Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Spring Pasta with Chicken Ragù, Fennel and Peas

Pasta is one of my comfort foods.  There is something so satisfying about a big bowl of pasta, the flavors of the sauce melting into the noodles, grated or shaved Reggiano Parmigiano cheese topping the dish and there, at the bottom of the bowl, the final liquid-y bites ready to be sopped up with a hunk of great Peasant bread. The warmth a pasta dish can bring to a cold winter’s night is irresistible but I really don’t want to give it up once Spring arrives. And with this take on pasta sauce, you don’t have to.  It’s a lighter sauce, a ragù with a velvet-y texture that uses whole milk in lieu of the heavy cream used in winter’s sauces.   And with green English Peas, fennel fronds and parsley, it even looks spring-like. The chicken is tender to the bone and has a nice smoky flavor that comes from its being cooked with bacon. It’s a great dish and it won’t take all day to make.  Not quite.  

Monday, April 3, 2017

Bobby Flay’s Salmon Burgers with Hoisin Barbecue Sauce

I like Bobby Flay.  For quite a few years, I worked above his ‘store’. That would be his late lamented Mesa Grill. At Mesa, his take on Southwestern cuisine virtually introduced New York to the flavors of that part of the country.  Of course, along the way, he reinvented dishes left, right and center.  There were his scrumptious Blue Corn Pancakes with Barbequed Duck.   And then there was the spicy heat and sweetness of his Ancho Chile Honey Glazed Salmon.  So a couple of years ago, when I ran across Bobby’s recipe for Salmon Burgers, I couldn’t wait to try them. Since then they've become a favorite full of the lush flavor of Salmon given a kick with his Asian-inspired Hoisin Sauce.  Oddly enough, while Bobby has been building a Burger Empire, his salmon burger has yet to make the menu.