HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chicken, Sausages and Sage: One dish cooking at its best.

In the roasting pan, a one dish wonder!


         The bones for this recipe came from a famous English cook and television personality who shall remain nameless.  It’s not that I don’t devour the prose in the cookbooks the chef’s written.  It’s beautiful and seductive.  But when it comes to the recipes I’ve tried, I am sure the chef in question would request anonymity.  In my experience, they’ve led to some seriously flawed dishes.  A curry that was swimming in more liquid than Lake Ontario comes immediately to mind.  A cake that collapsed, on not just the first attempt at baking it, but the next as well.  I am not sure what the cause is.  Translating metric ingredients into cups and ounces?  Un-tested recipes?  So you may ask why then would I tempt fate again?  I was seduced by a photograph showing deeply golden chicken and perfectly browned sausages.   The dish not only looked fantastic, it had been vetted at the kitchens of Food and Wine Magazine under the supervision of the great Grace Parisi, for whom I have undying respect.  So I tossed aside worries about its principle author and made it for a Sunday supper, adding a few ideas of my own.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Three authentic Austrian cookie recipes from Her Ladyship, Martha Stracey


From top to bottom:
Husaren-Krapferln (Cavalry Puff-balls) Marillenringe  (Apricot Rings)  
Vanillekipferln (Vanilla Crescents)
Lady Martha is a hands-on cook
         As Christmas approaches, the bakers come out in force looking for cookie recipes.  By my count, Andrew has 6 new soft cover cookie cookbooks  and magazines stacked up and ready to go out to the beach for the holidays. So it shouldn't have come as any surprise that the post you are reading, which was first published last Christmas, is wildly popular. It's been downloaded over 2000 times. And this year, it's been joined by another Austrian recipe for a cake. So by all means take a look at it as well: http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2013/12/bsoffener-kapunziner-family-favourite.html  And it comes with a wonderful story as well. But first, here are the cookie recipes.
          When I was growing up in Montreal, an English cousin of mine came out to Canada to attend McGill University.  Although not initially planned, Simon ended up moving into our house and taking over the basement and staying for the duration.  He became a complete member of the family doing things like volunteering to be a rifle instructor for my class of adolescent boys and other thankless tasks.  Later he would serve as my best man.  Along the way, Simon met Martha, a completely charming young woman who had come to Canada from her native Innsbruck, Austria. They married, had two tow-headed daughters and, much to the surprise of many, decided to go back to England.  His family was there and Simon had assumed his hereditary baronetcy.  Henceforth he was to be called Sir John Stracey.  Martha, in turn, became Lady Stracey.

Monday, December 10, 2012

2 Hanukkah Favorites from Ina Garten: Simplest Ever Potato Latkes and Baked Applesauce



The Shammash being used to light the
candles on the Hanakkah Menorah
         Saturday was the first day of Hanakkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.  The holiday, which is celebrated every December, commemorates the time when a small army of Jews defeated the Syrian King Antiochus IV (ca 215-164 B.C.) who had taken over Jerusalem and vowed to destroy Judaism.  Antiochus had filled the Jewish temple with Syrian idols.  In a surprise attack, led by Judas Maccabee, the small Jewish force recaptured Jerusalem and reclaimed their temple.  But when they went to light their holy lamps, they found only a single vial of oil. Lo and behold, this tiny amount of oil kept the lights burning for eight days.  This was declared a miracle.  Now, during the eight days of Hanakkah, every night celebrants light a candle in a Menorah (a candle holder with places for 9 candles ). They also exchange small gifts and make donations to the poor.  The ninth candle, called the shammash, has only one purpose: to light the other eight.  Since no Jewish festival of any kind is unaccompanied by glorious food, Hannakah is no exception.  And of all the dishes served, none is more closely linked to the Festival of Lights than the latke or potato pancake.  And of course, there’s a story attached to the Hannakah latke as well.  And it’s a doozy.