Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Honey-Roasted Chicken w/Herbs de Provence Gravy

Serves 4

Honey and the herbs found in this French Mediterranean blend make for an ideal partnering. Add in fresh, tender chicken breasts, coat them in the silky, herbaceous, and subtly sweet gravy, and be prepared to be smitten.

2 whole chicken legs
2 bone-in split chicken breasts
4 TB. butter, melted
3 TB. honey
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. Herbs de Provence
Several grinds of black pepper
1 cup white wine
2 TB. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken stock

1. preheat oven to 420 degrees
2. rinse chicken under cold running water. pat dry.
3. whisk the melted butter, honey, sea salt, Herbs de Provence, and black pepper in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
4. place chicken pieces in a large cast-iron skillet. pour sauce over the chicken, and toss with tongs to coat.
5. leave chicken skin side up. pour white wine into the pan.
6. place skillet in oven. cook for 45 minutes.
7. remove pan from oven. using tongs, transfer the chicken onto a separate plate.
8. return skillet to stovetop. cook remaining juices over medium high heat for 3 minutes until some of the liquid is cooked off.
9. add flour to the skillet; stir constantly for 1 minute.
10. add the chicken stock; stir constantly for a couple minutes until it reaches a thickened gravy-like consistency.
11. Drizzle gravy over the reserved chicken pieces and serve.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Today I am thinking of Barcelona

From "The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria", often simply referred to as La Boqueria to Espai Sucre which serves you the most gastronomical experience for a sweet tooth lover, I am remembering my past travels to Spain. Spaniards are food lovers! Experience this for yourselves. Every corner is filled with sidewalk cafes and restaurants and this is the place where they like to gather. Young and old alike enjoy conversation and spirits until the wee hours of the evening.

Some day I hope to go back to this place where I learned not just what I love about Catalan and it's many flavors, but also because it was a time when I was experimenting with who I was. I could not imagine a time and place of any other for this experience.

Today I am remembering it: beaches, boquerones, boats, La Sagrada Familia, Paseo de Gracia, Desigual, tapas, tapas, tapas..............

I have not deciphered yet what changed in me or how I wanted to change, but somehow it did. It was a type of redemption or some sort of spiritual awakening. I was not there just to explore the sights, but it was a place where I believe that only God had could have sent me. Wow!!! Did I really say that!!! I am at least going to fake sleepiness and continue this tomorrow.....Good night!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Butternut Skillet Soup w/ Fresh Chile Recipe



  • 3-4 tbl. EVO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 2 med-large onions cut into 1/4" dice
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 to 4 large jalapenos
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 14oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs butternut peeled, seeded, 1" chunks
  • 8-10 cups low sodium broth
  • topping:
    • grated peel of 1 large lime
    • juice of 2 limes
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  1. Stir in onion, salt & pepper. Stir in garlic, half the chilies and the thyme. Blend in vinegar scraping up the brown glaze from the bottom of the pan.
  2. Boil down the vinegar. Add the wine and boil it down until none remains.
  3. Blend in tomatoes. Add squash & broth. Cover and cook 30 minutes or until squash is tender. Taste. Cool, then puree half the soup.
  4. Set soup to room temperature or refrigerate up to 4 days.
  5. Blend together toppings just before serving and garnish on top of the soup.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quick and Easy Dinners

  • Roasted Pork Tenderloin
  • (about 3-4 lbs)
  • 3 - 4 Tbl of ea. kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 3 - 4 Tbl of ea. herb de provence
  • 3 - 4 Tbl. olive oil
  1. Make sure your pork is at room temperature. Let stand for about 30-45 minutes to take the chill out.
  2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees
  3. Rub kosher salt and fresh ground pepper (I use a coffee grinder for the whole peppercorns)
  4. Add some herb de provence to the rub
  5. drizzle the olive oil liberally over the pork making sure that the fatty side is up
  6. cook on high (475) until it is nice and crusty on the outside, then lower heat to medium (350) for the last 30 minutes......cook pork for about 60-90 minutes.......or make sure it is not tender to the touch.
  • Curried Rice with Dried Cranberries (or Cherries)
  • 4 cups of cooked rice
  • 3 - 4 tsp. of ea.fresh minced ginger and minced garlic
  • 4 cups of long grain rice
  • 3 -4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  1. cook rice
  2. using a wok, coat pan with olive oil
  3. saute ginger and garlic (making sure you have high heat, but do not burn it)
  4. add the rice and season with curry powder. cook for about 10 minutes until rice is completely coated with the oil and curry powder. Stir often.
  5. add dried cranberries at the very last and turn off to let it steam not over cook!
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Balsamic vinaigrette w/shallots and Dijon mustard
  • 4 tsp. of dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 3 tsp. of shallots
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar to blend.
  2. Slowly, drizzle in the olive oil with a whisk to emulsify
  3. add shallots last, but do not bruise too much just stir it in before serving.
  4. season with salt and pepper.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Teatime Baby Shower at the Farm

Teatime at the Ingram's Dairy farm in Port Austin, Michigan
We enjoyed some sweets with coffee and tea.

Choosing a "surprise" gift for the guest of honor, Sondra. We watched a demonstration on wood lathe making and went next door to the home of the artist (the tea party was held across the driveway from the wood shop and the artist's home). It was such a great way to see art in the making!!! Something really different for a baby shower.

Monday, November 9, 2009

ad hoc at home Cookbook by Thomas Keller
Book signing at Williams-Sonoma in Santa Monica
What a priviledge to meet the Chef behind the famous restaurant in Napa Valley called "French Laundry". In 2003, I wrote a letter to Thomas Keller introducing myself and asking him if I could tour his kitchen. I was an apprentice at Common Grill restaurant at the time just starting my career in culinary. "This is only a dream to work for someone like yourself", I had written in my letter. He replied back to tell me that it would be an honor to have me come to his restaurant.
This year Thomas Keller lost his father. Most of the recipes in this cookbook he ate with his father at his restaurant ad hoc. "It is so important to have relationships", he said. He inscripted my book, "It's all about the family." He is not only a chef that I aspire to become, but one that I can relate to.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Thank You Dinner for Coldwell Banker Realtor's Committee

Orange is for pumpkins and red is for apples.....
These are a few of my favorite things.............
leaves turning colors, harvest season, browns and golds.........
They are the wonders of the season....
Edible art followed us to the next night's dinner party for eight.