Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Skillet Chicken with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

This is one of the most delicious chicken dinners I have ever made. The recipe is by Yasmin Fahr , food writer and contributor to The New York Times Cooking. Did I say DELICIOUS!!!

Yasmin writes: “This comforting one-pot dinner is reminiscent of a rich French onion soup, but made in less time and with lighter ingredients. Cooking the onions in a hot, dry pan forces them to release their moisture, so that they shrink and become silky and sweet in 30 minutes. Serve everything directly from the pan, with some crusty bread to soak up all the juices, or shred the chicken and pile it on top of buttered noodles. For something green, stir in some spinach to wilt at the end or serve alongside a simple green salad or roasted broccoli.”

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 3-inch pieces (I used breasts.)
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • ¾ pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley or dill leaves and fine stems, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan or pecorino (optional)
  • Bread or cooked pasta, for serving

Preparation

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, the honey, mustard, red-pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt; whisk until smooth. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper, then add to the mixture, coating it well. Set aside at room temperature, stirring it once while you make the onions.
  2. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron or heavy skillet over medium-high until very hot, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, then add the onions in an even layer. Season with salt, then cook, mostly undisturbed, for 4 minutes more, stirring every minute or so. Add the mushrooms, season with salt, and stir to combine. (It will look crowded, and that’s OK.) Allow to cook mostly undisturbed until the mushrooms shrink and start to brown, about 4 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
  3. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and allow the onions to cook until they start to color, stirring and lowering the heat as necessary to avoid burning, about 2 minutes. Push the onions and mushrooms to the edges of the skillet, then add the chicken pieces to the center. Pour any remaining marinade (there will be very little) over the onions and mushrooms. Cook undisturbed for 4 to 5 minutes, then combine the chicken and vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes more. (Reduce the heat to medium if the onions look like they are burning at any point.)
  4. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, stirring and scraping up anything on the bottom of the skillet. Season to taste with salt.
  5. Remove from the heat and top with the parsley and cheese, if using. Serve with bread or pasta.

NOTE: I served with cooked Carolina Rice and Asparagus, which I add to wok during last few minutes of cooking.

Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Shrimp Scampi

Simple and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine or broth
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ¾ pounds large or extra-large shrimp, shelled
  • ⅓ cup chopped parsley
  • Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
  • Cooked pasta or crusty bread

Preparation

  1. In a large skillet, melt butter with olive oil. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine or broth, salt, red pepper flakes and plenty of black pepper and bring to a simmer. Let wine reduce by half, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add shrimp and sauté until they just turn pink, 2 to 4 minutes depending upon their size. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice and serve over pasta or accompanied by crusty bread.

I served the shrimp with mini farfalle.

Based on a recipe from The New York Times and All Recipes.

Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Shrimp Burger

I threw this together a few nights ago. Approximately 20 small shrimp, peeled, deveined, and diced. One egg, beaten. Two scallions chopped. 1/3 cup Panko. Some lemon juice and Old Bay seasoning. Fried in butter for about 7 minutes per side. Served with a mayo, grain mustard, Frank’s Hot Sauce, lemon juice and Old Bay spread. Steak fries. Bok Choy with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes.

Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry with Veggies

For years I have wondered why do I only find shrimp from Thailand here in New England–both at the supermarket and a favorite fish store. Why? Why aren’t Gulf Shrimp distributed and sold here in New England? I recently discovered a company called Biloxi Shrimp. And I ordered 10 pounds from them. I couldn’t be happier.

Reading from their website:

“Biloxi Shrimp Co. was founded in June 2020 by Mark Mavar and Jonathan McLendon, owners of merged commercial shrimp processing companies Biloxi Freezing & Processing, Inc. and M&M Shrimp Company LLC. 

“These two successful businessmen, whose commercial business tag line is “The Coolest Guys in Town,” were both born and raised in Biloxi, Mississippi “seafood capital of the world,” where they grew up in their respective families’ shrimp and seafood businesses with a natural love for their city, their Gulf Coast and their family heritage. 

“More of the history is detailed below, but in short, they built one of the largest and most modern shrimp processing facilities in the entire Gulf, serving both the restaurant/foodservice industry and retail stores. When the pandemic arrived in spring of 2020, they found their freezers full of product that would have otherwise been shipped to the shuttered restaurant industry. Naturally, with shrimp season set to begin soon, they needed a different sales channel to make room in their freezers for the new crop of shrimp soon to arrive at their docks.” (More on their website.)

Ingredients
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 small bunch asparagus, cut into small pieces
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. grated ginger
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 tbsp. cornstarch
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
A handful of cashews, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook until pink, 5 minutes, then remove from skillet.
  2. Return skillet to heat and heat sesame oil. Add asparagus, peas, mushrooms cook until about 5 minutes, but still crisp. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, cornstarch, lemon juice, brown sugar, and the red pepper flakes. Add to skillet and toss to coat. Add cashews and shrimp and cook until heated through, 2 minutes.

The shrimp is delicious. Perfect. Here is the first dish I made earlier in the week; a simple stir fry with quinoa.

Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Grandma’s Irish Soda Bread

I never made Irish Soda Bread until this recent St. Patrick’s Day. Susan has been asking me to make it for years. “My mother always made it,” she said. “Would you make it for me?”

I did. It was delicious.

Me in the kitchen getting ready to make the bread. Freddy watching me.

I used a recipe from Julee Rosso’s cookbook, Great Good Food. Rosso is the co-author of the Silver Palate cookbooks and The New Basics Cookbook, which I believe total over 5 million copies in print.

She writes: “Grandma Clark taught me how she made this in the Old Country for special occasions. I know she’d like the taste of this one, even without the amount of butter she used.”

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup sugar (Next time I might cut back on the sugar; 1/2 cup perhaps.)
  • Juice of two oranges (I also added the zest of the oranges.)
  • 1-½ cups golden raisins
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped (Rosso called for 1/4 cup applesauce; I didn’t have it.)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-¾ cups buttermilk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg, well beaten

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spray or wipe a 12 to 14 inch cast-iron skillet with vegetable oil (I used a bit of butter.) Line the buttered skillet with a circle of waxed paper. Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter and set aside.

In a small saucepan over low heat, place the raisins and orange juice and chopped apple. Macerate until the raisins are plump. About 5 minutes. Drain.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add raisins, apples, zest to dry ingredients and toss well to coat.

Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, oil. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.

Spoon batter into the prepared skillet and smooth top. Drizzle the melted butter over the dough.

Bake until golden brown and puffed, about 1 hour. (Mine was done after 55 minutes.) Either serve warm directly from skillet, or let cool completely on a rack, and then wrap carefully and refrigerate overnight.

I served this with, what else, corned beef and cabbage!

Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Fat Tuesday Jambalaya

Somebody has said that if ever a good Louisianian died, went to heaven and found no gumbo there, he’d come straight back!

I’m not from Louisiana. I am still standing. And I made gumbo a few months ago. Fat Tuesday called for Jambalaya. Homemade Hot Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya.

I based my recipe on this:

Susan made a Maraschino Walnut Cake. So delicious!

A recipe from the following book. If you can find it, buy it. It’s a classic.

McBride writes: “I would rather show my appreciation of American food by eating it than by writing about it. But because I have a weakness for trying everything once, I finally did begin the well-nigh impossible task of writing the history of America in its food.”
Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Amazing Appetizer

I believe in using the good china. The good crystal. Drinking the champagne.

This appetizer is so delicious, and easy to prepare, it cries out to be served on a holiday: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day. But for me, every day is a holiday. So get out your good china. Your good crystal. Abd uncork that bottle of champagne!

Here’s the recipe with my changes noted:

Reading from The New York Times:

“This was the first recipe that the chef and writer Gabrielle Hamilton brought to The Times as an Eat columnist for the Sunday magazine in 2016, a snack-tray-sandwich version of a celery-and-fennel salad served at her restaurant, Prune, in the East Village. It calls for thick, white toasted Pullman bread spread wall to wall with unsalted butter, with slices of blue cheese neatly laid on top, below a mound of shaved celery and thinly sliced scallions dressed in garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt, and the whole shebang dusted in ground black pepper before being cut in halves or quarters. ‘The ingredients come from the grocery store,” she wrote in her column. “These toasts are not expensive or intimidating, but they are outstanding.'”

Ingredients

  • 2 slices country white Pullman bread, 1/2-inch thick (I used Italian bread.)
  • Sweet butter
  • 4 ounces Cambozola triple-cream blue cheese, sliced, divided evenly between two toasts (I used Blue Cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. So delicious!)
  • 1 cup shaved celery, from the inner head, toughest outer stalks removed, thinly sliced on the bias (I also used many leaves.)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on bias all the way up from the white through the green
  • 1 large clove garlic (I did not use any garlic.)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Several grinds black pepper

Preparation

  1. Toast the bread to golden. Butter generously, “wall to wall.” Lay cheese slices on top of buttered toast, neatly, evenly. (I toasted the bread in the oven.)
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the celery and the scallions. Microplane the garlic into the celery mixture.
  3. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice and salt, and stir very well, until completely dressed, almost wet with dressing.
  4. Mound the shaved celery salad evenly on top of the blue-cheese toasts, and grind black pepper over them very generously. Cut each in half or quarters. (I put the toasts back in the warm oven to slightly melt the cheese.)

I served this with lentil ham soup.

A few days later I made celery toasts again. This time I added a few chopped blue cheese stuffed green olives.

These served with roast chicken.

Bon Appetit!

Posted in Bible Verses, Color Photography, Documentary Photography, Inspiration, Poetry

A Time To Bloom

A New Year. New Resolutions. New Alterations. A Time To Bloom.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
~Some of the most quoted words of the Bible are from the Book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, verses 1-8

Reading from Unity:

This sacred list from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 represents all the seasons and the important changes of our lives. Some are happy times, others sad; some are productive while others seem wasteful; some inspire peace and others bring pain.

All of them are necessary for us to learn, grow, and evolve as spiritual beings. Their appearance is not by accident. If we look closely enough, each experience reveals a loving, divine purpose that we can learn to trust.

You can read about the lessons of these verses here.