.

Serve pancakes hot with applesauce and/or sour cream.

Ingredients
  • 3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preparation

Combine apples, 1 cup water and brown sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are very tender, about 25 minutes. Uncover and simmer until almost all liquid in saucepan has evaporated, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and cinnamon. Cool 30 minutes.

Using fork, mash apple mixture until coarse and chunky. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until cold. (Applesauce can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

 

Braised Kale (John Besh, Food & Wine)

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 3 pounds kale, stems and inner ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a very large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, then add the kale in large handfuls, letting it wilt slightly before adding more. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook over moderate heat until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the lid and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl and serve.
Make Ahead: The braised kale can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Reheat before serving.

 

  • One 2 1/2-pound cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°. On a large rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the cauliflower florets with the olive oil. Season them with salt and pepper and toss well. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender and golden brown. Transfer to plates, garnish with the lemon wedges and serve hot or at room temperature.